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The Health Implications Of Fasting - What You Should Know

What if you eat nothing for a week?
Intermittent Fasting and water fasting are two practices that have grown to become one of the most popular trends in the world of health and fitness today. While several health enthusiasts are already joining the bandwagon, many others are still trying to see its importance.

Whether you’re into any of both kinds of fasting or not, you must wonder what really happens to your body when you stop eating. 

In a few paragraphs, this article will expose you to the inner happenings of the body during fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?

Since this is one of the major reasons that persuade health enthusiast and most others to starve, it’s only normal that I let you know what it is.

Intermittent fasting is a practice that involves cycling your periods of eating and fasting. It has to do with completely staying away from food for a certain period of time and then eating as usual for another period.

Some benefits promised by intermittent fasting include weight loss, improved immune system, longevity and improved metabolic rate. I’m sure “weight loss” there rang a bell.

What is water fasting? 
Since this is one of the major reasons that persuade health enthusiast and most others to starve, it’s only normal that I let you know what it is. – Of course, I know I just repeated what I wrote in the previous paragraph, I had to scratch my itch.

Water fasting is a type of fasting in which the practitioner consumes nothing but water for days. It’s usually done for a variety of reasons including to slow aging, lose weight, improve cell recycling and lots more. It is entirely different from intermittent fasting and considered more tasking and risky – especially when the practitioner is not under a doctor’s supervision.

What happens to your body when you eat nothing for a week? 
When your body waits but receives no food from you, it’s going to respond – that’s feedback. It will try to make adjustments that will maintain its regular operation and this brings about everything that you might experience, good and bad.

For the first 6 hours 
For the first 6 hours of not eating anything, the sky remains blue, and every single thing works just fine. This happens not because you have some food from last night in your tummy, but for your body’s glycogen store. The body begins to obtain energy by breaking down stored glycogen (stored form of glucose) from its reserve. It is this energy that powers your brain, feed your muscle tissue and red blood cells, keeping you strong and sharp.

Around 25% of energy generated is used for your brain, and the rest goes to muscle and red blood cells.

After the first 6 hours
Everything gets depleted without replenishment and the body’s glycogen store is not an exception to this rule. It exhausts the stored glycogen sometime after the first 6 hours of not eating, depending on how active you get.

No glycogen means no energy for the brain and for the muscle tissues too. This sort of throws the body into a frenzy and you begin to experience hunger and anger. They were right after all, those who said: a hungry man is bound to be an angry man.

The body doesn’t give up trying to restore balance so it searches for another source of energy. It soon turns to your body fat and starts breaking it down for energy. The process of breaking body fat down to fuel the body is called ketosis. Ketosis is the brain behind weight loss. This process altogether is way more complicated than this though.

Days...
Though the body succeeds in generating energy for the muscle tissues by breaking your fat into fatty acids (ketosis), your brain is left out as it can’t use this acid as fuel. So it decides to carter for itself, looks around, finds and settles with ketone bodies for energy. This solution works only for some time because ketone bodies can’t replace glucose, and the brain can’t function off this. All these lead to mild cognitive functioning impairment which comes with symptoms that include

# Trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating.
# Confusion
# Poor motor coordination
# Identity confusion.

This takes place within the first 3 days of going on without food.

After the first 3 Days
3 days and still, no food? The body is shocked, and since the ketone bodies it relied on previously are not so efficient, it searches for another source of energy. Good enough, protein releases amino acids which can be converted into glucose your body so desperately needs so it jumps on it. Bad idea though.

The body starts to break down proteins and generates enough energy to power the brain. This is at some cost however. Protein is a major source of muscle mass and since your body now feeds of it for energy, you start losing muscle mass.

Women might experience an additional problem, their menstrual cycle can pause. In addition, both genders bone density diminishes and their libido decreases.

After 1 no-food-week
After about a week, being that your body has received no vitamins or minerals, the immune system becomes weak. As a result, it becomes easy to be dealt with by bacteria and viruses as they face little to no resistance. This is really a dangerous period and many people can die after a month or up to seventy days. This is because the system becomes more and more fragile each day as the body continues to use every energy source possible until there is nothing left.

The most causes of death in such cases is usually a Cardiac Arrhythmia and heart attacks which happens due to the tissue degradation in the heart diaphragm.

The duration of your life depends on how much water you drink and the amount of fat reserves your body has, and this is the end of the road..

Source: health fix hub