Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Benefits of a 1-Day Fast

In the past Pound360 has detailed the benefits of super-low calorie diets (as in, cutting your daily calories down to 1000). In fact, we covered it twice. Unlike your standard fad diet (South Beach, Scarsdale, Atkins), we like calorie restriction because, as we said earlier, it has a nice, hard-ass ring to that makes us believe it can do some good.

But it’s really hard to do. Real hard. We tried. We failed. But
Pound360 learned at NPR of something that may be a good middle ground between our current, miserable diet and the CR promise land: one-day fasting.

When you fast, the body burns through its stored sugars (glycogen), so insulin production is slowed. This reduces your craving for sugar and lets the pancreas rest.

Also, when fasting, your body gets a break from the harmful byproducts of energy conversion (like free radicals). According to one scientist, free radicals “attack proteins, DNA, the nucleus of cells, the membranes of cells.” They won’t kill those molecules, but they can damage them.

When your body gets used to regular fasting, cells may be trained to conserve and use energy more efficiently, extending lifespan.

You don’t want to overdue it, however. When fasting for long periods of time, your body starts to break down muscle. Not only does this make you into a puny weakling, but the breakdown of muscle releases “potentially toxic proteins” that can harm the kidneys and liver.

Pound360 Archive

About Me

My photo
I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.