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The term fasting here describes drinking as much water as you want. While completely eliminating or significantly decreasing intake of solid food for 18-24+ hours. It doesn't have to go to extremes of Mahatma Gandhi going 20+ straight days with no food. Fasting every other day. A few times a week or month can yield positive and tangible results.

Theory

Imagine a smooth and newly paved road. With an overabundance of traffic it will eventually develop potholes and other issues. Similar analogies could be made about the human digestive system. Especially with athletes who consume and burn a significantly higher quantity of calories in contrast to those with more sedentary lifestyles. Think about the times you've thrown up and felt a burning sensation from stomach acid burning the lining or your nose or throat. Stomach acid breaks food down, making it easier to digest.. But coupled with a high volume of food, it can also have a damaging effect in excess.

Eating and consuming a high traffic of food, over a consistent amount of time. Can damage and break the body down in ways. Like a road with a steady stream of semis driving over it. This can lead to feeling tired and flat in ways where it is difficult to pinpoint the cause.

Fasting gives a person's digestive system time to rest and heal. It gives the body time to detox & remove a bioaccumulation of toxins in fatty tissues. This can have healing and rejuvenating effects. Which could be why its mentioned as a positive in both christian and muslim faiths.

Negatives

There is a danger with fasting longer than 18 - 24+ hours.

After not eating for prolonged periods of time, a person's body will assume there is a famine and shift into energy saving mode. They'll begin to lose muscle mass. I can't say I'm 100% certain which specific mechanisms cause this. Or what the specific timeline is in terms of --exactly-- how many hours a person can fast before the negative of muscle mass loss kicks in. Its not an area that appears to have had much research.

There's a common trend where those who try to diet their way to weight loss, manage to lose weight initially. Eventually they gain their weight back and more. It could be explained by fasting longer than 18 - 24 hours. They lose muscle mass decreasing their ability to burn calories and fat. Causing them to gain more weight over the long term.

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