A Closer Look at Extended Fasting Physical and Mental Benefits

A Closer Look at Extended Fasting Physical and Mental Benefits

In the US extended fasting as well as intermittent fasting has seen a huge surge of popularity over the past five to seven years, and for good reason, as you’ll learn below.

Fasting has been well documented throughout history and has been an element of organized religion. The ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda has relied on fasting for as a restorative and detoxifying method for thousands of years.


Extended Fasting & Benefits

Essentially extended fasting means abstaining from calories for 24 hours or more. We need to be careful not to consume any drinks which can fool the body into restarting the digestion process. Learn more about zero-calorie drinks which can break your fast by increasing insulin levels in the body.

Researchers believe that all of the benefits below can contribute to a slowing of aging and also a prolonged life expectancy. Fasting likewise increases stem cells regenerative ability.



  1. Drink plenty of water. Carry a large container of water with you at all times. Often times drinking water can curb or even temporarily eliminate hunger.
  2. Find a ‘Fasting Buddy’ and stay supportive and accountable to each other.
  3. Manage your environment the best you can. Stay away from temptation as much as possible.
  4. Drink black coffee and/or plain tea throughout your fast. ADD NOTHING, of course.
  5. If you feel bad there may be a simple fix – Electrolytes. If you have headaches, nausea, lightheadedness or weakness you’re most likely in need of electrolytes. In a jam you can use a bit of pink himalayan salt or sea salt in 8 ounces of water. Or pick up an electrolyte supplement from the Vitamin Shoppe.


Let’s dive into the fasting benefits, after all these are our motivators to get through the next 24+ hours of fasting. Consult your health care provider if you’re uncertain about fasting or you have a medical condition.

Fasting can be incorporated into any diet model. In my own personal experience combining intermittent and extended fasting while on a ketogenic diet is the absolute best way to stay lean and a surefire way to lose fat fast. Keto isn’t for everyone though. Vegans and vegetarians, as well as many other diet models work very well when combined with fasting too.

I’ve helped clients have success with fasting combined with all types of nutrition plans, including but not limited to the diets listed below.

Which Diet Models Does Fasting Work Well With?

  • ketogenic
  • paleo
  • low carb
  • carnivore
  • vegan
  • vegetarian
  • pescatarian
  • mediterranean
  • raw food
  • blood type diet
  • caloric deficit diet (calories in vs. calories out)
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Let’s dive into the benefits:

Mental Health and Well-Being

After fasting, the blood is filled with a higher degree of endorphins, that makes you much more sharp as well as supplies you with a feeling of good psychological wellness. Research studies have likewise supplied evidence of healthy and balanced aging of the brain, which is credited to calorie constraint as well as intermittent fasting. The effects of fasting are taken into consideration comparable to that of exercise.

Physical Detoxification

When no food is consumed by the body, the body uses fat deposits for energy and brain function, which releases chemicals from the fat reserves and also lead to the obliteration of these chemicals via the organs. It has been well-favored by Ayurvedic therapy for cleansing as well as correcting the discrepancies in the body.

Fat Loss

Fasting has been effectively used for weight control for a long time. A recent study has shown favorable results with respect to typical weekly weight loss protocol in patients during and after fasting. Fasting activates the liver enzymes as well as breaks fat and cholesterol right into vital bile acids, which boost the metabolic rate as well as convert the excess fat right into warmth. It also assists you avoid over-eating as it regulates the hunger hormone ghrelin. Regular fasting can improve eating patterns gradually.

Healing & Immune System Boost

Extended fasting is linked to healing within the human body. When digestion stops and there is no longer food present in the stomach and intestines your body becomes free concentrate on healing. Fasting creates an environment where the body can more freely focus energy on essential functions like your immune system and metabolic activity. Studies on the link between fasting and boosting the immune system show a clear connection.

Skin Health

Autophagy produces the synthesis and recycling and removal of malfunctioning and dead cells. This results in the production of healthier cells as well as new cell growth throughout the body. This process helps to generate healthier skin. It likewise helps in collagen production as well as acne reduction for many (not all) intermittent and extended fasters.

Increases Human Growth Hormone

An increase in human growth hormone (HGH) is something we can all benefit from. This is particularly true if you’re over the age of 40, when HGH levels are declining. HGH promotes the production and growth of cells in the body. The production of such hormones is enhanced during extended fasting, resulting in anti-aging hormonal agents as well as faster healing and recovery throughout the body.

May Increase Chemotherapy Effectiveness

Research studies have demonstrated that a change in the degrees of glucose as a result of fasting can be beneficial for the performance of chemotherapy, versus chemo alone. Daily fasting during chemotherapy can stimulate changes associated with the protection of cells and also may be favorable for the people enduring or undergoing tumor treatment.

Intestinal Health Improvement

Fasting helps turn around the age-related decline in intestinal tract stem cell functioning. Researchers say that during fasting, the cells break down fats instead of glucose and also this aids the cells to become much more regenerative, even within a 24 hour fast. A longer fast could provide even better results.

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Helps Treat Epilepsy

Fasting could help in treating and epilepsy. describes a brain condition in which a person suffers from reoccurring convulsions that can result in an improvement in behavior. Fasting has been verified helpful for individuals struggling with epilepsy. Studies on this topic have revealed favorable lead to regards to the regularity of seizures in such clients.

Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid joint inflammation is a persistent medical problem that creates swelling of versatile joints, surrounding tissues, and also body organs. Under clinical supervision, controlled fasting has actually shown considerable results in the studies carried out. Nevertheless, it has actually been suggested by some doctors to proceed with a vegan or vegetarian diet moving forward.

Pancreatitis Relief

The pancreas plays an essential role in generating gastrointestinal juices and releasing the hormones in the body, consisting of insulin. When the pancreatic ends up being irritated over a short period, it is known as pancreatitis. Together with intravenous feeding and liquid treatment, fasting has likewise been approved as a therapy approach for severe pancreatitis. Insulin policy also prevents type-2 diabetic issues as the glucose degrees are stabilized.

Can Improve Heart Health

Fasting affects the policy of glucose and also cardio health. This has actually been demonstrated by different studies carried out in this regard, along with other health and wellness advantages consisting of decreasing high blood pressure, body mass, triglycerides, and also raising insulin sensitivity as well as degrees of HDL (good) cholesterol.

Repair and Rejuvenation

The body gets a possibility to repair itself as a result of a slower metabolic rate., far better defense mechanisms, and also protein production throughout fasting. This causes improved mental well-being, clearness, enhanced blood flow, as well as a sensation of restoration. Researchers believe that all of these effects contribute to a slowdown in aging and also a prolonged life expectancy. Fasting likewise increases stem cell’s regenerative ability.

How to Safely Break Your Extended Fast

It’s very important to have a game plan in place long before your extended fast is over.

After you’ve broken your extended fast you should gently reintroduce calories back into your body.

Do Not Eat a Large Meal

Start with foods from the list below such as bone broth or a light salad. Consuming a huge meal after your fast can lead to all kinds of gastrointestinal distress including stomach cramping and pain. A big meal post-fast can even cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Avoid Alcohol for 24 Hours

Alcohol is absolutely the last thing you should put into your body directly after a fast. This should be obvious because you’ve just spent 24+ hours detoxifying your organs. See the info below on carbs and insulin response below.

Start with Low or No Carbs

During a 24+ hour fast insulin levels can significantly drop, resulting in increased insulin sensitivity. Stay away from carbs, especially processed carbs for half a day after fasting.

Eat Only Whole Foods

We should stick to whole foods as much as possible, even if we’re not in a fasting routine. Refined foods (particularly specific fibers and also sugar alcohols) can have a bigger and also worse effect after fasting. This being said, even some entire foods need to ideally be avoided for the very first a number of hrs after a fast; nuts, seeds, and raw veggies may be challenging to absorb. Rather, sticky to cooked, non-starchy veggies, healthy fats/oils, and also broths/soups.


What Avoid when Breaking Fast

  • Processed foods, especially processed carbs
  • Starchy veggies
  • Booze
  • Seeds, nuts and legumes

Best Foods to Break Fast

  • Leafy greens, light salads
  • Bone broth or chicken broth
  • Light soups




Jed Miller

Certified Master Fitness Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Fitness Blogger and all around fitness and health nut. In addition to highly personalized fitness training, JM has worked in health club management as well as corporate wellness.

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