What are the pros/cons to fasting? 

The pros of fasting include increased longevity, improved brain function, increased insulin regulation, stronger resistance to stress, improved satiety, benefits of endogenous hormone production and increased mental clarity. The cons of fasting are mainly associated with those who have insulin resistance, they may need to ease their way into this lifestyle and monitor their glucose levels throughout their fast to ensure they are not dropping too low which can strain the heart, cause lightheadedness, fainting and lead to hospitalization. Fasting is NOT recommended for those who have an eating disorder or are in eating disorder recovery.

What does it do to the body specifically? Fasting trains the body to use its own fat stores for fuel rather than depending on glucose from food to fuel the body and brain. The scientific metabolic answer is autophagy, our body’s natural process of self-cleaning, autophagy destroys old cells that are diseased, dead or worn and it creates new healthy cells.

Some say it’s a means of “detox” but isn’t “detoxing” mostly a myth anyway? There is a natural detoxification process that results from fasting but should not be confused with trendy supplement and juices detoxes. Colin Champ, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and author of Misguided Medicine. “Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunction like obesity and diabetes.”

Is it actually a legitimate way to lose weight? Or are you just kind of screwing with your body’s metabolism and you’ll gain it back just as fast?
I would not use fasting as a weight loss tool, it is a tool to improve health and a bonus of improving your health and longevity is weight loss. Research shows that fasting will improve your ability to think more clearly, focus and it has been shown to improve your ability to control impulsive eating due to insulin regulation. I am a supporter of intermittent fasting and short fasts that last a couple of days but prolonged fasting should be done under a doctor’s supervision and is not for everyone.
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