So, what does the body do when you fast? Dr. Shelton lists four main activities.
- Breakdown of body fat, thereby leading to rapid weight loss. This is beneficial because excess body fat increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other diseases. Fasting is the “fastest” way to lose weight.
- Diversion of energy from digestive processes to other tissues where needed for repair and rejuvenation. Dr. Shelton explains that “if you have the water running in your bathtub and somebody turns on the water in the kitchen sink, the rate of flow into the bathtub is immediately diminished. When the water in the kitchen is cut off, the rate of flow into the bathtub is immediately increased.” When digestion is suspended for a period of time by fasting, far less blood flows to the digestive organs. This blood is then free to flow to other tissues in the body, bringing with it essential oxygen and other nutrients which are needed for healing. This extra blood also serves as the vehicle in which wastes can be carried away.
- Physiological rest is secured. We all know the importance of rest after a hard day’s work. At night, we fall into bed exhausted. If we do not secure a good night’s rest, we will function poorly the following day. Our internal organs need rest also, yet we almost never give them rest since we eat every few hours every day. By fasting, an opportunity for complete rest is given, and the internal organs thereby are able to rebuild their strength.
- Fast to eliminate wastes. Again quoting Dr. Shelton: “Nothing known to man equals the fast as a means of increasing the elimination of waste from the blood and tissues. Only a brief period elapses after food is withheld until the organs of elimination increase their activities and a real physiological housecleaning is instituted.