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Fasting is a widely popular concept observed in different cultures and religions around the world. It has many different aspects that are discussed briefly in this article.

What is Fasting?

Fasting means stop eating food intentionally for a specific period. Numerous metabolic changes occur due to fasting. According to a few tests, a person is assumed to be in the state of a fast after he or she has not consumed any calories for 8 to 12 hours.  The majority of religions have fasted in their rituals in one way or another.

What is Diagnostic Fast?

A diagnostic fast is also known as a medical fast because it is conducted under medical supervision. It can go on for a period of 1 to 100 hours, depending on the age and health of the faster. Most of the time, such fasts are observed due to some medical reasons, for example, before a colonoscopy or a major surgery.

Health Benefits of Fasting

There is a myriad of benefits of fasting in numerous aspects. Without getting into their lengthy elaborations, some of the major advantages are listed below:

  1. Fasting has important medical applications in the form of preoperative fasting, autophagy, and intermittent fasting.
  2. It improves mental health by enhancing alertness, mood, and possibly reducing depressed feelings. Cognitive function is improved as well.
  3. Weight loss is one of the most basic benefits of fasting.
  4. Many types of research and studies have proven that fasting improves the overall health of an individual.
  5. It can prevent diseases like cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, hypertension, gut problems, and digestive issues. Moreover, it enhances immunity.

Types of Fasting

Over time, many types of fasting have become popular due to numerous reasons. Most of the following types are quite self-explanatory:

  1. Overnight fasting
  2. Water fasting
  3. Juice Fasting
  4. One Meal A Day Fast
  5. Alternate-Day Fasting
  6. Whole-Day Fasting
  7. Bone Broth Fasting
  8. Soft Dry Fast
  9. Hard Dry Fast
  10. Fat Fasting

Fasting and Religions

Fasting is observed in almost every other religion in some way or another. It is considered to be a significant pillar in many religions.

1.     Buddhism

Buddhist monks and nuns commonly do not consume food afternoon. Fasting is usually observed during intense meditations and retreats.

2.     Christianity

Fasting is practiced by many Christians during some specific liturgical calendar. Black fast is also observed during which the food is not consumed for a whole day until the evening. Similarly, partial fasting is also done by some of the churches.

3.     Islam

Ramadan is a holy month of Islam. Muslims practice fasting for the whole month of Ramadan. It is considered obligatory for every healthy Muslim as it is one of the four pillars of Islam. The duration of a single fast starts from dawn and ends at sunset. Other than the obligatory fasts, additional fasting is also observed on some special days.

4.     Hinduism

Fasting is an essential part of Hinduism. There are many different days on which fasting is practiced by Hindus, depending on their personal beliefs and customs.



As we have seen, fasting is a complex and popular concept around the world in different religions, cultures, and medical applications. It is observed by people for a number of medical or religious reasons. Whatever the reason may be, there is no doubt that it brings a lot of benefits to the fasters.

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