Fasting for Fat Loss & Spiritual Growth
In modern-day church circles, at least in the USA, fasting seems to be an almost dying art. A mysterious custom from the days of yore, which most if not all Christians don’t practice and may not even understand the concept behind it.
I don’t kid myself to think that I know all there is to fasting, but I thought I’d do a little Bible study on fasting to give you the Biblical perspective of fasting and also give you a brief overview of all the benefits that modern science has determined in recent research. Turns out God has it right, fasting is good for you.
Biblical Wisdom about Fasting
Isn’t fasting only Old Testament stuff? It’s truly not for people in this day and age, right?
Wrong. There are almost as many references in the New Testament as Old Testament about fasting. Since we take most of our current Christian customs and practices from the New Testament to model the early church…it is absolutely for our day and age.
Why, Biblically, should we fast?
Fasting is a sign of submission to God’s authority and a way to honor him by following his commands. It is a way for us to also humble ourselves before him. James chapter 4 has a great promise that comes as a reward for humbling ourselves. “God will raise (exalt) the humble”.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10 ESV
Jesus went without food for 40 days in the desert. So, if you want to know what Jesus would do. If he was around today, he would be praying and fasting.
The early church is also an example for us as they often “prayed & fasted” during important times in the church.
Fasting is absolutely something for the Christian in 2014 and beyond from a Biblical perspective.
How should we fast? It’s a personal one-on-one (secret) expression of your faith and God will reward you.
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 ESV
Why should we fast? To humble ourselves before the Lord. For a sign of repentance when we return to his ways.
When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. Psalm 69:10 ESV
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; Joel 2:12 ESV
When should we fast? In times of preparation. During times of prayer. When we are trying to get closer to God. During special times of commitment to God and asking for God’s mercy and blessing.
I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. Daniel 10:3 ESV
And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts 14:23 ESV
Modern Science Backing the Benefits of Fasting
Why should we fast from a modern science perspective?
Fasting has been researched significantly for many years and some of the findings and positive ramifications it can have for our long-term health is astounding.
I could right volumes of books just going through all the research, but I’ll just ask that before you do any fasting that you research it yourself and absolutely, before you engage in longer-term fasting you consult with your doctor. For the most part, fasting in the Christian Vitality program and Christian Fatloss Program means skipping a meal, or refraining from eating after 8:00pm which is a commonly a held belief and encouraged practice by even the most conservative health practitioner.
For people in their later Christian Fatloss Cycles an option to increase the amount of fat loss is to implement what is commonly called Intermittent Fasting. It is typically refraining from eating for 12+ hours. It’s typically not recommended to fast for longer than 24 hours in most circles, but in VERY recent research it is deemed okay to go longer. Do your research and consult your doctor before doing so.
I implemented Intermittent fasting for 6 out of 7 days for cycles 2 – 5. In cycle 2 I was a little hit and miss, but was able to train my body to adapt to it and consistently, without fail, fasted for 16+ hours for 6 days per week in cycles 3-5.
There are several ways to implement it, that have been proven to be effective, both for increasing health and for increasing fat loss.
Some kinds of fasting can be every other day (called alternate day fasting), every day for short periods, fasting after a workout or exercise to help increase growth hormone production (to keep you young and vital) and variations. A popular one recently was called the 5/2 diet. Where your fasting for a couple of days and ate normally for the others.
The Christian Vitality Diet & Christian Fatloss Program is typically 12 hours or more if you are in later Fatloss Cycles. Some mainstream people would call this a “condensed eating window”. So, that’s the sustainable and practical version of what I did.
Here are just a few of the scientifically documented health benefits of fasting:
- Longevity: It can help you live longer
- Blood Lipids: It can help with you bad cholesterol levels.
- It has been proven to be as or more effective than calorie restriction in overweight women to help repair damage from metabolic syndrome
- Every other day (alternate day) fasting has been proven to lower LDL-c numbers and also reduce LDL particle size.