Intermittent fasting and cleanses can often come off as intimidating. Despite their positive effects on weight loss, these regimens tend to fall on the extreme side of the spectrum. With that said, a weekly 24-hour cleanse may stand as an easier and more approachable option. While a full-day fast may not lead to rapid weight loss, it can reset your body and provide various health benefits.
What does a 24-hour cleanse entail?
A 24-hour cleanse can have different interpretations. While some dieticians recommend abstaining from any substance aside from water, others allow any zero-calorie liquid such as tea or black coffee. Other versions of cleaning may be less strict on the calorie aspect and merely focus on the liquid-only part of the diet. Another form of this diet focuses on eliminating specific toxins such as alcohol, coffee, refined sugars, or cigarettes. Regardless, the idea is to give your organs a break from processing food and allow them to recuperate from constant digestion. You begin your fast with any meal of the day and stop eating for 24 hours after that point.
What are the benefits?
There are various benefits of a 24-hour fast. As mentioned above, the main idea is to allow time for your organs to rest. You can think of this period as a “catch-up” period for your organs. During the 24-hour fast, your liver will get stimulated to get rid of toxins. Once your body burns all the remaining glucose, it will begin to use fat to restore energy. Your body then shifts into ketosis, the metabolic process of burning fat, hence the detoxification process. During ketosis, your body will release cholesterol and uric acid into the bloodstream. At the end of the fast, studies have found that cholesterol and triglycerides drop.
There are also weight loss effects of a weekly 24-hour fast, although the research is limited. According to a review of studies, trials on whole-day fasting lasting for 12 – 24 weeks found that full-day fasting lowers body weight and fat by 3% to 9% on average. Causes a reduction in body weight and body fat by about 3% to 9%. It also found that a 24-hour fast reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides.
How does it affect exercise?
While logical thinking may lead you to assume that fasting would make you feel lethargic, it can have the opposite effect. Some people certainly feel fatigued as the day goes on, but others experience a mid-day burst of energy that results in a more intense and energized workout.
One of the perks of the 24-hour fast is you can cater it to your desires. If you simply want a day to recover from heavy drinking or junk-eating, it can be just that. If you’re going to use the day to get ahead on your weight loss goals, it can become that as well.
If you decide to try this fast and workout during it, you can download the EZPT app to help track your fitness progress. The EZPT app has a list of recommended exercises that can target your personal goals. When partaking in a cleanse, your body already shifts to ketosis. In an effort to lose weight, you may want to add in a workout that targets fat loss.
While our bodies are equipped to process and digest food regularly, humans certainly weren’t built to down 15 drinks over two days or down a 2000 calorie burger from a fast-food chain restaurant. Perhaps you don’t engage in those kinds of practices regularly. Even so, microwavable dinners, white bread, or overly sweetened coffee isn’t necessarily a walk in the park for your liver to process. Thus, a weekly break can be beneficial for anyone.
The best part about a 24-hour fast is it isn’t too hard. A short cleanse can give you the boost you need to get back on track, and it gives your body a break from processing high-sugar and complex foods. Plus, there are hardly any downsides to these cleanses. Your body doesn’t go into starvation mode until you’ve gone several days without eating. While it may feel unpleasant or odd at times because you’re used to eating, it goes by fairly quickly if you keep yourself busy and ingest extra liquids. This type of cleansing may also be more attainable for those with difficulty keeping up regular calorie restriction and fasting periods.
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