Fasting is a very common ritual for people all over the world. However, not every person follows the same rules or fast for the same reasons. A part of a complete fasting, which consists of no food or liquids, there are different kinds of partial fasting: the fast that limits only meat, the fast that limits everything but juice or water, and the fast that limits everything but only for part of a day and not a full 24 hours.

Whether you are fasting for religious, health, or for any other reasons, it is still critical to stay safe and know what fasting is doing to your body. Here are a few effects to keep in mind while fasting.

Physical Appearance

Fasting can change your physical appearance by resulting in weight loss and detoxification. The weight loss happens because the body starts by burning off carbs but if the carbs are not replenished then the body starts to tap into its fat in order to burn some energy. Even though this process results in weight loss, do not do it for this reason alone because if you fast too often then you can easily slip into starvation. 

Fasting, especially partial fasts that allow fruit and vegetable juices, detoxes the body. When the body is detoxed, all the toxins in you are cleaned out, leaving you with clearer skin and less bloating.


If fasting is done too often it can make the mind and body feel fatigued and tired. It can also make you moody if your body is not used to this process, and you might feel very 'hangry' . However, the act of breaking the fast can help people suffering from depression or loneliness. This is because the general ritual for breaking fast is to come together at night with friends and family for a feast. This part of the process reminds people that they are not alone and gives them an uplifting sense of community

Digestive System

Fasting is a great way to give your digestive system a break. Nowadays, many people eat very often, eat larger portions, or are binge eaters. Digesting this much food everyday can become hard on the body and tire out the digestive system. Fasting not only gives your organs a break, but it also gives your body time to realize the difference between hunger and empty cravings. Fasting too often though can actually shrink the size of your stomach, so watch out. 


If you fast too often your resting metabolic rate will decrease. This is because the body registers this low caloric intake as starvation and tries to preserve as much energy as it can to survive. It can also cause muscle loss, which means your muscles will use less energy. This is because muscle calls for more energy than fat, so your body will choose to keep the fat instead.

Body Image Disorders

Even though fasting can help with weight loss, don't have this be the sole reason for doing it. When your body image is your only reason behind it, you risk the chance of creating a body image disorder. A friend of mine did just that; she became obsessed with how fasting made her look skinnier, and started to do it so often that she was starving instead of fasting. She then struggled with anorexia for years after. Be mindful of how frequent you fast.

Immune system

Did you ever realize why animals tend to not eat for a day or two when they are ill? This is because fasting actually helps boost your immune system, and helps you heal faster. Fasting cuts off cancer cell formation, regulates inflammatory conditions, and lowers free radical damage. I personally have tried this when I was sick before and it helped me heal twice as fast.


Not only can fasting lower the risk of contracting coronary disease, but it also can break addictions. During the period where food and drinks are not being consumed, this gives the body time to reset and lessen its desire for sugar, coffee, or any other food or beverage addiction. The desire is lessened because it gives the body time to flush out the addictive product and realize that it can function without it, making the person less dependent on it. However, if fasting is not regulated correctly it is possible to develop diseases due to lack of nutrients.

Overall, fasting can be a beneficial thing for the body if you know how to regulate it and keep these effects in mind. Remember that if you are planning to fast, drink a lot of water the week before. Also, eat food like pasta or rice a night or two before fasting to help prevent your body from passing out or fatigue. Good luck!