1. Fasting can boost health in as little as 2 days

    Try this trick the day after Christmas

    Merry Christmas!

    Today, we celebrate the moment God sent his one and only Son to our sin-filled world to redeem us with the promise of everlasting life.

    It's a time to be surrounded by family and other loved ones -- and I hope tonight you all sit down together for a big feast.

    But tomorrow, consider doing something else entirely.

    The first day of winter last week marks the start of a new season, and that's the perfect time to consider a fast.

    It's not just a good idea after weeks of holiday overeating.

    It's also a powerful way to enhance your health, and new research shows how a fast can wipe away some of the risk factors for today's leading killer diseases, including both heart disease and diabetes.

    Researchers from Texas Tech University reviewed years of science and confirmed just about everything you've read about this healthy and revitalizing practice here in House Calls.

    Right off the bat, there's the obvious benefit: Fasting can kick-start your metabolism, helping you to lose weight right out of the gate.

    And it's not just while you're fasting -- you can keep burning off calories even as you start eating again.

    Long-term fasting diets can also can cut total cholesterol by as much as a fifth... LDL by up to a third... triglycerides by as much 42 percent... and blood pressure by as much as 10 percent.

    But you don't need a long-term fasting diet to enjoy real and lasting benefits.

    The same new study found that fasting over the shorter term -- even for as little as two days -- can cut your weight, reduce body fat, and improve your LDL particle size, which is a much more important risk factor than LDL levels alone.

    Two days! Start tomorrow, and you'll be back to your normal diet on Thursday.

    Short-term fasting can even reduce C-reactive protein, a dangerous marker of inflammation linked to everything from heart attack to dementia.

    And if you have diabetes... or if you're at risk for the disease... fasting can help bring your blood sugar levels under control.

    The new study focused on intermittent fasting, or mixing fast days with days of normal eating, and very-low-calorie diets that mimic fasting.

    But you don't have to get fancy here.

    I've found that you can get nearly all of the benefits by fasting for two or three days just a few times a year -- without the need for "alternating" or "mimicking" diets.

    The start of each new season is often a good time to give it a try.

    Bear in mind that "fasting" doesn't mean "starving" -- and it doesn't mean eating and drinking nothing it all.

    Speak to a holistic doctor who can help you fast properly to ensure proper nutrition.

  2. Fasting can improve heart health

    The FAST way to good health

    We've turned a new page on the calendar, and spring is less than three weeks off -- which means it's time to get ready for the big spring cleaning.

    I'm not talking about your home... although, let's face it, that's probably overdue for one too.

    I'm referring, of course, to your body.

    It's time to cleanse yourself on the inside and sweep out toxins like they're dust bunnies -- and you can do it with just a couple of days of fasting.

    It's not just good for the soul.

    The latest research confirms that regular fasting is an effective way to boost your health and slash your risk of nearly every major disease of aging.

    The study used a special program that involves normal eating most of the time, but a five-day fast each month (which is a little too much -- but more on that in a moment).

    After three months of following this pattern, folks with some of the risk factors for chronic disease saw incredible improvements in blood pressure, inflammation, hormone levels, and fasting glucose levels.

    They even lost an average of six pounds, almost all of it in unsightly fat... and NONE of it in the all-important muscle mass you need for strength.

    The only downside? Folks who were already healthy and didn't have any risk factors for chronic disease didn't see many changes.

    Of course they didn't. They were ALREADY healthy!

    But let's face it: How many people are REALLY "already healthy"? I see the test results every day, and I can tell you that there aren't many.

    It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just something that happens as we get older -- but you can stop it and even reverse it with a few simple lifestyle changes and an occasional fast.

    Just don't follow too closely the one in the study, which was longer than necessary and required specially-prepared meal replacements.

    It's needlessly complex.

    You can get all the benefits of fasting -- and more -- without the meal replacements and without having to drag it out for nearly a week, like the poor souls in this study.

    I find the traditional regimen of two or three days, three or four times a year, is enough to do the trick.

    Like rotating your mattress, consider the start of each new season a reminder it's time to get it done.

    If you've never fasted before, don't just stop eating for a couple of days. Speak to a holistic medical doctor first to make sure you're healthy enough to do it and also get some tips on how to fast properly.

  3. Fasting cuts your inflammation levels

    Fasting isn’t just a healthy habit. It can slash your levels of damaging inflammation, too.

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