See previous parts for important information.
What are some Fasting Misuses?
While it is wrong to think that fasting is a panacea or totally harmful? There are some definite misuses of fasting. We will consider a few here.
There are some groups of people that use fasting as a control device. That is the dissident members of the group are starved into submission. There is one famous group that I heard about that takes those who disagree with policy and locks they up without food to think about it for awhile. The object is to cause torcher by hunger.
Trying to put the best face on this, there is spiritual fast,
which has to do with fasting while you think about an answer to an issue in life. We may talk about that later. But here the fast is used to impose an answer on the one being starved. It is a perverted form of aversion therapy.
You do not fast to cause yourself or impose a fast to cause another to accept a conclusion predetermined. The fast is to open the door
to see what the best answer would be.
The same in a related sense to true about fasting as a punishment. I guess most of us can remember misbehaving and being sent to bed without supper. [Of course, I never misbehaved.] That in effect is the imposition of an extended night fast.
While I am not being judgemental in such cases, I see that as an ill advised choice in corrective punishment. No, it will not harm the child. But it might cause the child to associate hunger with punishment. It is not.
Hunger is the prelude to health in fasting. [By the way hunger does not last throughout the fast, only about two days and later when the fast is starting to go too long. Later we will talk about this.]
If the child associates hunger with punishment, that may cause him to pass up the benefits of fasting for health. Or if the child becomes masochistic or feels the need to punish himself for something he does in later life, he may abuse fasting and have malnutrition or starvation issues. It could create an eating disorder.
Another thing that fasting is not for is for political ends. Gandhi
was a great man.
Notwithstanding, his use of fasting for political ends was a misuse of fasting. He was well intended, and he did often attain his goal, but that presented a false picture of fasting.
Many have gotten the ideas that fasting is a tool to make things happen that they want to happen. For them it is a tool of magical manifestation. Some Christians view fasting as a way to supercharge their prayers. That is not what fasting is about and a misuse of fasting to apply it in such a purpose.
The next misuse of fasting is for weight loss.
We will discuss fasting as part of a weight loss program as being beneficial. However the wrong use is to use it as the magic bullet for weight loss.
Yes, you will drop weight during a fast of sufficient time. That is not at issue. But done incorrectly you will be creating the yo-yo effect, even maybe accent it. During the fast your body thinks, I am starving. Then when you break the fast, you body says, “FOOD!”, and immediately starts to store it, a physiological preparation for anticipated starving to return. And as you know, that is fat creation. You may end up with more weight than before the fast. [But correctly done it may be helpful.]