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A reasonable fast does actually have many benefits. It resets our satiety centre making it less likely that we overeat. There are many metabolic benefits as well. Caloric restriction has been shown to increase the life span of rats by as much as 30 percent. Some of the most beautiful livers I've seen have been from Jain donors who were in the habit of fasting regularly. I'm sure it had something to do with Gandhi's immense stamina as well.