In this article, find out some basic information about fasting, different kinds of fasting, some tips for fasting and a sample fasting program for beginners.
Fast Facts About Fasting
In an excerpt from the book “Fasting to Freedom”, the author discusses the effects of fasting and what is being eliminated in the process.
Here, we are given an overview as to how fasting works and its effect on us. It’s been said that the other health benefits include stress resistance, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced morbidity and increased life span.
“During a fast, a metamorphosis occurs. The body undergoes a tearing down and rebuilding of damaged materials. There is a remarkable redistribution of nutrients in the fasting body.
It hangs on to precious minerals and vitamins while catabolizing old tissue, toxins, and inferior materials. The end result is a thorough cleansing of the tube, membrane, and cellular structures.
This process of cleansing and rebuilding has made fasting famous for its ability to rejuvenate, heal disease and give the body a more youthful tone.
Eliminations during the cleansing process
- Dead, dying or diseased cell
- Unwanted fatty tissue
- Trans-fatty acids
- Hardened coating of mucus on the intestinal wall
- Toxic waste matter in the lymphatic system and bloodstream
- Toxins in the spleen, liver, and kidneys
- Mucus from the lungs and sinuses
- Imbedded toxins in the cellular fibers, and deeper organ tissues
- Deposits in the microscopic tubes responsible for nourishing brain cells
- Excess cholesterol.
- Mental clarity is improved
- Rapid, safe weight loss is achieved without flabbiness
- The nervous system is balanced
- Energy level is increased
- Organs are revitalized
- Cellular biochemistry is harmonized
- The skin becomes silky, soft and sensitive
- There is greater ease of movement
- Breathing becomes fuller, freer and deeper
- The digestive system is given a well-deserved rest.
To heal illness, the body must pull all of its resources toward cleansing and repair by removing appetite and reducing or stopping digestion.
Wounded animals will fast, emerging to eat only after their wounds or broken bones have healed.
This is the reason why there is little desire to eat food when sick—the body wants to focus all of its resources on cleansing.”
Kinds of Fasting
Fasting can be done in many different ways. Below is a list of the different types or categories of fasting that is commonly practiced.
In complete fast, every two hours you drink a glass of water and a glass of warm water together with some lemon juice is taken an hour after. The main purpose of taking lemon juice in warm water is to prevent gas formation.
If one needs some energy during this period, then a spoon of honey may also be taken with lemon juice in ordinary water also. The water of a tender coconut may also be taken during this fasting.
In his kind of fast, one cup of skimmed milk and a banana is taken alternatively three to four times a day. Add honey and lemon juice in warm water may also be taken.
In this kind of fast, a person lives only on fruit and fruit juices. Again, in this fast, water and lemon juice in water can be continued.
But his fast must not exceed 6-7 days. Otherwise, the body will become deficient in essential enzymes and amino acids.
Fruit and Vegetable Diet
In such a diet, lightly boiled or steamed vegetables can also be taken besides fruits. But the use of salt must be avoided. This fast can also not exceed more than 6-7 days at a stretch.
In this kind of fast, a light meal is taken only once a day. This meal may contain a little of salt, sugar, and fat. But one does not take any fruit, vegetables, tea, juices besides that meal.
Ordinary water or lemon juice in warm water may be taken alternatively. This kind of fast is traditionally kept on full moon day or on the first day of the solar month.
You can fast from 1 to 40 days. Try to drink 2 liters of water or more per day. The ten-day water fast has become a recommended number of days. Ten days on water will cause the same weight loss as 30 days on juice.
But water fasting is far more difficult, especially if you have a fast metabolism. This fasting cleanses the body aggressively removing toxins rapidly.
Water fasting can be more beneficial than juice fasting in combating more persistent forms of cancer, cleansing the tissues more aggressively.
This demands mental preparation, the less pressure and responsibility you have during the water fast the better. Think of it a holiday away from the normal patterns of living.
Some recommend that the week before your fast, you drink fresh juices and eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables to cleanse the body so that the detoxification during water fasting will be less aggressive.
Water fasting should always include two of three days of juice fasting before and after the water fast.
This alternating between juice and water fasting is the most effective method of achieving a full cleansing through fasting.
Juice fasting is safe and can allow the body to clean itself of toxins while greatly improving conditions for health.
A benefit is that your energy level is high because you are receiving sufficient nutrients from the juices, so you can carry out normal activities.
A juice fast takes some burden off the digestive system and frees up some energy for accelerated healing through water fast does much better in that regard. Also, juices can make available extra quantities of nutrients that a person might lack.
Juices are easy to assimilate and take hardly any digestive energy from the body, allowing the body to put more energy into healing and rejuvenation.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, antioxidants, photochemical, yet low enough in calories to force the body to cannibalize on its filthy waste, propelling you to vigorous physical health and clarity of mind.
Tips on Fasting
Here are some fasting tips shared by Debopriya Bose
For those who do not fast regularly or are doing it for the first time, it is better to adopt a moderate approach towards fasting and then graduate to stricter regimes. Start with a 1-day program. Then move on to programs for 2 days, 3 days and so on.
In between the fasting days, one can have food consisting of raw fruits, vegetables, soups, and juices. This is a good way of graduating to a 5 or 10 days fast.
A first timer could consider juice fasting than water fasting as juice fasting is easier than the water fast. Also, juice fast provides most of the nutrients and calories that solid foods provide. Hence, one would not miss solid food when on a juice fast.
One of the important fasting tips is to prepare the body slowly for the process. For beginners, it is helpful to start fasting with a little bit of food each day. Extend the fast to 12 to 14 hours in the evening (including sleep).
Such a method could also be adopted for a couple of days before actually starting the fast. For greater benefits from fasting, one should stop the intake of alcohol, caffeine, red meat, sugar and poultry for a few days before going in for a fast.
Also, the intake of nutritional supplements should be limited. Natural is the way to go during fasting!
For the first 2 days, one may feel irritated and experience headaches. However, from the 3rd day onward, one’s body adjusts better to the fasting program.
To avoid such symptoms, one could take a meal that would comprise of water, juices, tea or snacks made from fresh fruits and vegetables, sometime around 3 p.m.
As it is clear that even during fasting, all the nutritional requirements of the body are met; there is no reason to stop working out. In fact, regular exercise will help expedite the cleansing process.
However, beginners can go easy with their workouts in case they are used to heavy workouts. Yoga and meditation are great ways to complement the healing process during fasting.
One of the important tips for fasting is not to start binging on food once you are out of it. Since the body has already got accustomed to eating healthy and only as much as required, fasting is good opportunity to start off with healthy eating habits.
Those who are underweight or pregnant should not fast. People who have undergone a surgery or are suffering from anemia, hyperglycemia, and chronic problems with the heart, kidneys or lungs should avoid going on a fast.
Nevertheless, if one is suffering from some health condition it is always better to consult a physician before starting a fast.
Fasting is not a crash course for weight loss. Despite all the benefits, listen to your body. If one feels ill while fasting, call the doctor. It is important to follow the fasting tips in order to reap the benefits of fasting that ensures the overall well-being of the body.
Sample Fasting Program for Starters
Now that you pretty much know about fasting and its benefits, try this simple fasting regime using fruit juice.
1. Begin by clearing out any junk food from your home if you intend to do even a short 2 or 3-day juice fast.
Having cookies and potato chips nearby in your kitchen while you juice fast will require enormous willpower to refrain from eating them.
You can give these items to a friend to store until you complete your juice fast or simply donate them to your local soup kitchen.
2. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s markets or the health food store. If you purchase non-organic produce, avoid buying grapes, apples, or peaches as these items are generally grown with heavy pesticide
3. Make a detox bath for non-organic produce by filling a large tub with filtered water and 2 teaspoons of Clorox bleach. Submerge the non-organic produce only in this bleach bath for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and drain.
4. Juice fasting requires you chop, cut and peel assorted vegetables and fruits before you juice them through a heavy duty juicer so that you are consuming the vitamins and minerals immediately. There is quite a difference between canned fruit juice and freshly prepared juices. Storing fresh juices in your refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours is acceptable but avoid doing so overnight.
5. Combining fruits and vegetables is generally okay but there are certain combinations that may be hard to digest or are simply not palatable.
A classic rule of thumb was that apples of all types can be juiced with any other fruit and vegetable as apples will digest easily for most people.
Melons are best eaten alone. Melons tend to digest very quickly and if consumed with other foods, you may experience indigestion of the foods or liquids that take the body more time to digest. Common sense and personal taste preference will guide you.
For example, juicing carrots and bananas and kale together will probably not yield a juice you will enjoy.
6. Here’s a juicing basic, prepare only as much as you will need to consume at each setting.
For example, a good snacking juice is made from juicing 2 apples, 1 small carrot, one-half of a small lemon and ½ teaspoon of ginger root.
For an excellent breakfast juice, combine ½ large Medjool date (for the date sugar), 1 medium banana, liquid from a coconut (or to cheat, use “lite” coconut milk from a can, if diluted 1 part coconut milk to 3 parts filtered water), adding filtered water to thin to your desired consistency.
7. Juicing for lunch or dinner drinks could include combinations any vegetable with apples to sweeten.
For example, juice 5 to 6 large leaves of curly kale (dinosaur kale), ½ cup parsley, 2 stalks of celery, 1 large carrot and ½ teaspoon of ginger root or cayenne pepper.
Try 6 leaves of rainbow chard, 6 leaves of baby bok Choy, beets (the tops as well), and a very small bulb of garlic for a spicy dinner drink.
8. Drink at least 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of filtered water to help you adjust to the cleansing effects of juice fasting.
If you intend to juice fast for more than a day, add 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds to any drink and consume three times a day to make certain you are moving your bowels in the absence of soluble and insoluble fiber (as is found in the skins and cellulose of vegetables.)
9. Do not be ambitious while juice fasting. Do not starve yourself by consuming too few juice drinks. Prepare from scratch and consume at least 5 to 6 fresh juice drinks in any 24-hour period along with the 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water.
If you find that after the first 6 hours of such a juice fast you experience any changes in heart rate (very rapid or slower than normal), dizziness, headaches, or extreme physical fatigue, consider limiting your juicing to only that 6-hour time frame.
For example, juice Friday morning until noon. If you are miserable, consider breaking the fast gently with steamed vegetables, vegetable soup, plain toast and unsweetened organic yogurt. Do not break your juice fast with a steak and fries or a pizza.
Depending on your general health prior to juice fasting, it is common to experience headaches and several additional bowel movements as your body begins to cleanse.
Transition slowly back to solid foods by introducing steamed vegetables, easy-to-digest proteins such as scrambled eggs, yogurt, or chicken soup.
10. Break the juice fast slowly so that you are not overwhelming your digestive system. If you experience what is called a “healing crisis” and find the juice fast kicks off the flu or minor cold bring your juice fast slowly to a close.
Adding vegetable and chicken soups back into your diet slowly. Rest as needed or as much as you can and cut back on very strenuous exercise while juicing.
Hopefully, the information here helps you and encourages you when you are reading to have your fasting.