“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting”
In the beginning of January of this year, I decided to do a little experiment on myself. I have read about the benefits of fasting for many years, and was determined to experience them for myself.
I went four days without eating, and the only things I consumed were water, and a 8oz vegetable/fruit juice smoothie in the middle of the day. The first day was a bit difficult (due to detoxification symptoms), but it was all smooth sailing from there (minus the occasional temptation to eat from family and friends).
During the fasting period I felt light, agile, mentally focused, happy, and ready to take on the world. I felt as if my energy was being used to promote proper bodily functions, instead of being suppressed by my digestive system.
It should be noted that while I do some medical research, and finishing up my Master’s in biomedical science, that you should consult a medical professional, such as your doctor, before starting a new fasting regimen.
Benefits of Fasting
- Clear mental state: Fasting has been shown to avoid mental fatigue and promote mental clarity during stressful situations.
- Longer life: Many experiments done on animals have shown that calorie restriction is responsible for longer life spans when comparing animals to their non-fasting counterparts.
- Reduce digestive workload. Without any food in your stomach, your whole digestive system will not require any energy.
- Fight illnesses. Since you will have reduced your digestive workload, that spare energy will be able to go towards the immune system, and fight infections.
- Detoxification. Typically the body only gets a taste of cleansing each night while we sleep. A fast facilitates deeper cleansing and gets rid of toxins such as dead cells, extra fatty tissue, intestinal mucus, toxins in blood and lymphatic systems, cholesterol and many others.
- Self control/discipline: Fasting requires a great deal of discipline. Especially if you have people around you not only eating food, but encouraging you to do the same thing. Requiring discipline turns into increasing discipline.
- Weight Loss. During my fast I lost about 4lbs, which I imagine to be pure toxins. It’s been over a month, and not only have I not gained it back, but I lost additional weight. Mainly using my simple target weight method.
- Increased energy: Another benefit that comes from the reduction of digestive workload is the overall gain of energy for the entire body.
“Fasting is an institution as old as Adam. It has been resorted to for self-purification or for some ends, noble as well as ignoble.”
Types of Fasting
There are several types of fasting, and depending on your health, and other situations, you can decide which one works best for you. When I fast, I tend to choose the juice fasting, but I find it important for you to make your own decisions about how you will treat your body.
- Juice fasting: Considered the best choice for detoxification. This is because you aren’t completely eliminating intake of enzymes and nutrients, which makes the cleansing process easier to withstand.
- Water fasting: This method of fasting requires more calories from your body, and is a harder method of detoxing.
- Full Fast: This way of fasting involves no food, or drink, and is by far the hardest to undergo.
- Raw food diet: This diet does not require eating any less. It merely requires consuming raw fruits and veggies, and nothing else. The detox effects will be similar to the juice fasting, but will take longer to effect.
- One day per week. This is a basic upkeep fast.
- Three days every four months. A slightly longer upkeep fast.
- Nine day fast, twice a year. Fast beginning of summer, and beginning of winter, to cleanse in conjunction with climate change.
Now that you have a good idea of what fasting is, the benefits of fasting, as well as some types of fasting, it’s time to consider how to go about fasting.
- Pre-fast preparation: It is important to prepare for a fast, especially if your diet is full of toxins, or if you are ill or overweight. Begin by gradually switching to all fruit/vegetable consumptions two weeks before the start of the fast. What this will do is decrease the symptoms associated with detoxification, and make this cleansing a much easier process. You can also begin to perform calorie restriction, and eat less, several days before the fast begins.
- During fasting: Once you have decided on fasting frequency and type of fasting, it’s time to fast. You may want to avoid demanding physical activity and engage in something more relaxing like reading, stretching, walking and meditating. Once you know how your body reacts to fasting, you can experiment as to what kind of demands you can place on your body during a fasting state.
- Breaking fast: When breaking a fast, you may want to begin by drinking fruit/vegatable juices, and than switching to eating small pieces of fruits or vegetables until your stomach gets used to food again. You may also want to take this opportunity to switch to a healthier overall diet.
- Enema. This is an ideal way to assist the cleansing process by washing out the colon. It can remove built up fecal matter, cure headaches, remove intestinal metals, kill parasites and create a feeling of well being.
- Vitamix. This 2HP machine is the perfect solution for juicing and blending. It’s basically raw power, your fruits, vegetables, and anything else you want to put in there doesn’t stand a chance.
- Master Cleanse. A system that several of my friends used to clear out their system, lose weight, and feel great at the same time. I’ve watched them drink this lemonade for 10 days at a time, and it’s something I will do for myself.
“What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.”
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