This time of the year I always come to the idea of some sort of cleansing for my body. A cleansing that our bodies need, especially now, after a long and tiring winter. There are so many types of cleansing and none of them are easy to do, but it's one of the best ways to reward our bodies for serving us well. This year I decided on a 3 days water fasting, that has been practiced for centuries and it's benefits have been proven over times.
What is fasting?
Fasting is the controlled voluntary abstinence of food for a period of time (1-40 days), only water consumption is allowed. It's important to mention that long term fasting (longer than 10 days) should be executed under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, believed that if you eat when you are sick, you are actually feeding your sickness. The idea behind this, is that we all have a fasting instinct, meaning when we are sick with a cold or a flu for instance, we usually loose our appetite and the last thing that we are thinking of is food. This ability is something completely natural for our body.
During fasting our bodies can access chemicals stored in our fat cells and these cells are burned in order to meet our energy needs. This is our body's way to remove stored toxins, provide us a much needed detox, restore our energy and strengthen our immune systems.
How can it help?
Not only can it help you with initial weight loss, but also with insuline sensitivity which is typical for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. Fasting as a general detox of your body has beneficial effects on heart disease, cancer, liver disease. It also helps with mental clarity, reduces high blood pressure and supports a mechanism called Autophagy. This term simply means "to eat oneself." In other words, the body gets rid of its old build up cells (waste material) while fasting. If there is a lot of excess skin after a significant weight loss, by incorporating a water fast, the excess skin will be consumed as part of the energy consumption process. This only happens when you completely eliminate the supply of food. At this time, our body will have more free energy and the chance to remove toxins and excrete out the waste.
How to prepare for water fasting?
In order to make the transition between eating and fasting smooth, follow these steps:
- start small - if you've never tried fasting before, start with one to three days
- practice portion control a week before fasting and gradually reduce the portion of your food
- later you can start skipping dinner for a few days
- after that consume a small dinner and try to skip breakfast and lunch; try to eat only fruits and vegetables 2 days before going on a water fast
- finally, try to skip all your meals.
As I mentioned before, as a beginner you should start with 1 day water fast before attempting longer durations. Give your body time to adjust to fasting and be prepared for potential cravings. In the future you can set the number of your fasting days with regard to your goal.
- 3 day water fast = a monthly maintenance of the body, helps to cleanse the toxins build up in the body and support weight loss
- 5 day water fast = healing benefits and overall restart of your immune system
- 10 day water fast = a master cleanse for the body and yearly maintenance
How to flush out the toxins from our body?
- during water fasting drink at least two to three quarts of purified or distilled water
- once you are done with fasting, start consuming fresh liquid juice
- follow the "juice only" diet after the day you ended your fast
- vegetables and veggie broth should be consumed on the second day following your fast, before going to full blown eating
The best things in our lives are free and this is not an exemption. With regard to the many benefits associated with this cure, it's much better than modern medications, has no side effects and it is completely free. Actually, the only side effect that comes to my mind right now, is that you save some money on food, and that's not bad at all. ;-)
If you decide to give it a try, let me know how it went for you. I will be on my water fasting at the end of this month. I am looking forward to hearing from you!