How to Fast: Principles and Practice of Fasting
Fasting has existed since the beginning of life on the Earth.
An ill or injured animal’s first instinct is to abstain from solid food until it’s healthy: the animal instinctively knows that the healing process will be much faster and more effective when it abstains from solid food that burdens its digestive tract.
Humans are the same way.
But the problem is that we’ve moved away from fasting in modern years and a host of health problems have developed as a result. The saddest part of all is that most Doctors know nothing about it and don't recommend it to their patients as a modality for healing.
Fasting periodically is important because it allows your body to reset from exposure to increasing levels of pollutants, chemicals and food additives encountered by anyone living in an industrialised society can create a toxic overload in the body which can lead to more than 95 percent of all human diseases.
Fasting can be an incredible healing and restorative practice, taking not only your health but mental and emotional enlightenment to new heights.
The only thing left? Figuring out how to fast in a healthy and sustainable way, so that your body can properly heal while helping you to feel your best. Keep reading for a guide to when, why, and how to fast.
1. Why Fast?
There’s never a bad reason to fast. Fasting is beneficial for pretty much any ailment, illness, or disease, and can do you a world of good in terms of your overall longevity. Even if you’re in the best health of your life, a regular fast is still recommended because it gives your digestive system a break and your body a chance to heal and flush out built-up toxins.
The main reasons to do a regular fast:
- Heal and reset your digestive system
- Dispatch accumulated toxins and residues inside your body
- Breathe more easily
- Greater ease of movement
- Re-energise your body and boost mental clarity
- Eliminate various discomforts in the abdomen
- Ease headaches, indigestion, aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure and improve heart health
2. Benefits of Fasting
Certain health conditions respond incredibly well to fasting, like arthritis. The best thing you can do to heal your arthritis and reduce inflammation significantly is to water fast: it may seem extreme, but depending on the severity of your condition, 7 to 14 days and even up to 40 days on water and fresh juices can totally remit nearly all arthritic conditions.
Note: An extended water fast of this nature requires the right preparation and professional support to ensure safety.
Fasting can also prevent, improve and solve many conditions such as circulatory problems, mild diabetes, intestinal problems, respiratory conditions, skin problems and more. Many health advocates fast several times per year.
Fasting also improves the body’s capacity and ability to better use the food you eat. Food takes a lot of energy to digest, energy we might not have. The muscles and tissues fill with blood within the digestive system but when you stop eating, the digestive system gets a break and all the blood and energy can reroute itself to help heal you.
When the body gets no rest from processing food day after day, the digestive and cleansing systems are often subjected to an uninterrupted workload, that’s worsened by environmental pollutants and excess animal protein.
The body is often unable to rid itself of all these stored toxins, waste products, body acids, excess proteins and fat deposits. If this condition continues long enough, it can lead to cancer and many other diseases. Fasting is necessary to give the digestive system a well-deserved rest and, more importantly, to cleanse the body.
Learn more in 5 Signs You Need to Do a Detox Cleanse & Where to Start.
3. How to Fast
If you’re new to fasting, there are generally three 'levels of fasting' to be aware of that were anciently taught: FAST, FASTER and FASTEST.
Choosing the level or path that's best for you, will typically depend on your current state of health and your desired outcomes and goals.
This FAST path consists of consuming a wide variety of colour of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can juice them or eat them in fresh salads. This allows you to get a wide variety of nutrients while still giving your digestive system a break.
Follow the colours of the rainbow, one colour of foods each day:
- Day 1 Red
- Day 2 Orange
- Day 3 Yellow
- Day 4 Green
- Day 5-7 Blue, Indigo & Violet
The FASTER path is a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable juices (no solid food).
Learn more in Fruit & Vegetable Juicing: What You Should Know.
And the FASTEST path to healing and repair is a water fast.
Remember, extended water fasting (more than 2-3 days) is extreme and is an advanced option that should only be attempted under supervision.
However, when done correctly in the right environment, it does deliver incredible healing benefits for just about any disease or ailment you can think of, an increase in memory, focus, and mental power.
If you choose just to fast with water, use distilled water as it speeds up the removal of dead, inorganic substances from the body. Place in a glass jar out into the morning sun for 30-60 minutes to remineralise and add a pinch of sea salt (optional).
Water from a free-flowing underground aquifer or spring is also a great way to go.
4. Are There Any Side Effects?
Fasting is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body and your overall health will improve significantly with each fast.
That being said, there are growing pains as your body eliminates toxins and pollutants, but it’s important to recognise these effects are normal and shouldn’t make you shy away from the transformative process of fasting. The key is to listen to your body, support the process by getting daily sunshine, hot salt baths, light walking and getting plenty of rest.
The gallbladder will often contract during a fast to release discharges of mucus and solid matters that are small stones. Those with gallbladder problems will sometimes experience pain in connection with this process but discomfort is normal when disease matter leaves the body.
Heart activity will also change while fasting. The pulse rate will go down as the heart beat slows, which means fasting can ease and improve certain heart conditions such as high blood pressure and the actual tissues of the heart.
The transition from solid foods to fluids will subject the body to certain strains that it may not be used to. The reduced supply of nutrients may sometimes lead to certain side effects, such as anxiety, sleeplessness, feelings of cold, hunger, nausea, muscle ache and constipation. Those who experience the most discomfort are those who most need this cleansing. The best cures for these symptoms are fresh, clean air, gentle daily exercise, a relaxing environment, enemas and rest, not to mention following through with the fast so that you don’t have to experience them as much next time.
The first time your body does an extended fast, it will experience a rapid loss of weight. The first few days will remove five or more pounds of morbid tissue. After that, there is usually a loss of one pound per day, depending on the type and amount of fluids consumed; a water fast will cause more weight loss than a fruit juice fast.
Learn more in 7 Day Detox Plan With Raw Juices.
Fasting can transform your health, but it can be tough to adjust to for the first few days. Again, always listen to your body as it will tell you exactly what it needs, but try to make it through the first few days of a fast to start to reap the benefits.
Tolman Self Care.