Fasting means purposely abstaining from food with a view to provide some rest to the body and utilize the vast amount of energy required by the digestive organs elsewhere. Fasting allows the body to restore its metabolic organization. In addition, it is a very fast detoxification technique and also facilitates the body to cure as well as defend against ailments, contagions and toxic substances.
Fasting prudently enables the body to get back to its normal balance or homeostasis state. When you are fasting, it helps to haul the toxic materials from the cells and tissues in all parts of the body. When the waste products and toxins are eliminated from the body, it results in augmented cellular oxygenation as well as enhances the supply of nutriments to the cells. It allows the body to turn out new and healthy cells that replace the diseased cells and those that have been discarded. When one is taking his/ her normal diet their body is unable to sort out certain conditions, but when they are fasting, the body gets a chance to cleanse as well as rejuvenate itself. Nevertheless, a lot of times, there is also a need for some kind of heat therapy, because fasting alone does not have the aptitude to get rid of all the toxins, especially those that dissolve in lipids in the fat tissues.
For several centuries now, people have been familiar with the advantages as well as the healing attributes of fasting. All our ancient medical texts talk about the benefits of fasting, and the renowned ancient Greek physician Hippocrates recommended fasting for achieving sound health. In earlier as well as contemporary times, fasting has been associated with religious ceremonies. Animals fast instinctively whenever they are ailing or sustain injuries. In fact, they have a tendency to pay no attention to food even when it is available till their health improves.
Fasting has numerous health benefits and some of the important ones include helping to augment the pace of the detoxification process, while cleansing the entire system and eliminating metabolic wastes as well as toxic materials. It also rinses out the digestive tract improving both digestion as well as assimilation of ingested foods. Fasting helps to augment the energy levels, in addition to revitalizing the cells as well as the complete body. It also increases the body's resistance to diseases and rejuvenates the mind and spirit.
Several people follow a particular schedule of liquids. Many fast for only one day every week or take liquids on that particular day, while some others fast for a period of three days every month as a continuing healing process instead of delaying taking any action till they are faced with a health crisis. While one can fast at any time he/ she wishes, it is prudent to choose a time when you are able to include some additional planning as well as preparations in your fasting schedule. Generally, you are likely to feel colder when you are fasting and, hence, the winter months may not prove to be the ideal time to undertake fasting.
If you think rationally you will be avoid problems related to fasting. People who are malnourished as well as undernourished should never undertake fasting. This is also applicable for people suffering from eating disorder, children, nursing mothers and pregnant women. In addition, people having a frail heart, those who have suffered a heart attack recently and people having a compromised immune system should also avoid fasting. It is also important to note that a person should not fast prior to or following any surgery. Fasting is also not advisable for diabetic and anemic people, besides those suffering from epilepsy, bleeding ulcers, tuberculosis, liver and kidney disorders, gout, ulcerative colitis and even specific forms of cancer.
Individuals suffering from several food allergies ought to exercise additional caution and should only fast under the direct supervision of a healthcare professional. It is interesting to note that generally people are obsessed with foods that cause allergic reactions to them. Owing to such relation between allergies and foods that cause them, such people may experience acute withdrawal symptoms when they start fasting.
There are several kinds of fasting. While short-term fasting continues for anything between one and three days, long-term fasting involves going without food for over three days. When an individual is said to be following a true fasting program, he/ she will not consume any food or fluid while fasting. However, true fasting is not encouraged, as in this case our body adjusts itself by reducing metabolism and ultimately using up its fat as well as lean tissue (connective tissue, muscle and organs) reserves.
When someone is true fasting, the release of the intense build-up of toxic substances inside our organs and fat cells is very rapid. In the event of a forceful detoxification, our ailments may increase temporarily. However, in the instance of some other people, such intense detoxification may prove to be instantly useful. In order to put off problems originating from very rapid detoxification, majority of the people drink water or consume herbal teas that have not been sweetened while they are fasting. There are more liberal ways of fasting and this involves drinking fresh fruit as well as vegetable juices during the fast.
Here is a word of caution: Never try to undertake a long-term fasting program without being supervised directly by a healthcare professional.
You are likely to get more benefits from fasting when you start doing it gradually, especially if you are doing it for the first time and in case you are suffering from any health conditions. It would be ideal if you omit alcohol in all forms, caffeine as well as sugar from your diet. It would also be perfect if people who are habitual smokers quit smoking. In addition, try to keep away from animal foods, for instance, meats, eggs and milk, as it will help in easing the changeover. In fact, if you just consume vegetables and fruits for some days prior to starting your fasting program it will enable a slower detoxification process. There are a number of individuals who try having many short-term fasts before they start long-term fasting or genuine fasting, i.e. not even drinking water and fluids.
While you are on fast, never take any type of vitamins or minerals, because they may possibly get in the way of the detoxification process. In addition, they may also strain the digestive system and also result in nausea when taken without any food.
It is preferable that you also stop taking medications, provided you are taking any. You should bear in mind that your body will require using up energy to eliminate the chemicals contained in the medications, instead of utilizing that energy for the detoxifying process. In case you are taking prescription drugs, consult your physician prior to starting your fast.
Ensure that you get enough rest during the fasting period. Nevertheless, it is also imperative that you undertake some kind of moderate work-outs with a view to facilitate the circulation of the body fluids. It is important despite the fact that your levels of energy may be lower than normal while you are fasting. It is essential to maintain the normal blood and lymph circulation throughout the body and in all tissues to get rid of the metabolic wastes and toxic substances. While walking is a very good exercise while fasting, a number of people also have the aptitude and also like to bicycle, swim or jog when they are fasting.
As discussed above, sometimes fasting may cause minor discomforts. Generally, you will experience that your stomach is rumbling and growling and may possibly hurt. In other words, this denotes that you have an empty stomach. However, such feeling will cease after some time. Occasionally, drinking some water or vegetable and fruit juices may also help to end your craving for food.
While you are fasting, it is possible that your tongue will be coated and you will breathe somewhat forcefully. In fact, as the detoxification increases, your tongue will have more coating, while breathing will become worse. It is permissible to brush your teeth as well as tongue in order to get rid of the coating, but you should never use a mouthwash. Provided you have dentures, keep wearing them to avoid any shrinkage of the gums.
In addition, your body odour too may get worse, as more and more toxins are excreted along with perspiration through the skin. It is suggested that despite the strong body odour, never use any type of cosmetics, including perfumes or deodorants, with a view to conceal the body odour. You may, however, take additional showers and use some gentle soap. As much of the metabolic wastes and toxins will be eliminated through the urine, its color may change to darker and also have a strong stench. Drinking lots of water will help you to overcome this problem. As you are not consuming any solid food during your fast, there may be no bowel movements too. However, never take any laxative to rectify this problem. In case you have some bowel movements, this too is likely to have a foul smell and be filled with mucus or rubbery/ stringy substances. Let this not worry you, as these substances are actually toxins pulled out from your colon owing to the fasting and they would be naturally eliminated through feces.
Usually people do not feel well when they are fasting. This is primarily owing to the fact that fasting results in intense detoxification of the entire body and during these periods toxic substances that have accumulated in the body from previous exposures to toxins are discharged into your bloodstream. You may experience nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, pains, diarrhea, nasal discharge and a number of other symptoms during the fast. Nevertheless, as the fast continues, these symptoms will fade away on their own. It is important to note that in case you vomit or have diarrhea during the fast, you will be losing more body fluid and this can only be restored by drinking more fluids, especially water. Provided you experience the symptoms again many days after you have stopped fasting and had become free of the symptoms, it is an indication of the fact that the detoxification process is continuing inside your body.
Breaking a fast is a vital part of fasting. Even if you are fasting for a short-term, it is advisable that you resume your normal diet gradually over a period of anything between three and four days. In case you are fasting for long-term, you should break the fast when you start feeling hungry again - this is an indication that you should end the fast. If you continue fasting even after this period, it will result in rapid depletion of the body's nutrient and energy reserves and the process of breaking down tissue protein will commence inside your body to get the energy the body requires to sustain its normal functioning as well as the continuance of the detoxification process. While some people may feel somewhat hungry during their fast, the hunger that indicates the necessity to end the fast will be further more intense as well as pressing.
When you are ending your fast, you should be careful not to eat in excess. It is important that you should eat gently and chew the foods properly. At the same time, do not gulp down liquids very fast. When you chew the food thoroughly, it promotes saliva production and the latter mixes with the foods and liquids taken by you. In addition, always eat your foods slowly and never eat several different types of food in any single meal. Several people remain hungry continuously for some days after they end a long fast. However, this feeling will also return to normal soon.