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Some swear by fasting as a cure for just about any ailment you can think of, some use fasting as part of a detox routine, and then there are all of those in between scenarios. If you have never fasted, you might find all of it intriguing, perhaps unusual? You might even wonder why you would want to fast. For others who embrace fasting, they find it healing and empowering. Let’s break it down and have a look at fasting basics. Are there any health benefits from fasting? Yes, when done right, there are very real benefits.
You can make fasting as complicated or simple as you want to. Some might thing about cutting out a particular food group or no longer indulging n a certain food as a form of fasting. Others fast for religious reasons taking in nothing, not even water, but we are going to look at mainstream fasting, the benefits and the disadvantages. We will also look at both water fasting and juice fasting to discover whether one has more to offer than the other.
Just as the name indicates, water fasting is when you consume nothing but water for a specific number of days. If you decide that you want to do water fasting it’s a good idea not to undertake this challenge at a time when you have heavy physical demands on you. For example, if you work where you need to be lifting 20 pound boxes throughout the day, you are not going to have the energy or strength to carry this out, especially towards the end of your fast. So, before you undertake water fasting take some time to consider when would be the best time based on your life.
People do water fasts because it is said to detoxify the body and many say they are energized by the fasting process. Don’t be surprised if you feel awful during the water detox. It’s quite common to have headaches, become dizzy, feel fatigued and have general weakness. You might feel like you want to push through, and you might even be able to, but rest is really the best thing for you, if you want to get the most benefit from your water fasting.
This type of detox will clear out all kinds of toxins from your body and it can cause your body to ‘reboot’ meaning your hormones, cells, organs, etc., tend to lose their memory and start fresh.
Juice fasting requires the use of a juicer so that you can extract vegetable and fruit juice from your fruits and vegetable. You will then drink various recipes during your juice fast. This is a much gentler way to fast than water fasting. With juice fasting, you won’t slow your metabolism down as much, and you will still get calories and nutrients from the juices you are drinking. You can also generally fast for long with a juice fast because you are still getting nutrients and you are going to have more energy and be able to do more, although remember you are still getting reduced nutrition.
Tips for Water Fasting
These tips for water fasting would apply as well to juice fasting.
Preparation – The hardest part of a water fast is at the start. After the first couple of days, many dieters say fasting is actually easier than dieting.
Water – You must drink a 1 quart of water daily. With some water fasts you drink 2 quarts of water. You need to use the highest quality water that is available or you can also use distilled water. Some water fasters will add a lemon slice to their water, because it adds a bit of flavor and it has enzymes to initiate a natural cleanse.
Weight loss – Initially, you will see weight comes off fast, but it will taper off. After your fast, water weight will go back on quickly. For longer water fasting you can expect to lose about a pound per day.
Rest – You must make time to rest physical and emotional. Nap if you need to, avoid emotionally upsetting situations, slow down and rest more if at all possible. You can participate in light exercise like stretching, yoga, or walking.
Detox – Start using the dry skin brushing technique and doing breathing exercises to improve your detox of the lungs and skin. As your cleanse progresses, you will actually develop an aversion to unhealthy substances that includes foods, alcohol and tobacco.
Colon health – There is no need to do an enema during your colon cleanse. Having a bowel movement during a fast is fine. What can help is a natural laxative, like Psyllium, both before and after the actual fast.
Stopping the fasting – Ending your water fasting must be done carefully. Begin by eating small pieces of a juicy fruit, like watermelon, every few hours. How long you fasted for will determine how many days you take to re-acclimate your body to eating food.
After your fast is over – Pay close attention to your bodies signals to guide you to the foods you want or no longer desire. These signs may be subtle.
12 Benefits of Water Fasting or Juice Fasting
- Rest your stomach – For those who are on acid suppressing drugs (and there are millions) or if you are older and not producing enough acid, your stomach will work less and this can be very beneficial resetting your digestive system.
- Rests your liver – Your liver is your main organ for detoxing the body. Each molecule of food that is absorbed through your intestinal wall goes to the liver to be detoxed and preps for use by your body. Fasting will give your liver a chance to rest.
- Repair and rest your digestive system – Toxic foods, which includes refined carbs, saturated fats, additives, etc. along with medications can impair and stress your digestive system so that it does not function properly. Fasting can help to rest, repair and balance your digestive system. That short time where it’s not fighting off toxins day in and day out, gives it a chance to heal.
- Decrease your appetite – Juicing does not shrink your stomach, even if it feels like it is. What juicing does is eliminate eating habits that make you feel full and you will feel full with less food after juicing.
- Eliminates harmful food – Doing a water or juice cleanse eliminates wheat, dairy, gluten, and fermented food from your diet, along with alcohol and coffee. There is a great deal of science that indicates those people over the age of 40 have insensitivity to wheat. Of course, there are many trigger food and when you eliminate them through the fasting when you
- Lose weight – With both types of fasts you will lose weight, learn to control cravings and find your appetite is reduced, all leading to weight loss.
- Super nutrition for your body – You’ll feel better, have more energy and you will be flooded with super nutrition if you are on a juice fast. All those fruits and vegetables are packed with the best nutrients. In fact, this is one point where juice fasting trumps water fasting.
- Rehydrates your body – Most of us are not consuming enough fluids daily and then we take in diuretics like tea or coffee, so then we find ourselves with decreased energy, brain fog, etc. When you fast you are getting adequate fluids and this is one of the reasons people often feel energized, think clearer and overall feel like their body is functioning better.
- Reduce physical issues – Not only will you have an increase in energy, you could get rid of chronic symptoms like general aches, headaches, sinus issues, rashes, bloating, cramps, etc. Far too much of the time your body is fighting off the damage we do to it from not eating right and not sleeping enough. Take a break – let your body heal. Detoxing helps your body cleanse itself.
- Maximum detox – When you are juicing it supports all the phases of detoxing so that you can get the best possible detox and if you are juice fasting you are also providing your body with high quality nutrients. Fasting helps to remove toxins from your body and that’s a bit like being reborn.
- Heals cells – It can heal cells, reduce inflammation, short circuit bad DNA, and a host of other benefits that will leave you feeling happier and healthier.
- Increase HGH production – According to some experts, juicing can help your body to increase natural production of HGH. This ties directly to the detoxing effect that juicing has on the body. The liver is cleansed with detox and then it can once again function properly, which helps increase HGH levels, because your body is able to better use the human growth hormone when it enters your liver and is converted to IGF-1 or insulin like growth factor. When your liver isn’t properly functioning it results in lower HGH levels.