How many of you have heard about water fasting?If you did hear, you probably thought it equals to starvation,death or at least that fasting will worsen your actual phisical condition.
Well, this article is meant to clear up some things for you, but also make an introduction to my 7-day water – fasting experience I plan to make starting from today.
Water fasting means, basically – not eating anything for a definite period of time.You are allowed to drink only water – as much as you feel you need, but not less than 1,5 litres a day (depending on your weight, the minimal amount of water could be increased).
Why would you do that?
No, the main reason for water fasting is not weight loss (that obviously does occur when you’re not eating anything), but health.Water fastings are used to detoxify and cleanse the body, getting rid of toxins, waste and different other affections that will eventually grow into chronic diseases.
If you are interested on studies and medical treaties on fasting, please leave comments below, and I will link them all to the article.
How to do that?
If you have decided to fast for a few days or weeks, my first suggestion would be – research and don’t follow blindly.There are tons of resources on how, when and even where to fast.Everyone has their own preferences, so I would never recommend an exact pattern to follow on this matter.There are prolonged water fastings (2+ weeks), short water fasting (1-2 weeks) and super short (less than one week).
What does happen during fasting?
During a 2+ days of water fasting, our body switches from one energy source to another.Normally, our energy source is glucose that we receive mainly from the “carbohydrates we eat”.During the first stage of the fasting, once our body realises it won’t receive any more carbs to proces, it turns to glycogen, which is stores by the liver in our muscles in case we won’t receive any more food for 12 hours.Once the glycogen is depleted, our body starts to get the energy it needs from ketosys (fat burning) and catabolizing (muscle burning).Don’t worry, you won’t lose a lot of muscle tissue during a water fasting and you can be sure that, at any healthy individual the muscle mass will recover as soon as you start eating complete healthy meals again.
On the 3rd day of a water fasting, our body usually is using ketosys as a main source for its energy needs, because the protein from our muscles must be conserved.
What people feel during fasting usually varies from one person to another and depends on whether the person has fasted or not before.In case of a person who has never fasted, the first 3 days are crucial and most difficult.They will probably feel dizzy, won’t have energy, will be sleepy and weak.The desire for food is also the strongest during the first 3 days.
Length of the fast
If you are fasting unsupervised, you are the one who decide the length of your fast, but I wouldn’t recommend making it too long (especially if you fast for the fast time).7 days are enough to enjoy the benefits of fasting.There are also special centers where you can fast supervised by a doctor who will “fit” the fast and the post- fasting diet according to your body condition.
What to do during a fast?
The most common mistake people make during fasts is sit all day in their homes, rest and watch TV thinking they are going through a major life- challenge.While the part with the life-challenge is totally true, that doesn’t mean you have to refuse contact with the outer world.Go to work, school,university,go for a short walk, read, listen to music and enjoy whatever you have to do.Take it easy!
What to do after a fast?
As soon as you have decided to break your fast, be careful to not fall into the most common trap people make – eating a lot after it.There are different opinions on how to break the fast, most common being drinking a little bit of freshly – squeezed fruit juice (usually orange juice) or eating a fruit.As soon as you will do this, you will have great hunger cravings, but you must ignore them.Continue drinking juice or eating a fruit every 3 hours and don’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.Start you next days will fresh salads, fruits, DO NOT eat anything of animal origin during the first week of breaking the fast.
Just one last word, if you are pregnant, nursing, suffering from bulimia,anorexia or binge eating, have anemia, suffer from liver conditions such as hepatitis or cirrhosis , porphyria or those whose body is unable to enter ketosys MUST NOT FAST!
I’ll blog about my first day of water fasting in my following article.