The Health Benefits of Fasting

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Biology 103
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

The Health Benefits of Fasting

Will Carroll

There has been much contention in the scientific field about whether or not fasting is beneficial to one's health. Fasting is an integral part of many of the major religions including Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Many are dubious as to whether the physiological effects are as beneficial as the spiritual promoted by these religions. There is a significant community of alternative healers who believe that fasting can do wonders for the human body. This paper will look at the arguments presented by these healers in an attempt to raise awareness of the possible physiological benefits that may result from fasting.

Fasting technically commences within the first twelve to twenty-four hours of the fast. A fast does not chemically begin until the carbohydrate stores in the body begin to be used as an energy source. The fast will continue as long as fat and carbohydrate stores are used for energy, as opposed to protein stores. Once protein stores begin to be depleted for energy (resulting in loss of muscle mass) a person is technically starving. (1)

The benefits of fasting must be preceded by a look at the body's progression when deprived of food. Due to the lack of incoming energy, the body must turn to its own resources, a function called autolysis. (2) Autolysis is the breaking down of fat stores in the body in order to produce energy. The liver is in charge of converting the fats into a chemical called a ketone body, "the metabolic substances acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid" (3), and then distributing these bodies throughout the body via the blood stream. "When this fat utilization occurs, free fatty acids are released into the blood stream and are used by the liver for energy." (3) The less one eats, the more the body turns to these stored fats and creates these ketone bodies, the accumulation of which is referred to as ketosis. (4)

Detoxification is the foremost argument presented by advocates of fasting. "Detoxification is a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph glands, and skin." (5). This process is precipitated by fasting because when food is no longer entering the body, the body turns to fat reserves for energy. "Human fat is valued at 3,500 calories per pound," a number that would lead one to believe that surviving on one pound of fat every day would provide a body with enough energy to function normally. (2) These fat reserves were created when excess glucose and carbohydrates were not used for energy or growth, not excreted, and therefore converted into fat. When the fat reserves are used for energy during a fast, it releases the chemicals from the fatty acids into the system which are then eliminated through the aforementioned organs. Chemicals not found in food but absorbed from one's environment, such as DDT, are also stored in fat reserves that may be released during a fast. One fasting advocate tested his own urine, feces and sweat during an extended fast and found traces of DDT in each. (5)

A second prescribed benefit of fasting is the healing process that begins in the body during a fast. During a fast energy is diverted away from the digestive system due to its lack of use and towards the metabolism and immune system. (6) The healing process during a fast is precipitated by the body's search for energy sources. Abnormal growths within the body, tumors and the like, do not have the full support of the body's supplies and therefore are more susceptible to autolysis. Furthermore, "production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently because fewer 'mistakes' are made by the DNA/RNA genetic controls which govern this process." A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs. (7) This is one reason that animals stop eating when they are wounded, and why humans lose hunger during influenza. Hunger has been proven absent in illnesses such as gastritis, tonsillitis and colds. (2) Therefore, when one is fasting, the person is consciously diverting energy from the digestive system to the immune system.

In addition, there is a reduction in core body temperature. This is a direct result of the slower metabolic rate and general bodily functions. Following a drop in blood sugar level and using the reserves of glucose found in liver glycogen, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is reduced in order to conserve as much energy within the body as can be provided. (2) Growth hormones are also released during a fast, due to the greater efficiency in hormone production. (7)

Finally, the most scientifically proven advantage to fasting is the feeling of rejuvenation and extended life expectancy. Part of this phenomenon is caused by a number of the benefits mentioned above. A slower metabolic rate, more efficient protein production, an improved immune system, and the increased production of hormones contributes to this long-term benefit of fasting. In addition to the Human Growth Hormone that is released more frequently during a fast, an anti-aging hormone is also produced more efficiently. (7) "The only reliable way to extend the lifespan of a mammal is under-nutrition without malnutrition." (5) A study was performed on earthworms that demonstrated the extension of life due to fasting. The experiment was performed in the 1930s by isolating one worm and putting it on a cycle of fasting and feeding. The isolated worm outlasted its relatives by 19 generations, while still maintaining its youthful physiological traits. The worm was able to survive on its own tissue for months. Once the size of the worm began to decrease, the scientists would resume feeding it at which point it showed great vigor and energy. "The life-span extension of these worms was the equivalent of keeping a man alive for 600 to 700 years." (8)

In conclusion, it seems that there are many reasons to consider fasting as a benefit to one's health. The body rids itself of the toxins that have built up in our fat stores throughout the years. The body heals itself, repairs all the damaged organs during a fast. And finally there is good evidence to show that regulated fasting contributes to longer life. However, many doctors warn against fasting for extended periods of time without supervision. There are still many doctors today who deny all of these points and claim that fasting is detrimental to one's health and have evidence to back their statements. The idea of depriving a body of what society has come to view as so essential to our survival in order to heal continues to be a topic of controversy.

 

References

1)"Dr. Sniadach – True Health Freedom 3

2)fastingforbetterhealth

3)"Ketosis by Sue Reith"

4)"Nutriquest, March 11th, 2000 – Ketosis and Low Carbohydrate Diets"

5)"WebMD – Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body"

6)"Fasting"

7)"Fasting – Good Morning Doctor"

8)"The health Benefits of Fasting"

 

 

Comments made prior to 2007

Great essay. Do you have one good referrence on how to stage a fast? I am looking for a safe way to stage a fast in my home. Does it require special teas or anything outside of water? ... Elie, 30 September 2005

 

 

The term for the breaking down of fat is lipolysis, not autolysis. Autolysis is the self-destruction of cells ... Paul, 3 April 2007

Comments

em123's picture

Fasting

Could anyone inform me on the notion of instead of fasting for an extended amount of time (say, fasting for 15-40 days), fasting for two days a week consistantly? Would the benefits be relatively similar?

Serendip Visitor's picture

My biology professor freshman college

My physiology was more adamant about fasting than any other subject discussed in the course. The answer to your question is no, fasting for two days does not have similar effects to that of extended fasting. Once you have breached 48 hours you enter a second phase of fasting, which lasts until the 22nd day (for the average human being-depending on their body fat ratio), where your body begins absorbing adipose tissue (fat cells) during digestion. Before this happens the body absorbs carbohydrates from meals in the past 48 hours. Fat cells store toxic matter, part of the reason obese individuals have more health issues. During fasting fat cells are released from storage into the blood stream. Along with with the cells goes the toxic matter, simply because that is where toxic matter is stored long term in the human body. During the first two days this toxic matter in store is not released. One benefit listed is a lowering rate of cancer. This is because toxic matter that would otherwise be stored would be released from the body. Cancer is developmental, if you prevent toxic cells from transforming into malignant cells they will never have the ability to kill you, unless your immune system is already predisposed and particularly weak and contains less white blood cells, or other immune system cells that could fend off cancer. These fat cells that are divulged from store and released into the blood stream are the main reason fasting is so crucial to human health. The article states that when animals begin dying or have certain sicknesses the sensation for appetite is relinquished. The minds focal point becomes the immune system under such circumstances. So not only is high toxicity adipose tissue released into the blood stream and then out the body, the immune system also can kill toxic properties that exists when released. Overall, fasting has tremendous overall results for homeostasis and prolonged lifespan.

s's picture

question

hi there, thank you for this info makes a lot of sense , it helps me understand my body and my son's also. me and my 12 yrs old son already started fasting only one day per week. as i understand that is not the real beneficial amount of time . woul you please give us a little guidance like, what time frame should we start with, for a good detox fasting. we never did more than 1 day a week. please respond and thank you so much

DolceVita79's picture

Fasting..

Fasting has been a part of my life for some years, Ive never fasted over 14 days but March 1st I will go for a 21-31 day fast, I have no doubts that I can accomplish them.. However my fiances family and our friends when they find out think I am crazy and I am starving myself etc. etc which bothers me.. This article was just the confirmation that I needed, that with proper education and facts I know Im not crazy.. Ive put fasting off for almost a year for the sort of "bullying" I got... But I am doing this for me, tried and tested always with amazing results and a feeling of being renewed.

Word of advice to those looking into fasting, If you weigh 155 lbs, it is not beneficial to do a 40 day water fast the weight lost could result in starvation depending on height.. and if first timers, start slow 1 day-3 day-7 day etc taking on 40 days first time isnt a good idea
What you eat/dont eat prior to a fast will def. help.. 1-2 weeks before try to eliminate as much sugar and caffeine consumption as possible, eat easily digestible foods and the closer to the fast eat more high water content food(high water veg, soups etc.) this will make the "detox" effects feel less extreme, also an herbal digestive tea 2-3 times a day a week or so before and 1 a day while fasting helps get rid of the"bulk" in the intestines.. I use Tibetan tea with great results, however may not be found everywhere(Im in Isreal).
And most def. educate yourselves on proper ways of starting-breaking fasts!! Good luck!

Serendip Visitor Jeff's picture

Fasting

That is great advice . To prepare the body and mind prior to fasting will help a great deal. I am planning to fast for two weeks as I have 28% body fat and being 55 I need to shed some stored fat which has built up over the years . I go to the gym regularly as well but still have severe bloating. Apparently this is fat stored around the internal organs that fasting will eliminate.Following the initial fast, I plan to fast once a week , 24 hour periods , and try to make it a part of my lifestyle. I also need to give up smoking ( doesnt help with the toxins issue ) . This forum has been very helpful :-)

Elisabeth's picture

Fasting!

I am beginning a 40 - 60 day veg and fruit juice fast! It gets easier....2nd day....pray for me! Ive fasted 3 times, great thing to do. Will answer any q, or comments!

Latrese's picture

Fasting

Hello I want to try fasting. It will be my first time. What do I do? How many days should I try?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your long fast

How did your fast go? Are you done?

Serendip Visitor's picture

starting a fast too!

A friend of mine and I are starting a 20 day fast. We've never done this before. Any suggestions for our first day??

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hello, my name is Jane and I

Hello, my name is Jane and I was truly blessed by the comments shared in response to this article. I am currently 265lb with a raised bp of 140/80 and brain fog. I have previously fasted for spiritual purposes, and I found it to be very beneficial. Needless to say I haven't fasted for about two years now and I can see the effect it has had on my overall life. I have been inspired to resume the disclipline of fasting so that I may once again embrace and live my life to the fullest, instead of simply going through the motions.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Going thrU the Motions

How is it going. Its amazing to see when we begin to fast with with seeking his face. Something comes up to throw off.

Trent's picture

Fasting and nutrition

I've personally experienced that fasting definitely gets easier the more you do it. When I first started fasting it was quite challenging, having major junk food cravings. Since then I've seen my food cravings toward junk food decrease dramatically and my taste toward healthier food increase. is a great place to review some of the nutrition principles that helps with fasting in general.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Fasting to gain weight and health

Great article and good explanation on how fasting does what it does. I conducted my first fast after enduring a very frustrating four years of ill health after living in a third world country. I was very sick with chronic fatigue, brain fog, was quite thin and couldn't work. I had no energy no matter what I ate, so after reading a book on fasting I decided to stop eating and try to heal my body. The fast lasted 4 weeks (28 days) when all I did was drink water and grapefruit juice, which kept my bowels moving out the toxins. I had thought I was going to go longer, but at the end of the four weeks my head cleared up and I felt the energy coming back into my body so I decided I could stop. At the time I had no money and was living alone in a small rented camper in the middle of a farmer's apple orchard. I didn't have a lot of options and doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong and told me that there was nothing they could do for me. Following the fast I began to gain weight, got a decent job and got my life back from a miserable and seemingly hopeless situation.

Tulip Kiya's picture

The Lotto Black Book

Simply executed and awesome approach to share such a wonderful content.

Barry Jones's picture

iheater

It was interesting to read your experiences via such a wonderful article of yours.

Alisha Ria's picture

I find the quote on

I find the quote on "under-nutrition without malnutrition" quite interesting. It certainly ties in with many religious beliefs.

I wish people would look to such proven and healthy practices as fasting for weight loss, instead of dangerous and unhealthy pills that don't even work.

Serendip Visitor's picture

The pills definitely don't work

Yes, those ephedrine pills were a disaster for me. I was hooked on them for years and just got fatter. They also do much damage to the digestive system. When under stress the body releases adrenaline. The adrenaline has many effects on the body such as raising blood pressure but another effect is that it shuts down the peristaltic activity of the digestive system. Normally adrenaline is not released continuously but when one takes the pills for energy then one does take them continuously. Ephedrine is a synthetic form of adrenaline and it has the same effects on the body.This means the foodstuffs/waste sit and rot and this damages the colon and intestine.

malez 's picture

fasting in med school

hey I have been having weight issues am 5'9 and weigh 155 pounds.I think scales lie though coz u have to shop for big jeans everytime.
but what I really want to do is fast for 40 days (water definitely ) but I do lots of work at the hospital and school, battling Ward rounds daily and board exams.though am a Muslim meaning I fast during ramadhan but haven't tried complete water fasting tried for 2days n it was fine bt my issue was my body became tired n I live ontop of a hill mind you so energy is needed so what can I do to compensate that highly needed energy to work, study and climb my hill everyday?!
I meditate daily n do ALOT of walking so my reasons of fasting is just peace, health n loss of weight!

shamilt1's picture

How to start

I feel the best way to start a fasting program is to do it gradually in stages. I initially did one day, then 3, and then worked my way up to 14days over the period of a year and some change. My next goal is 21 days (on day 5 of that now). Sometimes you may fail. I broke my fast a couple times during that period. I find it gets easier and easier to initiate the more times you have done it. It seems as though your body conditions itself for the fast.

The first time I went on a multi-day fast (4 days) the second day was murder!! You know things are bad when you start fantasizing/dreaming about food!! I love to cook and I would look up food and recipies on the internet. It was a really rough but I made it through. The next day forward, I was fine. The desire was never that acute again. I also notice the food I eat prior to the fast makes a big difference in my body’s reaction to going on the fast. I am sure it will be different for everyone.
In my case, I notice eating sweet potatoes, greens, w/a small serving of protein for 2-3 days prior to the fast made entering it much easier as opposed to a typical high protein, carb, and fat diet. Again, I went through periodic rough periods, e.g. when at work they ordered pizza and subs for my office over an entire week!! (I will have to admit, that I got two slices and froze them to eat later when I was off my fast).

You also need to plan on coming off the fast and in many ways this is more important and can be more dangerous than the fast itself. For several days after breaking the fast, I only eat this all fruit sauce (like applesauce but w/bananas or mango etc.) and/or watermelon. When I completed my 14day fast, I was on this high water content food for several days and at the last minute had to take a client out to dinner. I tried to moderate my food intake but ate some fried chicken tenders, seafood dip for appetizer, fries and coleslaw. Big mistake, I managed to make it out and get home w/out embarrassing myself but I turned into a gas factory!! I am not kidding when I say this. It was ridiculous. I could have filled a small blimp with the way my system was working! So I know now, not to fool around when it comes to breaking my fast. I also now include probiotics, that I mix into the fruit sauce when I am breaking a fast.

In terms of the benefits, I have noticed a shoulder that I injured playing golf heal very quickly. Obviously weight loss. I usually go through a period of lethargy around day 3 or 4 and it usually comes out of nowhere. After that period, I am good. The first time I went on a fast, I was wasted for several days and felt like I could barely make it, just walking into my office so if you are a first timer, I would make sure you don’t have anything planned and can rest if needed. Now that I have done several fasts, I find starting during a work week is easier for me as I am usually so busy throughout the day (I am in IT), that it is easy to forget about food for awhile. Well that is my 2 cents. Good luck!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Get into ketosis before you fast and it is easier

I am currently on the third day of a water fast. Before I started the fast I did the Atkins induction diet for two days. By the morning of the first day of the fast the keto stix were reading a moderate level of ketones. Once you are in ketosis hunger is greatly reduced. I still feel a little hunger though, as my digestive system hasn't quite stopped yet. I hope tomorrow it will all be gone. I am doing this as I have been having symptoms of ulcerative colitis or crohns-frequent diarrhea and intense pain as well as the presences of mucous and blood when I go. In fact, there were times when I would just produce mucous. Every morning I felt like I had been kicked in the gut and then knew I had to get to the toilet FAST. Those attacks started occurring throughout the day as well . Those symptoms have all vanished at this point. I actually feel quite good, better than I have in years. Joint and muscle pains that I took for granted were normal have also all vanished. I forgot what it was like to feel healthy and I am liking this.
I have tried to fast before as well, many times, and never made it past the second day. This time was much easier, one reason being that I got off of all caffeine a couple of weeks ago. The caffeine withdrawals were intense, headaches,brain fog, flulike body aches, my calves and knees especially would burn with pain . Right now I feel no pain at all, it's as if I am on a powerful pain killer.In the past I had tried to fast and drink some black coffee. I think the coffee causes swings in blood glucose levels that make fasting impossible when the inevitable crash hits.

iJ's picture

Need more ground rules for a safe fast?

Hi,

I would like to fast for the first time ever and was wondering more about the actual ground rules. I've read some people saying they've gone 40-50 days but yet they leave out too much detail. If you give a story, provide everything you did (ate, drank,did, exercise, etc) to help others, otherwise it's a waste of the readers time as we learn nothing from you or your experience.

Was it water only? Did you eat anything (at all)? Did you take vitamins? Can anyone fasting take vitamins (should we not?)? Are we supposed to exercise or be completely relaxed throughout the process? Can we consume heart protection specific vitamins like Omoege3 pills? Can drinking water and tea really be any different then drinking just water alone? Plain naturally decaf tea has no calories, no carbs, no anything really, but is high in antioxidants which seem like they'd help the process, not hinder it!

Why not promote drinking decaf tea with water too?

I really want to start a 14-15 day fast of only water and tea and wish there was more ground rules that are provided on sites like this for beginners. If you provide the benefits, be accurate and provide the specifics!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Please read a great book

Please read a great book written by Paul Bragg (Doctor by a proffession who lived until the age of 95).

In this book you will get your answers. Please do not jump into long fasting (anything over 24 hrs a week( if this is your first time

DolceVita79's picture

In response...

I do fasts where I drink mostly water, with some herbal teas for helping rid my intestines of the bulk.. I personally dont take vitamins or Omega 3 etc for the simple reason I want my digestive system to be almost completely in a state of rest and taking any form of solid would interrupt.. I feel it is more of a personal choice whether or not to take supplements. I started fasting slow, working my way from 1 day to 14 days over a span of a few years, and even now dont always do 14 days, some times 3 or 5(mind you I havent fasted in nearly a year). As far as exercise, I refrain from anything strenuous as the first 1-4 days you can be quite exhausted and could injure yourself, walking is ok but I personally do not promote strenuous exercise during a fast.

You need to understand fasting is something very personal for each person, some drink water, some juice, some add tea some dont, It is something you need to try and figure for yourself. Build up your fast dont start with a 14 day fast, if you "break" it you might be harder on yourself, have a sense of failure etc.. start out slowly 1, 3, 5, 7, 12, 14 etc and each fast one time try with tea and supplements and one time try without and see how you feel. Nonetheless, hope this helps a little and good luck..

Serendip Visitor's picture

I agree, supplements don't help a fast

I agree, one wants one's digestive system to completely shut down so taking any supplements or even juices is not a good idea. The complete rest that the digestive system gets enables it to repair itself as well as this eliminates all feelings of hunger.

bruce's picture

fasting

i am doing my 2nd 40 day fast at the beginning of 2012. my first was in 09. the first four days are brutle but after that i was fine. i think that may have been the toxins leaving my body. massive headaches and hunger pangs, after day 5 and 6 the physical was all the same, 20 to 40 minutes of hunger 2 times a day then press passed that and you will be fine. of course there is always temptation for food. just find something better to meditate on,( i personally used the scriptures.). after like day 22 i started getting really light headed and began to drink 1 or 2 protein shakes. nothing else just protein powder and almond milk. if i bent over to tie my shoes i would almost pass out, so that was my reasoning for the shakes. i did this fast for spiritual reasons and i know GOD took pleasure in my effort. i lost 40 pounds or more but the well being out weighed the physical trial. you will be fine, take into consideration any meds you may be on and please consult your physician, enjoy

Darlene Messier's picture

candida infection while pregnant

A white coating on the tongue indicates nothing more than general bacterial growth in the mouth -- very normal. This normal growth may contain candida, but this is no indication that there is an overgrowth of this fungus. A fairly accurate and simple test is to spit into a glass of water. If you see "strings" in the water after about 15 minutes, you probably have an overgrowth of candida. If you leave the glass of water for more than an hour, there will be bacterial and fungal growth in the water no matter what so the results need to be observed fairly quickly.

Serendip Visitor's picture

An excellent book on fasting

An excellent book on fasting that was written in the 60's is "Therapeutic Fasting" by Arnold De Vries. You can buy a used copy on Amazon. It covers forms of fasting, history of fasting, safety, efficiency and symptoms of the fast, psychological reactions to fasting and how to properly break the fast.

If you want to have the most health benefits from fasting (ie, ridding your body of disease, tumors, toxins, pathogens, etc.) then you should go on a straight water fast - no teas, honey, fruit juice, vegetable broths, spirulina, lemon juice, etc.

By the way Roxanne, the author of this book states that your tongue will be coated the whole time you are fasting which is a sign that toxins and other pathogens are being released. At some point during the fast (it could be up to 40 days or more - less for some more for others) your tongue will clear up and your natural hunger will return and that is when your body has completed healing itself. If you continue beyond this point you risk putting your body into starvation mode where it will start breaking down it's own muscle and organ tissue to survive. But prior to this point there is no need to worry about starvation. Your body is in a state of ketosis and is burning it's adipose (fat) tissue for energy. People with very little fat obviously will be done with a fast sooner than someone with more fat to burn.

My husband and I are starting our water fast this week and are hoping to make it to the completion of the fast, however long it takes. Per the above book, great care must be taken in ending a fast especially of this length. People have actually died from breaking a fast improperly (the book references a guy who ate a beef sandwich after a 40 day water fast and died due to the food getting impacted in his gut). Without going into too much detail a basic rule of thumb is for every 4 to 6 days of a water fast, do one day of a juice diet. So if you water fasted for 30 days, break the fast with 5 days of fruit and veggie juice. Swill it around in your mouth before drinking it to get the enzymes activated to help with digestion. After the juice diet incorporate raw fruits and vegetables starting with small meals and slowly transitioning to larger meals, always remembering to chew the food well. Best wishes if you decide to try the water fast!

Roxanne's picture

TIP FOR FASTING

Check your tongue daily. When a white coating covers the tongue, you should end your fast. It is a warning that you have reached your "fast limit" and the next stage is starvation, a stage you never want to enter.

Dr. Guest457's picture

This is the dumbest thing I

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Having a white coating on the tongue means you have Candida Overgrowth in your body,.

bal's picture

new to fasting, on

new to fasting, on antidepressants. Could i still take them. Please someone help.

Serendip Visitor's picture

not a good idea

It is not a good idea to take any medication when one fasts. There are many medications that one can not just stop taking without dangerous side effects so I would check this out with your doctor as well as do some of your own research as well.

sean's picture

fasting

Hi I am a 45 yr old male.
I have not eaten any food for the last 35 days and I will not eat for a further 22 days.
I am drinking 3 optislim shakes mixed with water a day, totalling only 600 calories each day. I am a type 2 diabetic and have only been on medication for 10 months.
This drastic diet will reverse my diabetes and I will be off of all medication and living a normal every day life.
I feel younger & more vibrant. My pharmacist asked me how I was feeling after two weeks. I told her I was full of energy and that my primeval human instinct had kicked in and heightening my senses to catch wild game for my survival and dinner.
A friend asked me how you feel in your self, I told her “fantastic and that I feel as if I am galloping bareback and naked on a strong white horse.

I feel really amazing, feeling of rejuvenation .

iJ's picture

I'm not sure how you consider

I'm not sure how you consider that fasting?
Healthy, yes, fasting, no!

You're in-taking more then plain water therefor it's not a fast, it's a liquid diet.
I don't think you should tell people you're fasting as it will make them think they can also go
over 55 days without nutrition (but you're yourself!).

Not trying to be mean, just accurate, which it is.

Aaron's picture

I fast every day for 16 hours

I fast every day for 16 hours (8 of which I sleep) and skip breakfast (to not break the fast :) )

Maintain 7% body fat all year round, train fasted to keep myself biologically young....

This is the ultimate formula to live till 100 and still be able to surf waves.

Eva marshal's picture

intresting information about food

Hi, I have read your story , which was quite touching, So interesting to read of everyone's spiritual, emotional and physical journeys with food and weight.i suggest you to drink water maximum as u can.i really like your concept.Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou

Serendip Visitor's picture

Fasting for Ramadan

On day 7 of the Ramadan fast. I haven't fasted properly for 2 or 3 years now and it's quite hard, especially here in the northern hemisphere in the summertime. To explain, the fast is no food/no water (and other spiritual regulations)between dawn to dusk, for approx 28 - 30 days. So the fasting period is long - around 18 hours per day without food/drink but you can eat/drink between dusk to dawn. In previous years found the first three days difficult after which I gained a surge of energy, and actually didn't want the month to end! Different this time, a milder headache has returned - maybe cos I took a break for a couple of years. Or maybe getting older. Will see how it goes.

Serendip Visitor's picture

this is not healthy

The ramadan fast is a terribly unhealthy fast. One should always drink water when one is fasting. When you pee and it is a dark yellow to light brown that means you are in danger of kidney failure.

Serendip Visitor's picture

im only 13 and its soo easy

im only 13 and its soo easy last year i only missed one and this year its so easy no pain just do what i do stay up at night until 8am than slepp until like 3 pm and you wont feel much until the last 2-3 hours

Serendip Visitor's picture

What's with kids and "I'm

What's with kids and "I'm only 13"?? "I'm only 12...but..." posting on forums that aren't for children.

And besides, isn't fasting bad for kiddies? Wouldn't it stunt their growth or something?

Joyah's picture

...in the beggining

A Simple Goal

1. burning out fats.
2. detoxify for healthier system.
3. feeling light.

I'm on my second day fast aiming to a 30 days fast.

A.Natille's picture

Anyone ever heard of Carb Cycling?

So interesting to read of everyone's spiritual, emotional and physical journeys with food and weight. It is so true that anything we want to manifest, on an energetic level, if we are clear (detoxed), the manifestation will be accelerated. When we are weighed down by extra pounds and toxicity, it will take longer and be more of struggle to bring into being our truest and highest desires.

I am inspired by many of the posts on fasting to try one myself, particularly the 3 day water fast followed by 2 days of fruits and veggies! In the meantime, I have discovered an alternative to fasting. I have been reading about the concept of eating no carbs for 3 days, (while eating healthy meals of protein and veggies) then on the 4th day adding in a serving or two of healthy carbohydrates like brown rice or yams.

Eating carbs on the 4th day keeps the metabolism revved up. If we went straight through for days or weeks without carbs, our bodies would go into "starvation mode", the metabolism would slow down and weight loss would plateau. Carb Recycling is a hidden and until now secret weapon used by body builders.

To Your Health & Fitness!
Anatille

Serendip Visitor's picture

Fasting article

Thanks for the article, I agree with a lot in it. However, one is not "technically starving" as soon as muscle protein is broken down- muscle protein gets broken down from the first days of a fast ()

I'm also pretty sure that the release of HGH is not due to "greater efficiency of hormone production." The body always releases HGH when stores of glycogen are depleted, as far as I know.

Sharon Powell's picture

Fasting for Healing

I was doing research on the benefits of fasting when i came across this page...i loved what i was reading...i've been having problems with my blood pressure for at least the past 5 years...my blood pressure was 160/120...thats when i knew that i had to try the "Water fast". I did a 3 day water fast...it wasnt easy for me...i hadnt done a fast in at least 2 or 3 years. I use to fast periodically for religious purposes. I never thought about the health benefits of fasting. After my 3 day fast my blood pressure went down to 136/97...i ate fruit,and salads the 2 days following my fast, my blood pressure after a week from my fast start date was down to 115/87...i am 48 years old and i dont do medication...there are too many side effects. I will fast more often now because i do believe that our bodies were built uniquely to heal themselves, if we take care of them and, fasting is a part of taking care of the body.

the best way to lose belly fat's picture

the best way to lose belly fat

Great article!Love this post!Let lose weight or belly fat for the sake of our health.Be healthy is great and health is wealth.God bless you.Amen

Hungry Honey's picture

I am so hungry

I am struggling with food. I am slightly under average weight. (5'9 131 lbs) Recently I have been addicted to sugar. It's really gotten out of control. I'm an athlete, and my diet and training is extremely important to me, but lately all I want to eat is sugary products. I cut juice out of my diet years ago, but lately I've even been craving juices! Sugar has been a huge distraction for me lately, I really feel as though I can't help myself and I have no will power. I will tell myself not to eat something, and go ahead and eat it.

I tried to start my water fast yesterday on Monday, but someone surprised me and brought me a grilled cheese for lunch. Money is very tight, so I ate it and decided to fast for the rest of the day. However, I couldn't make it. By 7:30 my stomach was growling so loudly I simply couldn't ignore it. I started to feel very sick, and I made a small portion of noodles to eat, (which was more carbs, but all I had in the home.) I decided I would try my water fast again today, and include one meal a day before noon. I figured this would give me plenty of time to digest.... I had a serving size of egg salad before noon, but now it is 6:45 and my stomach is growling again, growling very very loudly. I am skinny, and I work hard and play harder. I'm a dancer and a martial artist, and I feel very uncertain of what to do. I feel hungry, like I need to eat, but I feel ashamed for not being able to stand my ground for a minor water fast. Does anyone else go through this? How the hell are you sticking with your water fast? Am I just totally weak spirited?

Serendip Visitor's picture

induce ketosis before you start your fast

When the body gets into a state of ketosis hunger is greatly reduced. I would suggest eating just roast beef, cheese, baked chicken and eggs for two days. No carbohydrates at all, just the foods I mentioned, and as much of them as you want. After two to three days of that your body will be in ketosis although your digestive system will still be running. This would make it easier to start.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Please get a book written by

Please get a book written by Paul Bragg "The Miracle of fasting" It will answer many of your questions.

And yes we do go through the "growling" of the stomack too, but it depends on you how you prepare your self mentally. You must have great attidute during that time. Occupy yourself with something.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER, at least 64 oz, that will help (some what :) )

Do other things that you enjoy very much.

Trust me , we all want to eat, we are humans too, but it's a mindset which help to get you through.

Also depends on you: Why are you doing the fasting?
Do you see value in it?

Is it important to you or not.

And then again: NEVER< NEVER jump into longer than 24 hr fasting a week if you have not been doing it on a regular basis for the last 6 months to a year

Serendip Visitor's picture

no way...please stop worrying

Holy crap, what do you have to feel bad about. You are fit and obviously work off the calories you intake. I'm 5'7" 236lbs. And have been up to 260 at 1 time. I'm jealous that you have the control to be as active as you are and stay at your weight...just enjoy who you are and know there are a lot of us trying very hard to get where you are now. ;)

Sunny_side_up's picture

The first three days are

The first three days are always the hardest in a fast. Stomach growls and rumbles. I find that when you go with water if you drink more it fills your stomach so it doesn't feel as empty. Sort of tricks your mind a little. Also drinking juices like apple juice, and grape juice even tomato juice. Though if your not eating any food stay away from orange juice, the acid in it will mess your stomach up bad. Another trick with tomato juice is to put it in a bowl and heat it up in microwave and drink it from a spoon. Sort of tricks the mind to thinking it's eating food when it's not. The juices also will keep your body from depleting vitamins important to your eye sight. I've heard of someone going blind because of fasting. Another way if your going with just water though. Is take some fresh vegetables and boil them. Afterwords take the veggie's out and then drink the water. The nutrients in the veggies will be in the water, so you can stick with your water fast, while not having to worry about not getting vitamins. Hope maybe some of this will help you with trick your mind and help you stand your ground on your fast.

bruce's picture

GREAT TIP, DOING A 40 DAY

GREAT TIP, DOING A 40 DAY WATER FAST THANKS.

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