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

Anonymous's picture

losing weight

Hi I have become very interested the idea of fasting. I am a little hesitant to try it out because I do not want to lose weight. I am an athlete and cannot afford to lose weight. any comments?

Muha Ali's picture

Obviously u r following BMI

Obviously u r following BMI index.It is not clear from your coment that u r willing to increase your body weight.Any way,u can maintain your existing body weight by proper food intake(consuming more carbohydrate,fat,protien ...those r subject to store in your body|) even u fasting.I am not a doctor.visiting a doctor is better solution I belive.

carefree's picture

There are a lot of ways on

There are a lot of ways on how to lose weight. . .but since you're an athlete like me, all you have to do is to eat lots of protein foods and less carbo because as an athlete, we tend to burn fats and energy that quickly so our main energy food belongs to the protein food group. . .And also, you have to drink lots of water for detoxification and for the prevention of dehydration. . .
hcg for weight loss

Anonymous's picture

hai

Hai,
im 5.2'.i started water fasting at 100 lbs.from 11 days water fast i lost 3 pounds.i think thin people dont loose much weight.

Anonymous's picture

hello

I would like to start off by extending a big hello to everyone! I am new to this forum and just so happend to luck up on it when looking for information on fasting. I'm dealing with a lot of things right now in my life such as stress, wanting to become pregnant, needing to lose weight and I think that fasting will help me in all areas. The only thing that I am scared about is that I may not be able to it. I have tried fasting once before and by the middle of the night I wake up hungry and this is at 2 or 3 am.

I really need to seek God, because I feel that I have tried everything else and I am completley stuck in this point of my life. I was talking to my husband about possibly doing a fast together, maybe this will help our baby situation. He said that he would, but the point of the matter is I don't know if I could do it.

I guess my questions for you guys would be, do you think that I should start with a one or two day fast and work my way from there? Or should I try to committ and do a seven day fast.

One more thing, and please forgive me for being so long wind(lol). Water is my problem, I do not like the taste of water at all. I don't drink it and I know that this is not good for me. Could I possibly put something in the water, or can I drink grapefruit juices?

Any suggestions are welcome and would be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to hearing from each of you soon.

Thanks

Anonymous's picture

try adding honey lemon juice

try adding honey lemon juice to water

dawas mohamad's picture

fasting on water

i have try to do fast on water for 7 days, and 3 days it is great?
you never belive it . after 3 day you start to feel you have energy and welness
plus i fast during the month of ramadan?
one month no eating no drink from 3 in the morrning to 6 evning.
do it and good lock

Christa's picture

Fasting :

I have a question. I desire to seek (God) my Lord Jesus Christ on the most inner and outer personal level. I myself am 5'8 148lbs mother of 3. I am 28 years old. I notice every time I try to fast I get so nervous and scarf in an unhealthy way unwanted food and feel sad after. This is crazy. Please advise as to what I can do to press past this 3 days crisis and march forth into a 40 day adventure with Wisdom. Thank you, Christa

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi Christa

When fasting for Jesus
One thing you need to do is get over your flesh and get into a more spiritual tune, pray, ask God and Jesus for strength to keep you strong mentally and pysically, resist what your body desires and craves, sacrafice your fleshes wants and needs, like Jesus's sacrafice for us. fasting is all about getting over your flesh and getting more in touch with our spirit like when Moses and Jesus fasted, read your bible as much as you can when fasting, God will show you things!
we dont relise how often we our slaves to our flesh!

Take care and God bless +
Jesus love you!

When you do come off your fast try to eat raw foods, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts.

doit's picture

Christa, I would suggest

Christa,

I would suggest that you start a raw food life style . Then after you've been eating raw for at least 2 weeks, you can start a fast. This way of eating is the best. You are detoxing at a slower rate than water fasting.

I'm on day 3 of a 7 day fast. I have a daughter's birthday on the 13th and we're taking her out to have dinner. I plan on having cucumber juice on the 11th then having a nice raw veggie salad when we go out. Then after that meal I'm back on my water fast till the 17th. I will have cucumber juice then and on the 18th I will have a nice raw salad, because I have to drive a school bus that day. Then after that I'll keep to my raw food lifestyle. I plan on water fasting one day a week then at the end of June I'll be getting another 2 weeks off and I'll start another longer water fast.

Anonymous's picture

55 day water fast??? any

55 day water fast???
any ideas???

Jeff's picture

Get educated

Why 55 days?You should be familiar with what goes on in your body during a fast.There is definite signs when complete fast should be stopped so you don't harm your health.Better familiarize yourself before it is too late.

Anonymous's picture

No salt on a fast!! this

No salt on a fast!! this increases appetite and retains water which carries toxins that need to be relleased during a fast

sultan's picture

No, im sorry but your comment

No, im sorry but your comment is only true if your taking about table salt. That stuff needs to be out of everyone's diet, might as well eat poison. However the salt which you really do need in your diet is the non-processed and 'un-clumped' salt (e.g himalayan rock salt). This does not cause water retention and needs to be a vital part of your food intake. Your bones consist of these salts too and they can dramatically slow down the effects of ageing, internal and external.

Anonymous's picture

bs salt actually zaps your

bs

salt actually zaps your body of water due to OSMOSIS.. stop spouting bullshit. Ever think why doctors do not recommend salty foods to people with high blood pressure?

Anonymous's picture

salty

Well actually, when you eat a salty meal the immediate effect is a high concentration of salt in your blood which draws water from the cells in your body into your bloodstream thereby increasing the blood pressure. However, my understanding is that if your cells have enough salt minerals (from extended, general salt intake) then water moves from the blood stream to the cells and can be an effective way of hydrating the skin.

Jeff's picture

Water fasting is just

Water fasting is just that,abstaining from any kind of food and using only water.Anything else is diet.Many people in this forum get it but some don't The good thing is that there is great interest in the subject and truly it is the best thing one can do to oneself in life.The books are out there on the subject.I highly recommend Paul Brag "The Miracle of fasting" You either fast on a regular basis,eat healthy, rely on the Lord for guidance or make the doctors and pharmasutical industry rich.I'm 47 been fasting for over 25 years and can testify that this is the second best thing somebody shared with me some years ago.Good luck to all of you and God bless you.

didi's picture

And what was the first?

And what was the first?

akhan's picture

suggestion for first timers

It is clear that there are numerous benefits to fasting. For first timers, I would recommend doing the fast in the following manner for a whole month.

10 days: Water fasting between sunrise and sunset.
Light breakfast before sunrise, then water whenever you are hungry during the day. Light dinner after sunset.

20 days: Complete fasting bewteen sunrise and sunset.
Light breakfast before sunrise, and light dinner after sunset, and no water in between.

Regards,
A.K.

Imran Kalim's picture

Fasting

Well my experience about fasting is following...and just clarify I am a muslim and I fast from sun rise to sun set about 12 to 13 hous of fasting in which we don't eat , smoke ,drink and stay away from our spouces also practice patience and avoid cynical thinking and vulgar and arrogant words.

I ususlly fast once a year which is must for us in our religiom but other than that I fast 2 times (which in optinal) every month.

Benifits what I think I have from fasting.

1. I feel very secured no fears as I have given my woories in the hands of God.

2. I feel more mentally strong after fasting it creates quick results for some thing I am chasing.

3. I feel less stressed and clean/calm internally.

4. I feel more grate ful for the blessings God has given me and I focus on the things I have.

5. I make your mind your thoughts more clear.

6. It has more spiritual and mental advantages than physical...I feel like my prayers get answered quickly during fasting.I feel like God gets wooried when I fast and bless me for what I want or takes out my problems so I get what I want ..Like a mother gets woooried when baby stops eating !

Imran

Colleen's picture

Day 6 of a water fast...

How do you handle the miserable detox process? I felt bad the first three days; awesome and energized on the 4th and 5th days, but in the evenings I would have severe back pain that shot down my legs and prevented me from sleeping.

This morning is the worst. I read Dr. Herbert Shelton's "The Hygienic System" regarding fasting and bile and I'm experiencing this now. I hate to vomit but with I could, as I keep burping up the bitter acrid taste of bile. I even ran a couple of miles and have been drinking water to see if I could encourage the bile to hurry up and start digesting so that I can eliminate it. Any suggestions?? I can't stand this taste!!

Digby's picture

Fast under medical supervision if going for more than a week.

I'm in my late 50s and have fasted repeatedly, including two 30day water only fasts. My doctor will do blood work and keep an eye on me, and all should do this. If your doctor gives you grief, tell them its for religious reasons, and that will stop any discouraging, usually ill-informed advice. Dr. Joel Furhman, MD (Univ.of PA)has written a great book on fasting I highly recommend. Fasting for weight loss works, but you have to be prepared that when you go off the fast you will crave at a high to extremely high level. This is what our bodies are programmed to do. I am a great faster, but not a great post-faster. I'm beginning my spring fast March 1, and have decided to spend the month after on a very low carb (just lean protein and greens and low sugar berries (blue,black, straw, rasp) and very gradually re-intro the higher carb foods that cause the cravings to set in with a rush. Age is part of the factor; when you are young, under 35-40, you have more that your body will tolerate, but age makes those processes work more poorly.
Fasting is yin to yang of intake; we evolved to feast in times of plenty and fast in times of want; now people just feast, and look at the obesity rates.

Fasting can in rare circumstances be bad for people with certain conditions, so read Fuhrman, go to his website. I found that I need a tiny spinkle of salt in a glass of water once a day, since I tend to be low on salt from drinking so much water on a regular basis.

The benefits others have mentioned are all true. I always lose a pound a day, and after the third day, I have extraordinary energy, and I'm often told I don't look my age, but more like ten years younger. Plus, you are cleansing the system of all kinds of toxins that cause disease. So, fast; but FAST SMART!

sheila 's picture

Starting today

Hi All
starting my fasting tomorrow. looking forward to it. 42 years old 189 lbs... 5ft 3... see what happens ... will keep you posted daily....
good luck to me... first timer.... ha ha
sheila

Anonymous's picture

Fasting for Weight Loss

Hello. After abusing my body through periods of binging and purging, or simply binging without expelling the food, I am dedicated to embark on a 21 day water fast. I am hoping that by the end, I will acheive a weight loss of at least 20 pounds and that I will feel refreshed and energized. I am also deeling with clinical depression and I heard that fasting may help eliminate negative feelings; thus, I am anxious to see if my depression will subside.
My only concern is hiding this fast from my friends. I have had anorexia in the past, so they are weary of my attitudes towards food. However, I want to fix my eating habits once and for all so that I don't fall back into the binge tendencies that have seemed to increase this month.
Does anyone have any advice about breaking the fast?

Anonymous's picture

I'm 5'2"-95 pounds. I'm

I'm 5'2"-95 pounds. I'm interested in doing a 9 day water or fruit fast? Is it advisable to do so-I'm concerned about the slowing down of my metabolic rate. Is it perfectly safe to fast for 9 days at a stretch?

Anonymous's picture

The less one weighs, the

The less one weighs, the shorter the fast necessary to reap the benefits.

At 5'2" and 95lbs you do not have much fat and would benefit most from a 3 day fast (or shorter). Anything greater than that is unnecessary and potentially dangerous for someone of your height and weight.

Start out with a 1 day fast. Next month a 2 day fast..... next month a 3 day fast etc. Acclimate your body to the fasting process slowly.

Fat reserves of some quantity are necessary for longer fasts or you risk losing precious muscle mass which will be difficult gain back.

Read the book "Fasting and Eating for Health" by Dr. Joel Furman, it is the best source of info on the subject written by a doctor who has supervised many fasting patients over the years.

Serendip Visitor's picture

slowing metabollic rate...

Do not worry about that.wHEN YOU BREAK YOUR FAST, YOUR METABOLISM WILL SOON RECOVER, JUST LIKE IT DOES WHEN YOU AWAKEN FROM A NIGHT'S SLEEP, AND EAT BREAKFAST...

Katie's picture

fasting while smoking

is it just plain silly to try this fast while being a smoker? I realize it flushes your toxins out and it would seem like an oxymoron to continuely put them back in, but I am hoping the fast will help my urges and strengthen my will power in that area, among others. Will I not have the same results as the others being a smoker? please reply......

Ben's picture

hi, I think that you already

hi, I think that you already know the answer! But don't worry, stopping smoking is easier than you think. I used to think it was difficult, I tried at least 10 times, but then I was REALLY determined and after 3 days of going cold turkey I read Allen Carr's book. That was nearly 3 years ago and I had been smoking for 12 years. I have never had a craving since, in fact I detest the smell. I always thought it was difficult to give up & that it required will power, but that book taught me that I was looking at the whole process completely wrong (psychologically speaking).
To stop smoking was fairly easy, there were a few days of irritation, but it was so worth it - the BEST thing I have ever done in my life. In the months that followed, I could feel my lungs, breathing and general wellbeing improving on a daily basis.

All the best and good luck. Stopping smoking opened my eyes to what is possible and lead me onto the path of good nutrition and lifestyle. I feel better now (nearly 31 years old) than I did 10 years ago. You can do it too, it is easy, just believe in yourself.

focused's picture

completed a 14day water fast

first i would like to start off by saying a water fast is completely the healthiest thing you can ever do in your life when it comes to change..i finished a 14day water fast and would have went longer but my family was considered and worried for some days i lacked energy and some days i was bed bound.. during those times i did a lot of writing and reflecting, praying which was wonderful, i must say i also started the water enemas on my third day for i wanted to get all of the waste out of my system that was sitting there.. (horrified it was my first enema but for better health i did it) i wish all good luck on their path, including i experienced alot of achy pains in my thighs, light headache, nausea, sleeping issues, but all the pains i once had are all gone and i was surprise with my menstrual with my fast also, i have very bad cramps and the cramps were minor but my menstrual did last longer then usual, i took it as my body cleaning everything out.. my first day off i had some vegetable broth for breakfast and for lunch i diced up cucumbers for lunch, i included the cucumbers so i could have a natural bowel movement.. be aware your stomach has become smaller and it doesn't take much to fill you up, diner some more vegetable broth and of course water through out the day.. second day i had some vegetable broth for breakfast, lunch i had some lettuce and cucumbers, dinner broth and a slices of a pear.. you eat slower for you truly allow your taste buds to indulge in every bite.. to consume to much would be a waste of your fast. tomorrow i will have some broth and a small amount of melon for breakfast, lunch prob some more lettuce and cucumbers and for dinner i will steam some string beans and drizzle a little lemon and garlic on it mmmm sounds wonderful. stay positive all

M's picture

Re. breaking a fast After a

Re. breaking a fast

After a water fast it is recommended to drink clear fruit juice for a couple of days. On the second day you can add vegetable broth and fruit which doesn't have a lot of pulp. On the third day vegetable juices and whole fruit and green salads. The idea is to build up to introducing more solid (fibrous) matter into your system.
To maintain the benefits of fasting, one's diet after the fast is considered as important as the fast. Fruit and vegetables are the mainstays.
I'd recommend getting a hold of a book on fasting to get some info on breaking the fast as well as lifelong healthy eating.

Good luck with the process. M

Rusty's picture

I am currently 112kg down

I am currently 112kg down from 120. Would fasting be a good way of breaking the weight loss plateau?

the pofe's picture

how broked 12 day water fasting

Does anybody can give me some information what to eat or drink after 12 days of water fasting? I`m on the 3th day but I plane to get 12 days only with water no juice, I appreciate if you answer.

fencergal's picture

Why didn't I have any problems or feel bad?

I'm 46, 5'8", 132 lbs and female. I did my very first fast about 3 weeks ago. I did it for emotional clarity and to find some calmness. My life is in total chaos, it's never been this stressful before. 3 days of water only. I was surprised how easy it was. I figure this is really, really good or really, really bad. I only wanted something to eat badly once. I didn't get any headaches, stomach aches, dizziness or anything to make me feel badly except for one thing. My blood sugar dropped to 57 (that was a fasting reading, ha, ha). I drank two servings/cups of Orchard low sugar juice with 9g of sugar per serving/cup immediately. In less than 10 mins I felt better. I'm going to do another one, this time with a colon cleanse product. Any advice or answers?

Naturebunny's picture

Hey Jesse.. that comment you

Hey Jesse.. that comment you made above mine was sent to my email inbox, which is curious because I posted as Naturebunny way up about 1/4 in to the forum, the comment you were replying to wasn't mine. It is the only email i've gotten in response to this forum too, so moderators, I think there may be a glitch with the system.

Anyways the funny thing is, I got the email today, which is a really strange coincidence as I'm starting another fast today! (which was already decided before getting the response!) haha. I had tremendous succuess during my last water only fast in April, which lasted 17 days. I wanted to go 21 days, but I was in the middle of final exams and found myself coming down with a nasty cold, adn i knew I needed vitamins and fruit juice and fluids other than water to fight off the bug. I lost 23 lbs in a 17 day water fast. to those that are fasting for weight loss it is EXTREMELY important that you exercise after the fast and eat healthy and in moderation. As soon as I started eating again I found myself gaining back 2-3 lbs a day, even though I was staying under 1000 cals a day. It was really shocking. After I gained back about 10 lbs the weight gain slowed and I was able to maintain.. so I lost 13 lbs that I kept off.

I felt very healthy and energized and motivated after my fast in april so I decided to do it again. I am writing final exams again starting Monday, but I am not worried, fasting improves my think power and concentration.
I'll post when it's over and tell u guys how it went.

Susan's picture

Good summary

Thanks for posting this. Unfortunately the reference links no longer seem to work.

A few years ago did a 28 day water fast at True North Health Clinic in northern California. I hope to go back and do another long fast.

It is now December. In early September I decided to fit fasting permanently into my schedule and fast one day a week. When there is an opportunity (holiday weekend, etc) I may do a 3 day or longer fast.

Right now (early December) I am on day 5 of a 6 day water fast that I started the day after Thanksgiving and am astonished at how good I feel. The weather is cold for Los Angeles, and I have to move around a lot to keep warm. Yesterday I did a 2 mile jog/walk and this morning I did a partial lower body workout and a 20 minute upper body workout. Amazingly, I feel stronger now than when I eat - maybe because I am taking it a bit easy and my muscles have had more time to recover from my normal workout schedule.

One Student's picture

Only if you have an

Only if you have an underlying medical problem which is causing your depression, anger, and tiredness, and if that medical problem would be addressed by a water fast. Otherwise, you'll just feel depressed, angry, tired and hungry. It doesn't sound like fasting is good as a cure for specific conditions, but promotes general health and longevity. You need to find out what's wrong with you - conflict or dissatisfaction in your life, a nutrient imbalance, bad brain chemistry, or all three.
Anonymous's picture

Hello. I am a teenage girl,

Hello. I am a teenage girl, and I feel myself getting caught up. I feel depressed and angry, tired, and not wanting to get out of bed. Though, usually I am a very happy person. Fasting is what I have decided. A water fast.
Would that be healthy for me?

Karl's picture

Fasting, just a normal part of life

Hi. I have been fasting 3 days a week, virtually for every week for over a year and a half. My weight just seems to stay the same,on average over the week.In all that time I have never felt hungry, not even once. I have recently extended the weekly period from 3 days to 5 for sake of work commitments and general well-being. I have more energy, sleep really well. Always, on the 2nd day I am at my lowest energy level point , but not low energy. I view the 2nd day simply as the body decidely changing its fuel-source from the external stuff you eat to internal body fat storage. Its so simple, it works. I just do it without any planning whatsoever. When I feel like it,I get on my bicycle and ride 50 or more kilometres when I am fasting just like I did over 20 years ago when I was 20 years old! Wherever I go I take with me 2 small bottles of filtered water from home. There was a lengthy period in my life when I was very hypoglycemic and held-down, by ,supposedly,chronic-fatigue-syndrome. I do not even think about those kinda things anymore.

john bocchetti's picture

fasting

I've experienced the calm that abides a fast, When one looks at food during a long fast, it appears like any other material.
I think that eating might actually increase our morbidity rates, if one considers that biological process can be tweaked in the future through synthetic biological design. Imagine humans someday reverse engineering our intricate and complex systems. Say, in the future we take a fast nap while receiving a theraputic and wake up in three weeks with a newly repaired body...

David 's picture

MY FIRST DAY and WILL I GAIN THE WEIGHT BACK??

hi, im David, im 5'10 and 220 lbs. (i should weight about 180-190 lbs)
Im planning to do the water fast for about 30 days.
ive done the diet a year ago and it didn't turn out so well.
Well now im SUPER FREAKIn' motivated for the detoxification of my body and weight LOSS!
But im VERY curious, will i REALLY gain all the weight back?
After the 30 days of the fast, i start eating very healthy and exercise WILL i still gain ALL the weight back?

Well, many thanx, and i hope to hear from you ppl.
(please reply/comment)

Jordi Ruvalcaba's picture

First of all for those

First of all for those who think fasting is inappropriate, it is OK to be ignorant. Humans nature fears what it is unknown... And the side effect of fear is rejection.

I been practicing water fasting for about a year only for 5 days once in a while. My mother taught me since she has practiced it since I was a young child.

I am 5'10 and weight 198 pounds mostly muscle. I am also on my fourth day of water fasting and planning to do a 21 day. I am feeling great and always willing to help !

This statement is for those who are open minded!

It only takes a closer look at how the economy of our country works. The regular consumer like you and me contributes to 70% of consumption which turns into production in our economy.

If every doctor out there on every clinic you find in the corner and every hospital tells patients to fast, they will be out of business. In addition, FDA, chain food/local restaurants, BARS! and cigarette companies will suffer major losses in profits if the entire population gets savy and begins practicing fasting. If you think the economy is bad right now for some, just take a second and imagine if the whole country begins to educate themselves about fasting and decide to fast. Just imagine what will be the outcome?

What ever the outome you can imagine. It does not matter because if you want a physical and spiritual promotion in your life. be open minded and have the courage to step up and learn about it because you are missing something very special, and is waiting just for you!!!!

Thank You,
Jordi

elizabeth's picture

fasting

Well, if that doesn't sum it up I don't know what will! I too have fasted and the experience is so much beyond the body. It was by far one of the best things I've ever done in my life. In fact. I'm on day two of a water fast now. Give your self the gift of fasting, it's by far the greatest gift you will ever give yourself! What do you have to lose, bad health?

Joe M.'s picture

Jordi, I commend at your

Jordi,

I commend at your knowledge and dedication to fasting. It takes a lot of willpower to accomplish such a task. Keep up the good work :)

Joe

Anonymous's picture

great essay did not read all

great essay did not read all of it just the beginning for which my comments are that it is assuming that everyone has extra fat and carbz that are not being used, what about the extremely healthy sporty people i am sure that fasting will actually damage their system. they eat enough cabz, protein and good fats on a day to day basis as they train
fasting to me does not make logical sense that it can be good for you, healthy people must eat little but often every 3 hours a day, as it mentions, if you do not your body goes into starvation mode and slows down your metabolism so how can fasting be great for the person who eats right quantities a day and uses every bit of their energy correctly?
anyway as i said i did not read all of it and do not know enough about it, all i can say that fasting contradicts what healthy eating nutritions suggest

sharon 's picture

water fast with fruit

I am 36 years old, since a child I enjoyed candy, or anything with sugar in it. Now that Im older I can eat a 10 pack of reece cups in one sitting. Yes I know thats not healthy and I know Im eating myself to a slow death. I want to know will it be safe for me to drink water and fresh fruit until I get this habit under control?

Charity's picture

help...i really want to

help...i really want to start, cos i'm not happy with my weight, i feel horrible after meals but am hungry a lot. I've tried diets before and never seem to be able to stick with the plan, please give practical advise on how to deal with cravings and hunger pangs cos i have a decent to large appetite. But i need to change somehow.. i dont think i could do the water fast right away, the thought alone scares me, perhaps juice fast, are the results just as good? help

Julie's picture

help...i really want to

Hey Charity, I know exactly what you're saying. I'm about 70 pounds overweight and have major food addictions (not that you do, of course) and panicked at the thought of going completely without food for an extended period of time. I fasted six days several years ago for a revival my church was having but was mislead and thought it was okay to drink Mountain Dew the entire time. Needless to say, those six days went by in a flash. ~LOL~

I've been impressed with the need, however to fast (for prayer) for the upcoming election and believe it or not, am in my sixth day of a ten-day water fast. I read that it's good to start and end any extensive water fast with juice so the first and last days are/will be juice.

It's not nearly as bad as I was afraid it'd be: Most people have a lot of hunger in the first couple of days, but I didn't. I have an excrutiating pinched nerve in my back but during the fast, I've quit taking the ibuprofen I normally take and unbelieveably, I haven't had hardly any pain. It's amazing. I've also lost ten pounds so far, which helps with the confidence. I really encourage you to give it a try.

God bless you,
Julie

Serendip Visitor's picture

hello Im trying to do a 2-3 day fast

This will be my first time trying to fast but I cannot seem to pull the trigger. I tried since Monday and by 8pm I have to eat. I will do it again and really try not to break my dicipline.

Anonymous's picture

I hope you made it through

I hope you made it through your first fast. I used to have the same problem I would start off great then by the evening I had to have something. Something changed in me one day and I suddenly knew I was ready. I couldn't beleive I was able to make it through the first 24 hours. Believe me once you do it will feel amazing and you will just keep going. :)

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