Many of the world’s religions incorporate fasting as one of their practices. While some fast in observation of their faiths alone, the act of fasting itself can be extremely therapeutic and offers a myriad of health benefits.
Why Fasting Helps: When your body stops digesting for a period of time, it is able to focus on its other processes better.
Processes that have been neglected or slow to improve before will accelerate when you fast.
Your body’s ability to heal itself gets a boost. The rate of detoxification improves markedly when fasting.
When it is in fast-mode, the body will scavenge for fatty deposits and dead/damaged tissues—including abnormalities such as scar tissue, tumors, abcesses, and old wounds—which are burned off for energy or carried away as waste.
Fasting is also a natural function. In the wild, injured animals will fast and only start eating when their wounds have healed. They do this instinctively.
In fact, you probably have fasted a few times in your life without even realising it.
Remember when you fell sick and had no appetite whatsoever? This was your body’s way of taking care of itself. Without food to digest, your body can better focus its energies on fighting the infection and recover more quickly.
Effects of fasting:
– Its common for pimples and other skin conditions like eczema to clear up faster when a person fasts.
– Liver and kidney functions are improved which aids in the body’s detoxification. These positive effects actually carry on even after the fast has ceased.
– Fasting relieves the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It also relieves the swelling of the joints, bloatedness, and water retention.
– If you’re trying to quit a bad habit, fasting makes it easier to overcome unhealthy addictions to alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
What to expect while fasting:
Be prepared for some discomfort when you first start your fast. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.
When this happens, try resting in a dark room and closing your eyes if the headache is too severe. Use essential oils and aromatheraphy to relax yourself.
If you stick with it for the first few days, fasting gets much easier and the withdrawal symptoms ease. Fasting is one of those things that require some short-term discomfort for long-term good health.
How to fast:
There are numerous ways to fast and it is entirely up to you. You can take it easy by dry fasting during the day and then end it with a small and healthy dinner. If you have the will, you can go on a 24 hour dry fast (no food or water) or a 24 hour water fast and then breaking it with a light and nutritious meal. You should repeat this fast for thirty days at least to reap the full benefits because your body will heal and detox its organs in stages.
If you’re trying to lose weight, incorporate some exercise during the day, especially during periods when your energy levels are at its lowest. Exercising during a fast will boost your blood circulation, relieve headaches, and burn fat and remove toxins faster. You’ll also find yourself rising out of the low-energy slump after 10-15 minutes of exercise.
– If you’re looking for the best results, try a dry fast (no food and water) instead of a liquid fast (water or juice). One day of dry fasting is equivalent to 3 days of liquid fasting.
– Break your fast gently with healthy foods that are easy to digest. Fruits and vegetables should be included. You’ll be surprised how quickly you feel full with less food. If you stuff yourself when breaking a fast you’ll feel sluggish and overfed for several hours afterwards. Remember the feeling and you’ll naturally avoid over-eating next time.
– Try not to advertise the fact that you’re fasting. Once you do, you’ll feel obliged to do it because of the people you have told. Some people you tell will also feel the need to challenge your decision. This is unnecessary stress. Your resolve and willpower to fast will be stronger if your fast remains a private matter.
– And lastly, do not fast if your health is compromised by serious illnesses, pregnancy, menstruation, or if you’re nursing.