Water Fasting Benefits
Benefits of Water Fasting (and Intermittent Fasting)
Although fasting has been a part of humanity’s existence for thousands of years, western civilization often views it as a barbaric form of starvation.
Water fasting does not starve the body, in fact it is one of the best ways to detox and heal.
Fasting should be done carefully however, especially if you have health problems or are obese. Follow guidelines to ensure your success and safety. Fasting is not appropriate for everyone. If you have serious health issues we recommend you consider a supervised fast.
Who Should NOT Fast
Eating Disordered Individuals (Anorexia or Bulimia)
Any health conditions that require physician’s care
After Surgery or Major Illness
Anyone Afraid of Fasting or Mentally Unstable
Can’t fast? Consider a cleansing diet.
Mental attitude trumps ability. And it’s important you “psyche”
yourself up for the days of food deprivation that lie ahead.
How Long Should You Fast? 3 Days? 1 Day? Longer?
If you’re new to water fasting it’s wise to start slow. It will be easier if you familiarize yourself with the process. A one day fast will give you a good idea of what to expect. A three day fast is perfect for the weekend. Use this experience to familiarize yourself with your body’s reactions. You are unique and learning about your body will ensure your fast is effective.
Clean Up Your Diet Prior to Fasting
Eating light healthy foods prior to your fast will help your body detox and stress less while fasting. Going into a fast with a polluted body can make your fast uncomfortable as your body seeks to rid itself of the toxins you have been stored.
The more toxic your body, the more intense your discomfort can be.
Avoid ALL processed foods (anything in a can, package or box). Meat and dairy products and the “Sensitive Seven”: eggs, cow’s milk, wheat, peanuts, corn, soy and sugar.
Eat small portions of high quality, nutrition-packed foods. Foods such as fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, sprouts, raw and cooked vegetables, and fresh green juices.
Fresh juices instantly nourish your cells and prepare your body for fasting. Avoid store-bought pasteurized juices, science proves they are not healthy. And negatively impact your health, similar to the issues of consuming sugary beverages.
Experts suggest following a raw diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, during your pre-fast time, preferably 2 or 3 days if possible.
Water fasting awakens your body's own healing mechanisms.
Preparing for Your Fast
Mental attitude trumps ability. And it’s important you “psyche” yourself up for the days of food deprivation that lie ahead.
Days before a planned fast we’ll watch videos that document the incredible benefits of fasting. We plan our schedule so that we are able to stay clear of family get togethers that invariably include “feasting.”
Stay positive and continue to learn about all of the reasons you’re doing a water fast and what you expect to achieve. i.e., lower blood pressure, better body weight, clearer mind, etc.
Commit to Stay Strong
You’re going to get hungry. Good news! Your hunger pangs will fade. What you’ll have to deal with is the mental thoughts of food. Your memories that remind you of how food tastes and feels may try and distract or dissuade you from your fast. The comfort of a full stomach may weigh on you, don’t despair, it will pass.
Rest and Avoid Stress
If you must work during your fast, it is suggested you reserve the first 3-5 days to be away from the pressures of being around food. Avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
My father and I wrote this book together. However, because my father is both my mentor and the American Pioneer of fasting, with long years of experience overseeing the fasting of thousands of students with miraculous results, this text is mostly presented in his voice.
– Patricia Bragg
Plan Ahead for Down Time
Since you’ll have more time, spend it working on you. Perhaps a creative (not stressful) project.
Gather materials, inspiring movies, books, etc. for any activities you plan to do while fasting.
Practice Breathing Exercises to Aid Detox During Fasting. Our lungs are a major eliminative organ for toxins and waste products.
Having a supportive network will ensure your success. It can be challenging when there’s no on around to cheer you on. However, don’t let that stop you. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Write that down and put it where you’ll see it through out your day.
Water fasting is an intense procedure. As much as possible, honor the rules of rest and recuperation. As you fast, you will gain greater bodily awareness. Listen. If you need to slow down, do so. Give yourself every opportunity for your body to heal itself. You will become more in tune with your intuition. Listen.
We highly recommend you read Water Fasting Preparation. There will be moments where the mental challenges of fasting may stretch you beyond reason. Their advice can help you get through the tough times.
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Best Water for Fasting
Pure, filtered water is the best water to drink for a fast and for your best health. Tap water is toxic to say the least and should never be drank or used in cooking without first being filtered. Water filters do not need to be complicated nor expensive. Find out what’s in your water and how to safely filter its impurities here.
Distilled water works to bind with toxins and is excellent to use during your water fast. However, it is not recommended that you drink it as a source of daily water. Lemon slices may be added for flavor, as they’re nutritious and cleansing in nature with minimal calories.
How Much Should You Drink?
Drink at least one quart of water per day. Some experts recommend 2 quarts.
As mentioned above, pure water is crucial to your good health. You won’t be detoxing and healing if you’re drinking toxic water.
Breaking your Fast
Introduce foods slowly. Care must be taken so that you do not overburden your “clean system.” Your body has undergone extensive physiological changes and eating rich or processed foods can be quite irritating to your digestive system. Avoid coffee and spicy foods and take care not to over eat. Your system needs time to readjust. The readjustment period necessary is dependent upon the length of your fast.
Foods for breaking your fast can include:
*Raw fruit and vegetable juices
Yogurt (not sweetened or pasteurized)
Cooked vegetables and vegetable soups
*Begin with raw fruit and vegetable broth. They are the easiest for your body to digest. Pay close attention to your body as you reintroduce foods back into your diet. Digestive upset of any kind may signal a food sensitivity or allergy. Be mindful of your stomach’s fullness. Training yourself to be mindful as you eat will help you know when your body is fully nourished.
Health Benefits of Water Fasting
Conditions Improved or Eliminated by Fasting:
Diabetes Type 2
High Blood Pressure
Mental Clarity & Enhanced Creativity
Promote Spiritual Awareness
Real Food Tastes Better
We have found that many people who fast tend to choose healthier foods after they’ve experienced prolonged fasting. Junk foods do not taste as good and lose their appeal. Eating healthy is key to maintaining normal weight, excellent health and quality life to your years!
Intermittent fasting (IF) has become quite popular these days. And for good reason. It’s easy and it works. Choosing to skip a few meals may seem difficult at first, but once you experience the health benefits (and weight loss) you’ll be hooked.
Intermittent fasting is simply alternating between periods of eating normally and periods of fasting.
There are various schedules and types of Intermittent Fasting.
These suggestions are based on the 24-hour rhythm:
Nightly Fasting/One Meal Per Day – Most everyone I know who IF follows this rule, my husband and I included. You decide if you’re a breakfast person and need to eat your meal early in the day or prefer to eat in the evening. Most people do better with an evening meal as digestion can often curb energy.
The sooner we stop eating in the evening, the longer the fast. Therefore, the body has a greater opportunity to cleanse and heal bodily tissues.
“Unto the 9th Hour” fasting – Said to be an old form of fasting. If your day were to start at 6 a.m., 3 p.m. would be the ninth hour and time to break your fast.
Upgrade Your Food Choices
Eat as many whole foods as possible. Real foods, preferably organic, found in nature. Avoid processed junk foods and microwaved foods.
You can not expect to achieve optimum health if your body is not getting the nourishment it needs. Need a healthy cookbook? We’ve found some of the best for you.
Whether you practice intermittent fasting daily or water fasting (on occasion) your body will benefit from skipping meals. Finding balance is key to a happy and healthy body, mind and soul.
Resources for Water Fasting
True North Health Center has assisted over 10,000 people heal from obesity, drug addiction, autoimmune disorders, exhaustion and more, with the support of water fasting, nutritional therapy and education.
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The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of a holistic healthcare provider who may be familiar with your individual health-related issues.