Water fasting is one of the best ways to detox the human body, if not the optimal.
Talk to any nutritional or wellness professional and they will reiterate a similar notion. A bit more intense than the well-known juice fasting or master cleanse rituals, water fasting puts the body into a thorough cleansing process in which it unleashes some of the miraculous powers that the human body is capable of.
And in our lives of information overload and clutter, the best part lies in its’ simplicity. Do not consume any food, and drink only water for a few days. It sounds pretty simple, and from first-hand experience I can tell you that it is not as hard as you think. This simplistic nature provides mental clarity during the fast that can be very freeing and refreshing.
The problem with water fasting, aside from the initial shock of not eating for a few days, is that most of us have lives that must carry on no matter what we put into our bodies. And for most hard-working professionals, the concept of waking up, going to a full day of work at your job, running errands, and maybe even working out seem unfathomable without eating even one meal, let alone 9 meals in a row.
I’m here to tell you that you can successfully complete a water fast while carrying on your normal routine. And that your body and mind will respond better on just water than they have on any food. Despite what you think, you will likely not be irrationally hungry and experience horribly intense hunger pangs: the body is built to survive many days without food. By far the hardest problem with water fasting
is .......................................… BOREDOM!
It is a relatable feeling to that of being home for the holidays, and the tendency to snack and overeat excessively because you are spending too much free time at your parents’ house and those chocolate covered almonds can help keep your sanity just long enough. Our mind is a powerful weapon for good or for bad, and this constant snacking provides our dulled brains a dopamine response similar to the incessant checking of our smartphones. Relating to our work lives, our usual escape from our daily routine at work is for the consumption of food – coffee breaks, breakfast, lunch, even a cigarette or vending machine break. Now remove all of these from your day, and water fasting can be compared to a modern-day working torture. Therefore, for a successful working professional water fast, one must refill her/his day with other activities that provide a similar retreat and break from work. This applies additionally to after work, and up until an early bedtime. It helps to introduce a short-term goal during this time to quickly satiate the mind in times of boredom, such as finishing a certain book, writing a few articles, watching some documentaries, or even applying to a few new jobs. Going for walks and enjoying any amount of the natural or human-designed environment around us are always refreshing ways to pass the time as well.
For a quick synopsis on the benefits of fasting, water fasting promotes many healthy responses in the body due to the lack of immediate energy from food. When the body is done processing the last food you have eaten and breaks down the last of that glucose supply, it will turn to burning internal cells for energy. This will release stored toxins in fat cells that have built up over a lifetime, often which contain toxins from previous life experiences including unprocessed food, air pollution, chemicals in foods, etc. The body will also enter an expedited state of autophagy, the natural process for the body to recycle and rid itself of dysfunctional cells and replace them with healthy new cells. There have been numerous animal studies that have showed fasting among animals have extended their lifespans by almost double and have strongly increased their resistance to the onset of many types of disease. Fasting has been used as a natural cure for a range of chronic ailments through natural medicine practitioners for many years, with very positive results for several cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological diseases amongst others. These are just some of the amazing benefits of fasting, all in addition to the weight loss and fat loss one will undergo.
There are a few key items that one should investigate before embarking on a water fast – such as the type of water to drink (mineral, distilled, etc.), the amount of exercise one should be doing (if any at all, for the ambitious type I have completed workouts up to day 4 or 5 before tapering off), the length of the fast (I recommend at least 48-72 hours), and how to break a fast (progressively with fruits, vegetables, broths, etc.) I highly recommend every person who embarks on this journey do their own research, and there is an abundance of it from a quick internet search. Aside from the knowledge, it will empower one to feel confident in their fast and the methods they choose. It is always extremely important to feel comfortable with oneself, and while some hunger or discomfort may be beneficial to push through, listening to the body is very important and may signal to break the fast after an extended period of time.
I have personally had phenomenal experiences with fasting, and I would recommend it to anyone willing to read up on the subject and explore its potentially life changing results - enjoy the benefits to your body and mind to come!