Fasting has been an important practice in Christian history and in the Jewish traditions for a long time. In recent years, people are becoming more aware of the benefits of fasting, both physically and spiritually. However, in spite of their willingness to try, many people still experience difficulties in fasting because of various reasons. Having fasted many times myself, I would like to give some practical tips on how the practice of fasting can be developed successfully.
Main Reason for Failure in Fasting
Fasting practice needs to be developed! A lot of people failed because they have started with a Fasting Method which is too difficult for their health conditions.
When a person stops eating, his body will start to release the toxins he has accumulated in his body. Unfortunately, with the amount of “toxic food” we are currently ingesting and the pollution of our environment, our bodies tend to get rid of these toxins too quickly for our systems to handle. Since our major detoxification organs, liver and kidneys are often already overworking, they cannot handle the extra toxins released during fasting. As a result, many people experience symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, etc. which are often symptoms caused by fast detoxification.
Because of this, some people just give up quickly, and even becomes afraid of fasting. It is a pity because fasting is such an effective and much needed practice to improve our health and spiritual well-being! We would therefore like to suggest the following Progressive Fasting Method to prepare your bodies for fasting. I have tried all of them, and should be able to give you some practical tips.
5 Stages of Fasting
1. Fruit Fasting
Most people cannot fast because they cannot stop eating at all! For people who need to munch on something all the time, I would suggest they start with Fruit Fasting. This means you can eat anything, anytime, but you need to restrict yourself to eating only fruits. If you want fast body cleansing, you can eat melons, apples, etc. If you feel hungry, you can eat more filling fruits like bananas and avocados.
Fruits are very cleansing to the body. After a few days, you will probably feel less drawn to your addicted food like coffee, candies, chips, etc. Some people still feel very hungry eating only fruits, so just do it as long as you can. I would however recommend One Day Minimum to achieve any results.
When you can fruit fast for 1-3 days, and feel less addicted to food, you are ready for the next Fast!
2. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting means you only eat during certain hours of the day and refrain from eating during the rest of the hours. Most people suggest 8/16, which means 8 hours of eating, and 16 hours of resting. If you eat lunch at 1200, it means you will need to finish your dinner before 8pm. Not so hard, is it? In addition, you can eat anything you want during your “eating hours”!
Depending on your body conditions, you can also practice 6/18, 4/20, or 1/23. In fact, OMAD (One Meal a Day) is also becoming more popular as more people become experienced in Intermittent Fasting.
I think the only difficult part of this Fast is to actually stop eating. No snacks, no fruits, no energy bars, just stop eating! When you are able to do intermittent fasting for a minimum of 10 days, you are ready to go onto the next Fast.
3. Liquid Fasting
Liquid fasting means you only drink liquids, and take no solid food. In summer, I would use fruit juice or vegetable juice; but in winter, hot soup or hot herbal tea may be more preferable. Practice this for a minimum of 3 days, and most people will release quite a considerable amount of solid waste from their bodies. You can do this once or several times. When you feel your body is considerably clean, you can go on to the next Fast.
4. Water Fasting
Water fasting means you only drink water for a number of days. This is where most fasting goes wrong, because many people jump right into water fasting.
When you drink only water, your body releases toxins so quickly that sometimes your system cannot handle! Also, since there is no food intake at all, your body must have a reasonable reserve of nutrients for your organs to continue functioning properly. Since most people do not have enough reserves, their bodies may manifest strong reactions as a result.
It is therefore recommended that water fasting should be done only when the body is reasonably clean, and that the individual has already been eating a healthy balanced diet for a period of time.
In this case, water fasting can be practiced for prolonged periods, even up to 40 days or more. If you are able to do water fasting for at least 7 days, you should be ready to go on to the final stage of Food Fasting.
5. Dry Fasting
Dry Fasting means no food intake at all. No solid food, no drinks, not even water! Most people with experience in water fasting can do a 3-day dry fast without much difficulties. However, some people can do more days depending on their body conditions.
Even though many people are scared by the idea of not drinking anything at all for a few days, I actually find this fast easier than water fasting. With no intake at all, there is no stimulus from food! You can actually forget about eating altogether, and there is no need to fight food temptations! Of course, there is discomfort like the feeling of dryness, fatigue, etc., but if you have already experienced these symptoms during water fasting, it probably will not bother you too much.
Benefits of dry fasting are many, and results can be achieved quickly. Give it a try if you feel your body is ready!
Now, there are a few precautions no matter which fast you practice.
1. Don't give up too quickly!
Fasting brings discomfort, of course! But if you give up too quickly, you can never achieve the results you want! After all, endurance is what builds up your body strength. So I would recommend you to stick to the plan as long as the discomfort is bearable and not life threatening. Symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, soreness, insomnia, and even a little fever is normal! If you can bear it, don’t give up!
2. Resume eating slooowly!
After any type of fast, resume eating SLOOOWLY! Start with something easy to digest and in small amount, like juice (diluted if necessary) or small pieces of fruits. Don’t start with a beef steak! In fact, most accidents in fasting occur because eating is resumed too quickly.
Are you Ready?
Now, are you ready? I hope the above tips are useful to you! If you are interested in exploring the benefits of fasting, do give it a try! Results of Fasting are amazing, but it can never be achieved by just hearing or talking about it! It can only be experienced by going through it yourself!
Good Luck and All the Best!