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Best Way to Fast

Updated on January 1, 2012

Fasting is voluntary act of abstaining from eating or drinking, or even both in certain extreme case either due to health reasons or religious reasons for a period of time. Fasting is often practiced for religious reasons such as lent, but due to several health benefits, many people also practice fasting for its health benefits. These consist of getting rid of toxin build up in our bodies and also allowing our digestive systems a short rest. 

Starting to Fast

Apart from the most extreme fasters, drinking liquids is acceptable. Therefore, there are two main liquid fasts today: the juice fast and the water fast. Juice fasting is more promoted due to several downfalls of water fasting as described later.

Juice alone provides most of the minerals and vitamins our bodies need over the 2 or 3 days of fasting. It contains enough nutrients and calories for the basic functions our organs operate upon and building new cells. Fruit juices will always be raw and this will ensure we consume vital enzymes which is essential for good health.

To begin fasting, it is safer and encouraged to start off slow. Start by fasting a meal, and then a few meals to a whole day. After your body becomes used to this break you can consider fasting for 2 or 3 days at a time.

During the Fast

There a several steps that can ease the fasting period. These include meditating, yoga or massages to calm your mind and body.  

While fasting, your digestives systems are given a break from all that hard work it previously has to put up with on a daily basis, and it requires a lot of energy. Because you are not consuming any solid foods for the while being, this excess energy is released via other channels and that is why initially you may in fact feel more energetic. All that energy used to chew and digest can be now channeled to concentrating on reproducing cells and clearing the body of toxins.

How to end the fast

Similar to exercising or doing anything drastic, at the end of it you must gradually slow down to a stop such as a warm down. This principle is also essential to the stopping of a fast. Make sure you slowly begin to introduce solid foods into your diet and not suddenly jump into a 3 course meal. This transition may be spread over the period of a few meals to even days to ensure you will not experience any side effects or sickness. Make sure you don't eat too much and try to keep it simple for the first days after the end of your fast. Let your body gradually adjust to food and begin with soft foods such as soups or broth. 

Why Not Water Fasting?

Although we are letting our digestive systems rest for a few days, our body still requires the basic nutrients and minerals such as vitamins to function healthily. Water may contain certain minerals but will lack on others. This is why fruit juice fasting is much more recommended to ensure your body receives that vital nutrition so it won't begin to "self destruct" that is to say breaking down you own muscles just to get some protein.

Fasting has great health benefits and is also widely practiced for religious purposes such as lent. However, if done incorrectly, fasting may pose certain health risks and therefore gradually beginning and ending your fast while drinking the right liquids is the best way to fast.

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    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 

      7 years ago from Philadelphia

      Very informative.

    • M.s Fowler profile image

      M.s Fowler 

      8 years ago from United states

      Thank you I have been trying to do this for the longest I just didn't know how to go about it!

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