Some people fast for religious reasons, cultural reasons or health-related reasons. Regardless, I believe that a fast, when done correctly , under professional guidance and under the right mindset, can do one a lot of good. It can rid the body of toxins. I think that fasting is bad and extremely harmful if one just wants to lose weight fast, starve oneself or control one’s weight/life through starvation. The mind must be sound before the body can be.
Some people scorn at even the idea of a fast, calling it unhealthy and claiming that it will shut down your metabolism and burn off your muscles. While there is some truth to those claims, not all fasts are created equal and not everyone fasting will be affected the same way. There are many books that write of the benefit of a fast. Some doctors recommend complete water fasts for morbidly obese people or people with digestive and colon issues.
This is not a post about whether fasting is good or bad in general. That part is up to your doctor to help you decide. I personally believe that a fast every few months or once/twice a year is beneficial for me. It clears my body of toxins and gives me a clearer mind, evident in my yoga practice and meditation. This post is only to share my fasting experience with my readers. Perhaps it could be useful to someone fasting or thinking of starting a fast. As this is not my first time doing a fast, I’ve had good trial and error and have reaped the benefit before.
Day 1 Fast. I drank 3 liters of water and did 20 minute of light cardio. I had a fairly normal day with several slight pangs of hunger that lasted only minutes at a time. Water suppressed the hunger completely. I slept normally at night.
Day 2 Fast. I drank 2.5 liters of water, did 1 hour of yoga and 20 minute of light cardio. I felt a little lightheaded a few minutes into yoga, but drank some more water and returned to it without a problem. I had about four hours of sleep. I never fell into deep sleep or got that groggy feeling in the morning. My mind felt clear. As soon as I knew it was time to wake up, my eyes opened and it was like I had been awake all along. I felt energetic.
Day 3 Fast. I drank 2 liters of water and did 30 minutes of mediation. I began to get hungry and my willpower faded (probably because I knew my fast was coming to an end). I began to entertain the thought of yummy food and went to bed hungry. Sleep was normal for the most part. There was no lack of energy, but I was not particularly energetic either.
I weened myself into and out of my fast with yogurt and easily digestible food. That’s always recommended. Never stuff your face after a fast or you will gain weight and disrupt your digestion.
Overall, I feel that my fast was quite successful. I probably will not attempt another one any time soon. My digestion and bowel movement have really improved. I appreciate the taste of food more. My meditation and yoga practices the days following the fast have been better than usual. My one concern is my control. I would say that hunger is definitely not a problem if the mind were sound, but I’m weak when it comes to that kind of thing.
Please know that I would never recommend anyone go on a fast or any extreme diet without at least consulting a physician and nutritionist first. Regardless of your take on fasting (whether it is good or bad), no two bodies are alike. The rule of thumb is that people with very low body fat, diabetes, pregnancy, etc. should never fast. You can never be sure your body can handle an extreme change unless you’ve at least spoken to a doctor.