The digestive system requires significant energy as we often overload it with more food than necessary, causing it to work tirelessly.
To effectively cleanse the body and rid it of toxins, one can consider incorporating regular fasting, such as skipping a meal each week. However, it’s essential to ensure that you are in good health, performing well, not reliant on medications, and open to the inward experience before attempting longer fasts, like a 24-hour fast, intermittent fasting, or multi-day fast.
A complete fast, where only water is consumed and nothing else, can be too abrupt for an untrained body. However, there are modified fasts, as shown in the video, where a greater variety of liquids can be introduced.
If you are new to fasting and unsure where to begin, take it step by step and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.
1. Start with a simple fast
There are various approaches to fasting, and for someone new to it, a cautious starting point would be fasting with fruit juices or vegetable broth, as it is more manageable.
Once a person gets accustomed to skipping a meal each week, they can progress to fasting solely with infusions or pure water, adjusting the duration according to their individual needs.
A three-day fast is achievable for anyone with sufficient training and can be balanced with work commitments.
For longer fasts, lasting between five days and a week, it’s advisable to have ample free time. This allows for breaks whenever needed, an opportunity to connect with nature, and fully embrace the introspective experience that these extended fasts offer.
Choosing a time to fast when you can rest is beneficial; for instance, skipping dinner one night a week.
The morning after fasting, you may notice a slightly whiter tongue than usual (coated tongue), which is a clear indication that a mild “detoxification” process has initiated.
2. Be well aware of the effects of fasting
Strict fasting for up to a week can be highly effective, but it also demands preparation and practical considerations.
Regarding hunger, it’s essential to acknowledge that on the first day, the feeling of hunger can be intense. However, being patient is crucial, as the body will adapt and begin tapping into its own reserves if we don’t react to the hunger signal. By the second day, the sensation of hunger tends to decrease.
If you experience feeling cold while fasting, you can counter it by using an infusion, a hot water bottle, or indulging in a foot bath.
Sleep patterns may change during fasting, and it’s normal to have difficulty sleeping or to feel more tired. Adequate rest is essential, even if sleep is disrupted.
Emotions may become more heightened around the third or fourth day, with feelings of sadness, aggression, or irritability. Instead of blaming others, it’s crucial to explore the underlying causes of these emotions.
If you decide to continue fasting beyond the fifth day, even when feeling healthy and strong, it’s wise to have an experienced companion with you for support and guidance during the extended fasting period.
3. Observe how your body responds
Contrary to common belief, hunger tends to be more pronounced on the first day of fasting compared to the following days. This is because the body recognizes the lack of available food and initiates essential physiological processes to rely on stored glycogen or fat reserves for sustenance.
Water is crucial during fasting as it facilitates this metabolic process.
During fasting, the body mobilizes its own fat reserves to meet its energy requirements.
In the initial phase, the body utilizes circulating glucose and then taps into glycogen stores in the liver and muscles.
After approximately 24 to 48 hours, the body enters the second phase, where it starts obtaining glucose by burning fat reserves. While some people may experience dizziness and cold sweating, it’s uncommon to see significant weight loss, as 200 grams of fat can provide 1,800 calories. Additionally, appetite diminishes, and individuals often experience a subtle sense of well-being, with little impact on their capacity for action.
Reaching a third phase, which should be avoided, could lead to the consumption of proteins from less vital tissues in the body.
4. Plan how to eat again
Fasting can lead to a profound sense of peace and inner connection, which can be further extended through the process of reintroducing food.
This is an opportunity to regain sensitivity to taste, intuitively recognizing which foods are beneficial and distinguishing between genuine appetite and the kind driven by certain anxieties.
Prudence is vital during the refeeding phase as it allows us to solidify the positive changes and adopt new, healthier eating habits.
Choosing soft and easy-to-digest foods is essential in the initial days after fasting. Natural foods, such as carrot soup, boiled rice, salads, fruits, vegetables, and cereals, should be consumed in small quantities.
Taking the time to chew and savor each mouthful is crucial as the body slowly resumes the production of gastric juices.
Resting after meals is advisable since about one-third of the circulatory system is reactivated for the process of digestion, and it is normal to feel slightly weaker during the first days.
Maintaining adequate hydration is important even after fasting, as it promotes the production of digestive juices, keeps mucous membranes moist, and stabilizes circulation. Drinking plenty of water should continue as a part of a healthy post-fast routine.