By Matthew Sun
As mentioned in the ‘How to Fast‘ article, only people who have already performed adequate colon cleansing, switched to a vegan diet, and also juice fasted, should try water fasting. The reason for this recommendation is that the previous mentioned methods allow a person to restore the digestive system before water fasting. Restoring the digestive system eliminates the bulk of the toxins in a persons body and if the vegan diet is followed, then detoxification can continue even when the person is not cleansing.
Water fasting is completely different to all other cleansing methods and allows the body to cleanse and heal itself at a deep cellular level. But as previously mentioned it should be the last step in the process of healing oneself. Making it the first step may be quite difficult and many cleansing reactions and fatigue may result.
A long fast significantly lowers the metabolism. It can take 4 to 6 weeks to regain a normal metabolism. So it is important to avoid over eating during the period after a fast to avoid weight gain. It is easy to regain all the weight you lost plus more if you over eat.
A long fast (2 weeks), once every five years provides deep healing and detoxification. It takes a while to regain full strength after a longer fast. Long fasts however are far more effective than short ones at cleansing the body.
During fasting a persons blood pressure drops a lot. The biggest problem to a person fasting is orthostatic hypertension, or feeling faint and falling over. So a person who is fasting should always get up slowly and lie down right away if feeling lightheaded.
An In depth Look Into The Process
Water fasting is completely different to juice fasting as it shifts the body into a completely new mode of operation. While juice fasting, the body continues to get it’s carbohydrates from the sugar in the juice, whereas when water fasting the energy comes from stored fat and protein.
The full metabolism shift takes about 3 days.
When not fasting, the liver stores unused sugar as glycogen that it can use between meals. This is enough energy for 8-12 hours and it is used up within the first 24 hours of fasting. (Once the body moves over to ketosis (or fat) as fuel, the ketosis is used to replenish glycogen reserves.)
When the liver’s supply of glycogen is used, the body begins to shift over to ketosis (fat as a fuel) or ketone production instead of glucose. This shift usually begins on the second day of fasting and is completed on the third. During this in-between period there is no glucose from food available and energy from fat conversion is not enough. So the body uses glucose from 2 sources. It converts glycerol in the body’s fat stores to glucose, but this is still not enough. So it makes the remainder by breaking down amino acids in muscle tissue and using them in the liver for making glucose. Around 60 to 84 grams of protein are used on the second day. By the 3rd day ketone production (or fat burning) is enough to supply nearly all the energy the body needs and the body’s protein begins to be strongly conserved. The body still needs a little extra glucose for some functions, so a tiny amount of protein (18-24 grams/day) is still catabolized.
During a 30 day water fast a person usually loses a maximum of 0.5-1 kg of muscle mass. The conservation of the body’s protein is an evolutionary process that exists to protect muscle tissue and necessary organs from damage during periods where food is scarce.
From the 3rd day onwards the amount of fat being broken down each day increases until the 10th day. This seven day period, after the body has shifted completely over to ketosis (fat burning), is where the maximum breakdown of fat occurs. To conserve protein the body begins seeking out all non-body-protein sources of energy: nonessential cells such as degenerative tissues and fibroid tumors, viruses, bacteria, or any other cells that can be used for fuel. This is one of the reasons that water fasting can be such a good way to heal the body, it’s almost like a refining process. During the period where the body is performing ketosis it is a similar state as the one that occurs during sleep, a rest and detoxification cycle. The body focuses on the removal of toxins and the healing and regeneration of damaged organs and tissues.
How to Start
As mentioned previously we recommend colon cleansing and the vegan of vegetarian diet first, then a juice fast. After these have been performed, then a water fast may follow.
To start the fast you should slowly reduce you food intake for several days prior to the cessation of food, lightening up the diet each time. Progressing from cooked food, to steamed vegetables, to salads, fruit, then juices or smoothies is ideal. One step per day or 2 days should suffice.
Some people like to perform an enema or 2 during the initial stages of the fast, which can be helpful, but if the diet is reduced as explained above, this may not be necessary.
During The Fast
The first 3 days will be a transition for the body, but generally after the first 2 days hunger ceases. During the fast it is recommended to conserve energy so as not to lose too much muscle mass and weight.
That is of course unless you are Jericho Sunfire who is a personal fitness trainer and a breatharian who hasn’t eaten in a year, but for the purpose of this website and from a nutritional perspective we wont go into that topic too deeply.
Psychological and Physical Reactions
Most people enjoy food, and many use it as a tool for emotional comfort. While fasting, emotional problems can often come to the surface as the distraction of food is removed. It is recommended to practice some form of meditation to help overcome these often difficult times. Music can also help, but nothing that is too fast, as energy consumption is important.
Physical ailments can also surface, people who used to smoke may start coughing up a lot of mucous, if you chewed tobacco your lips may get swollen, operations in the past may flair, but this is all a natural process as the toxins from those areas are released.
Many people report feelings of increased happiness, enlightened senses, bliss, increased mental capacity and more.
How to Finish
Day 1: eat a small piece of fruit (1/2 orange) every 2 hours.
Day 2: Eat a larger piece of fruit (1 orange) every 3 hours.
Day 3: Eat 4 meals of fruit with some lettuce.
Day 4: Eat 3 regular (but small) meals of raw fruits and salad. No spicy or hard to digest foods as the body is very sensitive.
People Who Should Not Water Fast
Most people can fast safely, but below is a list of people who should refrain:
- People who are in a state of starvation
- Anorexic or bulimic
- Women who are both pregnant and diabetic
- Nursing mothers
- People with severe anemia
- People with an extreme fear of fasting
- People with porphyria.
- People with a rare, genetic, fatty acid deficiency which prevents the initiation of ketosis. This is a deficiency involving the enzyme acetyl-CoA, a mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation enzyme, that is essential to ketosis. People with this deficiency who do fast can experience severe side effects, including hepatic steatosis, myocardial lipid accumulation, and severe hypoglycemia.
People Who Should Water Fast Under Health Care Supervision
Most people can fast safely, but below is a list of people who should do so under the supervision of a health professional experienced in fasting for healing:
- People with serious disease conditions
- Type I diabetics
- Pregnant women (fasts for non diabetic pregnant women should be no longer than 2-3 weeks duration)
- People with insufficient kidney function
- People who are extremely afraid of fasting yet wish to do so anyway
- Infants and young children
- People with a high level of DDT in their bodies.
Health Benefits and Studies into Water Fasting
– Water fasting has been found to cure type II diabetes, often permanently.
– Water fasting is very helpful in chronic cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure, reducing atheromas, triglycerides, cholesterol, and improving HDL levels.
– Water fasting has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for obesity because of the long term effects it has on metabolism, fat stores, leptin, and disease conditions related to obesity,
– During 1988, a trial of 88 people with acute pancreatitis showed that water fasting was better than any other medical intervention. It was better than both nasogastric suction or cimetidine. Symptoms were relieved irrespective of the state of the disease.
– Several studies have shown that water fasting is very helpful in epilepsy by reducing the number, length, and severity of seizures. Water fasting is also very effective for helping alleviate and also cure epilepsy in children.
– Several studies have shown that water fasting is effective for treating osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Water fasting induces large anti inflammatory actions in the body and researchers found decreased ESR, arthralgia, pain, stiffness, and need for medication. This is probably due to the removal of acids from the joints and tissues. (NOTE: We personally know of a man from Queensland, Australia who had such an advanced case of arthritis he couldn’t get out of bed. Then one day he stopped eating and drinking everything except water (he went on a water fast). Within 30 days he could walk again.)
– Autoimmune diseases such as rosacea, lupus, chronic urticaria, and acute glomerulonephritis have all responded well to water fasting.
– Other diseases that have responded to water fasting are: neurogenic bladder, psychosomatic disease, psoriasis, thrombophlebitis, eczema, varicose ulcers, fibromyalgia, neurocirculatory disease, irritable bowel syndrome, bronchial asthma, lumbago, depression, neurosis, schizophrenia, duodenal ulcers, hives, uterine fibroids, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal parasites, gout, allergies, hay fever, multiple sclerosis, and insomnia.
– The claim that water fasting increases life span is starting to get some support in research literature. Regularly repeated 4-day water fasting has been shown to increase the life span of normal and immunocompromised mice.
– People with poor immune function show improvements during water fasting.
– Although controversial, there is finally evidence showing that water fasting can help cure cancer. Intermittent Water fasting (2 days weekly) has shown an inhibitory effect on the development of liver cancer in rats.