Health Is Wealth

Benefits Of Fasting For Improved Health – HealTHY Self

What is Fasting?

*Disclaimer: If you suffer from a serious illness, please consult with your medical provider before attempting a fast.

Fasting is the process of abstaining from certain foods and/or drinks for a designated period of time in order to promote self-healing and improve your overall health. There’s no right or wrong way to fast, but the type of fast you choose will determine your results. From experience, I’ve learned that the more difficult the fast, the better the results! Anything that you abstain from could be considered a fast, but we’re only going to focus on fasts that pertain to dieting.

Benefits Of Fasting For Improved Health

  • Toxin Removal
  • Helps Prevent Dis(eases)
  • Clearer Skin
  • Improved Mental Clarity
  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Immune System
  • Longevity
  • Pain Relief
  • More Energy

There are several benefits to fasting, but the ones listed above are benefits that I can personally attest to. If you’ve read my “About Me” page, then you know that I had my own list of health concerns. After getting nowhere with various medical providers, I was introduced to fasting from a friend and decided to give it a try. I didn’t have anything else to lose at that point so why not right?

Before I jump into how I believe fasting saved my life, I want to list a few important types of fasts that I’ve been doing interchangeably for the past few years and touch on why everyone should be fasting.

  • Intermittent Fast – No food for a specified time frame each day. You can set whatever you want this time frame to be. The longer the time frame, the better! My time frame is from the time I wake up until noon. There are no food restrictions to this fast.
  • Fruit Only Fast – You can do this intermittently or as an all day fast. The only foods you’re allowed to eat are fruits.
  • Smoothie/Juice Only Fast – You can do this intermittently or as an all day fast. Liquids only, no solid foods.
  • Water Only Fast( Preferably Alkaline Water– No solids foods, fruits, or juices. This fast consists of water only! You can do this all day or intermittently. This is the hardest and most effective of them all when done for multiple days in a row. If you want the best results, try this one.

Why Everyone Should Be Fasting

Fasting for the body is similar to what meditation is for the mind. Fasting gives your body the break it needs in order to heal and repair itself by getting rid of toxins, inflammation, excess fat and harmful chemicals. When we constantly eat during the day, our organs work extremely hard trying to break down unnatural foods and rarely gets an adequate break. Even when we aren’t eating, our internal organs are still at work processing those unnatural foods that we’ve previously eaten.

The same way we have to get maintenance done on our cars is the same way we should be getting maintenance done on our bodies. We live in a world where we’re constantly being exposed to environmental toxins and pollutants that we ingest which can cause harm long term. Not only that, but the junk food that we eat also contains harmful toxins as well. When you hold these toxins in your body long term, they begin to develop into dis-eases. Imagine the damage you would cause to your vehicle if you drive it continuously without ever getting an oil change. Is it time for your body to get an oil change?(fast)

Break-Fast Anyone?

We constantly hear that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I’m using breakfast as an example here because it’s the meal that’s tied closest to your fast. Did you know that when you’re asleep at night, you are literally fasting? That’s when the body has the most time to break down the foods you eat, distribute nutrients, attend to growth and repair, cellular reproduction, and waste production. This is why sleep is extremely important for good health. Without adequate sleep, the body doesn’t get the opportunity to do what it needs to do. Have you ever wondered why the mouth has a foul smell in the morning? That’s from toxins being expelled through the mouth. All from work that the body has done while you were sleeping.

Let’s dive a little deeper. The word breakfast consists of 2 words; break & fast. When you put the 2 words together, it sounds more like “Brekfest” than “BrakeFast” which is how it should really sound based on the two original words. Now that you’ve learned some of the benefits of fasting, saying “break-fast” (breaking your fast) is the most important meal of the day doesn’t sound so convincing anymore does it?

A Breakfast for Champions?

The American breakfast typically consists of some combination of eggs, bacon, grits, toast, pancakes, sausage, orange juice or coffee, and sometimes fruit. This is the meal that suppose to provide us with the energy needed to jump start our day, yet these foods make us feel sluggish and slow afterwards. What’s the benefit of eating any of these foods first thing in the morning as “break-fast?” How do you feel in the morning after you’ve eaten them?

These foods re-add toxins right back into your system immediately after your body spent time working on getting rid of some of them while you were asleep. If you’re going to break your fast first thing in the morning, at least eat foods that truly have nutritional value and gives the body the fuel it needs. Think about this for a second, if the foods we eat are suppose to give us fuel and energy, then why do we seem to get tired after eating them(itis)?

This is why intermittent fasting is so important. It extends your fast by giving the body additional time to expel toxins which result in weight loss and improves health. Fasting intermittently is a great way to reduce your overall daily calorie intake so that you are more likely to shed those extra pounds. Not only that, but it also gives your internal organs time to rest. Think of fasting as a way to show gratitude to your internal organs for all that they do for you!

Disease Prevention

Fasting is one of the best practices to incorporate into your health regimen for disease prevention. When there is an overload of toxins and inflammation in a specific area of the body, it usually develops into a major disease. By fasting periodically, you prevent these toxins from building up, resulting in a more balanced mind & body. If you suffer from a major disease, fasting should help you see an improvement!

 

In a previous post, I mentioned how it’s said that the body has intelligence of its own. Just as this intelligence is able to heal the body when you get a cut or a
broken bone, this same intelligence can also heal the body from dis-eases as well. In order for healing to take place though, we must take action on our parts to aid the body in the process. That action is FASTING!

When you fast, the body isn’t occupied processing the foods you eat and actually gets a chance to work on eliminating foreign objects that may be harmful to the body. When animals get sick, one of the first signs is that they stop eating. Animals understand the power of fasting and does this naturally.

When they feel better, they begin to eat again. Depending on what type of illness we get when we’re sick, they’re often associated with loss of appetite. You lose your appetite because the body knows it needs that extra time to work on eliminating whatever bacteria caused you to get sick. A decrease in toxins and inflammation allows the body to begin to function normally again!

Fasting For Weight Loss

If you have a clean bill of health and simply want to shed some extra pounds, fasting can help with that as well. During your fast, the body literally feeds on the excess adipose tissue and toxins which results in weight loss. The downside to this though, is that you will lose both fat and muscle. So if you have a certain area of your body that you like just the way it is, chances are that it won’t look the same afterwards depending on the length of your fast.

A water only fast is the fast that will result in the most weight loss and the fastest because you aren’t taking in any calories what so ever. Your body is literally burning calories all day! The water helps you cope with the hunger pains for about the first 2 days. The 3rd day is when you wake more energetic with little to no hunger pains. This is a result of the different organ systems beginning to function normally again due to there being fewer toxins within the body.

While on this water only fast, you will notice that your mouth will smell foul and you may cough up small chunks of toxins. You may also notice that your skin gets clearer, you are more energetic, your joint pain may be gone, your hair may grow back, and you may feel and think much better. If you do a water only fast, and after a few days in feel like you have to “pass gas” DO NOT DO IT! Go to the bathroom immediately and sit on the toilet!!

Because you haven’t had any solid foods for a few days, your waste becomes all liquid. When you release waste from your bowels, it will look and feel as though you have diarrhea! This is toxin being expelled from the intestines. So if you try to pass gas when you get the urge, you will surely make a mess in your pants!

Will I Die From Fasting?

The body can go more than 3 weeks without food so a few days without it won’t cause you any harm unless you suffer from a disease that hinders you from fasting(see disclaimer above). The best advice I can give you is to start slow and work your way into it if you’re afraid. First try an intermittent fast and then the fruit only fast, until you work your way up to a water only fast. Once you get to the water only fast, remember that it starts off hard and then eventually gets easier over time!

When I first started fasting, I jumped straight into the water fast because I wanted to see improvement immediately. I was tired of suffering from pains and ailments that resulted in me becoming very depressed. The pain in my back was so bad that I woke up every morning feeling like my spine was broken and I was afraid that I’d somehow become paralyzed overnight. I never had a fear of fasting because at that point I was all out of options!

How Fasting Saved My Life

Fasting helped reduce my back, knee, and foot pain tremendously. It helped me get out of my state of depression by eliminating some of my health issues while reducing others. My heart palpations aren’t as frequent and violent as they once were. The severity of my acid reflux has decreased. I also suffer from dermatitis on my face which fasting also helped. I can now go much longer periods of time without any outbreaks.

Having all of these health issues at one time is scary. Especially when there doesn’t seem to be any medication that helps. If you suffer from any issues, I hope that fasting helps you the same way that it helped me!

Live Life In The “FAST” Lane

The goal of this post is to inform the reader of the importance of fasting and let them know that the body needs maintenance! Most of us suffer from health issues because we’ve gone years without getting that tune up or oil change that the body needs. The body needs a break so that it can spend time cleansing and healing itself. The word healthy literally says “Heal-Thy” so by fasting, you’re able to heal-thy self!

It would be great to give up the foods that causes the body to store these excess toxins. But if you can’t, at least give the body a break a few times a year for cleansing. There are 365 days a year. You have more than enough days to spare a few to give back to your organs that constantly fight to keep you free from diseases. Those few days of discomfort are well worth what you get in return.

Please share your thoughts, opinions & personal experiences with fasting below.

Peace & Blessings!

 

 

 

 

19 Comments

  • Jeff

    Would you consider fasting drinking only water every day until evening and eating one meal per day, I have been doing this routine for years and I am wondering is this healthy for me?

    Jeff

    • Sergio A.

      Good day Jeff, Yes that’s definitely considered a form of Fasting because you incorporate a specific timeframe into your health regimen where you only consume water. That gives the body ample time to cleanse and heals itself so that it can operate much better long term. That water also helps flush out toxins from your system.

      If you dont have any health concerns as a result of what you’re diet then Id say stick to it. More and more people (myself included) are beginning to eat less meals per day because were beginning to see a correlation between eating less and improved health.

      Best wishes to you Jeff!!

  • Leslie

    I have done intermittent fasting (16/8) for some time now but the weight loss was very minimal. When I looked into what I eat when I break my fast, I realized that I overcompensate calorie-wise. When I incorporated a low-carb diet with my fast, I lost 10 lbs in one month. I just need more discipline to stick to this plan. Thank you for enumerating the benefits of fasting. I will go back to this lifestyle after the holidays.

    • Sergio A.

      Unfortunately we do have a tendency to overcompensate after our fast which will ultimately undo all of the progress that was previously made. A low card diet is great for weight loss because carbs (especially bad ones) are high in calories. The goal for weight loss is more calories out than calories in.

      Eating low carb, low calories foods along with a workout regimen will be extremely helpful! Best wishes Leslie!

  • Martine Brooks

    A couple of years ago I was pretty much blending (making a distinction here between juicing and blending). It wasn’t a fast per se but I also basically ate raw foods and eliminated all dairy and meat (this wasn’t particularly difficult for me as I’m not a huge meat eater). But, I have to say, I felt the best I probably ever had. I felt mentally better and had much more energy. When I reintroduced junk (yes, unfortunately), all I could taste was either sugar, salt or fat. It was amazing how I could detect this after eating cleanly for a few months. Your point about breakfast is good. Yes, we tend to eat those heavier foods that do make us feel sluggish when what we should or need to be feeling is bright and energetic having just woken from sleep. You’ve made me think I need to start again and be a little more diligent about it. Funnily enough, I have to say, I started to blend again yesterday – it’s a great way for me to get my veg and fruit. Though I never overload it which is what people can do when they blend. I basically think, if I was eating this solid how much could I actually eat? (I wouldn’t be eating a banana, plus 6 strawberries, half an orange, a cup of spinach, half an avocado, a handful of nuts, a stick of celery and a carrot all in one sitting – so don’t blend all of that and drink the whole thing at once). What I find is that when you start to eat more cleanly, you actually start to crave those good foods and are repelled by the junk foods. I got a little off track, but having said that, your post inspired me to comment so that’s a good think. Thanks very much for the reminder. I’m going to go and blend now 🙂

    • Sergio A.

      Youre correct! Anytime that we decide to eat clean and then go back to junk, it doent taste the same. Its not really about the taste that were after, but more so the dopamine that the brain gets from the chemicals ( usually sugar). Its no different from a drug addict.

      Im glad you noticed a different in your energy levels when you were doing more blending that eating solids foods. Its a great habit to have! I hope that youre able to pick it back up so that you can see improvement again! Best wishes to you!!!

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Nathalie

    Excellent article! I really enjoyed reading it. I’ve been debating fasting for some time now, it’s probably the only health thing I’ve never tried. I’ve hesitated because I train regularly and feel like my body needs the nutrients, but after reading your article, maybe I will finally give it a shot! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    • Sergio A.

      You should definitely go for it! Fasting while training regularly training should cause any adverse reactions unless there’s some underlining illness that you are unaware of. I’d start off slow and increase the intensity if you feel up to it. I continued my workout regimen just fine during my fast

  • Shirley

    I enjoyed reading your article about fasting and its benefits. I totally agree with you. I’ve tried intermittent fasting before with some great success for my diabetes. Unfortunately I quit and returned to my previous way of eating. after two months of successful IF, I was off all my insulins and my blood glucose levels were great. Now, I’m back to the way I was before. I need to return to my IF way of life and regain those benefits before my body is hurt more by the consequences of diabetes. Thanks for the article, it has given me a good push to return to my fasting.

  • Randy

    Fascinating read, Sergio. I suffer from a number of things you did plus you now need to lose weight. Skipping meals will be the ugh but I’m willing to try. How do you recommend I do it and then how long to you recommend I stay on alkaline water only when I can build up to that?

    • Sergio A.

      Personally I recommend you start with intermittent fasting first, then work your way up to an all day water only fast. The length of the water only fast will be differs for each person and the type of health issue they have. FOr me, I usually do a 3 to 5 day water only fast once every 3 to 4 months. I fast intermittently a few days per week. Sometimes I do it 5 days a week

  • Chris

    A good article and easy to read. I’ve tried fasting for 24 hrs on only water. Now, like you, I fast from when I wake up until midday. I’ve tried Keto and low-carb and lost a mere 10 lbs. However, I travel a lot and keeping to a Keto, Paleo and low carb diet is almost impossible, especially when visiting friends. But… if there’s a will there’s a way.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers

    Chris

  • Jukka

    Great information about the benefits of fasting! I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for years. I simply skip breakfast and try to eat my last meal relatively early in the night. I typically get a 12 to 16 hour fasting period but I’m not too strict about the window. During the week I eat lunch at the same time as other but in the weekends I often drag it out a bit later.

    I’ve been actually thinking about trying a longer fast but I simply haven’t build up the courage. I must admit I’m a bit of a hedonist and I do a lot of strength training, so the thought about being without food for more than 24 hours seems very hard. It would also require me to take time for the fast and I’m very busy these days so I can’t seem to fit it in. I hope the intermittent fasting gives me most of the benefits though.

    One other thing I’ve been thinking about is something called a liver flush. I’ve found a lot of contradicting information on it. Do you happen to have experience with it? It involves drinking apple juice for a week, fasting for a day, empyting your bowls and then drinking a tall glass mixture of oil and lemon juice before bed. The idea is that the huge amount of oil will force your gallbladder to expell a ton of bile and possible gallstones with it. I’m thinking about trying this because I have bile issues.

  • Amy

    This was a great article – since it’s the new year I’ve been thinking about adding fasting to my wellness approach. I didn’t realize we can exist on no food for 3 weeks (and just water!!). That’s wild – of course I know that’s something to consider against my medical history. Still really amazing the body can do that!

  • Ashley

    What a great testimony and I am so glad to see what improvements you have made with your health with fasting. Have you ever tried any of the other fasting types you mention such as the smoothie or fruit only fast? I am curious how that would compare to that of the only water fast. How long do you think the water-only fast is safe for, assuming that you have good health?

    I am also curious about what alterations in exercise you should consider during fasting. I would only imagine that you may experience a lot of weakness and decreased endurance while you are fasting.

  • Kay

    I have been hearing SO many things about intermittent fasting recently it really becoming the next new “diet trend”. However, the difference here is that nobody is trying to sell anyone some crazy diet pill or meal plan to be successful and see health benefits. I personally feel great after a fast and over time it has definitely shrunk my stomach size tremendously and allows me to feel fuller quicker.

    Thanks for sharing, love this post!

  • Claude Sikubwabo

    This is interesting. Interesting why? Because I had no idea of what to expect when I started reading. However, It looks like I am already habitually fasting. I our culture, there is not eating all the time. I mean like we eat actually lunch and dinner only. No junk food. So, from morning to lunch, we are fasting. sometimes a little juice or water. It’s not like we are tracking anything. No, this is how our household go by. We are ok having to wait until when we are really really hungry and eat something. There are no sodas or chips in our house to snack on. Right now, as I was reading this, I haven’t eaten anything from yersterday. My wife was here in my office to find out if i am going to go in grocery store. She also looked at the screen and asked about what I was attending to. I told her though that I am not going to the grocery store because I am hungry. It’s 11:59 am now, and I haven’t eaten anything. So, great, I am fasting 🙂

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