I like to do a water-only fast for about ten days a couple times a year to clean out the cancerous and other useless matter that accumulates in the body. I may also drink weak herb tea, no additives, for something hot. There are many benefits from fasting, such as it gives the digestive system a well-deserved rest as would have happened often for our prehistoric ancestors.
BTW: Juice drinking is not true fasting, though it may provide similar benefits if the juices are from low-sugar green vegetable sources. Otherwise the benefits are much less since juice is still feeding the body, and just making digestion faster.
Our bodies are beautifully adapted to store extra food as fat to be used in times of scarcity and famine. Since few of us in the western world have times of famine, I believe it does the body a good deed to give it an approximation of what nature evolved it to do. Now we mostly store, and few really use up the stored excess. Fasting was commonly used in pre-modern times for all sorts of ills, and in the east is still used. Also, left to their own devices, animals who are ill or injured will not eat. We had an elderly cat savaged by a dog who lay down in a corner for four days, didn’t eat and rarely drank, then got up and went his way for several more years.
Most people are fearful, and those fears rise to the surface quickly around fasting, despite the fact that virtually everyone can fast 30-40 days (shipwreck victims a case in point), as long as the water our bodies require is consumed.
I have fasted 30 days and never felt better after the first 2-3 days while the body shifts from normal food burning to fat burning.
The first couple of days I tend to feel pretty good, though foggy while my body makes the shift to ketosis. Throughout a fast it is important to drink lots of water, a couple quarts is ideal; I prefer mineral water, and add a light dash of salt once or twice a day to help ward off headaches or light-headedness. I also work, walk for exercise, and keep to a fairly normal schedule. I do like a day in bed for the first day only because I love a day in bed, and it keeps me away from the kitchen.
If a person takes medicines or has health problems then it is good to ask a doctor to supervise the fast, which I did for my long fast, which most will do especially if you tell them it is a spiritual discipline as many religions incorporate fasting in this way. I just want the regular clean-out, and appreciate the sharpening of my senses.
I find my mind especially alert as did the famous writer Upton Sinclair at the beginning of the 20th Century. Since I have a lot of writing to get done just now I look forward to the help that fasting provides.
Fasting is easier if you don’t have to cook for others, but I have done fasts while providing for others, so going into a fast with a good mindset around what your goals are helps.
I will update daily for this fast to show my progress.
Yours in health,
Nan aka Sugarbaby
Note: I’m not a medical doctor and to cover my backside I must remind any reader that you should not undertake a fast if you have any physical concerns like pregnancy, weight-loss disorder, or are in a doctor’s care, are not an adult, –or suffer from plain stupidity.