How many perfectly good fasts have died a premature death because an unanswered question had been allowed to fester into suspicion? No doubt there has been many. When in the throes of detoxification who are you going to turn to for answers and support when the fast has emptied of meaning and all there is left is confusion? Family will more likely add a greater weight of question and concern. So you put on a brave face and lay alone in bed with little energy while years of a toxic diet run through your veins, chimes of family-supper filter through a closed bedroom door. It can be a lonely, dreary experience.
It amazes me the diversity of questions Freedomyou receives daily from people fasting for the first time.
I have developed a big pimple on my forehead, is that normal?
Will nails stop growing while fasting? Is blending bananas in my juice going to end my fast?
Can I drink Coke with my vitamins?
Why am I having a hard time sleeping at night?
Must I abstain from sex?
We know answering even the smallest questions can make all the difference in the world to someone feeling isolated and alone.
Will I gain all my weight back after the fast?
I start with this question because spiritual focus or not, most people are delighted by the weight they lose during a fast, and would be quite happy never to see the lost pounds come home again. The answer to this question is simple. It’s up to you. If you reintroduce a clean, lean, youthful body back to the lazy, junk-food lifestyle you once lived, then yes, the weight will happily come home. Good news is you have lost more than just inches of fat. Fasting changes things on the inside where real change must begin. You have exercised authority over food, regained self-confidence and accomplished something never thought possible. Here you are, standing before the mirror feeling good about yourself for the first time in years. Its potent stuff, just the boost necessary to start afresh, energized with new determination. Fasting is about beginnings not a quick-fix interruption.
Will fasting or living on a fruit diet slow my metabolism?
Initially, any calorie reduction will cause a lowering in the base metabolic rate. The cleansing during a fast will bring health, increasing metabolic efficiency. In other words, you will need less food and feel more energetic. Another contribution to efficiency is digestion will improve due to a cleaner colon. The colon walls have been cleansed of impacted feces, allowing enhanced absorption of nutrients. Something few people know is a more efficient metabolism slows the aging process. Overeating, especially a diet high in protein stimulates cell regrowth. Sounds good but not really. Every time a cell dies its replacement is slightly inferior, hence, aging. A recent study revealed rats that lived on a restricted diet lived longer than rats given as much food as they could eat. Now this will be a problem for those who, after a fast, return to an idle, calorie-rich diet. Simple math. Increased calories eaten then burned will be stored as fat.
The greatest impact you can have on increasing resting metabolism is exercise. Within days of fasting, start an aerobic program, like running, biking, anything that will increase heart rate about 140 beats a minute for at least 20 minutes. Start slow, working your way into it. What’s really exciting is after a 20-minute workout, you can sit on the couch and read, burning twice the calories you normally would as muscles grab glucose from the blood to replace glycogen supplies. The key to weight loss is fewer calories and more exercise. A diet high in raw food provides fewer calories and higher fiber.
Can I exercise while fasting?
During water fasting, weakness is the normal state and as much rest as possible is advised. If you feel a rush of energy save it for a time it’s really needed. Some experience an abundance of energy making exercise easy and fun. Exercise oxygenates the blood. The pumping action of the muscles flushes the lymph and cells of metabolic waste. If you experience energy loss, limit yourself to stretching exercises, light walking or deep breathing. Try to avoid intense physical activity during a fast even if you feel energetic. I say this from personal experience; the energy can be fickle. Overdo it and you will feel tired and weak for the next day or two as the body tries to recover the glycogen reserves in the muscles.
How much juice should I drink?
Here it is again. By far, this is our most asked question and easiest to answer. Drink to your heart’s content! On a busy day I have consumed a gallon of carrot/apple juice and the juice of two large cantaloupes. Fresh, strained juices will not encourage hunger or pull you out of the fasting state. Other days, like on weekends, I may naturally slip into water fasting, forcing a slowdown, deepening my prayer and solitude with God.
There are times the body will desire a greater intake of juice. Increased physical activity or entering into detoxification state can trigger increased juice consumption. I have found I drink more juice at the beginning of my fast, and as the fast progresses, my need for juice diminishes. This is not so with everyone.
Try to stay away from dead, bottled juices, for some unknown reason they can cause hunger and are far less sustaining. Remember V8 is not juice but a blended food, containing tomato paste and tons of salt. If you treat yourself to this easy food, you will experience hunger afterward, indicating an awakened digestion, the last thing you want when fasting.
Be careful not to drink too much acidic juice in the morning. Melon or vegetable juices are best if drinking large amounts. Acidic juice early in the morning may cause stomach cramps for some.
If you have decided to water fast, I find it a real challenge to drink the daily 8-10 glasses recommended. It’s the experience of many to lose their thirst altogether. Nonetheless, force yourself to drink as much water as you can. Water will help clean the body of toxins through the kidneys. And in our toxic environment, maintaining a fresh supply of water going in will force the flushing out of toxins instead of a build-up causing great discomfort.
Will I become protein deficient?
So many are concerned with protein deficiency; meanwhile never do we hear of anyone being diagnosed with protein deficiency, even on a restrictive diet. A number of years ago it was theorized that protein loss during fasting was harmful and that a fast should be supplemented with protein. Fasting with protein became known as the Opti-fast. Fasters took nothing but water and a protein drink. Sadly, several people died. Protein digestion during the fasting state creates an overload of urea and the blood becomes acidic. In this condition, the organs are stressed, damaging instead of healing. Your body has sufficient protein reserves for a 30-day water fast or longer. Fasting is a natural process.
Should I continue with my medication?
It is wise to consult your doctor regarding the effect of fasting combined with your medication. Many do successfully fast while on medication. Some find they never need to go back to taking their medication; such was the healing they experienced. Speaking on healing, it is hard to separate the power of fasting and the power of God. Supernatural things happen when fasting. It is wise to consult a doctor, but it is also wise to consult God. He may have something to say on the matter in the form a miraculous touch. If you must take medication and intend to fast then we advise you to juice fast. The vegetable juices will help protect the stomach from harsh medications. Do not water fast while on medication.
How much weight will I lose?
Weight loss can initially be as high as three to four pounds per day, much of it water, but as the fast continues, the average loss will be one pound per day. If you are juice fasting and not losing weight, the juice is supplying all the calories you need. You may have to cut down on the juices or alternate between water fasting and juice fasting if losing weight is part of your goal. The slower your metabolism, the slower the weight loss.
Will I get too thin?
If you are thin or at average weight and you fast for 30 days on juice or 10 days on water, ribs will show, face will become gaunt, friends and family will notice. But the body will quickly normalize its weight in about 10 days after the fast. If you are thin to start with, fasting may allow you to gain additional weight afterward. Metabolism is normalized due to the cleansing process. It is very important not to try to gain weight too quickly. The body can rebuild only at a set rate. Overeating will burden the body and undermine the rebuilding process.
Will fasting shrink my stomach?
From years of over-filling the stomach, it is no surprise that the muscles supporting the tummy have lost its natural elasticity, stretched out of shape. People with large protruding stomachs need more food to feel full, out-eating their need. Fasting helps recover the stomach's natural elasticity, restoring a flat stomach. You will be satisfied on less food, tummy in proportionate size to the body’s caloric requirement.
Since I have finished fasting, why am I more sensitive to unhealthy food?
Now don’t be complaining about this. After a fast your body is clean and has far less tolerance to the poisonous foods that you were eating previous to the fast. Feeling sick when eating junk-food is a sign that your body is functioning normally. Fasting restores the body’s ability to violently react to harmful, health-damaging food. Oh sure, you can desensitize your body by slowly introducing harmful foods into your diet. And before you know it all the good performed will be undone. Perish the thought! Having a healthy body may limit your ability to tolerate what you were previously free to indulge in—consider that limit a blessing from God.
Are there any conditions that restrict fasting?
Yes. Most people can juice fast safely for up to 30 days but there are exceptions. If you are concerned, we suggest consulting a reputable Naturopath. They can lay out a fast suited for your condition. The need for expert assistance is especially true when dealing with hypoglycemia or diabetes.
Should I abstain from sexual relations during a fast?
"Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
1 Cor. 7:5
During Biblical times fasting for the purpose of detoxification or weight-loss was unheard of. Everything they eat was organic and natural and the rigors of daily living provided ample exercise. The Jewish picture of fasting was synonymous with solitude, humility, focused prayer and intercession, involving periods of isolation from family as Jesus’ desert experience did. During this kind of “pressing in,” sexual relations could be impractical and distracting. Abstinence was to do with the discipline of solitude associated with fasting.
If one was about to embark on a 40 day fast in a remote place, even if that place is the garage of their home as I have heard of some doing, talking about this kind of separation with your spouse only makes sense. The question to abstain is more about the type of fast you are on. Do not fall into the legalism pit; there is no better way of ruining a perfectly good fast. During a weight-loss or detoxification fast, abstinence will not be an issue. But there may be a weekend or longer where a deep desire to be alone with God flowers. This has happened many times to me. The beauty of fasting is it takes on a life of its own, especially when God is close by. When hunger for solitude with God rises naturally within, I have found it overpowers all other desires, save entering into the presence of God.
Fasting with disease
Heart Disease: Include bananas and avocados when juice fasting to balance the blood sugar level. Toxins in the blood and reduced blood sugar levels may cause a weak heart to labor. Like any other organ, the heart needs nutrients, a toxin-free environment, and time to heal.
Hypoglycemia: Do not juice fast unless you use bananas and avocados to balance the blood sugar level.
Kidney Problems: Fasting can irritate damaged kidneys due to the amount of toxins they filter. Try short juice fasts of 3 to 5 days before progressing to longer fasts. Avoid high-protein meals, refined flours, commercial oils, and fats.
Liver Disease: The liver can become toxic due to abuse. If the liver is badly degenerated, cleansing must be done in stages. Start with short juice fasts and lead to fasts over five days. Avoid heavy proteins, refined flours, and fatty foods. Eat meals of fruits or vegetables between the fasts.
Aging: There is no such thing as being too old to fast—it is exactly what the body needs to feel young again. Shorter fasts are recommended to start. Assess your physical state as you proceed. If juice fasting becomes too intense, bananas and avocados will lessen the intensity by slowing the cleansing.
Ulcers: Fasting will help significantly. Choose less acidic juices that do not irritate the condition. Fresh pineapple juice has a natural enzyme bromelain known to help in digestion. But it must be drunk within a few minutes of juicing.
Related Article: How Long Should I Fast?