Is It Healthy To Fast?
Fasting For Cures, Prevention, Weight Loss and Longevity
If this is the first article you have read related to fasting and its relationship to health, let me help you with your research:
- 80% or more of those writing about fasting have not fasted themselves for much more than one or two days.
- Most of those same authors copied their information from other “experts” who have never fasted and know nothing about the subject related to personal experience.
You can usually identify the inexperienced authors by their opening statement, which most often consists of a positive remark followed by a leading question. The most common lead-in seems to be: “Fasting has been practiced around the world for centuries… But can it really help prevent disease, help you lose weight and make you healthier?” They treat fasting as though it were a medical procedure and that it needs to be practiced. The truth is, it’s not a procedure that needs to be practiced, it’s a decision that needs to be made.
Is it an easy thing to fast? Definitely not, and for several reasons:
- most Americans have a habit of eating;
- most enjoy eating as opposed to not eating;
- many are addicted to food and eat way too much;
- if someone misses a meal, what do they say? “I’m starving!”
- Americans are used to having food in their stomachs 24 hours a day;
- most have never heard of the word “fast”;
- those that have heard of it think it’s simply a religious exercise;
- those that advocate fasting recommend it for only a couple of days;
- or they recommend fasting with juice rather than water;
- most of the information on the web regarding fasting is negative;
- most fasting attempts are thwarted or sabotaged by family members or friends;
- most medical doctors have no teaching/training in med school and condemn fasting;
- even advocates of fasting argue and disagree with each other regarding the benefits;
- if you tell someone that you are fasting, you will get “The Look.”
Well, if you were possibly considering a fast, I may have already talked you out of it with my short list of “fasting challenges.” Read on for answers to the following four questions:
- Is fasting a safe way to lose weight?
- Can serious medical conditions be significantly improved by fasting?
- Is fasting healthy?
- Will fasting provide longevity?
Weight Loss through Fasting
In order to answer the question, Is fasting an effective weight loss tool? – we must first understand what fasting is, what is involved, how our body will respond and what results can be expected over the specific length of the fast.
Other important factors to consider:
- Does the subject have any eating disorders, food addictions including drugs or alcohol?
- How is the subject’s health? (If questionable they should be under medical supervision.)
- What is their age? (under 18 should require parental and or medical supervision.)
- How long is the fast? (It is important to set a lower reasonable goal.)
- What are their expectations? (What do they hope to achieve physically and mentally?)
- Are they working during the fast? (at home or employed?)
- Do they have the support of their family and friends?
These are concerns and questions that a healthcare professional should ask the subject and be able to know how to address and respond to their answers. Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of trained, experienced people in this area of health care and preventative medicine.
Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating are defined by abnormal eating habits which could involve either inadequate or excessive food consumption. They can eventually lead to serious physical and/or mental ailments or diseases. Fasting for a person with one of these disorders can have very serious consequences. People with an eating disorder who finish their fast might attempt to catch up on all the food they abstained from during the fast in a matter of just a few days. This experience could seriously exacerbate their eating disorder.
Your General Health
The general health of the subject should be assessed prior to employing a fast. Fasting for only a few days is rarely a problem; however, it can be a problem if you have previously been on a junk food diet. Also, if you currently have serious issues with your kidneys or liver, or possible issues with your immune system or taking prescription medications, then you should not attempt a long-term fast.
Duration of The Fast
The length of your first fast should not be a stressful experience. If you don’t feel you can last for an extended period of time, start out fasting for two days. The following week try three, and so on. This way your body and brain will acclimate to this new experience. You could also try fasting with juice for a couple of days, then switch to distilled water. My first fast was for 19 days at age 25, working as the chef in my own restaurant and cooking 16 hours per day. Not everyone is able to do that, but start out wherever you are able and train your body a little at a time.
Motivation or Expectations – A Cure For Gout
A fast is easier to accomplish if you are motivated by a goal or vision of what the results will be. My motivation for my fast was to rid my body of a very serious condition of gout in my foot. My expectation was that it would come to pass. My doctor said it was the worst case he had ever seen for someone as young as me. He said that the 1000mg of Zyloprim he prescribed could have the side effect of eventually destroying my kidneys. A customer in the restaurant told me that I needed to read two books by Dr. Charles Bragg, “The Miracle of Fasting” and “The Shocking Truth About Water.” I discovered that the combination of drinking 1-1/2 gallons a day while fasting would get rid of my gout! That was motivation enough for me to stick with it despite the temptations 16 hours a day.
In 15 days my gout disappeared completely and I continued for four more days just to make sure. I continued to drink 1-1/2 gallons of distilled water daily and fast a minimum of 21 days per year for the next 40+ years. As a consequence, I have never been sick or been to a doctor or taken medication for illness in over 40 years! Just a coincidence? I don’t think so.
40 Day Fast While Working
Five years ago I fasted for 40 days on distilled water and was working every day in construction. On my thirty-fourth day of my fast, I wanted to prove a point to my crew. So I moved 5 tons of small rocks the size of basketballs from where they had been delivered in the street to the backyard of a residence using a hand truck by myself in just 1 hour. I had eaten no food for 34 days and was 59 years of age. When you fast, several major organs can finally take a rest and all that saved vital energy for processing (digesting) food can be used for other things. I think I proved my point.
Fasting To Detoxify the Body
When your body is undernourished with the proper nutrients, it is not able to rid itself of toxins. Since over 50% of Americans’ diets consist of processed fast foods, they are not getting the proper amount of antioxidants and phytochemicals needed to help protect our cells from damage. Toxins and waste build up in the cellular tissues; they are called advanced glycation end (AGE) products which contribute to aging, diabetes, atherosclerosis, nerve damage and organ deterioration – a common condition taught in basic science in all medical schools. Fasting along with a healthy diet is a solution to effectively remove the AGE buildup from the cell tissues.
When you do a distilled water fast for more than a couple of days, the body runs out of carbohydrates to burn for energy, causing ketosis. In this condition your body must burn fat, and the fat is where the body stores chemicals and toxins it has absorbed from the environment and the foods we eat.
Medical Reasons for Fasting
Most medical surgeries require the patient to fast prior to the operation to avoid complications when the body tries to digest food while under anesthesia. It is also required for certain medical procedures for testing cholesterol, blood sugar and various lab tests to help achieve accurate results.
Fasting to Treat Disease
Fasting has been proven to eliminate arthritis, lupus, skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, digestive tract conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have been cured with distilled water fasts. Even low blood pressure has been successfully treated with fasting.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Journal of Nutrition report studies that prove mice on a fast had better control of insulin, neuronal resistance to injury, and several other health benefits than calorie-restricted mice did when the mice were forced to fast every other day. On the non-fasting day give the mice received twice the normal portion of food.
Psychological Benefits of Fasting
Fasting is used to cope with stress and depression by leveling out chemical imbalances in the body
Certain people should not fast, including:
- pregnant women;
- anyone with any form of malnutrition;
- people with heart issues; and
- people with hepatic or renal insufficiency.
Fasting for Longevity
Scores of studies prove that animals live longer when fed fewer calories.
For animals ranging from lizards to apes, when subjected to alternating cycles of extreme calorie-restricted diets and fasting, their lifespans were increased. Conversely, human lives are shortened by calorie-rich diets.
Live healthy and live longer with intermittent fasting, daily exercise, 8 to 10 glasses of distilled water daily, and with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in your diet.
Source by Douglas Hoover