To make sure that water fasting is done safely, prepare well and choose a good time to go without food, when your body does not require too much energy.
“On my first attempt, I had a lot on my mind and was under strain. On day two I became anxious and wasn’t sure whether it was the water fasting or the strain I was under.” As a precaution I stopped.
Though it was a wise decision to stop. in looking back, I realise and concluded, the best time to undertake water fasting for longer periods is when you are not in the middle of many things and you are in a calm space. Once you’re used to it and understand what to expect, then it is different.
However, as a caution: water fast only when you do not require much energy and when your schedule is calm.
“I drank water mostly and alternated water with black coffee.”
What Is Water Fasting And How To Learn About It Gradually?
A water fast is when a person does not eat and drink anything other than water. There is no particular length of time for water fasting. While fasting is new to you, take up Intermittent Fasting. In this way you familiarise yourself with fasting.
And, to slowly get into the habit of fasting.
By alternating intermittent fasting with for instance, from 24 hours water fasting up to a 2 day water fast, at first while learning about going without food, would be safe. However, if at all uncertain, take medical advice. And as you become familiar with fasting stretch this to 72 hours and even to a 4 day water fast.
“What I’m describing here is not done immediately one after the other over several weeks, no, it’s not that at all.”
Let’s give some context to fasting. Over a period of say several months apply intermittent fasting where no food is consumed for say 12 to 16 hours per day say once per week. `then gradually increase that to twice per week.
And eventually almost every day, where after late afternoon dinner you do not have any food until breakfast. That is, say 12 hours between meals. When possible, stretch that to 16 hours between meals. In this way with intermittent fasting acclimatize gradually to stop eating and nibbling between meals.
Then say, once a year or even twice a year, undertake a 5 day water fast.
Then every now and then in between the intermittent fasting and the longer water fasts, as you get used to the fasting, undertake the shorter water fasts.
As can be seen there are no hard and fast rules, thus acclimatize yourself gradually and gently.
Water Fasting When We Reach Day 2!
Important to note, day 2 is the most difficult. As the novelty of fasting wears off, and the reality kicks in, which usually occurs during day 2, we feel like stopping. What do we do when we feel like this is difficult and we want to stop.
Firstly, it is entirely up to you and each individual, stop without giving it a further thought.
Secondly, if you feel like stopping and also feel a little stronger to hold on a little longer, that is also your choice. Keep in mind you are not proving anything to anyone.
Why Do We Fast?
We eat several meals, and eat snacks in between, each day. Usually we eat our meals as per our upbringing.
Firstly, we eat to sustain ourselves.
And we eat excessively, and snack. The eating and snacking is often because we are bored. And, because we are conditioned that we get hungry if we don’t eat for a certain number of hours.
There is no rule and no biological reason saying that we need to eat often or not often.
What is worth mentioning is that before our modern lifestyles and we hunted and dug for our food, it wasn’t like today. Our lives were very different then. And I’m imagining from time to time food would be scarce and we’d need to stay without eating.
There is also psychological and emotional eating.
When we eat because we’re feeling frustrated, lonely, sad, even when angry, happy and excited.
When we eat for these reasons, thus when we’re not hungry, we tend to overeat.
Our eating regime is thus based on when we eat because we are hungry and when we eat comfort food.
Our eating has thus taken on a different meaning. What’s important to note is that in very many cases we are not aware that we’re comfort eating.
By fasting, we create the opportunity to recognise and experience the difference in our reason for eating. Eating as sustenance. Eating for psychological and emotional reasons.
Intermittent fasting and water fasting as mentioned above, is an opportunity to learn about our eating habits. It also has health benefits.
Through fasting we get to understand when we’re emotionally hungry?
Benefits of Fasting
Let’s say we slowly build up from a 12 hour intermittent fast, to a day fast, and with time to a three day water fast and eventually to 5 days. The 3 days water fast benefits and the 5 day water fast result would be almost similar.
- Understanding Hunger through Fasting
A benefit of fasting is that we learn about and get to understand hunger. We’re able to understand when we’re hungry to sustain ourselves. And when we’re drained because of psychological and emotional reasons which relates to comfort eating. Do not underestimate the value of understanding hunger.
- Weight Loss through Fasting
During intermittent fasting and the 3 day water fast, weight loss, though only temporary, is evident. Keeping in mind the weight loss would be sustained with adjustments in eating habits to a healthy diet.
- Health Problems Reduced through Fasting
With any of the fasting methods, like Intermittent, Water, And Autophagy Fasting: An Introduction, due to not taking in food, the body automatically sees itself as your pantry. Interestingly, what happens is any food in the pantry that is going off or that is already off is used first.
When translating that to the body, dead and unhealthy cells in the body are first used to feed itself. Sort of to get the last bit of benefits from the pantry. And so on, to where fat cells are consumed. During water fasting any dead and unhealthy cells in our bodies are removed.
- Water Fasting Induces Autophagy Fasting
When fast for longer periods, autophagy fasting is induced. Autophagy is the process of creating new healthy cells. It increases our lifespan.
Fasting stimulates the cells in our body. This in turn induces the autophagy process.
Food and Health Problems
The nutrients we get from the food we eat help our bodies to carry out their different functions. When we eat wholesome food we absorb the correct nutrients to maintain a healthy body. When our body does not get sufficient nutrients from the food we eat, our health starts declining.
It is important to make sure that we get sufficient nutrition from our foods or drinks to reduce our chances of the following health problems:
- Heart disease strokes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Being obese
People who live in the United States and elsewhere in the world are prone to the aforementioned, mainly because of affluent lifestyles and its related strains.
How To Prevent Health Problems
Health problems are reduced the moment we switch to a healthy lifestyle. And in addition do modest physical activity and exercise. Though health problems might be related to family history, Eco Healthy Eating: Zero Added Sugar would not do you any harm, instead, would benefit you.
For more, see: 5 Side-Effects of Consuming Processed Food.
What we eat and when we eat are about Understanding Food and Health Problems.