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Fasting is described as a multidimensional experience that affects you physically, mentally and spiritually, inter alias the traditional trinity of Mind, Body and Spirit. In the context of that great trinity, one might add the old wiseacring that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Not?
Before you continue reading, please quickly read my disclaimer, so that you can fully understand that you are one your own and must take complete responsibility for yourself. You cannot rely on my personal experience, you can only use it as a possible source of inspiration.
I have written a rather extensive blog with a lot of information about my fasting experiences, including links to more information. It is quite informative and could be a good read for those about to try fasting.
Adding to this, I conscientiously maintained a day per day diary (in Norwegian) about the progression of the fast, including weight statistics, my whereabouts, overall shape and mood, etc. The diary gives insight into how trivial it really is to do a 12day fast. It is just too easy, and I am not exaggerating. And the best part comes afterwards, when you are renewed in a multifaceted way. The months after such a fast are just great.
If you want to understand quick at a glance the healing effects and other things going on in the body during a fast, I strongly recommend this blog containing a professional and well-written response to me from fasting guru Jouko Pursiainen.
Is Lemon an alternative to water?
What seems to be a useful and perhaps less drastic alternative to pure water fasting, is “Die Zitronsaftkur”, developed by K. Beyer in the eighties. It is known to be a well proven metod with very similar effects as water fasting. The short booklet describing the method is available online and is well worth a read, because its focus is very similar to the Mind, Body, Spirit approach of water fasting. This is the Norwegian translation in pdf format. It is very well written and useful also as a preparation for water fasting. Note that the booklet must be downloaded as pdf. Read that as well as the introduction.
Why water is better than lemon
When waterfasting the body will soon enter a state of complete silence and tranquility. This is indeed enjoyable as it frees up a lot of energy that could be used for other and more intangible matters. One really experience how the body normally is a kind a prison or trap that demands attention on a 24-7 basis. Suddenly all this is gone. You are – literally speaking – free of the bodily concerns.
Please understand that this is one major benefit of fasting, achieved during the fasting.
There is of course a transition period as the body and your mind learn to accept the forced absense of behavioural patterns. For example, just to quit drinking coffee can involve one day of dizzyness, because there is an abstinence syndrom consisting probably of a combination of physical and psychic dependency that must be overwon.
As a fasting first-timer, this transition and the conquering of all the real or “make believe” bodily needs can be a challenge, but rest assured that the next time you are fasting, this will simply be a “piece of cake”, because you have the knowledge that the transition is in fact really easy.
In any case, the duration of this transition period will be 2-4 days at the maximum. After that, and certainly after day 5, you enter that state of freedom.
At least this is so for my condition of normal weight, but if you are over weight, this can possibly be a different case for you.
Everyone must evidently make a personal experience, but in my case, this bodily freedom is not achieved to the same degree with lemon fasting. Far from it. In the middle of a waterfasting, I once tried to convert to lemonade fasting, and immediately the body became alive again. The following happened to me:
- The metabolism started up again in a misfiring and very unpleasant and noisy kind of way. It was really unpleasant! (Perhaps you will experience it otherwise. Try!)
- The weight reduction that certainly comes with water fasting, completely stopped. The reason could be that 3 litre of lemon juice per day involves the consummation of approximately the same amount of energy that the body in any case will consume as a minimum per day; approx 12-1400 calories.I am using an electronic weight that sends weight results to my Beurer internet account for further study of many types of interesting measurements. Here it could literally be studied how the lemon fasting period of 2 days stopped the weight reduction. Observe this for the two “lemon days” of 0225 and 0226:
- I am not a nutrion expert, but as I undestand things in layman’s perspective, vitamins function as a kind of matchstick for the release of body fat, needed as an ignitor of the catalyst. As the juice contains vitamins, one should therefore think that this effect would become effectual, but in my case it did not. Note however that this is not a scientific result. It was just an observation of a possible truth.
- And the worst was the embarrasing fact that, as the lemon juice is one tasty pleasure, the consummation of 3 litre of this juice becomes a constant activity throughout the day, thus actually becoming a nursing bottle and a strongly unwanted and new type of dependency. It means that the inevitable bodily freedom of water fasting – a major, major achievement – is no longer present. This is very important. You should really go for the “bodily freedom” of water-fasting.
I will therefore suggest that lemon fasting, allthough certainly better than a normal “eating day”, is more of an emergency solution for the case that pure water fasting becomes too rough.
The Ehret vs Lustig nutrition dispute
Here is another interesting blog about nutrition schemes where I attempt to discuss an important difference of opinion between fasting guru Arnold Ehret’s mucusless fruit diets, versus Robert Lustig’s strong advice to stay away from High fructose corn syrup. Both are right, but there is a clashing overlap! It includes many videos and links with commentaries. You can spend an evening on this blog and learn a lot about the mechanisms of metabolism!
The 5:2 diet in a fasting perspective
And here is my critical note on the 5:2 diet
If you read all this information, you are ready to start a fast. A special tip is to study the remarks about post-fasting behavior. Create a plan for post-fasting nutrition intake. You don’t deserve to go bananas in the kitchen just because the fasting is over. This is not the game. Rather, create a sensible and realistic plan for your food intake. (I have done that mistake).
Breaking the fast
Breaking the fast; here is when it is possible and even likely that everything that was achieved during the fast can be quickly spoiled. It is of utter importance to read a lot about smart ways of breaking the fast.
First of all, do not start, not in any way whatsoever, to celebrate that the fasting is over with overblown meals because you deserve it. Take it slow. Sneak into normal life again. See if there are things in your “eating patterns” that could be improved.
Every fool can fast, but only the wise man knows how to break a fast.- G. B. Shaw
Educational fasting quotes
See the right column for some fasting quotes, and below for a few additional and pinpointing quotes from one of the fasting gurus, Joel Fuhrman:
“Therapeutic fasting is not a mystical or magical cure. It works because the body has within it the capacity to heal when the obstacles to healing are removed. Health is the normal state. Most chronic disease is the inevitable consequence of living a life-style that places disease-causing stressors on the human organism. Fasting gives the body an interlude without those stressors so that it can speedily repair or accomplish healing that could not otherwise occur in the feeding state.”
“The job of fasting is to supply the body with the ideal environment to accomplish its work of healing.”
“The body’s wondrous ability to autolyze (or self-digest) and destroy needless tissue such as fat, tumors, blood vessel plaque, and other nonessential and diseased tissues, while conserving essential tissues, gives the fast the ability to restore physiologic youth to the system. By removing or lessening the burden of diseased tissue, including the fatty tissue narrowing the blood vessels, fasting increases the blood flow and subsequent oxygenation and nutrient delivery to vital organs throughout the body.”