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Benefits of Fasting

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posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:18 PM
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Hello. I'm not generally in favor of talking with strangers about my life, but I figured a few folks here might have some experience with this.

I've been considering a moderate fast, drinking water only, for a week and perhaps longer (if all goes well). My reasons for wanting to do this are manifold; namely, as an excercise in self-control, and because my physical well-being is currently poor. You may think "well, starving yourself is not going to make your health improve!", which is sensible, but please read on.

Firstly, I enjoy exercising my willpower. In the past, I've been prone to vices and weaknesses in self-control, which have invariably affected my life for the worse. For the past few months I've been denying myself many things I once took for granted, like cigarettes, snack foods, excessive time spent on the Internet, etc. Basically, every indulgence that does nothing to improve my well-being beyond "feeling good", I've been trying to cut from my life. To decent avail- I've noticed a slight improvement in focus and confidence, but I've far to go yet. I've even managed to entirely abstain from a certain "habit" involving pleasuring oneself, for quite a while now (I'm sure I needn't say more).

However, I'm still getting this feeling of clutter in my daily life. I'm surrounded by too many "things", too many frivolous trifles, time-wasters, and ingrained behaviors. Ideally, I would surround myself with little in the way of material comforts, and would instead envelop my thoughts with ideas (noble ones, of course), books, histories, and worthwhile knowledge of the world. It seems a pertinent observation to say that material clutter leads to mental clutter, and I have far too much of both it seems. I would so much like to put down the games and the trifles, but it's hard. My attention span seems pitifully small, and I find myself giving up on reading great novels and philosophical treatises because it's too much effort. Thumb-twiddling is just so much easier and so much more comforting.

To make something clear, this is not a spiritual thread. I do not consider myself spiritual and it's never really appealed to me, though I recognize that certain things done with spiritual intentions can be markedly beneficial. So, spiritual people, I am not saying I don't want your thoughts on this. If they are worthwhile, I'm happy to listen.

So, returning to my point, I believe that a potentially helpful step in ridding myself of this "clutter" would be to fast. Not for any abstruse or religious reasons, but simply because it would be a powerful excercise in self-control. I would hope that this has the effect of clearing my mind, and that the trial of temporary starvation would foster a bit more appreciation for the important things in life, the worthwhile pursuits. In the past, fasting has been extolled for this reason. I am not one to spurn the advice of wise ancient dead people. I believe Hippocrates may have promoted fasting, among other well-known figures.

Now, on to the health aspect of this. I am likely suffering from some form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It was mentioned as a possibility the last time I saw a doctor, but I haven't seen a doctor in years and likely will not anytime soon. So there's no official diagnosis, but I'm fairly certain at this point. For many years I've had a problem with gut pain, likely exacerbated by a poor diet and stress. For a few weeks back in August, I was vomiting (or almost vomiting) nearly every meal I ate. My gut has settled a bit since then, but after every meal my gut churns and chokes like a rusted machine, accompanied by a fairly distressing level of pain. So, all in all things seem to be getting worse. The pain used to be sporadic, but now it's become a constant feature of daily life for me.

Now, anyone who's familiar with peptic ulcers knows that basically the only treatment is to eat a very light diet for as long as is necessary. Essentially, all you can do is try to avoid aggravating the ulcers, and give them time to heal. Protein-rich, fat-rich, processed carb-rich diets are a no-no. Often times you'll find people living on little more than certain fruits and vegetables. And this is supposedly quite beneficial, and many people get relief after sticking to a diet like that for a long time.

Now, this is where the fasting comes in. To my (medically ignorant) mind, it seems logical that to avoid putting any food at all in your stomach for a short time, would give the ulcers ample time to heal a bit. At least until the worst of this "flare-up" abates. I've read testimony from a few people claiming this works, as well. I'm unsure of the mainstream medical community's views on something like this, but I doubt they would recommend it. Then again, they recommend a lot of things that are decidedly unhelpful to begin with, so my trust in them is limited.

I anticipate some people calling me a loon, a masochist, or just plain stupid for entertaining this idea, but quite honestly I'm at a loss. Seeing a doctor is not what I want to do, or at least, I'd like to avoid it as long as possible. So, this is the best solution I've currently got.

Give me your advice or your scorn, I'll contemplate both.




posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:42 PM
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I water fasted for 3 and a half days. I could have gone longer but I was under pressure from a family member to stop.
Day 3 was very calm mind was clear of thoughts for food. day 2 is hard. your mind gets a bit funny. food talking to you and visions of food dancing around you hahaha!

Don't gorge when you get off the fast. You will regret it!

Start small don't shock your body too much.




edit on 23-9-2015 by ANTHONY33 because: see food



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:45 PM
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I know a few people who fast for three days occasionally and they are in pretty good shape. They only do it about twice a year, I guess that is enough to get the body into the mode to repair itself. They do it because their fathers did it, and one of their fathers is in his nineties and in really good shape. The other person is an eighty four year old person and he is in decent shape for his age although his eyesight is getting kind of bad in one eye. Something to do with a growing blindspot in the middle of the eye.

The three day fast used to be a common practice for men. My father did it about twice a year also and I did it with him when I was young but he died from brain cancer at fifty anyway. Fasting has many health benefits but three days is enough from what I have read during my research on this subject. There is a lot of scientific research to back fasting but remember, not all people can do it. It depends on your metabolism.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:46 PM
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originally posted by: ANTHONY33
I water fasted for 3 and a half days. I could have gone longer but I was under pressure from a family member to stop.
Day 3 was very clam. day 2 is hard. your mind gets a bit funny. food talking to you and visions of food dancing around you hahaha!

Don't gorge when you get off the fast. You will regret it!

Start small don't shock your body too much.





Day three was very clam?
Had seafood on your mind the third day?



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:49 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Consider just a couple days with nothing but water, a good multivitamin supp., and laxatives. Be sure to drink lots and lots of water. I took wormwood/black walnut hull/milk thistle too to kill off candida (nasty little gut parasitic fungus that is very common). Ended up crapping out a ton of this yeast like water for a solid day.


The next days i felt like a million bucks.


edit on 23-9-2015 by OneGoal because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:52 PM
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done a three day water fast. you have to ease into it and ease out of it or you will have problems.
i drank over a gallon a day of distilled water daily, except for the first day which was no water.
if youre a skinny fellow it may not be the greatest idea, but if you have some bodyfat to live off of for a while, go for it.
but seriously ease into it. eat veggies and maybe small fish.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:53 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
I know a few people who fast for three days occasionally and they are in pretty good shape. They only do it about twice a year, I guess that is enough to get the body into the mode to repair itself. They do it because their fathers did it, and one of their fathers is in his nineties and in really good shape. The other person is an eighty four year old person and he is in decent shape for his age although his eyesight is getting kind of bad in one eye. Something to do with a growing blindspot in the middle of the eye.

The three day fast used to be a common practice for men. My father did it about twice a year also and I did it with him when I was young but he died from brain cancer at fifty anyway. Fasting has many health benefits but three days is enough from what I have read during my research on this subject. There is a lot of scientific research to back fasting but remember, not all people can do it. It depends on your metabolism.


Interesting, especially regarding your older relatives. Intermittent fasting evidently combats Alzheimer's: www.advisory.com...

I've gone a day or two without eating in the past, not because I wanted to, but just being too busy/engrossed in something to eat. There were no ill-effects from it as far as I could tell. What I'm considering, though, is a bit longer. Possibly more than five days.

Also, what country are you from, if you don't mind me asking? Is the fasting in your family a cultural thing? I ask this because I haven't heard of many westerners fasting like that. It certainly sounds like an interesting family tradition.
edit on 23-9-2015 by Talorc because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:02 PM
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Don't "Fast", that's like running an engine with no oil.

Want to improve your overall health, cut sugar(HFC) intake & CONSISTENTLY lower your average caloric intake.

I'm 52 190# 34"waist, no health issues & spent the day reassembling a 60 horse 800 gpm pump by myself.

Okay read the rest, a light diet would do you good, fruits & vegies always good, add some real yogurt(greek W/live cultures)
NO soda, cut back on tomato products & heavy meats, drink lots of water & take some good multivitamins.
I never go to the doc either but if that hurts every day have it checked.

K~

edit on 23-9-2015 by aethertek because: Shouldn't it be filled in?



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Five days is an extremely long time to go without any nutritional/caloric intake. Your body will go into ketosis (when your body starts burning off fat, starting with your internal organs) after about two days of no food. There are serious pains involved with this state. After about three days, you will be practically bed ridden and you will feel terrible. You will not be able to do much physical work, so a laborous job will be near impossible to keep up. Headaches, body aches, stomach cramps will be the norm.

There are no agreed upon benefits of fasting at all and most physicians will tell you that it is best to simply eat a healthy nutritious diet everyday. Your stomach problems may be the only good reason to even try this though as fasting may help with colitus and other intestinal maladies like crohn's disease. Also, if you have a sensitivity to gluten, simply taking it out of your diet can help immensely. You would start noticing a dif after two or three days.

I fast for a few days every month, but i still drink broth, and i'll probably have some fruit at some point. My job is pretty laborous sometimes so i try to do it when i have free time.

Another thing about fasting is that it is by no means a good way to lose weight. When you start eating again, you keep nearly all of the food weight. It immediately gets turned to fat to restock the reserves you lost.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:11 PM
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originally posted by: aethertek
Don't "Fast", that's like running an engine with no oil.

Want to improve your overall health, cut sugar(HFC) intake & CONSISTENTLY lower your average caloric intake.

I'm 52 190# 34"waist, no health issues & spent the day reassembling a 60 horse 800 gpm pump by myself.

K~


I don't really have to worry about calories, I'm young and average weight (175 lbs). What I'm mainly concerned with is what effect it would have on my potential case of IBD. Some medical literature seems to suggest that it would help, but it's not universally accepted.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:20 PM
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originally posted by: Woodcarver
a reply to: Talorc

Five days is an extremely long time to go without any nutritional/caloric intake. Your body will go into ketosis (when your body starts burning off fat, starting with your internal organs) after about two days of no food. There are serious pains involved with this state. After about three days, you will be practically bed ridden and you will feel terrible. You will not be able to do much physical work, so a laborous job will be near impossible to keep up. Headaches, body aches, stomach cramps will be the norm.

There are no agreed upon benefits of fasting at all and most physicians will tell you that it is best to simply eat a healthy nutritious diet everyday. Your stomach problems may be the only good reason to even try this though as fasting may help with colitus and other intestinal maladies like crohn's disease. Also, if you have a sensitivity to gluten, simply taking it out of your diet can help immensely. You would start noticing a dif after two or three days.

I fast for a few days every month, but i still drink broth, and i'll probably have some fruit at some point. My job is pretty laborous sometimes so i try to do it when i have free time.

Another thing about fasting is that it is by no means a good way to lose weight. When you start eating again, you keep nearly all of the food weight. It immediately gets turned to fat to restock the reserves you lost.


That's not true at all.
Ketosis only happens when you fuel your body WITH fat, and if your body starts metabolizing fat from your organs, that's called starvation, not ketosis. Your body will use your fat reserves for energy, which can take up to two weeks to do before digging into your livers fat.

Also, Some doctors will tell cancer patients to fast while doing chemo because healthy non cancerous cells need less energy to survive, and are genetically structured better to live on a fasting diet, cancer cells need lots of energy to survive, you basically starve them and when chemo hits them they are more likely to be killed off.

With the weight gaining thing, only a small percentage of people have what is called the 'thrifty gene' generally those who were born into poverty, or in a war torn refugee camp have this, most of the human population has evolved out of this.
The human body knows what's best, after all for most of our evolution we were hunter gatherers who went 2 - 5 days without a single meal, it's only if you indulge in lots of food your body will store it.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Thank you for the post.

What foods would you suggest cutting out? I've been trying to east mainly vegetables and fruits during the day time, but haven't been so successful at dinner.

I know that ketosis may not sound pleasant, but some of the things I read suggested it could actually have positive effects on the body. To be fair, some of that was probably from dubious holistic websites, but other things I read provided some decent evidence.

I generally don't labor much during the week, but on weekends I often do (though it's not job related). Perhaps if a water-only fast is too taxing, I could try a juice/broth based plan. Avoidance of solid foods for a while is just really appealing to me right now.
edit on 23-9-2015 by Talorc because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:29 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Just getting rid of bread and sugar will make you feel healthier and less bloated and will help enormously with the ibs

I was an ibs sufferer for years until someone mentioned gluten & wheat...cut them out and never looked back. Sugar is a slow killer like the disgusting corn syrup they put into everything to keep us addicted to sweet stuff



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Not calories as in excess fat but a consistent lowering of caloric intake can be beneficial over the long haul.
I had gut problems when I was younger too, after finally getting rid of the garbage I used to eat & changing how I eat I have had few issues.

Only eat when hungry (& I mean hungry not peckish), don't stuff it full, only eat enough to feels satiated.
I only eat one main heavy meal a day other than that I keep those light cravings down with small snacks, a yogurt, some fruit, cucumbers W/olive oil & Balsamic vinegar.

This works for me so take with two grains of salt but it's my sincere advise.
Again if your gut hurts everyday go to the doc even if it's just a clinic.

K~



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

I've gone 11 days with just water. In the midst of an eating disorder but for the record, I certainly wasn't bed-ridden. This is how it usually went for me: first two days are restless and irritable and hard, be careful of how you interact with people because you may not be very nice here. Concentration will suffer a lot here but fluctuate throughout the fast. After three or four (maybe five) days you just won't be hungry (most of the time). Around five or six days there is a sort of... high, that comes and goes intermittently. It's strange, manic, peaceful and surreal all at the same time. You will be tired. Physical labor will get tougher quickly and exponentially so as you continue. You will struggle physically compared to what you could do before. And you WILL get hungry at night when your body and mind are at rest. You will be starving AND sleep deprived make no mistake, which might be where the "high" comes from.

For the record, don't go more than four days and don't do it that often. It really isn't good for you. It's hard on everything but especially your heart. Go forward carefully or reconsider entirely. I'm still not sure what you hope to gain from this. You probably won't seriously injure yourself (or worse) trying this once but there is a risk.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: strongfp

No ketosis happens naturally when you live off the fat. You can sustain ketosis indefinitely with a diet high in fat with very little carbs but natural ketosis is just not eating for a period of time.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

I'm a yooper from Upper Michigan. I think that this is a Finnish practice. Fasting teaches you to be prepared in case something happens and you cant eat. You will not panic or go half looney trying to get food. Most people cannot fathom going long periods of times without foods, but many soldiers throughout history went without food for long periods of time.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Gluten is found in a lot of foods so it is not easy to avoid. Pretty much any normal white flour, including white bread, breaded chicken, cereals, pizza, and tons of other things.

A lot of people say they are allergic to gluten, but it is not an allergy at all. A small percentage of people do not create the enzyme that breaks it down, so it is a genetic anomaly. If you cannot digest it, then it tends to build up in your colon, causing moderate to severe discomfort.

I would look up a list of foods that include it and try that first. Give yourself a week or two and see if that helps. I think all fruits, veggies, and meat, are acceptable in a gluten free diet. I do not suffer from a sensitivity but a few of my friends do.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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Your idea of exercising self-control, and restricting indulgence in pleasure that is not beneficial, is reminiscent of ascetic and Buddhist practices.

I think whatever you decide do, do it intelligently, in the sense that you practice beneficial things and don't do anything that is detrimental. The Buddha himself at one time starved himself (fasted for a long time) until he was nothing but skin and bones. Later he realized, that there was no benefit to this; in fact he realized it was detrimental to his development.

What Buddhist monks do now (real monks who practice original Buddhism) eat once a day, and they eat a full meal, including meat and various foods. They eat before noon, and do not eat again until the next day, though they can drink tea later and maybe juice later on. I think there is great benefit to this, and people who do look very healthy with low body fat. Not eating for the later half of the day burns calories and you definitely feel better when you wake up (as opposed to say eating a meal right before you go to sleep). I at least try not to eat 5 hours before bed.

I am not sure there is any benefit to not eating for several days.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 11:04 PM
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If you think it would help your situation, than do it, what is stopping you, follow your gut?


provided that, other than mentioned, there are no health problems. Because while doing the fast, body needs a strong support from itself. So if you have a weak hearth or any other issues I would not recommend it. You must be healthy to do it.

I went trough with it and for a much longer time that you are trying to achieve. But I was doing it for spiritual reasons and also as you already mentioned, it is a great self control practise. You will notice a change in your mental state soon. You mind will get peaceful and you will get stronger concentration.
It really will strengthen and cleanse your mind AND body (after you start eating again
) if you will go trough with it.

Just ease into it by eating only fruits or vegetables, lowering the amount for a few days until you start before the fast. That way the transition will not be as hard. And drink a lot of water. For the first two, three days there will be maybe hunger, but it should pass and after that it is a peace of cake! Once ketosis kicks in, body start to consume your body fat and your hunger for food should be gone, from then on it is purely mental challenge.

Also you must have some fat on you or else your body won't have no good resources to eat and it WILL start to consume muscles or organs and that is very bad!! So if you are very thin I would not recommend it for a longer period - maybe just 3 days as was mentioned. But in any case if that happens your body starts to signal you by very strong urges to eat, that is where the real starvation kicks in.

oh and also some experience a skin rash, white tongue, bad breath or other wired effect while fasting. That is due to a cleansing and your body is just filtering the good from the bad. This happen in case if you did not have a healthy diet before the fast and there are toxic elements in the fat. I had a rash on the leg and it was gone after I started eating again. Or will be gone if the body is cleansed then this is a sign you are almost done with processing the bad stuff or fast in general.

In any case, listen to your body then you have nothing to worry about. This is a requirement and if you notice some bad signals, do not ignore them but inspect them carefully and respond appropriately! You have access to google and do research for any wired occurrences so you can be sure what is going on.

And once you start eating normal again, you should do it slowly and in steps. Start with smoothies first, then the next few days fruits or vegetables and then try eating normal. And be careful of your self control. This is the last time when you will be tested mentally and do not give in and over eat. Many accidents happens because people just do not take it easy with the food once they started eating.
edit on 1443067919911September119113015 by UniFinity because: (no reason given)



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