Many of us have heard or read about the benefits of fasting. Famous people, among whom were recognized yoga teachers and competent nutritionists, spoke and wrote about the need to refuse food.
Medical fasting came to our country relatively recently; in one form or another, they talked about fasting during the Soviet era, however, the official position of medicine and the authorities was unequivocal: vegetarianism, like fasting, was recognized as “the pernicious influence of the West”, and the mildest thing that awaited the supporters of such theories was sidelong glances colleagues and relatives.
Last Updated: January 20, 2022 (A few hours ago…)
In the mid-80s, Porfiry Ivanov urged the supporters of his system to give up food for a day once a week in order to cleanse the body, but most people received hostility from these ideas as a hardening technique. The situation changed dramatically in the early 90s, when many people discovered different diets and nutrition systems; among them were popular works on the compatibility of products by Herbert Shelton, who, among other things, assured his supporters of the benefits of therapeutic fasting.
Despite the abundance of information, there are still many gaps in the issues of fasting and the correct way out of it. If you are well versed in this topic, then it is unlikely that you will learn a lot from this article, but it will not be superfluous to brush up on your knowledge. If you are just planning to start fasting, then it will be important to once again remember about its benefits for maintaining motivation, as well as understand how to get out of it correctly so as not to harm your body.
Benefits of fasting
Motivation plays an important role in fasting. A person needs to understand what he is doing and why. Therefore, before talking about how to start fasting and properly complete it, we will emphasize the benefits that the body can get from this process.
- Discipline development. During fasting, you learn to control your feelings, to control your desires. This is definitely an important quality that will help you in various situations, for example, when switching to a healthy, balanced diet. Following any diet will be much easier with a fasting experience.
- Slimming. This is perhaps the most obvious plus of fasting. During the refusal of food, our body starts the process of fat burning. During a hunger strike, you will burn fat mass without losing muscle mass, which is especially important for athletes.
- Disease prevention. Fasting is the prevention of diseases, including non-infectious gastritis, liver and gastrointestinal problems, pancreatitis.
- Strengthening the immune system. You will become less susceptible to infectious diseases, chronic fatigue will disappear, a frequent cause of which is the slagging of the body.
- Slag removal. Over the years, the body becomes clogged, slagging leads to malfunctions in the work of internal organs, but the combination of fasting with vegetarianism allows you to cleanse the body faster.
Mahatma Gandhi said that fasting is necessary because it opens a view of the spiritual world. In various religious teachings, we can find information that individuals who realized themselves in the spiritual field voluntarily refused food.
Buddha Gautama did not eat for 40 days – after this period, the path to liberation was opened for him. Jainists are well aware of the fact that Mahavira adhered to a certain diet, where attention is paid to the complete rejection of food. For spiritual transformation, religious doctrines advise their adherents to periodically abstain from food.
It becomes obvious that fasting is not only a way to restore lost health or figure, but also a method of spiritual transformation.
What are the contraindications to fasting?
Contraindications to fasting are divided into two groups: absolute and relative. The difference is that if you have relative contraindications, then you can start fasting after consulting a specialist (doctor, nutritionist).
Absolute contraindications put a complete ban on this practice. In order not to harm, always remember that dubious food gurus from the Internet are not the ultimate truth, sometimes they may not have not only medical, but no education at all. Promising to cure any disease, they are able to bring their supporters to death.
Therefore, even if you do not have the contraindications described below, before starting fasting, consult with a specialized specialist, as some diseases can occur in a latent form (for example, heart disease).
Absolute contraindications include:
- malignant blood diseases;
- neuropsychiatric diseases;
- heart attack, heart disease;
- ulcer, cirrhosis of the liver;
- purulent processes in the internal organs, including the respiratory organs.
Relative contraindications for fasting:
- food poisoning;
- type II diabetes mellitus;
- urolithiasis disease;
- venous insufficiency.
Before talking about the peculiarities of getting out of fasting, depending on its duration, we note several general recommendations and rules that should be followed during fasting.
Fasting therapy: how to get in and out the right way
In the fasting process, entering and exiting the practice is equally important. The most common mistake is when a person simply refuses to eat for a day, and then with a vengeance absorbs various dishes. This is not starvation, but torture for the body. General guidelines for entering can be as follows:
- Motivation. Understand why and why you are doing this, make a decision and do not deviate from the intended goal.
- Change your diet. Avoid fast food and soda, eat light meals. Avoid meat and fish a week before fasting. Eggs should also be discarded one week before starting the practice.
- If you smoke, then reduce the number of cigarettes. You cannot smoke on the day of fasting.
- Set aside a day for fasting when you can stay at home. An afternoon nap will be beneficial.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Start fasting in the evening, skipping dinner.
General recommendations for overcoming fasting.
- The duration of the exit is equal to the days of fasting. If you have been fasting for a week, then quitting the practice will also be seven days. This must be taken into account when choosing a fasting scheme.
- Eat fractional meals during the exit.
- Increase the amount of food you eat gradually. Better to add one or two foods every day.
- After fasting, you should not eat salt and seasonings, as well as fatty and protein foods.
- After fasting, you can not drink tea and coffee.
- The first product for you, regardless of the duration of the fast, should be juice. First, they drink juice diluted with water, then gradually switch to a regular one. The juice should be drunk in small amounts every 2 hours.
- Then include fermented foods in your diet.
Features of the way out of fasting
You have learned how to properly get out of fasting, but these are general recommendations that do not provide for the specifics associated with the duration of the procedure. Below are the options for getting out of various types of fasting.
How to get out of a one day fast
Fasting for one day is associated with following a dietary pattern known as intermittent fasting. The system of intermittent fasting with such a short period of refusal from food does not give separate recommendations for the way out, so let’s turn to other sources. Paul Bragg and Herbert Shelton recommend avoiding food for a day once a week. Remember the main rule: entry and exit from fasting are equal in duration.
It is best to start with juice, let it serve as a light breakfast for you. After 5-6 hours, the body will return to its previous rhythm, then it is worth having lunch with a salad of cabbage and carrots. Alternatively, you can eat steamed vegetables or applesauce. Protein food can be left for the evening.
From the next day, you can eat your usual dishes, but do not throw yourself on food, eat half of your usual portion, chew food thoroughly. The way out of one day of fasting is the easiest.
If you have chosen a dry fasting scheme, then you need to start the way out by taking water in small quantities, then replace the water with juice. On the second day, you can eat a light salad or fruit puree. Cooked dishes can only be eaten on the third day. Similar to a one-day fast, you should start with half of the usual portion.
How to get out of water fasting
It is logical to ask: how to get out of water fasting correctly? The scheme does not differ from dry fasting, just the way out will start not with water, but with juice. Vegetable juices work best.
After a person is already accustomed to a 36-hour fast, if you wish, you can move on to the next step and refuse food for seven days. Of course, it is harder both mentally and physically. Motivation is important here: do not despair if a breakdown occurs, think about the reasons that led to this, and take them into account when you next try to fast.
There are several schemes for getting out of 7-day fasting, we will consider each in detail.
How to get out of a 7-day fast
- Emergency exit (1-2 days). Such a way out can be attributed to cardinal measures; it can only be resorted to under the supervision of a doctor. On the first day, you eat a salad of cabbage and carrots, you can add an apple. You cannot season salad. For dinner you can eat stewed vegetables. From the second day, you can add a few drops of olive oil to the salad. Salt and spices are prohibited. You can drink juices diluted with water. This way out is acceptable for those who have no health problems.
- Exit in 4 days. The diet will be the same, but from the third day you can add fermented milk products. It is better to refuse meat and legumes. With this exit, you can begin to perform simple physical exercises.
- Recommended (7 days). As you already remember, the exit from fasting is equal to the period of refusal to eat, so this option will be optimal. The first day you can drink juices diluted with water, observe a 1: 1 ratio. Do not drink more than 2 liters of juice per day. The second day you also need to drink only juice, but not diluted. On the third day, the body is ready to work in the same mode, but you should not overload it. Eat vegetables and fruits, you can eat light porridge. On the fourth day, you can eat vegetable soups and mashed potatoes. On the fifth, a small amount of fermented foods can be introduced into the diet. From the sixth day, salt can be added to food, it is also allowed to introduce porridge into the diet: oatmeal or buckwheat would be a good option. From the seventh day, you can start eating in the same regimen, but remember an important rule: the portion should be half the size of the usual one.
How to get out of a 21-day fast
Here we pay attention to the recommendations of Herbert Shelton. He suggested making a way out of fasting, equal to half the period of refusal to eat. At the time of getting out of hunger, you must give up physical activity. Essentially, the yield is similar to the described 7-day scheme, except that the first 2-3 days it is better to eat only juices.
Remember that long-term fasting can only be practiced under the supervision of a specialist. Typically, you will be prescribed one or two multivitamin complexes during your fast to support your body.
Summing up the above, I would like to say once again that fasting, even for a short time, is possible only under the supervision of a doctor. It is important to remember how to get out of fasting therapy, and strictly adhere to these recommendations.
The wrong way out of fasting threatens not only constipation and irregular food intake. it can lead to malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract and metabolic disorders. It is important to know that dry fasting cannot and should not be long: the maximum allowable period is 1 day, an increase in the period is possible only after consulting a doctor.
Fasting, even if it is curative, is not a cure for all diseases, it does not cure cancer and other serious illnesses; you should not expose your body to additional stress if you have been diagnosed with such diseases