Why should I fast?
People choose to fast for different reasons. Some people fast for spiritual reasons or to purify their bodies. Nowadays most people fast for health reasons, either as a preventative measure or to help with certain ailments – to lower their insulin levels, decrease inflammation, lose weight or simply just to take a break from eating and making time for themselves to rest.
What do I eat?
Well essentially nothing ! A true fast is really just drinking pure water. With the Buchinger fast you consume approx 250 calories daily in juice and vegetable broth. Some people may prefer to start with a juice fast or a mono diet.
How can starving be good for me?
First of all fasting is not the same as starving. Fasting is a conscious choice. You have total control about when you choose to have our next meal.
Health is all about balance. We often have so many occassions to feast – birthdays, weddings, Christmas, but rarely do we think about maintaining this balance by doing the opposite – fasting ! If we eat in excess it is a good idea to also give your digestive system a rest as well, and forego eating from time to time to maintain this balance. Some people choose to fast in the spring and fall during the change of the seasons.
I'm nervous about fasting. What can I expect?
It is very normal to feel nervous. Many people have never even skipped a meal in their lives so the thought of going without food for a few days may cause distress. Just remember, millions of people have fasted over the centuries ! If one properly prepares for a fast for the week prior, by cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and animal products, this can generally make the fast go a lot smoother. Some people experience very few or no side effects while fasting. Others may experience headaches, lethargy, sleepless nights, moodiness or cold hands/feet. These are all signs that toxics are being eliminated from the body and usually only last for a short time. After about day 3, one starts to feel pretty great with improved energy levels and an overall heightened sense of well-being.
How will I feel at the end of the 6 days?
There are so many possitive effects from fasting. Physically you will shed a few kilos, your skin will glow, your eyes will brighten, the mental fog that many of us experience will lift, stress levels will decrease and you should experience increased well-being and vitality.
Will I feel hungry?
Although it is common to feel hungry at the beginning of the fast, this usually passes after the first few days.
Will my metabolism go down?
In a fasted state your metablism actually goes up ! Some studies have shown that after 4 days of fasting metabolism can increase by 12%. Adrenaline increases which means you are burning more calories and hence your metabolism also goes up. When you embark on a long-term diet that restricts calories, your body gets used to the fact it is receiving less energy and learns to adapt to the restriction. This is how one’s metabolism can go down. Therefore, it is unlikely for a metabolism to go down with a 6 day fast.
I don't need to lose weight. I'm worried I'll get too thin?
Most everyone will lose at least a few kilos during the fast. Once you resume eating, your body weight will normalize back to its optimal weight. The average person has stored fat to be able to fast for approximately 40 days without any concern. Unless you are extremely underweight, a 6 day fast will not be a problem. You can also choose to have juice or try a mono diet. If you have concerns, please consult with your medical practioner.
Will I lose muscle?
Our muscles are made up of protein. Our bodies use either sugar or fat as a source of energy. In the first 24 hours of fasting we use stored glycogen as fuel, then our body starts to break down its stores of fat for energy. Breaking down protein is extremely inefficient.
Our forefathers – hunter/gatherers often went through times of food being in short supply, and did not eat every day. If muscles were used as a source for energy it would make them weaker and slower, and hence less efficient to catch their prey. The survival of our species is due to our bodies ability to use stored fat as a source of energy. Our minds become sharper and more switched on, in order to be more efficient at our tasks. So fasting for 6 days is unlikely to cause muscle loss.
Can anyone fast?
Fasting is not recommended for everyone. Children, people who are extremely underweight, pregnant women and lactating mothers are not advised to fast, as much nutrition as possible is necessary.
It is not advised to fast with the following medical conditions:
ANOREXIA – AUTO-IMMUNE DISORDERS – DECOMPENSATED HYPERTHYROIDISM – LIVER INSUFFICIENCY – RENAL INSUFFICIENCY – RETINAL DETACHMENT – STOMACH OR DUODENUM ULCERS – TYPE 1 DIABETES – TUMOURS
Please consult with your medical practioner if you have a medical condition or have any concerns about fasting.
When is the best time to fast?
Some people like to fast at the change of the seasons. But you can fast whenever it suits you. Preferrably when you have little stress so your body get the most out of the down time and its energy to repair and regenerate you to its fullest.