What – me… water fast? Hell no! Most people don’t even drink enough water… let alone asking them to only drink water for an entire day or two. Most people are brought up to eat three meals a day… why? Well, that’s easy… because everyone else does. That is what I call “COMMON” thinking. The past several blogs I have posted… were dedicated to different methods of cleansing and detoxifying the body… and it isn’t easy nor is it COMMON. I tend to be “UNCOMMON” and do things that most people don’t like to do. Oh… some people may do things every now and then… especially if it is on doctor’s orders but it’s highly unlikely that they would ever consider making these uncommon action steps as a part of their lifestyle. Each example that I have shared has been something that I have personally done or still do now! And I can say… that some of the lifestyle improvements I have made wasn’t easy at all. So the question is: Do you want to be common or uncommon?
This next example of detoxifying is something that I believe you must work up to… but it will have unbelievable health benefits when you are physically and mentally ready.
Water fasting is a method of cleansing that will surely give you the ability to de-toxify the body in a healthy way. During a water fast, only water is consumed. During a juice fast, any variety of fruit and vegetable juices are consumed. People detoxify and heal more quickly with a water fast than with a juice fast. This is because with a water fast, your digestive passageway and organs are able to rest completely, allowing for all of your energy to be used for cleansing and repair of damaged tissues. With a juice fast or a cleansing diet of fruits and vegetables (like the Daniels cleanse I wrote about in my last post)… your body must use energy to digest nutrients, leaving less available energy for detoxification and healing. When a person’s health condition is related to a weak or damaged digestive system, recovery may depend on fully resting the digestive passageway and organs through water fasting.
Another significant difference is that more fat tissue is burned during a water fast, as your body must rely exclusively on fat reserves to supply its energy needs after the first 1-3 days of water fasting. Your body stores the bulk of incoming toxins in your fat reserves. As these reserves are burned for energy during a fast, any stored toxins will be released into your circulation, to be eliminated through your urine and respiratory tract. This also occurs with juice fasting, but at a slower pace. Water fasting cleanses the body aggressively removing toxins rapidly and can be more beneficial than juice fasting in combating more persistent forms of cancer, cleansing the tissues more aggressively.
Both types of fasting can be effective… depending on your personal situation and goals. If you want or need to make significant improvements in your health in a short period of time… water fasting may be the best route. If a person has a long history of taking extremely toxic drugs… an intense period of detoxification through water fasting can cause damage to the kidneys. So juice fasting or a diet of organic vegetables and fruits may be the best first step to recovery. I will talk more about my “Four Phases of Fasting” at the end of this post.
Mental Benefits of Water Fasting:
Our company Empowered Mastery believes that if you could control your thought habits, you can control your eating habits or action habits and then… you could control your life habits. Hunger is one of the most powerful sensations that an individual will have. An infant communicates and cries when it is hungry or needs a diaper change. Most of the time it is through hunger. If you could have the self-discipline of control eating, you could accomplish everything you set out to do in life.
Is Water Fasting Bad For You?
The answer is no. Water fasting is very good for you like the other cleansing options. The difference is that water fasting is harder because there is no caloric intake for a certain amount of time. If your purpose to be healthy is greater than your hunger, you will have the ability to do a water fast. Think about it, Gandhi fasted for 21 days while in his 70s. People lost in the wild have also survived for long periods of time without eating.
Medically Speaking: Most doctors agree that healthy humans can go up to eight weeks without food as long as they have water. People have gone longer and been fine, and people have starved to death in less time. Being strong and in good physical shape can help you survive longer, but so does having extra body fat. The body stores energy needed to live in the form of fat, carbohydrates and proteins. The carbs are the first thing to be used up without more food coming in. The fat goes next, which explains why people with more of it can survive longer. Then the proteins go. If you get to the point that your body is using up proteins, basically the body itself…then you’re in bad shape.
Why Water Fast?
Of course, the objective is not to starve yourself, but to release of all the toxins in our system. Take a look at some of the benefits of water fasting. Know that water fasting means the complete abstinence from anything considered food or any nutritional supplements except pure water.
Another reason is something called Autophagy… which is the body’s natural process of killing off, eating up, or cleaning out bad cell matter that’s built up in your body. It’s an important system for starving off many diseases, including preventing cancer development. Not only that… but reduced autophagy (the state that most of our diets leave us in) leads to accelerated cell aging.
Oh… and there is more… it also helps with the development of lean muscle. And as I continued my research… it turns out that autography through caloric restriction also slows down neurodegeneration and is one of the few things that can lead to production of new brain cells. This research suggests that water fasting can protect you against diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
There is obviously the benefit of fat loss. Depending on the length of your water fast ( some may vary 1-3 days) your body has nothing to run on but your own fat for fuel. The water weight you lose will come back super fast… but the fat loss is REAL. Even though the fat loss is an awesome benefit… it should not be your primary motivation to water fast.
NOTE: I usually recommend that you lead into a water fast. Some water fast methods can be anywhere from 1- 10 days. I have never done or completed more than a 3 day water fast… my Grand Master has never asked me to do more than a 3 day water fast… and that was after doing a 1 day water fast once a week for over a year. So I am not going to recommend something I personally have not done. I will recommend the 1 to maybe a 3 day… but only after proper preparation.
Benefits of Water Fasting – Water Fasting Tips
- It cleanses your respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems, destroying impurities all over the body and eliminates uric acid deposits.
- People detoxify and heal more quickly with water fast than with any other fast. This is because with water fasting, your digestive passageway and organs are able to rest completely, allowing for all of your energy to be used for cleansing and repair of damaged tissues.
- It restores your body balance by eliminating wastes.
- Water fasting is beneficial in epilepsy, reducing the length, number, and severity of seizures.
- It is effective for treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- It improves poor immune function during fasting.
- It increases your life span.
- It helps you in weight loss (but don’t make this the primary reason to water fast!)
- Water fasting promotes detoxification.
- It gives your digestive system a much-needed rest.
- Fasting promotes the resolving of inflammatory processes, including painful inflammatory syndromes such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- It quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever.
- It promotes the drying up of abnormal fluid accumulations, such as edema in the ankles and legs and swelling in the abdomen.
- It corrects your high blood pressure to a safe range within two weeks without drugs. And the blood pressure will remain low after the fast if you eat correctly and live healthy.
- Water Fasting helps to overcome bad habits and addictions. It rapidly dissipates the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs.
- It restores your taste appreciation for wholesome natural foods. People say that their taste buds come alive after fasting and that food never tasted so good.
How do you water fast?
Okay… I believe there are a couple steps or phases that you should do before jumping into a water fast. First pick a day that is best to start and then lead into the complete water fast. Once that day is set… you will begin what I call my Four Phases to Fasting:
Phase 1: On that cleanse day… only eat raw fresh fruits and vegetables. Of course you can drink water… but nothing else. No supplements, tea, coffee and any other beverage besides bottled or filtered water. It is almost like the Daniels cleanse that I wrote about… and again… I would keep a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruits. So let’s say your cleanse day is Monday. You would only eat fruits and veggies every Monday for 4-6 weeks. Your body will slowly get used to only eating the raw fruits and veggies…therefore getting prepared for phase 2.
Phase 2: After the 4 – 6 Mondays or cleanse days that you choose… you then switch from raw vegetables and fruits… to raw fruit and veggie shakes. There are multiple recipes that you can choose from on the internet. I also gave a few recipes in my previous posts. And yes… you guessed it… you will have only water and veggie/fruit shakes for another 4-6 Mondays (or cleanse days).
Phase 3: After your body is used to drinking only shakes and water for an additional 4-6 weeks… now you can advance to fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices. I may have mentioned the Ninja juice machine or any other juicer than can literally take those raw veggies and or fruits into pure liquid juice. I also gave several recipes for juicing… but you can research a ton of awesome juice recipes online.
Phase 4: Yes… you guessed it! Now grasshopper… you are ready for the water fast. So your last real meal should be two hours before going to bed the day before the water fast. Then when you wake up…. only water! Now… I have used distilled water and I have used my reverse osmosis filtered water system from my home. Yes… you can drink bottled water. I recommend a ph leveled water such as Fiji or any other bottled water that is in a proper ph balance of 6.5-7.5. Stay away from the tap water! If you are doing a 24-36 hour water fast… no less than 1.5 -2 liters of water.
I learned and completed a similar process over a five day period when I attended a cleansing seminar in Fiji.
Day one: Only raw fruits, vegetables and water.
Day two, three and four: Only raw fruit, vegetable juices and water.
Day five: Only raw fruits, vegetables and water.
During the week my wife and I got deep tissue massages and colonics (more about that in a future post) and not that I had to lose weight… but I lost about 12lbs in those 5-6 days. Since then… I changed and improved my LIFESTYLE…and have maintained a healthy weight ever since. This may seem a little extreme… so that is why I created the Four Phase system to Fasting.
Breaking the water fast
The next morning… I would recommend slowly eating a small bowl of rice soup with avocado or a healthy shake. You CANNOT binge eat the next morning… this will be detrimental to your body! Then do your best to eat a super clean diet for that day. Similar to the raw veggies, fruits and shakes in the previous weeks.
Just like my previous posts… I wrote about what to expect as far as potential headaches, fatigue etc. Again… that is your body detoxing all the crap out of your body. When you lead up to the one day water fast…my recommendation is that you attempt to continue doing the 1 day as a part of your lifestyle. If not… I would keep some type of cleanse day into your life… just like one of the phases I described above.
If you are the over achiever… then you can work you way up to a 2 or 3 day water fast. As I am writing this post today… I am currently on phase 2 myself. I was water fasting every Monday for over 10 years… and then I was training for an X Terra off road triathlon with my best friend and business partner Chris Berlow. At the time… my training regiment was super demanding (not that my current training regiment isn’t now lol)
In any event… I slowly stopped the water fasting. As I began writing these blog posts…I knew that I was going to write about water fasting and cleansing. So I began my phase system back into my schedule…because….I could not write about something that I am not doing myself. Even as a Master Instructor of the martial arts and coach… I can slowly forget about some of my daily disciplined habits too! So here is to being UMCOMMON… happy fasting everyone!
Tips from this article
- Lead up to the water fast by using my Four Phases of Fasting method.
- Start out with a one day water fast.
- After completing the water fast… DO NOT binge eat. Slowly introduce healthy foods back into your day and continue to eat a clean alkaline diet.