A couple of months ago, my aunt practiced 1-month long water fast which means she only drank water throughout the day, no food, no teas, no coffees, no milk not even coconut water or lime water. In short, it was nothing but just water!!
When I got to know of this I was initially taken aback. I rushed to my aunt and asked if she was alright and to ask what was the need to punish the body in this manner. To which my aunt’s reply was –“I am doing this for religious purposes”. Any act done for religious purposes is something I barely understand.
I am aware that fasting is an ancient spiritual practice in many religions across the world. Also, Fasting gives inner strength and confidence. But, like most of the traditional remedies, beliefs and practices have scientific reasoning and benefits attached, I was pretty sure water fasting too would have some. I researched on the benefits of ‘water only fast’ and was astonished to see multiple articles on the same that stated the various benefits of ‘Water Fasting’. Broadly, the benefits lie on the basic belief that the human body has self-healing abilities.
Water fasting gives improved energy and vigor, removes many mental blocks and gives clarity of mind. It also eliminates toxins from the body and can go a long way in preventing future illnesses. Fasting can improve immunity and has anti-aging benefits. The digestive system gets a break and thus all the energy that is used the day on a day by our digestive systems to break down foods, beverages, toxins, fats, sugars, now gets channeled to actual cleansing, detoxification, and repair of our vital organs, cells, and tissues. Many report a certain euphoria after a day or two of water fasting. You’ll likely feel a certain increase in energy, as well, as you lose that slack, logy feeling.
All the research and understanding about ‘Water Fasting’, I was naturally prompted to attempt water fasting for a day. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try just for a day and then post some tips from my personal experience which can be guidelines for others who wish to take this up for a day or two.
It was not easy for me or let me put it this way if you have never attempted to do any kind of fast, this is going to be little tough. Hence, I would like to share some tips and my personal experience which might inspire or support you to take up this challenge once in a week or probably a month !!
The tips are as follows:
- Prerequisites: Choose a day that is stress-free with relatively fewer activities planned. Do not consider heavy workouts or excessive travel during that day as they consume a lot of calories and the will make you feel hungry. Light activities, like reading, slow yoga movements, working on your computer, meditation, watching television, etc., are acceptable.
- The best time to start the fast is early morning and by drinking about two glasses of water which will you clear the bowel movements.
- Simple pure mineral water is the best. One can also use boiled and cooled water. One may drink about 1 ½ liters to 3 liters of plain water in one full day depending on individual capacity. There is no harm in drinking even more if needed. I honestly did not count mine.
- Few bodily reactions which may seem scary but are considered normal and you all too will experience if doing it for the first time are the weakness, dizziness and nausea are commonest of all due to the sudden lack of food. I also experienced a slight drop in blood pressure and headaches during the latter part of the day. The key to this is just lie down and relax whenever these symptoms become intense. The more difficult you find it to do, it means your body has a lot of toxins to clean out
- Towards mid-day, you will feel a sudden bout of hunger. Just take one or two glasses of water to dilute the gastric secretions. Then lie down and take rest. The hunger should go away in a short time.
- Learning how to break a fast is very important. During the fasting period, there is hardly any digestive activity and hence one should be very careful when breaking the fast. Do not overload the stomach. The best way to break a fast is with lime juice or orange juice which will make the stomach alkaline. It’s wiser to have few spices and no oily foods during this time. Second meal of the day can be normal.
All in all, I enjoyed my water-only fast of 24 hours and I look forward to doing this once every month. I recommend this to everyone to self-realize the benefits attached to this. If you can’t do 24 hours start off with 12hrs and then build it up as you get better and used to it. As we always say, take gradual and small steps to reach your big goals sooner. So Good luck!!!! Use nature and natural ways as your best medicine to prevent as well as treat your body.