Before some of you start telling me that fasting in unhealthy, I have to tell you that the proper, timed way of fasting is actually approved by most doctors all over the world. I'd like to invite you to make your research and discover some amazing health benefits of short-term fasting including improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity as well as reducing the risk of diabetes and triggered immune cell regeneration. For example, you can read this article or this one. One of the best books I read about fasting is "The miracle of fasting" by Paul Bragg. With that said, it's true that there exist contraindications for fasting and it's recommended to consult with your doctor before adopting a fast and adhere to it correctly. And since it's something that works great for me in all ways, I'd like to share with you my experience :)
I discovered orange juice fasting several years ago. It's renown for its digestive system cleansing properties that in turn boost weight loss. If you never fasted before, it's recommended to start from 1 day fast and fast once a week if you wish to (not more often). Personally, I like to fast on Mondays after a naughty weekend :) Once you get comfortable with 1 day fasts, you can attempt a 3 day fast. It's something you may do *once* every 6 months.
Why do I fast?I fast mainly because it works perfectly for me to RESET my body and stop my food addiction very efficiently. After such a cleanse, not only I lose 2.5kg-3kg (~7 lbs), but also my food cravings seem to vanish. Then it's much easier to stick to a healthy diet and small portions. I'm physically unable to start eating healthy after many months of eating unhealthy yet tasty meals (high in carbs and fat). When my body is in that "greedy" state, healthy foods seem like a torture to me. I also find it hard to eat small portions. BUT after fasting, my body acts in a totally different manner. I start desiring vegetables and fruits which I normally don't care about, I get full after just a tiny portion, I don't crave for pizza, burgers etc. I can finally stop eating for pleasure and start eating just for fuel :)
Additional benefits of fasting
- Better skin (the better your digestive system is functioning, the less spots you're going to have).
- Feeling lighter and more energetic (so many times I felt exhausted after my dinner).
- Weight loss (initially it's just a water weight loss, but it's still motivating to see those numbers dropping!).
What do you need?I use orange juice (1 liter) diluted with water. In the original recipe they say to mix 1 liter of juice with 1 liter of water, and if you do this, you'll discover that such a diluted juice tastes almost the same as 100% juice. Personally, I can hardy tell any difference :) So I like to do to get more liquid to drink, I mix 1 liter of juice with 1.5 to 2 liters of water.
After this fast, I've no cravings and need only tiny bit of food at a time (I have 4-6 small portions of food every day).
What does it feel like?Each day I mixed 1 liter of orange juice with 1 to 2 liters of water and drank it through the day. Day 1, as always, was the most difficult as far as food cravings were concerned. Day 2 was quite difficult in the evening when detoxification syndromes have hit me and I got a terrible headache (I had to take a pain killer and it solved my problem). Day 3 was awesome (in the afternoon I felt a hint of a headache and took a painkiller to avoid any unpleasant moments. That day and the day before were the only days I took pain killers so far, and it's been 7 weeks), I felt energetic and hardly had any cravings.
The 1st day of fasting (water fasting or juice fasting) is BY FAR the most difficult. Cravings are raging, hunger is 8/10, food thoughts are dominating... But IF you make it to the second day, you're 90% likely to succeed your entire fast/diet. Starting from Day 2, my hunger levels drop to 4-5/10 and Day 3 is very comfortable.
The most amazing post-fasting feeling is that of re-discovering usual foods. When I had a clementine after fasting, it tasted SOOOO sweet. Almost shockingly sweet lol and, clearly, divine! :) I loooove being "switched" to enjoying simple, natural foods! Since I stopped eating junk, so many foods that I used to love started to taste terrible (sweet yogurts now taste plastic to me and I don't enjoy them AT ALL), while healthy foods I didn't care about before have become my #1 snack choice! To be totally honest, I have to admit that I'm still thinking about certain "unhealthy" foods: burgers (only those from a good restaurant though, never from McDonalds!), chocolate, macaroons, japanese mochi.... But they're off my mind and don't really bother me :) What's most important is that finally I can really enjoy real flavors of real food :)