Today, you will find a ton of diets and exercise routines people follow to either lose weight or cleanse their system from any form of junk they have consumed. One of the types of diets many people support is dry fasting. But what is it and how can you follow it in the first place?
Whether it's to get back from the holidays to prepare for bikini season, you may want to get into all new diets and fasts to achieve your ideal body. So read on as I talk about what you need to know about this fast and how you can do it yourself.
What is Dry Fasting?
A dry fast is when you abstain from both food or water. It is a practice in many cultures and religious traditions around the world, practiced by Russians for an extended period.
This fast is known as the Absolute Fast, a Hebrew Fast, or Black Fast, which is extreme and usually for spiritual clarity. While a dry fast has been known to last for 40 days during the Biblical period, the longest dry fast in today's age is 18 days. BUT, those who practice this type of fast do not recommend doing it for over 12 days, but to do short dry fast for two days or less every week, working your way up until one can do a dry fast for five days and normally eat for another five days, repeating this cycle.
Benefits and Results of Dry Fasting
How does the dry fast benefit your mind and body, exactly?
When you abstain from food and water entirely (yes, not even touching it!), you will be creating a specialized stress in your body, where it begins to come with nutrients and water. Your body will then live on metabolic water (from metabolizing fat tissue). And through living with our body's nutrients and water, it would erase the negative imprint your body has made before fasting, letting your cells go through a form of rebirth.
As a result, even your skin changes its function. It begins to stimulate the immune system while activating your body's anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Through all this, it will purify your blood and clear blood vessels, cleansing your mucus lining and digestive system.
It's a pure cleanse, eliminating parasites while helping regenerate healthy tissues. Through a dry fast, only healthy and strong cells survive, while your body gets rid of the bad contaminants in your body, including cysts and tumors.
Another benefit fasting has is that it can be an effective tool against cancer. Studies have shown that fasting slows down the growth of breast cancer, particular brain cancers, and cancer in the nerve tissue. Fasting also lessens the side effect of those who have cancer, as cancer cells destroy themselves as they lack what your body is missing in the blood after you fast. It's like cellular suicide!
And because you will be eating less from the fast, you will most likely lose any excess weight and more, helping you become leaner AND healthier.
Side Effects and Precautions of Dry Fasting
But remember, while the fast may seem like the optimum solution, there are some things you should watch out for.
For starters, you may experience a few short-term side effects such as headaches, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and fatigue. If you are still new to the dry fast, too long of a fast can lead to long-term side effects, which may even include death if your body's energy is depleted completely.
You will also need to control your weight and what you eat, as fasting can lead to binges once you finish it. Those who fast tend to crave starchier foods that bulk up on calories, which may lead to weight gain.
But for those who do not eat as much after fasting, it can result in weight loss as well, which can affect their skin. Too much weight loss can lead to loose skin, but you can increase its elasticity by having a skin care routine that includes lotion that encourages tighter skin.
Those who are malnourished, pregnant, or are currently suffering from conditions should NOT dry fast. As much as possible, it's best to consult a doctor beforehand to ensure that you are in good shape to begin and that your medicine (if you take any) will not be affected.
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My Dry Fast Experience
So I’m sure you want to know about my experience on how I dry fast. I started the dry fast for one whole day and built it up to three days of fasting and three days of eating.
During the first few times I have dry fasted, I felt hunger pangs and was slightly dizzy. But after the next few hours into the fast, it was smooth sailing from there. I even began feeling more energized and positive. To help curb the hunger pangs and lack of focus at times, I decided to avoid spacing out and stay mindful of my surroundings, thanks to breathing exercises and meditation.
Hungry is the first feeling when you practice dry fasting.
I was surprised with how fast time flew while I was fasting, and by the time three days end, I go back to eating like normal WITHOUT any cravings or binging right after. In fact, once I got into a fasting routine, I began feeling a lot better. I even have better skin!
As for doing a dry fast during my period, I can say that while your cravings for sugar intensifies (in my experience!), there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t fast. Just take note that fasting for longer periods of time (about five days) might make you have irregular period, especially if you are losing too much weight. Balance and maintenance are essential to fasting, and I recommend you to begin with alternating fasting and to eat by 24 hours, especially when you are on your period!
The Stages of Dry Fasting
Before anything else, you may be wondering how a dry fast goes. Here are the stages you should expect to experience (In a 7-Day Fast)
You will need to prepare for the fast by gradually decreasing your food intake but still keeping it nutritious, eliminating anything unhealthy such as processed sugar, high dosages of caffeine, and junk food. It’s also recommended to cut off meat and dairy products as well. This stage should last for about two weeks, though some may require two months to prepare. It will help eliminate withdrawal symptoms from fasting.
Loss of Hunger
This is a typical stage people go through when they begin fasting. Psychological starts after you miss your first meal. You may start to crave for certain food, but it will last for only about two days.
During your third and fifth day of fasting, your body begins to eliminate excess waste products.
You may experience dizziness, tiredness, or even bad breath due to the lack of food in your body.
Normalization and Healing
Normalization occurs once your acidic blood chemistry begins to become stable. Your body tissue and organs start healing, usually taking one or two weeks. This happens between your fourth and seventh day of fasting. You start to feel a sense of well-being and euphoria, as your mind and body feel cleansed.
Breaking Your Fast
Once the seven-day fast is complete, you will be slowly breaking into a nutritious diet of soft food and vegetables. You will then return to normal and begin the cycle again during your next fast.
How to Dry Fast
Here are the steps to follow when you are planning to do a dry fast
1. Plan the Date
Choose the type of dry fast you will make and how long it will be. For beginners, start off with one whole day. It's best to do this during times you are not mentally stressed or filled with.
Here is an excellent video showing tips on how to prepare your body for a dry fast
2. Transitioning to the Fast
Before abstaining from liquids and food entirely, shift into the fast by making small changes. Quit caffeine and start exploring whole food while drinking a lot of water as a way to begin the cleanse.
3. Starting the Fast
Once you are ready, it's time to start focusing on yourself. To fight off hunger pangs and brain fogs, opt to practice meditation and relaxation. People find that journaling and being one with nature helps as well, taking away the cravings.
Feeling hungry is normal, especially if you aren't used to fasting yet. That's why it's best to pick up on a less strenuous hobby or to continue working and concentrating on something else. Let the time pass by and stay focused on the goal.
4. During the Fast
While you are fasting, avoid too much exercise and going out under the sun for extended periods. You might not concentrate as well, but don't let that deter you and use it as practice for future dry fasts. Again, focus on being one with yourself and take things one step at a time to finish your work.
5. After the Fast
Once you are done with the fast, congratulations! It's time to go back to normal eating. But wait! Remember that your body has undergone a process where it had no food or water, so you may want to take things slowly.
Start off by sipping water and eating softer food. For one to three days, focus on eating whole foods such as fruits and vegetables (pureed, blended or in broth form). Also have yogurt, nuts, and eggs. Lessen your typical calorie consumption first and work your way up once your body is used to taking in food again.
After you have transitioned to a regular diet, it's time to schedule your next fast. Try doing so for 24 hours every week, working your way up until you can fast for three to five days and normally eat for another three to five days.
When it comes to following a dry fast, there are things you need to learn about before starting your journey. It's crucial to know about the correct things you should do and how to prepare for it to avoid incurring any illnesses in the long run. As long as you follow the dry fast correctly, you can reap the many health benefits it has to offer, including weight loss.
I hope that this article on dry fasting fully informed you about the do's and don'ts of this cleanse and diet. So if you have the signal from a medical professional and you're prepared to start, follow these tips on what to do and see the wonders of it today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences with doing a dry fast, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.
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