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judochop's avatar

Any experience with fasting?

Asked by judochop (15996 points ) January 3rd, 2012

I know that I can google this and wiki that and come up with a general idea of what to expect but I want to hear your experiences with fasting. How long did you fast? Why did you fast? Was it beneficial to you? I am dedicating 2012 to getting my ass in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I want to complete a triathlon towards the end of this year. I already ride and run but not enough….I am healthy but I will still drink and eat gelato and poor, fatty foods…Not this year. I am taking this year to finish first as a triathlete. I am 36, turn 37 the end of March. I’ve had this on my goal calendar to be completed by age 40. I am only competeting with myself. Anyway, I started acupuncture and suction today and will be going two times a week for the next ten weeks. I would like to know if any of you have fasted and if it helped kick start you off to something more healthy, or maybe it is a poor idea? Please share your experiences. Yay or nay?

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15 Answers

sinscriven's avatar

Fasting is counterproductive to your goals. By fasting, you’re forcing your body into starvation mode and it will tone down your metabolic level to conserve the energy you have, thus lowering the amount of calories you burn and potentially even making you gain weight.

If you want to boost your metabolism you need to eat more often, not less. Have smaller meals and healthy snacks during the day to constantly keep it running.

judochop's avatar

@sinscriven thanks. Do you know if I fast if it will help expel toxins out quicker though?

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @sinscriven but..you can do occasional days of nothing but fruits, veggies, broths and teas. Braggs vinegar is also a good boost. A raw fruit/veggie only day once a week is very good for giving your system a rest and cleanse.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I fast once a year, for a day, in support of my best friend fasting for Ramadan.

SuperMouse's avatar

I fast from sunrise to sunset for 21 days every spring. I eat a meal before the sun comes up then don’t drink or eat until after sunset. In my experience fasting is not all that fabulous for improving nutrition. When the time comes to break fast I am usually ravenous and eat anything in sight, not conducive to health and wellness!

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve fasted. I drank water/juice and not eaten for upto 7 days for spiritual and discipline reasons. It is a very cleansing experience; mentally and physically. It is also a humbling experience.

Don’t fast is you have any health issues. You should have a physical medical check-up before you fast for an extended period of time. Start slowly. Skip a meal a week and then build-up to skipping a couple of meals a week to eventually skipping food for a day a week and then onto a reasonable goal that you and a doctor agree are okay.

@SuperMouse, wow.

everephebe's avatar

I’ve done some fasting here and there, but never do it for weight/health reasons it backfires. If you are seeking a mystical experience go without food for a bit sure…

In general limiting you caloric intake is quite good but do metabolize something everyday if you can help it. And by something I mean real, good, food.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I have fasted several times, some for a short period of time like 3 days others in excess of 30 days always strictly water and vitamins. It is not for weightloss or dieting purposes but more for detox. I actually enjoy it quite a lot. There is a feeling of euphoria, your mind is clear, you have better focus, your body feels clean, you have high energy. I cant speak to the health effects scientifically but it has always made me feel better and breaks any bad food addictions I have at the time.

Its not easy but for me its worth it. I am fasting right now actually and I feel fantastic. Expect headaches, hunger, dizziness, and irritability for the first 2–4 days. If you can survive that you can go for a long time.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Well first you want to make your hand like a beak of a bird…oh fasting!
I use to “fast” when I was a Buddhist. I did not starve myself, it was just not indulging in gluttony and luxuries such as alcohol and meat.

Charles's avatar

One good thing about fasting is you save money on the days you don’t eat.
I fast whenever I have cholesterol blood draw.
Also, prior to a endoscopy.

ETpro's avatar

I fasted for ten days and did so more for the sense that I could control my drives than for health benefits. But that ten days taught me I can decide what I will and won’t do. I hear the claims about cleansing of toxins, etc. Maybe, and if it is so, that’s a great side benefit. But the cleansing claims seem unscientific. That said, the idea that fasting does great harm seems even less supported by science. Evolution would have had every reason to select against that being the case.

What was it like? After the first day, I really didn’t think about food. I had to decide to start eating again after reaching the goal.

Now, about what to expect, prepare to be thirsty. Keep your tummy relatively full with liquids. Also, expect constipation. You will need to resort to daily use of laxatives or use enemas to clean the pipes, because even though you are not eating anything, the body flushes out dead cells, and maybe even toxins. With no bulk to help move that through your system, waste will become very dry and hard, and difficult to expel. It’s vital those wastes get cleared out of your system. Here again, staying well hydrated will help.

Just in case the toxin thing is true, I opted for the enema cleansing route rather than pour more toxins back in. But that’s an individual choice. Neither is an attractive option. It’s just that severe constipation is an even less desirable choice.

Ayesha's avatar

I fast for a whole month in Ramadan. I wouldn’t recommend it. You get drained the whole day. Yes, you do end up eating pretty less when it comes to breaking the fast but it’s not a healthy way to go about it. Plus you’ll feel really week. I’d say eat a lot. Make sure you keep yourself full with all the healthy you can consume.

ETpro's avatar

@Ayesha Not to diminish the spiritual discipline required to ga a whole day without eating, but fasting 30 days means not eating for thirty 24-hour days. Most Muslims fast during the daylight hours of Ramadan, but not at night.

Ayesha's avatar

@ETpro Yes, you’re right. I meant daylight hours for a month. At sunset the fast-breaking meal is consumed.

ETpro's avatar

@Ayesha Thanks. That was my understanding. It’s certainly a good practice to teach one that we can control our body. I’m sure it’s particularly tough on those addicted to nicotine. But it’s nothing remotely like a real 30 day fast, which is fatal to quite a substantial number of people.

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