Types of Fasting
Dry fasting, liquid fasting, and partial fasting
There are numerous types of fasting, all of which offer the same many healing benefits. Oftentimes,
it seems people develop a preference for one certain type or method, and then feel as if the other
methods are inferior.
In actuality, all types of fasting have something to offer. Depending on each person's individual
lifestyle, health issues, goals, and body chemistry, different methods of fasting will be appropriate
for different people. You can choose a method that is appropriate for you right now. And, since all
things change, tomorrow you may choose differently. Nothing could be more natural.
There is nothing to lose in attempting a fast. There is no failure, for even if you "fail" to
achieve your stated goal, you will have learned and experienced much of value.
Use the information here to find, or create, a method of fasting that feels right for you now,
that fits your goals and your lifestyle, and that you feel a motivation (not dread) toward.
All fasts will cleanse and detoxify
All types of fasting give the same
multitude of benefits. You don't need to do a fast with the word "cleanse" or "detox" in it to rid
your body of unwanted toxins. Nor do you need to do a "spiritual" fast in order to benefit spiritually.
All types of fasting will lead you on a path to better and higher places.
Your job is to pick among the types of fasting, one that appeals to you, and will work within your
lifestyle and responsibilities. Keep in mind, the more severe the fast, the poorer your diet has been,
and the less preparation you make, the more detox "symptoms" you are likely to have. For some people,
these can be uncomfortable enough to force them into bed.
My first water fast had me, at the end
of the first day, in bed with the worst migraine I'd ever had. I had done zero preparation for this
fast and was suffering for it. Life responsibilities were such that I chose to end the fast a little
early so I could return to functionality. Within a couple hours of breaking it (with a little piece
of fruit), I was at least able to get around.
fruit fasts are more gentle as the
detoxing occurs more gradually. I've done many fruit fasts and have always felt relatively good -- no
severe pain or discomfort, just a few aches or a slight headache.
Weigh the options and take an
honest look at your life and how much you can sacrifice. Doing a fast that will create strong cleansing
and detoxing symptoms will require a lot more dedication from you. Do you have someone to take over
your responsibilities? How uncomfortable are you willing to be? How much discomfort can you tolerate?
Taking pain killers during a fast is definitely NOT a good idea.
Do you like the idea of cleansing without a great deal of discomfort? It is absolutely possible, and some
professionals feel it is healthier to avoid the extreme symptoms, citing the dangers of releasing too many
toxins into the blood stream at one time. So you absolutely can take it slower and more comfortably.
A good plan is to start with one-day juice
or fruit fasts. Do this once per week until
you have few or no detox symptoms, then try a 16-hour or one-day
water fast. Slow is always the way
to go, whether you're fasting for
weight loss or for detox. Eventually, when you've rid your body of years of
stored toxins and pollutants, you will be able to enjoy the fasting highs others talk about, without any
unpleasant side effects.
Categories of fasting methods
- Dry fasting. Also known as Absolute Fast, Black Fast, and
Hebrew Fast. The most extreme of the types of fasting,
dry fasting has spiritual roots, and consists
of foregoing food and water for short periods. While not necessarily recommended, it is interesting
to read about.
- Liquid fasting. As the name implies, this is fasting on
liquids only. The liquid fasting page
offers an overview of the variety of liquids used in this type of fasting both today and in the past.
Water fasting is the simplest and
perhaps the oldest form of liquid fasting. It delivers the greatest level of therapeutic benefit
physically and in a short period of time, as detox occurs more quickly. But a water fast can be more
difficult to commit to for the beginner.
Juice fasting is extremely popular
and offers a modicum of nutritional support in a pure and natural form. Almost any fruit or vegetable
can be juiced with the powerful juicers on the market.
The Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet
is a relatively new approach, becoming popular in the 1970s. It includes calories in the form of pure
maple syrup. Intestinal cleansing is a major part of the methodology.
- Partial fasting. Also sometimes called selective
fasting, partial fasting includes
some solid food--anywhere from a very little to a lot of solid food. It's not the amount of food,
but the exclusion or limitation of certain foods that makes it a partial fast.
Cleansing diets and mono-diets,
like rice fasting, are partial fasts.
How long should you fast?
No matter which of the types of
fasting you choose, click here for more information on how long to fast. Different lengths have different
considerations. This page includes a link to the association of professional fasting overseers which you
should consider using for longer fasts.
Intermittent fasting offers alternative
regimens for fasting, such as alternate day and one meal per day.
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