Fasting has unique effects on us not produced by normal "diets". If you use fasting for weight loss, you'll gain more than you expect if you remain open to these opportunities.
Losing weight is a personal and unique journey for each of us. Our bodies are unique, as are the patterns, beliefs, memories and life experiences we hold, and fasting acts on us uniquely, offering healing specific to each of our lives.
It is always recommended that you not fast JUST to lose weight. The reason for this is because if you fast just for the physical benefits, you could miss 90% of the true benefits possible. And these 90% DO have direct effects on your physical body.
Dieting is so often just a manipulation of the physical causes contributing to our weight and don't do anything for the non-physical causes. At some point all people who are successful at losing weight realize how it's their attitudes and beliefs and patterns that hold them to a greater weight than they desire.
At some point, these people manage to let go of and to change some of their core critical beliefs into ones that are supportive of their ideal weight instead of supportive of their current weight and body image.
Rarely do these deeper patterns have anything to do with food, or with eating at all. They're more likely about issues of love, of value, of meaning, of personal expression, of true-self, and of seeking peace and harmony. These are the very patterns that fasting so strongly effects -- but not if you're focusing solely on the mirror and the scale.
Elson Haas, in speaking of the "hunger" we might feel during a fast, poses the question "What are we hungry for?" Instinctively, without even fasting, we know the general answer to that question.
We're hungry for a type of fulfillment that forever seems elusive and beyond reach. So we reach for food which satisfies our physicality at least, while it still leaves us feeling empty emotionally.
"..the chances are much better for permanent weight-control after fasting than after any diet whatsoever.
"During fasting "profound changes take place. These changes revise attitudes about food and put appetite into alignment with the body's real needs for energy."
Alan Cott, M.D.,
Fasting: The Ultimate Diet
What we're seeking is unconditional love and understanding. We're seeking true expression of who we REALLY are, even if we don't know what that means. We're seeking a connection to a source and a power greater than ourselves, even if we're unsure what that means as well, or don't feel valuable enough to attain it.
So instead, we reach for food...or drink, or drugs, or excessive work. They're a slight, temporary safisfaction used as a trade off for that which seems impossible or too elusive to really attain.
Fasting has a way of opening a doorway into that world that has the exact gifts we're seeking. Unconditional love, harmony, a sense of well-being, peace - these don't exist on the outside of us, they exist INSIDE us. And in the quiet of a fast, we may actually begin to feel their presence.
Who knows the mysterious way fasting brings light and understanding into our world, how it can affect us so deeply on these inner levels.
But perhaps it is the elimination of the over-stimulation and over-consumption that fills normal modern-day life. Life is loud and busy and hectic. Food is highly seasoned with taste-enhancing chemicals and we eat more of it than our bodies need.
Cut out this outer source of "static" and "noise" and we're left with a clearer ability to sense truth. Without the stimulation of food, our bodies seem to become more quiet, still, and peaceful. We're able to focus better on the things of true value and discern higher truths, seeing through the annoying patterns of our lives into greater understanding, and begin to experience the blessings and guidance of higher realms.
The influence of the outside world is lessened, allowing you to experience more of the subtle inner world.
Even if we're fasting for weight loss, the other effects of fasting will manifest themselves, but only if we're open to these opportunities and take time to integrate the insights will they truly have a chance to change and expand us.
If you're looking into fasting for weight loss, you're certainly looking in the right direction. Not because it's a great way to lose weight physically but because it means you might begin to experience the inner connections that can lead to your ultimate healing.
Fasting helps you to change your patterns and beliefs, helps you to change who you are inside while you're changing on the outside. To fast and not be open to those changes, well, you might as well just do the latest hot "diet" trend instead.