Water Fasting Tips for Success
The biggest downfall in water fasting is not being prepared. These water fasting tips will help you
avoid the pitfalls, helping you to create the most supportive environment and guide you toward a smooth
and successful fasting experience.
A water fast becomes a sort of "lifestyle change" as so many patterns and routines become disrupted.
Hopefully, these water fasting tips, and ones you find on your own, will make that transition a bit
easier. Every time you fast, you will gain more insight into the process, making it easier and easier.
Water fasting, as you can imagine,
requires a great deal of commitment. Some people find it easy to make a decision and then stick to it
no matter what. Others struggle with second thoughts and doubts, or are more prone to give in to the
temptations. You know which type of person you are, and most of us are the second type.
And there's nothing wrong with that. We're creatures of habit and when our routines and habits change,
we usually feel discomfort. This discomfort can be turned into a sense of excitement if you choose.
During fasting, it's usually just the first day that we feel the pangs in our stomach that we equate
with hunger. And it's usually the first few days that we "miss" eating, even after those "hunger pangs"
have ceased. If you're new to fasting, you might be surprised (and enlightened) by what you miss about
eating. Just the action of chewing can become something you crave. Some miss the hand to mouth action
of feeding themselves. But, for most, it's the full, satisfied feeling in the stomach, that not only
feels good physically, but provides a level of emotional comfort.
Each person will gain unique insight into their relationship with food and eating. That's part of what
fasting is about and one of the many
benefits of fasting. Don't ignore this aspect. Examine your feelings and responses around food and
the lack of it, and use that information for greater personal awareness. This can truly be an exciting
time of personal insight and expansion.
It is highly recommended that you not work
during a water fast, and most importantly that you not work during those first few critical days.
If you work in a totally loving and supportive environment, it might be okay to work during the
latter part of your fast.
If you work in a non-supportive environment, particularly one that is
highly charged with strict deadlines or difficult co-workers, just don't even go there. You may
feel more emotional than usual during a fast, because your emotional and mental patterns will
be undergoing a sort of cleanse of their own. (See
of Fasting for more on emotional cleansing.)
If you really must work during part of your fast, and this might depend on how long you're
fasting, at least reserve the first 3-5 days to be away from those pressures and the pressures
of being around the "eating public". This applies too to those who work from home. While
fasting can be inspiring toward your work if you love your work, avoid the parts that are
stressful. This time is best spent in partial seclusion, or full seclusion, depending on
Just a reminder here that may tip the scale in favor of taking some vacation time: body
odor and bad breath are quite often a side effect of fasting as your body eliminates toxins
- What to do with your time
You might be surprised
at how much time is freed up by not eating, time you used to spend cooking, cleaning the dishes,
food shopping, and thinking about and planning your next meal. You may also find you need less
sleep. We're not talking about insomnia here, but rather sleeping more soundly and so, requiring
less. Not having to digest food, which is such an energy-intensive activity, frees up energy too.
Plan ahead by at least having several ideas in mind for things to do. And have the supplies on hand
for any activities that require them (especially for any activity you're planning to do in those
first few days when you may not be able to drive safely).
~Treat yourself with a self-spa—take long baths, moisturize your skin with natural, chemical-free
moisturizers, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, do a facial. Begin the practice of
dry skin brushing to help eliminate
toxins and stimulate the lymphatic system. Many like to sun or sit in hot tubs or saunas, but
these can be dehydrating, so proceed with caution.
~Catch up on reading (only non-stressful, preferably uplifting).
For the best book to read on
water fasting, see here. Buy it or other books on water fasting, or check them out from your
~Walk or do yoga or mild stretching exercises
~Start practicing breathing
exercises to help with detox and increase lung function.
~Spend more time than you usually do with your pet
~Take time for long meditations and prayer
~Pick up that neglected hobby or passion - drawing, painting, writing...
~Re-connect with friends that have fallen off your radar lately (but not any who will try to
twist your arm into going to lunch)
~Keep a fasting journal, recording your feelings, impressions and insights. From this journal,
you will discover your own unique set of water fasting tips to use for your next fast.
Having the support of those around you
can be SO helpful, but not all of us are surrounded by people who understand the desire to fast.
If you do have such friends, utilize their support and experience as much as possible. If you don't,
at least tell one friend what your plans are; it's good for safety reasons to have someone objective
watching your fast.
Forums are a good place to find "fasting buddies" as well as a large group of people who are
supportive of the process, but you have to remember, you are your number one and best advocate
for what is best for you. Also, as addictive as such social media can be, don't let it take
over your time or you'll miss so much of what takes place in your inner world. Fasting offers
the most as a personal experience, not a social experience.
The better your preparation in the days before your fast, the more physically
comfortable you will be during the early part of your fast. In the 2 or 3 days before, eliminate any
and all processed foods, sugar, white flour, and wean yourself off any caffeine products. Just like
a cleansing diet, this will begin
the process of your body flushing out, making the transition to water even easier.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow a raw diet of fresh fruits and vegetables,
during this pre-fast time, and longer than 2-3 days if you can. This will significantly reduce the
uncomfortable side effects of fasting - the headaches, nausea, and flu-like symptoms that are so
common in the first few days of a fast.
If you didn't prepare sufficiently and find yourself having severe side effects, don't be afraid
to slow things down with a small piece of a fresh juicy fruit. Trust your own judgment when this
feels like the appropriate thing to do.
While you won't need the sight or smell of food to remind you of food, do your best to clean
up your surroundings and remove food items from sight and smell; little things like putting up
the fruit bowl and cookie jar. If you live alone, you can tape the refrigerator door shut to
stop the unconscious habit of checking its contents.
- For those weak moments
While this usually only
occurs in the first couple days, you may find yourself having periods of temptation to quit, times you
fall into self-doubt. "Why am I doing this anyway?" "What's the point?" "This is too hard."
Don't beat yourself up over these thoughts. They're just a natural outcome of changing your usual
patterns. It can be a lot like grief; you are grieving the loss of something that provided you comfort
and was so much a part of your life--food. Quitting any addiction feels like this.
You can get through these moments by distracting yourself with other activities, like light exercise
or taking a nap. Or you can face them head-on by reminding yourself this was a decision you made clearly
and intelligently, with all of the facts and information before you. Get back in touch with the energy
and mental set-up of the person you were when you made that decision. Re-read those facts and pieces
of information, read the Benefits
of Fasting page again, or great
fasting quotes. Is it still a valid decision to fast?
Accept the now. Yes, it sounds very zen, doesn't it? It's actually easier than it sounds. Say to yourself,
"this is the way it is." "This is just the way it is right now, tonight or tomorrow may be different, but
right now, this moment, this is the way it is." "This is what I decided to do, this is what I wanted to
experience." See if you can let go into that feeling that it is ok to be where you are. You're missing
food. You're missing that comfort. And that's ok. Eventually, like all grief, there comes a point of
acceptance. You are ok, even without that thing you think you want.
Not everyone has these weak moments. Some people actually feel great relief in the act of not eating,
finding freedom from some chronic pain or freedom from the social or personal pressures to eat a certain
If you should give in to any temptations, don't fret over it later, just move on. A piece of food during
a water fast won't "ruin everything", and quitting early means you can fast another day as a wiser, more
- Colon health
It isn't necessary to take enemas during
any kind of fast; they're actually considered disruptive to the colon's rest period. It's perfectly normal
to not have a bowel movement for the duration of your fast. Eating high-fiber foods directly prior to your
fast, perhaps including psyllium supplementation or using
this colon cleanse recipe, should help make the first bowel movement after your fast easier. There are
also suppositories available for this purpose.
If you should ever feel dizzy, immediately sit
down; if there's no chair available, simply lie down on the floor. Fainting can happen and can, of course,
cause injury. Dizziness is usually caused by the lower blood pressure fasting can bring about. Keep this
in mind and don't stand up or get out of bed quickly while water fasting. Men are advised to sit down on
the toilet should they ever need to urinate during the night.
- Make it special
Get out your finest crystal water goblet,
or buy a new beautiful one, to use during your water fast.
- After the fast
Check out the recipe section of this site
for ideas on cooking with whole and real foods. Processed and other
chemical-laden foods won't taste good anymore, so many foods you were
used to eating
will be unappetizing now. Listen to your inner guidance for the foods
that are appropriate for you to eat and be fully nourished by.
You've got this
Hopefully these water fasting tips will help you be more prepared for the changes water fasting creates in your life. You
will come up with your own set of "water fasting tips". Write these down and save them to use as a guideline for your
next fasting experience.
If you're new to fasting, get help in deciding how
how long to fast. Rather than jumping into a long fast, start with shorter fasts
so you can begin to experience and understand your unique reactions to fasting.
Intermittent fasting offers more
ideas for easing you into fasting using 24-hour plans. Using
partial fasts, like fruit or brown rice, to
prepare you for a water fast is a great plan as well.
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