If you have never heard of Dry Fasting, your not alone. Although its been around for thousands of years, it wasn’t until recently that it has gotten some attention. Studies have shown that dry fasting can be very beneficial to your health, but it’s not for everyone.
Dry Fasting Explained
Although the term “dry fasting” maybe new to you. You may already be familiar with the concept, substantiating from all food and drink for a short period.
During the fasting period, you are not allowed to eat or drink at all. Basically nothing can be consumed during the fast.
The fasting period can last from 8hours to 2-3 day. With some going to extremes and extending the fasting period for up to 5 days. Extended fasts are really not a good idea and we encourage you speak to your doctor first.
Mattson has also researched the protective benefits of fasting to neurons. If you don’t eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, says Mattson, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.
The most confusing feeling for modern man is hunger. We eat when we are bored, excited, alone, with friends, sad or happy. Think about it, how many times in your life can you say that you actually ate because of hunger?
Then, what is hunger anyway? Is it that rumble and stomach pain you that you have learned to associate with “starvation”.
Heres a question, “why is it, that only a couple of hours after a big meal, you start to feel hungry?”. But on days when you barely eat anything, your stomach never hurts from hunger pains? The answer is hormones, specifically insulin.
Eating causes a chain reaction and a spike in insulin. A drop in insulin produces hunger pain. Keeping your insulin levels low and stable. Will help you avoid hunger pains.
2 Types of Dry fasts
There are two common variations, one is more extreme than the other and is usually associated with religious practices. Depending on your reasons, you may chose one over the other.
Standard dry fast
Most commonly done for health beneficial purposes. The rules are simple to understand and not as restrictive as the other version. Just don’t eat or drink anything for 12 to 24 hours. This gives your body time it needs to heal and detoxify.
Some decide to take this already restrictive fast to new levels by prolonging the amount of time. Or by restricting it even further. Not allowing the use of water at all, no showering, brushing, etc,.
Doing Your First Dry Fast
As you probably already figured out, this will take some dedication and may be a bit of a challenge. But as long as your ready, willing and prepare. You will be able to successfully complete your fast.
If you have never fasted before, expect some difficulties and adjustments. Dry fasting isn’t easy and is not for the novice. Try water, fasting first then move on to a dry fast for a short intervals first.
You should know what to expect and become familiar with how your body reacts. Then try extending the time or adding more restrictions to drinks.
Dry fasting is a totally different experience than water fasting.
Pick a Start and Ending Date and time
Pick a day and time that works with your schedule. Of course you’ll want to pick a day that doesn’t require to much physical activity. But, you will want to stay busy and keep my mind occupied.
The best time to start or end a fast is early morning, as soon as you wake or go to sleep. Trying to start a fast mid day is not as effective and very difficult. Also ending a fast mid day may lead to compulsive eating.
Start: Don’t eat or drink from the type you wake
End: plan a small light dinner and don’t eat anymore than that. Or just start eating and drinking the morning of.
You may decide to slowly get ready a day or two before your fast. Eating lightly the night before and drinking plenty of water a few days ahead. Following a raw vegan meal plan a week before you get started can increase effectiveness.
Get chap-stick, mouth wash and lotion to help you avoid bad breath and looking dehydrated.
Avoid physically strenuous activity, but stay busy. Fasting triggers heighten bran activity levels. Take advantage of this by engaging in therapeutic and mindful activity.
Meditation, yoga and walks through the park can help you collect your thoughts. Use this time to look inward and dispose of negative emotions and thoughts.
What to expect
- Depending on your diet and current glucose levels, headaches are common. Laying down and keeping your legs elevated can elevate light head aches.
- Low energy can be a drag at first, but as your body starts to adjust. Some people report a boost in energy and awareness.
- Stomach pain are less common then you think. Because you haven’t raised insulin levels.
- Expect to bad breath, you sugar free gum or mouth wash if you expect to interact with others.
- Some people may notice a change in body oder. This is normal and part of the detoxing effects.
Ending the Fast
The worst mistake you can make is ending with a big meal. This can result in upset stomach and discomfort.
The best way to end a dry fast is by drinking water. Slowly drinking a liter or more over a couple of hours, will allow your body to detox and regain hydration.