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Benefits of Fasting

Dr. Mukul Anand

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Nature of Fasting in diseased condition

  • In acute conditions of diseases a patient should fast till the body is free from disease. Here fasting means complete avoidance of heavy, cold, oily, spicy meals. The patient should take only Satvic meals like mung dals, lemon water or juices. These types of patients should restart their normal meals only when the disease is over. They should break the fast in a proper way, which is discussed below.
  • In chronic conditions, long fast are not advised. Fasts should be in intervals but food should be light and warm without being too oily or spicy. In other words the patient should thrive only on Satvic meals. in chronic diseases there is highly putrefied matter deposited in the body. These poisons reduce the quality of life. If continuous fasting for many numbers of days is done, then body’s complete energy is used in draining toxins out of the system, rendering it lifeless. This will make the patient easily susceptible to many other diseases. Therefore patient suffering from chronic diseases should fast but intermittently and slowly.

How to Fast?

Long fasts are not that usually recommended. Short fast in intervals are always better.

A person new to fasting can start by missing a meal a day, then proceed with missing all the three meals a day and then continuously for few days.

Start avoiding heavy oily meals few days before you plan to fast. Fasting begins not from the time the last meal is taken, but when the next meal to be taken is missed. This implies fasting begins when the previous meal has been digested and the waste has been flushed out of the body. This is the time when a person feels hungry and craves for food. Suppress this craving with water (else juices). Eliminate alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and sugar in your diet. Red meats and other animal foods, including milk products and eggs, could be avoided for week before fasting.

A person fasting for the first time might feel hungry now and then, but gradually the body becomes habitual. But still suppress hunger only with water or juices.

Beginning from sunrise fast for 6-8 hrs until hunger is felt. At this stage drink some water or take some fruits. The body should be devoid of any other meals to accelerate the process of detoxification. Avoid strenuous labor and take more rest especially when the patient is weak and lean.

In case a person finds fasting tough, then the goal, is to move into a one-day fast, then break for two days with light foods, raw fruits and vegetables fluids, juices, soups etc. then restart the fast and now live without food for two days instead of one. This way, we can build up to a five- to ten-day fast. When the transition is made this slowly, even water fast can be less intense and more profound for those wishing a powerful personal and spiritual experience. With water fast, however, I strongly suggest medical monitoring and retreating from usual daily life.

Fasting is a simple process of self-cleansing. We do not need any special medicines to do it; our body knows how. Provided that we are basically well nourished, systematic under eating and fasting are likely the most important contributors to health and longevity.

How to break the fast?

After a fast is to be broken the transition back into normal course of life also takes some time. To judge the time to stop the fast depends on following factors:
  • Energy level, weight, detoxification symptoms, tongue coating, and degree of hunger.
  • If your weight gets too low you need to stop the fast too.
  • Generally, the tongue is a good indicator of our state of toxicity or cleansing and clarity. With fasting, the tongue usually becomes coated with a white, yellow, or gray film. This represents the body’s cleansing, and it will usually clear when the detoxification cycle is complete.
  • Hunger is another sign of readiness to move back into eating. Often during cleansing times, hunger is minimal. Occasionally, people are very hungry throughout a fast, but most lose interest in food from day three to day seven or ten and then experience real, deep-seated hunger again. This is a sign to eat.

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