A few things have me thinking about the benefits and dangers of fasting. Fasting is something many people think to do, but never actually commit to. This is understandable - to fast correctly takes commitment, time, and even money (nutritional advice, support, supplements, etc.).
In an article I found at my friends house, The Outer Limits, Lawrence Osborne takes a trip to a Thai island for a week-long fast. He paid thousands of dollars for the full treatment daily - detoxification clays mixed with pineapple juice, vitamin supplements, stomach massage, colema irrigation, sauna, massage, and yoga. In the end he was 16 pounds lighter and immediately ate seven white bread/cucumber/processed cheese sandwiches at the airport.
Now that’s a lifestyle change if I ever saw one!! (Way to throw out a few thousand dollars!)
I have never fasted, but I did once go on a 3-week detox diet set up by a nutritionist. For three weeks I lived off of whey protein/water/fruit/flax oil smoothies, raw salads, 4-minute steamed vegetables, and vitamin supplements. I lost the weight I wanted to loose, but I couldn’t keep it off after the detox was over. I didn’t know how to healthily maintain my new weight. I hadn’t made the lifestyle changes necessary, I wasn’t ready to give up chocolate and lots of cooked foods, sugars, etc.
This nutritionist feels that everyone should do that detox twice a year. I think that’s excessive. If you eat correctly and exercise on a normal basis your body should be able to process and eliminate toxins naturally on a daily basis.
I’m not saying that I don’t believe in fasting or in detox diets. What I don’t believe in is using them as a crash diet to loose weight quickly. An end result may be to loose weight quickly, but if that’s your goal you’re missing the big picture.
Detox diets and fasts should open your mind to new ways of eating and living on a daily basis to promote health. If you want to change your lifestyle in the long run, a detox or a fast may be a good way to start if you’re mentally prepared for it. You may want to wait until you have changed your lifestyle to fast so that when it’s over you’ll return to healthy eating habits, instead of resorting to binging like Lawrence.
If you do it right, a fast/detox will:
Promote lifestyle changes
Teach healthful eating
Restore balance in your body
Help fight disease
Change taste preferences
Reduce fat/toxicity (toxins are stored in fat cells)
If you do a fast/detox without guidance:
Send your body into starvation mode, causing you to…
Loose muscle mass, not fat mass
Not detox (toxins are stored in fat cells)
Lower your Immune System
If you are going to fast or go onto a detox diet, consult a professional. In doing this on your own you will harm yourself rather than help yourself. Over the counter fasting packs may not provide the nutritional supplements you need to maintain a healthy body. If you feel starved, unfocused, or dizzy… you aren’t doing it right! Eat something and seek professional help on your next try.
If you’re interested in long-term lifestyle changes that involve eating more nutrient dense foods without pesticides and additives, I suggest reading The Great American DETOX DIET
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.