I am going to embark on a water fast and I want others to join in. Read on for more info.

What is Fasting?

Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.

You are choosing to not eat anything. Now some people will choose to do a juice fast. They have nothing but freshly squeezed juices to help detoxify their body.

I am more of a fan of water fasting. Nothing but water. That’s it. I have actually done a 14 day water fast back in 2008 and it was amazing. I felt great. But I really did not know enough about it to make the results last.

In short I went back to my junk food ways.

Now a lot of people have come to believe that we need to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Bullshit. When you eat the body releases insulin. This is the fat storage hormone. When insulin is in the bloodstream you cannot be burning body fat. It just can’t happen.

But why in the hell would I not eat you ask?

Because it is the ultimate way to allow your body to heal and go through a complete detoxification process.

And trust me we are toxic as hell. The chemicals used in our food, our cosmetics, our clothing, our household goods and more are making us so sick and so fat it is criminal.

Let’s look at what happens physiologically when you fast.

Hopefully I’m not surprising anyone here by noting that the body stores glycogen. Glycogen is a polysaccharide form of glucose, stored in both the liver and in the muscles.

After digestion, the liver begins releasing its stored glycogen to the body for use in running the brain and other systems.

In humans, just the overnight fast of sleeping is enough to nearly deplete liver glycogen. That big brain doesn’t stop working and sucking up glucose just because you’re unconscious.

Amino Acids

When the body runs out of glycogen in the liver to fuel the brain, it turns to amino acids. Through the process of gluconeogenesis, the liver breaks down these proteins to create glucose. Before the bodybuilders in the crowd pass out at the thought of losing a single ounce of their hard-earned muscles, the interesting thing here is that the body isn’t necessarily using muscle proteins at this stage. The liver is able to meet most of its glucose needs by recycling lactate and alanine.

Around the eighteen hour mark, when we move into the “fasting” state, muscle proteins become the chief source of amino acids to fuel gluconeogensis. The breakdown of fat stores through lipolysis also provides glycerol, which the liver converts into glucose.

I don’t think a bit of muscle protein breakdown is necessarily a bad thing, so long as your lifestyle is typically anabolic. I’d think that allowing the muscles to consume worn out proteins allows for better rebuilding of new muscle fibers, clearing out cellular garbage.

Another interesting thing is that not all amino acids are broken down for glucose. Some are known as ketogenic amino acids. In humans, the two aminos that are always converted to energy through ketogenesis are leucine and lysine.

A lot of people actually notice an increase in muscle mass when they fast. I have to wonder if a low-carb diet with fasting versus a typical high-carb diet with fasting has any effect. Low-carb diets tend to be protein-sparing. While the body still needs glucose, the increased protein intake on a low-carb diet supplies the necessary amino acids to generate adequate glucose. Just a thought.

Losing Body Fat

Lipolysis is the process of mobilizing fat from the body’s adipose stores for breakdown into usable energy. There are essentially five main hormones controlling this process: epinephrine, norepinephrine, glucagon, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), along with insulin. As I mentioned earlier when insulin is up, fat mobilization is down. The other four hormones are lipolysis inducers.

During water fasting, insulin drops due to the lack of incoming calories from the gut. Along with that, blood glucose levels decrease to baseline. With no influx of glucose and fatty acids coming from the gut, there is no need for the storage hormone.

That sounds really good to me.

There is so much more going on with water fasting. There is amazing stuff going on with the thyroid, and growth hormone(we all should want more growth hormone and water fasting does this for us!)

We are conditioned by marketers that we need to be eating all the time. Not so.

Water fasting allows the body to heal, rest, breakdown and burn body fat, and detoxify itself.

So here is what I am going to do.

I am embarking on a water fast and I would love for anyone else out there who has thought about doing a fast to join me. I am going to take daily photos of myself and I will keep track of how I feel.

The first few days can be tough as your body starts to get rid of toxins. You will feel sluggish and maybe even a bit depressed. And yes you will feel hungry. That hunger is psychological only. Your brain is used to getting a steady supply of sugar from food. Fight through that and you will be on your way to experiencing the benefits of water fasting.

Who is in?

Have any of you done a water fast before? How did it go?

Please share your thoughts in the comments and please share this post with everyone. Thanks.

Live simply.

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23 thoughts on “Fasting-The Ultimate Minimalist Diet

  1. I’ve fasted for long periods of time. I lost weight; I’ve never gotten so many comments in my life. I could run better. But after weeks of starving myself my body fought back. I began to binge. And I’ve struggled with not one, but three sequential eating disorders since.

    A water cleanse is a matter of personal choice. But in many ways it can dangerously set people up for an eating disorder or complications from refeeding syndrome (from the British Medical Journal: Refeeding Syndrome) http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7659/1495?view=long&pmid=18583681. Ancel Keyes’ Starvation Experiment documented the short and very long-term effects of starvation diets. http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Great_Starvation_Experiment.html?id=eS-cdiJcnZgC

    I’m not going to stop anyone from doing this, but I am going to say please, please, please have your doctor keep an eye on you while you’re doing this a develop a plan for refeeding at the end.

    Respectfully,
    Joanna

    1. Starvation and fasting are not the same thing. Starvation is not a choice.

      Also fasting should be done to break free from food addictions, over eating and binge eating.

      A plan to break the fast is certainly very important.

      Thank you for your concerns and comment.

      1. Thank you for being willing to publish my comment, many would not have.

        I am puzzled though by the idea that these diets are “detoxifying.” As the body breaks down proteins (from your muscle) to for energy, a condition called ketoacidosis occurs. Your body literally breaks its own tissues down into acetone, AKA, nail polish remover .I can’t see how this could be good for anyone if it goes on for more than a few days.

        As far as the body is concerned, fasting is starvation by choice. The body doesn’t respond differently to deprivation from food just because you chose to deprive it.

        Starving one’s self just leads to binges. Ask anyone who has binge eating disorder. I’ve spent years in that terrible cycle.

      2. I really appreciate your perspective and comments so of course I would publish your comments.

        Could it be that the binge eating you speak of is a deeply rooted psychological condition?

        I am just asking.

        Also the ketoacidosis you mention is a diabetic response and does not occur in otherwise healthy individuals while fasting.

      3. I really appreciate your comments so of course I would publish your comments.

        The body only uses a few ounces of protein as fuel.

        The ketoacidosis you mention only happens in diabetics not in otherwise healthy individuals while fasting.

  2. I’m not joining is as I am still brestfeeding, but have fasted in the past and I do find the results amazing. Good luck to all those who are fasting out there

  3. Hi – I have never fasted but have read a good bit on the subject and have been interested in trying fasting for some time. I get the impression that you’re planning to stay on your water fast for a good while; I am looking to start slowly, fasting only for a day or two and building up gradually to longer fasts, for a variety of reasons including safety. When are you starting? I am definitely interested but may structure my fast (or series of short fasts) differently than you will. Best of luck!

    Bethany

    1. I will start fasting on Monday and there is a huge benefit to Intermittent Fasting. Short 24-48 hour fasts are a great way to start. I try to do at least one 24 hour fast per week. I work shift work so it is actually kind of easy for me. I am either working or sleeping it seems.

      So do what works for you.

  4. I’m certain you’re doctor is supervising this “diet”, correct? You might want to mention a few of your theories to a medical professional. Unless that’s “bullshit” too. You are suggesting a very dangerous practice to people who value your opinion

    1. why is it dangerous? I need proof and science to support that statement as well.

      Now I think we know that most GP’s are pill pushers. Not all of course but I would be more inclined to see a naturopathic doctor.

      I would suggest that the eating of all the processed garbage that is consumed is maybe more dangerous.

      This is all just based on what I have read and tried to study. If people are not on board and don’t believe in it that is fine.The science is there to support fasting

      1. I agree, water fasting is a well-documented process which is exceptionally beneficial for the body, improving energy, long-term health, extending life-span, the list goes on.

        As with any medical or dietary approach, there is conflicting research and opinion. But I think there is enough supporting evidence for the benefits of controlled water fasting.

        I would love to join you but have evening classes for uni and know (from past experience) that I can’t get off to a good start when I feel that it’s too strenuous to do all that commuting late at night after a fulltime job! But after this semester, I’m planning a long fast 🙂

  5. Responding to Joanna’s comments – – she is correct in her observations. The body does not need to be “detoxed”. The current fad of cleansing our digestive system is silly. Our body is remarkably capable of caring for itself. Simply eat “real” food – – not stuff that looks like food — and manage your portions. If you are cleansing (I hate that phrase), simply eliminate heavy fats and large portions and junk food. And, as my doctor has said, “Don’t drink your calories.” It seems that you are not embarking on a water fast simply for weight loss. However, the body doesn’t understand why you aren’t taking in the nutrients it needs and has become accustomed to. The body will react by conseving as many calories as possible to prevent starvation. You will lose weight, of course, but the body will most definitely remember the starvation period. Once you begin to consume actual food, the body will grab all the calories it can to stave off another starvation period. It’s our lizard brain keeping us alive. But mostly, I’m concerned that you are willy-nilly inviting others to join you on a water fast with no caution to consult their physician. I believe this is irresponsible.

  6. I’m currently finishing up a month long of fasting for Ramadam. It is more of an intermittent fasting (IF) since we are abstaining from all food and drink from dawn to sunset. IF has shown to have numerous health benefits (I can pull up the studies on my iTouch, but Dr Weil’s summary can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/andrew-weil-md/fasting-health_b_1557043.html ). I’ve never done a water fast, though. Do you go for the whole 2 week with nothing but water? I’m curious because by the end of the day, we jokingly call our impaired cognitive function resulting from the lack of glucose “fasting brain”. I can’t imagine a whole two weeks of it.

    As for the commentor worried about fasting leading to an eating disorder, those are rooted in two completely different psychologies. Fasting isn’t a control issue or unhealthy obsession with body image; eating disorders typically are. So unless the seeds are already planted, fasting will not lead to eating disorders.

  7. I just watched a very interesting documentary about the health benefits of intermittent fasting http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lxyzc

    It all makes sense to me…we were evolved to be able to live with frequent small shortages of food interspersed with times of plenty. Since I watched the documentary I’ve managed a couple of 400 calorie days. It’s not easy, but it isn’t as terrible as dieting either.
    Good luck

  8. BEWARE! I’ve gone on a couple of water fasts. After only a few days, my heart begins to palpitate and I must eat or drink something to prevent passing out, or worse. It washes out your electrolytes. Drink an occasional smoothie or pulpy fruit drink to make sure that episode never happens.

    A Friend

    1. I wonder if this is the initial phase of glycogen breakdown. The first few days of a fast can be difficult especially for those of us that have certain food addictions like sugar.

      Thanks for the tip and the comment.

  9. I really want to do a juice fast. I feel like i need this radical kind of jump start to change my eating. My family is very much against it, though I’ve explained that I find it to be a spiritual opportunity. I’m concerned about doing it properly and doing it when people around me think it’s crazy. I’m second guessing it now 😦

    1. oh the vast majority of people have no idea about the benefits of fasting, juice fasting included. Don’t let them sway you. Why would they know any better.

      Talk to a naturopathic doctor perhaps about it and GO FOR IT!

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