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How to Break A Water-Only Fast

How to Break A Water-Only Fast

The re-feeding period after water only fasting is crucial for the success of the fasting experience. In fasting centers, a common recommendation is that the faster take half the time of the fast to ease back into eating. So if you fast 7 days, you should take another 3-4 days to break the fast. If you fast two weeks, you should take another week to break the fast. A conservative approach to re-introducing food and activity is in the best interest of all water only fasters at any age.

Common Mistakes When Breaking a Water Only Fast

If there are two mistakes that are commonly made after fasting, they are eating too much too soon, and moving too much too soon. Food needs to be gradually introduced after a period of water only fasting. Fasts are most successfully broken with a succession of diluted and full strength vegetable juices, melons and other fresh fruit, fresh raw vegetables and salads, cooked vegetables, potatoes, legumes and grains.

Even if you fast, fasting will always be just a small part of your life. You will be eating 99% of your time and fasting only a very small percentage of your life. So what you do before and after the times that you fast is going to be the most significant part of your health and weight loss program.

Avoiding Reactive Weight Gain After Water Only Fasting

Just remember that because of the elimination of all calories, and a natural starvation response that is enhanced after periods of severe calorie restriction, there can be significant reactive weight gain after a fast if healthy, low calorie density, low sodium, plant-based eating and lifestyle habits are not maintained. Briefly, there is a kind of ledger sheet, an internal recognition system that the body uses to match its calorie intake to its calorie output. If you’re restricting your intake of calories but burning a lot of calories in physical movement, the body will slow down resting metabolism to hold on to future calories more forcefully, and you can begin to gain weight on less and less food intake.

Since there are no calories coming in during a water only fast, increasing physical activity during a fast is not only potentially dangerous, but can promote excessive reactive weight gain after the fast. Therefore, maintaining as much rest as possible is recommended during the fast, followed by a diet without added oil, refined sugar, animal products, and salt.

Reintroducing Activity After a Water Only Fast

Physical activity should also be gradually introduced after a fast. If you have been doing nothing but resting during an extensive fasting period, it is in your best interest to ease back gently into an ongoing exercise regimen. Doing too much too soon can cause undue physiological stress to the body, and even potentially provoke some unforeseen damage and disability.

Depending on the length of the fast, I typically recommend short periods of walking, swimming, or biking on a stationary bike, or even rebounding on a rebounder, just about 4-5 minutes at a time a few times a day, for the first few days after fasting.

After this period, activity can be extended several minutes a day over time until you’ve built up to about 30-45 minutes a day.

Being conservative in your eating and exercise choices after water only fasting will enhance any of the benefits you have achieved during the fasting process.

by Dr. Frank Sabatino

Enjoy a Healthy, Medically Supervised Water Only Fast at Balance for Life
The Balance for Life Retreat in Deerfield Beach, Florida (BalanceForLifeFlorida.com) is one of the few programs in the world that does medically supervised water-only fasting and the only one located directly on the ocean. Dr Frank Sabatino, the Health Director of the Balance for Life Program is one of the world’s leading experts on water-only fasting.

Rebooting the Immune System with Water-Only Fasting

Rebooting the Immune System with Water-Only Fasting

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that provide your body’s natural defense and help fight infection. It is made up of organs like your thymus gland, that produces antibodies against invading bacteria and viruses, in addition to your lymph nodes and lymphatic system that filter lymph fluid and trap organisms and other foreign substances so that your white blood cells can destroy them.

The immune system also includes bone marrow, a soft tissue found in the bones of your arms, legs, pelvis and spine, that produces white blood cells to protect you against infection and promote the healing of damaged cells after injury and trauma , and the spleen which filters your blood to remove old or damaged blood cells .

The migration of white blood cells to areas of injury and cell damage is a necessary part of the acute inflammatory process that is essential to a healthy functioning immune system. But keep in mind that all cells of the body have a limited life span and will age and become less functional over time. However, when white blood cells become less functional, your immune system can be compromised interfering with your ability to heal and making you more prone to infection.

Water Only Fasting Supports the Immune System

Water only fasting redirects body cells away from growth, promoting repair, maintenance and healing. When growth is inhibited in water only fasting, the process of autophagy is increased. Autophagy directs the body to recycle the damaged parts of old worn out cells and remove and/or repair damaged cells. So that after just 4 days of water only fasting there is a remarkable stem cell activation and production of new functional white blood cells which enhances and reboots your immune system.

In addition, lifestyle factors including a diet high in salt, sugar, processed oils , meat and dairy products and chronic stress can promote chronic inflammation/cell damage and compromise the immune system; even urging the body to turn against itself and promote auto-immune disease like Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, water only fasting, even for short periods, is one of the most powerful approaches for resolving inflammation and the complications of autoimmune disease.

In the UK, fasting and a follow up plant-based diet significantly resolved the complications and laboratory markers associated with RA. After four weeks, a test group that completed a 7-10 day water-only fast, followed by a gluten-free, plant-based vegan diet, had a significant decrease in the number of swollen joints, a decrease in the duration of morning stiffness, an increase in grip strength, and a remarkable decrease in the bio-markers for inflammation and RA, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and white blood count.

Enjoy a Medically Supervised Water-Only Fast at Balance for Life

Keep in mind that your body, in its wisdom, knows what belongs in it and what does not. And during a water-only fast, it will eliminate what it needs least to support what it needs most. So for example, it needs vital organs like heart, brain, kidney, liver etc. but it does not need tumors, cysts, stones and growths.

The Balance for Life Retreat in Deerfield Beach, Florida (BalanceForLifeFlorida.com) is one of the few programs in the world that does medically supervised water-only fasting and the only one located directly on the ocean.
by Dr. Frank Sabatino

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