Okay, so you're thinking about doing a short or long-term fast, and you're looking for some tips that will help you along the way. Well, I got you covered! In this article, I will give you 5 helpful and practical tips that will help you on your water-fasting journey.
1. Eat Healthy Before You Start The Fast
It's true that after your fast you should pay attention to the foods that you re-introduce to your body, but have you ever given any thought to what you put into your body before you start? Starting a fast is not an excuse to have an all you can eat free-for-all the day of or the day before you start. Fasting is used to help your body heal, and the last thing you want before you start is your stomach coated with sugar and grease.
Instead focus on eating healthy, organic and nutritious food. Eat fresh fruits, raw veggies, and lean meats to ensure that your body is well-fed before you start. If you do this, you will have an easier time fasting once you get started.
If you decide to eat foods that are greasy or food that is loaded with sugar, you will you feel sluggish with lower energy levels from the very start of the fast. You also have an increased chance of becoming hungrier much sooner because your blood sugar levels will have been elevated which confuses your brain and sends unneeded hunger signals to your stomach.
Another tip is to make your last meal high in volume. All that means is adding foods that are lower in calories that take up more space in your stomach. Foods that will help you do this are spinach, kale, onions, carrots, peppers and pretty much all other vegetables. Fruits that are high in fiber like apples can also be helpful before you decide to start.
2. Choose Your Start Time Wisely
Choosing a proper start time is often overlooked, but selecting the right start time can dramatically make your fasting experience much easier and more enjoyable. No time is better than any other to start a fast and the best start time is based on your eating habits and how you usually live your life.
If you're a breakfast person, then start your fast after a nice wholesome breakfast. That way, you can enjoy your favorite meal and get to break your fast around that same time, meaning you'll have a full day to introduce food back into your diet. The downside is that you still have to make it through an entire day without eating after already stimulating your hunger.
Starting a fast after an early dinner is an excellent choice because it allows you to enjoy eating for a full day and also your bed-time shouldn't be too far away. The importance of having your bed-time close by means you only have to fast a couple of hours before you sleep and by the time you wake up, you'll have added another 6 to 8 hours to your fasting time.
3. Drink More Water
Drinking more water during a fast seems like common sense, but do you know why you need to increase your water intake while fasting?
Our bodies are made up of around 60% water, and besides oxygen, water is the essential element of life. When fasting, your body relies on the stored energy in your body to fuel your daily actions and to help keep your cells healthy and running smoothly. The extra energy in our body is mostly stored in the form of fat, and these fat cells also store a lot of our bodies toxins.
When we burn the fat cells for energy, we are also releasing toxins, and our body must find a way to eliminate them. Water helps flush out the toxins in our body which helps to reduce headaches, cravings, and low levels of energy while fasting.
When fasting, you should drink at the minimum half your body-weight in water in ounces. Optimally it would be better to drink your entire body-weight in ounces to help the toxin removal process be less stressful on your body. For example, if you're 180lbs, you would want to drink anywhere from 90oz to 180oz of water daily during your fast (about 11 to 22 cups of water a day).
4. Drink Black Coffee to Blunt Hunger
Black coffee has zero calories, therefore ingesting it won't break your fast, in fact, it can help you extend your fast by suppressing your appetite. The coffee itself doesn't suppress your appetite; it's the caffeine contents that do the work.
Also, when you've been fasting for an extended period and the only thing you've been having is water, coffee becomes the ultimate flavor sensation. It's crazy to think that the bitterness of black coffee can taste so good, but when your taste-buds have been deprived, black coffee tastes absolutely incredible.
5. Feel Hunger Pangs? Drink Sparkling Water
Often when fasting, you'll eventually feel a rumbling feeling in the pit of your stomach. Sometimes this disturbance isn't a big deal, but other times these hunger pangs can be upsetting and distracting. There's a simple solution to this problem, drink sparkling water.
Drinking sparkling water has been proven by a study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology to help patients who had overall constipation and digestion problems. The carbon dioxide gas in sparkling water helps to relieve pressure in the stomach by encouraging burping. The sodium bicarbonate that sparkling water contains also helps to neutralize excess stomach acid, which is one of the main culprits of most stomach pangs you feel when fasting.
The added benefit is that sparkling water offers another variety to add to your fast to make it more exciting and fun.
And there you have it! 5 helpful fasting tips that will make your fasting journey that much easier. Hopefully, now you feel more confident and capable of completing an extended water-fast.
If you have any questions or want to talk about fasting, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org