Many years ago, I was introduced to fasting as a diet, through a book entitled “ : The Ultimate Diet”, written by Allan Cott, M.D.. The book cover was intriguing, since both front and back had tidbits of interesting and thought provoking information. It said I could eat nothing at all– and lose weight the quickest, easiest way possible. It said that the reports: “Fasting is a valid experience. It can benefit any otherwise healthy person whose calories now have the upper hand in his life.” But the most interesting bit of information to me was the big red letters that said– Remember, fasting is not starving! I had grown up believing that if someone didn’t have food for several days they could very possibly die of starvation! WOW!! The back peaked my interest even more by saying losing weight might be only one of many benefits, then listed a few–
- Fasting leads to better eating habits.
- Fasting reduces tension.
- Fasting helps you feel better physically and mentally.
- Fasting lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Fasting improves sex.
- Fasting improves sleep.
- Fasting helps end dependence on smoking, drinking, and drugs.
- Fasting heightens spiritual awareness.
- Fasting makes ecological sense– saves food.
- Fasting saves time and money.
Another message printed in red at the bottom said “Starting today, with your doctor’s permission and under his supervision, you can begin fasting, the ultimate diet. It could change your weight and your way of life.” I read on and learned some exciting things…
- During the late 19th century, people fasted simply to give themselves a “housecleaning”, but today they fast mostly to free their bodies from toxic air pollutants. Some fast to allow their body to heal itself, but for whatever reason people fast, they lose excess weight and feel much better.
- Fasting is not starving. Starving begins only after the body’s reserves have been exhausted. Most people can fast safely for a month or longer. Our body gives the signal when it is time to end the fast by becoming hungry and the mouth may even water.
- Hunger, amazingly, disappears during a fast. The first 3-4 days, one could have some hunger pangs and other discomfort, the most common being headache from caffeine withdrawal, but then all discomfort goes away and the rest of the fast is very comfortable.
I found this book to be exciting and very informative, and the good news is, if you would like to read it, it’s still out there. I recently saw it on Amazon.com.
I did 17 days of only water after reading this great book. I felt and looked fabulous- I had achieved my goal weight! My body signaled the fast was over, and then all I had to do was maintain.
Unfortunately, the way this book said to end the fast didn’t work for me. Instead of feeling very comfortable and not hungry, I became very hungry- went to the frig opened mouth and inserted mega food! I didn’t yet know about Atkins or carbs, so all I knew was to fast and do diets that didn’t work for me, and there is only so much fasting your body can do before it begins to starve. I gained, then fasted, then gained- repeating this pattern over and over. I found a number of books about fasting at the Health Food Store and they helped me learn a lot! I was impressed with the story one health worker told and probably learned an important fact. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Fasting and starving are two different things. This very obese woman went to a facility for people who want to fast under doctors care and was doing just fine until her hunger returned and she was told to eat. She refused. They tried to explain to her that her hunger meant her body was very low on some nutrients it needed and she should eat for awhile, then fast again. She refused to listen. She told them that she still had a lot of weight to lose and her body could get what it needed from the much fat she still had left. In the end, the woman did it her way and died of starvation. How very sad that she refused to listen to the wise counsel of the health care workers. Fasting can be included in a diet for weight control and in fact, for most people, would work very well, but we must always listen to our bodies.
It was some years later that I was introduced to Atkins and the low carb diet that enabled me to fast in comfort from the very first day and end the fast without hunger. Should you decide to read and follow this book, then at the end find the way they want you to eat again doesn’t work for you, perhaps you may wish to follow my lead.
- A few days before you begin your fast, or even a week before if you like, begin to cut back on your caffeine intake and lower your carbs to not more than 60 per day. That will enable you to eliminate most, if not all, of the discomfort you would have had the first few days.
- When ending the fast, count your carbs and take in not more than 10 the first day. I’ve found a fresh garden salad to be ideal. Each day you may be able to add a few more carbs until you’re up to 40-60 a day and at that time you should be able to eat the way you normally do.
- An alternative to that would be a totally raw diet. Instead of counting carbs, don’t count anything, just make sure everything you eat is raw. If you juice, which is very healthful, and gives you a nice drink since you’re not having coffee, get carrots that are grown in healthy organic soil, although you may eat raw carrots grown in any soil. That is because carrots are often planted in ‘dirty’ soil in order to clean it and those carrots are fine to eat, whereas for juicing, carrots grown in clean soil is best. You don’t have to take my word for this- I read it somewhere from a source I trusted and I don’t remember what that source was, but I follow this advice. It is great to add an apple to your juice and celery, too. For breakfast, enjoy a big plate of fruits- apples, oranges, grapefruit- whatever fruits and berries you’d like., and in any amount. For a mid-day snack, raw dates and raw cashews (or any raw nuts) are tasty and satisfying. For dinner, a large fresh salad of your favorite lettuces & veggies is wonderful. I love raw cauliflower on mine and peppers and onions- especially the Walla Walla Sweet onions, which is very tasty. Instead of dressing, I love to slice avocado on mine- whatever appeals to you is just fine as long as it’s raw. I once did a whole month of only raw foods and I lost weight every week- my T.O.P.S. group was very impressed. Why did I stop? Well, I love meat, cheese and eggs. I’m not a vegetarian and certainly not a vegan!
Fasting has been a happy part of my life for many years. Sometimes I’d enjoy a 10-day fast, sometimes only 3-4 days, and in more recent years, a 1-day fast once a week- just to remove toxins, mostly, and then I discovered Zeolite and no longer felt the need to fast one day a week in order to remove toxins. Over time things do change, don’t they? I still may fast a week here and there, but not just to remove toxins.
Imagine my delight and surprise when Caleb Lee suggested fasting as part of his formula for weight control! He suggested a 24 hour fast twice a week. That surprised me because when I fasted for a day it was always 36 hours since I didn’t eat during the day and it included two nights. Doing it his way meant I would be eating once each day. That would reduce the calories, carbs, or whatever I was counting, and enable the diet to work even better! I have now started doing just that. It can be any 24 hour period and he likes to eat dinner, then fast until the next dinner time. I prefer to eat breakfast (that way I get my morning coffee), then drink only water until the next day, when I have coffee with my breakfast again. Some weeks I fast on Monday and Thursday, other weeks it’s Tuesday and Friday. This plan is very, very flexible. You can choose any days and any meal as a place to start and finish- just as long as you follow a good, sensible plan, your body will reward you with a lower weight and great health.
Once I discovered the key to losing weight and achieving great health is simply leaving out of our diet all chemicals– and surprise- it tastes fabulous- well that is what I do. I am no longer a hungry person and therefore don’t eat much- just take care of my body and feed it what it wants– yes, if I feel a bit hungry I will often say ‘OK what do you want’ something fat- something protein- a starch- chocolate? Then I feed it whatever it seems to want. To see how and what I eat now, go to my EAT HEALTHY! page and I know you will discover what works best for you!
I believe I now have the very best plan in place to break a fast sensibly and achieve your health goals! Break your fast with a smoothie! If you drink coffee or tea, do a bulletproof one and keep its carbs at no more than 10. I also suggest you put a scoop of whey protein in it. If you don’t drink those, then use almond or coconut milk. I suggest a cup of almond or coconut milk blended with 1 Tbl. grass-fed unsalted butter and 1 Tbl. pure organic coconut oil and a scoop of whey protein powder. You can add vanilla, cacao, SweetLeaf (stevia), or other natural flavor to it- there are so many possibilities! Do a 10 carb limit for the first day and when you add a salad, just count it as a 10- no need to be technical here– then begin to add a few carbs each day until you are having 40-60 a day. At that time you’re ready to dive into your meals as we suggest in our EAT HEALTHY! page.
TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH!
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