Mwaka here, back again with some nuggets of wisdom from my real-life experiences and experiments. I tried something exciting that I can’t wait to share with you.
Would you like to know more about the most powerful way ever discovered to naturally heal your body? Dr. Sebi was a huge fan of fasting and now I am too! My son’s comment after my fast on how I was “shining like the sun” and I was “beautiful” encouraged this decision.
Since being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, I have been working hard to make healthier choices to improve my life. So I decided to take it up a notch by trying 24-hour water fast. Let’s dive straight in!
My 24-Hour Fast
Here’s my day:
- 8.30 pm Friday: Dinner. I had spaghetti and stir-fried mixed vegetables (I most definitely overate because I knew I had to fast the next day).
- 10 pm: I had cucumber salad for a snack (I shouldn’t have) and went to bed after half an hour.
- 8 am Saturday: I woke up, had a glass of water, did my morning stretches, and took a bath. Although I had not had my breakfast, I was not feeling hungry (yet).
- 10.30 am: I did a guided meditation and had a glass of water. After this, I started feeling hungry.
- 11.00 am: Idling around made me fantasize about my post-fast meal. I kept myself busy with work and drank water frequently.
- 1 pm: I decided to take a nap. Usually, I’d be having lunch at this time. My mind kept telling me I should have been eating, although I wasn’t hungry.
- 2.30 pm: I woke up from my nap. I took a glass of water. At this point, I’ve made a lot of trips to the washroom, as expected. With the amount of water I drank and ketogenesis working its magic, I’d be worried if I didn’t pee as much.
- 3.00 pm: I wasn’t sure if my body had adapted to being hungry, but I wasn’t fantasizing about food anymore. I sat outside to read a book and a few articles on water fasting (your girl needed some motivation).
- 5.00 pm: Being someone who struggles with drinking water, this is the most water I have ever had in my entire existence. I decided to catch up on my favorite movie.
- 6.30 pm: The cravings are back, and I’m experiencing a wave of hunger. I decided to take a walk, to catch a breath of fresh air and clear my mind. I ended my day at the beach.
- 7.30 to 8.00 pm: I got my son from his grandma’s, we walked home (it was quite an eventful day for the little fellow), took a bath, and got comfortable in our pajamas. It was almost time to break my fast, and I was looking forward to dinner. I started preparing dinner. Initially, I planned to prepare vegetable rice and mushroom stew but plans changed…. toddlers are in charge and very unpredictable!
24-Hour Fast Benefits
There are so many amazing reasons to fast. Let’s understand what it is first! Fasting is defined as any period of 8 or more hours when one goes without food. From that definition alone, we all qualify to have fasted. How did you break-your-fast this morning?
Water fasting is any period when you do not eat or drink anything except water. Typically people fast for 1 to 3 days, but longer fasts are possible once you are experienced. During a fast, you need to stay hydrated, and relaxed, for maximum healing potential.
You might wonder if knowing the science behind fasting is necessary but hold that thought. From personal experience, it can be hard to fast. So for motivation and to act as a reminder as to why (for the love of all that is holy) you’re fasting in the first place, why not?
The Science of Fasting
Our bodies are like systematic machines, programmed to prioritize immediate and basic tasks (like digestion) over complex ones (like healing). The more we eat, the more our bodies focus on dealing with the inbound food, and not the critical cellular repairs and physical maintenance of the body.
Digestion is a slow process that takes a lot of energy, so if you eat throughout the day, or late at night, there is virtually no time or energy to heal, and we don’t want that!
Digestion takes around 4 to 6 hours, but it takes your body 8 to 12 hours to enter a fasting state. The moment you cease eating, many biological changes start to take place in the body. Eating causes an increase in insulin production to break down glucose in food, which takes almost 10 hours for blood sugar levels to drop.
Next, growth hormones are activated to help build muscle, break down fats, and, amazingly, help to reverse the signs of aging. This next step is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for anyone on a weight loss mission. Once your body realizes no more food is on the way, it transits from using glucose to breaking down fat for energy. Remarkable, isn’t it?
The breakdown of fats produces ketones in a process known as ketogenesis. The presence of ketones equals healing and more ketones equal more healing in the brain and body. What is it they say about more being merrier? Ketones actually increase the number of mitochondria (the powerhouse of energy production) in your cells so after the fast you will be more efficient at making energy. Another amazing perk of fasting!
The next stage is called autophagy. Autophagy is simply your body cleaning its system: damaged cells out, new healthier cells in. This process is achieved 17 hours into fasting.
At the 24-hour mark, the body’s major organs go into a rapid healing state. This article on fasting gives the perfect insight into the benefits of fasting and practical suggestions. Now that we know the science behind fasting, how about getting to know why we should water fast?
Benefits of Water Fasting
Out with the old, in with the new
Water fasting promotes autophagy. Accumulation of old damaged cells makes the body weaker and makes diseases more likely. Not eating once in a while is a small price to pay for your health. Its like having a cellular clear out, then replacing them with more efficient ones.
Promotes gut motility
I loved science class back in the day because I learned the roles that water plays in the digestive system. Water is a solvent for nutrients and helps transport them from the blood into the cells. In addition, water prevents constipation, making the trip to the washroom a little more bearable for you.
Don’t get me started on the glow
Remember autophagy? Getting rid of old dead skin cells and replacing them with new healthier cells gives you that youthful glow that everyone will wish they were you. Water rehydrates the skin, improves its elasticity, and makes your skin smoother and brighter. I bet you're going for a glass of water now.
Every cloud has a silver lining, while every rose has its thorns. I can sit here all day and list the benefits of water fasting (I will get finger cramps from all the typing). However, it would be selfish of me not to mention the risks of water fasting if done incorrectly.
The Risks of Water Fasting
Water fasting restricts other foods since you are only drinking water. Our bodies need nutrients to function effectively. These nutrients are in the foods we eat and are not in water. When water fasting your body is working harder, especially your immune system. This is why Dr. Sebi recommended herbal supplements like Green Food when fasting, so you don't run out of micro-nutrition.
You can lose the wrong type of weight
Although water fasting can help with weight loss, don’t celebrate just yet. Research has shown that you can lose almost 1kg a day through water fasting. However, this weight loss comes from stores of carbohydrates before you lose any fat. It’s important to do some very gentle exercise (and not just sit still) to prevent muscle loss, just a short walk will ensure you burn fat instead of muscle.
May make matters worse
Although the benefits of water fasting to a healthy individual are numerous, people with certain conditions need to be more careful. If you have gout or unmanaged diabetes you must seek supervision from a professional experienced with fasting to support you.
Things I do to prepare for Water Fasting
These are my tips on what to do before a fast. Disclaimer, this is not a one size fits all situation, so what works for me may or may not work for you.
- Ensure your last meal is small and low in carbohydrates, this helps you get into the fasted state quicker and will reduce hunger.
- Wean yourself into the habit. You don’t have to start with a three-day fast like Emma at the gym (FYI, she has probably been fasting a while). Start small at 24 hours, or less even, and increase gradually. After all, it did not take a day to build Rome.
- Do your research. Before water fasting, you need to know the dos and don’ts, what you can eat, and the pros and cons of fasting.
- Prepare yourself mentally. It is all in your mind. A positive mindset will increase the success of your water fast.
- Prepare your post-fast meal. Post fast, small meals that are energy dense are better. Incorporating nuts into your meal, using avocado as a spread, and adding healthy oils as your salad dressing increases the calories in a rather small amount of your food. Identify what you want to eat, shop your ingredients in advance (you may not want to do so after the fast), and have everything set.
Here are a few other additional tips on how to water fast from someone who has way more experience with fasting than I do. You can never know too much.
I am definitely doing it again and so should you
From reading about my experience, you probably already figured out I will do this again and make it a habit. Moreover, what water fasting did for my body and skin in 24 hours, I can’t have you miss out on that now, can I?
The best part of this experience is how good I felt about myself for taking up a challenge and seeing it through to the end. I’m curious to hear about your experience. Was it similar or different from mine? Or, if you have been thinking of trying water fasting, was this helpful?
Maybe I should do a cleanse next using Dr. Sebi’s Nutrition Guide. What do you think?
Until next time,
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