Fasting – Going Beyond The Detox Diet Plan

Fasting – Going Beyond The Detox Diet Plan
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


Fasting, although often thought of as a detox, is very different from the simple detox diet plans we’ve gone through so far. A fast involves little or no actual nourishment for your body, and is much more intense in unleashing stored toxins.

Fasting can be done with juices or broths, or simply water. The best time for fasting is to transition to or from warm weather, like spring or autumn.

I did a one-day water fast once, with a day or two of green smoothies on either side. I love green smoothie cleanses, and I liked the water fast for most of the day. When it got to the end of the day though, I was totally tapped of energy and decided to have an apple. It was amazing how quickly I got energized from that apple!

By far the most popular fast is the Master Cleanse, which is a drink of lemon, cayenne, ginger and maple syrup several times during the day. I’ve known a lot of people who have done this cleanse, and they all struggle through it.

I’ve never tried it myself, but it does have some things going for it. Lemon, cayenne and ginger are all highly cleansing for the blood, and stimulate the digestive system to process whatever might be hanging around in your stomach or colon. One thing to note, though, is that lemonade from a can or a jar is not the stuff to use here. Fresh lemons, or pure lemon juice, is the only way to do this properly.

Some other ways to fast are drinking only herbal teas, drinking only a mineral-rich vegetable broth, or drinking just water. They go a step beyond a detox diet plan in that they have no fiber and barely any calories.

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Although fasting can be very effective at pulling toxins from wherever it’s stored in your body, there are some good reasons not to fast. If done improperly, fasting can actually make you sick by releasing toxins, but not clearing them from the body.

When toxins are stored, they don’t cause any symptoms but if they’re released they will wreak havoc and need to be eliminated from the body quickly. There’s no fiber to push the toxins out of the colon during a fast, so many people opt for colon hydrotherapy to clean out the bowels.

Also, since the body is cleansing without a maintenance level of nutrients, you can deplete your body of essential nutrients if you fast for too long. As long as you’re aware of that and work to replenish your system after a fast, it’s not a problem. If it’s not taken into account in your fasting plan, it can cause long-term health problems.

Fasting in itself is not a solution for weight loss, since it’s too short-term. If carried on for too long, a lack of calories will actually stall your metabolism and prevent you from losing weight. A long-term weight loss diet plan strategy needs to incorporate a moderate diet with restricted – but not eliminated – caloric intake along with exercise.

Fasting can be part of the plan, and is great to use as a kick start or as a periodic cleanse, but starvation is not a long-term strategy for healthy weight loss.

Fasting is not an appropriate solution for people who are malnourished or have nutritional deficiencies. This can mean either people who are underweight, or people who are overweight but are under-nourished with a lack of nutrients.

Other situations where fasting is not recommended include:

  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Weak heart, arrhythmias
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low immunity
  • Mental Illness
  • Pre- and post-surgery
  • Cold weather
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue

Fasts definitely have benefits, and are appropriate in certain situations, but should only be done with supervision and with a proper plan. For those who just want to do a light cleanse on their own, a detox diet plan rather than a fast is a great choice.

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