By Chris Bunton
Fasting is a powerful tool for health. It has been mentioned in spiritual and alternative health circles for quite some time, but in our modern world we tend to forget about it, or find it difficult to perform.
You must realize that the concept of eating 3 square meals a day, at specific times set down by other people, is not a natural way of living. Eating when you are hungry is actually far more healthy. As a matter of fact, most of the world for thousands of years, and even today live a “Feast or Fast” life. Meaning that they “feast” when food is available, and “fast” or go without when it’s not. Animals in the wild, live the same way.
It is a fact, that the average human can live 3 weeks or more without food. I realize that there are certain medical conditions, that make this difficult, but even these could benefit from a reduced habit of constant food intake.
So, let’s talk common sense here. If you stop eating food for a period of time, let’s say 24 hours, and only consume clean water with no chemicals. You are allowing your body time to focus on other things such as healing, instead of digesting food. The pure water in the mean time flushes toxins out of the body.
Understand that your sweat, your pee and your poop is your body’s way of eliminating waste or toxins from the body. It is like the exhaust pipe on your car. What happens when it clogs? Fasting gives your body time to flush those systems clean, because you are not bringing anything into your body except pure water. Paul Bragg who has written many great books on Naturopathic medicine, and is the creator of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, used to fast one 24 hour day a week.
Fasting allows the body the chance to focus all of its energy on healing. Our body often wants to stop eating when we are sick, and we think this is a bad thing. But, what if it’s not? What if forcing ourselves to eat, is actually taking energy from the healing process? Controlled fasting, while consuming the proper nutrients, and fluids, can aid in healing of ailments that are attacking our body. Fasting is most powerful, when used as a preventative practice. You might not get sick at all, if you fast regularly and let your body clean itself and spend time on other things rather than digesting food.
Consider fasting in relation to weight loss and all the health issues that obesity causes. If you fasted 24 hours one day a week, then that is 3 meals a week you have reduced. That is 156 meals a year. Now add to this, to the fact that you are only eating when you are hungry, and that you are eating healthier smaller meals. You will lose weight, it’s inevitable.
Also, consider that the leading causes of death and disease in America is cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. All of which have links to things we consume. So, fasting as a preventative can greatly reduce the risks of these ailments because you are not consuming them. You are doing even more to fight this if you are eating organic clean foods and drinks and exercising. Exercise, along with all of its other benefits, also causes you to shed toxins through sweat.
Fasting benefits us on a spiritual level as well. Just like how fasting lets the body focus on healing, it can also let our spirit focus on God. We are more than just bodies who eat and make little bodies. We are a soul and a spirit, who happens to have a body. There is more to reality than what we see around us. There is more in existence than what we are suffering right now. Fasting can open the veil to the spiritual, and has done so for thousands of years.
Not only that, but fasting gives us the practice for resisting temptations. If you have trouble with will power, or resisting the urge to do certain things, or you want to be stronger to fight an addiction. Fasting will give you the practice you need to make you stronger, when those times of temptations come. Imagine that you want that chocolate bar or that habit. You cannot resist it. But, through fasting, you have practiced resisting the urge to eat which is a very strong urge. Fasting can make your ability to resist, stronger, and that ability can be applied to anything.
When you are fasting you must remember that you are only consuming fluids. So, if you feel the need to pass gas, you better be careful. Stay near restrooms. If you feel the desire to eat, then drink pure water (or juice) instead. It will reduce the acid in your stomach that makes you feel hungry. Also, realize that the hunger pangs are only temporary. After a few days they will stop, until your body reaches a point of panic mode, and you need to eat to survive. Those initial pangs are based upon your habit of eating at certain times, and always having food available. It’s in your mind, so to speak. Drink water and it will make you feel better.
Fasting is a great addition to anyone’s attempts to live a healthy lifestyle. Like most natural healing practices, it works best as a preventative. Try it. Fasting will not kill you. You will not die if you skip a meal or two. Start small and work your way up. I tend to fast from lunchtime to lunchtime, 24 hours later.
Just realize that our modern way of eating is greatly flawed, and could be killing us. Don’t view this as a punishment, or a diet. View it as a rebellion against the system that is making you and your family sick. View it as a change in lifestyle. Anything less will just make being healthy a struggle. You have to change your mind, and your life will follow. Pray for help. Always pray. Pray for health. Pray to lose weight. It helps.
(I will drink coffee as well as pure water or juice, if needed. Some might reject this. But, many people need coffee to prevent a splitting headache. Drink your coffee, along with pure water or juice during your fast. But, start working on reducing your coffee intake over time. Don’t let coffee or a headache or nay sayers, stop you from benefiting from what fasting can do)