BREAKING A FAST: INSTRUCTIONS ON BREAKING A FAST PROPERLY FOR MAXIMUM HEALTH, DETOX AND WEIGHT LOSS BENEFITS: INTRODUCTION:
NOT breaking a fast THE RIGHT WAY is the TOP reason why people fail at fasting. I have seen folks sacrifice their time and resources to fast for long periods of time, only to succumb to hunger at the very last moment and wolf down a pizza or cheeseburter - as the picture to the right depicts. The result is demoralization, shame, regret and, most of all, great danger to their physical health.
If a bear is asleep and you whack him on the head, do you think he will react positively? Probably he will come after you and be very angry.
The SAME is the case with the digestive system. When breaking a fast (especially one lasting longer than 72 hours), you have to remember that your body's digestive functions have slowed down dramatically. Your entire digestive system has, in essence, gone into a period of hibernation.
The body has shifted its from feeding on the food you eat daily, to feeding on the fat storages. If you needed firewood for a fireplace, would you go out and get more lumber if you already had stacks of wood inside the cabin ready for the blaze? Probably not. So, when fasting, you are no longer cutting fresh food (eating), but the body is still "feeding" on the stored wood (fat).
Making the transition from contant digestion to feeding from stored fat takes anywhere from three-to-nine days and, in my mind, is a very sacred process.
If you had a loved-one who had spent months toiling to remodel a filthy, delapidated warehouse into a beautiful, clean office - would you show up with garbage and dump it in the lobby? I'm sure you would not.
So why do it to your own body? What the body is doing on your behalf, I submit, must be respected.Breaking a fast has to be done properly and with much caution. If you allow hunger and desperation to grip you, you will no doubt diminish the effectiveness of the fast and possibly harm your body. Here's a wall-of-shame moment from my own experience to help illustrate this point.
My Fasting Debacle
Breaking a fast should definitely be planned in advance. Waiting until the last moment to determine what one is going to eat and drink is a recipe for disaster. Take it from me.
I have done amazingly-foolish things in years past. One time I broke a thirty-day water fast at a friend's birthday celebration with burritos, pizza, hot dogs and soda. What a great guy, huh? NOT!
The "celebration" was short-lived. I was bed-ridden for almost a week afterwards and my stomach blew up like a balloon. I had severely irritated the digestive system which was NOT prepared for all of the trash I had abruptly dumped into it.
I thought I was giving myself a "reward" for reaching my fasting goal. Instead, I got egg in the face and one heck of a health scare. What I did was not only ridiculously-foolhardy but also VERY dangerous.
At least my shame is now your gain. Those bitter experiences gave me motivation to research fasting and become as adept as possible in breaking a fast.
Let's look at some "breaking a fast" to help you make the transition back to eating and active digestive-system function. I will start with instructions on breaking an extended water fast, then will bring in those who are breaking a prolonged period of Juicing.
Breaking a FastThe most important thing for you to remember is that: Breaking a Fast has to be done in phases. It is not a one-day occurrence. So this process will require patience and self-control. You will basically still be fasting for another 1.5 weeks, with the exception that you will now be eating and drinking - A LITTLE.
So don't make reservations to a steak house for tomorrow night! In fact, why not consider changing your entire eating habits and lifestyle? Ok, enough said. If you have been WATER fasting for anywhere between THREE to FORTY days, here is what to do:
*Drink an 8-ounce glass of 50-percent water AND 50-percent combination vegetable and fruit juice. I personally like tomato and grape juice, although I don't expect that to become a popular recipe. :-) Juice. Some 100% vegetable juice combinations are pretty good also. Here are some mixtures for you to consider:
You can, of course, make up your own. But whatever combination you choose for breaking a fast: MAKE SURE the juice is watered-down! I recommend that you start with 50% juice mixture/50% water.
The digestive system has been sleeping and we want to take it real easy. Make it a point to use BOTH vegetable and fruit juices in the mixture.
Using too much fruit juice ALONE could spike your sugar levels, which is not what we want - especially if you have any type of diabetic or pre-diabetic condition. This is VERY important and should be rule of thumb you slways keep in mind when breaking a fast. Let's awaken the bear slowly and with "kid-gloves" ok?
Also, I'm not going to tell you that you MUST extract your own juice with a juicer. If you don't have the time or disposition to do so, then go ahead and] purchase natural fruit and vegetable juices at the supermarket. Obviously, it would be best to juice your own because of the huge shot of fresh nutrients that it provides.
Since your digestive system is clean from fasting, the environment is optimal. But if, for whatever reason, you cannot do this, then at the very least make sure to purchase natural juices (preferably organic). Breaking a fast with Kool-aid or any other type of artificial juice is unacceptable.
I advice you to minimize the use of lemon juice, just because it is very acidic. One more thing: From here on, when I refer to JUICE, I am talking about the combination of both fruit AND vegetable juice. OK ... so, again: When you start breaking a fast, do so by FIRST drinking only ONE 8-ounce glass of the water/juice. Your appetite will sound alarms asking you to drink a gallon of the juice.
You MUST use maximum restraint and NOT succumb to this urge. Now continue water fasting for another FOUR hours.
*Once the four hours have passed, drink another 8-ounce glass of 50-percent juice and 50-percent water. If you felt dizzyness or stomach pains since you drank the first glass, then dilute it further to 75-percent water and 25-percent juice. Again, do not allow hunger to lead you to drink more than EIGHT ounces.
These two glasses of juice have begun to awaken the digestive system, and it has already started to assimilate and break down the nutrients. It hadn't had to process any NEW nourishment for some time, so take it easy.
It is as this point that many people lose their resolve and just eat a sandwich, a salad or even a plate of steamed vegetables. Again, based on my experience, that is NOT the best way to go. Stay with me. BE PATIENT. Drink the second glass of juice and continue water fasting for another FOUR hours.
After EIGHT hours, you will have had TWO 8-ounce glasses of 50-percent juice and 50-percent water. Now go ahead and drink a STRAIGHT 8-ounce glass of juice. This will be the most amount of sugar your body will have received in a long time.
Drink it SLOWLY. Look at a clock and make it a point to drink the juice over the course of at least ONE minute. Once you drink it, walk away ... continue water fasting for another TWELVE hours. Time this in a way that the 12-hour lapse coincides with bed time.
Days Two & Three
*The second day of breaking a fast will be similar to the end of DAY ONE, although today you will be able to drink FOUR more ounces of juice per serving. Upon arising, drink a TWELVE ounce glass of 100-percent juice.
In other words, you no longer have to water it down. BUT, make sure that the fruit/vegetable juice mixture is comprised more of teh latter than the former. Go 85% vegetable juice, 15% fruit juice, is my suggestion. We're breaking a fast and also watching our sugar levels, ok?When drinking this first glass of non-watered-down juice, time yourself. Provide at least TWO minutes to drink it. This will be the first FULL taste nourishment you will have tasted for some time. The urge to drink rapidly will probably be strong. Resist it! Continue water fasting for FOUR hours and then drink another 12-ounce glass.
Have as many as FOUR 12-ounce glasses, making sure to wait a minimum 4 hours between each one. In addition, it is important for you to continue to drink at least half a gallon of water per day during this entire process of breaking a fast. So it should definitely NOT be just juice... juice... juice. Please add lots of water... water... water! :-)
Be careful. You will probably feel great (possibly better than ever) and want to just eat solid food and get it over with. It is possible that at this phase of breaking a fast you may be hungrier than you have been for some time. You may even feel a sense of desperation related to food and eating. Don't react to it.
If you have made it this far, then apply the same commitment and complete this process appropriately. After swimming for months in the deep blue ocean, why drown at the beach now? Be patient. Drink your FOUR glasses of juice on day TWO and GO TO BED!
*On DAY THREE, repeat EXACTLY what you did on DAY TWO... period! Today your digestive system is more awake and beginning to put the wheels in motion. You may even have a bowel movement at this point of breaking a fast. That is good.
The human body is soooo loyal. It always comes through for us even when we abuse it and eat irresponsibly. Do the right thing and the body will forgive you immediately. Therefore, give the digestive system as much time as it needs to wake up. Be patient. Don't pout!
Four & Five
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