Fasting for Beginners

Raw foods and vegetable juice are popular components of fasting diets.

Many people are incorporating fasting or detoxification programs into their diet routine, but fasting for beginners can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you through your first fast.

Why Fasting?

People turn to fasting or detox diets to help cleanse toxins and impurities from their bodies, while losing weight at the same time. The idea is that the heavily processed diets most people live on these days cause a lot of stress to the body, and that eliminating all or most food for a period of time can help relieve that stress.

Fasting is said to bring the practitioner more energy as well as ridding the body of waste, clearing up acne and reducing or eliminating other health problems. Fasting for beginners is a daunting process, because you never know exactly how your body is going to react to the lack of food.

Fasting can also be done as a spiritual practice, as in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which actually involves abstaining from food during daylight hours.

Fasting for Beginners Tips

Before going on a fasting program, check with your doctor to make sure you are in good health and that it is safe for you to carry out the program you are planning. This is especially important if you are on prescription medications, as the lack of food will cause those drugs to be absorbed differently by your body.

Choosing a fasting plan you can live with is the next step. There are many different fasting programs, or detox plans that offer very limited choices of food such as The Lemonade Diet and the 3 Day Tuna Diet.

Once you've settled on a plan, do your homework. There are websites devoted to just about every diet plan anyone has ever thought of, where you will be able to find tips on fasting for beginners, learn how difficult the diet is and see what results real people have obtained. You'll also learn the potential problems you might face, such as extreme tiredness or needing to stay close to a bathroom.

It's a great idea to start your first fast on a weekend, particularly a long weekend or a weekend followed by a couple of vacation days from work. That's because fasting can have some unpleasant side effects, or it may just make you feel groggy and like you can't think-not a very good state to be in while performing your job. People who go through fasts regularly say that you come out of a fast feeling more energy and better health, but there is an uncomfortable part you have to get through first.

After the fast, make sure you transition back to your regular diet slowly. Start with just soups or raw foods for the first couple of days, and slowly add more food to your diet. It's a great idea to use a fast as a jump-start to a healthier diet that doesn't include as many processed foods, meats and fatty dairy products.

Problems with Fasting

Fasting diets are often classified as fad diets because they tend to make big promises that are not always seen in reality. The truth is, severely limiting your calorie intake, no matter what you are eating and drinking, whether its cabbage soup or raw fruit juice, will cause you to lose weight.

The trouble is, as soon as you go back to your regular diet, you'll gain all that weight back, and sometimes even more. That's because your body is in starvation mode during the fast, and when you start eating again it starts hoarding calories to protect itself against the next time of famine.

During the fast you may experience irritability, tiredness, dizziness and, depending on the diet, extreme bowel movements. While it is good to get all that built-up stuff out of your body, it can be uncomfortable to eliminate it.

Fasting is not an easy way to lose weight, but if used as a way to transition to a healthier way of eating (and if you're willing to stick with it for several days) it can be worth the extreme effort.

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Fasting for Beginners