To Fast or Not To Fast ~ That Is The Question!

Have you ever done a fast? And by “fast” I mean intentionally skipping food intake for a set period of time, which can last from a single day to several weeks. Some people fast for health reasons. Others fast for spiritual reasons. And there are still others that “fast” for financial reasons.

Alternatively, instead of cutting out food sources, some people choose to do a non-food fast. (Ex: Some will eliminate tv, or social media, or any number of other things they feel they need to gain control over, or simply need a break from. All while still consuming their regular daily food intake requirements.)

Important Notes First
Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician.  The information discussed is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects.  You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues, including consulting with your doctor before using any alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Now, having stated the necessities and making the attorneys happy we can continue with our topic at hand, fasting.

Regardless of the varying types of fasting, today I’m talking about a full on food fast. Anywhere from cutting out an entire class of foods (meat, dairy, etc); or eliminating solids and focusing on only consuming foods in liquid form for a time, or even a juice only fast. Or, you could even do a straight-up “water only” fast. That last one is TOUGH!

Anyway, I kind of landed myself in a one day fast this week. It wasn’t really an “intentional fast”, per se. It really came about because the day before I ate way too much, and too frequently. As a result, I had gone to bed feeling “uncomfortable” in my own skin. Totally “blah” feeling.

Unsurprisingly, when I woke up the next morning I wasn’t hungry for a long time. In those early hours, and reflecting on my eating pattern of the previous day, I decided to wait to eat until I was truly hungry. (Always a good plan!) Then, after a bit longer, I decided I’d just skip food altogether until dinner time that evening. That would hopefully help to “reset” my eating habits back to a healthier balance.

Everything went pretty well. Yes, I felt hungry. Which drinking some water helped. Yes, I developed a headache. Which drinking a bit more water helped once again. Ultimately though, after encountering these issues repeatedly, among others, on my little impromptu fast I went onto the internet for some refresher knowledge on fasting. In my search I came across a site called

Fasting FAQ according to 

Although I do not totally agree with all their perspectives, I do think this is a good site on fasting. I am a highly carnivorous eater; I eat meats, plus about fifty percent of my intake comes from healthy fats. The referenced site on fasting seems to lean toward more of a vegetarian based style of eating. Although we may differ on dietary preferences, their thorough detailing of the processes of fasting were the most complete collection of fasting information I have come across. Definitely a site worth reading.

Ultimately though, on my impromptu one day fast I did not make it to dinner time. I developed the aforementioned headache throughout the afternoon that went away at one point. Then, late in the afternoon, the headache returned along with a slight tinge of feeling light-headed. And by light-headed, I mean that woozy and spacey feeling like you’ve been spun around one too many times. Not quite a full on dizzy spell, but definitely not a good thing. Therefore, to be on the safe side, an hour before I was to drive home I went ahead and ate a small protein bar. Fasting may be a very good thing, but it’s not worth getting into an accident over. Am I right?!?

There are many benefits to a water fast such as  promoting new cell growth (autophagy), “resting” the digestive tract, reducing inflammation, weight loss, and improved detoxification processes.

But, of course, there are some notable dangers as well, such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, orthostatic hypo-tension, gout, and even the possibility of kidney stones.

Katie Wells, over at Wellness Mama, wrote about her experience with water fasting. She goes into a lot more depth on water fasting and includes her findings on the good and the bad of doing a water fast. This is definitely worth the read!

A water fast is one I’ve never been able to accomplish for very long. A single day seems to be my limit. I do a bit better with a liquid fast. (A liquid fast can include any food as long as it is in liquid form. I tend to use juices, protein drinks, and broth based soups during a liquid fast.)

One reason for my inability to tolerate a water fast may stem from my health issues. Of course, it could also be that I’m not as focused on succeeding as I should be in those times. Lol! But, whatever the reason, a water fast is just rough on my body. I believe it has a lot to do with the detox one experiences during a true water fast. And due to my detox problems, it creates a process that attempts to work faster than my body can handle. Therefore, it’s always better if I take things slower and a bit more gently. After all, it’s not the speed of the process, it’s the point of finishing that’s more important.

In the aftermath, and in comparison with the pitfalls that can happen during a fast, it’s plain to see what happened in my attempt this week.

Although I did drink plenty of water, I did not take care to add enough electrolytes. I believe this is what contributed to my headaches. And the “dizzy” feeling I believe was a result of mild orthostatic hypo-tension, or my blood pressure dropping. I realized later that the dizziness only occurred when I moved suddenly, which is definitely a sign something is up.

On the plus side, the ongoing extreme pain from the viral arthritis I have been dealing with was significantly lowered the following day. Yay! Also,the “blah” feeling of the previous day was completely gone. I felt fresher, and a bit more energetic, plus a few other positives physically. Although, I did have some major ADD issues that “day after”. But, overall, it was a good experience and I’m glad I hung in there for as long as I did on this attempt at water fasting.

Having said that, I think I’ll stick to a liquid fast from here on out. It seems to fit my health needs a bit better in the long run. Plus, it’s simply not worth throwing myself into a tailspin. The whole point of doing a fast in the first place is to improve myself in one way or another. And that is what you have to keep in mind any time you attempt a fast. The goal is to achieve some level of improvement, albeit physically, mentally, or spiritually.

So, what about you? Have you ever done a water fast? If so, do you make them a regular part of your routine?


As always, thanks for stopping by. Have something to add?  Let me know your thoughts! Hit the comments and share.  Talk to you soon!

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