Saturday, October 3, 2009

Body cleansing for weight loss and beauty. Part 2. Periodic fasting.

3 October 2009.
Hi there! It's me Svetlana.
Today I will start talking about the practical, cheap, and all at-home ways we cleanse our bodies from the inside. Don't you want to know what they are?

The first very effective way of cleansing and detoxifying the whole body is periodic fasting. Controlled, short-term periodic fasting is one of the best ways to test the will power, to lose weight, to rejuvenate, and to clean the body from toxins.
This is the most radical and the most effective method of weight loss. Without food sources the body will be put in a state of positive stress: it will learn to “think”, to function in the “economy mode” using unutilized resources, and to eliminate toxins. Fasting practically has no contraindications. Observe a behavior of a sick animal or a sick child. They refuse to eat. Why? Fasting gives the body rest. The body does not have to waist energy to digest food, and can through all the resources to fight the disease. Animals can not be told what they have to do, so they just follow the nature.


Prehistoric humans faced prolonged periods of famine. Their bodies were able to reprogram and function in a “conservation mode”, if needed, using the internal resources, internal food sources. After approximately 10 days of fasting, the human body starts to function on “internal food” sources, and one can notice a profound weight loss. We will not try risky prolonged fasting (even though it’s well proven that a human being is capable to survive without any food for about 40 days), as our goal is to rejuvenate, not to die of hunger.

Modern ways of fasting are gentle and smart, and include periodic 24 hours fasting weekly or 36 hours fasting every 10 days. Isolated short periods of fast do not result in such dramatic weight loss as prolonged fasting, but when performed on a regular basis, the weight loss and other therapeutic effects accumulate and potentiate.

If you are generally healthy and only mildly to moderately overweight (or have a normal weight), periodic fasting (24 hours weekly or 36 hours three times a month) will help weight loss and maintenance and body rejuvenation. However, if you are morbidly obese you may need a prolonged fast which can be done only in a special medical facility under supervision of a qualified medical specialist. If a person suffers from any serious medical conditions (including but not limited to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, liver and kidney problems), they MUST see a doctor and get a medical assessment and clearance before considering any fasting, as there might be potential contraindications.

There are many arguments for periodic short-term fasting. Fasting not only helps the body, but also activates the brain. It clarifies the thought process, frequently boosts creativity, helps to realize what the body really needs and what can be detrimental. As a result of fasting it becomes much easier to quit using alcohol and tobacco, to reduce the consumption of read meat and animal products in general. As a weight loss program, periodic short-term fasting is cheap (eliminates the need for buying food, diet drugs, and supplements), safe, and effective.

If you are ready to start periodic short-term fasting sessions, you may start with a gentle 24 hours fasting. It’s important to know that alcohol is absolutely contraindicated during fasting of any duration, and for a day or two immediately after fasting. The day prior to fasting do not consume any salt or animal proteins (meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc), and eat your last meal not later than 7PM. The next day – complete abstinence from food, true fasting. This day you have to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Drink when you feel thirsty, but do not “force” it. Do not consume any coffee or caffeinated beverages, tea, soda, juice, alcohol, or any liquids except pure water. It will help to “shut down” your digestive tract for a day and give it a complete rest. This day you can have a cleansing enema to cleanse the bowels. Keep yourself busy during the day. Work if you have to go to work, and take a long walk in the evening. Try to get away to the country side if it’s a weekend. Pamper your body with self-massage, take a contrast shower, do a face mask, manicure, pedicure, a facial. Try not to watch TV. Go to the library to read a book so you are away from the fridge and the kitchen.

In the morning after the 24 hours fasting, don’t storm the fridge at 6AM. Follow the rule of thumb: “ending” a period of fasting should take on average three times longer than fasting itself. For 24 hours fasting there will be three days of “ending” the fast, and for 36 hours fast it will take 4-5 days to “end” it. These days do not use added salt, pepper, or alcohol. So the day after fasting you are allowed to eat the following. Breakfast: a glass of freshly squeezed juice (carrot, apple, orange, or a mix of all three). Lunch: fruits (except bananas) or another glass of juice, and a plate of steamed vegetables with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Eat the vegetables 30 minutes after fruits or a fruit juice. Dinner (not later than 7 PM): the same as lunch, fruits and vegetables. You can be creative and vary the assortment of fruits and veggies, but stay away from bananas.

The next two days exclude salt, pepper, alcohol, fried, smoked and processed foods, as well as raw cabbage and beans (to avoid excessive gas formation). Prepare your food by boiling, steaming, searing, or eat it raw. Add oatmeal and other whole grains, bread, dairy products, fish, nuts, garlic. After three days of “ending” the fasting you can gradually resume your normal diet, but be more critical about food choices and portion sizes to avoid loading your body again with useless and harmful foods. As you can see, a simple 24 hours fasting may easily become a 4-7 days diet, and result in a substantial weight loss over time, when done on a regular basis.

One has to be aware of the existence of “pseudo fasters”. As colonic cleansing and full fasting are very popular in Russia, there are people who follow them just because “everyone else does”. The results can be comic and sad, as described for example in a book by a well known Russian author Eugenia Shatskaya. Shatskaya had an interesting observation in a rural area not that far from Moscow, when a family was into periodic fasting to “rejuvenate” the body. The mother was a follower of an alternative medicine healing methods, she believed in “healthy” life style, and subjected her family to a twice a week 24 hours fasting. Even though the intentions were great, the execution was wrong. The next several days after each fast the “healthy” mother fed her family pirogi, greasy bliny, heavy soups and meat dishes, and spicy marinades. On top of that adults would have a couple of shots of vodka before dinner. Needless to say, there were no health benefits from those frequent fasts.

My mother has been doing periodic 24 hours fasting for many years, and even though she is 71 years old, I always can tell the difference when she just finished the fast. Her skin becomes cleaner, smoother, healthier looking, with fewer wrinkles. Her energy “shoots though the roof” and even the mood brightens.

From the practical standpoint, it is not easy to fast on a work day, because being hungry (and no kidding, you will be hungry!) may reduce your ability to concentrate and may affect your work performance. In addition, on the day of fasting one may need to change activities often to keep one’s body and mind occupied throughout the day to distract thoughts from food and hunger. You may consider taking a long walk, going to the movies, taking a class, or a road trip. Whatever takes you physically away from the fridge and mentally distracts from hunger. This may be hard to do while at work, where you sit at the desk and do monotonous work all day long. On the other hand, your job may be too physically or mentally demanding, or both to withstand physical hunger without getting dizzy, lightheaded, and shaky. You definitely do not want to practice fasting on work days if you work as a heart surgeon or a commercial jet pilot. On the other hand, if your job is dynamic enough to keep your mind occupied throughout the day without draining you too much physically, you may successfully practice work days fasting. For me Saturdays work the best. I do not drink alcohol, so there are no Saturday morning sugar cravings, and the body “slides” into the fasting mood effortlessly. The good news is: the longer you practice periodic fasting, the easier it becomes. Your body knows “the drill” and gets ready, and even hunger diminishes with time.

In the next post I will talk about at-home colon cleansing using a home enema kit. Even though it's not very appetizing, but try it at least once: the results may be better than you imagine! Keep reading!

Svetlana

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