A happy new year to all of you!
I'm back from the summer break, and new blog entries
should now appear here pretty much every Friday. Do
send me your questions! I like answering real
questions, as they make sure that at least one person
is interested in what I write..
But to this week's wisdom:
Less is more, or Sometimes nothing is better
Fasting - voluntarily abstaining from
all solid foods - is a great way to "reset" one's
No, I don't recommend it as a diet, although yes, you
do lose some weight in the process.
What happens when you don't eat solid food for a couple
of days is this: The body turns to its reserves (AKA
"love-handles") and switches from "intake" (of food and
nutrients) to "output" (of toxins and stuff it doesn't
Digestion requires about 1/3 of our total energy
household, and as soon as that's out of the picture,
the body starts to repair itself. Clever as it is,
first the old and damaged cells are burnt up for
"food", which results in the healing of damaged tissues
and a feeling of rejuvenation.
Common "side" effects are - especially during the first
two to three days: Low blood pressure and tiredness,
and during the whole fasting time and 2-3 days
afterwards an increased body odour and bad breath,
signs of the increased detoxing.
The two most important things for fasting are regular
emptying of the bowels (the least invasive help being
an enema every second day) and breaking fast slowly and
sensibly. After several days of fasting, the digestive
juices have been absorbed by the body, and it has to
start producing them again. As a good rule of thumb,
after fasting you should eat very light and vegetarian
fare for about 1/3 of the number of days you fasted.
Many people report feeling very fit and light after the
third day of fasting. Some (me included) don't feel so
dapper during their first fast - but from all I've
heard from friends, fasting gets easier and better with
each subsequent time you do it.
The "don't use it as a diet" disclaimer:
Fasting and then going back to bad eating habits is
simply a bad idea and doesn't do much for your health
The nice thing about fasting is that it refines your
senses, and that it resets the sensations of "now I've
had enough food to be satisfied", "now I'm full" and
"man, I've overdone it". Thus, it's a lot easier to
introduce new, healthier eating habits into your life
And why would nothing be better than less?
Because - if you've purged or emptied your bowels on
the first day of your fast - you're usually not hungry
Amazing as it may seem to anyone who hasn't experienced
it for themselves, it's true.
This is where it's different to diets (which I don't
recommend either), where you deprive yourself of either
a substantial amount of your food or of a substantial
Or in a nutshell: Fasting doesn't hurt, and it gives
you a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The experience
of sustaining oneself without solid foods and
independence is pretty cool already, but the knowledge
that all that is possible simply because one has
decided to do it, that's truly amazing.
If this has made you curious, I recommend getting a
good book on fasting. It will give you more of an idea
what to expect, what to do and what to avoid.