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The million-dollar water-fast question(s)

So I’ve got some extra “me” to lose, actually around 48 more kilos worth, and I decided that to get rid of the weight needs one thing: negitive calories + more exercise = slimmer K-Mom. I’ve started eating less (I’m only about 50-75% raw, which is as about as raw as I can be where I live) of the cooked, high-calorie foods and I’ve cut out almost all the sugar from my teas (and we’re talking TEAS! I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of tea drinkers than my in-laws) and I’m really, really trying to cut out sweets but I have a weakness for chocolate and coffee.. Which might help explain my perdiciment.

My biggest thing is I have started fasting (the Islamic method of fasting) two days a week, BUT, I feel I need to do more and I want to try a 1-day water fast every week.. However I have no clue what a water-fast involves? Is it really just a water free-for-all and I just drink only water all day to my heart’s content or is there a true method to this and I should be drinking a certain amount at certain times? At first I thought “Water-fast.. how hard can this be? It’s just having water for a day and there ya go” but the more curious (and sometimes anal) side of me started waving red flags and telling me that I need to ask some advice before I go drinking like a fish and causing some damage..

Ssssooooo here I am and if anyone does water-fasts and/or has info about them and can share this with me before I jump into it I’d very greatly appreciate it

Oh and there is just one more question… Where I live we don’t have running water to the house, our water is delivered every day by a tanker and kept in a metal tank on the roof… that being said sometimes the water has kind of a funky taste to it, sometimes metalic, sometimes fishy, sometimes a bit like I’m licking a frog.. If I’m doing a water-fast on one of those “funky water” days can I add some fresh lemon juice or orange juice to the water? Will that defeat the purpose and benefits of the fast?? Or is it cool? I can live with it but I find if the water tastes funny I’m less likely to want to drink it very much.

Thanks for the info in advance!! All posts are welcomed!

From my little nook-in-the-world here in Soran! K-Mom

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Comments

  • Wow KM, it sounds like you have some challenges. I have not done a water fast myself so I won’t be able to offer much in the way of help however I would like to voice my concerns about your water supply. Is there any way that you could store some water differently (just for the purpose of drinking)? If it tastes metallic or fishy, I wouldn’t be drinking it either.

    I am suspicious about the main water in the village where I live so I use bottled water for drinking and soaking my nuts/seeds/grains. If it’s possible, I would recommend doing something similar. It sounds like your intuition is telling you that something’s wrong – I would recommend following it.

    Good luck.

  • I buy bottled water for my daughter Baraan (for her bottles, as she’s only 5 months old and I don’t want her to be drinking the regular water yet) but it would get kind of expensive to buy water for her AND me, which is why I’ve pretty much stuck with the tap water… I have to admit that the tap water in the US, even without a filter, tastes better than here (most of the time) but unless they find a way to get water filters here I’ll be drinking my tank-water for a while to come.

    Thank you SarahJ for your concern though..

  • Oh and also I noticed that our water seems to be chalked-full of calcium or lime or something (basically your typical rock-hard water) it is very obvious in the tea kettles and samovers (big urn that holds water and heats it with kerosene and a wick) we have to scrape like crazy to get most of it off.. anyways I’m assuming this is naturally in the water and I’m wondering if this is harmful to consume? Someone here told me that it’s only bad to drink the boiled water because the calcium concentrates and that’s why there’s a deposit in the kettles.. I don’t have a PhD in H2O but I’m thinking this explaination is kinda weak…

    Anyone out there more studied in water science than I?

  • Hi KM - I know you don’t live in the US but do they have any kind of small water filters for sale there? Here we have ones that come as a standalaone plastic pitcher with a charcoal filter, holds probably a half gallon and just goes on your counter or in the fridge. I don’t know if you have them there, but I use one for all my drinking water and I think it helps some.

  • I’ve done water fasts for religious reasons and my recommendation is that if this is your first time fasting I would not start with a water fast. I would start with either with a juice/soup or what we call a Daniel fasts – nuts, fruits, and veggies and work my way up to a water fast. The water fast that I did was for 3 days and everything on me hurt, but I started with a 3 day juice/soup fast; then 3 days juice fast; then 3 days water fast.

    Whatever you decide – Good luck and God Bless

  • A little over a year ago I did a 3 day fast with herbal teas. I only sweetened every other cup of tea with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. I also drank raw apple cider vinegar and honey, 2 tablespoons each in a cup of warm water, once a day. I broke my fast with a big salad with homemade oil and vinegar dressing. A salad never tasted so heavenly! I need to do another fast, now that I have been eating healthier for a couple of years. But it is hard to fast while still preparing meals for hubby!

  • A little over a year ago I did a 3 day fast with herbal teas. I only sweetened every other cup of tea with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. I also drank raw apple cider vinegar and honey, 2 tablespoons each in a cup of warm water, once a day. I broke my fast with a big salad with homemade oil and vinegar dressing. A salad never tasted so heavenly! I need to do another fast, now that I have been eating healthier for a couple of years. But it is hard to fast while still preparing meals for hubby!

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    When I talked to my naturopath about doing a Master Cleanse (water with fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper) he was against it. He thought it was too much like a water fast. He said there was nothing wrong with a water fast, but, in his opinion, modern man has too many toxins to do an initial water fast. Many people can’t handle being flooded with the # of toxins their body is going to release. He suggested I do a juice fast for this reason.

    He was unfamiliar with the Master Cleanse and I explained to him about the lemon juice and maple syrup. He still didn’t like the idea. Weighing all the options, I did it anyway and felt like crap the first two days and thereafter felt really good. I continued for 8 days but came down with a cold bc I had been exposed to 2 people with colds just a week earlier, one of which fixed most of the food I ate that day.

    I can’t imagine that including the lemon would be detrimental. Lemons supposedly help the body excrete mucous and the purpose (usually) of a cleanse is to release toxins. I am no expert but I think it is normal for most people to not feel well for up to three days generally because they are excreting toxins. If that is a goal, maybe one day a week won’t be enough. Just something to think about.

    I lost 13-14 lbs during my 8 day fast. Then I was really sick for several weeks and lost 20 lbs total. I gained back all of it except what I lost during the fast. For me, the best part of all was that I was never hungry during the fast and I knew what my next meal was. I didn’t obsess over what I was going to eat at all and it made me feel liberated. I am going to start another one in a few days to join some other Gone Raw members.

  • I did several water fasts many years ago. I mean just plain water, no lemon, nothing added to the water. I did one for 7 days and I alternated between feeling very light and energetic to feeling weak and horrible with terrible nausea and dry heaves after about the 5th day. I once did a juice fast for two weeks and then went to just water for the third week, on the 21st day of the fast the nausea started again and I decided to end the fast that day. I think I lost about 12 to 15 pounds which I did not need to loose as I’m quite thin to begin with. However within about a month I gained the weight back and I think even added some weight. I felt better than I ever had and people remarked at how good I looked. My digestion seemed to have improved greatly and I believe I was absorbing and assimilating nutrients better than I ever had. Wish I had the discipline to do another fast like that now. I seemed to be able to do this stuff a lot easier when I was younger.

  • I did several water fasts many years ago. I mean just plain water, no lemon, nothing added to the water. I did one for 7 days and I alternated between feeling very light and energetic to feeling weak and horrible with terrible nausea and dry heaves after about the 5th day. I once did a juice fast for two weeks and then went to just water for the third week, on the 21st day of the fast the nausea started again and I decided to end the fast that day. I think I lost about 12 to 15 pounds which I did not need to loose as I’m quite thin to begin with. However within about a month I gained the weight back and I think even added some weight. I felt better than I ever had and people remarked at how good I looked. My digestion seemed to have improved greatly and I believe I was absorbing and assimilating nutrients better than I ever had. Wish I had the discipline to do another fast like that now. I seemed to be able to do this stuff a lot easier when I was younger.

  • Sorry about the duplication. This seems to happen with me a lot. Tried to get rid of the second post. Couldn’t make it work.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    The duplicate posts are not just you. They have hapened to me and several others. You can’t just delete the posts and leave a blank entry, You can delete the post and enter 2 characters to whittle it dow. I just stick in two periods.

  • Can I play devil’s advocate here? Not to be an ass, but just for an explanation—is fasting really a healthy way to lose weight? I mean, is it dependable for keeping the weight off in the long run?

    K-Mom, we haven’t communicated before, so if I seem to forward, forgive me—but are you getting enough exercise?

  • Oh, Thanks for the advice Dain5000. I’ll try that if it happens again.

  • I definitely agree Zooey Glass, I don’t think fasting is the best approach for weight loss either. Maybe a short fast to jump start it but balanced diet for your individual body, and exercise are really important for weight loss.

  • One thing for sure is that the human body WANTS to be fit… you don’t have to fight it and it will respond readily if you give it a chance. in order to keep off the weight long term its best to build up metabolism with healthy eating and exercise, whereas sometimes fasts can be an extreme for the body that will just shoot you back to the other extreme and make you fatter cuz your body thinks its starving and needs to stock up for scarce times! can you tell i’ve done that before lol?! having said that, water fasts are great. you could try just drinking orange juice 1 day a week, or water 1-3 days at least or if you want to try 1-2 weeks, drinking about a gallon a day. i dont think the addition of the orange or lemon juice is anything to worry about, but i guess all this is just my opinion!

    im so intrigued by where you live!

  • Thank you all so much for you opinions and input. I failed to mention that along with all this fasting that I’m trying to get more exercise but that has a degree of difficulty that I never had in Sacramento.. Women here aren’t to be out alone, either in pairs or escorted so finding a time when I can get out for a long enough to get a good work out makes getting exercise difficult.

    Zooey – I highly appreciate your frankness and from reading many of you other posts I know you are a humours but straight-forward man. But in answer to your question… No, I really don’t get enough exercise and I know it but like I said above it’s not an easy task. Not that this is a good excuse but in Kurdistan people don’t think about nor worry about health much and they DEFINATELY don’t bother with exercise so it makes it difficult to convince my in-laws that I need to get out and move.

    Kundalalita – I too have done the whole starving yourself fat thing and I’m not trying to do that again, EVER. Basically my though is if I can’t be more than 50% raw due to lack of raw foods then by doing just a 1 day water-fast a week (which my in-laws support as opposed to a “diet”) then I can cut out alot of unnecessary calories and junky cooked food. Because I also do 2 days of fasting for religious reasons they just figure it’s all the same. I know a woman can’t be thin by fasting alone but I feel fasting is better than a bunch of cooked foods.

  • Not everyone fasts to lose weight; I am fairly experienced with it and I use fasting as a way to help my body cleanse and repair itself. My experiences with it have made me a believer in this natural way of healing.

    I love the feeling of a Clean System.

    Maybe some people fast to lose weight, but for me it’s just a side-effect. The spiritual and mental benefits of a fast are so much more rewarding.

    /just chiming in.

  • Check out this link for detailed information on fasting: http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/0…

  • ah, now that makes sense!

    when I went to Iran last year I experienced that too, you can’t go anywhere without being escorted or accompanied. I remembered that they did have some gyms though, where the classes would be all women… do they have that in Kurdistan? it sounds like you live in more of a village setting than a city though… actually i had a friend who was a runner, and so it was absolutely necessary for her to exercise even when she was in iran, and what she would do is go out running really really early while it was still dark and everyone was still asleep… dangerous to do because not only was she alone but she would go without her scarf….

    well, i just have to say that a lot of people find it hard to exercise (or even eat healthy) when they have a considerably easier position to do so than you do, so its admirable the effort you are making for yourself!

    also, can i ask, what is the muslim-style of fasting? that you only eat at night?

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Hi KMom~ A few options regarding exercise…

    • Get a/some exercise DVD/Vids (whichever player you have access to) such as the dancing ones (salsa, hip-hop, belly, etc.) or something like indoor walking like from Leslie Sansone (I have one of her DVDs that I really like) – whatever inspires you
    • Get a rebounder – bet this would be a big hit with the baby also :)
    • Organize an exercise/walking/jogging/whatever club with other women in the area so you have people to exercise with, some support, and adhere to local customs

    Most likely, the first two would have to be sent to you from a party outside the country or you might be able to find some vids on the internet you can download

    Hope either these options are useful or start the creative juices flowing… :)

  • Hello kMom, Fasting is a great way of losing weight, despite what many people…who have not done them… like to say. It is nature’s way of relieving the body of excesses. Water fasting is the only true fasting. All other so called fasts are actually calorie restriction diets.. To explain what happens on a water fast. Firstly the body uses up all the glucose available in the blood. When this has been exhausted, it then compels the liver to release it’s stored sugar ..called glycogen… and then the body uses this as a source of energy.. after approx. 2-3 days, this also is gone and the body in it’s wisdom, knows it needs an energy source… so it kicks into ketosis, where fat burning starts. This ketosis process continues continues to burn fat , sometimes a pound/500gms a day until about day 7, then the fat loss slows down as the body regulates its metabolism. If you take into your mouth anything but water.. for instance lemon juice, supplements, etc, firstly the taste buds are stimulated (remember this is the first part of digestion) , the body needs to deal with the substance and won’t go into the ketosis process. Instead it becomes a very, very low calorie diet which is not helpful to the body at all…this can be seen as a starvation diet. There is a HUGE difference between water fasting and starvation diet. the bodily processes are totally different . With water fasting there is no hunger(as usually we eat from habit, and from continued stimulation of the taste buds.. very rarely from true hunger). I have personally water fasted many times, the longest time was 17 days, and regularly I fast for 10 days at a time..I have lost 2 dress sizes and MAINTAINED that loss. What you put into your mouth after your fast is very important, in fact, most fasting experts will tell you it’s more important than the fast itself.Maintaining a healthy fresh diet is imperative. The body is clean and works more efficiently, needs less calories, so be mindful that people who say they regain all their weight plus more after fasting ..were not eating in optimum proportions. If you have any underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a fasting doctor. Mainstream doctors very rarely know anything about water fasting. There is a list of international fasting doctors that I can link you to if you wish…but saying that, I have done all my fasting unsupervised. Now that I’ve done it so many times, i understand the process and really enjoy doing these cleanses. I’ve got better mental acuity, carry less weight and have lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure readings.

    Many people are scared of fasting, but have never tried it.. others use scaremongering without knowledge of the process…. even my scientist husband has joined me in fasting with fabulous results.

    It’s been used in health spas and hospitals around the world. on mental health patients and many other groups with good results. You just need to google water fasting to see how many people are benefiting from this most natural process. Fear is generally what gets in the way.. one of my friends genuinely thought I was going to die after water fasting for 3 days, for goodness sake!

    Water fasting is a very big part of my life and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • LizK – sorry I didn’t reply before.. our electricity was off and I was using the internet on my mobile phone which can be unpredicitable (and it eats through the power like a runaway Jenny Criag’er at a buffett lol) there aren’t any filters, I asked around today, mainly cause everyone here has grown up on this water and to them it’s just fine (I’m the crazy one I guess) I guess I’m going to have to try and ask one of my loved ones in the US if they can possibly mail me a filter (sadly even a $10 filter ends up costing about $25 to mail to Kurdistan).

    Bluedolfin – These are great ideas and when I asked my mom if my exercise videos were still there she said threw them out because she felt that I wasn’t going to need them anymore and didn’t want them taking up space :( sooo I’m going to have to see if there’s anything I can find online to download if I can. There’s no gyms here (dang it) or I’d be going but I did borrow a stroller from my brother-in-law and now that the weathers getting so nice I’m going to try and get out everyday with Baraan, even if I can only just walk up and down the sidewalk on our block (at least it’s something right?) and what is a rebounder? I’ve never heard of it.. maybe it’s something that if I can’t get here I can find a close substitute?

    Kundalaita – The muslim style of fasting is to wake up about 1 hour before the time for the morning prayer and have a small breakfast called Sahoor, then when the time for the morning prayer comes we stop eating and drinking anything for the whole day until after the time for the evening prayer comes, then we break our fast usually with water and a few dates this is called Iftar. Later we have a late dinner, here usually it’s rice and veggies and sometimes meat, but sometimes it’s as simple as bread and yogurt. Soran is a city but it’s a very simple city (just a notch above a village I guess) but it’s so beautiful here and despite being unconcerned about health the people here are very friendly and caring. I’m so happy I had the oppertunity to come here and experience life outside the USA.. it’s been very eye-opening and enlightening..

    Thanks again to everyone for the advice, opinions and criticisms. It’s so nice to have such a informative and helpful group of people to learn from.

    All the best! K-Mom

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    K-Mom~ A rebounder is a mini trampoline. Here are a few threads with links and discussions about it:

    Bummer about the exercise vids. You might be able to find some free vids or even a rebounder someone doesn’t want anymore by going through freecycle.org.

    The exercise club might be as simple as a few people who get together to walk… you don’t need a gym. But then again, if you want to take on a project… start a gym?

  • C’mon! Youtube! If you’re on here, you can go on Youtube, no? I bet there are gobs of exercise videos on there. And just for the record, I wasn’t being a naysayer on the fasting approach—I really was just asking if it was a legit way to lose weight. My only previous experience with this was watching Mahatma Gandhi. And that didn’t end very well.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    Freesia – when you do a water fast of 10 days or so, do you spend any of that time in bed? I read about a clinic up north (Maine I think) that specializes in water fasts and they require everyone to be bedridden for the duration. I can see where that removes temptation, provides control, and reduced stress for patients, but I was wondering if your body required that during a water fast.

    Thanks.

  • Hi Dain5000, I go to work when fasting, (full time), but I do rest quite considerably, depending on how the detox symptoms are going.. but the cleaner I get, the less symptoms I have. I’d go nuts lying around all day, hehe! The very first time was the most difficult in terms of detox symptoms… it’s never been so full on again. I’ve had some of my best creative ideas when fasting.

  • Freesia~ I tried a three day water fast and I was literally watching the clock for the 24 hour mark so I could eat! I just couldn’t get through it. I was lying in bed most of that time feeling pretty horrible. I just don’t have the time or lifestyle to take a day or days off to lie around. Any tips? I’m assuming it gets better, but HOW can I push on?

  • I would like to begin a water fast w/ really no completion date to improve my health, I would like my body signals to be what indicates my completion. I have a few questions because I have gotten mixed answers from different sources.

    1. Should you lightly exercise (i would like to take a mile walk a day) while fasting if you are in general good health? ....I have heard that it helps speed up the detoxification process.

    2. Working- should you continue to work while fasting? 3 nights a week I work as a cocktail waitress which requires a good amount of energy (I will not walk on these days) The other 4 days I work from home on the computer which feels like resting to me.

    thx, Stacey

  • style ive done up to 9 days water and 22 days juice fasts while working full time outdoor manual labor / running / lifting , and im a 50 year old geezer :-) there are times while fasting i’ll get light headed / low energy and have to juice sweet fruits for the sugar kick , when ive done water fasts ive carried a bottle of fruit juice with me in case i start feeling weak . heres my favorite fasting read = http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/0… ...

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