Water fasting: how and why to practice it?
Behind this somewhat barbaric name hides in reality the most commonly practiced fasting technique. Consisting of voluntarily stopping eating for a given period, water fasting allows the body to rest and detoxify in depth. How to use this ancestral practice!
Known since time immemorial to give your body the opportunity to relax and eliminate its toxins, fasting can be done once or several times a year, following these recommendations:
- 24h of fasting (from evening to evening) up to 4 times a month to eliminate small excesses
- 2 to 3 days of fasting, once a month to rid the body of too much sugar
- 5 to 7 days of fasting, 1 to 2 times a year in order to start a work of regeneration
The principle of water fasting
As its name suggests, water fasting consists of no longer eating any solid food, in favor of a liquid diet. In the strict sense of the term, it only allows water.
But of course, it is possible to fast as you wish, allowing yourself a few “deviations”.
In addition to 2 to 3L of water per day, it is not uncommon for water fasters to take herbal teas to stimulate the emunctory organs, vegetable broths so as not to lack minerals or fresh fruit and vegetable juices, for those who find it hard to hold on.
The 3 steps to follow
Otherwise known as food descent, the preparation phase allows the body to gradually get used to the lack of food. So before you start the actual fast, you should gradually reduce what you eat.
- D-3: stop sugar, flour, red meats and alcohol. Also halve starchy foods and stop stimulants (tea and coffee).
- D-2: total stopping of starchy foods and legumes, in favor of light proteins (poultry, fish, soy) and steamed vegetables with a drizzle of oil.
- D-1: more protein or whole vegetables, only soups and vegetable juices in the extractor if possible and without fruit.
If the first three days are always the most difficult, you will feel less hunger after this stage. Be careful, however, you must take care!
Do not hesitate to take a few days of vacation and / or to move your appointments to be able to rest as much as possible.
Needless to say, physical activity is also not recommended.
Once the water fasting period is over, it is time to gradually reintroduce solid foods.
Start with juices and soups the first day, add steamed vegetables and cereals the next day, and continue throughout the week until you find a so-called normal diet. The only imperative: go easy!
Contraindications of water fasting
If you are in good health, there is no contraindication to practicing water fasting. For short periods, it is not always necessary to have a specialist (dietitian or health professional) follow you.
On the other hand, if you have any health problems, or if you are taking medication, ask your doctor for advice before you start, and prefer treatment establishments where you will be well supervised.
Finally, it is best for pregnant and lactating women, as well as people with heart problems, to abstain from fasting.