Fasting has been known around the world for thousands of years. Initially, the motivations of the faster were religious or spiritual. Then they became politicized with the protest fast promulgated as a means of peaceful demonstration, notably by Gandhi. Nowadays, we hear a lot about fasting for 3 days for rapid weight loss.
We will see that this is in reality only one of the facets of fasting and that we can derive many other benefits from it… As long as we know how to do it.
What is fasting?
Fasting is the voluntary or involuntary deprivation of food and possibly drinks for a fixed period of time. This practice being thousands of years old, each culture and each civilization has a unique vision and practice. So there is no definition of fasting that is immutable.
However, periodic fasting is differentiated from intermittent fasting . Periodic fasting consists of depriving yourself of food for a minimum of 3 days. As for intermittent fasting, it is a question of alternating it on a regular basis with the times when we eat.
Without knowing it, many people practice intermittent fasting: they eat dinner at 8 p.m., skip breakfast the next day, and eat lunch at noon. In this case the fast will have lasted 16 hours in practice and 8 hours of food intake.
Beyond this little subtlety, the framework in which the fast takes place is relatively flexible . Some advocate dry fasting, that is, without food and drink. Others prefer to keep a few foods and consume, for example, vegetable broths or water smoothies.
As for the duration, again, there are no real rules. We generally recommend a maximum of 3 days , especially if this is your first fast. Some people fast for a week, up to two. But it requires excellent self-knowledge, a lot of practice and good physical condition.
What are the health benefits?
As I told you, today fasting for 3 days rhymes with weight loss. But for many people, fasting is also synonymous with vitality and health . And yes, strange as it may sound, going without food can actually bring many benefits to your body.
Our food is contaminated by many pollutants, even as part of a healthy and varied diet. These toxins accumulate in fatty tissue, clog the cogs of our metabolism and can ultimately cause chronic or degenerative diseases. On the other hand, digestion takes up about 1/3 of our total energy.
The conclusion is obvious by its logic: resting the digestive system for a few days can only have beneficial effects. Fasters also report a feeling of vitality rarely equaled. This, because their organism is purified and can function optimally and thus allow your body to be at the meal and to avoid having to be in permanent digestion.
But the effects of fasting don't end there. According to the work carried out by Dr. Otto Buchinger in 1920, fasting could indeed stimulate the healing forces of the body. In this sense, it would be possible to observe, for example, an improvement in allergic reactions. As well as a stabilization of the level of sugar and cholesterol in the blood. In some cases, fasting during chemotherapy treatment could improve the patient's condition.
How it goes?
As you will understand, fasting for 3 days will not simply have an influence on weight loss. But to observe its benefits, you must still take some precautions. Fasting is not just about stopping eating.
Prepare the body well to fast for 3 days:
For fasting for 3 days to be synonymous with weight loss, you absolutely need to prepare your body.
Indeed, it is recommended to reduce the diet gradually at least 5 days before the start of the fast. This way the stop is less abrupt and you will have a much better experience. Both physically and mentally.
A small week before the fixed date, stop the consumption of animal proteins, coffee, alcohol and sugars. Then after two days, remove the legumes as well as the oilseeds. The last two days before the start of the fast, eat only vegetables and fruits.
Finally, if you wish, you can do a magnesium cure with Nigari salt or take advantage of the laxative effects of Senna . On the one hand, you will help your body to purify itself , on the other hand, it is much easier to start a fast on an empty stomach.
What Happens During the Fast?
At the start of your fast, your body will function normally because it can draw on your glucose stores as usual . As a reminder, glucose helps nourish the brain. But after a few hours, or the second day, these reserves will run out since you are not going to renew them.
This is when your body goes into "survival" mode. It will then set up a mechanism called gluconeogenesis . To put it simply, it is a question of imitating the production of glucose with the means at hand. And as you can imagine, the glucose produced in this way is not of exceptional quality. This is why you risk experiencing dizziness , nausea or even migraines. It is therefore advisable to plan to stay quietly at home.
Another precaution to take during the fast is to try to isolate yourself as much as possible. In fact, when your brain receives olfactory or visual stimulation in relation to food, it begins to produce gastric juices for digestion. But on an empty stomach, these juices can cause you to feel acidic, or even pain. This is why some people take the opportunity to isolate themselves completely and practice meditation in particular.
How do you get back to normal after deprivation?
In the same way that you will have prepared your body, it is important to take care of the end of the fast. Your digestive system has been at rest for 72 hours, toxins have been released, your metabolism has slowed down. In short, it's not about waking your stomach up with a fast food menu.
Take the opposite path to the one taken before the start of the fast. Start with vegetables, then oilseeds and finally animal protein. If you plan to take the opportunity to start a diet, then stop there and do not resume consumption of fatty, salty or sweet foods.
Fasting for 3 days is often synonymous with weight loss because it is also an excellent springboard for adopting good eating habits.
Fasting for 3 days and weight loss: what results to expect?
As you can imagine, fasting for 3 days and weight loss go hand in hand. However, the results are difficult to quantify: between 2 kg and 5 kg , depending on the person and their metabolism. In any case, it is strongly recommended to continue the fast with a healthy diet and the practice of physical activity.