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Dec 30, 2010 05:19 AM

Fasting - Chowhound Perspective


I am looking for some Chowhound input on the subject of fasting. I just completed a 36 hour water fast and am planning on doing a 48 hour fast next week. I would eventually like to work up to a week.

Do any of you hounds have experience with fasting? What sorts of things do you eat to start your fast? What do you break fast with? Do you find that you appreciate food more after you have fasted?

  1. IMO,

    don't ask us.... Go see a _real_ MD.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      I am not asking whether or not I should fast or if there is a benefit to fasting. I am just asking hounds who have experience fasting what they eat before and after the fast; and if they appreciate what they eat after fasting.

      Not looking for advice, just opinions.

      1. re: jpc8015

        I think it depends on what foods you're used to, what your body is used to, how sensitive your stomach is, etc. Which is really why you should consult a doctor first? Obviously, he/she might try to discourage you, but if you really want to be careful, go for foods that are easy on the stomach like bananas and soft bread/toast with no dairy, Gatorade or something to replenish the electrolytes that you're sure to lose.

        I don't recommend fasting for non-religious/political/surgical purposes, though... In my mind, there's a hair-thin line between fasting for weight loss and an eating disorder.

    2. I've tried fasting once, with the intention of doing a couple of days only at first, but then after I decided to see how far I could go...the reason being, I had no food cravings.....third day was fine, but during the fourth day, I got the shakes. I held out for five.

      My stomach got smaller and I lost considerable weight.....but i did not feel right for two weeks after.

      Maximilien's advice is better than mine.

      1. You don't have to answer, but may I ask why? What's your goal? Detox or...?

        How do you deal with hunger? Doesn't it just sort of take over your psyche for awhile? I assume there are highs and lows...

        5 Replies
        1. re: tatamagouche

          I first got interested in fasting about two years ago. I read an article in Men's Health written by a guy who did a 36 hour fast every week. I believe that he was some sort of food critic and he just got bored with all of the food he was eating. He said that the fasting helped him to appreciate the food more.

          After a year or so of his weekly fasts he said that he was in better health. He noticed that while he was not fasting he would eat more reasonable portion sizes; obviously his weekly calorie intake was reduced dramatically.

          I started reading up on it and found all sorts of books written that claim fasting to be some cure for all that ails. Hocus pocus if you ask me. I am more interestred in the spiritual perspective and gaining a deeper appreciation for what I have.

          1. re: jpc8015

            How does it make you feel? I feel as though I'd get very anxious after about 8 hours...

            Just water, no tea?

            1. re: tatamagouche

              I actually had some tea at about the twelve hour mark. I think I would have been better off without it. I think the caffeine made me jittery.

            2. re: jpc8015

              If you're looking for a spiritual perspective, then why did you begin by asking for the chowhound's perspective?

              My opinion? A water fast "just because", especially pushing it to a week is dangerous and unhealthy.

              1. re: jpc8015

                I read that article, and I thought it was just 24 hours. I have to agree that trying to go a week without eating sounds like a really bad idea. Starvation mode isn't a myth-- your body adapts to the conditions you put it through.

            3. I'm currently doing a meatloaf fast. It works quite well.

              1. The original comment has been removed