Intermittent fasting is not a new healing technique. However, over the last five years its popularity has grown tremendously. Many of us realize there is a need to detox and help clean up the body. Hoping to speed up this process, we might hop on the intermittent bandwagon not knowing if fasting is healthy or not. I get it. We want to see results and feel better now! But, this isn’t how the body is designed to release toxins.
The liver is the main player when it comes to detoxing. Most people have a highly toxic liver, filled with tons of poisons. Solvents, pharmaceuticals, DDT, herbicides, pesticides, petroleum, plastics, and other toxins get stored in the liver in order to protect us. When we fast, the liver can easily be pushed too hard. And the truth is, most people walking around already have stressed livers that aren’t functioning very well.
Is Fasting Safe?
When the liver is able to release toxins slowly, it is highly beneficial for us. But, when it’s done too quickly, a hoard of toxins gets released into the bloodstream. This is what can easily happen when we fast. When the liver releases so much toxicity at once, the body isn’t able to eliminate it all. There simply aren’t enough pathways to get them escorted out. So, most of the toxins float around potentially harming various parts of the body. The nervous system, brain, adrenals, and more can be hit by this backlash. And then, the liver must work double time to reabsorb these same toxins that weren’t able to leave the body.
That said, there are some precautions that can be taken if you really feel a fast of some sort is best for you. See the various forms of fasting below to learn more.
Most people go into water fasts being very deficient in nutrients. On top of that, most of us have bugs inside waiting for a stressful opportunity to wake up and thrive. When you water fast for too long, the immune system actually weakens. Rather than coming out of the water fast stronger and healthier, oftentimes, it can backfire.
If you are someone who doesn’t have tons of symptoms nor suffer from chronic illness or autoimmune conditions, a short 2 day water fast can be of benefit. Just be sure to drink plenty of lemon water throughout and to be careful to rest at home so you are prepared for any heavy detox side effects, including dizziness or confusion. Be careful not to get caught up so that you don’t keep going for days and days. I’ve seen people keep pushing themselves and continue to go beyond their initial goal. It can become a sort of addiction. So please be cautious.
Fresh juices are incredible for your health. However, long-term juice fasting can be hard on the liver and release too many toxins too quickly if you don’t get in plenty of calories. Just drinking leafy green juices won’t cut it. Drinking juices with plenty of carbs in them helps to slow the detox down so the poisons aren’t released too quickly into the bloodstream. Cucumbers, pears, apples, watermelon, and oranges are some examples of juices that provide this critical glucose. Don’t be afraid of fruit sugar! It’s not only healing but essential. It’s not only essential for your liver but also for your brain.
Another juice fasting option is to do it for a day once or twice a month. As a bonus, start drinking 16-32 ounces of straight celery juice every morning on an empty stomach. This can work miracles to relieve symptoms and lose weight.
Dry fasting is not healthy. It is extremely dangerous and really isn’t ideal for anyone. It can put your kidneys in shock and totally shut them down. If you are not drinking water while fasting, the bloodstream and fill up with tremendous amounts of poison. Countless brain cells can be easily damaged as well. This is not at all advised.
There are rare exceptions for those who are able to live off life-force energy – or prana or chi. Some people have become so evolved and conscious that they are able to fuel themselves from very little food. Please be careful in using your discernment wisely.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
There are various intentions one can have when it comes to intermittent fasting. If the goal is to heal your physical body or to lose weight, this is probably not the best option. But, it depends on how long the intention is to go before eating in the day. Ideally, we should eat every couple of hours, or graze throughout the day. This is especially true if you suffer from symptoms or conditions. When we don’t get enough fuel, the adrenals release adrenaline and start to become fatigued (if they aren’t already).
However, some folks have highly sensitive nerves in their digestive tract which makes it difficult to eat first thing in the morning – or even later in the day. Avoiding food isn’t the answer. It can be helpful to do your best to eat every 2,3, or 4 hours depending on what you’re able to do. Not eating for half to three quarters of the day is not sustainable long term. It’s best to make sure to get enough fuel to your adrenals, brain, and nervous system.
For those who are looking to intermittent fast to lose weight, there are safer, more effective methods that will not put your organs in jeopardy. Short term, one can lose weight but in the long run put more stress on the liver which is ultimately the organ needed to really lose weight and keep it off.
Intermittent Fasting Diet Alternatives
The idea of an intermittent fasting diet doesn’t quite make logical sense since fasting is abstaining. However, there are actually ways to still get many of the benefits folks are searching for in fasts, without the dangers. The Medical Medium 28 Day Cleanse or the Liver Rescue 3-6-9 Cleanse are much safer approaches to cleansing. To dive deeper into cleansing, why it’s essential to do and how to do it successfully, check out Cleanse to Heal.
Alternative to that, try to gradually improve your diet so your liver and the rest of your body can adapt and detox at a sustainable pace. Drink lemon honey ginger water every morning first thing when you wake up. This helps purge the liver from all of the clean up it was working on while you were sleeping. Start bringing celery juice daily on an empty stomach. Bring more raw veggies and fruit into your diet. These help your liver cleanse and detox safely. For more methods to detox, check out another article of mine all about detoxing a healthy and effective way
Ultimately, so much of it comes down to how long you are fasting and what type of fast you are doing. Long periods or food on a regular basis can be harmful to the body, especially one that’s already weakened. Dry fasting is one of the exceptions in that it’s not suggested for anyone. But as always, check in with your inner guidance. What do you sense? Do your best not to let the latest trends get in the way and truly feel what could be beneficial.
I have seen countless individuals achieve incredible results and reverse illness as the result of living a detox lifestyle. When we are patient and make needed changes to our daily lives over a period of time, we can see amazing results that are sustainable. Blessings on your healing journey.