What To Expect From Water Fasting

What happens when you are water-fasting?

On juice fasts, although you may lose weight, your digestive system doesn’t get much of a rest.

This is why a water fasting may be a better healthier option. Sensing into your own deepest wisdom and what is right for your body at any given time can be the wisest and most effective way of determining which will serve you better.

Glucose is the molecule that fuels the brain. After the first few days of a water fast, the body has used up all its stores of glucose to make energy. So then it turns to other sources, including fat and muscle to produce the brain’s food.

The main tissue the body will catabolize at this point, to produce the glucose, is muscle, because muscle has readily available amino acids which can be easily converted to glucose.

However the body is a use-it-or-lose-it system. Which is why we recommend light but regular daily exercise while you are on a water fast. That exercise tells the body you using those muscles and it must look to other reserves, such as fat, to produce the glucose the brain needs to perform its regular daily work. It takes a few more steps to catabolize the fat but if you are using the muscles it is no longer an option to catabolize them for glucose. This protects not only your structural muscles but the heart as well, which is also a muscle.

Heartwood Health Enhancement Program provides retreatants with access to elliptical machines, stair machines, resistance bands, free weights (and sessions with our residential weight lifting counselor), a lovely ~2 mile walk around the nearby Lake Osceloa and unlimited access to the multitude of workout and yoga videos on YouTube to encourage your body to maintain its muscle while fasting.

What to expect from water fasting:

Your body’s inner wisdom knows precisely where to go, what to metabolize and eliminate, and how to eliminate it.  Water fasting has been described as an operation without the surgery.

Fasting gives your digestive organs a much needed rest.  Instead of digesting food, the digestive secretions and enzymes can work on digesting and eliminating toxic wastes from the body via the GI tract. 

Some signs and symptoms that waste products are being eliminated are:

1) headaches, dizziness, vertigo, wooziness, lightheadedness.
2) sneezing, runny nose, itching, stinging, post nasal drip.
3) soreness or constriction of the throat, hoarseness, scratchiness
4) chest congestion, wheezing, phlegm discharges, foul breath odors
5) skin rashes, acne, pustules; excessive or abnormal sweating; strange body odors
6) sour or nervous stomach, stomach cramping, belching, bad breath
7) sore eyes, bitter taste in mouth, sallow complexion, pain or distension under
   the ribs on the right side (location of the liver and gallbladder)
8) colic, spasm, tenderness or pain underneath the liver area.
9) foul smelling gas, cramping, diarrhea, spastic colon or irritable bowel.
10) low back pain and weakness, fatigue; frequent urination, often urgent
11) strongly colored or strong smelling urine      

These cleansing and detoxing symptoms are most intense during the first three days of the fast and can be warded off or decreased significantly by following our Pre-Fasting Regime.

During the first three days of the fast energy levels also tend to be lowest.  After this initial three-day period the body goes into an internal energy-conserving mode, called ketosis. In this mode the body switches over to a more efficient burning of the fat reserves and energy levels come back up.    

During the fast your body will detoxify itself during the night, often leaving a thick, foul, bitter tasting residue on the tongue in the morning.  We provide you with a tongue scraper and an ionic tooth brush to scrape and scrub the tongue first thing each morning.

Coming Off The Water Fast:

The most important part of a fast is how a person lives after the fast.

It’s like the fast is the tearing down of the old termite ridden and dry rot boards (toxin damaged tissues) your house (body) is made of due to years of improper care.

If you rebuild with other termite ridden or dry rot boards (bad food and lifestyle choices) you’re right back where you started from.

This is why all water fast self-retreatants are encouraged to stay on campus for 1 or 2 more days while coming off their water fast. You will receive a healthy liquids and very soft food diet the first day coming off your fast and healthy solid food meals on the second day.

Heartwood provides you with educational materials and recipes to take home and help keep you on track as you rebuild the tissues of your body and come to a place of radiant health over time.

More about water fasting