Saturday, March 26, 2016

Water Fasting - Why Do I Do It?

DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to recommend water fasting. It is merely to explain what I am doing this week and do from time to time to clear my system. Water fasting should NOT be done unsupervised for more than VERY short periods of time.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I want to share with you something that is a part of my life that is the complete opposite of cooking and eating...water fasting!

As a Type 2 diabetic, I am combating this disease with diet and exercise rather than medications. In the past four years, I have been able to lose a lot of weight and bring my blood sugar levels down eating whole foods plant-based with no oil included in my cooking. I also walk or run regularly, which assists in keeping my blood glucose levels low. Though many Type 2 diabetics who have adopted a whole foods plant-based lifestyle have fully reversed this disease (meaning, their A1C levels are around 5.5 or below), I have not yet achieved this low level. I'm close but not quite there. Therefore, diet and exercise IS my medicine.

However, about three times a year, I partake in a 3-5 day fast where I consume only distilled water. I know...CRAZY! It's especially crazy when much of my life revolves around food. Water fasting is an age-old practice to remove toxins from the body and clear the system. I was introduced to water fasting through various articles I read and videos I watched (which I will note at the bottom of this post). Not being able to travel to California to the only medically supervised water fasting program in the country (because of work), I decided to try out a short fast on my own. My main purpose was to release as much glucose from my system and begin burning the fat in my muscles which causes insulin resistance. On this journey, I have had many ups, but I've also had some downs with my diabetes. This particular time, I was struggling with some elevated blood sugar levels and wasn't sure what the cause was. I felt that clearing my system might allow me to reset my body.

That first water fast was amazing. I only fasted for three days, but my blood sugar levels came down to normal, and I felt awesome. I was surprised that not eating wasn't hard. I missed the cooking part more than the eating! I found that my body function improved greatly after the fast. It also seemed to get me past a weight loss plateau (which is probably the cause of the blood sugar buildup in my blood).

Since then, I have found water fasting to be a helpful practice. My doctor agreed to me doing up to five days on my own, making sure to check my blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is essential to go past two days because the body is only burning glucose in the first 48-72 hours and doesn't get into the fat stores until the around the 3rd day. When the body enters into ketosis (using fat as an energy source rather than glucose), the healing really begins. The brain no longer signals the body that it is hungry, so you don't even feel hungry after about the second day. If you want to learn more about water fasting in detail, check out this video.

So, next weekend I will be running in my very first 5K race. I decided to water fast a few days this weekend (Friday-Monday) and then eat raw foods for a few days after that, to get my body clear and ready.  I'm super excited about the race, and I want my body to be in optimal shape.

Remember...water fasting is NOT something anyone should do without educating themselves and getting clearance from their doctor. If you do take medications, it becomes even more complicated, and you should check with your doctor first before considering it.

Fasting: Safe & Effective Use of an Ancient Healing Therapy


  1. I had the opportunity to stay at the Santa Rosa fasting facility in order to fast for 22 days. It was an amazing process. I actually enjoyed fasting. I kicked my sugar and wheat cravings and have never looked back. It actually kick started my weight loss. The staff and doctors were knowledgable and encouraging. I look forward to returning soon. I also do water fasts at home for 3-5 days every so many months. I feel refreshed after the fasting.

    1. Erin...That is great news! Did you go to the True North Clinic, then? Thank you so much for sharing your experience!