Based on 2 books: “Man's Eternal Quest”, 'The spiritual and physical rewards of fasting'
“The Fast Diet” by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer.
There are many ways or levels of fasting. The ideal way is to fast without eating food and have only water with a bit of lemon juice squeezed in. The lemon juice regulates your ph in the stomach reducing the acidity (old ayuvedic recipe). However, fasting does not mean not eating at all.
First, start by reading about it and doing your own research. Do not fast if you have an eating disorder, underweight, pregnant, not sure or on medication (see your doctor).
Start by reducing the amount you eat a day. Ayuveda suggests 2 handfuls of food per meal or fill your stomach 1/3 with food, 1/3 with water and 1/3 empty to allow efficient mixing and digesting of food. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates e.g. bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. Reduce the amount of sugar you have in tea, coffee and cereals. Reduce the amount of fizzy drinks and start drinking more water (with lemon juice which can curb your need to eat food). Stop eating between meals. If you have 3 meals a day, stick to it. (Why do we have to eat 3 meals a day?)
Paramahansa Yogananda suggests fasting 1 day per week, 3 days once per month and 7 days once per year for a complete overhaul/ MoT. You can do the 1 day per week fast on fruit and the 3 day per month fast on orange juice. A lot of of people are trying juicing and it is proving very successful. The body needs to get accustomed to fasting. The body is dependant on food for its life force and it takes a few days for it to become detached from food and be sustained solely on life force. (Matthew 4:4, man shall not live on bread alone but by every word (prana, life force) that proceedeth from the mouth of God (medulla oblangata).
Michael Morsley's 5:2 diet involves having a reduced calorie intake (500 calories for woman and 600 for men) on 2 non-consecutive days per week. Brilliant! This makes it easy to start fasting as you do not have to go through the day without eating or worrying about starving!
Why is fasting so hard to do?
It is simply due to habits how we eat food and the sub-conscious thoughts of feeling weak or not having energy to do things if we do not eat. We also eat food because it is there. How many times do you open the fridge or cupboard doors at home looking for something to eat or drink? Be aware of this.
Rewards of Fasting?
Fasting allows your body time to heal instead of constantly digesting food. Instead of feeling tired, you feel refreshed and more energised. I once had 2 cartons of fruit juice for a day. It had a total of 1000 calories, however, I never ate anything that day and did not feel the need to eat the next day. My energy levels had also increased!
After trying the 5:2 diet for a month (and not a lot of exercise) my stomach/ belly had shrunk, I lost weight (about half a stone) and did not have the need to eat food between meals!
Fasting develops your will power as fasting needs will power. Set a goal and do it. Simple. However, you have to be determined to succeed. You have to overcome temptation around you and be positive about the goal, the benefits of fasting.
Research on rats showed that they lived longer if they were made to fast. Medical research on fasting has shown that fasting cures many health issues.
Many people fast as part of their spiritual practice and many fast for health reasons.
Do your own research on fasting before trying it. Get the experience, benefits and rewards of fasting for yourself. There are plenty of websites (e.g. thefastdiet.co.uk,) and youtube videos on fasting and juicing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8i-I0jjzoo, http://www.juicemaster.com/).