What is Fasting??
Fasting/Upvaas is primarily an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink or both, for a period of time. (Wikipedia)
There exist various types of fasting. Each has something to offer. Depending on a person’s individual lifestyle, health issues, goals, and body type, different methods of fasting will be appropriate for different people.
You can choose a method that is appropriate for you from the below
Dry Fasting/ Full Fast
Also known as an Absolute Fast, Black Fast, and Hebrew Fast. It’s an extreme form of fasting wherein there is no consumption of food and water. It done to achieve heightened form of penance or for some spiritual practice.
Also called selective fasting wherein one excludes or includes certain foods as part of their regular diet. It’s not the amount of food, but the exclusion or limitation of certain foods. E.g. Rice fasting or pulses form partial fasts.
Here a person fast once a week to give the digestive system a rest. Rate of detoxification can be increased as there is lesser burden on the organs of the digestive system. It’s an opportunity for your liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs – to do a little extra health-promoting work. It’s like weekly cleansing.
Liquid Fasting – Fasting & water / Juice Fasting
As the name implies, this fasting is done by only consuming on liquids
Water fasting- One of the simplest and oldest form of liquid fasting. One gets a Lot of physical benefits in a short while. A complete detoxification happens.
Juice fasting Is gaining popularity these days. Along with detoxification & weight loss it adds a lot of nutritional value. Consumption of fresh fruit juices is advices rather than packed/canned ones. Vegetable Juices are also taken
A very popular form wherein one eats only raw/fresh fruits. Good for beginners. Along with cleansing it also adds nutritional value. Lot of toxins gets cleared. Can be done without too much discomfort.
Below are the 2 most recognized types of fruit fasting
The one-fruit fast
Its also called mono-diet/one-fruit diet wherein you to stick to only 1 kind of fruit during the entire fast. Apples are generally advised
The any/many fruit fast – This is the standard one wherein more than one kind of fruit can be consumed. You need to be cautious on selection of fruits as most may not go well with each other.
Limit the quantity; don’t go “fruit feasting”.
This is basically an act of abstinence followed on certain days for a particular food which you think you have become addicted to. This is a way of sacrifice to bring discipline in life.
Some people might say, they have been consuming high-caffeine drinks quiet often and are abstaining from it for 2 days a week 1 day a week.
Fasting for Political Reasons
It’s us used as a tool to make a political statement, to protest, provoke feelings, achieve a goal, or to bring awareness to a cause. It’s a non-violent method which generally used to bring attention to a particular problem/cause or pressure the authority. Generally a well-know person or an influencer leads the fast until the demands get fulfilled or the message is out across.
Fasting for Medical Reasons
Many medical tests and operations require one to abstain from eating any food/water for a considerable amount of time. It is a type of fasting wherein you are required to fast before some tests or the tests are undertaken early in the morning.
Eating before a particular test may interfere with the test results. Because presence of certain foods/liquids can produce misleading test results. Being empty stomach gives a clear picture to the doctor.
Some medical procedures/tests that require fasting
- Cholesterol testing
- Blood Check
- Glucose testing
- Surgery with full anesthesia
- Diabetes screening
Fasting & Prayer/Religious Fasting
The idea behind religious fasting is to purify one’s mind, initiate connect with the divine, punishment for sins, seeking miracles, asking for forgiveness. Many also fast to seek miracles, control their desires, increase willpower, and understand the sufferings of the poor/less fortunate
Hindus – Fast on certain days having an astronomical event (eclipses/Amavasya-Purnima (Lunar movements))or on certain festive occasions. Some also fast on certain days dedicated to certain goods to get their wishes fulfilled.
Buddhists – Fast from the point of purification and freeing the mind.
Catholics – Fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as a penance for sins and to show solidarity with the poor.
Muslims – Fast during Ramadan asking Allah for forgiveness, guidance and to purify themselves through good acts.
Fasting for Weight Loss
It’s not the best but it’s a very popular fasting type. Fasting continuously for a longer time is however not good in this case, as body can be deprived of essentials nutrients and vitamins.
Fasting for Detoxification
Fasting is a great way for detoxification. Short fasts at regular intervals are a good way to achieve great health. Especially today’s generation who are used to stuffing junk food all the time one needs to give our body a break from the routine.
How to end a Fast
While opening the fast don’t over eat. Start by eating fruits/liquids and then move to solids. Eat small portions in the beginning