I have no doubt in the affirmation that ours is an opulent society, at least from the alimentary point of view, and we are all afflicted by supercharging. In the last years of this century it has been possible to notice the presence of chronic diseases, considered as a direct consequence of the wellbeing, and the attenuation or even the disappearance of others deriving from poor food, typical, for example, of the post-war period.
More and more often I receive requests for information and advice for fast practices. I must say that, personally, I am not totally in favor of this kind of practice, even though I have had a wide experience. I think that man would do better to seek the solution of his problems by directing his general behavior towards balance without being forced to run for cover when health is now compromised.
I admit, however, that fasting, exercised with knowledge of the cause, can bring benefits, both physical and mental, of significant importance. A physical aspect, certainly important, is that this exercise promotes the elimination of toxins accumulated in the reserves of the body, while from a psychological point of view fasting reinforces character and determination in those who practice it. Before starting, however, it is good to take into account that, during the first two or three days, the stimuli of hunger are felt with insistence. This is also caused by the mental habit of taking food and, usually, these moments are accompanied, especially in the most intoxicated subjects, by feeling of nausea, vomiting or headache. Sensations produced, as already mentioned, by the considerable amount of toxins that the practice itself tends to free in the body and which do not have to worry, because they are naturally removed from the organs responsible for this function, i.e., the solution of this process it will occur through sweating, urine, faeces or breathing. It becomes important, so during fasting, drink plenty of water, not cold and not sparkling.
I take this opportunity to point out, once again, that the intake of sufficient water should be a normal habit for anyone, but even more for those who wish to raise the quality of their health. It is a grave mistake to think, as women sometimes do, that the water is swollen and fat. Instead, water, by example, puts the intestine into better use. Often here lie the causes of weight gain or general intoxication. For a better functioning of this apparatus I suggest you to take, sometimes, also some fibers, for example, eating more complete foods like bread or whole meal pasta.
To return to the fast, I have to say that if conducted with intelligence and balance it presents no danger, at least on the fortieth day. It is only after the fortieth day that the body in its process of finding energies it directed towards risky or delicate parts. Initially, however, it intelligently addresses nature reserves, to tissues that already have a reserve function and does so by respecting certain priorities. Only after the fortieth day could it turn to the tissues of the heart, thus becoming dangerous.
Therefore, I advise those who intend to use the practice of fasting to detox or lose weight, thus eliminating certain disorders or strengthening the nervous system and will, to proceed as follows:
Choose a period of nine days during which precise that it is good to work normally (provided that the work is not a cause of stress, otherwise, it is convenient for this period, decrease the pace). The work especially when it is healthy and well managed keeps the mind busy avoiding to continually listening to the hypothetical disturbances that "according to you" the practice could cause you.
You need to get psychologically ready and when you start be strong and determined to go all the way. An interruption of the practice would damage you a lot from the psychological point of view, making you even weaker. Gradually decreased, in the first three days, the amount of food passing mainly from solid foods to liquids, up to take vegetable broths in the last hours.
Observe three days of complete fasting while drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Gradually take food in the last three days from liquids in the first day to solid in the third. Intelligent fasts like these are destined to make you find not only a good physical but also mental balance. Sometimes in Eastern monasteries it is accompanied by the practice of silence called the antarmauna, which will make you in contact with your inner life.