Q: I was looking to cleanse this spring and was wondering what are the detox symptoms I could look forward to encountering (ha ha) on a juice or water fast?
Common Detox Symptoms
These are the physical symptoms, however emotional detox occurs as well. Anger and anxiety were two emotions mentioned above, but sadness, grief, rage, fear or over-worrying can also be experienced.
Over-worrying is another word for rumination, which are thoughts that go round and round, and many thoughts do revolve around food during this time. While psychological techniques can be useful for coping, using meditation to watch the mind, its chatter and its strategies is highly recommended during fasting.
Indeed, many who fast speak about the spiritual connection. On an extended fast, thoughts may turn to one's mortality and the existential angst that it brings up --- a shift in perspective about the road traveled, what one values and treasures in life, the path yet to be lived, and the desire for appreciation, love and wonderment.
Juice Feasting, Juice Fasting & Water Fasting
Sometimes people will consume 3-5 liters of juice, call it a fast, and experience no symptoms at all (or only mildly so, such as feeling hungry). This is because fiber (which is filling) is not being consumed, yet nutritionally there is sufficient caloric intake. It might be better to call this juice "feasting" instead of juice "fasting." I have done this type of fast many times in the past (from 1 week to the longest being about 2 months) and this fast is considered highly cleansing and rather safe.
In comparison, juice fasting often involves consuming 1-2 liters of juice and detox symptoms will most certainly occur due to caloric deficit. Juice fasting borders on being unsafe, depending upon the duration of the fast and previous fasting experience. A 3-day juice fast can be just fine, for example, but make sure to closely monitor symptoms and their severity with 10-14 day juice fasting.
Juice feasting is therefore the easiest to do, followed by juice fasting, followed by water fasting. Water fasting for a short duration of time (1-3 days) can be beneficial for you or for others experiencing an acute health issue, such as severe digestive distress (e.g. severe bloating and gas), flu or food poisoning. Yet water fasting over an extended period of time is considered one of the most brutal forms of fasting, and it is highly recommended that water fasting be undertaken at a retreat center where vital signs can be monitored.
Since extended water fasting has been shown to be an excellent method of ridding the body of toxins, as well as helping with a host of issues, including edema, high blood pressure and digestive disturbances, you may want to further investigate The True North Health Center and Tanglewood Wellness Center.
To your happy detox adventures,
Article Originally Written in 2017. Updated 2020.
Photos: Free Stock Images.
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