For many centuries, fasting has been a practice for religious purposes, and is claimed to bring spiritual renewal.
Nowadays, fasting has gained more popularity and became the quickest way to lose weight. But there are many different ways of fasting; so which one of them is considered the best?
Well, with all these various methods of fasting, we could not say that a certain one is better than the other, as each of them affects our body differently. What matters is the fact that fasting generally has great benefits.
One specific method has caught more attention recently. Dry fasting is when you’re willing to restrain yourself from taking any kind of food or any liquids, including tea, coffee, and broth. Not even water.
What is so special about dry fast?
Although there are not enough comparative studies about this so far, it is believed that dry fasting has a deeper effect, and that one day of a dry fast will give you the same benefit as three days of water fasting.
There are two types of dry fasting :
Soft dry fast is when you can have contact with water. You’re allowed to take a shower and brush your teeth.
On the other hand, a hard dry fast doesn’t permit you any contact as such.
Ramadan is another form of dry fasting:
Ramadan is a holy month in the Islamic religion, where Muslims dry fast for the number of hours between dawn and sunset every day during one month.
Why dry fast?
Besides the religious and spiritual reasons, it is mostly done for cleansing reasons, or just for losing weight.
Practicing dry fasting this way has several benefits that we can’t ignore, such as:
– Lowering inflammation
– Improving brain function
– Skin regenerating
– Bone strengthening
– Balancing cholesterol levels
As someone who observes Ramadan, my personal experience with fasting has taught me that it is easy once you get used to it. During the first couple of days you might feel dizzy and experience headaches, but that’s totally normal. It is caused by your blood pressure and sugar level dropping. You just need to give your body a short time to adapt.
Fasting for a month for what is between 12 to 18 hours (depending on how long daylight time is) is a good opportunity for your body to rest and detoxify itself. However, the common mistake the majority of us make is not breaking the fast properly. Many prepare a whole feast and eat everything they can until they are full, and in a very short period.
I used to make the same mistake and gained weight during Ramadan (something I’m sure others also experience), as I didn’t pay attention to the quality or the amount of food I ate. I was only focused on what I would eat at the end of that day, but was still wondering why I was gaining weight. I later realized that all the benefits of fasting during the day was done in vain.
It is true that I was giving my body a chance to rest during the day, but then I was giving it more work to do than on any ordinary day. Organs such as the liver, already having the very difficult task of filtering my blood from toxins to keep my body as healthy as possible, was doing double the work that it usually does.
Since I understood this and changed the way I eat accordingly, fasting in Ramadan has become multiple times easier! I haven’t felt tired or hungry as my body has become tolerant to foregoing food for long periods.
If you really want to benefit from dry fasting, or any kind of fast, you have to know how to break your fast. The first thing you should ingest is a liquid, preferably water. Take slow, measured sips and wait for your stomach to settle before eating any solids. In Ramadan, the most important solid food is often dates! Pace yourself and remember that your stomach can only handle so much! Don’t over do it! The rest of your meal should be rich and balanced. Don’t starve yourself, but know what you eat, reduce the amount of sugar you consume, and eat it slowly.
Another tip I may give you is trying not to snack all the time. Not snacking helps your body getting used to not eating food for many hours.
One last thing: Dry fasting is best done for short amounts of time! People who observe Ramadan only do it from dawn until dusk. Remember that your body can’t go without water for longer periods.
And please do consult your doctor before trying it, especially if you are on medication or if you are pregnant.