Fast-Tracking Fasting

The term “fasting”  brings up different meanings to different people.To some it holds spiritual significance whether they are Jews, Christians, Hindus or Muslims. To others, it is done on a purely physical level, the main benefit being that of healing, where the body is allowed to rest and rehabilitate, thereby flushing out toxic wastes which have been allowed to accumulate.In fact, fasting has often been called  the single greatest natural healing therapy. To most, fasting is both spiritual and physical.

Whatever the reasons and objectives, there are proper ways to optimise the health benefits, in my opinion. In response to some readers’ queries on eating healthily, below are some pointers for otherwise healthy folks. Bear in mind that, in the context of medical conditions like diabetes, kidney or heart failure, advice from your care-giver is important.

In view of the long hours of fasting, one should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.

· Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, wholemeal bread,capati,naan,etc. (they are also called complex carbohydrates).

· Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).

One should avoid:

· Excessive fried and fatty foods which will create indigestion and ‘wind’.

· Foods containing too much sugar when commencing the fast. This may cause ‘rebound hypoglycemia’ and cause a feeling of hunger and giddiness.

· Too much tea or coffee when commencing the fast. They makes you pass more urine, taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day in addition to causing dehydration.

· Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before commencing the period of fasting.

Try to eat:

· Complex carbohydrates before commencing fasting so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.

· Dates when breaking the fast as they are an excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium to replace that lost during fasting.

Try to drink:

· As much water or fruit juices as possible in the hours before commencing the fast so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.This helps to prevent dizziness in the afternoon due to low blood pressure as a result of dehydration.

· One tall glass of water at the commencement of fast to minimise dehydration.

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5 responses

  1. Thanks for the tips, Doc! Sure are helpful, I am feeling dizzy already now at 3.30pm. Selamat berpuasa to you and family.

    By the way, that nut case who tried to elongate his penis using a nut, Doc, have you seen anything like it?

    Doctor2008 says: It’s not how long you make it, its how you make it long 😉

  2. Besides the reasons you mentioned,I use fasting to lose weight. What’s disappointing is that I seem to be doing the opposite! Why?

    Doctor2008 says: There are several reasons for this and it all boils down to calories. Some people overcompensate before going on a fast and overdo the prefast meal. Some others do not burn the calories as much (many will cut off their usual exercise routine). While others just eat too much at the end of the day’s fast. The net result is excess calories which the body will just convert to fat in the body!

  3. glad to see u blogging. u may have forgotten me but i was handling yr family’s company registration when i was with AA&Goh.

    Doctor 2008 says: Compliments to your memory!

  4. Starting to fast in a new country, I found that I could no longer drink the usual 4 glasses of water during Sahur that I did back home in Malaysia, so I started to increase it to 5 in the morning. I still found that I was parched so I started drinking at least 7, 3 before I go to bed and at least 4 for Sahur. It worked the first day I tried it, with no complications or thirst, however little can be said about today. I drank the necessary amount of water but have found to have a really bad headache.

    Doctor2008 says: Sounds like the headaches may be due to other reasons, like hypoglycemia(low blood sugar). Strangely enough, this does not mean you should take a lot of sugar when commencing fasting- this will cause rebound hypoglycemia, where the sugar in the bloodstream goes too low a few hours after commencing fasting. Try cutting down sweet foods. The amount of water you are taking seems appropriate.

  5. Hi Doc!
    I’m surprised! But a good surprise for me. Actually, it’s really good that you’re blogging. People like me, the layman, can disperse any doubts concerning our health. Thanks for the good tips about fasting. My only concern is gastritis. I hope you have more tips on that issue.

    doctor2008 says: Welcome aboard. About gastritis – confirm the diagnosis is correct.A few conditions give similar symptoms. Your doctor will know what to do.

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