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Water Fast vs. Juice Fast: the Good, the Bad, and the Hungry

Water Fast vs. Juice Fast: the Good, the Bad, and the Hungry

Fasting.

Some swear by it as the cure for every ailment. Some only do it when they are stranded by accident in the woods and can’t catch a chipmunk. For those who have never tried it, it sounds, at the best, intriguing, or at the worst, miserable. For those who embrace it, it is enlightening, empowering, and healing.

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Let’s peel back all the hype and just look at the basics of fasting. Are there health benefits? Absolutely… when done correctly.

Fasting can be as complex or simple as you make it. Some people consider cutting a certain food group or favorite indulgence out of their diet a type of fasting. Others think fasting should be performed for religious reasons and nothing should enter the mouth—not even water. Since the first is much too broad and the second is only for the devoutly called, I will focus on a fasting that is a bit more mainstream. The two most well-established types of fasting are juice fasts and water fasts.

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Water Fasting

The name is self explanatory: you just drink water for a set number of days. I have only done one long water fast in my life; I didn’t follow the rules and started the fast when I was working a very physically-demanding job. I made it to day five, and then broke it.

If you decide to do a water fast, I highly recommend doing so when you don’t have to do large amounts of physical exertion. I was a sales rep that walked throughout offices carrying multiple 25-pound boxes of product, and I also got a shipment in my storage shed during my fast of over fifty heavy cases that I had to unload and stack by myself. By the final day, every time I got out of my car, I had to lean against it for a few minutes to make the world stop spinning.

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The main benefit people claim from water fasts is the body’s ability to detox with the energy normally utilized for digestion. Your GI system also gets a needed break. I did lose weight quickly on the water fast, which was another nice benefit, and the hunger pains stopped after the second day. I felt miserable most of the time, however, with headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and general weakness. I tried to push through it, as I couldn’t slow down due to work. Had I done it correctly and rested, I’m sure my experience would have been much different. Those who swear by water fasting say they notice a clarity of mind, peacefulness, increased energy, weight loss, and general healing as positive results.

Juice Fasting

Juice fasting is done by using a juicer to extract fruit and vegetable juices from fresh produce. You then drink different recipes throughout the fast. It is a much gentler way to fast vs. straight water fasting, in my experience. You don’t slow down your metabolism as much as you would drinking only water, as you still consume calories and important nutrients from the juices.

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I am a much bigger fan of juicing and have completed multiple juice fasts. My longest fast was 14 days: while drinking just juice, I experienced many of the amazing benefits of fasting with no unpleasant side effects. I felt healthy, energetic, calm, and lost weight. I was even able to run light training 5Ks during the fasting, although my times were not as impressive as on my regular diet. Other people, whom I have coached through juice fasts, report similar benefits.

One of the best sites that I have found for information about juicing is Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. The site was created from a documentary about a very sick Australian man who did a 60-day juice fast while on a trip to America, and turned his health around. I have utilized this site and free information for most of my recipes and as a resource during my fasts.

While fasting may seem crazy to some, its benefits can’t be ignored. I have personally experienced the rewards of doing a fast the correct way, and the drawbacks of fasting the wrong way. My best advice is to do your own research and check with your doctor to determine if fasting is the right course for your health.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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