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Underweight - should I fast for longer?

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29 Dec 2011 16:05 #9555 by skinny
skinny created the topic: Underweight - should I fast for longer?
Hi, I'd just like to introduce myself, I was introduced to fasting about 25 years ago by an osteopath / yoga teacher I was seeing and did single day water or fruit fasts on and off, sometimes with gaps of years in between. But 4 months ago I re-read "The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity" by Daniel Reid and was reminded of the typical state of the average colon etc so have been strictly fasting one day every week since then.

I've done occasional 3-day water + fruit fasts in the past but as I'm only 61kg in weight, at 1.85m and 48 yrs, I'd be scared to do a longer water fast as I don't really think I have enough fat reserves? Also a GP friend said the ketosis stage is bad as it leads to acidosis in the blood. What's the max that's safe for someone like me?

I'm dead impressed by what I've been reading from other people in these pages, though! Also that you don't recommend enemas, my former teacher introduced me to these and I have washed out the odd bit of nasty gunge but generally it's hard to see the point of them, though full colonics are supposed to be effective? I'm also interested in whether if you're forced to be celibate fasting will use up excess semen produced so you don't get wet dreams which can be the bane of ones nocturnal existence otherwise?

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05 Jan 2012 16:43 #9581 by Lisafast
Lisafast replied the topic: Re: Underweight - should I fast for longer?
Hi, Skinny,
Welcome to the forum. From what I've read even lean people have enough fat reserves to fast a few weeks. I would imagine, though with your height and weight, it wouldn't be too long before you would feel hunger. From everything I have read, thinner people will lose weight more slowly on a fast and people who were underweight or who had trouble maintaining their weight will be finally able to gain or maintain weight after the fast.

What would you wish to accomplish on a longer fast?

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05 Jan 2012 22:41 #9587 by skinny
skinny replied the topic: Re: Underweight - should I fast for longer?

LisaSchaeffer wrote: Hi, Skinny,
Welcome to the forum. From what I've read even lean people have enough fat reserves to fast a few weeks. I would imagine, though with your height and weight, it wouldn't be too long before you would feel hunger. From everything I have read, thinner people will lose weight more slowly on a fast and people who were underweight or who had trouble maintaining their weight will be finally able to gain or maintain weight after the fast.

What would you wish to accomplish on a longer fast?


Thanks Lisa, there are several things I would be aiming at by extended fasting; - principally for health, there is a lot of cancer in our family so fasting and a strict diet is a sensible way of keeping it at bay, ie cleaning up the colon and thorough detox. Also a strong desire since about 2 years ago to make the most of myself, following a severe personal blow, I totally gave up junk foods on the spot for example and starting rising early and practising T'ai Chi again. It's also frustrating that I remain underweight and wonder if there are digestive problems at the root of it (though I can cycle 50 miles before breakfast no problem), and would hope that prolonged fasting would remedy this. And also as a discipline, there are plenty of people who are full of themselves but when you suggest to them they should fast the ego kicks in - "Nah, that's not for me, that's rubbish" or they even resent you suggesting it; the one thing they will never do is actually stick it out for a day themselves! So it gives me a lot of self-pride that I am tough enough to have this sort of discipline.

Anyway it's very encouraging what you say that a longer fast will be OK, I just did 3 days on water and was getting worried last night imagining I was burning up my heart muscle, having no fat to burn, and couldn't sleep, so had some grape juice at 2:30am! I take it you are referring to the "true hunger" which indicates when to break a fast? - I was still feeling quite toxic so could have happily continued, maybe next time I will.

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07 Jan 2012 01:59 #9598 by Lisafast
Lisafast replied the topic: Re: Underweight - should I fast for longer?
According to Upton Sinclair, people who are underweight, who fast, can often gain to their ideal weight. The body is a miraculous thing. I'm reading Herbert Shelton's Fasting and SunBathing. It goes into lots of detail about how our bodies are suited to fasting. Starvation only occurs after all the reserves are used up and when that happens, your body would unmistakably call out for food. Just go day by day. One day at a time. I think even in Fasting and Eating for Health, he talks about underweight people fasting.

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07 Jan 2012 20:16 #9606 by Marsh
Marsh replied the topic: Re: Underweight - should I fast for longer?
Being underweight and fasting isn't a problem. both myself and my girlfriend are slim, and although she didn't like fasting before, and now fasts with me.
To lose more weight I need to fast longer to get leaner, than a larger person. So the answer is yes, if underweight one needs to fast for longer to make it worthwhile. It is easier as well, as going from calorie deficit to full fast while being thin isn't too much.

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