Start with short fasts, one, two or three days, and gradually work towards your aim for an extended fast.
Longer Fasts Preferable
A longer fast is preferable to a short one. Although for a beginner, the first juice fast should be about one to five days to start with.
Do not attempt to fast longer unless you are familiar with, and understand juice fasting. Eventually you want to aim for an extended fast that is beyond 21 days.
Personally, I have often done seven-day and 21-day juice fasts, a 28-day partial fast and a 40-day juice feast. During a short fast, it is possible that I shed up to 11 lbs (from 121 lbs to 110 lbs for a 5ft 6in frame). It is not how much I lose though, but what is important is that I feel good and energetic after a juice fast.
Are You Ready?
Again, be sure to check that you’re a good candidate for juice fasting. If you have not done a juice fast before, try a one-day fast to start with. If you do well, try two days, then three days and gradually increasing up to five days. But, always LISTEN to your body. Your body decides WHEN you should stop fasting, not your mind. You may want to push your body’s limit to meet your predetermined number of days of fasting, there is ego involved here. Stop! Listen to your intelligent body when it cannot go on anymore.
When a five-day juice fast becomes a breeze for you, then attempt to stretch yourself further to seven, ten, 14, 21 and 30 days. Even fasts up to 40 days and beyond is possible. It isn’t really that difficult once you master the first few days of possible hunger pangs. Extended fasts are especially beneficial for the body to have the uninterrupted time of real cleansing and healing. Many diseases can also be reversed after a successful long fast.
Stages of Your Detoxification by Juice Fast/Feast
To help you decide how far you need to go with your juice fast, I’ll explain below the stages that you will have to go through while you’re on your extended fast/feast. As I mentioned earlier, an extended fast is preferable over a short fast, when you’re ready. That should be your goal – to aim for complete healing.
Different people are at different stages of their lives and health. You may experience what’s mentioned below, either earlier in your fast or later in the fast, or maybe even not. The below is just a general guideline:
Day 1 – 7
If you are doing a liquid fast, during the first three days hunger pangs are felt most intensely. This is why I suggest that you start with a 1 or 2-day fast and gradually build up the number of days. See how your body handles the hunger pangs. An enema during this time helps your bowel to move along quicker to end the digestion in the colon and get into a fasting state sooner.
The first healing reactions you would experience very early on in the fasts are very common: diarrhea, lethargy, headaches, nausea, light-headedness, bad breath/body odor, aches and pains.
For women, one of the first signs reported is usually in their womanly discharge. It sometimes create a little “havoc” to their menstrual cycles initially for a few months. Sometimes there are spotting, more discharge, sometimes foul and itchy (yeast infection), sometimes delayed, or occurring more frequently. This is the body’s way of correcting itself and nothing to worry about. Keep eating healthy and detoxify and these symptoms should be gone in 2-3 months.
Initial loss of weight may be great as they are mostly “water loss”. Then the weight loss slows. Continue drinking green juices to melt the fats. When they do, it’s when you might begin to have some skin breakouts as the oils in the body are looking for an outlet and comes through the skin, causing pimples, acne, rashes, or eczema.
Day 8 -14
After the initial healing reactions and break-outs in the first week, with continued supply of fresh juices, they will gradually clear up. From the second week, you will begin to feel a new surge of energy and vitality. Mental fogginess disappears and you will begin to feel more alert.
Drink more green juices during this time for weight loss and fats will continue to melt away. If you were overweight, some of the healing reactions you experienced during the first week will carry through as you continue to juice fast/feast.
Following the peripheral cleaning up in the first week, your body is now ready to dig a little deeper to heal some old wounds/injuries that had not healed properly before. The nutrients from the fresh juices begin to do their works by stirring up old toxins in old scarred tissues. These toxins are being dumped into the bloodstream to be eliminated. They register as irritants that cause the same pains that you had when that injury first happened. When you begin to feel these pains, drink plenty of water to aid with the elimination. An enema during this time will help to relieve the pains quicker.
Note: By “injury” I mean an internal injury, poisoning by toxic agents, an old illness, a disease, a surgery or a trauma.
Day 15 – 21
As your juice fast/feast continues into the third week, things will be a little calmer. The peripheral cleansing and healing reactions that you experienced in the first week would mostly have passed. There is now mental clarity and alertness. Vision might have improved somewhat. Skin would have cleared up. Hair may appear shiny.
You will continue to feel energetic but there is a cycle to the healing reactions. Some days you might feel totally energetic and the next day feel extreme lethargy for no reason, but not to worry, your body is continuing to cleanse.
Continue to drink plenty juices, and plenty water. For weight loss, stick to green juices. Otherwise, other fruit juices can be included but to be drunk in the morning. The body will continue to melt away fats and with that, the healing reactions will happen. The nutrients from the fresh juices continue to do deep tissue cleansing, deep wound healing which cannot be reached without this extended fast/feast.
Some people might experience the fecal encrustations being released through their bowel movements, some might experience them later, some not. If you do, take a course of quality pre/probiotics and add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in your juices to help rebalance the intestinal flora and the electrolytes for about 1-2 weeks from the time you noticed purging of the encrustations.
Day 22 – 28 and Beyond
Congratulations to you for going beyond 21 days! If you have many health issues, they will continue to heal from hereon, healing even deeper and older wounds/injuries that occurred in your younger days.
Be prepared also to experience some mood swings which may have happened earlier in your fast/feast. They might become more severe now, if you have previously lived through a trauma/grief or a rather stressful life. Read more about emotional healing reactions here.
Beyond 28 days, you can decide how long more you want to go with your juice fast/feast. Some people have even done 92 days juice feast for complete healing. Healing reactions will continue occurring, but lesser and lesser and farther in between.
Juice fasting is a journey, not a race. Enjoy the journey!
Happy Juice Fasting!!