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Thread: Fasting

  1. #1
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    Fasting

    I am currently extremely interested in fasting and its possible effects on the human psyche, and I was just wondering, what are some possible effects? I have heard many stories (some first hand) of incredible enlightenment and philosophical vistas opening themselves to those who have fasted for a significant amount of time (3 weeks to 1 month).

    I am currently debating embarking on a fast, and I want to do it properly (I don't want to die). I am aware I will lose large amounts of weight, but I want to stay as healthy as possible throughout. Any suggestions? All are welcome...

  2. #2
    Be kind to yourself always. cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Just try it for 7 days the first time to see what you think about it. I have done it for 3 weeks but never had any strange mental things go on other than the feeling of starvation...LOL! Just drink plenty of water, yes that is acceptable when you fast. Good luck, let us know your progress if you can and don't die of course.

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    Yeah, a short duration seems most sensible. However, a few points worry me. I am a teenager, sixteen to be exact. Do you think there is any possibility that fasting would permanently stunt my growth? I'm 5' 10", 150 pounds, and to be honest, have a VERY low body fat percentage (somewhere between 8-9%). I would immediately use whatever fat stores my body currently has, and would then begin to feed on my own muscle. This does not bother me, muscle can be regained through exercise. Does anyone think vertical growth will be affected by my not consuming enough nutrients for a long duration? I would like to take vitamin and mineral suppliments, but i fear this would constitute breaking the fast.

    Also, are there any concrete definitions of fasting? If so could someone point them out to me? Much appreciated...

  4. #4
    Be kind to yourself always. cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Your growth won't be affected by fasting for a few days, that's for certain.

    Why are you wanting to fast, just for the "high" your supposed to attain? That "high" is starvation setting in.

  5. #5
    Contemplating the unanswered quantum_wave's Avatar
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    I know what your are going for and some enlightenment might be a good thing but consider the possibility that the enlightenment might be different for different people. Maybe the feeling of enlightenment is what you get but that which is revealed to you during your enlightenment might come from within you and not without you.

    But ... fasting does have some big benefits if you are physically able to endure it. I fast for short periods, less that 48 hours as part of keeping my weight down and my blood pressure down. I definitely find that my energy level is improved for a few days after a fast and that improvement endures as long as I control my diet closely.
    Last edited by quantum_wave; 11-30-08 at 05:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Be kind to yourself always. cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I fast twice a year for 2 weeks at a time. I was fasting for 30 days at a time but that was a very long time ago.

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    @ cosmic: I'm not doing it to attain a certain "high" though this may be a result. I want to test my willpower. It's been tested before (patience involving relationship issues), but i feel something such as this will make other mental obstacles in my life feel easier, that I will be able to handle my problems with more wisdom when compared to the willpower it'll take to keep it up. That may just sound like some religious crap lol (im not religious at all by the way. If I was, I would have probably been introduced to fasting previously)

    @quantum: Correct me if I'm wrong, but does something coming "from without" not imply putting something into your body, or at least some outside stimulus? Fasting is supposed to achieve "insight" I suppose, through disregarding such a base outside influence as food, which would make anything achieved "from within" anyway.

    I am not worried about keeping my weight down, and my doctor has compared my blood pressure and pulse rate at rest to that of a sleeping person (I relax VERY easily), but improvements to energy level sound interesting.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by I Push Wood View Post
    I am currently extremely interested in fasting and its possible effects on the human psyche, and I was just wondering, what are some possible effects? I have heard many stories (some first hand) of incredible enlightenment and philosophical vistas opening themselves to those who have fasted for a significant amount of time (3 weeks to 1 month).

    I am currently debating embarking on a fast, and I want to do it properly (I don't want to die). I am aware I will lose large amounts of weight, but I want to stay as healthy as possible throughout. Any suggestions? All are welcome...
    Well, there's one important thing, after that long fasting you shouldn't eat as much afterwards. Your body might go into some kind of shock.

    Possible effects might be that the brain becomes more efficient since it has to do as much as before, but with less supply, effects might also be that you become more efficient since you have less energy to waste on stupid things , so you might become wiser!

    Also, if you have a downward spiral economically you might correct that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyperium View Post
    Well, there's one important thing, after that long fasting you shouldn't eat as much afterwards. Your body might go into some kind of shock.

    Possible effects might be that the brain becomes more efficient since it has to do as much as before, but with less supply, effects might also be that you become more efficient since you have less energy to waste on stupid things , so you might become wiser!

    Also, if you have a downward spiral economically you might correct that.
    That, I think, basically sums up what I'm aiming for. Efficiency is probably the best word I can think of for what I want to gain. And a very good point about not eating as much, as I assume your body won't be at all prepared for food intake...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by I Push Wood View Post
    That, I think, basically sums up what I'm aiming for. Efficiency is probably the best word I can think of for what I want to gain. And a very good point about not eating as much, as I assume your body won't be at all prepared for food intake...
    Well, I thought about fasting too, but I'm too thin, maybe I'll wait until I gain more fat

    I wish you the best of luck in your fasting!

    & welcome to sciforums!

  11. #11
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    Dude, you don't have to be large to fast, unless you're unhealthily thin (hopefully not, that's probably as bad as being obese).

    And thank you, I'll keep you guys (and gals) posted.

    Oh, and thanks for the sneaky welcome too!

  12. #12
    I did fasting. And to tell you the truth it is a very tough road to take. First you need to drink a lot of water. Second you need to sleep twice more than you regularly do. Second you need to go pee just as much, and that means wake up during night.

    When I fasted the perception of the world changed, I felt like I became one with myself, like it wouldnt matter if I died or not and that this easiness gave me power to live. Also, the dreams I saw became extremely real. My vision improved somewhat...

    Sideeffects were dizziness, some loss of perception of depth...inability to understand sometimes people...

    I have expressed my thoughts here on Sciforums while I was fasting some times...and usually I become poetic when I go fasting. You need someone by your side too.

    All I can say is that you are not alone in fasting and if you want to do it, lets do it together. pm me.

    k. =)

  13. #13
    Refined Reinvention lixluke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Push Wood View Post
    I am currently extremely interested in fasting and its possible effects on the human psyche, and I was just wondering, what are some possible effects?
    This is not the health and fitness section, but ok. I've fasted for 10 days straight. I plan to start somewhat of a fast again tomorrow. This one will not really be a fast though. I will be eating fruits 5 times a day. But drinking juiced fruits/vegs on a daily basis.

    The effect my fast had on me was that I felt light headed after awhile. After a number of days, I had less of a desire for the garbage food that is the typical staple of my life. I happened to be going to the doctor for a bloodwork, and I had great results. Low cholesterol, etc. It is great and refreshing to go on a good fast or cleansing program coonsuming only organic produce.

    The trick is to maximize alkalinity, and minimize acidity. Alkalines are very important for energy and healing while acids deteriorate every aspect of your mind, brain, and body. Junkfood and stress are sources of acids. Greens are typically the best source for alkalines.

  14. #14
    Registered Senior Member swarm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Push Wood View Post
    I am currently extremely interested in fasting
    Since you are 16 I would strongly advise not fasting for more than a week and that not more than twice a year. Your body is still growing and starving it is not a good idea.

    I would suggest weekend fasts, not more than 3 days, not more than once a month.

    Yes there are lots of people who do more than that, and if they are your age, they are fools. Also, like anything else, you need practice to learn the ropes.

    Also, fasting for the express purpose of "its possible effects on the human psyche" is generally not a good reason to fast.

    That said, if it is "possible effects" you are looking for, just add some sleep deprivation to your fast (aka a vision quest). Fasting and sleep dep will have you whacked out of your gourd in no time, well actually 24-48 hours. You will need a couple people in rotation to watch your body and keep it safe and out of trouble. Also, remember to have a full day for re-entry - light meals and plenty of rest.

    I can't over emphasize the importance of guides to keep track of you as you will be completely incapable of judging your relationship with reality and things normally quite safe (like kitchens) can become quite dangerous. I remember one time I was having a deep conversation with a friend, blinked, and found myself talking to a tree. It is entirely possible to put things on the stove and then remember you "aren't eating" and burn something up or punch ridiculous times in the microwave.

    A fellow I know decided nothing was happening and went for a drive, except he missed the road and drove down the middle of a number of neighbor's yards.

    But if you can keep focused on your beliefs you will very likely get some interesting effects.

  15. #15
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    I am currently at school, I have a free lesson now, and I thought I'd show my face Things are going good, I haven't consumed anything besides water in about 18 hours now, and I must say, I feel really well. I don't know if it's just a psychological effect at this stage (similar to a placebo), but I genuinely feel an increase in my energy, and most importantly for me, my happiness. I have been recently diagnosed with depression, and I have a strong feeling this will help me through it somehow...

    Thank you to all who have contributed, as I said, I want to do this the right way, and any help is worth it for me

  16. #16
    you would be much better off if you ate all day long in very tiny portions. IOW's you eat what you normally would but stretch it out to all day.

  17. #17
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    @ swarm: what you speak makes sense. I don't want to fast simply for a "high", if I wanted to do that, I would simply smoke some weed. I want to get more in touch with myself without any outside influence, food being the main one, as I find it strongly alters my mood.

    I am using this first fast as a "test run" of sorts, and If all goes well, I can see myself repeating it, as many have mentioned its benefits.

    And I've got many people to watch over me, as I'm in school most of the day, and outside I'm constantly with friends. The hardest part is resisting their persuasion to get me to eat, but that's where willpower comes into play

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