Fasting means going without food for a period of time. It is the quickest way of eliminating toxins from the body while at the same time allowing the digestive system to rest and repair itself. The usual length of time for a juice fast is one to three days. Do not think that a juice fast is somehow not effective because you were not able to do it for three straight days. Nutritionists simply don’t recommend this. Even a one-day juice fast will provide you with an incredible amount of detoxification.
The idea of fasting using liquids goes all the way back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. He served his patients barley water (made from boiled barley) along with water or wine. The idea was that by depriving the body of food that it would regenerate itself. After all this is what occurs when we get sick. Our own bodies make it impossible for us to intake food by inducing nausea so that our physical systems have a chance to repair.
A brief juice fast helps the body’s eliminative systems reduce toxins in the body. During a juice fast, the body’s metabolism is stimulated. There is food loss and water loss, which causes TEMPORARY weight loss. Conditions such as constipation are also usually relieved. The adrenalin glands are stimulated as the body thinks it is starving and a state of alertness or mental clarity is often also achieved.
Before starting a juice fast you need to prepare yourself for the mild amount of physical discomfort that you might experience during the fast. Common symptoms of juice fasting include minor irritations such as runny nose, sore muscles, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, hunger, cravings, nervousness, dizziness oil skin, skin eruptions, headaches and migraines. Usually the cure for any of these symptoms if they become too uncomfortable is to stop the fast and eat something. Keep in mind that once these symptoms do pass you will feel better than ever both physically and mentally if you are able to complete it.
On the days leading up to the fast it is also a good idea to start eating smaller meals and more liquid meals that consist of porridge or soup to prepare your body for the all liquid meals that are to come.
While fasting it is important not to push yourself too hard physically. Try to keep the one to three days that you have decided to fast free of appointments or errands. It is time best spent doing light exercise such as swimming or gardening in the yard. Walking, reading and relaxing are also recommended.
There are many herbs that can help you lose weight. Each does this job in different ways ways and have different effects on the body. You need to read the labels of the herbs that you buy and make sure that you really do understand what kind of side effects can occur before you take anything.
Take hoodia for example. This is vegetable found in Africa which cuts your thirst and hunger so much that you can actually become malnourished and dehydrated if you take it for too long. Your body forgets what it needs to do to stay healthy. Other herbs are classified as being thermogentic meaning that they speed up body functions such as heart rate, breathing and digestion. These are the “fat burning” herbs. Many of these have caffeine in them. These include green tea, dandelion and nettle. If you need a pep up these are good substitutes for the coffee with cream and sugar.
The herbs have the most side effects are the herbs known as the diuretics. Believe it or not both green tea and dandelion are part of this group of herbal diuretics which can seriously dehydrate you if you take too much. You do look thinner taking these herbs but the effect is temporary. As soon as you stop taking them you gain the weight back when tries to gain back the water it lost.
Many weight loss herbs have the side effect of diarrheal. Watch out for uva ursi, birchbark and buchu. The United States Food and Drug Administration warn of side effects including cramping, diarrheal and other problems.
Ma Huang also known Herbal Phen Phen is a herb to be careful. This drug causes an overstimulation of the central nervous system, an increase in blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. The FDA warns that this causes heart murmurs, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, heart attack, dehydration, seizures, chest pain, stroke, dissociation, and psychosis.
Safer choices include cayenne and seaweed. Both kick start a low metabolism.
Keep in mind that before you take any kind of herb it is very important for you to talk with your doctor first. Some conditions simply don’t respond well to even the safest of herbs for weight loss. For instance although green tea is generally considered to be healthy it is not the beverage you should drink if you suffer from anxiety because it is super-charged with caffeine.
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