Fasting: the one-day fast

by Paul Goodchild on June 22, 2009

Ever since coming back from my detox-fasting program in Thailand in May, I have resolved to undertake a weekly 1-day fast to maintain my health or at least aim to keep it up to the levels I experienced when I left Thailand following the detox.  I haven’t managed to put this into effect until now and this experience forms the basis for this particular article.

While on my fast I wrote an article to discuss the benefits, as I understood them, that come from fasting.  Since then, my understanding of health and healthy living has increased dramatically and much of my pre-conditioning has fallen away the more I have been exposed to alternative discussions on health practices and medicine.  Like what for example?

Take antibiotics… we pop them like smarties, or at least we used to.  GPs and doctors have prescribed them quite freely ever since they were discovered and became the miracle cure in the early 20th Century.  What harm can they do?  They’re wonderful!  They get rid of our illnesses and make us better.  Or do they?  Is that all they do?  We have grown up with them and have never questioned the mainstream logic in this area.  If the doctors and the powers that be say they’re okay, then they must be.  Right?

What are antibiotics?

They are compounds produced by fungi or bacteria that kill other organisms.  It’s as simple as that.  How does putting them into your body to get rid of a particular infection you might have make complete sense … what else do those chemicals destroy and what problems do they cause?  Some answers to this question are

  • they destroy beneficial intestinal flora – since antibiotics kill bugs, they are indiscriminate in their destruction, most particularly wide-spectrum antibiotics.  The intestines are a complicated and delicate ecology all in itself and sending these highly destructive chemicals can only mess it up.
  • allergic reactions
  • suppression of the immune system – as with intestinal flora above, antibiotics affect normal cells of the body including those of the immune system.
  • Candida and intestinal yeast infections – since you’re upsetting the balance of good bacteria in the gut, you’re allowing for the increased growth of Candida and the problems that this causes which are numerous and varied
  • cancer?!

I’ve only mentioned here the contraindications associated with your body and the taking of antibiotics and I haven’t even gone into the wider scope of resistance, and the use of antibiotics in cattle for farming and much more besides. Perhaps they’re all rubbish, perhaps not.  But my point is that rather than accept the status quo as it is, it does no harm to question what you’ve been brought up to believe and impacts these beliefs and assumptions may be having on your health.

So back to the original topic of my article: 24-hour fasting.  I just undertook a 24~36hour fast in an attempt to just try it out and see the effects on the day, and for the day after.

The day of the fast

The last thing I ate the evening before was some almonds at around 10pm; I went to sleep around midnight and got up around midday the following day.  I was fine at that point, and didn’t really feel different either way.  I had some hunger pangs but I resisted the urge to nibble something, which was stronger than I had anticipated.  About 1hr after waking up, I began to feel a little groggy and the first signs of an oncoming headache appeared, and I lay down again to rest.  I feel asleep for another 2hours and woke up again around 3pm.  I felt like pooh – a decent headache and very foggy in the brain.  Exactly as you’d expect once fasting begins.

At this point, the body is undergoing the first steps of detoxification.  The intestinal tract becomes gradually inactive and the body focuses on cleaning up.

My headache and grogginess stayed with me the whole day until I fell asleep that evening but instead of it tempting me to eat something, it actually spurred me on to not eat anything knowing that for me to have so quickly experienced these reactions to fasting, I must need the positive effects that this process will bring about.

I had intended this to be a water fast – that is no fruit juices and no other supplements to see me through the day.  However, for 2 reasons I changed this and had 4 little pots of sugar-free Bio-yoghurt spread throughout the day.  One reason was that the quantities are very low and they’re practically liquid meaning that their impact on the intestines was minimal.  The second/main reason was that I wanted to promote the cultivation of pro-biotic bacteria while little or no digestive processes are going on.  I have come to believe that the cultivation of pro-biotics is a beneficial process that significantly adds to your overall health.

Breaking the fast and conclusions

I broke the fast this morning at around 7am with a banana and part of a fruit smoothie (consisting of banana, avocado, raspberries, blueberries, melon, kiwi, and bio yoghurt).

While I woke up this morning with a mild remnant of the headache I had yesterday, this has now long since cleared up after some exercise and some food.  I feel great today though and I think this is a result of lots of much-needed sleep, rest, and the 1-day fast.

When I do this again, I intend to do it differently and here’s how I hope to do so:

  • for 2 or 3 days before, I’ll try to eat only raw fruits and vegetables to prepare myself better
  • extend the fast by starting from midday on the previous day.  The longer I can keep the fast going, the better
  • try to obtain pro-biotic supplements so I don’t need to take bio-yoghurt which impacts the efficiency of the fast by making demands of the digestive system


There are many resources all about the internet referring to fasting and detoxification.  Just for example, the latest one I’ve read is here.  Just start Googling and see what comes up.  Read what you find with an open mind since much of it will seem foreign and often time contradictory to what you “know”.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

← Previous Article:

→ Next Article: