Does Water Fasting Cause Your Metabolism to Suffer? : The Renegade Health Show Episode #803

Tuesday Apr 19, 2011 | BY |
| Comments (25)

After Dr. Goldhamer’s videos, there were a lot of questions about water fasting…

Today, I answer if water fasting can heal thyroid issues, if it will cause your metabolism to suffer, if it’s OK to do a water fast at home, and and update about Christina who was on the show a while back (who had fasted for 41 days to get rid of her headaches!)

Jonny 5 does not make an appearance in today’s show, because he interrupted me 3 times and each one I needed to start filming again.

Take a look…

Your question of the day: Do you think it’s a “real” fast if you do it at home?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

25 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. wendy green says:

    i have fasted many times….i always go to a fasting center. love you kev!

  2. Sherri says:

    Interesting point… I’ve always done it at home. Never thought of a fasting center, but too costly anyway. I feel its more spiritual minded, and I was able to do so at those times at home as well. Not doing the same daily things, but a fast lifestyle so to day… It would be nice to go try a center though!

  3. QC says:

    I have rheumatoid arthritis. I do at home water fasting about once a month. They are short fasts, 1 to 3 days. For the past 16 months, I went from pain, stiffness and swelling all over my body to no pain, no stiffness, only slightly swelling on my wrists. I agree with Kevin that going to fasting center to do a true fast is optimal. However, if you don’t mind occasional imperfect results, then it’s still doable. The only thing is you’ll need to know how to do it right. Find someone who can give you a detail instruction.

    Another thing I wanted to bring up is that for water fasting. You can have a goal in mind, but it may not turn out as you hope. Your body decides what to fix when you’re on a fast, not you 🙂

  4. No, not fasting if it’s at home. A true fast is physical, phycological, and emotional rest. This means all stimulus should be removed and everyday habits/distractions.

  5. JT says:

    Apparently there are many kinds of fasts. If that is true, some fasting can be done at home. Depending upon your desired results, home fasting can be effective. Fasting from everything would be much more effective in a different setting. When one does a water fast, at what point does your body need protein and start taking it out of your muscles? Your heart is a muscle and this can affect your heart muscle. Just wondering. JT in FL

  6. lisa says:

    ABSOLUTELY!! It’s “real” if you do it at home; in fact, it’s MORE real in my opinion. If you are doing a super long fast and/or have serious health conditions, you definitely need supervision. But for other situations, fasting at home can help you change your habits more easily. If your state of fasting and relaxation is dependent upon some outside conditions (far away and expensive, relying on someone else and a whole special set of circumstances) then you will have a harder time making lasting changes.

    It’s the same principle of a yoga or meditation class. If you can only relax and meditate in someone else’s studio with incense and certain music playing, it’s not real. It’s totally dependent on that environment. If you practice with noises around and in a variety of settings, you are more able to adapt and take those principles with you throughout every aspect of your life. Does that make any sense?? (Actually, there is a neurological term called ‘state related memory’ i believe that fits here.)

  7. Beth says:

    Depends on the situation at home. If you can unplug from everything else, then yes I would consider it a real fast.

  8. Dale Ewing says:

    I do completely understand about the benefits of fasting in a centre but I believe that it definitely will still have huge, amazing benefits if you do it at home.
    I do all of my water fasts at home. I just think you have to have the strong willpower to resist the temptation of food. And it also helps having somebody around. My boyfriend helps me when I fast. Makes sure I relax and don’t do any work around the house. Of course, I do the same for him when he does a fast.

    So yes, I would consider it a fast, but there would be other benefits from going to a centre as well.

  9. Kristine says:

    Water fasting beyond a day or so I would not do unsupervised which probably means going on a special retreat. However, I think short juice fasts are great. Since the new year I have been doing a 3 day juice fast once a month with a colonic at the beginning and end. I am also careful how I break the fast too so it ends up being like a 4 to 5 day detox. I would not do it if I didn’t really feel the positive effects. As to the disturbances in my life, I received some very bad news the day before I was to start one of my mini-fasts. I think the fasting helped me not go into a stressed out, hyper, mode. So I also am getting emotional benefit too. Finally, I am on one right now and I am about to have another juice. Cheers!

  10. maria says:

    I do think that fasting at home is a real fast. I understand what is implied by Kevin when he says that if one fasts at home one does not fast from the everyday disturbances of life. I do believe that it would be of tremendous benefit to take a break from all of that…especially for one’s physical+mental health. Unfortunately, (in my case, at least) I do not have the means to visit a center to do a fast. Yes, I suppose I would be able to visit a doctor for advice on how to safely begin and break a fast, but that’s about it.
    Three years back I decided to go on a week long diluted fruit juice fast due to an issue with acne that I had been suffering with for about five years at that point. I didn’t have the means of consulting even with a doctor at that time, yet due to my desperation I went through with the fast. After the third day on the fast all of the existing acne was vanishing, and after the sixth day my skin was glowing and the blemishes that had not disappeared in months had practically faded away. My body felt great as well.
    I do agree that it is best to consult a doctor, and it would be even better to go to a center to do this…but unfortunately not all of us can. 🙁

  11. Tara Burner says:

    Yep I think it’s a real fast if you do it at home.
    You can totally disconnect at home, don’t “have” to be in a facility or center to do so.
    Also, varied types of fasts so it all depends on the fast and the intent of it.

  12. Cecile says:

    When you do a water or juice fast, do you need to take enemas at least once a day, probably twice a day? I can’t afford to go to one of those centers either, so would have to do a home fast.

  13. Tara says:

    I have fasted before, and in my opinion, being elsewhere is the way to go…preferably in a warm climate. The less you do while fasting, the deeper you heal.

    I stayed in a dark room resting for 23.5 hours per day. No talking, no watching movies/tv, no reading, no listening to music. It was a very interesting experience.

    Also, if you detox lots of chemicals, be sure to mineralize the body before and after the fast. The body draws from your mineral stores to keep the body alkaline during the fast.

    All the best!

  14. Velda says:

    Great job, Kev … don’t blame you for not answering questions on the blog. You need to do it the most efficient and healthy way.

    As far as fasting, yes I believe a “real” fast can be done at home. If you do without something, it is still a fast … although it may not be optimal. I do a two to five day water fast at least twice per month. On one of my 5-day fasts, I went to the doctor on the 5th day and my blood pressure was sky high. Haven’t figured that one out. However, when I am fasting, I am still having to go to work and I do get very tired. I don’t watch much TV, so that I can’t fast from, but it is still a water fast with the physical benefits of not eating solid food and cleansing your body. I also (since I have to go to work, use a natural soap and shampoo when I do a water fast, and not just wash with water). So while it is not ideal, it still has health benefits. I could not afford to go to a center to fast even one time, much less a couple of times per month. I’ve had serious thyroid issues and now have lipomas I am dealing with, and no one seems to know how to get rid of them. As long as I have them, I know that my body is not doing it’s job of cleansing and getting rid of toxins.

    Anyway, a fast at home is still a fast, just not a fast from “everything”, but there are all kinds of different fasts. Thanks for all you do and bring to us, Kevin. It is so appreciated.

  15. David says:

    Fasting at home? In March of 2007, as I was unable to find a supportive health care professional in St. Paul, Minnesota, I decided to do a water fast at home, unsupervised. I had had skin problems in the past that, I discovered, cleared up when I eliminated refined sugar from my diet. This time, however, the reaction to something I had eaten or was eating was visibly serious so I decided to fast. After 19 days, the problem disappeared.
    In November, 2010, I had been feeling somewhat fatigued, I was experiencing almost constant intestinal problems, and my resting pulse was close to 100. I decided to fast for three or four days, again at home, but this time home was in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Remembering how difficult the 2007 water fast had been for me, I decided to drink a glass of carrot juice ever day on this fast. After three days, I felt worse than when I had started, so I decided to continue fasting.
    Around day 17, a local doctor came to visit me. He was a friend of the family and had never heard of fasting for health. He spent most of a half hour lecturing me on the basics, in his view, of good health. I believe his attitude is typical of most health care professionals and is why I avoid them.
    I continued the fast to 28 days. I had hoped to experience the return of feelings of hunger, disappearance of the coating on the tongue, and return of energy. I was disappointed to see that none of that happened. I sent an email to several fasting experts around the world and got an answer from Tosca Haag at the Royal Retreat in Texas. She advised me to stop the fast and detailed how to do that. I took her advice and immediately learned, again, that the return to eating is the most difficult part of the fast. By the way, the fatigue problem is gone, the intestinal problems are gone, and my resting pulse now is 68.
    While I would much rather have the support of a qualified health care professional who has experience with, and believes in, fasting, I would not hesitate to fast again at home, unsupervised, if I felt it necessary. That being said, one of my dreams is to be instrumental in the creation of a health center here in Bolivia where people could go for a supervised fast.

  16. Cheryl says:

    Can you address whether lympathic drainage is a safe procedure, and does it create balance in your body?

    I am having a tremendous amount of trouble losing weight and keeping it off. I have to starve myself to lose a few lbs. If I eat three meals a day I start gaining and it does not stop. I really cannot afford to weigh 200 lbs.

    If cruceferious veggies interfers with thyroid, what do vegans eat??? It does seem I do better without vegetables, but that would not be healthy. What do you suggest???

  17. I believe it is much easier to fast at home during the warm weather months, easier on the body and digestive system. Also, you don’t need the heavier meals during these months and the sunshine, fresh air, and smell of flowers helps to soothe the body and calm the spirit. I completed a 3-day water fast followed by a month long fruit and veggetable juice feast for detoxing and cleansing. Believe me the sunshine helped immensely and getting a tan was a definite bonus!!

  18. Jane Gudge says:

    i do not visit medics or health professionals i do not know the state of my blood or bodily fluids other than the fact i feel good, indeed generally excellent,
    the only time i go off balance is when family or relationship issues manifest and when i feel things have gone to far, ie i hurt my knee when running, i become clumsy and bump into objects, i stop laughing all the time, i do a fast,, usually a juice feast, sometimes a water fast.. i have never gone to a ‘professional’ .. why go away when the problems that caused the issue will still be here when i return? iust sort myself and my feeling and perceptions out insitu surely?
    currently waterfasting now, will be alert to other ‘things’ now with having seen this video and subsequent comments though

  19. SunSeeker says:

    RE thyroid health – the way we went. I just want to share this with the woman who has thyroid challenges – in case you can use our experience.

    My daughter was diagnosed with low thyroid and the autoimmune aspect as well. Serious low levels. I researched various ways to go as didin’t want to see my 14 year old on thyroid medication for the rest of her life. Worked in partnership with hospital as she did need to go back quarterly for blood tests. She was completely cured from all aspects within a year with Ayurvedic Medicine (diet and herbs). It was a challenge as I was completly 100% raw at that time, but I believe the body needs different things at different times. And she’s healthy now! What could be better than that? The hospital were amazed! And retrospecively found an explanation for something that at the beginning they had said was not possible.

    Nature in all her guises (herbs and the magic of the healing mechanism in our bodies) is so powerful

  20. SunSeeker says:

    RE thyroid health – the way we went. I just want to share this with the woman who has thyroid challenges – in case you can use our experience.

    My daughter was diagnosed with low thyroid and the autoimmune aspect as well. Serious low levels. I researched various ways to go as didin’t want to see my 14 year old on thyroid medication for the rest of her life. Worked in partnership with hospital as she did need to go back quarterly for blood tests. She was completely cured from all aspects within a year with Ayurvedic Medicine (diet and herbs). It was a challenge as I was completly 100% raw at that time, but I believe the body needs different things at different times. And she’s healthy now! What could be better than that? The hospital were amazed! And retrospecively found an explanation for something that at the beginning they had said was not possible.

  21. Sue says:

    I don’t feel comfortable any place but home, so for me to get in a relaxed state away from home, I would have to be putting on an act! I’m one who would have to try a fast at home, even with all of the distractions!

  22. oreganol says:

    Fasting at home is probably not as good as fasting at a clinic. But fasting at home may be enough for some people. It’s not all or nothing. I think both can work, but it depends on the individual, their circumstances and what support they have.

    Fasting at home could be more beneficial to some people if they live in a peaceful home and have the support of their family.

    So the answer is that it depends.

  23. Andrew says:

    I think it depends on your attitudes toward ‘home’, and how well you can detach from all the things mentioned here… Cheers for the vid, Kevin. I’m doing a water fast right now, so this was nice and timely for me…

  24. Heather Hemphill says:

    Lots of the comments above reflect my thoughts. It really does depend on the person and their ability to do what they need to do. Having help really does make a difference.

  25. Kiwi says:

    I could probably never get to a spa or resort for fasting. My doctor is aware of my fast, and that’s good for me. I’m a mom of 2 boys, one disabled. So fasting away from home is not a possibility. Though I feel I’m better for it because I’m faced with stress and learning healthy ways of conquering it. It makes you a real warrior! It’s incredibly hard at times. Other times, you don’t even realize you’re fasting.

    I know some women claim to have had their fibroids shrink after a long fast. I plan to go until hunger naturally returns (after my fat reserves are used up). We will see what happens with the fibroids. Surgery is just not an option at the moment. I already had a microdiscectomy for a ruptured disc. So I’m just letting my body be for now. Nice blog!

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