Tips on How to Break a Fast and Why Exercise is Not a Good Idea When Water Fasting : Exclusive Renegade Health Interview

Friday May 4 | BY |
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new orleans halloween
You do not want to fast on Halloween in New Orleans. There is no rest.

Yesterday’s interview with Dr. Alan Goldhamer was great…

What’s even better is that I have a second part for you.

In this interview, Dr. Goldhamer will share how to prep for a fast and how to end it, what not to do when fasting, other modalities that can enhance your fasting experience and more.

Let’s get into it now (my written comments follow)…

Listen to Part 2 here:

alan goldhamer

Click the play button to start the call:


My thoughts about this interview…

1. How to prep for a fast.

Dr. Goldhamer has a very simple pre-fast protocol. Eat plants.

A simple diet of fruits and vegetables — no animal food — before your fast (even if it’s a week or so), will get you in great shape for your fast.

If you eat an entire plant based diet, then you’re already on to this one.

Dr. Goldhamer says that some of his healthy clients really don’t even need to fast because they have very clean, organic diets.

2. What to do after a fast.

“Appropriate progressive termination.”

I can turn this into English for you:

Don’t jump back into your regular eating habits so fast.

Alan recommends that you follow a modified re-feeding program of half the time of your fast. So if you fast for 14 days, your modified eating program will be 7.

During a fast, your digestive process slows down to a crawl. You don’t produce much HCL or enzymes.

As these systems go into hibernation, your body spends time healing.

But once you’re done, you can’t just start eating complex foods again.

You need to come back slowly. (This is another reason why being in a facility is better — you’re not tempted to jump back into your regular habits.

In my water fasting experience (limited to one 5 day fast), I ate cooked rice way too fast and ended up getting massive heartburn.

This is a sign that my body was not ready to produce enough HCL to digest something this complicated.

Starting off with fruit, smoothies and green juices is the best way to build back your digestive fire.

3. Don’t exercise when fasting.

Dr. Goldhamer explains very clearly why exercising while water fasting is a bad idea.

I’ve heard so many people say that they’ve felt so good on a fast that they went out and ran 10 miles — or something similar to this.

This intuitively — to me — is not a good idea. But physiologically, it isn’t either.

When you fast you go into a mode of resource conservation. This means your body looks to conserve energy by burning fat.

When you exercise, you start to use more calories and your body may dip into protein stores to get you the energy you need. Dr. Goldhamer explains this in the interview much more eloquently than I do, but the concept is the same — keep your exercise simple, conserve your energy and rest. Your body is healing, so give it a total break.

The best exercise for fasting is very gentle yoga and light walking — if you are strong enough.

4. More than just fasting at True North.

They have a pretty comprehensive staff at Dr. Goldhamer’s facility. They have chiropractic care, a psychologist, yoga, mediation areas, and more. You can also juice fast or go on their healthy eating program.

Sometimes healing requires more than just one or two tools, so knowing Dr. Goldhamer and his team acknowledge this is a true sign of a good place to go.

5. Is there WiFi?

Every time I recommend someone check out True North, they inevitably ask, “Is there Wifi?”

I did too, LOL!

Yes, there is Wifi, but it does undermine the most important part of water fasting — rest.

Maybe you’re ill because you don’t get away from work or the computer.

If you feel that may be the case, then take a real break when you fast and stay away from the Internet. (Yes, I’ll even let you pass on our newsletters for that time, as long as you come back!)

If you truly can’t get away, limit your Internet time to essential business and take the rest of the day off.

Remember, healthy fasting = rest.

6. Strong vegan diet undertones.

I’m sure you caught on, but if you didn’t, Alan is a strong supporter of a pure vegan diet. For him cooked food is OK — in fact — he believes for someone to be healthy on a vegan diet they need to eat cooked foods to get enough calories.

His version of a healthy diet is no additional salt, no additional oil, and no added sugar. This is he calls a “Vegan SOS” diet.

While evidence shows you can eat some animal protein and still be healthy, it’s best to get your blood tested and determine if the diet you’ve chosen is a good match for you.

Your Question of the Day: Can you go somewhere without WiFi? Yes or no?

Live Awesome!

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 — 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.


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  1. Nik says:

    i dislike people without beards. bravesness to beards. and more wild and feral looking 🙂

  2. carvacrol says:

    No. Got to have wifi. Totally lost without it. Not good, I know.

  3. Nik says:

    i dont feel well with Wifi and wireless land i always choose cable if possible. i feel numbness if i use wifi over a time.

  4. Susan says:

    I can so easily leave the internet/wifi behind, but I’m an early generation baby boomer and was not raised on it.

  5. Are these tips the same if you are doing a juice rather than water fast? I am doing a 1-week juice only diet and a couple of days did a bit of cardio. But I assume that’s a bit different because I am getting SOME calories and nutients? Or…not?

  6. Kris says:

    I completely disagree with Dr. Alan Goldhamer recommendation of not exercising while doing a fast. Perhaps he has never fasted himself for a longer time. You need to turn to clinical records in Russia generated over the last 80 years on thousand of patients. Even today there are in Moscow 4 hospitals which treat people exclusively with fasting. Their experience shows that exercise is a must, all patients are recommended to walk minimum 14 km per day. Of course, they will do as much as they can but lying in bed and resting is just the worst thing you could do to your body. Physiologically you increase the speed with which the fat and hidden in it toxins will be expelled. Do not worry about using some proteins for your energy needs, your body has its own superb intelligence to guide you but first learn to listen to it. I suggest that you get acquainted with the fabulous work on fasting based on the experience of such authorities like Michail Tombak or Genadiy Malachov. I have done myself long term fasting a number of times like for example 30 days on water or a Christ fast of 42 days (the first 23 days were without water and remaining 19 on water). Each time I have done intensive exercises and felt the benefit of it. There are too many points to cover in this short note though…..

  7. In regards to fasting and exercise, one very impt point which is mentioned, but just glossed over, is the NATURE of the exercise.
    Once 72 hours have passed w-, sugar, whether by diet or by fasting, the body begins, just begins, to go onto ketosis. Full ketosis takes approx 50 days of zero simple sugars.
    Ketone bodies, or fats, are the cells, including the brain’s, preferred energy source.
    Nearly 100% of so called experts still bang the glucose drum as the brain’s preferred energy source. They are just flat wrong.
    Aerobic exercise, which by definition is ‘easy’, burns fats as the energy source. It also suppresses hunger making a fast just that much easier. So this would be good, nice and easy, during a fast. This was mentioned above. The exception would be a very thin person. No exercise during a fast would be the lesson here. If one gets into anaerobic activity during a fast, this would be bad.
    Fron the POV of your nervous system, your body believes that you are starving during a fast & as such, will lower your hypothalamic set poiunt, or your basal metabolic rate. kevin is correct, in that the body is just trying to stay alive. To close, we know however that you are not starving, and a very good way to burn down the fats more quickly, and dump the stored toxins more quickly, is in fact – light aerobic exercise. Even the various yogic and ayurvedic breathing techniques will work for this.

  8. bryan says:

    I work on a computer 8 hours a day. Good news is that I can take my work with me. That being said, I would make the time to not have anything to do on the computer if I was going to do a program like this. I find it kind of scary that there are people who can’t do without being jacked in to the net. I can just imagine you talking about some great coastal bluff situated near red woods silent meditation retreat and somebody asking if there is wifi. LOL

    When I take my kids camping (even car camping) they get to have electronics during driving only. Once at the destination, no electronics, radio etc. If they want music they have to make it. 🙂

  9. zyxomma says:

    I, too, am a baby boomer (hi, Susan!), and do not feel the need to be connected 24/7. No problem doing without WiFi. When the bf & I went to Tree of Life for a Sacred Relationships retreat, I went to the tiny library in Patagonia once, and checked my email. What I found was that there was nothing needing my attention before returning home. (The same was not true of the bf, who had to return some phone calls, but fortunately, Verizon Wireless works at TOL.)

    As for exercise while fasting, gentle yoga and lymphasizing are great. Less is more.

  10. George says:

    I agree that fasting is a good thing, but you have to ascertain how long and the nature of any food intake, even juice. One doctor warned about the reaction of the body to long fasts, and you advised being in a “controlled situation” where the staff can warn you if they think you are “pushing the limits”. We are not all yogis with supreme control of our bodily processes. Thank you for another interesting dissertation.

  11. Ed says:

    Nik, I too like to grow a beard, but I look like Rasputin and I have to work with the public.Vegan juice feasting is the most curative diet short term (60days or less) I have ever come across,not my lifestyle but my port in bad weather. What I gave up decades ago serves me well. Still I abuse my liver, but beer is not the worst attack I can send It’s way.Carbonated drinks, over the counter pain killers and HFC (high frutose corn syrup) are greater threats to my liver than beer. If you don’t see it my way let me know.Al Gore you are included all planets getting warmer only one has SUVs.

  12. Ed says:

    Sorry , forgot to add thank you

  13. Em says:

    Ok Kevin, your comment under the picture just made me laugh so hard I couldn’t stop!! LOL-and I only use that one LITERALLY 🙂
    Anywayzzz, I am considering doing a short juice fast (I am not mentally ready for a water fast & I know it!!) and these are the things I always HAVE wondered about and had questions about! Muchas gracias 🙂

    And bryan, I agree….leave the internet at home…it will be quite fine without you for a while!!

  14. Hello says:

    @dr scott einhorn
    Easy aerobic exercise uses mostly fat as an energy source but it still uses a good proportion of carbohydrates as fuel. And if you burn a lot of kcalories exercising, that smaller proportion can add up. Any extra movement automatically results in burning more carbs, which are metabolized for energy faster. The highest proportion of energy used from fat is probably when you sleep. Just waking up and going to the bathroom to brush your teeth decreases the proportion of fat burned compared to carbs by a bit. Slowing down has the opposite effect.

  15. Kym says:

    Very interesting about the exercise aspect. It works somewhat in reverse on intermittent fasts. But I imagine some level of ketosis would probably start on the same day – just based on simple breath and saliva checks.

  16. Julia says:

    Thank you to Kris, number 6 above, for the references which I would like to research. Good insights, thanks for sharing.

    “Dr. Goldhamer says that some of his healthy clients really don’t even need to fast because they have very clean, organic diets.” Completely disagree – we are bombarded by environmental toxins, daily stresses, we all need to detox routinely. And just because their diet is “organic” what if they were tons of perfume and wear toxic nail polish, and are constantly exposed to these toxic personal care items?

    Right now I have just started the GAPS/SCD diet to heal inflammatory bowel disease and going vegan (as I was for years long ago) would be dangerous and extremely unhealthy for me, as I’ve already seen the damage it’s done long ago. Read the books on SCD and GAPS. Because detox is a major part of this process, I am doing 24 hr fasts once per week w/ just water, frequent coffee enemas, and I also got a small portable sauna and will also be taking redmond clay for detox. Please be advised that just because you’re vegan does not make you healthy. I was vegan for years but with inflammatory bowel disease the pathogenic gut microbes release so many toxic substances in your body that it blocks your normal physiology and leads to malabsorption and malnutrition. Being vegan was the most harmful thing I could have done to my body. Now I am eating tons of natural organic grass-fed/grass finished animal fats that my nervous system and adrenal glands were starving for. Making tons of chicken and beef bone stock. I had 4 raw egg yolks today. 🙂 Apparently you don’t metabolize vitamin D without adequate cholesterol in your body.

  17. Steffanie says:

    Alright, I’ve been reading up on water fasting… great info! My question is, what kind of water should you drink? Tap? Spring? Distilled? etc… I don’t know! 🙂

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