All posts filed under: fitness and health

Diets, fasts and healing injuries for runners

When most people think of diets or fasting, they usually have weight loss in mind.  Even at the best of times this is a dubious practice. Changing the way you eat by reducing calories usually results in the body conserving energy and using calories more efficiently thereafter. Although a more efficient body is generally a healthier body (good!), the problem is that, as a result, many people actually gain weight once they finish their diet or fast (bad!). If you need to lose weight, the healthiest and most sustainable way to achieve this is to move. Get out there and go for a run! If you’re already a runner, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for diets or fasting in your life. Far from it! (And this applies both to recreational runners who use movement simply in order to lose weight, as well as to professional athletes.) Besides the fact that a little extra cleansing never hurts :-), diets and fasting provide one of the most effective tools in order to prevent and treat …

Pills, powders and potions: the reality of taking supplements while fasting

One question which persistently recurs on waterfasting.org is whether or not you should take supplements while water fasting. The majority of people want to know about vitamin supplements and, occasionally, even protein supplements. In this article I’ll deal with both, as well as other kinds of pills, powders and potions… There are some people who take a hardline approach to water fasting – in other words water, water, only water. Personally, I do drink only water when I’m fasting, but I believe that everyone needs to find their own solutions, depending on the reasons that they’re fasting. This may include drinking herbal or green teas, or perhaps adding a slice of lemon to their water. Taking supplements, though, is another step removed from the simple purity of drinking only water. Vitamin supplements Many people believe that they need to take vitamin supplements in order to live a healthy life. When it comes to fasting, this belief often takes on an added urgency. The logic – at least on the surface level – is sound, and …

Fasting as a healing modality to treat cancer

This video features an interview with Dr. Valter Longo, who is one of the world’s leading researchers in the use of fasting as a healing modality to treat cancer. Although the preventative effects of fasting have been well known in relation to a number of diseases, this particular discussion centres around the use of 24, 48 and 72 hour fasts, which were used in combination with chemotherapy in actual treatment against cancer. (When water fasting is used alone to manage cancer, usually much longer, extended healing fasts are applied.) This is a fascinating issue, which begins to break down the traditional divide between seeking either traditional Western medicine or alternative therapies. Until now, mixing these approaches has seemed counter-productive, if not almost contradictory. This is especially true with regard to chemotherapy, the toxic effects of which have usually complicated alternative approaches such as Gerson therapy and the Breuss cure. My thanks to Margaret Young for drawing my attention to this video.

Fasting as a means to improve athletic performance in endurance sports

I’m sitting down to write this having had breakfast for the first time in a week… Lately, I’ve been practising “intermittent fasting”, which revolves around lengthening the time between your last meal in the evening and your first meal the following day.  It’s one of several ways I involve fasting to improve my health – as well as my running.  In this case, you’re aiming for about a 16-hour “mini-fast” per day, which for all intensive purposes means skipping breakfast and eating at around lunchtime instead.  This means that all the food you eat on any given day takes place within about an eight-hour window.  There’s plenty of literature on intermittent fasting and its benefits in general, so I’d like to concentrate here instead on how fasting can benefit you as a runner or anyone involved in endurance sports. Quite simply, fasting means taking in no calories for a given duration. How can depriving yourself of breakfast on a regular basis – or even depriving yourself of all food for days on end – possibly …