Extended healing fasts (14-40 days)

Dr Tallis Barker, water fasting coach

Why in the world would you ever want to fast for two weeks or more?

If only a tiny percentage of people in the Western world ever undertake a water fast of any kind, then only a tiny percentage of people who water-fast will ever undertake an extended healing fast of 14 days or more. Why? There’s simply no need. For everyday cleansing and healing, occasional 7-10 day fasts combined with regular short fasts such as the one-day (36-hour ) water fast should keep you in excellent health.

Benefits of extended water fasts (14-40 days):

However, in order to reach the deepest possible level of healing and reap the greatest benefits, it is necessary to dig deeper with a longer fast. For instance, certain serious physical illnesses – those often deemed incurable by Western medicine – require the cleansing of an extended fast in order to permanently heal. Despite what allopathic doctors may tell you, conditions as wide and varied as Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chronic high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, as well as certain types of tumors are all potentially curable. Yes, these illnesses and many more can be healed permanently through water fasting. As a water fasting coach, I’m privileged to witness this miraculous healing potential of the human body!

Beyond physical healing, the deepest spiritual cleansing can similarly take place only through the sheer length of an extended fast. Although nowadays we tend to remember only the Biblical 40-day fasts of Moses and Jesus, the fact is that many spiritual traditions over the millennia have demanded 40-day water fasts. Even Pythagorus required potential students to undertake a 40-day fast before he was willing to accept them. As much as we balk at the idea of giving up food for such a long time, it’s mostly just a question of unwillingness to forgo the addictions and pleasures of life. Don’t believe the voice of your fears and reluctant ego. You won’t starve to death. Unless you’re seriously malnourished and underweight to begin with, you carry the better part of 100,000 calories on you, locked in your fat tissue and waiting to be released through ketosis. That’s enough to last you well over 40 days. If you’re overweight, you could potentially fast for much longer (although in most cases this is not advisable).

Experiencing a healing crisis:

Although in one respect an extended fast simply continues the notion of a 7-10 day water fast, it is also much more powerful because it gives you the opportunity to experience deeper ‘healing crises‘. As described in the article on the 7-10 day water fast, a healing crisis often occurs towards the end of the first week of water fasting, as the symptoms of old illnesses, injuries and traumas resurface, before being permanently expelled from your body. A similar process often occurs around the end of the second week of fasting – and this is the reason that if you decide to extend a 7-10 day water fast, it’s worth aiming for at least 14 days. This second healing crisis tends to call forth deeper issues than the first healing crisis, or, alternatively, finishes resolving those issues which were not fully cleared during the first healing crisis. In other words, it’s from the beginning of the second week of water fasting that your body can begin to heal from more serious health issues. Simply, up until this point, your body has been cleansing the toxins of everyday life (and especially so if you haven’t been fasting regularly).

For the deepest and most serious health issues, whether physical or spiritual, healing crises often occur much later into the fast, whether 20, 30 or even 40 days. There’s no way to accurately predict when they will occur. You can only trust your body and let nature take its course…

Occasionally, healing crises can be extremely intense, especially when they occur late into a fast. When this happens, it’s critically important to be able to (continues below)


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tell the difference between a healing crisis and a sign from your body urging you to stop the fast. This is where working with an experienced water fasting coach can really help. If it’s a healing crisis, you should ideally try and push through. If it’s not, you should stop immediately!

Not every healing is accompanied by a dramatic healing crisis. Sometimes symptoms of illness and trauma simply begin to disappear. In cases like this – when no clear sign indicates that you’ve obviously freed yourself from a health issue – it can be difficult to know when to end the fast. This is another reason why it’s advisable to consider conducting any extended fast under some kind of supervision: from (1) a fasting coach like myself and, ideally, also from (2) a medical doctor who understands water fasting. The other main reason for working with a professional is to make sure you don’t overstep your body’s nutritional capabilities, as a prolonged fast begins to reach its physical limits.

The dangers of fasting too long:

If you continue fasting indefinitely there comes a point where the fast turns into starvation. You obviously don’t want to overstep this mark! For when your fat stores are finally depleted, the body has no choice other than to devour muscle tissue, as well as feed from your inner organs. You’ll do yourself serious damage. Fortunately, though, the body sends a clear sign: extreme hunger. Although it’s unlikely you’ll miss this red flag, two other less obvious scenarios also demand the end of a fast – and it’s here, again, that fasting under supervision can help. The first possibility is that you run out of muscle tissue before you deplete your fat stores. In order to power your body as a whole, it’s true that ketosis is extremely efficient. The problem is that the brain demands another fuel entirely: glucose. And this cannot easily be metabolised from fat tissue. Instead, the body must extract it out of muscle. The second possibility is that you deplete your electrolytes (blood salts). Although unlikely, it’s extremely dangerous! For this reason it’s advisable to have your blood tested at relatively regular intervals after the first 7-10 days of fasting.

Refeeding:

After you break an extended fast, it’s extremely important to follow a well structured meal plan. If you return too quickly to a normal diet, you risk encountering both digestive problems as well as ‘refeeding syndrome’. This is a potentially fatal complication caused by the change from ketosis back to your everyday metabolism. After an extended fast, the body cannot be rushed in this process. If you have any doubts, I offer a downloadable PDF which covers refeeding for any length of fast (link here).

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156 Comments

  1. Vera Hanakova says

    HI Tallis,
    Is it necessary to add salt to water fasting?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Vera,
      It’s absolutely not necessary to add salt to water fasting – and in most cases it’s better to avoid ALL electrolytes in order to experience the greatest cleansing. Before a long fast, though, it’s important to reduce added salt intake so that when you begin the fast, your kidneys don’t continue dumping excess sodium.
      All the best,
      Tallis

      • Ron says

        Tallis, respectfully I have to disagree with part of your advice. I personally have been doing extended water only fasts (7-14 days) for a while now and initially could not go beyond the 7 day mark without experiencing a good amount of exhaustion, lethargy, drowsiness, etc. After a short duration of research, I discovered the body flushes out a great amount of electrolytes during a water only fast. (For every 1 ounce of fat lost, the body loses 6 ounces of water).

        Since that discovery, I have been supplementing my system daily with a hi-grade electrolyte, which includes Potassium, during my extended fasts and I have had a much better experience with energy, no lethargy, and I am more alert. In fact I recently came off of a 36 day water only fast and am currently on day 6 of a 14 day water fast. I understand each person will have their own unique experience due to other existing physical factors but please reconsider your advice on adding a good electrolyte replacement during water only fasts beyond 5 days. We are all still learning more on fasting and I think it would behoove your water only fasting audience to at least be armed with the importance and role of electrolytes. Food for your thought.

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Hi Ron,

          Thanks for sharing. Your concerns about electrolyte supplementation are very common, but let me assure you that in the vast majority of cases there is nothing to worry about. For many millennia people have been doing extended fasts without the benefit of modern hi-grade electrolyte products.

          If your only goal is weight loss, there’s nothing wrong with taking electrolytes, but if you’re fasting because of a health issue, then electrolytes tend to prevent you from achieving a full degree of cleansing and healing. I speak from the experience of having coached many hundreds of people through extended healing fasts, as well as from the traditional practice of water fasting over the last 150 years.

          In short, the reason you feel better energy and fewer detox symptoms while fasting with electrolytes is because you’re not cleansing so deeply. It’s also because taking electrolytes artificially prevents your body from fully lowering your blood pressure (the lowering of which itself facilitates cleansing). Without knowing any more about your specific background, I would almost certainly recommend you keep fasting without electrolytes. With more experience your body will learn how to get into ketosis more quickly and powerfully. You’ll also lower your overall toxic load. Both these factors will allow you to eventually enjoy fasting without the exhaustion and lethargy you currently experience. It’s just a matter of practice. When I started fasting, my experience was also very similar to yours.

          Yes, on 40-day fasts it is occasionally possible to run into electrolyte imbalances. This is where an expert in water fasting can help: (1) to avoid the situation in the first place through safe procedures from Day 1, and (2) to rectify the situation as quickly and as safely as possible.

          I’m not sure what sources you found in your research, but if, as you say, we lose water and fat at a 6:1 ratio, that would mean that someone who loses 25 lbs of fat during an extended fast would also lose 150 lbs of water (6 x 25 = 150). This is not my experience of how things work.

          I wish you strength and perseverance in continued fasting!
          Tallis

          • Ron says

            Thank you for your reply Tallis. My comment was geared toward beginner safety though and I didn’t feel you offered the sufficient differences in terms of weight loss vs. a deeper ketosis. Because there are many that would attempt to undertake this type of “journey” without any supervision, it is my belief to err on the side of caution on behalf of the person that is pursuant of your advice.

            “Information in itself is not powerful, power lies at the very core of being informed and making good use of it.”
            Nudi Levit

            • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

              I agree: erring on the side of caution is always important, and this applies to both beginners as well as to the (hopefully) informed advice I give as a water fasting coach. Electrolytes do not enter the equation in this respect!

          • Ron says

            My apologies Tallis, I meant to type grams not ounces. I am a little embarrassed 🙈

      • Vera says

        Thank you,
        I have one more question. Is it advisable to do an extended fast while going through a family tragedy or bereavement?

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Hi again Vera,
          Only you can know the answer to this. If it’s going to be a stressful time and you also find the process of fasting itself stressful (because of cravings or detox symptoms), then a fast is just going to make matters harder for you. If, on the other hand, you find fasting easy, then the natural inner space and peace which a fast can initiate is more likely to help you process the emotions of bereavement.
          Tallis

        • Ron says

          From a fellow water faster, that’s an interesting question Vera.

  2. Jackson S Petroni says

    Can fasting for 40 days repair damaged nerves?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Jackson,
      Yes, fasting can certainly repair nerve damage. It does tend to be slower than many other types of healing, so 40 days may or may not be enough to get the job done, depending on the severity of the damage, the overall health of your immune system, and other issues that your body may need to address first.
      If you don’t experience a full healing the first time around, a second extended fast may be necessary to pick up where you left off.
      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

      • Jackson S Petroni says

        How about the eyes. Cataracts and eye floaters. Can the eyes heal through fasting?

  3. Eda says

    Dear Dr Baker,
    How frequently can someone do water fasting? I just finished my first time 7 days water fasting a week ago and I would like to do it again. I would like to repeat this again because I feel like all my energy came back and I do not feel depress anymore. However, at the end of my water fasting (day6-7), I had severe muscle and bone pain that I ended up break my fast at day7. I only consumed sea salt, water and lemon during my fasting. I am 40 year-old, 5′ 3” and 126ibs. ( Hx of mold exposure, and depression)

    I really want to do this periodically but I have some concern. it seems like I did something wrong that I experienced pain. I was thinking whether I put my self in starvation mode or some of my electrolytes were imbalance.

    could you please give me some feedback?

    Gratefully
    Eda

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Eda,

      Thanks for writing. Physiologically, you can fast again really quite soon. If you allow double the length of time for recuperation after any given length of fast, that is more than enough before beginning a second fast. Psychologically, though, it’s important not to force yourself into anything too soon. Even if you felt good during the fast, there is certainly a part of you which felt deprived – and it’s important to respect that side of yourself too.

      It sounds like you had difficulties with detox symptoms. Without having worked together through your fast it’s hard to know what was going on. I can tell you that it was almost certainly not an electrolyte imbalance. Among my clients this occurs very rarely, and only towards the end of 40-day fasts.

      For future reference, I’d also like to add that it’s important to avoid electrolyte supplements in order to get the most out of a healing fast!
      All the best,
      Tallis

  4. Johnathan Smile says

    Hello Dr. Tallis, Thank you for these resources. I have done a few water fasts and have always thought of doing a longer term fast 14+, but I am worried that my fat stores might not quite be sufficient to do one that long. I’ve done one for 11 days, but was so weak and gangly at that point that I had to stop. Do you have any suggestions for those of us that want to do some deep healing but are generally quite slender?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Johnathan,

      Thanks for writing. Most slender people underestimate what their bodies are capable of. Without knowing your height, weight and body type, it’s hard to give you an estimate of how much weight you could safely lose, but I’ll give you mine instead. At 5’10” and about 145 lbs, I could easily manage a 40-day fast without losing too much fat. For someone like me, it would be possible to get down to around 100-110 lbs before my body reached a dangerously low level of fat. Our image of ‘normal’ body fat content has changed hugely over the last half century. Just take a look at photos from the mid 20th century, in which almost everyone looks ‘thin’ by today’s standards. In purely physical terms, they aren’t thin. They’re healthy.

      It’s true that the less fat you have, the less energy your body will be inclined to give you when you fast – especially until you’re totally fat-adapted through experience in water fasting. When I started fasting, I felt so weak that I spent most of the day in bed. Over the years, my energy levels rose, so that nowadays it’s not significantly different from everyday life.

      If I were you, I would stick to the 7-10 day length of water fasting until you too find that your energy levels start to improve. (Of course, if you have an urgent health concern which requires a longer fast immediately, this is a completely different situation!) This will come as your body (1) learns how to get into ketosis more efficiently and (2) cleanses out a lifetime’s worth of toxins over each successive fast.

      All the best,
      Tallis

  5. Trace says

    I am starting a water fast, to help get rid of inflammation in my body (torn Acetabular labral tear,with pain now shooting down into my knee, from an injury) and during mri, to diagnose it, showed a few sclerotic lesions in my spine (20 year hx/survivor of stage 3 breast cancer. So I’m mentally working from the standing point of metastatic cancer. My question, how long should I try to fast, and should I take any supplements, THC during it? Also due to the bad pain in my hip and knee, I have had to. Stop teaching Zumba and Pound classes, and can’t walk across a Home Depot, with out bad pain. Should I do any kind of workout low impact during the fasting?
    Thanks

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Trace,

      Thanks for writing. There’s no doubt that water fasting is the best thing you can do to reduce inflammation. To answer your first question: if there are sclerotic lesions in the spine, you’d really need to aim at the longest fast that you’re capable of. Fasting tends to work from the outside in, and it tends to work more quickly on soft tissue than hard. In both these respects, your spine is likely to take a while to react. If you suspect cancer, elements of dry fasting can also help, but I’d rather not go into the details of this here on such a public space, given that dry fasting can also be too powerful for some people. Having said this, I’ve worked successfully with cancer patients using a combined method of dry- and water fasting, which tends to give the most powerful results possible. This also includes minimising supplements, but, again, I can’t comment on specific supplements or meds here, because individual circumstances outweigh any blanket statements. Without actually working together, I can’t really say more than this here.

      To answer your second question: if it causes pain during a fast, you should usually avoid the given activity. If you’re fasting to heal cancer, then you also want to put as much of your energy into the healing rather than working out – which is often different than in other contexts in which illness is less severe.

      All the best,
      Tallis

  6. Ron Reynolds says

    Good morning Tallis, I am a 57 yr young male. I currently weight somewhere between 300-315lbs. I started at 360lbs just 30 days ago. I am on day 32 of a 60 day Water mixed with /Lemmon Juice/ACV only fast, so I have lose a decent portion of weight towards my goal of getting to 230lbs (Highschool weight). Now, along with the water, I do take vitamins/minerals and Keto K-1000 electrolyte replacement, every morning.
    My question is, at this mark in my fasting, I am experiencing a terrible stomach ache (last 3 days only) in the center of my stomach yet not experiencing any hunger in my mind or my eyes, but it feels like hunger pains… just not sure… I have no history of illnesses like cancer or any other ADE illnesses. Just wondering if this is one of the ‘pains’ I need to “push through” like I had in the first 7-10 days.
    Your comment and advice is very welcome.
    I typically follow/watch Dr. Bergs fasting videos for guidance but I ran across this page and thought it might lend some additional insight.

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Ron,
      Thanks for sharing. Without knowing all the details from having worked with you through your fast, it’s hard for me to be able say anything too meaningful here. I can tell you, though, that I’ve never come across similar ‘pains’ among the hundreds of clients that I’ve coached. – But then again, I almost always recommend a much simpler protocol of water only.
      Not only does pure water significantly increase the cleansing/healing benefits. It also reduces stimulation of the stomach during an extended fast. Yes, you have to be careful about electrolyte balance, but since I don’t recommend fasts longer than 40 days, this is only very rarely an issue.
      I suspect that one of the supplements you’re taking is aggravating your stomach. This may well be further aggravated by the degree of detox taking place at this point, which usually involves a build-up of acids in the blood (due to breaking down proteins). This, in turn, can go on to upset the balance in the upper digestive tract.
      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

      • Ron Reynolds says

        Thank you for your reply Doc. Turns out, it was just a gaseous pain. It appears to be gone now. I have never done such a long fast but I have quite a bit of unwanted tissue shall we say, to lose and I am determined to make my 60 day mark. I am sick and tired of carrying around this extra weight. After my 60days, I will be changing my previous eating habits to Keto to lose the remaining weight and will likely stay on Keto to keep it off. This longer fast is new territory for me so I don’t know quite what to expect (have been winging it with Dr. Berg’s videos) so I’m taking it one day at a time.
        I actually never thought it would be this easy once I got into deep ketosis so I am taking advantage of that for as long as I can (up to 60 days)
        I really appreciate your comments/suggestions.

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Glad it was something so simple as gas! If by stomach you meant belly/abdomen, this makes sense. I interpreted stomach to mean stomach – which is really quite high up, under the ribs. Any gas in the stomach is going to end up as a burp, and it’s unlikely to cause a lot of pain! This is one reason why I work via video calls with all my clients and not text. A lot of words can be ambiguous, and this leads to misunderstandings! Never mind: all’s well that ends well 🙂
          Tallis

  7. Kayla says

    Hi, I’m considering fasting for 40 days, but wonder if it’s safe at a moderate weight. I’m about 130 pounds and 5’3″ and don’t want to lose an excessive amount of weight.

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Kayla,
      From a health perspective, your weight is perfectly safe for your height, and I would estimate that you’ll probably lose in the region of 20-25 pounds over the 40 days. 110lbs is thin (especially by today’s more obese standards than any other time in human history) – but it’s not emaciated. Assuming average build, someone of your height could actually go down to 90-95 lbs before you’d start running low on fat reserves.
      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

  8. Daniel Garrigan says

    What if BP decreases towards low BP readings during a prolonged fast ?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Daniel,
      This is good! Your blood pressure should decrease during a water fast in order to facilitate detox. (It’s also one reason to avoid electrolytes, which prevent this from happening.) If your blood pressure drops a lot, then just be careful about getting up too quickly, thereby causing light headedness. This is the worst that can happen to you.
      Late into a fast (usually after 21 days at the earliest), there can be issues with BP which illuminate potential problems with electrolytes, but I don’t want to go into this here, because it’s too easy for readers without professional fasting knowledge to misinterpret the data.
      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

      • Daniel says

        Thank you for your reply Tallis, much appreciated.
        Kind Regards, Daniel

  9. Joëlle says

    I’m on my 6th day of my 14 day water fast and hardly experiencing any negative symptoms at all except for horrible acid reflux. Any suggestions?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Joelle,

      Thanks for sharing. I’m afraid acid reflux is very common while water fasting, both among those who suffer from it in everyday life and those who don’t. There are multiple possible reasons for it (and it’s something that I often work with clients on solving!), but essentially there are two main causes: either (1) the stomach is being overly stimulated through exactly what / how / how much you’re drinking or (2) the cleansing of the fast is causing acidosis in the blood, and your body is trying to unload some of the acid by converting it to HCl in the stomach.

      Without writing a whole essay on the subject, the best thing to do for (1) is to reduce the quantity and frequency of your water. It’s a lot harder to deal with (2), because it’s driven by the very nature of the fast – ie cleansing inherently produces acidic byproducts. The first thing you might try is deep breathing, which helps to oxygenate the blood, thereby balancing pH. Other solutions are more invasive, and really depend on the individual case (which is why I’m not going to go into them here).

      This isn’t an easy issue to tackle, and the first thing is to identify which of the two causes applies in your case. Having said this, though, fasting is also a fantastic opportunity to resolve acid reflux in everyday life – as many of my clients have experienced after having worked on it through coaching.

      All the best,
      Tallis

  10. Clare says

    After 5 months of many extended water fasts (7-30 days each) I am now fat-adapted! I have experienced so much healing by combining prayer with fasting, it’s awesome! I alternate between LCHF and keto between fasts for refeeding, portion control and good nutrition. My question is, now what? Do I keep my protein and fat ratio the same or lower my fat intake? I still have over 100 pounds to lose. Thank you, your website and information is very helpful on an often confusing topic. As an example, there is a lot of info out there for getting fat-adapted, but very little on what to do afterwards! I thought if anyone would know, you would!

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Clare,

      Thanks for writing. Hmm, ‘what now?’ Well, that depends on your goals. Being fat adapted through a ketogenic diet can help in the early days of fasting, but the fact is that if you practise fasting regularly, you’ll become fat-adapted anyway (as I suspect you did too). If you find that a keto diet helps you lose weight, then great, continue to stay the course. Just remember, though, that over the long term, most keto diets are linked with higher mortality. (A couple of recent studies linked non-vegan keto diets to a four-year loss of life expectancy.) So once you’ve lost the weight, I would think about focussing on long-term health, including an exercise program you enjoy and a healthy diet that you also enjoy!

      In other words, if you continue to fast, you’ll stay fat-adapted regardless of your diet.

      For me the main thing is not to hurry the process of weight loss. Big, quick weight loss often ends up rebounding on you afterwards, because you’ve pushed yourself too hard psychologically. It can also cause problems with the skin losing its elasticity. So just aim for a steady improvements. It’s like in the Aesop’s fable: the tortoise always beats the hare!

      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

      • Clare says

        Hi Tallis, I never lose weight on keto or LCHF, as i said those are only for refeeding between my extended water fasts. My question is do i now lower the amount of fat i eat between fasts, or keep it the same, between fasts. Ive lost 48# in 5 months, with 82 overall days of water fasting. Which is a normal amount to lose without problems. Since my body prefers fat over carbs for energy now, should i lower my fats or keep them the same? I would like to be able to lose weight while eating mindfully, and not just while fasting.

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Hi Clare,

          Being fat adapted doesn’t actually mean that your body prefers fat to carbs. Actually, we are all biologically hardwired to favour carbs over fat. Being fat-adapted simply means that your body is able to burn fat for energy more easily than someone who doesn’t regularly force themselves into deep ketosis, either through regular fasting or through a ketogenic diet.

          In terms of lowering fat content or keeping it the same, I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach here. No diet works best or all people at all times.

          When I’m coaching a client through an extended water fast, we always work on tuning into the body’s messages about diet after the fast. After about a week of fasting, your body will certainly give you clues about what you should be eating for the best nutrition, as well as offer signs about any potential nutritional deficits. It’s a question of reading the signs, distinguishing messages from the body versus those from the mind, and following through on this during refeeding and afterwards.

          All the best,
          Tallis

  11. Aaron Cyr says

    Hi,
    is it advisable to fast for 40 days without a fast coach?

    Also, I add ionic calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and (a little but of) sulfate in my water supply. Do I need to worry about testing my blood (salts) after having fasted for 7-10 days?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for writing.

      Is it ‘advisable’ to fast for 40 days without a fasting coach? Well, I suppose it depends what you mean by advisable! Most people, especially if they’re generally healthy, are physically capable of managing a 40-day fast by themselves. Where I can help best is in cases where someone suffers from a chronic illness and is generally less resilient than the average person. Certain detox symptoms can indicate either the positive benefits of cleansing or that the fast should be terminated in order to avoid danger. The average person doesn’t know how to distinguish one context from the other.

      Many people also benefit from the support of a fasting coach because 40 days is a long time without food! As much as the body may be able to manage perfectly fine, your mind and motivation are likely to reach breaking point some time during those 40 days. I see this very frequently, and a coach like myself can help keep you on track to achieve your goal.

      A coach can also help you to get the best out of your fast. For example, if you take all the electrolyte supplements you mentioned in your comment, you won’t enjoy the full cleansing benefits of the fast!!! Electrolytes are very popular these days for a variety of misguided reasons, but there is absolutely no reason to use them if you’ve prepared for your fast properly – and a 40-day fast DOES require a little preparation!

      If you’ve prepared for your fast properly, there’s also no reason to need a blood test so soon as 7-10 days into a fast. Most of my clients don’t require any blood test at all during a 40-day fast, although it is perfectly reasonable to ask for an electrolyte or metabolic panel from around 21 days if you’re worried. (Blood tests help the most for people who suffer from chronic digestive issues involving a problem with absorption or severe food intolerances.)

      All the best,
      Tallis

  12. Ebony says

    Hi Tallis,
    I received healing from painful ibs issues during my first extended fast of 21 days (8months ago). Although the results were great the process was rough on me and I became quite weak due to other medical issues going in my body or the medication for it at the time. I had vowed never to go beyond a 5 day fast again.
    I am now on day 11 of what of a 14 day fast. This fast has been so wonderful. I have continued strength training but at a lower level and walking throughout this fast. I have not had the weakness of the first fast but instead have times where I am filled with energy. I am trying to understand why this fast is so different than the last one. Why is that?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Ebony,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad fasting is helping you heal from IBS.
      What you’ve experienced this time around shows how well the body learns from previous fasts: how to get into ketosis, how to cleanse. Also, the first couple of fasts tend to be the hardest because the body is dealing with the accumulation of a whole lifetime’s worth of toxins.
      It’s very common to have higher energy levels after your first couple of fasts, and often a single extended fast (like your 21-day fast) is enough to do the trick. I experienced the same myself many years ago. This doesn’t guarantee that from now on all fasts will go equally smoothly, but it is certainly a general trend.
      All the best,
      Tallis

      • Mert says

        Did she heal from IBS

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Hi Mert,
          I’m afraid I can’t answer that, because Ebony isn’t one of my clients!
          Tallis

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