All posts tagged: featured

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 …

Journal for the spring retreat, 7-day water fast: Introduction

Tomorrow we set off for the forest and hills around Hungary’s Lake Balaton to begin this year’s spring retreat, which consists of a 7-day water fast. This year, in addition to the participants from here in Hungary, we have people coming from the U.S. and England. Everyone has now arrived in Budapest, the staging point for tomorrow’s departure. Some of the participants already began their fast earlier today, and I’ll be sharing a last supper with those remaining in just a few hours. The weather is perfect, and set to be around 23C / 75F for pretty much the whole week. I already know that our setting next to a stream (with its own spring) is perfect, because every year we return to the same place: a converted mill house in a secluded forest clearing. With everything already so perfect, I’m excited to be getting this retreat off the ground. This year I thought I’d share the week-long experience here on www.waterfasting.org. Every day I’ll be adding fresh posts, as everyone goes deeper into their …

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 …

Telling friends and family about your fast (or not)

Whether or not to tell friends and family you’re fasting can often be a huge dilemma. Just this last week, several visitors to waterfasting.org have brought up the subject in some shape or form. It usually goes like this: “I can’t tell anyone I know that I’m fasting. They’ll think that I’m crazy…” Or something like this: “Yesterday my friend gave me some fruit and I didn’t say no, because otherwise I’d have to tell her that I’m fasting…” I can’t possibly give a simple answer about whether you should tell or not tell those around you about your fast, and I don’t believe that there’s a single ‘right’ answer for everyone. In discussing the two examples above, though, I hope you’ll be able to reach the right decision for yourself. Let’s take the first example. It’s true. People really do often think you’re crazy – I know plenty of people, for instance, who think that I’m crazy :-). Why? Because beyond the fact that I probably am a little crazy, fasting forces those around …

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 …