Fast Track To A New You

Throughout the ages, fasting has been used to heal the body and clear the mind. In no small part, this is because when any fast is well-designed, it can bring about many of the same detoxifying and rebalancing metabolic changes in the body that the complete abstinence from food can. On one hand, this is a good thing. The right kind of fast can be a tremendously powerful tool for rejuvenation, restoring insulin sensitivity, promoting human growth hormone—the anti-aging hormone—and many other benefits, including making you look and feel 10 or even 15 years younger.


fasting-to-look-greatThe right kind of fasting can clear your mind and body of what is preventing you from living your life on top form. But what concerns me is the way so many wild fasting practices keep turning up on the internet as though they are some kind of one-day cure-all for everybody. It is sad that the internet, once a reliable tool for learning, is becoming more and more a source of disinformation and hype. Let me share with you my own long experience of fasting and—if you want to try it for yourself—show to go about this safely and successfully. Fasting is a powerful tool. But it needs to be taken seriously, fully understood and carefully followed. So many people write to me to say that their metabolism has become all screwed up by their having tried to follow one of the current fast-yourself-slim diets. This is a sad state of affairs. More unbiased information about fasting, its blessings and its drawbacks needs to be forthcoming.


women-skiingWhen it comes to fasting of all kinds, I’d wager there are few who have researched and experimented with it as long as I have. I was introduced to the ancient tradition of fasting in my mid-twenties when I had been unwell for many years, and it changed my life. I first wrote about intermittent fasting more than thirty years ago in The Joy of Beauty. I’ve continued to research and write about it in many other books since. I became fascinated by the profound healing of body, mind and spirit that takes place when people fast wisely. I have done so many kinds of fasts—juice fasts, water fasts, fasts using nothing but free-form amino acids, and intermittent fasts. I’ve just about tried them all. I even did a 40 day fast on water then spent the last five days of it skiing at St Moritz.


body-mind-spirit-waterfallI remember well the healing physical effects of carrying out my very first fast. My head became clearer and clearer. After the first few days, my vision was so sharpened it was as if I were looking at the world through a crystal glass. It’s impossible to describe the changes that took place in my thinking and my emotions during the fast.

I can only say that the world looked different. I realized that there was so much beauty around me which I had continued to miss. Fasting made me stop and think, stop and feel. I found delight in the simplest of things—just sitting under a tree, washing vegetables, or combing my hair. Everything seemed important. I found I wanted to do everything with real awareness. I also gained a sense of distance from my own problems, enabling me to make the decisions facing me calmly and quietly. As a result, since then, whenever I feel myself hung-up over something or whenever I sense I’m not seeing things clearly, I will quietly fast—often just for a day or two—until I feel clear again. To some people this may seem an eccentricity, but not, I believe, to anyone who has actually tried fasting.


fasting-for-loveThe buzz now, however, is intermittent fasting. This form of fasting has many faces. Some are better than others. The most lauded at the moment is where you spend two or more days a week drinking water, while during the rest of the week you eat “normally”, either with or without a very low calorie diet for the purpose of losing weight.

The right kind of fast, while eating the right kind of foods, is indeed capable of facilitating weight loss—provided you are capable of following it religiously for several weeks, while your body shifts from a glucose-based metabolism to a fat-based metabolism. But, even with the best will in the world, very few people can carry out this exacting procedure for long enough to allow this important metabolic transformation to take place. The second problem with days-on-days-off fasting is that it tends to precipitate binge eating during eating days. Few people understand that if you want to benefit from the experience you must rigorously fast when you are meant to be fasting, and avoid binge eating on the days when you do eat. It’s essential, too, that you alter the kind of foods you eat if you want good results both in terms of weight loss and enhanced health for the future.


clock-eat-only-twice-a-dayLet me share with you the way I personally eat now, week in, week out: My own way of intermittent fasting works much better. It is also a lot easier to carry out and protects your body from unnecessary strain. Here’s how it works: Instead of the day-on-day-off practice, commit yourself to eating only during a specific window of time—say 8 hours— each and every day. This is convenient and doable for almost anybody, and it protects you from binging. You do all your eating between, say, 11am and 7pm and have no food or drinks except clean water and herb teas in between. Personally, I skip breakfast and make lunch the first meal of the day. Then I don’t eat anything until dinner at 6 or 7pm in the evening. You will need to schedule your own times for eating and fasting so it fits into your personal lifestyle.

How does all this work? It takes from six to eight hours for your body to burn stored glycogen in your tissues after eating carbohydrate foods. Once this happens, your system starts to turn towards fat as its primary fuel. After a few weeks of this time-restricted fasting, food cravings that may have dogged you for eons are likely to have disappeared. (And you can take organic coconut oil, rich in short-chain fatty acids, which are quickly broken down to deal with any food cravings.) But you absolutely must be choosy about the foods you eat during the hours that you are eating.


control-centers-in-the-brainSo natural a procedure is fasting in this way that in some cases it even happens spontaneously. By the time most people on Cura have completed the Essential Spray+Food Plan part of their program, and get ready to move into Consolidation, they are already fasting intermittently. During their program, the body has already been taken through a process of deep cleansing. Food cravings have long since disappeared. Control centers in their brains for appetite, emotions, and hormones are functioning well, and their food preferences are now excellent. Quite spontaneously the majority of participants decide to skip breakfast. They say they love the vital, empty feel this brings them. They don’t need to be taught how to do intermittent fasting, they just do it. What has happened to them is that their bodies have already become adapted to burning fat instead of glucose for energy. Unnatural hunger is gone and sugar addictions no longer exist.


fasting-benefitsThe benefits of this kind of intermittent fasting are many. The procedure of incorporating this practice into your life becomes easy and natural. It is the start of a new way of living and eating that helps protect us from degenerative conditions long into the future. Here are just a few of the benefits it brings:

  • Insulin sensitivity increases. So does the efficiency of mitochondrial energy, helping to slow aging and disease.
  • Stress resistance improves dramatically.
  • Oxidative stress diminishes since the body’s proteins, nucleic acids and lipids are protected from much free radical damage.

healthy-and-lean-for-life-bookI suggest that you download our free 2016 Stay Healthy and Lean For Life book which will be available on Wednesday the 30th to all my newsletter subscribers (hint hint you can subscribe to my newsletter here to make sure you get a copy). You’ll learn a lot more about what kind of foods protect your body from weight gain, foster weight loss and create powerful protection from early aging and degenerative diseases.


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