The Stages of Fasting

We wanted to place a follow up to Fasting podcast. This article is for those who enjoy reading. The stages and days may be a little off from what I spoke about in the podcast as I was just going by memory. However this is more of the general baseline. The stages of Fasting are as follows:

Stage 1 (Day1-2)

On the first day of fasting, the blood sugar level drops below 70mg/dl. To restore the blood to the normal glucose level, liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood. This reserve is enough for a half day.

The body then reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The rate of internal chemical activity in resting tissue is lowered to conserve energy. The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen s pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst.

Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad breath, glazed eyes and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period.

Stage 2 (Day 3 to 7)

Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the glyceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body.

People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. Ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fates. It is suspected that the ketones in the blood suppress the appetite by affecting the food-satiety center in the hypothalamus called the appestat. You may feel hungry for the first few days of the fast. This effect is temporary. The desire to eat will disappear. Lack of hunger may last 40-60 days.

The body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. Periodically, the lymphatic system expels mucoid matter through the nose or throat.

The volume excreted of this yellow-colored mucus can be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen and are autolyzed.

Stage 3 (Day 8 to 15)

On the latter part of an extended fast, you can experience enhanced energy, clear-mindedness and feel better than you have felt since childhood, On the downside, old injuries may become irritated and painful.

This is a result of the body’s increased ability to heal during fasting. If you had broken your arm 10 yrs before, there is scar tissue around the break. At the time of the break, the body’s ability to heal was directly related to lifestyle. If you lived on a junk food diet, the body’s natural ability to heal was diminished.

During fasting, the body’s healing process is at optimum efficiency. As the body scours for dead or damaged tissue, the lymphocytes enter the older-damaged tissue secreting substances to dissolve the damaged cells. These substances irritate the nerves in the surrounding region and cause a reoccurrence of aches from previously injured areas that may have disappeared years earlier.

The pain lasts as the body is completing the healing process. The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected as toxins accumulate in the legs. Cankers are common in this stage due to the excessive bacteria in the mouth.

Stage 4 (Day 16 to 30)

The body is completely adapted to the fasting process. There is more energy and clarity of mind. Cleansing periods can be short with many days of feeling good in between. There are days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh. The healing work of the organs is being completed. After the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or renders it harmless; the body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue.

While a short fast will reduce the symptoms, a longer fast can completely heal. Homeostatic balance is at optimum levels. The lymphatic system is clean except for a rare discharge of mucus through the nose or throat. After day 20, the mind is affected with heightened clarity and emotional balance. Memory and concentration improve.

Stage 5(Day 30 to ?)

  • The Breath, which during all or most of the fast has been offensive, becomes sweet and clean.
  • The Tongue becomes clean. The thick coating which remained on it throughout most of the fast vanishes.
  • The Temperature, which may have been sub-normal or above normal, returns to exactly normal, where it remains.
  • The Pulse becomes normal in time and rhythm.
  • The Skin reactions and other reactions become normal.
  • The Bad Taste in the mouth ceases.
  • Salivary Secretion becomes normal.
  • The Eyes become bright and eye sight improves.
  • The Excreta loses its odor. The Urine becomes light.

The primary indication that the fast is to be broken is the return of hunger; all the other indications are secondary. Often one or more of these secondary signs are absent when hunger returns, but one should not refrain from breaking the fast when there is an unmistakable demand for food, merely because the tongue, for example, is not clean. Inasmuch as all the signs do not invariably appear in each case, do not hesitate to break the fast when hunger returns.

As you can clearly see above the benefits far outweigh the side effects. Work your way up by simple 12 hour fast then move to 24 hour fast then 48 hour and so on. Take small steps and enjoy a better, happier, healthy you!

Happy Fasting!

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8 Responses to “The Stages of Fasting”

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  1. AREPAI DAVID - January 3, 2014 at 12:43 am

    What happens when you fast 72 hours without water and food?

  2. Douglas McIsaac - January 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

    I was excited to read this article, and to understand what goes on inside “the temple of The Holy Spirit” during a fast. Knowing that all is well and even better inside me, gives me more drive to deny my body of food and feed it in prayer and scripture. God bless you, and others that contribute to this wonderful website, I am continually blessed by you!
    Please don’t stop producing the good stuff contained on your website because like me, I’m certain that so many others are blessed and benefit from it!

    Happy New Year, and may God bless you all richly!

  3. Rose Marie - January 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I am glad that u sent me this email because I was trying to figure out some things and this just open my eyes thank you all very much and keep up the good work.

  4. Denise - January 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    This is awesome. I would encourage anyone to fast as it blesses your life mentally, physically, spiritually and on many other levels. Thanks so much for letting us know what’s going on in our bodies while fasting. Great information!

  5. Tina - January 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Arepai David,

    Your body will have the same responses while fasting for 72 hours. I would not go without water during any type of fast. Your body needs water or it will shut down. I know Esther fasted for three days without food or water…but that is extreme. We do not recommend anyone to go without food and water. Drinking water only will help flush out toxins which is vital for the body and aids in healing. God Bless!

  6. Isaac Mpele - January 4, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Thank you so much, the article encourages us to fast often and encourage those who feel tortured during fasting to understand the healing process that their bodies are going through. My wife fast often and I am intending to join her this year. Thank you so much and God bless you.

  7. Theophilus Quaye - January 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for shaing this mail. For me it was quite revealing to read on the health benefits as we fast. How the natural body mechanism works on its self to cleanse the human system.

    God richly bless for sharing this.

  8. Carla - January 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Thank You! I was truly blessed by this. Knowing the actual physiological process that goes on during a fast, has strengthened me and given me hope that I will have success in fasting, making my body a living sacrifice. Please pray from my success in fasting and making it a part of my life regularly like Anna in the book of Luke.

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