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How Not To Sabotage Your Fasting and Move Beyond The Breaking Point

Armen Hareyan's picture
Water Fasting

Many people plan for a 3 day fasting, but can't move beyond the 18 hour point. Most of them break the fasting at that mark, but want to move beyond the mental hurdle. What to do?


"I keep repeating day 1. I am not even battling real hunger. I feel defeated. Why do I sabotage myself? I was doing low carb for a good spell and lost some inches. But went on Vacation and have found getting back hard. I was doing amazing. It was "easy" or so it seemed. I want to fast for 21 days. I keep letting myself down. Maybe tomorrow I can pass the 18 hr mark. Seems I break around the same time. What can help me move past my own mental hurdle?, asks Deborah in Water Fasting Support Group on Facebook.

Few replies are very useful and I want to share them here.

Intermediate Fasting

"Intermediate fasting is a great start," writes a user named Jessica. "Think of these days as prep days. When your mind and body are ready you will get through it. Maybe for the first few harder days try doing plan tea around your breaking time or a shot of vegy broth in a warm glass of salt water."

Glass Half Full

Another user, named Bud, writes that Jessica is exactly right. "Perhaps taking a "Glass is half full" approach is helpful to combat any feelings of failure and depression. If you can view your attempts as victories, even if they don't meet the mark of your original goals, that may be the motivational force to put you 'over the top,' so to speak?"

Failures are the pillars to success. If you are trying, you will definitely get through it. Just customize your mind that you are doing it for your own self. Think of the benefits and results that water fasting will bring. Make every single day as a challenge. Make small goals and set up fasting timer.

List of Food to Eat

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Some other people say that they make a list of food to eat when they complete their three day or longer period water fasting. This helps them to keep in mind that the food will be there when they are done with fasting. You don't have to eat them now. The food isn't going anywhere. But they will be there when you are ready and completed your fasting.

Team Up With a Friend

I read in forums that many people like to team up with friends and fast "together." This help them to encourage one another during the times of despair and hanger and do some pep talk. Apparently this helps a lot. You can try too. This is why in Christian faith, during the Lent or special fasting days it's relatively much easier for millions of faithful to fast when they know that millions of other people are doing this to acquire internal change.

Three Day Fasting

"I would suggest going for three days fasting as a start," suggests a group member named Deborah. "You will know you can do it. Eat healthy fourth day. And then maybe start again & go for 5. It's of course better to just stick it out but I think some of us have to train our mind and body and shake off bad habits," she writes.

Don't Be Hard on Yourself

Don't be so hard on yourself. "Fasting is hard, what I do sometimes and seems to help me transition is I always have watermelon in my house," writes Johanna from the group. "If I feel I cannot continue and need to break the fast I cut some watermelon, enough to get me satisfied, then I go and try to go to bed early (if kids permit) and the next day I try again, this sometime takes me up to three days, but suddenly by the 4th day I'm able to complete 24 hrs. It may help! Don't set long term goals. Start by 24 hours then 36 hrs then 48 and so on, take away the pressure, and when breaking the fast always eat something healthy. Fruit and veggies will help you stay away from crap that will only increase your cravings," she adds from her experience.

Fast for Spiritual Reason not for Weight Loss

Fasting, of course, helps the weight loss, but consider fasting for spiritual reasons: to achieve better self understanding and control over your mind and body. People who do fasting for faith reasons seems to overcome the hunger challenge more easily than people who do it for a pure weight loss. This is explained by the fast that people who fast for a spiritual reason and a better self improvement have a much higher reason for their mental and spiritual struggle than just pure weight loss.

At the end of the day, you just need to keep trying. That's what's important because sooner or later you will get it and be able to do your water fasting.