I first read about a juice fasting diet in a fall issue of Muscle & Fitness Magazine in 1981. It was the only "true fast" that made sense to me, so I tried it. Since then I've tried it on several occasions.
It seems to be the safest and most effective fast available. This fast is from my experience and demonstrates how to fast, when to fast, for how long and the rewards.
If you would like to fast as outlined below, once every 6 months would be good for best results. If you are currently taking any prescribed medication - with your doctor's approval - stop taking them 2 days before the fast begins and resume taking them one week after the fast or at the end of the recuperation phase of the fast.
A competitive bodybuilder with no known health complications, i.e., diabetes, epilepsy, angina, etc., might find it advantageous for both health and appearance to fast two weeks before a contest.
Do not do any training, except for stretching, practice posing and light cardio. Stretching will help prevent atrophy of the muscles and also help maintain their elasticity. Practice posing and light cardio will assist in fat burning.
The Five Reasons To Fast
There are five reasons to fast. One, it might be because your body is due for a clean up or just messed up inside. Two, maybe your metabolic set point is lower than it's supposed to be of what "normal" is to you. It is making you feel sluggish and bloated.
Three, perhaps you want to cleanse your body of the accumulated left over garbage and toxic wastes that just sits there, especially in the intestines.
Four, possibly your body (especially the stomach) needs a rest from all the daily work it does. And five, it could be because you have reached a wall in your training and gains have stopped. Another reason for fasting is to test your self-discipline and will power.
There should not be any reason why you should discontinue training when fasting. Training and modifying your program to accommodate the body's adjustment to the fast will increase fat loss many times over than if you were not training. Not only that but unfortunately the reality is that you will increase your body's utilization for burning lean body mass (LBM) or muscle as well as fat.
Most of the fat or adipose tissue will be burned when you are resting anyhow, not training.
LBM & Fat Loss
How fast you lose weight during the fast will be a factor between LBM and fat loss. To keep LBM loss at a minimum, be sure to drink plenty of juice during the days indicated. The ingestion of simple natural sugars, i.e., carbohydrates, will help offset your loss of LBM to a great degree.
But you shouldn't worry about the loss of LBM too much since it can be regained back. Besides, it is always easier and quicker to rebuild muscle than it is to build it from "scratch."
Unlike the competitive bodybuilder, it is safe for the non-competitive intermediate or advanced bodybuilder to continue training on the fast, yet with decreased weight and higher reps. Intensity should be kept up fairly high. Odd as it may seem, you should have plenty of energy for training while fasting.
This is due largely from the juice and fruit consumption. Try to maintain a daily consumption of 2,000 calories. Actually, the higher the better, since you won't be ingesting any fat or protein calories.
Don't Shock The Body
The fast should not exceed a week. The important point to remember about a fast is not to shock the body. Shocking the body encourages it to lay down additional fat because it senses an emergency survival situation coming on. Your body is very sensitive and smart. It does what it needs to do when drastic changes occur.
Slowly introduce the body into the fasting period. Allow the body to become aware of a change that will alter its biochemistry. This will lessen the shock.
The same is true for ending the fast. During the end of the fast, your body's metabolic rate will be lower than what it used to be. Slowly ingest foods that are low in fat, while protein and complex carbohydrate calories begin to increase. Give yourself a week and a half until you begin consuming foods you normally did, especially the high fat ones!
What you don't want to do and want to avoid is to lay down an additional amount of adipose tissue after a fast, especially after you've lost some through the fast. If you do not slowly end the fast the proper way, the fast will be to no avail. Zero effort and zero results on your part. Write down every thing you eat that is within your 2,000 goal calories.
Slowly decrease your food consumption. Limit your dairy products. Eliminate meat products and high fat foods. Increase your whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Protein should be half of what you normally eat. Fat should be less than half what you are used to eating. Carbohydrates would remain about the same. Calories would be any where from 1,500 to 2,000 daily.
Eliminate all dairy products. Limit your whole grains and vegetables. Increase fruits and 100% natural juices. Protein should be half that compared to the first day of the fast and carbohydrates increasing
Eliminate whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Drink only 100% natural juices and water.
Continue drinking juice and water. For days three and four, liquid intake should be over 8 liters (two gallons). Simple carb intake from juices will be nearly 500 grams or 2,000 calories.
Take in fresh fruits along with juice and water.
Begin eating whole grains and vegetables along with fruit, juices and water.
Begin consuming low fat dairy products.
Slowly increase your protein consumption that is low in fat and back up to normal levels.
Days 9, 10, 11
Resume your newly acquired eating habits, but do it slowly while avoiding high fat foods.
One At A Time
For more efficient digestion and optimum results, it is better to consume your fruits and juices at one sitting, whole grains and vegetables at one sitting, dairy products at one sitting, etc. Do your best not to mix your fruits with whole grains, dairies with vegetables, etc. Doing this, you will be consuming 6 to 8 meals during the fast.
During the fast you will have a heightened feeling of vitality. Insulin falls, adrenaline rises, and you feel pumped up. At the completion you will feel like a new person. Your fast should have taught you to limit your fat intake lower than what you normally consumed, while at the same time increasing your carbohydrates.
This is because of your newly acquired food tastes and increased awareness of nutrition in an effort for heightening your health and fitness level. Depending on your metabolism, exercise frequency, exercise duration and how you administered the fast you might have lost 6 to 7 pounds. You'll have more energy and have a healthier frame of mind. Possibly because of the fast, your muscle gains will begin anew.
Don't Stop Suddenly
Don't stop here with the fast. There is a recuperation - mending and healing - phase after the completion of the 7-day fast. You might experience tight and/or weak joints and tendons during exercise a day or more after the fast. And you'll obviously experience a loss of strength.
Your body will be in a weakened condition because of the lack of the nutrient responsible for repair and maintenance to the body - protein.
Resume your training slowly yet steadily. Use the same amount of weight and exercises used during the fasting period but try to increase your reps on every set. You'll be weaker in some exercises but perhaps stronger in others. Following this recuperation phase will safely help rebuild your body back up to where it was before.
After two weeks from the start of the fast, weigh yourself and take a body fat test. Compare your weight loss after the completion of the 7-day fast. This will give you a rough estimate of how much fat and muscle weight was lost.
A diet or training program's success or failure is measured by comparing it to a before and after picture or recorded documentation, thereby seeing and feeling positive results on a regular weekly, monthly and yearly basis.