Not long ago, a fasting retreat was highly associated with spirituality. Yes, fasting retreats are such an effective tool in spiritual growth.
However, with research, fasting is beneficial to your physiological health. It is just more than your spiritual health.
Many retreats are keen on what you consume. But, fasting retreats have a keener eye. Ever heard that you are a product of what you consume? Right, that is what fasting retreats focus on. Many people are realizing how beneficial fasting can be, and they are trying to get into it.
However, unfortunately, getting into fast is challenging.
Accept it; you cannot go days or even hours without thinking or craving your favorite junk food. It is a struggle many of us are fighting. The cravings would never allow many people to successfully fast on their own.
Enter fasting retreats.
Whether you are the benefits of fasting or are looking for support in fasting, we had you in mind as we were writing this.
Keep reading to find all you need to know about fasting retreats
What is a Fasting Retreat?
Fasting is choosing to abstain from:
- food or drinks,
- social media or social interaction.
Well, fasting mainly deals with abstaining from foods or drinks. However, it has widened its scope, and it can now involve abstaining from the things you love, as mentioned above. We, however, focus on food-related practice.
The abstinence can take several hours, days, or weeks. It all depends on your goals.
Why Should I Fast?
You have heard about fasting for spiritual growth. That is all over the religious doctrines.
But maybe you are new to fasting for physiological wellness? Our digestive system and other body organs often become clogged with the stress of daily life. Our systems are affected by:
- unhealthy diets,
- the stress of daily life,
- environmental toxicity,
- emotional stressors,
- overburdening chemicals we interact with daily.
With all these, your body health is likely to head down the drain. And if no action is taken, you are most likely to start facing the side effects of increased toxins in your body.
With increased toxicity, you may start having symptoms such as:
- frequent headaches,
- skin breakouts,
- poor sleep,
- irregular bowel movement,
- tiredness and lethargy,
- slow healing capacity,
- anger and frustration,
- mental fogginess,
- muscle stiffness and tension.
These call for a thorough cleanse-up. And fasting and detox retreats work the magic for you.
What is a Water Fasting Retreat?
Water fasting is a spiritual and healthy practice where you drink only water for a certain period. No solid foods. People do water fasting for many different reasons. In the past Middle Eastern culture, water fasting was mainly for spiritual purposes. However, it is evident that water fasting is suitable for:
- testing your willpower,
- breaking addictions,
- deeply cleansing your body,
- burning toxins.
Water fasting creates some kind of ‘fire’ in the body that helps burn toxins.
Why Go To Fasting Retreats?
You can abstain from eating while at home. You do not need to go to a fasting retreat to fast. But still, we recommend that you go to fasting retreat centers. We strongly recommend it.
What can you get from fasting retreat centers?
Advantages of Going on a Fasting Retreat
- Will to overcome eating temptations. We know, at home, there are high chances of breaking your fast and divulging into food. At a fasting retreat, you have the support and power that will keep you on track.
- Get healthy eating programs. From a fast, you want to keep what you consume as clean as possible. There is no need to fast and get back to eating unhealthy and junk food. A good fasting retreat facility offers guests healthy eating programs.
- Participate in wellness programs. Fasting on itself is a wellness retreat program. However, what do you do during the day when you are fasting? Maybe some wellness activities that will get your mind off food? A wellness retreat will offer you activities such as meditation, yoga, or interaction with nature. This will help make your fasting program even more valuable.
- Fast with medical supervision. Fasting can change your overall health. This is why you need to do it correctly and under medical supervision. Medical supervision is common with water fasting retreats. However, many other fasting retreats have medics to help you through.
- Meet like-minded people. Doing something in a larger group of like-minded people makes everything easier. At a fasting retreat, you will get support from a group of professionals, amateurs in fasting, and even gurus.
- Heal while on holiday. A retreat is like a healing spree. We live sedentary yet so busy lifestyles. The only time we get is occasional vacations. You can use this to enjoy the benefits of fasting, such as thorough healing, weight loss, while you explore your dream destination.
It is more of reinstating yourself while enjoying your vacation. For instance, if you have always loved being out in nature, a Sedona wellness retreat will help you balance the two, enjoyment and self-care.
Types of Fasting Offered at Fasting Retreat
Different fasting retreats facilities offer different types and methods of fasting. (1) Therefore, the end goals are always different. This is why we advise you to be keen while selecting a fasting retreat facility.
These are some of the popular fasting retreats:
- Medical fasts- they usually take around 12 to 24 hours. They are mostly done before surgery or before conducting some medical tests. It brings the body to the average level of activity in all body systems. This fasting helps doctors read the functioning of your body organ without fluctuations of consumption, digestion and fluctuating fluid levels.
- Reparative fasts- these are common among athletes who want to take a break from certain foods. Selecting what you eat is crucial in athletic performance.
- Detoxifying fasts- detoxifying fast aims to cleanse the body of the accumulated wastes, toxins, acidity, chemical residues. The guests usually take juice specified to them by fasting experts and other liquids. They are advised against taking solid food. These are sometimes called juice fasting retreats.
- Intermittent fast- this is a type of fasting that lasts less than 24 hours. It can last for 12 hours or 16 hours. We recommend this to beginners in fasting and people seeking weight loss. People use it to burn fat and to manage health issues they are facing. This fast includes abstaining from specific food for the period(usually 16 hours) and then eating for the remaining 8 hours.
- Spiritual and religious fast- fasting according to cultural symbolism or religious texts, books and instructions.
Benefits of Going on a Fasting Retreat
What does fasting bring to your health table? A fasting retreat is a perfect place to find the healing and cleansing you need. Additionally, it comes with a lot of health benefits. It is many health products can never match the benefits a supervised fasting retreat has to offer.
We discuss the benefits of fasting below.
Fasting for Weight Loss
Fasting retreats go hand in hand with professionally monitored diets. These diets will help you reduce your weight safely and rapidly.
Secondly, fasting helps regulate the rate of metabolism in the body. Increased metabolism increases the rate of weight loss. It also lowers insulin levels in the body, which helps your body keep burning fats. With increased metabolism and an increased rate of burning fats, you will lose weight faster and healthier.
Fasting retreats for weight loss are like a branch of weight loss retreat.
Fasting and Increasing Focus
The retreats allow you to take a break from the fad diet culture and reconnect with the wisdom of spirituality. This, in turn, clears your mind; many cultures worldwide have retreats run by nuns and monks, who will help you connect with the deeper spirituality as you fast.
You get the benefit of clearing your life and mind. With this, you gain a more remarkable ability to focus on what matters most to you.
Fasting Retreats for Less Stress
First things first, a retreat is a calm, peaceful yet picturesque destination that will help you calm your mind.
When you go to a fasting retreat, you escape the fast-paced lifestyle you live. You then take a break and just experience peace and rest. What feels better than taking a peaceful break, with nothing to worry about, and in your dream destination? We will wait.
Fasting retreat guarantees you a peaceful environment that is stress-relieving. This enables your brain to naturally release serotonin. Serotonin is excellent in calming and relieving anxiety build-up.
Fasting is massive in cleansing your body. It cleanses any unwanted matter in the colon. The kidney and liver are good enough to detox you fully. However, sometimes, you may need to give them support. (2) And that is occasionally fasting.
It helps the liver and kidney eliminate harmful toxins lurking in the body. To make the detox even more effective, drink a lot of water, fruit juices, and vegetables during the fasting period.
Furthermore, fasting stimulates the liver to produce more enzymes involved in the detox process. Lastly, under fasting and detox, fasting gives the liver a break. The liver is one of the vital body organs involved in detox. Giving it a break helps boost its health. This means that the liver will have an easier time doing its future detox processes.
Fasting and High Blood Pressure Regulation
So many people fasted their way out of high blood pressure medication. Yes, you read that right. Fasting for a week to ten days guarantees you changes in blood pressure you never imagined before.
Will Smith took the fasting journey, and the results were he was able to drop the high blood pressure medication he had been taking for ten years. And, the water fasting experience is super-effective in this.
Almost half of the American adults have issues with high blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension raises the risk of stroke and heart diseases.
First, being overweight often results in increased high blood pressure. Now that fasting helps reduce weight, it is evident that it can help normalize blood pressure.
Secondly, fasting helps you cut down on sugar and carbohydrates. Cutting down on refined carbs and sugars will tremendously normalize your blood pressure. It is all about the meals we consume.
Thirdly, stress directly skyrockets our blood pressure. Taking a break and seeking healing will help reduce your stress levels. Furthermore, the meditation and yoga retreat that accompany many fasting retreats are suitable for balancing your mind needs. Meditation and yoga have so many benefits in stabilizing your mental wellness are reducing stress.
With reduced stress, you are sure to have regular blood pressure.
How to Prepare Before Fasting or Detoxing
Preparing for fasting retreats can be challenging. A sudden shift in diet can cause adverse side effects, especially if you have underlying issues. Also, we advise people to gently ease themselves into fasting retreats. You don’t want to shock your body organs by the change of meals. You, however, want it to be smooth and gentle.
The tips below will help you gently take your body through a smooth transition.
Get Medical Advice from Your Doctor
This is an essential step in your preparation.
It is crucial for people with underlying issues or under any form of medication.
Do not second guess; visit your doctor and get a professional checkup and a go-ahead. Beware that fasting could take a dangerous toll on your body if you have underlying issues.
Get a clearance before you start the fasting process.
Phase-out Certain Foods and Substances to Prepare Yourself for the Deprivation.
Throw the junk out of the window.
We know it is difficult. If your body is used to consuming junk, you will most likely have trouble going without them. Eating raw food such as veggies and fruits will gradually get you in the mood for the retreat.
Foods that you need to cut out include:
- fried foods.
To make it easier, just bin-up all the sugary foods in your pantry. And fill your fridge with raw foods. This helps you avoid temptations.
Cutting out these foods will help your body persevere better during a fasting retreat. Also, it would be a step towards losing weight.
Tip: Eat more raw food or lightly cooked food such as steamed vegetables. Also, take a lot of soup, broths, salads, and juices. Juice cleanses the system, getting you ready for the detox.
Drink a Lot of Water
You have to be well hydrated when you get into your fasting routine. Drink a lot of water days before you officially start your fasting retreat. You will need hydration and the energy to persevere during fasting periods.
However, you can spice things up by drinking young coconut water. The coconut water is filled with a lot of natural electrolytes. This will help create a perfect balance for your detox and healing.
Get in Contact with the Fasting Retreat Facility
Does the retreat facility offer accommodations to its guests? How are the meals or diet prepared at the facility? Do you have any allergies you want the facility to know about?
You can get this crucial other information by contacting your facility. These will help you be at ease and not shocked when you finally check into the facility.
Also, ensure you send them copies of your medical records.
During the Fasting Retreat: What Does It Feel Like When a Cleanse Begins?
That is the opportunity to connect with yourself intimately. It is time to take the benefits of serenity and explore yourself on deeper levels. With the peace and healing, you will:
- start to become aware of how you feel,
- acknowledge your struggles, habits, craving, pleasures and addictions,
- become more aware of your thoughts.
Discovering yourself in this way helps your body stimulate a deep cleanse.
However, you may experience some physical symptoms too. You may have:
- foul tastes or coated tongues,
- anxiety and irritability,
These are normal as your body is adapting to the shift in diet. However, if you experience this, we advise you to talk to your diet or detox facilitator. They will help you get enough rest, journal, and practice the art of doing nothing as you connect with your body.
After Fasting: How do I Break My Fast?
Start by hydrating with a lot of clean and fresh water. Also, ensure to nourish your body with lots of soup, juices, and herbal teas. Furthermore, you need to have a light meal to start with. It will help give you needed energy when getting off the fasting.
Your detox or fasting facilitator will guide you on what to eat after leaving the facility’s accommodations. The new diet will usually include fruits, a raw vegan diet, and soups.
Also, you will want to avoid the following while breaking your fast:
- alcohol and cigarettes,
- refined sugars,
- processed foods or chemically loaded foods.
Fasting Retreat Frequently Asked Questions
Fasting can be delicate. However, if done correctly, it can come with a plethora of benefits. Before searching for fasting or water fasting retreats in the USA, make yourself familiar with these FAQs.
What are The Benefits of a Fasting Retreat
We often associate fasting with spiritual nourishment. However, some of its physiological benefits include weight loss, reduced hypertension, reduced stress, and increased mental focus. You will gain all these under the supervision of professionals.
What are the Features of Water-Only Fasting Retreats?
You drink only water at a water fasting retreat and refrain from eating anything else or drinking any other liquids. With water-only fasting, you get to accelerate weight loss, thoroughly cleanse your gut, rewire your brain, and lower the risk of chronic illnesses.
With all the fasting benefits we have reviewed above, we can now all agree with Paracelsus when he said,” Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.” A few days of fasting can turn your health around.
With all the physiological and psychological benefits we have reviewed above, we are assured that you are now ready to take on your fasting retreat. Go ahead, select a retreat that offers the type of fasting you are looking for. Prepare yourself, and embark on this healing journey. You will be grateful for how it will transform your health.