Dry Fasting Review by Justin

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Original account in Facebook by Justin Freeman:

I just completed a 3.5 day dry fast (no water / no food) and all I can say is WOW.

This is a game changer for anyone desiring significant improvements in health and wellbeing or just generally wanting to be in peak physical and spiritual health.

For some context, I have done a number of varying length water fasts over the years as well as a 5-day juice fast and the dry fast blew them all out of the water by a mile in both ease and noticeable benefit on a number of levels.

Yes, you read that right: totally abstaining from water and food was the easiest fast I have ever done, much more so than water or juice.

And I am not alone in that sentiment. In fact, the majority of people who dry fast report the same thing.

It was hard to believe when I first read that dry fasting is generally the easiest type of fasting for most people, but I can tell you now from direct experience that it’s absolutely true.

You are probably thinking (like I was) “Yeah but aren’t you going to be super thirsty and all dehydrated and crusty the whole time??”

And again, the general consensus is—at least on a 3 day dry fast—for most people who prepare correctly, no, not really.

To my great surprise, I was not thirsty and I did not feel dehydrated—even after long, 3 mile brisk walks on a few of the days.

In fact, I felt great pretty much every day and lived a fairly normal and productive life in that period, had little to no food cravings and felt reasonably hydrated.

I got a bunch of stuff done, I had some profound personal realizations and deep healings as a result of being in a more sensitive and mildly altered state of consciousness (one of the more profound benefits of dry fasting and fasting in general, more on that later) and I could feel my body resetting and being palpably rejuvenated at a deeper level than I have ever before experienced in almost any other way, outside of deep inner work.

And that’s not surprising given that dry fasts in particular are known to activate and flood your body with a large number of endogenous bone marrow derived stem cells and substantially improve just about every longevity and health marker from reducing mTOR, to increasing mitochondrial functioning, sending you into deep ketosis/fat burning mode, restoring insulin sensitivity, repairing and rejuvenating the immune system and kicking off substantial detoxification and autophagy, which is the recycling of old sick cells into healthy new cells.

You basically get the benefits of many of the most expensive longevity therapies, for free. And I would argue in a more organic and likely more beneficial form, which everything I have read about it research-wise seems to suggest.

The science and general experiences of the dry fasting community also strongly suggests that 1 day of dry fasting is equivalent to 3 days of water fasting in terms of its healing, health and spiritual benefit. Whatever benefit you get from water fasting is deepened and accelerated on a dry fast due to the more ‘extreme’ conditions the body is put in and it also seems that there are certain benefits you can only get from dry fasting, as per the current research.

Of the many substantial improvements in general wellbeing, mood, energy, clarity of mind and intuition I experienced, I also had some welcome unexpected benefits like my tooth enamel noticeably regrowing and whitening.

My mind was clear throughout, I was happy and inspired and although I had a bit lower physical energy than usual and I tired a bit more easily from activity, otherwise it was an improvement from how I had been feeling while still eating food.

Mentally, emotionally and spiritually it was similar to a light psychedelic experience, although different in that it felt more ‘organic’ and ‘clear’ and I was significantly more functional in day to day life. Every day had its share of profound insights about all manner of things in my life and included a number of cathartic and deep emotional releases helping me get into a few corners of my psyche that had been difficult to reach. I also felt rather ‘Zen’ emotionally, like I had just come out of a deep, hour long meditation… but throughout the entire experience and its largely continued post-fast.

I am also feeling a very deep, organic and primal sense of health and wellbeing I have not previously experienced in this life. It’s hard to put into words, but it feels like every aspect of my body got a major tuneup and is just functioning far better than it ever previously has.

Based on all of the stories and experiences I had been reading about in various groups, books and forums beforehand, a lot of people experience something similar to this.

And if you prepare for it correctly, have the right mindset going in and throughout, and adhere to the various safety guidelines that represent the best of the collective learning’s from the community of people, researchers and doctors who have done extensive dry fasting, chances are you will likely have a similar experience as I did.

The caveats to that are:

1. If you have a more serious or chronic health issue, then that could potentially make fasting more challenging. It could also potentially make you feel better as often happens when people with health issues fast. Case in point is that there is simply a greater chance of the pendulum swinging around in how you feel, making it possibly more challenging than the ongoing flow state experience I had.

2. If you are underweight or very skinny, you should avoid any type of fasting for more than 1 day max as you can lose too much weight and become very weak. Speaking from experience here with fasting in previous eras of my life!

2a. However, on the flipside, if you are overweight, there are few things as effective as dry fasting for weight loss. I lost 13 lbs in 3 days and a few pounds per day is normal—and if you break the fast properly, for the majority of people, much of it will stay off pending you don’t go back to poor eating habits.

3. For everyone who decides to dry fast, It’s important to adhere to the various guidelines that you can learn about in the resources I will suggest below, otherwise your mileage may vary more substantially from my experience. Dry fasting requires a bit more mindfulness than water fasting, but nothing crazy.

4. If you are on medication and/or you have a more significant health condition or you are concerned about things specific to your health/situation in general, then you should consult with a dry fasting expert, ideally a doctor with experience in this area, to be on the safe side before starting.

5. It’s definitely more important to break the fast properly and slowly with dry fasting than other types of fasting. You can read about some ways to do that in the resources I’ve shared below. However, again, and surprisingly, my transition to food was effortless and unlike previous water fasts, there was no discomfort or loss of magic at all.

6. Even if you are healthy, before plowing into it gung ho based on my positive review I highly recommend reading through some of the resources shared below for the best results. I had good results at least in part because I understood the territory I was entering.

Generally speaking, if you don’t have any more serious health complications, the consensus is that up to a 2-3 dry fast done properly is safe and doesn’t require medical supervision.

If you are generally healthy, you feel good and you aren’t having unusual physical symptoms during the fast (you should know what to look out for!), you can definitely go longer and 5-7 day non-supervised dry fasts are common on the various forums (even by first timers). However, common sense suggests that it’s best to get familiar with things on a shorter 1-3 day dry fast before experimenting with going longer.

There were a few people who reported going up to 19 and even 29 days (!!) dry fasting that I read about which is mind boggling, extreme, potentially dangerous and generally not recommended unless you are an expert dry faster, but it goes to show you what the human body is capable of…

I felt so good and it was so easy that I honestly could have gone for at least a few more days, but decided to stop because I had some things coming up on my schedule that would require me to be in a non-fasted state.

With that being said, the general consensus is that benefits start to max out between 7-11 days of dry fasting, however, some significant milestones that start to occur well beforehand that offer substantial health benefits, even for shorter dry fasts are as follows:

+ All Days: Typically 2-3 lbs +/- of weight loss per day that is mostly water weight at first but quickly switches to fat

+ 1-2 Days: Ketosis (fat burning) and deep autophagy (old/sick cell recycling into new healthy cells) begins and deepens/increases as time goes on throughout the fast

+ 3 Days: Stem cell activation/release noticeably increases and a deeper level of healing and repair kicks in

+ 4 Days or More: All of the above benefits continue, some expand and there are a range of other beneficial biological processes that begin to ensue (see August Dunning’s recommended book below for more info on these phases)

To wrap things up, I’ll leave all my recommended education resources further below and share a few personal perspectives and tips that I have picked up across all my fasting experiences over the years, as they are not as well represented in most of the resources I have come across, but have made my fasts 10x easier and contributed to the ease and uplift of this latest dry fast for sure.

If you have questions or anything you’d like to know, I am happy to share and support in the comments, and I invite any of you with fasting experience to chime in!

My General Guidelines for Fasting:

1. Many fasting books will tell you to go into a fast by first eating very lightly for one or a few days or more to ‘prepare’ your body for the fast. This has not worked well for me and it makes the fasts much more difficult and unpleasant physically in my experience. Maybe it’s because I generally have a higher metabolism than some, but I’ve also read about a fair share of people having the same sentiment/experience as me here.

I find I do much better on fasts eating normally right up to my last meal before starting the fast. I even try to eat a calorically and nutrient dense meal as my last meal to give my body extra reserves before fasting. This has worked out great for me.

I find that eating very light beforehand starts to deplete the body and then once you start fasting, you feel even more depleted. Your mileage may vary so play with it and find what works for you.

2. While I barely experienced any discomfort or feeling ‘off’ during this latest fast, it’s not uncommon for people to feel very different from how they normally do, to feel unpleasant or uncomfortable at times or have challenging mental or emotional content come up.

Unless you are having concerning physical symptoms, these periods of discomfort are an opportunity for deep and profound healing and I would highly recommend leaning in and working with them instead of trying to distract yourself with other activities.

That’s a general rule of thumb for life too, but it’s even more mission critical during a fast as you are much more sensitive. If you start to feel off and it’s not dealt with, it can snowball and cause you to want to break the fast early.

Of course, always trust your intuition, but I would strongly recommend always trying to face and work through the discomfort first, if possible, before breaking the fast because oftentimes you feel substantially better on the flipside.

Breaking the fast without dealing with what was coming up will only cause it to go back into the subconscious where it will have to be dealt with at a later time. Fasting doesn’t create new issues, it allows what’s already there to surface, typically giving you easier access to the deep psyche, which is an extremely valuable opportunity.

Even if what you are feeling when feeling uncomfortable seems purely physical, I would highly recommend looking at it through a mental / emotional / spiritual / psychosomatic healing lens and proceed from there for best results, listening for and investigating what it is trying to communicate or show you, feeling everything fully and/or using your preferred healing modalities as needed.

3. And finally, this is more dry fasting specific, but virtually every guide I have seen to breaking a dry fast and even many water fasts recommends you to break it with Kefir or probiotics shortly after eating or drinking water again, with the logic being that your microbiome needs a ‘reboot’ to handle or digest food properly afterwards.

I can confidently tell you this is nothing more than flawed health logic in the vast majority of cases and in my opinion, based on extensive experience and research on these wavelengths, is basically a form of over supplementing and attempting to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. If you love Kefir and probiotics and they make you feel great, by all means, go for it if that floats your boat… but if you do not normally consume those things, it’s far more likely they will cause problems than not.

As more and more research into the microbiome comes out, it is showing that probiotics do not really colonize the gut and if they do, it is typically harmful. Many people have had serious health issues start after taking probiotics if you peruse the microbiome forums and the last thing you want to do is to expose your body to a potentially pathogenic issue in the more sensitive and altered state your body is in coming out of a dry fast.

When breaking a fast, what you most need is fiber (which is prebiotic inherently and can absorb circulating toxins), liquids, electrolytes and a little bit of fat a bit further into the refeed period to get things moving again and cleared out.

There’s a lot more I could say about all this, but I will leave it here for now. Enjoy the resources below and happy fasting 💪

Recommended Resources:

+ Dry Fasting Club (Google it, great website with lots of guides, protocols and general/scientific info on Dry Fasting)

+ r/DryFasting subreddit (Forum on Reddit, great source of information and many people talking about their experiences, answering questions and supporting each other with Dry Fasting)

+ Dry Fasting Facebook Group here on Facebook

+ The Phoenix Protocol book by August Dunning (for all the science and explanation of what’s happening and why it’s beneficial)

+ Dry Fasting book by Dr. Sergey Filonov (arguably the world’s pre-eminent doctor and expert on dry fasting who runs a clinic facilitating extended 11 day dry fasts in Russia with remarkable results for a number of diseases and health issues. The book is a compendium of his and other doctors’ dry fasting protocols and guidelines.)

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