“Is it time to break the fast?” Is this real hunger I’m feeling?” Even though I’ve done over a dozen extended water fasts over the years, and have published the books, Fast & Grow Young, and A Clean Cell Never Dies, these are questions for which I still don’t have personally satisfying answers. I know what the official answer is:
“The primary indication that the fast is to be
broken is the return of hunger. All 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…”
—Herbert Shelton, Fast & Grow Youmg
But, I’m still at a loss when it comes to recognizing the return of hunger in my own personal experience. I’ve experienced the desire for food; I’ve experienced the need to simply crunch on something (which I then spit out) during a fast. I’ve experienced day dreams about the meals I’ll cook once the fast is done; I’ve experienced an empty morning stomach, but these may be psychological cravings rather than true hunger.
Over the years, I’ve broken fasts for reasons other than it being “the right time.” I’ve broken a fast in order to have enough time to look “healthy” for an upcoming tour I was scheduled to do. I’ve broken a fast because I was simply looking too gaunt and didn’t want to scare the people in the neighborhood.
I’m currently on a 10 day fast started with the goal of reducing my parasite load and refreshing my liver. So, I did a little research to get some input from other fasters to add to my list of signs of when the body’s detoxifcation is complete and, therefore, when to break a fast.
▪ pink tongue
▪ sweet breath
▪ low body temperature, returns to normal.
▪ elevated blood pressure and pulse return to normal.
▪ elevated blood sugar returns to normal.
▪ skin reactions become normal
▪ bad taste in the mouth goes away
▪ excess saliva production becomes normal.
▪ eyes become bright and eye sight improves.
▪ stool loses its odor.
▪ urine becomes light, clear and almost white in color.
▪ circulation improves (warm hands and feet; pink nails)
▪ improved feelings of lightness, well-being, peace, clarity of thought, optimism, cheer and contentment (detoxification is emotional, too)
▪ increased conscious union with spirit and ones ancestors (detoxifcation is spiritual, too)
▪ dreams are more vivid and better remembered
▪ heightened sense of purpose and meaning
▪ thought processes are clear and faster. Ideas and inspiration are abundant.
Sources: Dr. Nana Kwaku Opare and Ama Opare (Patch.com);
Next, how to recognize real hunger: