By Ramesh Bjonnes

When the feasting is over, it’s time for fasting. Especially if you feel a bit heavy and sluggish
from all the good food and drinks you enjoyed during the holidays. Even if you were able to eat
and drink in moderation this time, fasting is always great for health and longevity. Either way, I hope you had a lot of fun. Starting the new year with a fasting plan—intermittent or otherwise—is a good way to shed any lingering weight and/or feelings of guilt.

Besides attending a juice cleanse retreat at Prama, you can also fast at home. Here are two ways
to build a constructive fasting plan.

1. INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting alternates between periods of eating and fasting on a regular schedule. This
kind of fasting is good for someone who has a tendency to overeat, eat unhealthy foods, or who
easily gains weight.

In Ayurveda, we say that to heal we must do the opposite. So, an intermittent fast is simply a way
to do more and better for your health with less. Less unhealthy food.

A popular example of this is the 16:8 method, where an individual fasts for 16 hours and eats
during an 8-hour window (e.g. 12 PM – 7 PM). This type of fasting is highly flexible and can be an ideal way to achieve many health benefits, such as weight loss, improved sleep and energy, reduced food cravings, and increased mental clarity.

Intermittent fasting can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, as most of the fasting
occurs during sleep. There are three main fasting-to-eating ratios that are generally used.

For example:
16 hours fasting: 8 hours eating (e.g. 10 AM – 5 PM)
18 hours fasting: 6 hours eating (e.g. 12 PM – 6 PM)
20 hours fasting: 4 hours eating (e.g. 2 PM – 6 PM)

Intermittent fasting is great if:
• You want to fire up your metabolic rate and digestive power.
• You tend to gain weight.
• Your diet is high in carbs, sugars, starches, meat, and fish.
• You prefer simplicity and minimal planning.
• You require regular meals to avoid low blood sugar.
• You want to have regular meals with family.

This style of fasting may not be suitable if you tend to skip meals, eat very little, and rarely gain weight.

2. THE 2-4-TIMES-A-MONTH 24-HOUR FAST

This 24-hour fast involves fasting for a full 24 hours, starting at dawn and ending with breakfast
the next day. This type of fasting can be done 2-4 times a month. Again, for those who tend to
gain weight, the more often the merrier.

P. S. If you are taking medication that require food, then please consult your medical doctor.
Consider the 24-hour fast if:
• Your primary health goals are to enhance metabolic health, digestion, and longevity.
• You already have a healthy diet, and you exercise regularly.
• You have balanced blood sugar and do not get hangry if a meal is skipped.

This style of fasting may not be suitable if you:
• Are inexperienced with fasting.
• Have diabetes or experience blood sugar regulation issues (hypoglycemia).
• Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a history of disordered eating.

An intermittent or a 24-hour fast can be a valuable way to increase the benefits of fasting,
including increased fat burning and autophagy (cellular clean-up). Autophagy is the process by
which waste products are removed from cells, reducing the risk of aging, cancer, and chronic
disease.

If either one of these fasting methods seems daunting, please consider joining us for a juice
cleanse retreat here at Prama. During these retreats you will experience fasting with others,
which is always easier for beginners. You will also learn many more details about these and other ways of fasting. Wishing you a Happy New Year of regular fasting!

Want to know more about how to effectively fast, cleanse and heal?   “Come Learn @ Prama!”   Check out our Juice Cleanse, Meditation and Yoga Retreat schedule at Prama.org

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ramesh Bjonnes

Ramesh is the Director of the Prama Wellness Center where lifestyle is considered our best medicine. Ramesh is also a writer, yogi and workshop leader. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda and is a certified yoga detox theraphist from the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He has taught workshops in many countries and is the author of four books, including Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (InnerWorld) and Tantra:The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India).

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