Have you tried a 3-day fast with honey before?
The idea of going on a diet can be daunting for most people, and not everyone is ready to keep up with special diet plans and prepare special foods for each meal. One day while browsing in the library, I stumbled upon a Chinese book with the title "Slimming with Honey" (as I would translate it in the best possible way into English) written by a Taiwanese expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Being a honey enthusiast, I was naturally spurred to flip the pages to ascertain its usefulness. And when I read that the author lost 2kg and improved her skin complexion significantly in just three days by going a body detoxification program with honey and water as the only source of sustenance, I immediately checked the book out of the library.
I knew very well a 3-day fast was not a panacea that one could count on for weight problem, but I felt the hankering to put my body on a challenge for a few days of no food. And I figure that a detox could be a good jumpstart to get anyone on the road of forming a better attitude towards eating and working on a wiser dieting subsequently.
Yes, so I went on my very first 3-day detox. The honey water detox simply involves the following:
For 3 days, take only honey with water or non-caffeinated tea. For each 200cc glass or mug of water, mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pure honey. Drink this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and whenever you feel tired or thirsty. Keep yourself hydrated the whole day but limit total consumption of honey to 150cc each day.
The temptation for food and to give it up and start all over again was very real for me. I constantly felt hunger pangs and my mind just kept slipping into images of my favorite foods. However, reminding myself of what the book shared – "one should get used to it on the 2nd day" gave me great consolation and courage to stay on. Focusing on my work in the office nonetheless was a big challenge when every nerve and cell in me was screaming for food.
As per what was described in the book, I experienced more energy instead of weakness, and my bowel movement was smooth, but sort of explosive. However, what was disappointing to me was – there was no euphoria high as I continued to fast and my yearning for food did not seem to get any lesser. I somehow didn't get used to hunger like how the book has described and all I wanted to do when I got back home from work was to sleep and forget about all the ill-feelings.
I was a bit surprised by my energy level in the morning and happy that I could still keep up with my usual 30-minute workout at 6.30am. And thankfully, my gastric did not give me any problems like in the past whenever I skipped meals. However, by noon, I was feeling famished again and by 5pm I was actually getting frustrated and moody about the depravity of food. And one strange phenomenon that was really not funny - I became extremely sensitive to odors and even the smell of people's breath! To brighten up things a bit on my last day of fasting, I expanded the range of tea varieties that I use to chamomile, rose, and fruit, and also increase the floral varieties of honey to Clover, Leatherwood, and Manuka. By evening, when I stepped unto my bathroom scale, I had already lost an unbelievable 3kg and a big bulk of my tummy.
To break fast, I followed the author's advice of going on a soft diet and abstaining from meat, diary products, and oily and spicy stuff for the first two days. My breakfast consisted of a small bowl of oat cereal mixed with honey, but to my surprise, I didn't feel excited at all when I tasted food again. In the afternoon, I was hungry and eager to go for some nice soft food but at the same time also felt somewhat revolting. Eating seemed to be a brand new experience. Flavors and textures of foods had become so different for me that I actually could not appreciate their tastes like before. My appetite was so bad that it was almost like having dreadful symptoms of morning sickness. In the end, I ended eating only a slice of fresh papaya, half a bowl of plain congee, a cup of water melon juice, and honey water for the whole day. It was when I felt such disappointment did I realize that breaking fast is even be harder than fasting. My breaking fast experience today was far from what the book has prepared me mentally for – do not lose control and overeat, do not jar the digestive system by gorging on meat and junk food.
The start of the day was not as depressing as the day before. I began to respond to food more positively and continued to take plain soft food. By evening, to my relief, my appetite was back to normal and that was when I did something stupid – I took a bottle of cold lemon juice to quench my thirst. And result? I ended the day with a big mess, whining like a baby, throwing up big time and feeling weak. What a memorable anti-climax to my fasting experience!
I slowly normalized my diet, but still avoiding too sweet, sour and spicy, or salty foods, so that my stomach could slowly get used to having different types of foods again.
I lost 3kg as a result. Much of the weight was from water loss, I supposed but the beauty of this 3-day program is its simplicity – no complicated diet plans to follow from Monday to Sunday, no fat-burning pills to pop, and no creams or ointment to rub on the tummy regularly. What it requires only are the availability of pure honey, a resolution to abstain from food for three days and a correct attitude when breaking fast. Knowing how nutritious honey is helps in bracing me up for the program. I was convinced that this natural sweetener containing a myriad of small doses of nutrients and vitamins and a horde of antioxidants, is a wise choice of food during this time. But what probably also inspired me a great deal is the well-known proposition that our organs occasionally deserve a good break after working so hard non-stop since the day we were born and allowed ourselves to indulge in the immensity of so-called good foods. Moreover fasting isn't a rocket science; for thousands of years, almost all cultures have counted on it to help clear the body of toxins, give our digestive organs the opportunity to rejuvenate and restore optimum function.