According to Ayurveda, fasting is an effective way of kindling the digestive fire and burning the accumulated toxins from the body as well as the mind. It improves the mental clarity, eliminates gas, and promotes a healthy body. Inspite of having many health benefits, Ayurveda always prefers regular and short-term fasting over irregular or frequent and long-term fasting.
However, the capacity to fast depends on the body type of the person.
For example, people with Vata body type should not fast for more than three days. Since Vata is light in property and fasting also causes lightness, prolonged fasting may cause vitiation of Vata in the body, and may lead to weakness, anxiety, fear, and nervousness.
The same rule applies for people with Pitta body type as fasting for more than four days increases the fire element in the body, which leads to hatred, anger, and dizziness.
However, people with Kapha body type have the ability to fast for a prolonged period. With an increased lightness in the body, they feel pleasant and their focus is also improved.
When To Stop Fasting?
Since our digestive system is resting during the fast, it is very important not to put a strain on the digestive fire. If you notice any of the below-mentioned symptoms, you should put an end to your fasting right there.
1. Burning Sensation In The Stomach
If you have a severe burning sensation in the stomach or a gastritis problem, you must not fast. Even if you fast, make sure you take proper precautions.
A vomiting sensation indicates gastric irritation and electrolyte imbalance in the body. Hence, it is not advisable to continue your fast.
If you feel like you are going to faint any time, or if you are feeling very dizzy, it is an indirect indication that your brain is deprived of glucose since there is no supply of food to it. If you fall unconscious, you must put an end to your fast immediately or at least have a little fruit juice to gain some energy.
4. Pain In The Stomach, Chest, And Abdominal Areas
Pain in any of the above-mentioned areas is a sure shot sign that you must stop fasting immediately. Though you’re doing this for your spiritual belief, you must not forget that your health is a priority. Any pain in these areas may lead to serious health conditions. Hence, you must discontinue fasting if you experience any of these symptoms.
Diarrhea occurs when you consume the wrong fruits or fruit juice. It might also occur due to the quantity or quality of fruits or food that you consumed while fasting. Since fruits are cold in nature, people suffering from respiratory issues must avoid eating them. Diarrhea, if not treated on time, can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and this can lead to worsening of chronic diseases such as asthma.
If you are menstruating, your physical power tends to reduce comparatively. And if you’re fasting during that period, even a little extra physical activity may lead to an increase in Vata, which is not good for the body. Thus, it is better not to fast during your periods.
The Right Way To End Your Fast
Knowing how to stop fasting is a crucial part of fasting. Since your body is in the resting phase during the fasting, your stomach shrinks and the intestines also become idle.
Begin with frequent and small meals, and gradually progress to larger meals, until you reach the normal eating routine. It is recommended you have small meals because introducing solid foods slowly to the digestive system prevents kidney failure and other disorders related to indigestion.
Also, if you need to travel suddenly, it is better not to continue fasting as improper consumption of food may lead to several health issues. Always remember that fasting in a healthy manner increases your energy and develops a feeling of lightness in your body and clarity in your mind. It also helps in relieving constipation and regulating the bowel movements.
Now that you know when to stop fasting, what are you waiting for? Fasting is great for your body. But, you must also keep in mind that you need to listen to your body and pay attention to what it is trying to communicate. If you experience any of the above signs, stop fasting immediately. If you have any other pointers, share them in the comments box below.