Common Physical Reactions To Fasting

By: Ron Lagerquist

"Most of these reactions are not symptoms of fasting but years of neglect, facing years of unhealthy eating manifested by pounds of unnecessary fat and toxins." 

Common Physical Reactions To FastingIt may be a garage piled to the ceiling with generations of junk, or a tub laminated with months of baths, a neglected letter to a friend, long overdue apology, or one day out of the blue, a call to fast. The longer left, the harder to face. But in the end, cleanup time will come calling. 

Fasting is like cleaning out a filthy garage, twenty, thirty, maybe fifty years of harmful food latent in every cell. Sometimes things must get worse before they get better. This has never been truer than with fasting. Fasting stirs up toxins on a cellular and spiritual level, resulting in days of discomfort. They surface in the forms of bad breath, cankers, nausea, feelings of sadness, remorse, even depression. All this can convince the faint of heart, fasting is bad.

Facing my box full of paper stung because it was a reminder of negligence. A fast can feel the same way, facing years of foolish eating manifested by pounds of unnecessary fat and toxins. Easier not to deal with it, right? Pack it away in the back of the mind. But when reality spills all over your life in the form of illness, then face it you must.

What you are about to read are common physical reactions to fasting. These reactions are not symptoms of fasting but years of neglect. I have often tried to imagine what the fasting experience was like during Jesus’ day. Their Lifestyle was severe, eating a simple diet consisting of organic whole foods; their air and water was absent from the soup of pollutants we are forced to assimilate daily. Fasting was a part of their faith; they often went short periods of time without food. If Peter or John read the list below, I think they would be surprised. We have talked about the law of sowing and reaping. The intensity of the following physical reactions will be a tangible measurement of your level of toxicity. Sometimes we must reap a bad harvest to make room for good seed, a body cleaned to receive a new diet.


Most are surprised by the disappearance of hunger once the border is crossed into fasting’s land of silence. After a day or two, hunger’s voice will be rare indeed. Craving can continue on for some days longer, and then at last there will be stillness, leaving the deep groans of the soul. Once the body quiets, the richer connection with our spiritual hunger can be felt. There is nothing like it! Wonderful freedom comes when flesh is forced into silence, sharpening perception of the greatest sound of all; God’s still small voice. 

The odd time hunger can flare up, more often in a juice fast than water. This could be due to excessive pulp in the juice, reawakening digestion. If hunger persists, try straining your juice or adding some prune juice to clean out the digestive tract.


Water fasting will result in weakness and lack of energy. There can even be dips in stamina during a juice fast if you have a high metabolism. Weakness is a vital part of fasting’s slowing down process. Embrace this wonderful quieting state; your expectations should be adjusted when planning a fast. Give yourself lots of down time; enjoy the holiday away from the hustle and bustle.


Back pain can increase due to toxins in the lower intestine. Blood vessels that draw nutrients from the colon are very close to the nerves of the spine. Back pain will often decrease after elimination of the toxins. Back exercises can also relieve some pain. A cold pack also will help. Using the enema kit will be the best remedy. 

Bad Breath

  Waste passes through the lungs, which are an eliminative organ. Brushing the tongue with a toothbrush using dental floss and rinsing with mouthwash will reduce bad breath.


Toxic build-up in the mouth and the absence of the washing-action of chewing food can allow an increase of bacteria between the teeth. The tongue becomes coated with waste. To stop cankers, gargle with sea salt mixed with water several times daily. Dabbing the sore with tea tree oil or vitamin E quickens the healing process. 

Cold Virus

Mucoid is the perfect food for viruses. Toxins weaken the immune system. When large quantities of toxins and mucus are in the blood due to a fast, they can cause susceptibility to colds. To fight a cold, continue fasting to eliminate mucus. Increase intake of citrus juices.


During fasting the body conserves energy. The heart pumps slower and blood pressure lowers. Standing or moving quickly from a resting position will cause the blood to flow to the legs, causing blackouts and dizziness. To stop blackouts get down on one knee or sit. Lowering your center of gravity will instantly stop a blackout. Blackouts are more frequent during water fasting.


Fruit juices have a laxative effect which is more pronounced after water fasting. The enema kit or using phylum husk during diarrhea helps regulate diarrhea. 


Toxins can cause muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders. This can result in tension headaches. Massaging the neck and shoulders will help relieve the tension. The herb Fever Few, which is available in health food stores, is well worth trying. 

Muscle Tightness


The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be affected, as toxins accumulate in the large muscles. A self-massage, hot baths, stretching and exercising will help to release the toxins. 


When waste is released too quickly by the lymph glands some of the toxic overload is taken by the liver and secreted with bile into the stomach. This causes nausea. Drinking water or carrot juice will dilute the bile and toxin mixture, helping to flush it from the system.


The elimination of toxins can irritate damaged nerves. Light exercise will relieve tension. Use quarter slices of avocado to slow the fast.

Skin Disturbances 

People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or boils. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. When cleansed of mucus and toxins the skin will be healthy, soft and unblemished.


Sleepiness is normal during water or restricted juice fasting. Very few people receive enough rest, so enjoy the extra sleep; it may be as healing and rejuvenating as the fast itself. 

Related Article: The Detoxification Process

Give Us Your Feedback!
CLICK on the STARS below to give us your rating & comments:
Your Comments
Thanks, Great info
All the reviews were very helpful...this is my first time doing a fast that's expected to last 21 days and I'm just drinking water..I am on day 2...I haven't felt hungry as of yet however I have experienced diarrhera last night and I have been getting hitched on and off all day breath is Killing me (is it OK to chew gum)
Julia Cooper
"Tiredness Sleepiness is normal during water or restricted juice fasting. Very few people receive enough rest, so enjoy the extra sleep; it may be as healing and rejuvenating as the fast itself. " Sleeping 20 hours a day isnt normal or enjoyable.
Thank you for this information. I was experiencing a couple of the symptoms listed in article. It is reassuring to know that these symptoms are par for the course and they will subside.
Amy Noel
Fasting seems to be represented here as a dramatic step to take with weakness and pains and mental fog. It does not have to be this way. If you take little repeated fasts first and appropriate precautions, the shorter fasts (1 or 2 days) will actually not be noticed except for a feeling of internal lightness and you will (eventually, not in the first weeks) notice an increase in exercise performance because of red blood cell availability and improved fat metabolism. If you take the time to transition into stable ketosis (2 to 8 weeks) short duration fasting is then effortless. I have been skipping breakfast for many years now mainly because I like to sleep late. This leaves me hungry for lunch, but more importantly has ensured that almost every day my insulin is lowered to the point where adipose tissue is utilized for energy. This has kept my weight stable and I think keeps my fat cleaner. When I decide to skip two meals in any day, or even the whole day, I no longer feel the transition into ketosis because I have already eliminated most carbohydrates from my diet and am already continuously ketogenic. So there is no transition, no hunger, no headache or any of those effects. If I wish to lose some weight then I skip a meal (and my body automatically sucks down some adipose tissue because there is very little insulin in the blood acting as a block). A ketogenic lifestyle may not be for everyone but it is very good for returning to normal weight, sharp thinking, healthy cholesterol and circulating insulin, level energy availability, and deep sleep. It requires that you slowly eliminate all sources of junk carbs such as sugars, cereals, grains, bread, potatoes... while keeping the quality carbs such as dark leafy greens and low starch vegetables. Your energy source must switch away from carbohydrates and instead come mostly from organic fatty acids, predominately unheated (or lightly heated) saturated fats. Around 75% of your calories must come from healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass fed butter, organic grass fed and finished beef lard (meats). This fat can be your own adipose tissue when you choose it to be. Avoid all damaged industrial oils such as canola, corn, soy, peanut... They, along with elevated insulin levels (from excess processed carbohydrate consumption) are some of the root causes of vascular disease and diabetes. You must also kick the habit of eating too much protein. In terms of visuals, a half palm size of chicken/beef/fish is more than adequate per day. Any more simply converts to glucose in the liver and shortens lifespan. Remember that carbohydrates are not an essential macro foods group and that the liver will produce the balance of glucose that is essential for 40% of the energy needs of the brain. The rest of the brain and body operate more effectively on ketones, with an exception being during extreme anaerobic efforts like hard sprints and heavy weight lifting.
Bill Wightman
Fantastic article!
Very helpful, Thank you.
This has encouraged me to continue with my juice fast. I already managed one which was intended to last 21 days but I cracked on the 18th day. More recently I succeeded in lasting 3 days on a dry fast (no liquide at all). But each time the severe feebleness and lack of energy has got the better of me and I give in. Few fasting experts admit this, saying that one gets stronger, more alert and energetic. It's not my case. I'm on the 4th day of a juice fast and feel weak, listless and hungry. I could continue and hope to (last night I resisted temptation!), but the difficulty is always having to communicate with others and doing what has to be done in life! One feels like a zombie!
Thank you! Followed your remedy for muscle ache (legs) during fasting, and have had much instant relief. Soaked in hot tub and massaged my legs and used stretches.. and feeling much better already.. Thanks ! :)
Nice info but maybe more should be added
Very helpful. Needed this!
Thank your for the comprehensive information. I am doing a 10 day Juice fast with my mum at home and I was wondering if feeling weak and tired on day 2 is normal, which I have found out it is! So thank you for a Christian perspective on fasting :)
Page size:
Page: of 13
Items 61 to 75 of 189