MD's are familiar with the joke "don't keep the patient waiting or (s)he will heal spontaneously".
Those able to watch 'free' animals know that an animal when sick, will look for a shelter and rest
there until the disease is healed. Before the advent of modern medicine, fasting was acknowledged
as a way to detox both the body. Fasting still has adherents as it can work miracles, medicine
(still?) cannot, and it has no unwanted side effects. When that is considered "too hard", there are
infinite paths between fasting and "one calorie/day less".
Conditioning could be defined as the horde of do's and don'ts, should and should-nots, that start
to accumulate from childhood on, issues like "dinner time is 6 PM" instead of "when hungry, eat".
All the opinions too, for instance that weeds are ugly and roses beautiful.
Mind being a processing machine, is overloaded as the subconscious, continuously scanning the
sensory input and ready for response, does so via the 'rules' of acquired conditioning: a burden
that will only be felt, when gone (again).
When the body is lethargic, obese or loaded with toxins the digestion system couldn't flush, the only
cure that helps fast is fasting. The few medicines that can assist are absorbents like active carbon.
Having overcome the 'start up' problems, fasting becomes pleasant and once the body is
lean and clean (again), a painful hunger will be felt, unlike the usual appetite for a snack...
For the mind the same goes: when no longer fed with "entertainment as usual" but fulfilling duties
as is required, neither liking nor disliking, taking care without thoughts on stuff like attachment or
non-attachment, the do's and don'ts etc. start to dissolve as they are but habits that once having
entered the mind, perpetuated themselves. Without fuel, the fire dies. Knowing this is a medicine.
The acquired conditioning gone, the mind machine is lean and clean and its relative "leisure"
will manifest itself. That event goes under the names Self-realization, enlightenment, apperception,
immaculate conception etc. 
When the above 'mental fast'  is "too hard", there are infinite paths between the proverbial visit to
Yama and  5 minutes/day of  relaxation at the incense burning ritual.
Knowing this, still abuse the body, or binge on special 'low calorie foods', despite the possible side-effects?
Still binge on countless books and discussions on free will, the Self, God, big 'I's, small 'i's and related issues?
At least now you know what that activity will bring out: the show goes on with the same old song.
For a serious candidate, Self-realization/apperception/enlightenment is a 2...3 year affair.
For the proverbial visitors of Yama it can be much shorter.
Although the analogy ends here, regarding the mind, the 'lean and clean' is but the start,
as  biological conditioning related to 'suffering' (including physical pain) can dissolve
as well.  And don't forget, unless mind's potential for conditioning dissolves, "the thread
continues". As to no surprise this dissolution goes under names like moksha, nirvana and
as the 'nirvana' event, contrary to the 'apperception' event, is spectacular, once it happened,
can't be missed in scriptures and literature, irrespective the discipline governing expression
like in the recorded words of the Buddha or Jesus Christ.  

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