I'm at work at lunch, and fasting, so I have time on my hands to give you my version, which is totally similar to the other response I think.
1.How long should your first fast be?
First you choose whether you're water-fasting or juice fasting. Juice fasting is very different from water fasting, but is a great way to safely find out what it's like to fast, and what your body does when it goes into ketosis (will explain later)
I tried a 30 day juice fast first, and only made it 10 days. Definitely shoot for 10 days MAX and realistically, try it for a weekend first, or 5 days.
2.Do you gain the weight back when you start eating again?
You lose weight when your body goes into ketosis. That's what happens when you switch from burning fuel that comes from food, to burning your internal stores of fat. Your cells and digestive organs also start to cleanse themselves at that point, expelling toxins through many different ways - headaches, acne, tongue coating, stuff in your intestines.
Ketosis comes on in 2-3 days. That's when you stop feeling really hungry, too. Many people say the first 3 days of the fast are the hardest.
3.Doesn't you matabolism slow down?
Yes. Water fasters slow WAY down. Juice fasters have enough calories and nutrients coming in to maintain a much more normal activity level. I have continued to bike, jog, and lift weights through my juice fast, which is why I choose to fast on juices (fresh squeezed of course). I'm also able to function at work. So juice fasting slows your metabolism down too, exercise is a great great way to jump-start your system. Also, a long fast will slow you down, but a short fast won't have such drastic effects.
4.Why can't you be active during a fast?
When water fasting, you just don't have the energy. Sometimes you won't have the energy to get out of bed, literally.
My first juice fast, I read that I should be moderate in my exercise, if you jog, move to walking, don't lift weights, stretch but don't really exert yourself.
I thought that was the only way to do it till I read the orange juice fast blog by MOG that's on top blogs currently. He suggested maintaining my weight lifting during my fast. I wouldn't recommend strenuous exercise to anyone, especially people who don't get a lot of exercise to begin with. And jogging really does take a lot out of you for some reason, so it may be best to walk. But otherwise, I've felt better on my current juice fast by working out just as much as I was before.
Please don't take this advise as me telling you to go out and overwork yourself, that's really dangerous, and you really have to hydrate if you're exercising like that.
5.Should your first fast be a juice fast, rather than a water fast?
You'll find it easier. I've heard that some people are natural water fasters, though, and don't like the juice. I could never keep my lifestyle while water fasting.
6.Does it do damage to the process when you eat something small?
When you eat, you drop out of ketosis, the state of burning your internal stores and cell cleansing/toxic expellation. So when you eat you drop out of ketosis and go back to the old way, getting your fuel from what you're digesting.
Yes. You completely stop the process when you send anything down the hatch that you have to digest. Even pulp from juice.
7.Opinions on herbal teas and vitamins?
There are a million variations. herbal teas are good. There are detox teas, peppermint tea is good for your breath which gets a little raunchy when you're fasting. I still take my multivitamin. You'll find lots of different combos that people do. My first juice fast I didn't do anything extra. But... YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING to help you empty your digestional track - daily enemas or laxative tea (smooth move tea) or Oxypowder . Do some research on what you want to do, but if you're fasting for more than 3 days, if you don't do something to help your bowels move, all the stuff that's in there will become very toxic, and without passing it, you'll keep absorbing those toxins. If you do clean out, you can get more than just stuff that's recently in there - there's a deeper layer of cleaning you can achieve as well.
8.What are some good tips to keep you from getting tempted?
You break, you lose. I find that doing a juice fast for 10 days doesn't leave me insane with cravings. Today they ordered pizza at my office, but i'm sipping on my fresh ginger and pineapple juice I brought from home. I'm OK. And with work and going to the gym, there's not much chance for me to be tempted. If you're around food, especially smelling it, you're going to want it.
9.What kinds of foods should you eat when your breaking the fast?
Be very careful not to go overboard. Start with raw foods. A salad, or some prunes. Wait a few hours! Have some juice. Ideally you'll take 3-5 days at least to transition out of fasting. I'm planning on breaking my fast next Thursday with a salad, or some avacado (I can't wait) but it's all in preparation for being able to eat for real at a sushi place on Saturday night. Till then, 3 days of raw food, in small servings.
10.How often can you fast?
Some people like to do 2 weeks once a year. Some like to do shorter fasts in a series (I'm planning to do a 10 day fast every 1.5 months, to get in shape for my wedding. Try it once and you'll know what works for you.