You’ve probably tried more than a few weight loss diet plans, but what you might not have tried, or even heard of is a new trend that has quickly gained a lot of fans. It’s called water fasting.
If you’ve checked social media recently, it’s highly likely that you might have seen people you know talking about their amazing water fasting results. When I first heard of the results people had been seeing, I was shocked! People were losing up to 20 pounds in a matter of days.
Now, I’m not new to fasting. I have been fasting regularly for over two years and I have seen some great results from it. I lost 10 pounds in my first two weeks of fasting and I have able to keep that weight off.
Fasting has helped me check off all my weight loss goals, but I still continue to fast. Why? Because it has had an enormous impact on my overall well-being. Ever since I started fasting, I feel more active and healthier. Now, it has become a part of my lifestyle, and honestly, it’s not nearly as you might think.
Water fasting might be a new trend, but fasting is an age-old method of restricting food intake that has been practiced for thousands of years. While weight loss is one of the benefits of water wasting, there is much more to it.
Maybe you just want to lose a couple of pounds and get in shape, or you want to detox your body and improve your overall health. Either way, here’s EVERYTHING you need to know about water fasting.
What is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is a type of fast that restricts everything except water. Typically, a water fast lasts anywhere between 24 hours to 72 hours. It is also not recommended to hold a water fast longer than this without medical supervision.
The idea behind a water fast is to give your body time to rest and heal itself. At the end of a water fast, you will feel rejuvenated and relieved of all your stress.
Your body normally functions by breaking down the carbohydrates in your food into glucose, which is the body’s natural source of energy. But when you fast, your body is deprived of carbohydrates and all other nutrients.
As a result, your body’s glucose store is depleted. If you are not eating, then your body does not need energy to digest food, but it still needs energy for everything else. When this happens, your body will draw energy from the stored fat in your body.
What does that mean for you? Rapid weight loss!
During a water fast, your body is essentially feeding on just water. Therefore, water fasting will help you lose weight faster than any diet you’ve ever tried before.
Benefits Of Water Fasting
Several studies have shown that water fasting has numerous potential health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of water fasting:
- Stimulates Autophagy
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity
- Reduced Risk of Many Chronic Diseases
Here is what each of these health benefits mean for you:
This is the process that breaks down and recycles the old cells in your body. Autophagy prevents the damaged parts of your cells from accumulating, which is the cause of many cancers.
There are very few studies on autophagy that have been conducted on humans, but animal studies suggest that it could protect the body against diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and it may even help extend your lifespan (1,2).
Lowers Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure can lead to hardening and thickening of your arteries, which is one of the most common causes of heart attack and stroke.
But research has shown that water fasts can help people with high blood pressure to lower their blood pressure and bring it back down to normal, healthy levels (3).
Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity – Insulin and leptin are two of the most important hormones that drive your body’s metabolism. Insulin stores nutrients from your bloodstream, and leptin keeps you feeling full.
If the balance of these two hormones is thrown off, your metabolism would be a complete mess.
Water fasting could make your body more sensitive to insulin and leptin, thus increasing the effectiveness of these hormones. Once this happens, your body will be able to reduce blood sugar levels, process hunger signal more efficiently, and lower your risk of obesity.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases
So, as we’ve already established, water fasting can lower your risk of being affected by chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Here’s a study that shows just how amazing water fasting results can be. A group of 30 healthy adults followed a water fast for 24 hours. After the fast, all of them had significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (4).
That was in just one day! Do it for a week and see what it can do for you!
Water Fasting For Weight Loss
Now that you know about all the benefits that water fasting has to offer, you must be wondering how much weight you can actually lose from water fasting.
Well, there is no standard answer to this question. It all depends on how your body reacts to water fasting. A friend of mine who tried it lost 10 pounds in one week. But when I told my mom (she’s in her fifties) about it, she tried it and lost 20 pounds in one week!
Some other water fasting results that I’ve seen online also mention losing between 10-14 pounds in a week. But the bottom line is this, most people that have completed a 7 day water fast, have lost at least 7 pounds.
That’s one pound every single day. Sounds great, doesn’t it? You’re probably itching to know how to do a water fast. So, enough waiting, let’s get right into it.
Water Fasting Guide
Water fasting is one of the easiest and fastest weight loss strategy that I have ever come across, but if not done properly, it could also pose some risks. Therefore, it is important to carefully follow all the guidelines that I’m about to tell you.
Generally, you do not need to be under medical supervision when you are doing a water fast. However, if you are over the age of 60, have diabetes, eating disorders, or are pregnant, you should not do it without medical supervision.
If you are a beginner and have never fasted before, I’d suggest that you spend at least 3-4 days preparing your body for the process.
You can start by eating smaller portions for each meal and then move on to fasting for half a day. Once you’re able to do this, you’ll know that your body is now capable for an entire day.
During your water fast, you are not allowed to eat or drink anything besides water. Since water is the only thing you are consuming, it is recommended to drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day.
Your fast can last anywhere between 24 hours and 72 hours, it all depends on how much your body can handle. However, it is not recommended to fast longer than this due to the potential health risks associated (More on that later). After a 3 day fast, you should at least take a one-day break before you start your second fast.
Remember that this is the first time your body is undergoing something like this, so it’s absolutely normal to feel weak or dizzy during the first few days. But if that happens, avoid driving and operating heavy machinery.
After the fast, you might feel like eating a heavy meal, but you must resist the urge to do so. Break your water fast with small meals or a smoothie. Eating a large meal immediately could make you feel uncomfortable. You can start introducing bigger meals as you begin to feel more comfortable.
Normally, you might need to wait 1 or 2 days before you feel comfortable eating larger meals.
Now, let’s move on to some water fasting tips. Read this part carefully because these tips are probably the most important things that you need to know about water fasting.
Water Fasting Tips
- Prepare Yourself Mentally – Water fasting can help you lose weight extra fast, but you need to be mentally prepared for. Completely cutting down on food for a week is not easy by any means, but it’s not impossible.
Visualize your end goal, imagine how you want yourself to look after you’ve lost all that weight, and think about all the things you’d do. Give yourself motivational talks and train your mind to know what you’re getting into.
- Take It Slow – If this is your first time fasting, do not start fasting right away. The end goal is to not consume any food during your fast, but you must reduce your carbohydrate intake progressively. Start with reduced meal portions before you go into full fasting mode.
- Drink More Water – Remember, during a water fast, you have to survive on only water. If you’re not used to drinking enough water, start getting accustomed to it right now. If you’re having a hard time getting used to drinking more water, try drinking lime water as it adds some flavor it.
When you are prepping your body for the fast, you must drink water when you wake up, before and after meals, during the day, and before going to bed.
- Stay Active – The most common misconception about water fasting is that since your body is not eating anything, it is weak and you need to rest. This is not true at all!
In fact, if you are a healthy person without any underlying health issues, experts recommend exercise during a water fast. Do some light exercises to keep yourself in shape, but don’t overexert yourself. The bottom line is: don’t stay in bed all day, drinking water.
- Listen To Your Body – A water fast, or even the processing prepping your body for it, is a new and challenging task for your body. So, if your body is giving you serious signals that it needs to eat, then give yourself a break. Eat something and don’t feel guilty about it.
If during the day, you are unable to control your hunger and water is not helping, you can munch on a zero-calorie food.
- You Don’t Have To Get It Right The First Time – Eating anything and breaking your fast would mean that you are not getting the full benefits of your water fast, but that’s okay. You don’t have to complete it on your first try. It is perfectly alright if you’re able to do even half of it.
The most important thing of all is your health. That’s the reason you’re doing this fast in the first place. Doing anything that will hurt your body is an unnecessary risk, and it’s not worth it.
- Stay Calm – Water fasting can be a physically and mentally challenging process, but you must stay calm throughout it. Even if you fail, don’t stress yourself out. Listen to some relaxing music, go for a walk, and start over again.
Why? Stress will make you gain weight.
When your body is stressed, cortisol is produced. Cortisol is a hormone which contributes to the storage of fat cells. So keep calm and drink water.
Is Water Fasting Safe?
Water is not only safe for most people, but they also experience excellent results. However, since a water fast requires you consume nothing but water for extended durations, it should come as no surprise that it could have a few potential health risks.
If you have any underlying health issues, you should seek medical advice before starting a water fast. I also recommend that you do the fast under medical supervision.
But if you are a healthy individual, you don’t need to do any of that, this article should be your ultimate go-to!
Should You Try A Water Fast?
Water fasting is, without a doubt, one of the best techniques to lose weight fast. Apart from helping you shed extra fat quickly, it also has a ton of other health benefits. So, just keep drinking water.
If you want to lose weight and have no underlying health conditions, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do a water fast. Just remember, everything related to your health, you must do cautiously.
Regardless, if you experience any side effects such as dizziness or weakness, stop fasting immediately and seek medical advice.
Good luck to you on your weight loss journey! I’m excited to hear about your results from this amazing weight loss technique!