It Doesn’t Provide Enough Fuel
For many, water fasting is a form of crash diet, which throws your body into an extreme and unexpected calorie deficit. Over time, this severe calorie restriction can trigger your body to go into starvation mode, according to University of California, Berkeley.
When you don’t get enough fuel, you can experience symptoms like:
- Higher risk for heart failure
Alternatives To Water Fasting
Water fasting isn’t the answer for shedding fat or extra pounds. However, it’s possible that more moderate fasting techniques â like the 16:8 diet where you eat during an eight-hour period, then fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day â may have some benefitsâ, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Here are the potential perks of intermittent fasting:
- It may burn fat to support weight loss
- Protection against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and age-related neurodegenerative disorders
- Improved blood pressure and resting heart rate
- Better memory
Still, it’s always best to discuss your diet plans with a medical professional to make sure it’s safe for you.
Dangers Of Water Fasting
When you go without food, you may experience undesirable side effects like dizziness, headaches, weakness, brain fog, and even fainting due to drops in blood sugar and blood pressure.
You may also experience dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, and muscle loss can also occur, especially if you fast for too long or dont follow a proper protocol.
In one study, participants underwent 11-day water fast and their renal function decreased. The patients had to be on special diets once they ended their fasts to bring electrolyte levels up in a healthy way.
If you want to try a water fast, choose to do it on days that you can relax and stay at home.
Also Check: Is Water Fasting Good For Weight Loss
Why Do People Try Water Fasting
The three main reasons people practice water fasting are as follows:
The first point is a no-brainer: if you dont eat anything, youre going to lose weight, but proponents of water fasting claim it offers unique fat burning effects.
Second, like many kinds of fasting, people say water fasting detoxes your body, improves cellular health, and even fights aging.
Finally, some people do it in the belief it will help them avoid disease, live longer, and feel better on a daily basis.
Lets unpack each of these claims.
May Help Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Any type of fasting can reduce insulin resistance and prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too high. This is due to the lack of carbs and sugar being fed to the body. If you go above the healthy blood sugar range, you might be at risk of diabetes.
Constantly eating means your insulin levels will continue to rise and fall throughout the day. Water fasting can stabilize glucose storage and give your pancreas a rest. Decreasing insulin sensitivity also slims down your waist, as the glucose is being burned and not stored away.
Also Check: How Much Is Kaffara For Not Fasting
Obesity = Unhealthy Diet = Food Additions
People usually become overweight because theyre eating an unhealthy diet. Unhealthy diets are driven by food addictions. Its that simple. This means that if youre overweight and want to fast to lose the extra pounds, youre going to have to face those addictions: both during the fast itself and afterwards, by eating a healthier diet.
Are you truly ready to face your addictions? I wont lie to you. It wont be easy.
Facing these addictions means experiencing withdrawal symptoms, whether physical or psychological . Truly freeing yourself from the psychological factors underlying such addictions also means opening up on a deeper level. If you allow your deeper self to speak to you, water fasting helps to bring forth and heal the emotional wounds which led to your addiction in the first place.
Are you ready to face these wounds and the pain caused by them? If the answer is no, its going to be very difficult to successfully carry out your water fast and sustain weight loss afterwards.
How Much Weight Can You Lose
Your weight loss during water fasting will depend mostly on your gender and your weight.
Luckily, science can already offer us with a pretty good estimate of how much weight you can expect to lose on a typical water fast.
According to research that compared the average weight loss results between men and women, men can expect to lose more weight than women during water fasting.
I’ve compiled the data from the study into this pretty long table:
|Water fast duration|
Ok, so, like I said, you don’t need to do ANY manual calculations.
But just so you understand how the calculator works, here are two example calculations:
Example 1 :You’re a 150-lbs woman who plans on doing a 7-day water fast.
You can estimate your weight loss results by taking the value from the second column in the table for a 7-day water fast and multiply it by your current weight.
Your estimated 7-day water fasting results: 150 lbs * 4.5 / 100 = -6.8 lbs
Example 2 :You’re a 180-lbs man who plans on doing a 14-day water fast.
You can estimate your weight loss results by taking the value from the third column in the table for a 14-day water fast and multiply it by your current weight.
Your estimated 14-day water fasting results: 180 lbs * 7.9 / 100 = -14.2 lbs
Ok, now that you have a good idea about how much weight you can expect to lose, let’s take a closer look at what really goes on under the hood.
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What To Eat With Fasting
Ive found most people who have trouble with their weight do better eating a lower amount of carbs. Im not saying you have to cut them out completely but you should focus on lowering them to boost weight loss. People who are naturally athletic and have more trouble putting on weight do better with lower fats and higher carbs and protein.
You should calculate your BMR to give you a ballpark picture of how many calories your body burns in a day. Then you should keep your calories under that number. You dont have to count your calories for the rest of your life but you should do so for at least for a little while so you can figure out what you should be eating in a day.
Focus on eating real whole foods. Higher protein diets have also been found to be beneficial for weight loss. Avoid starchy, sugary, and carb-rich foods especially those from refined grains and flour. Lastly, make sure youre avoiding bad vegetable oils that could also promote weight gain.
Should you exercise during fasting?
When it comes to exercise youll drop more poundage by working out along with your fasting . I prefer to do cardio in the mornings when Im fasting for an extra fat burn . Then doing a strength training workout later in the day can help to tone up and burn stubborn fat from your body.
Can you lose a pound a day fasting?
Will you lose weight if you fast for 24 hours?
The Last Word
How To Break The Fast
There are many ways to break a fast. For longer fasts you always want to break it with light foods. Ghandi would break his fasts with orange juice. I break my fasts with a prepped meal thats easy to digest and low in calories.
What you dont want to do is go to a buffet or gorge on food. Youre stomach wont be able to handle it.
Try these fast-breaking foods instead:
- Orange juice
- Plain rice, well cooked
- Vegetable soup
Avoid raw vegetables or meat products. For vegetables, its easy on your stomach if they are cooked and super soft. Meat or even high protein vegan meals will raise the acid levels in your stomach which could upset you. Save meat or high protein vegetarian meals for later.
Read Also: How To Transition To Intermittent Fasting
The Best Time To Schedule A Fast
There are no right or wrong times to start or end a fast, and although my fast started and ended in the morning, a simple cheat would have been to start the 3-day fast in the evening . That way the fasting countdown clock starts running while you are asleep! You then get to break your fast around dinner time. But before planning a huge post-fast refeed meal
I did my fast over a quiet 3-day weekend , and in retrospect I would recommend scheduling when you are busy, for example, during the work week time goes by much faster and you are less likely to think about food! Sitting at home during the weekend watching football can be mentally painful.
Preparing to break my fast with some green tea and cashews.
How Long Can You Water Fast
The water fast should only last between 13 days. Never fast for more than 3 days, as this may trigger starvation mode a dangerous muscle-burning state.
Everyone has different weight loss goals that may affect intermittent fasting. If you want to lose 20 pounds, you might choose to water fast for 3 days. Other people may only try this fasting method as a mental challenge to see if their body feels better after drinking just water.
You can repeat this water fast once a month or every other week. Dont starve your body of vitamins and minerals, as this can damage your kidney function. Eating windows should contain foods that are high in nutrients and help protect the digestive system.
Also Check: What Does Intermitten Fasting Do
What Is Fasting And What Types Are The Most Popular
Although weight loss is often associated with diets that restrict the number of calories you consume or limit certain foods, there also are other weight loss methods that can regulate your eating habits. For example, a 30-day fast weight loss. But what exactly is fasting? Fasting is a dietary pattern that is gaining popularity among a growing amount of people. This is a method of restricting food intake and it has several variations. There are two of the most popular types of fasting:
- Water fasting
Below you can check detailed information about these types of fasting and which one is better for your body and weight loss in particular. Read on!
Dont Pay Attention To Other Peoples Opinions
Your motivation, enthusiasm and desire to stick to this diet may be ruined by people around you. Your family members, colleagues, and friends, who take care for you, may try to stop you from sticking to such a diet. They are most likely afraid of possible consequences to your health. But if you are closely monitored by your doctor or dietitian everything should be fine. You can stick to your own opinion. Just remember to listen to your body and make your health the number one priority.
Also Check: How To Eat On Intermittent Fasting
How To Deal With Insomnia
Insomnia happens on fasts. Especially with long fasts you should expect it. The easiest way to deal with it is let it happen. Then on the next day take a nap.
If you come home late from work, just set a time for 30 minutes and take a power nap. Try not to nap longer than 30 minutes. Youll likely trigger another night of insomnia.
If insomnia will affect your job then account for that when deciding on doing a longer fast. It may not be the best fit for your lifestyle. You can get a lot of the benefits of fasting by short, intermittent fasts instead.
Avoid medications. Again, if you are on medication you should discuss this with your doctor before starting a fast. You should not need sleep medications while fasting.
Cleaning out your body is part of the experience.
Insomnia is a great opportunity to take some alone time to do the following:
What Were Your Blood Ketone Measurements Throughout The Fast
Beside the zen like feelings I get when my body enters a state of fasted ketosis, I used a blood ketone meter to be little more precise.
For context, the start and end times are below.
- Fast start: 7 July 2021 7:30pm +/- 30 minutes
- Fast end: 10 July 2021 7:30pm +/- 30 minutes
- Day 0 : 7 July 2021
- Day 1: 8 July 2021
- Day 2: 9 July 2021
- Day 3: 10 July 2021
- Day 4 : 11 July 2021
|Day 4, 8:39 AM||0.9|
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Water Fasting And Weight Loss
As we mentioned earlier, water fasting can help you lose weight, but it may not be the best choice because its not very sustainable. Drastically restricting your food intake may lead to rebound weight gain by altering your hunger hormones.
Its a better idea to make slow, gradual lifestyle changes that you can stick to in the long term.
If youre otherwise healthy, there are safer and less extreme ways to lose weight that are more sustainable, meaning they increase your odds of keeping the weight off longer. A safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week.
If you still really want to try fasting to shed a few pounds, making other small lifestyle changes are preferred to crash diets like IF or keto diet.
But be sure to check in with your healthcare professional before making any big changes to your diet, especially if you have any health conditions that could be affected.
Although it may have benefits, water fasting is not without risks.
Health Benefits Of Fasting
The big benefit of picking intermittent fasting for your nutrition plan is its so sustainable. With other diets youre either constantly counting calories, can only eat certain foods, or always cutting macronutrients. For example, the keto diet is quite effective for weight loss but the fact that you have to cut out your carbs forever isnt a sustainable diet for the majority of people . I mean imagine never being able to eat pizza, pasta, cookies, cereal, beer, wine, etc. ever again.
With intermittent fasting the big thing you have to be mindful of is to not eat during your fast. This is so simple anybody can follow it long term. But that doesnt always mean its easy. There are times when youre going to get hungry and tempted to eat. And then there are other times when social situations put you in a sticky position that practically force you to eat.
But lets say you go out with friends for dinner and end up eating and drinking until midnight. The good part with intermittent fasting is you just restart your fasting clock and wait a little longer to eat the next day. Its not like every other diet where you mess up by eating the wrong kind of food and then all your results go out the window.
So with intermittent fasting, you can keep your motivation going even if you have a little slip-up. If you ever have trouble with the hunger pangs during your fast then you could drink some of my approved fasting drinks:
- zero cal sparkling water
1 day: 0.5 2 pounds
Recommended Reading: How To Get Back Into Intermittent Fasting
What Was The Hardest Part Of The Fast
Contrary to what you might think, hunger wasn’t the hardest part. After 12, 16, 18 or so hours, your body begins to realise the state you’re in and it starts to help you.
Throughout the whole 3 days, I never really felt hungry.
In my past fasts, I’ve found once I’m into nutritional ketosis or fasting ketosis, where the body starts to use fats for fuel rather than carbohydrates and are blood ketone levels are 0.5 to 3.0 millimoles per litre things become smooth sailing.
For me, the hardest part wasn’t a lack of food more so a lack of the activities you’d do around food.
My favourite activity in life is to eat food with people I love. I look forward to eating dinner with my family every day. So missing out on that for any given period of time is always a challenge.
Fasting gives you a refreshed respect for family mealtime.
What To Expect On A 5
On a 5 day prolonged fast, expect to be challenged and uncomfortable. You will feel cravings, you will be provoked by social eating, you will be hungry, you will be tempted to quit, and you may feel a background depression if you focus on how deprived you are.
Trust me, fasting with water only for five days is not a rainbow-unicorny journey. All your emotional issues might come up, and you may end up crying. I recommend journaling about everything because you will experience a spiritual awakening. You will!
Dr. Michael Klaper says, while fasting, look for nausea, pounding headache, and light-headedness from low blood pressure. From my personal experience of fasting with water only nine times, I can say its for sure that youll have a pounding rapid heartbeat. You may experience vomiting bile, which happened to me and was exhausting.
Expect feeling cold due to your lowered blood pressure and heart rate. I actually found myself wearing a winter coat when walking outside to get mail in 90F on a sunny Summer day.
Expect fatigue. The first 2-3 days are very hard, and I sometimes sleep a lot, especially on days two and three. The body is adjusting and switching its operating system, so it has not much energy for daily activities. That is true some of the time. Theres an opposite effect you may experience, which depends on what you ate before your water fast, your cycle, and many other factors. So, you may experience high energy!
Why I Did a 5 Day Water Fast
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