Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know About Water Fasting
Priyanka Agarwal who is a dietician at Max hospital explains, “Water fasting is a type of fast that restricts everything except water. It has become more popular in recent years as a quick way to lose weight. It is usually advised to fast for 24-72 hours. Fasting for a period longer than this needs medical supervision.”
She further adds to the pros and cons of following the water fasting diet. Let’s find out some insight on this weight loss diet.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Week Sipping Water
If you were to follow my recommendations and drink the 64 ounces of water per day, and eating a balanced low-card diet for an entire week, what kind of water diet results could you expect?
Well, as always, it depends. The combination of how much you exercise, how many calories you eat, how well your metabolism is working, along with a few other factors, will determine how many pounds you will lose. Anywhere from 0-20 pounds is possible, but the higher end of that interval is if you work out a ton.
If you would go to the extreme and drink only water for seven days, you would probably lose even more. But be aware, that in this case, you would lose much more muscle mass which is a bad thing.
Does Water Fasting Fight Aging
Some water fasting exponents claim it can delay or reverse aging, improve your skin tone, and increase your energy levels.
The proof for these claims is based on a little-known phenomenon called autophagy, a process where your body breaks down and recycles old parts of your cells that arent performing up to par.
In other words, when your body is scrambling for energy, it starts rooting through the garbage in your cells for scraps.
And according to many fitness gurus, this slows aging, wards off disease, and improves your health in just about every way you can think of.
Whats the science say about this, though?
Despite the brouhaha about autophagy in some corners of the Internet, we dont know how much fasting really influences this process in humans, or if it does, how much of an effect that would have on your health over the long term.
Heres what we know:
Fasting promotes autophagy , and autophagy seems to be involved in the prevention of degenerative diseases.
Autophagy is going on all the time anywaywhether youre water fasting or notand right now, there isnt a single study on people that shows water fasting is the best way to increase autophagy, or that this offers any health benefits.
When you compare water fasting to things that do have myriad proven health benefits, like exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet, it looks like even more of a flop.
Although ROS are generally considered unhealthy under all circumstances, this isnt the case.
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Days Thirteen Fourteen //
Having that *holy deliciousness* WATERMELON CELERY JUICE on Day Eleven was LIFE, so you can imagine that having FRUIT FOR BREAKFAST on Day Thirteen was the ULTIMATE THRILL. I dreamed for days on end of drowning my fruit in cinnamon, so thats exactly what I did. In this bowl was papaya , berries, grapes, and a mango. It took me about an hour to eat and I savored EVERY LAST BITE.
As far as the re-feeding process, I was on raw foods for my first day back on solid food. The next day, I had raw foods plus some steamed veggies and squash. The next day, I had all of those plus some cooked potato and cooked grains . The NEXT day all of that plus legumes!
It was a wild ride getting to eat all of those nutritious foods again! My body was so, so happy. And it was pretty amazing to see that I digested all of it extremely well, gained back only a couple of healthy pounds of water-weight from having nutrients in my bod, and my palette was overall refreshed in the best way. After a fast, its like introducing a baby to foods for the first time. You dont crave sugar or salt or the things you would pre-fast. Everything is in a healthy and good place.
I will be getting my fibroid checked in the next few weeks, and I am DYING to see whether it has shrunk. If it HAS, I will certainly be going back to True North for another 10-ish day fast later this summer to continue to shrinking it. I am very dedicated.
Yes It Definitely Can
A 24-hour fast can help you lose weight. However, it has to be done consistently and not just as a one time fast. Like any other method for weight loss, consistency and being able to fit it in your lifestyle on a regular basis is whats most important.
Some research has been conducted on the subject and show that alternate day fasting show significant weight loss vs control group. In this second study, subjects lost 2.5% of their initial body weight within 22 days of alternate day fasting, while the fat loss mass represented 4% of their initial fat mass. Another finding is that their fasting insulin decreased significantly in comparison to the control group.
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Intermittent Fasting The Best For Weight Loss
Ive been a personal trainer and nutrition coach since the mid-2000s and intermittent fasting is without a doubt the most effective diet for weight loss and slowing aging . Its also very simple to follow since youll just be restricting the times youre allowed to eat.
With intermittent fasting your body doesnt have any calories coming in. This allows your body to feed off your fat stores as an energy source . Since youre restricting your feeding hours youll instantly be cutting down on how many calories youre eating . Lowering your caloric intake does play a significant role in how much weight youre able to lose .
Finally, your body will release fat-burning hormones such as human growth hormone . This helps to preserve lean muscle mass which is needed to get a toned and slim physique . But dont worry about getting big bulky muscle mass from fasting.
But a lot of the weight youll lose with intermittent fasting depends on how much you have to lose in the first place. If you only have 10 pounds or so to lose then the results will be lesser if only doing it for a short time. But if you have more than 30 pounds to lose then your results will be much more.
You can expect to lose the most weight in the beginning few months and then itll start to slow down from there. And if youre trying to break through a weight-loss plateau then fasting for longer hours can get you there too .
What To Eat Before Fasting For 3 Days
There are no specific rules that state what to eat before fasting for 3 days. However, it is advisable for you to eat foods that are healthy and well-balanced. A balanced diet is one that supplies your body with the nutrients that it needs to work effectively.
A healthy diet is one that :
Some people also suggest that you should slowly and steadily reduce your caloric intake for about a week or two before the start date of your 3-day water fast. This helps your stomach and body get ready for not having enough energy.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
What To Eat After Fasting For 3 Days
It is quite tempting to attempt breaking a water fast by eating a huge meal however, this is not recommended. It is advisable to break your fasting diet for 3 days by having some fruit, a smoothie, or a small meal. Consuming a large meal or huge amounts of food may lead to stomach ache, discomfort, and nausea.
In some rare cases, consuming large amounts of food may lead to refeeding syndrome. Refeeding is the process of reintroducing food after a period of malnourishment or starvation. On the other hand, refeeding syndrome is a potentially fatal condition caused by fatal shifts in fluids and electrolytes in malnutrition patients.
These shifts result from hormonal and metabolic changes and may cause serious clinical complications . People who are at a high risk of refeeding syndrome include:
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Would I Do A 3 Day Water Fast Again
Maybe. I dont like to say never, but I dont plan to do a 3 day water fast anytime soon.
Honestly, it wasnt very fun and the weight loss alone probably wouldnt get me to do a fast again. However, I would do a 24 hour fast, which Ive done before and those are really simple. Im also planning to continue to incorporate intermittent fasting, as Ive found its one of the best ways for me to drop weight in a healthy way, along with a healthy low-carb diet.
Overall, Im glad I tried doing a 3 day water fast. Im honestly kind of a wimp when it comes to pushing myself, so this felt like a pretty good test of endurance and brain power. This year, Im all about taking myself out of my comfort zone, and this fast definitely did that. If youve done a fast, Id love to hear about it! Drop me a comment and tell me about your experience.
I am not a medical professional. If you are considering a 3 day water fast, I strongly encourage you to speak to your medical care provider before starting any extreme diet.
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
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Which Weight Loss Products Are Most Effective
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Overview Of The 40 Day Water Fast
1. Mental Strength Completing a fast, especially one as 40 days, requires a huge amount of mental strength and discipline. Not eating any food for just a single day can take a toll on the mind, 40 days is in an entirely different league.
2. Release ToxinsA water fast is one of the only diets that you do not eat any form of food what so ever, because of this you body begins to cleanse all of the toxins that you have accumulated. Specifically in the kidneys, colon, liver, and lungs.
3. Weight LossWeight loss during a water fast is inevitable. You body is getting rid of all the âbuild upâ in your colon and intestines in the first few days, but after prolonged fasting your body begins to feed off of your fat supply for energy.
4. Spiritual EffectsFasting is considered a religious or spiritual venture in many religions. It is said that a fast will allow you to clear your body as well as your soul and obtain a higher connection with your spiritual being.
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How To Deal With Boredom
Expect boredom on your fasts. Even when I just fast for a day I get bored at some point. You have so much more time and more mental energy on a fast. You dont have to decide what to eat. You dont have to cook it. You will be rich in time and thoughts.
Those thoughts will try to sabotage you. Expect to get restless and bored. Sit with it.
Heres ten ways to deal with boredom on a fast:
Average Weight Loss How Many Pounds Can You Lose
Fasters can expect to lose roughly one half to one pound of weight per day of fasting . Weightloss comes from a combination of burning fat and glycogen weight as well as water loss weight.
Strangely, many fasters say they dont do it for weight loss. Maybe thats true or maybe theyre trying to look more spiritual.
For the rest of us, we use fasting methods to lose weight as the primary goal.
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Why Do You Lose Weight During A Fast
To understand why you gain weight after a fast, we need to explore why you lose weight during a fast.
The first reason is intuitive. During a fastespecially an extended fastyoure in a state of negative energy balance.
In other words, your metabolic rate exceeds your energy intake. Less energy is coming in than is going out.
Your body must get that energy from somewhere, so it pulls it from stored glucose , muscle, and body fat. All of these stored energy sources have mass.
But in most cases, rapid weight loss during a fast isnt due to fat loss or muscle loss. Rather, its due to water loss.
There are two interrelated reasons why fasting accelerates water loss:
Lets take these one at a time.
What To Expect The Hunger Gate
The first few days are the most difficult. Lets call it the hunger gate. Your body has plenty of glycogen stored to get you through the first 12 16 hours. Still, you will experience intense hunger.
Pay attention though and youll notice its during meal times.
This isnt true hunger. Its psychological hunger.
Your mind expects to eat at certain times of day. When those times come it rings the internal dinner bell and you get hungry.
Its the same as Pavlovs dogs salivating when they heard a bell. They were trained to expect food right after the bell sound. It wasnt hunger. Its just habit.
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