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.
Summary: Should You Try A Water Fast To Lose Weight Or Reap Other Benefits
If you want to use water fasting as a weight loss tactic at home and dont have any contraindications, it could be acceptable, Katz says. Just check with your doctor first and make sure you dont do it for any longer than 48 hours. Anything over that period should be done under constant medical supervision to prevent unwanted consequences, Bhatia says. Regardless, if you experience any side effects, like dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting, stop fasting immediately.
Dont Be Stupid Like Me About Fasting
Easy. Dont eat.
Stupidly, thats all I thought I needed to know about fasting before I attempted my first extended water fast. That made the fast a lot harder than it needed to be.
I dont recommend you do the same, which is why I put together these water fasting tips. They answer the questions I once had and am now often asked.
I did my best to write in simple Englishnot over-complicated doctor talk. And while Im 100% unqualified, the scientific info here does come from a doctor, Dr. Jason Fung.
Fungs book, The Complete Guide to Fasting, is the most easy-to-read, helpful, and motivating resource on fasting out there. Start with these tips, then if you want more detail, read the book.
Even though its long, I recommend you read through every tip below because the more you understand fasting and how and why to do it, the better your experience will be. Then, youre more likely to fast again are really reap the benefits.
Dont be stupid like me.
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Immune System Regeneration Benefits
The results of yet another study conducted by Professor Longo and his colleagues at USC surprised even them, deeming the unexpected outcome remarkable. The research consisted of asking a group of people to fast for two to four days on a regular basis for a period of six months.
What surprised the researchers was this: fasting caused the immune system to regenerate. They believe that the body, put into a state of low reserves, does what it can to save energy.
The result is that a lot of damaged immune cells, along with glucose, fat, and ketones, are broken down. The depletion of these immune cells results in stem cell-based regeneration of new immune cells.
Another one of their findings was a noticeable decrease in the production of the enzyme PKA, a hormone that has been associated with an increased risk of cancer.
The reduction in PKA allows the stem cells to switch into regeneration mode, ultimately rebuilding your entire immune system.
It’s pretty incredible.
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All These Fasting Tips Are Helpful But Im Still Not Sure I Can Do It How Can I Motivate Myself
Try reading my own journal from my first-ever 3-day fast. Id never even gone a day without food beforehand, so for me it was quite the experience. Your experience wont be exactly the same, but maybe reading how mine went will inspire you or at least make you curious enough to try.
Also take a look at my post on the surprising and motivating benefits of prolonged fasting.
Or, if youre tired of reading my writing and stupid jokes, this video that Kim forwarded me today is pretty motivating:
Weight Loss Requires A Caloric Deficit Intermittent Fasting Does This Automatically
The reason any weight loss diet works is because it reduces your total calorie intake .
This means youll burn more calories than you consume , leading to weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is no exception to this rule.
Skipping entire meals greatly reduces your calorie intake So much so that you dont really have to worry about calories in the meals you do eat.
Given the average woman might aim for 1600-1800 calories per day to lose weight, thats a whopping 30% of calories saved instantly.
If you skip the morning food, even indulging in two large 750 calorie meals later that day, plus a 300 calorie dessert would keep most on track for weight loss.
Summary: Weight loss requires you to consume fewer calories than you burn. Missing one meal per day by fasting can save around 30% of calories in one go.
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How Should I Break My Fast
Try to resist the formidable urge to stuff your face with chocolate cake, hamburgers, and beer to celebrate the end of a long fast. Your stomach and its microbiome will be in a sensitive state and especially vulnerable to any junk you shove into it. The longer your fast, the more careful you should be.
Try to avoid:
- High carb meals. Processed carbs, in particular.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Dairy and eggs.
Your best bet is a fresh salad dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and maybe a bit of chicken or fish. Give that some time to settle in your stomach, see how you feel, and go from there.
Better yet, take advantage of this new beginning to get started on a healthier diet.
Water Fasting And Weight Loss
As we mentioned earlier, water fasting can help you lose weight, but it may not 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 with 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.
But be sure to check in with your healthcare provider 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.
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How To End A Water Fast
Any fast should be broken with a light meal or snack, for example, a piece of fruit. For the following few days, its best to take it easy and avoid going overboard on heavy meals or caffeine and alcohol.
During fasting, the stomachs production of hydrochloric acid decreases because there is no food for it to break down. When you start eating again, your stomach needs to adjust to food again. Eating too much or consuming a lot of high-fat or very acidic foods and beverages could result in an overproduction of HCl and lead to painful acid reflux.
Do People Have Stomach Pain When Fasting For 3 Days
Yes, they do. It is suggested that once you start experiencing abdominal pain during a fast, then you should stop immediately. Some other symptoms that signify that you need to quickly put a stop to your fasting diet for 3 days include dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness, vomiting, chest pain, and diarrhea .
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What Is The Water Diet
The water diet is not really a diet in a traditional sense. Its more about consuming water in a way that helps you lose weight.
The idea of the water diet is that you should drink a full glass of water before every meal, and you should also drink one glass during and one glass after every meal. And it doesnt stop there. Between meals, you have to drink even more. In total, you are supposed to drink 64 ounces of water per day, divided into eight servings of 8 ounces each. Thats a lot!
Now you might be asking yourself, why on earth would you drink such extreme amounts of H2O? Heres a video that explains why :
Heres another tip for you! If you stick to cold water, your body will need to heat it until it reaches body temperature. The heating process requires energy to be burned, and you know what that means. Even more weight will be lost!
What we havent mentioned so far is, what should you eat? Well, NOT junk food, thats for sure. Instead I recommend that you use common sense to eat from a balanced diet that consist of vegetables, fish, fruit and lean meat. It should be low-carb rather than high-carb.
If You Feel Unwell Stop Fasting
Again, you should always prioritize your health. Fasting is not something you have to be stubborn about. If you feel like you are not ready or that fasting for 3 days is not your cup of tea, dont push yourself. There are plenty of other methods of weight loss and health improvement. You dont need to give up your wellness in exchange for the weight loss results. Instead, focus on a healthy diet that creates an adequate caloric deficit and exercise regularly to enjoy a successful and gradual weight loss.
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Why I Didnt Do My Water Fasting At Home
When water is readily available, it is hard for most people to abstain from it.
I have very little self-discipline. Im not a biohacker, constantly using technology on myself to experiment. Ive never run a race longer than a 10k and dont plan to. I dont have any self-denial fetishes. I dont just do every hard thing, because its a challenge.
Besides being raised Mormon, where we fasted Saturday night to Sunday night one Sunday every month from the age of 8, I have absolutely no reason why fasting for 40 days would be easy for me.
Im one of those people who, if something hurts, or Im hungry, everybody around me is gonna know about it.
In fact, I knew I couldnt successfully water fast at home.
I would start with the best of intentions, Im sure. I might even last a whole day. But, the fridge would be right there 100 steps away. My car would be in the garage. I live just 10 minutes away from food, really good food.
No, wait, its worse than that. Theres a Thai restaurant literally 3 minutes away from my house.
My willpower is nothing when I get ferociously hungry. Im a vegetarian, and frankly, Id eat a t-bone cooked rare if I got hungry enough, maybe even a hot dog.
Rather than deal with all that temptation, I flew to a spiritual retreat in Texas run by Hindu monks and nuns to fast. Its called Siddhayatan.
Why Should I Trust Your Water Fasting Tips Who Are You
Hey. Im Chris. Im a regular hungry human.
Only a couple of years ago, I ate four meals a day, snacked non-stop, and would never in a million years have considered fasting.
Honestly, I dont remember what exactly got me started, but here I am, fasting regularly throughout the year. I just wish Id been converted sooner. I like to think these water fasting tips would have convinced me.
Im no doctor, but all the scientific information I share below is from one. Its from the very best and most easy-to-understand book on fasting Ive found, The Complete Guide to Fasting, by Jason Fung.
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If Im Perfectly Healthy Why Should I Torture Myself By Fasting
You brush your teeth right?
Well, fasting is the same thing, but for your body. It keeps your body and brain clean and hopefully working well for a long, long time. And there are not dentures for your body or brain .
Also, if you read through the other water fasting tips, hopefully youll realize fasting isnt torture. It may not be as pleasurable as eating cake or nachos, but it is an enlightening experience.
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How To Get Started With Intermittent Fasting
There are several types of intermittent fasting you can follow:
- The 16/8 or Leangains Method: Fast for 16 hours per day and eat in the remaining 8-hour window. Most people will skip breakfast and eat from 1pm to 9pm for example.
- The 5:2 Diet: Eat normally for 5 days of the week, but only eat up to 600 calories on the other two days.
- Eat-Stop-Eat or Spontaneous Fasting: Fast for a 12 or 24 hour period multiple times per week. There is no real schedule for this one.
- Alternate Day Fasting: Fast for one day and eat normally the next day. Continue to alternate days of fasting and normal eating.
You can view a more detailed description of each type here.
Healthy Alternatives To Fasting For 3 Days
If your goal is to achieve all the weight loss benefits of fasting for 3 days and you want to avoid any negative side effects that are associated with fasting for 3 days, then you should try following a balanced diet that creates a caloric deficit. Since fasting for 3 days results vary from 2 to 3 pounds, you can follow any of the following healthy diets, creating a caloric deficit of 500-1000 calories a day. This will provide you with the same outcome in 1,5-2 weeks, only this result will be healthier and more sustainable. So, here are the most popular weight loss diets that are backed up by science and medical specialists:
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Setting Off On A Voyage Of Self
My first day was kind of like that of an early explorer setting out in search of the New World. I wasnt entering new territoryId done 24 hour fasts beforebut this time it felt different. This time I wasnt turning back. I felt anxious and nervous.
Monday morning started as usual with my regular routine of heavy lifting at the gym followed by a bunch of online computer work.
Then things got unusual.
The Bottom Line On Water Fasting
Water fasting is, at bottom, a dressed up version of crash dieting.
It will help you lose weight quickly, but most of what you lose will be water weight, some will be fat, and a lot will be muscle.
Water fasting doesnt detox your body, slow aging, or help you avoid disease, and it poses a few health risks that the proponents like to downplay.
The good news, though, is that you absolutely can lose weight quickly, safely, and healthily. All you have to do is follow the advice in this article:
Stick to that plan, and youll be much happier with how you look and feel than if you were to try water fasting.
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