What Are The Risks Of Water Fasting
Research published in the journal BMC Complementary Medicine Therapies showed that the most common adverse events from water fasting include:
- Quality of life problems like fatigue
- Heart problems like high blood pressure
- Musculoskeletal problems like arthritis
- Gastrointestinal problems like colitis, gastritis, and constipation
- Endocrine problems like thyroid trouble or diabetes
- Neurological problems like headache, neuropathy, and dizziness
- Urologic and renal problems
- Psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety
- Pulmonological problems like inflammation, labored breathing, and infection
Two people in the studies analyzed required hospitalization, one with severe dehydration and another with dangerously low sodium levels.
In a recent study of middle-aged men from Poland who did an eight-day water fast, patients lost weight and perceived a reduction in stress, but their bodies experienced some negative consequences including dehydration, low sodium levels, low blood sugar levels, and an increase in uric acid in their blood.
The study authors concluded: Therefore, for the safety of middle-aged people subjected to eight-day water fast, it is recommended to discontinue such intervention, as it is a drastic form of fasting that already begins to generate unfavorable symptoms for a healthy person.”
Water Fasting And Long Term Weight Loss Goals
Im writing this section on July 7, 2022 over 7 years since I completed this water fast and lost 20 pounds in 7 days. And I want to openly address the long term results of using fasting as a weightloss tool for 8 years as a part of my healthy lifestyle.
When you first finish fasting and resume consuming calories again, there will ALWAYS be some initial & immediate weight gain. In my experience, it is generally 10% of what weight you lost so if you loose 20 pounds, expect to put 2 pounds back on just accounting for the food in your system.
A word of caution, if you end your fast and immediately return to your unhealthy lifestyle you will undoubtedly suffer from weight gain. Any time you want to maintain weight loss from any diet you must make serious lifestyle change & diet plan changing your eating habits whether that is monitoring your calorie intake, low-calorie diet, doing more cardio, increasing fiber intake, portion control, intermittent fasting, etc..
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.
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Fasting Impact On Fitness
I completed the program, which took longer than nine weeks due to a sprained ankle. I also did the week-long fast in the recovery week as planned.
A benefit of this program was a built-in fitness test. I had felt a reduction in fitness from previous fasts, but now had a tracking system to investigate.
The fitness test involves counting max repetitions of different exercises within a minute. The test is repeated every two weeks throughout the program to compare. The below graph shows my average results.
The feelings of my fitness temporarily dropping due to a fast matched the results I recorded. There was a reduction on the 1st of May, which was the test after my fast.
But overall Im happy with my final results, they do show good improvement, especially when compared to the first fitness test.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist , has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. He says that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive and thrive for long periods without eating. They had to: It took a lot of time and energy to hunt game and gather nuts and berries.
Even 50 years ago, it was easier to maintain a healthy weight. Johns Hopkins dietitian Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N., explains: There were no computers, and TV shows turned off at 11 p.m. people stopped eating because they went to bed. Portions were much smaller. More people worked and played outside and, in general, got more exercise.
Nowadays, TV, the internet and other entertainment are available 24/7. We stay awake for longer hours to catch our favorite shows, play games and chat online. Were sitting and snacking all day and most of the night.
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What Is The Average Weight Loss During A 30 Day Water Fast
There is no correct or incorrect average weight loss after a water fast. It varies from person to person. On average we lose between 1 and 2 pounds each day during the fast.
When we drink only water for 30 days, we may lose around 30-45 pounds in that period. Thus the 30 day water fast average weight loss is beneficial.
Total Weight Loss Versus Muscle Loss
While it’s true that muscle loss during water fasting will be pretty high, we also have to consider how quickly your total weight will be coming off.
Let’s say you wanted to lose 44 pounds / 20 kilograms of total weight, which is how most people set their weight loss goals anyway.
Here’s how long that would take on a water fast, a mixed diet, and a ketogenic diet:
|1.3 kg||12.2 kg|
As you can see from the second table, you won’t actually lose 5 times as much muscle mass on a water fast as on some standard diet.
Because, even though you’ll be losing a lot more muscle per day on a water fast, you’ll also reach your final weight loss goal almost 3 times faster.
So because your total weight will be dropping a lot faster, you’ll also lose a lot less total muscle weight.
But there’s one more ting you need to understand about daily muscle loss during a water fast.
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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
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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Water Fasting For Weight Loss
Water fasting for weight loss –
The body is very efficient at storing energy and handling situations when no food is available. It is only in modern times that we – and this doesn’t mean every person in the world – have food available at any time of day.
It is of course always nice to know that food is available… we want to fast for other reasons than shortage of food.
Still, it is important to understand that the body is prepared for it, and we will not suffer starvation, if we fast.
For centuries, fasting was probably a normal occurrence for most people, and the body adapted to it.
The body has a special mechanism that is initiated when no food is eaten.
Fasting is not starvation, but rather the body’s burning of stored energy. Starvation occurs when the body no longer has any stored energy and begins using essential tissues such as organs for an energy source. Therapeutic fasts are stopped long before this happens.
Most people – especially when overweight – have plenty of stored energy to spare.
How To Stick To A Water Fast
There are no special guides about how to fast properly. Most dieters drink approximately 2-3 liters of water per day during their fasting. Some people may feel dizzy and experience fatigue. For this reason, it is better to avoid driving, physical activity and operating heavy machinery. Some dieters drink only water, others allow themselves herbal teas, lemon water and other beverages.
It is important to break the fast correctly. It is crucial to re-introduce food into your meal plan carefully and gradually. Dont eat a big meal immediately after the end of your diet. It is better to start with small and healthy meals or smoothies, the things that will affect your digestive system more gently. Increase your portion size throughout the day. After you get used to food again, you can safely go back to your normal diet. This post-fast period can take 1-3 days. In order to avoid gastrointestinal distress when breaking a water fast your menu during the post-fast period should include the following foods:
Apple Cider Vinegar And Lemon
Although apple cider vinegar itself wont help boost your digestion, it can reintroduce acid back into your gut. The same goes for a citric acid found in lemon, which besides that can promote the production of gastric juices. The fiber from lemon, when ingested can act as a prebiotic. Consumption of apple cider vinegar with lemon juice and warm water can help your gut prepare for the following food digestion.
Soup, Bone Broth, Or Kefir
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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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Risk And Dangers Of Water Fasting
Although it can potentially benefit human and animal health, a diet solely based on water intake can be dangerous and put your life in jeopardy.
If your main goal is to reduce calorie consumption drastically, you should know that you might be losing essential things to the human body, i.e., good carbs and muscle mass.
According to several studies, water fasting makes us lose around two pounds per day on a single to three-day water fast.
Paradoxically, water fasting could lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.
The reason is that around 20 to 30 percent of our daily water intake derives from the food – meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, etc. – we eat.
So, despite drinking from two to three liters a day, it might not be enough to replenish your water needs.
There’s also another health issue connected with water fasting – it is called orthostatic hypotension.
It results in a drop in blood pressure and, consequently, dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness, and extreme physical weakness.
Last but not least, a long-term water fast program could aggravate medical conditions you might already have, including an increase in uric acid production and bulimia.
Remember that each person has their own specific health issues, needs, and lifestyle, so make sure to discuss the water-only practice with your doctor.
They could suggest alternate-day fasting or intermittent fasting as the right option for your body.
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What Is Water Fasting Exactly
There may be no easier diet to define than water fasting, for this approach involves exactly what it says. Water fasting is complete absence of all substances, except pure water, in an environment of complete rest, says Alan Goldhamer, doctor of chiropractic and founder of the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, who runs medically supervised water fasts that last anywhere from 5 to 40 days . The idea behind being at complete rest , Dr. Goldhamer says, is your body wont need as many calories.
Water Fasting: The Fast Facts
- Total time 7 days 15 hours . 9 pm Thursday to 12 pm Friday.
- Total weight loss Approx 5kg . I then put on 6kg in the following two weeks.
- Total intake Water , ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt per litre, 3 Z-Mag tablets per day, one teaspoon of Tri-Mag Supreme Night Powder each night. Total of ~600mg magnesium, 7.5mg zinc .
- In short, the mental and physical effects were all positive.
- I didnt set a timeline for the water fast but instead checked in with my body each day. A touch over a week in, Id had enough and subsequently broke the 8-day fast.
- The benefits I gained from the 8-day water fast were complemented by other activities that I found to be extremely helpful to facilitate the fast including yoga, breathwork, meditation, cold showers, rest, light movement and leaning into/allowing stored emotions to come out.
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How To Prevent Muscle Loss
First of all, there’s no way to do a 100% “pure” water fast without losing muscle.
But if you’re willing to eat a tiny amount of protein during your water fast, then it’s actually possible to completely prevent any loss of muscle during fasting.
How can you do it?
According to scientific research, all you need is around 0.6 grams of protein per pound of your “ideal body weight”.
So, if you’re willing to eat that small amount of protein during a water fast, you can prevent any loss your muscle mass WITHOUT slowing down fat burn.
Technically, if you do this, you will no longer be doing a 100% pure water fasting, but a protein-sparing modified fasting.
Or as I prefer to call it, muscle sparing fasting.
If you agree with me that taking a bit of protein during a fast to fully prevent muscle loss, you can find more information in my science-based guide to muscle sparing fasting.
What Is Water Fasting
Water fasting involves drinking 1-2 liters of water per day for five days. Doing this will give your body a chance to rejuvenate itself and flush out toxins that have been building up in the body for a long time. The most important aspect of water fasting is that your brain will be more alert and you will become super focused on what you do. You may feel tired and need to sleep more. But overall, it will show good results, provided you do it properly, with the help of your physician or dietitian. Also, it is important to understand that not all bodies have the same stress coping ability. Therefore, it is up to you whether you want to undertake water fast when you are on a sabbatical or while you are working or going to school.
A pre-fast and post-fast phase is necessary. Slowly reduce food intake before the actual water fast and then again gradually re-introduce food after the water fast is completed. Sudden water fasting or breaking the fast suddenly will harm your body and can even kill you.
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