Alertness And Energy Boosts
People often report during prolonged fasts that they begin to feel particularly alert, especially after 18 to 24 hours. This may be in part due to rising cortisol levels with prolonged fasting.
There is data suggesting that your cortisol or stress levels will cycle daily but rise throughout a prolonged fast. Cortisol levels reach low points when your ghrelin or hunger hormones are highest and high points in the evenings when ghrelin levels are lowest. Cortisol levels also slowly rise over the course of a multi-day fast as your hunger slowly dampens. This is your body telling you to hunt for food, just as cortisol tells birds caught in a sudden spring snowstorm to stop singing, suspend reproduction, relocate and making finding food a priority.
In other words, cortisol can be a great thing in healthy doses. It can increase energy levels, alertness and the activity of brain cells as long as it doesnt become chronic. The key is how long it stays elevated, and when. In one study of healthy young women, increases in cortisol were significantly associated with a subsequent rise in activeness, alertness, and relaxation, and a trend-level reduction in stress and nervousness. It helps to consider that exercise also temporarily raises your cortisol levels in ways that prompt your body to adapt by ramping up stress reduction and anti-inflammatory processes.
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.”
How To Do A 3 Day Water Fast
With water fasts, youll be drinking water over the 3 days. Some people try a dry water fast where you cant eat or drink anything. Ive found this to be way too extreme to the point most people arent able to complete it. I would only do this if you have some serious digestive or food allergy problems.
If youre a coffee drinker then Id stick with the coffee over the next 3 days of water fasting. There can be a lot of ups and downs when it comes to water fasting if youre not used to it. So if youre going through caffeine withdrawals in addition to the dreaded hunger pangs then you could be putting yourself through a harder time then you need to.
Plus coffee is thermogenic so itll increase your metabolism . This will have your body burning through more calories. And coffee contains powerful polyphenols and antioxidants that also have health benefits . Just be sure not to put anything your coffee and to drink it black.
Im also a big fan of drinking teas during your water fast. Of course, make sure theyre unsweetened. Many teas are also thermogenic which will be smart to drink while fasting to get even better results. I prefer green tea but there are quite a few other weight loss teas that work well too. Just make sure youre drinking a lot of water if you are drinking coffee and tea. Many believe drinking coffee and tea can make you dehydrated but recent evidence proves otherwise .
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Day Water Fast & Ketosis
So what realistic results can you expect after 72 hours of water fasting?
One of the biggest health benefits when it comes to weight loss with water fasting is itll induce ketosis . Normally your body uses carbohydrates and sugars in the form of glycogen stores for quick-burning energy . But the goal with ketosis is to get rid of these quick-burning sugars from your body. Then your body will have to use your fat stores for energy instead .
Your body will store those excess sugars and carbs as fat if youre not burning through them all . And once you take these carbs and sugars away your body then has to default on excess fat for energy. But first, you have to burn through stored liver and muscle glycogen.
The longer youre water fasting the more your body will be forced to use its fat stores for energy. This is why its a great idea to use ketones when water fasting in the mornings as itll enhance the fat burning process. Ketones are the byproducts of ketosis that your body uses for energy .
So by taking a ketone supplement like Keto Elevate you can accelerate this weight loss process. Plus it will suppress your appetite which will make getting through your 3 day fast much easier since youll be putting your body through extreme caloric restriction .
What are the health benefits of water fasting for 3 days?
Lowered Fasting Glucose And Insulin
Youll likely find that your fasting blood glucose levels drop* over time throughout a prolonged fast, as do your insulin levels. Lowering your blood glucose and insulin levels is good for a variety of reasons. Chronically high blood glucose and insulin put you at risk for diabetes and heart disease. These molecules also tell your cells that times are good and signal them to grow while bypassing cellular recycling and protein cleanup processes that help prevent diseases like cancer and Alzheimers disease.
Observational studies of prolonged fasting have found that fasting glucose levels typically begin to lower significantly between 24 and 36 hours into a fast, reaching a stable lowered level around 50 hours.
Insulin levels drop to nearly as low as they will reach by the time you are 50+ hours into your prolonged fast, being cut nearly in half as compared to what you started with. But much of this drop happens quickly, even within the first 24 hours. So in case you decide to cut your multi-day fast short, youll still have significantly lowered your insulin levels and prompted your bodys cells to begin to pause their grow and divide programs and to recycle their components.
*If you do have any blood sugar regulation issues or if you take medications to regulate your blood sugar, you shouldnt practice prolonged fasting without consulting your physician, as your medication levels will need to change over the course of the fast.
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What Type Of Fasting To Choose
It was mentioned above that long term water fasting is dangerous for your health. Thats why if you have decided to try fasting, it is better to choose either one or two day of water fasting or intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting will be a safer and more reliable way to lose weight and support your health. In any case, it is always better to consult a professional nutritionist in order to avoid unwanted consequences for your health.
Water Fasting Result With Before And After Pictures
Water fasting is an ancient cleansing method used to heal and detoxify the body. As you fast, your body begins to consume everything within it that isnt essential to its functionality, entering a similar detoxification cycle to that which is entered when you sleep. Below you will find water fasting before and after pictures, water fasting results pictures, as well as information on how to water fast correctly and most efficiently.
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What Is Water Fasting For 3 Days
As you may already know, there are different types of fasting. Some restrict certain types of food, some require you to give up eating for a certain period of time. So, what is water fasting for 3 days? The name explains it all. This is the practice whereby you do not eat or drink anything for three days. A water fast usually lasts for 24 hours to 72 hours however, in some cases, water fasting can last up to 30 to 40 days. While a 3-day water fast is relatively safe, longer fasts must be done under close medical supervision .
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Why You Should Avoid Doing A Water Fast For Longer Than 2 Days
If you want to get to a healthy weight, look at water fasting not as a diet but a tactic that you try for a few days before returning to eating. Perhaps youve tried to exercise and use portion control. Maybe youve even eaten the highest quality foods that fill you up on the fewest calories. Not confident that those two options are doing the trick? This is where water fasting might come into play. But note: Theres no metabolic magic in fasting, and it may only work as well as caloric restriction, Katz says.
The problem with fasting, whether its water fasting or another type? Many people assume that if theyre not eating one or two days a week, they can eat whatever they want on the other days, and thats just plain wrong. Food isnt just about losing weight, Katz says. Everything in your body depends on the quality of your diet.
You might see that three- and seven-day water fasts are popular online, but thats longer than most experts advise. If you dont have any conditions that would make a water fast a no-go for you and youve cleared this approach with your healthcare team first Bhatia recommends not doing it any longer than 24 to 48 hours. This is when issues of brain fog and fatigue really start to set in, she says. Check with your physician first, and if at any point you dont feel well during the fast, call your doctor.
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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.
Diet After Your Water Fast Sustains The Weight Loss
I cant stress enough how important it is to get your diet right after a water fast to lose weight. Quite simply, if its the fast which takes the pounds off, its your subsequent diet which keeps them off!
There are no two ways about it. In order to enjoy lasting weight loss, youll have to change your eating habits. Its not rocket science. If it was your old eating habits which got you into trouble in the first place, then returning to them after your fast can only result in a slow but steady return to your old weight.
Before you begin your water fast, you need to ask yourself the question: Am I truly ready to change my diet? If the answer isnt an emphatic yes, your fast is likely doomed to failure.
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What Was Your First Meal After The Fast
In an ideal world I would’ve broken the fast with a meal similar to what I started it with . Simple. Steak and salt or steak and salt and onions.
However, since we were fasting as a group, it was easier to book a restaurant at a central location than get everyone to go to someone’s place.
We went to a rib joint. Rolling in I could smell the place from a block away. Smoke billowing out of the roof. Even before getting there I’d pored over the menu deciding what to get. It’s all about the anticipation.
I ordered ribs. Standard sauce, not spicy. And a side of coleslaw. Not too big not too small. There were fries and other options but I tend to avoid anything fried. Though, I did end up digging into someone’s leftover sweet potato chips after I’d finished the ribs and realised my gut was okay.
Some people say go easy on the fast breaker meal. And what simple means can be up to you. A singular food maybe. Rice cakes on their own. Blueberries, other fruits. The thought here is because your stomach and gut haven’t been working over the past couple of days, they might be more susceptible to irritation. However, I’ve never really had any gut issues or troubles breaking a fast so I went for the not-so-simple combo of ribs and coleslaw.
Refeeding After 5 Day Water Fast
Below is my journal documenting my refeeding after a 5 day water fast. You can find a complete version in my water fasting dary shared on this blog. Here, Im sharing some excerpts to help you get an idea of what to eat once you break your prolonged water fast.
Refeeding Day 1
My simple veggie broth is ready: its beautiful and smells great! Im too excited to eat, so Im trying to calm down.
At 12:20 am, I finished eating. I ate five spoons of my broth and was full. I pooped: it was a small healthy piece. I did my nighttime hygiene routine again. And I went to sleep tired because eating was a lot of work and I immediately felt dizzy after the five spoons of broth.
I woke up at 6:20 am, no alarms. I went to eat but this time, I poured the same broth in a cup and drank it slowly. It was 1/2 of a coffee mug. I got a little headache right away. My heart began pounding, and I was almost out of breath at first, which normalized within a few minutes.
Its 7 am, and I just finished drinking my soup. I have no headache, I can breathe, my heart is still pounding a little bit, and Im excited to gently re-introduce food into my life.
Im going to do my morning hygiene and then sleep some more. Then, Ill eat some more but Ill add more puréed veggies to my broth. This time I added from that broth I made the following boiled veggies: 1/8 of a bell pepper, one mushroom, 1/6 of a white potato, and two pieces of asparagus. I added fresh garlic to that.
Refeeding Day 2
What do I mean?
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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 .
What Are The Benefits Of Water Fasting
It may help in autophagy
Autophagy is a regeneration process involving old parts of your cell. During the process, the old parts are broken down and recycled to form new and healthier ones. Studies have proved that autophagy has been associated with preventing the body against diseases such as Alzheimers, heart, and cancer. In animal studies it has been proved that water fasting helps to extend life span however, it is yet to be researched on humans.
May promote blood sugar control
Fasting is a gateway to improve blood sugar levels especially for those who are on the verge of developing diabetes. Water fasting reduces the calorie intake which in turn helps reduce insulin resistance. By decreasing insulin resistance you tend to induce your bodys sensitivity to insulin. This sensitivity to insulin helps your body transport glucose between your bloodstreams and cells more efficiently.
May enhance better health
Chronic inflammation for a prolonged period of time can have serious consequences. Inflammations are associated with developing certain chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis , and diabetes. Water fasting helps prevent free radicals from damaging heart health. In addition, studies have proved that water fasting may help suppress genes responsible for causing cancer and in the long run help improve the effects of chemotherapy .
It may improve heart health
May prevent neurodegenerative disorders
It may help boost metabolism
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How To Break An Extended Water Fast The Proper Way
- Day 1: Start off with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a pint of water, then mix 250g passata diluted 1:1 with water, and 1 chicken stock pot, OR have bone broth instead of the diluted passata . Drink this slowly over about 3-4 hours. For dinner, try having kimchi/sauerkraut/fermented vegetables to help with healthy gut bacteria. If youre not concerned about ketosis, add fruit juice. Keeping low carb? Skip it!
- Day 2: Same as day 1, plus salad veggies/vegetables with high water content like tomatoes. Add in a plant-based protein shake if hungry.
- Day 3: All of the above plus chunky veg, fruit , and maybe an egg or 2. If youre not lactose intolerant, you can add kefir or yogurt for some extra good gut bacteria.
- Days 4-6: Make a chunky veg soup for the next 2-3 days. Try some avocado and maybe a few nuts too. Calories should be getting close to around 1000 per day. Experiment with spices .
- Days 7-14: Eat mostly vegan, but try some lean meat. Ideally start with some light fish, moving over the next week onto light poultry and eventually red meats, fatty fish, and dark poultry. Calorie intake should be close to normal.
- Days 14-21: Experiment with adding dairy and grains. Try adding them one at a time to see if any gut issues come up.