Health is one of the most important things in our lives. It is the thing that makes you live longer and enjoy life more. In the modern world, there are many distractions, and we don’t take care of ourselves as well as we should.
Many people live on unhealthy food, and with a sedentary lifestyle, they accumulate kilograms of fat, and their general health deteriorates.
Water fasting is known to be used throughout the weight loss industry as a fasting method that helps your body cleanse itself and lose weight naturally through the process of detoxing. Water fasting for weight loss and cleansing has become quite popular in recent years.
Let’s discuss in this article how and when water diet for weight loss should be done, whether it can help you lose weight or not, as well as whether there are any other side effects that you need to be aware of.
What Is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is a form of fasting that restricts the intake of food (and sometimes also of beverages other than water) to water alone. It’s a cleansing diet that can help you lose weight, cleanse your body of toxins, and improve your health.
The word “fasting” refers to being without food for a period of time and is commonly used with the word “water”, referring to the fact that you’re only allowed to drink water while you’re on this diet.
While this type of fast may help bring people closer to their spiritual selves, it can also lead to serious health risks if performed incorrectly.
What Are the Benefits of Water Fasting?
Water fasting is a powerful way to quickly break through weight loss plateaus or reset your metabolism. It also helps you feel more energized and focused so you can perform better at work and in your personal life.
Weight Loss – When you are deprived of food, your body goes into survival mode and begins burning fat stores for energy. This leads to rapid weight loss during water fasting.
Improved Digestion – Water fasting gives your digestive system a break from digesting food, which allows your body to focus on repairing damaged cells, tissues, and organs and eliminating toxins from your body.
Reduced Hunger – Hunger cravings disappear after three days of water fasting because your body produces endorphins, which decrease feelings of hunger while raising levels of happiness. Water fasting also reduces cortisol levels in the body, which are associated with stress-related overeating.
Possible Risks of Water Fasting
Although there are potential health benefits to fasting, and many people have fasted for religious or spiritual reasons, there are considerable risks if a fast is carried out for too long.
In the first place, water fasting is not recommended without medical supervision because it can pose a serious threat to health. People who are obese or have heart disease, diabetes, or liver disease should avoid water fasting because of the risk of developing dangerous electrolyte imbalances.
Other people who should never attempt a water fast include those who are underweight and anyone with poorly controlled hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hypothermia (low body temperature).
Although it may be possible to water fast safely for one day under the supervision of a doctor, you probably shouldn’t try it on your own. Most doctors recommend that you consult with them before you begin any type of fasting.
In addition to the risks mentioned above, water fasting may also lead to symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, headaches, irritability, and depression.
A few people have even died from drinking nothing but water for extended periods of time—although more commonly, this seems to occur in cases where they were also undertaking another type of extreme dieting behavior at the same time (such as taking diet pills or using laxatives).
Fasting should not be attempted by those who have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease, including high blood pressure and diabetes
- Any disorder that requires medication
- Pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant
- People with eating disorders
- People who feel dizzy when standing up
What Does Science Say About Water Diet for Weight Loss?
Fasting for weight loss sounds like a great idea—just abstain from food for a few days, and you will lose weight! Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
There are many methods of fasting, some of which have been studied more than others. Most of these studies have looked at alternate day fasting or have included a meal replacement shake as part of the protocol.
In a study on alternate day fasting in people without diabetes, participants lost 6% of their body weight after ten weeks but gained it all back within one year.
A similar study on alternate day fasting in people with diabetes resulted in no change in body weight after six months. Fasting for three days was found to result in significant weight loss and lowered blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes, but the effect disappeared after one year.
One study in overweight women showed that intermittent fasting decreased fat mass significantly more than continuous calorie restriction, but there were no differences between the two groups when it came to lean mass.
In addition to the lack of long-term results from most studies on fasting for weight loss, there are other issues as well: it can be difficult to fast because painful hunger pangs can result if you’re not used to it.
If you’re doing your own fasting, you may not know if you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. And fasting may be dangerous for people who are already malnourished or have an eating disorder.
How to Fast Safely
First and foremost, be sure you’re doing it safely. You want to make sure that your body is getting all the nutrition it needs before undertaking a fast.
A lot of people who try fasting end up trying it again soon after and failing because their body isn’t prepared for the initial fast period, and they don’t get the expected results.
Here’s how to do it safely:
Who Should Not Fast?
Fasting is a great way to lose weight, but it’s important that you do it safely. Unless you’re an experienced and healthy faster, you probably should avoid fasting if:
- You have a history of eating disorders
- You have a history of anorexia or other disordered eating behavior
- You are underweight
- You have had issues with dehydration in the past
- You are unwell or very tired
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 3-day fast good for weight loss?
No, a 3 day fast is not enough to help you lose weight. It can be a good starting point, but it’s important to remember that fasting should be done with proper guidance and supervision.
How much weight can you lose in a week of water fasting?
It depends on how much fat you have to lose and how long the fast is. Generally, people lose about one pound of fat for every 3,500 calories they don’t eat during a water fast. So if you’re eating 2,000 calories per day normally and go on a 7-day water fast, you should expect to lose about 14 pounds (7 kilograms).
Is water fasting weight loss permanent?
It’s possible. But it depends on what your eating habits are after the fast. If you go back to your normal diet, then it will likely come back. However, if you continue to eat a healthy diet using low-calorie foods that are filling and nutritious (like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins), then yes—your weight loss could be permanent.
How long does it take to lose weight with water fasting?
The amount of weight you lose depends on the length of your fast. If you’re only doing a one-day fast, then it’s unlikely that you’ll lose more than 1 pound (0.5 kilograms). But if you’re doing a 7-day water fast, then it’s possible to lose 14 pounds (7 kilograms) or more.
How much water should you drink to lose weight fast?
The amount of water you should drink while fasting depends on your body weight and how long you’re fasting. If you’re only doing a one-day fast, then it’s not necessary to drink any water at all—but it can help if you feel like you need something in your mouth. If you’re doing longer water fast (like a 7-day fast), then drinking enough water is crucial to staying hydrated during your time without food.
Can I lose weight by drinking hot water?
No, you cannot lose weight by drinking hot water. The only way to lose weight is by consuming fewer calories than your body needs—so that it has to burn fat stores for energy instead of using them for food.
So, are water fasts worth the hype? Sure—in moderation, if you’re looking to have some health benefits. Just remember: fasting should be a small part of any weight loss routine.
There are many more sustainable, healthy alternatives that can help you shed weight safely—and you’ll get all the added perks of losing weight without necessarily fasting.
An intermittent fasting regimen may be a healthier, easier alternative to some of the more extreme forms of dieting. Whether you’re worried about your health or just looking for a way to shed a few pounds, give intermittent fasting a try.
- All You Need to Know About Water Fasting: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319835
- 4 Intermittent Fasting Side Effects to Watch out For: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/4-intermittent-fasting-side-effects-to-watch-out-for
- Health Effects of Alternate-Day Fasting in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732631/
- Alternate Day Fasting Improves Endothelial Function in Type 2 Diabetic Mice: Role of Adipose-Derived Hormones: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2022.925080/full
- Intermittent Fasting and Fat Mass: What Is the Clinical Magnitude? https://www.mdpi.com/2673-4168/2/1/1/htm