Fasting is a time when a person does not eat and drink only water. Fasting in this way can help to lose weight, but is it safe, and do the effects last longer?
People may fast in water to lose weight, for spiritual or religious reasons, or to try to fight certain health problems. Studies show that occasional fasting can help with weight loss, although some methods may be effective in the long run.
To ensure that fasting is done safely, people should be well prepared and choose the best time to eat, when the body does not need a lot of energy.
What is water fasting?
Fasting can be done for a variety of reasons, including spiritual, dietary, or medical reasons. Fasting is when a person does not eat and drink nothing but water.
There is no set time for fasting, but medical advice usually recommends anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days as the maximum fasting period.
Throughout history, people have fasted for spiritual or religious reasons. However, water fasting is now popular in the walk of natural life and well-being, often alongside meditation.
How do you water fast?
There are no scientific guidelines for starting a fast. However, most groups of people should not irrigate immediately without medical supervision. These include people with gout, diabetes (both types 1 and 2), eating disorders, elderly adults, pregnant women, and children.
If you have never fasted before, it is a good idea to spend 3-4 days fixing your body with malnutrition.
You can do this by eating small portions at each meal or by fasting half a day.
Water immediately (24-72 hours)
During fasting, you are not allowed to eat or drink anything other than water.
Most people drink two to three liters of water a day during fasting.
The speed of the water takes 24-72 hours. You should not irrigate immediately for longer than this without consulting a doctor because of health risks.
Some people may feel weak or dizzy during a fast and may want to avoid using heavy equipment and driving to avoid causing an accident.
After fasting (1-3 days)
After a quick fast, you should resist the urge to eat a big meal.
This is because eating a large meal after fasting can cause unpleasant symptoms.
Instead, break it down quickly with a smoothie or small meal. You can start introducing larger meals throughout the day as you feel more comfortable.
The post-fast phase is especially important after prolonged fasting. This is because you may be at risk of recurrence of refeeding syndrome, a potentially dangerous condition in which the body undergoes rapid changes in fluid and electrolyte levels.
This stage usually lasts a day, but people who fast for three days or more may need up to three days before they feel comfortable eating a large meal.
Benefits of water fasting
Both human and animal studies have linked fasting with various health benefits.
Here are a few health benefits of fasting,
May self-harm be encouraged
Autophagy is the process by which old parts of your cells are torn down and regenerated. Several animal studies suggest that autophagy can help protect against diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
For example, autophagy can prevent damaged parts of your cells from accumulating, which is a risk factor for many cancers. This can help prevent cancer cells from growing.
Animal studies have found that fasting helps to promote self-harm. Animal studies also show that autophagy can help prolong life.
That is to say, there are very few human studies on fasting, self-harm, and disease prevention. More research is needed before recommending self-injury.
It can help lower blood pressure
Studies show that prolonged fasting, which is monitored, can help people with high blood pressure to lower blood pressure. In one study, 68 people who had high blood pressure at the border fasted for about 14 days under medical supervision.
At the end of the fast, 82% of people saw their blood pressure drop to normal levels (120/80 mmHg or less). Also, the normal decrease in blood pressure was 20 mmHg systolic (high value) and 7 mmHg diastolic (low value), respectively.
In another study, 174 people with high blood pressure fasted for an average of 10 to 11 days.
At the end of the fast, 90% of people have a low blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg – limits that are used to diagnose high blood pressure. Also, the normal drop in systolic blood pressure (maximum) was 37 mmHg maximum.
Unfortunately, no human studies have investigated the link between fasting small amounts of water (24-72 hours) and blood pressure.
May improve insulin sensitivity and leptin
Insulin and leptin are important hormones that affect the body’s metabolism. Insulin helps the body retain nutrients from the blood, while leptin helps the body feel full.
Studies show that fasting can make your body more sensitive to leptin and insulin. High sensitivity makes these hormones work better.
For example, insulin sensitivity means that your body is working hard to lower your blood sugar levels. In the meantime, being more sensitive to leptin can help your body process signaling hunger, thus reducing the risk of obesity.
It can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases
There is some evidence that fasting can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
In one study, 30 healthy adults followed the water immediately for 24 hours. After fasting, they had low blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides – two risk factors for heart disease.
Several animal studies have also found that fasting can protect the heart from damage from free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage parts of cells. They are known to play a role in many chronic diseases.
Furthermore, animal studies have shown that water fasting can suppress genes that help cancer cells grow. It can also improve the effects of chemotherapy.
Remember, only a handful of studies have analyzed the effects of human water fasting. People need more research before making recommendations.
Risks of water fasting
Although water fasting may have some benefits, it comes with health risks.
Here are some of the dangers and risks of water fasting,
The wrong kind of weight can be lost
Since water limits calories quickly, you will lose weight very quickly. In fact, research shows that you can lose up to 2 pounds (0.9 kg) of water per day for 24-72 hours.
Unfortunately, you can lose a lot of weight from water, carbs, and even muscle mass.
May become dehydrated
Although it sounds weird, water can quickly make you dehydrated. Because about 20-30% of your daily water comes from the food you eat. If you are drinking the same amount of water but not eating, you are not getting enough water.
Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, nausea, headache, constipation, low blood pressure, and low productivity. You may need to drink more than usual to avoid dehydration.
Orthostatic hypotension may be felt
Water is seen very quickly in people with orthostatic hypotension. It is defined as a drop in blood pressure that occurs when you stand up suddenly, and it can put you at risk for restlessness, lightheadedness, and fainting.
If you experience orthostatic hypotension during fasting, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. The risk of dizziness and fainting can be the cause of an accident.
If you experience these symptoms during any water, this fast is not suitable for you.
Water fasting can worsen various treatment conditions
Although water is relatively fast, several conditions can lead to water fasting.
People with the following medical conditions should not drink fast water without first consulting their healthcare provider:
Gout: water fasting can increase uric acid production, which is a risk factor for gout attacks.
Diabetes: Fasting can increase the risk of adverse side effects in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Eating disorders: There is some evidence that fasting can encourage eating disorders such as bulimia, especially in adolescents.
When considering water quickly, medical advice should always be sought, as it may not be safe for everyone.
Although there are potential health benefits to fasting, there is a substantial risk for those who fast for too long, or whose health or age puts their body at risk of harm.
If someone has health concerns or is planning to fast for more than 24 hours, they should seek the advice of a medical professional and consider fasting under supervision.
Water fasting will not be safe for everyone and should not be taken by older adults, those under 18, or those who are underweight.
It is best to run water fast when the water is not working or getting sick. Ideally, a person should fast in the comfort of their home while resting.
If someone has not fasted before, they should consider starting 1 day fast to try it and make sure there are no adverse effects. Fasting longer than 3 days should be carried out only after consulting a medical professional.
Fasting can be mentally and physically exhausting, so people must prepare it carefully:
- It should be eaten well before fasting with high-quality food
- Choosing a time that allows you to rest, perhaps a day when you are not at work
- Avoid fasting if you are sick or very tired
- Practice avoiding claims
- Consider building slowly, perhaps reducing the size of the food
It is essential to drink enough water during Ramadan and spread it throughout the day. It may be tempting to drink more than usual while fasting, but it can be harmful and should be avoided.
When running out of water quickly, a person should not eat too much at once but should build up slowly to avoid stomach pain or feeling sick.
Can you fast by just drinking water?
During a water fast, you are not allowed to eat or drink anything besides water. Most people drink two to three liters of water per day during a water fast. The water fast lasts for 24–72 hours. You should not water fast for longer than this without medical supervision because of health risks.
Can you exercise while water fasting?
Can I Exercise While Fasting? Yes, it is OK to work out while fasting because the key to weight loss and muscle gain is not just calories and exercise, but hormone optimization.