You have probably heard about water fasting for weight loss and the added benefits your body gets. When I first heard about it I thought ‘no way am i doing this’. However, after doing some research and finding out about the benefits of the process I changed my mind. Yes, there are some reported dangers of water fast for however many days, the benefits in my opinion outweigh the dangers, so I’m going to tell you what I experienced during my 20 day water fast for weight loss.
Now before you follow my unusual experiment, as always, please know that I’m not a medical doctor, or a registered nutritionist or dietician. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider for proper medical advice and guidance before you start.
What is Water Fasting for Weight Loss?
Water fasting for weight loss is a set period of time when a person takes in no food or drink other than water, with the sole purpose of losing weight. People water fast mostly for religious or spiritual reasons. There are also occasions when you water fast to help with a medical problem. Water fasting is not a new phenomenon as it has been practiced for ages.
Although water fasting may help with immediate weight loss, it may not be sustainable for the long term as other ways weight loss strategies may be more effective.
The Health Benefits of a 7-21 Day Water Fasting.
Water fasting has many health benefits so let’s look into it now.
1. Help You Lose 1lb Per Day
If you’re looking for a quick, short-term weight loss method that is safe consider this 1 day benefit of water fasting. When your body can’t get access to carbohydrates its favorite source of energy, it starts to use stored fats. As a result you can lose about one pound of fat every day. This makes water fasting one of the most effective short-term weight loss methods. This happens to be one the most significant 24 hour water fast weight loss results you would ever see.
2. Quick Repair and Healing of Your Body
An added benefit of water fasting is a much faster healing process of your body as inflammation is drastically reduced. As a consequence, the recovery repair and healing of your body becomes faster and more efficient. In a process called autophagy where the body recycles old body cells, it helps in helping you heal quicker.
3. Decrease in Blood Pressure
When you water fast your blood sugar doesn’t fluctuate so much. Water fasting decreases blood pressure and lowers your stress levels. This is closely related to the added benefit of lowering the risk of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that a high blood pressure is correlated to high risk of developing heart diseases.
4. Slow Down the Aging Process
Closely related to Autophagy is the slowing down of the aging process as more old cells in the body are recycled and reused.
5. Help With Digestive Problems
Water fasting can also help if you have digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, gas, gastritis, constipation or loss of appetite.
Who Should Not Do A Water Fast for Weight Loss?
After my research, the water fast for weight loss sounded pretty good to me but I still wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t harm my body by quitting food altogether. People who are advised not to fast, not just water fasting, include people with or who are:
- who have eating disorders
- women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- people who are underweight
- people with serious heart problems
- people with type 1 diabetes, and
- people who have uncontrolled migraines.
Since I wasn’t in any of these groups I decided to give water fasting ago. Now I had to determine the duration of my fast. Most sources recommend fasting for somewhere between 5 days and 2 weeks but I also discovered stories of people who had managed to survive on water for up to 45 days. I was definitely not ready for that length of time. Most people who had tried it followed a 7 day water fast weight loss strategy.
Despite my nagging doubts, my final decision was still to go big and start a 20 day water fast and here’s how it went. Follow my journey now:
Days 1 & 2: The Beginnings of Hazy Days
The first two days were going to be the most difficult since this was something totally new to my body. I felt incredibly hungry almost as if I had missed several breakfasts, lunches and dinners all put together. My energy level dropped and my mood left not much to be desired. I was increasingly irritated and my patience was wearing thin. What was happening to my body at this stage it went into battery save mode which means that my metabolic rate became more efficient in addition my body was using less energy.
It helped to know that I’d feel better soon but at the same time I can’t say that these first days didn’t have their advantages. First of all I was exercising my willpower and doing this successfully it made me feel very proud of myself. Also I knew that there was a process of cleansing and detoxing going on somewhere in my body. These first days were also beneficial for my heart.
Days 3-7 Of My Water Fasting for Weight Loss
On the third day the second stage of my water fasting began. By that time the much-awaited process of ketosis had started. That’s when your body gets down to burning the fat it has stored as its much favored source of energy, carbs, are no longer there. Surprisingly I stopped feeling hungry almost all of a sudden simultaneously I started to feel a bit more energetic and less tired. If your plan is to follow a 7 day water fasting for weight loss this is the time you may want to stop.
On the other hand I had some pretty bad headaches and couldn’t sleep normally. Also when I forgot about my experiment and stood up too quickly I felt lightheaded. The thing is that when you follow a typical diet that contains foods rich in carbohydrates, your body gets glucose from starches and sugars.
Glucose is the main source of energy for your body and when it doesn’t get any more glucose your body needs to use your stored fat instead. It breaks this fat into glycerol and fatty acids. As a result of the second stage I started to lose weight. This also had some kind of detoxifying effect on me.
Not everybody knows that the human body uses its own fat to store different toxins or toxic metals if it didn’t do this, these substances could seriously harm the body and since this fat is used as an energy source during the process of ketosis toxins get expelled from the bod.
Days 8 – 14: Reaching Fasting High, Happy Clear Mind and…. Feeling Cold
By this time I had entered into a 10 day water fast weight loss phase and things were really looking great. After the first week of feeding myself nothing but water I experienced the kind of fasting high. I felt great, happy and impressively energetic but what pleased me the most was a particular clarity of mind. However when I measured my blood pressure it was lower than my norm and that was probably the reason why I felt cold most of the time. I felt positive changes in the functioning of my digestive system since it wasn’t receiving any of the toxins that used to get inside my body with my food intake.
Sure fasting at this stage was kind of stressful but it was a good stress. One that was making my immune system stronger and more resilient they also say that when the effects of fasting add up at this stage, they encourage the healing processes in your body to speed up but I didn’t have an opportunity to figure out if that was true.
Days 15 to 20: Feeling Proud, Accomplished and Hitting the Home Run
When I got to the 15th day of my water fasting for weight loss I was incredibly proud of myself. I knew that very few people reached this stage I also knew that this was a period when I had to be immensely attentive to my condition and visit a doctor if I felt that something had gone wrong. Luckily I felt no different, in fact I felt light and active.
By the way many sites and blogs giving water fasting for weight loss tips recommend limiting physical activity for the period. Some of them went as far as to suggest taking some time off work but I couldn’t afford this and so I went on with my normal life. I commuted by train every day, I worked 10 hours a day and I didn’t even give up my gym routine. Naturally I tried to reduce the pressure on my heart by doing cardio that wasn’t too intense but at the same time when I lifted weights I didn’t notice that I’d become weaker.
Day 21 of Water Fasting for Weight Loss: Couldn’t Wait to Eat Again….. Finally!
Take these water fast tips if you attempt it for any length of time. In any case on the 21st day of my fasting I was ready to break it. A person who has spent almost three weeks without solid food can’t just begin to eat anything and everything they see. That’s why I started by drinking fruit juices in broth and eating cooked veggies. They helped me to acclimate my digestive system to the process of consuming food once again.
Water Fasting Before and After – An Interesting Conclusion
Believe it or not I felt at my best after my water fasting for weight loss. I lost some weight though not as much as I’d expected. I did not use a water fast weight loss calculator specifically. However, my vitals were impressive in a good way and some health abnormalities were no longer a cause for concern.
Only you can decide if you are ready for a fast or not and only you can choose the optimal duration of such a fast the only thing I would recommend is consulting your doctor before making this decision.
So there you have it. My experience and journey with water fasting for weight loss. You’ve seen the water fasting dangers, you’ve heard my tips as well. Now it’s your turn. Have you tried water fasting before? Please share your comments below this article and please share the article with your social community if you find it useful.