I’ve recently managed to pass through my first full week of water fasting. It was a really hard time for me but nothing that I wasn’t expecting and here I am to share my knowledge with you, so you won’t make my mistake and to make it easier for you.
I’ve spent many weeks studying this exact form of fasting, watching youtube, and reading articles, and here I will compare that knowledge for you.
Many comments under those videos and articles were about this one specific topic “how long can you water fast”, we’ll try to get into it because the answer is more complex than it looks like, but if you’re just curious about the general scope I’ll say that you can water fast for as long as you have additional fat and muscle mass inside your body, and drink your daily water requirement, but before that consult it with your local doctor. That’s a quick answer and it can be dangerous, so stay with us to learn more about it.
Most water fasts last 24 to 72 hours. You should not follow this method for longer than this without medical consultation. The first day will be really hard until your body will adapt… you will stay hungry for the most part of the day.
The hunger will come in waves, you can try to fool your body by drinking more water, then your stomach will be a little less empty, which will help to relieve yourself from feeling hungry. In that time you will be sleepy, and low on energy, so try to avoid hard weeks in your job or life. After that time, you should feel better, less hungry, and happier.
Why are we doing water fasting?
- Detoxing – Your body will remove everything from your stomach, so it also removes any toxins that you’ve stored for many years. It will also make your skin and face look smooth and clean.
- To lose weight – It’s probably the fastest possible way to lose weight permanently.
- As a preparation for a medical procedure – There are many surgeries that need from patient to do a water fast before that.
What is water fasting?
Water fasting is a type of diet that will put you into a state of ketosis quickly, then your body will burn your fat mass for energy that is stored for many years. We’ll say more about ketosis later but for now, think of it as a state of rapid fat burning.
Water fasting is based on consumption of 0 calories daily and drinking only the right amount of water, we also prepared an article about water in your metabolism. In that way, your body will switch its state from taking energy from food in your stomach to taking energy from fat mass stored inside your body.
So if you take 0 calories and the average consumption of calories for a man is around 2500kcal for men and around 2000kcal for women a day, that will make you burn more than 1 pound of fat mass daily. For me, it was even about 2 pounds because I tend to do a lot of workouts all day long.
On the first day, you will notice even greater weight loss, because when we weigh ourselves, we always do something inside our bodies, like dinner and what’s left of it, so after 24 hours you will notice a huge decrease in your body mass.
You will only drink water in the amounts that are right for your body size, you can consult with a doctor, you can also ask whether your conditions may permit such a diet.
How effective is water fasting?
The effectiveness of every type of fasting is based on calories that you put into your body, minus your daily caloric consumption. If your body consumes more calories than it takes daily, you will lose fat, but if you eat and drink more, then your body will store energy as a fat mass.
The exercises will make your daily caloric consumption to be higher and in that way, you will be able to eat and drink more. On the other hand, you can lower your calories consumption even to 0 with this diet.
So it’s probably the fastest way to lose body fat, but there is also a drawback of this method. You will also lose some muscle mass during water fasting. Some animals, like bears during winter hibernation, can endure without any food for a pretty long time.
And the amazing thing is, they can do it without any loss of muscle mass. Humans, on the other hand, tend to lose a lot of muscle mass during starvation and that’s because our brain requires some special “brain fuel” to survive.
What is a state of ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state of your body in which there’s a high density of ketones in your blood. That process is started when your body fat provides most of the energy needed to fuel your body, and there is limited access to glucose. In that state, your body will burn your muscle mass and body fat. Medialnewstoday.com described in detail what to know about ketosis.
Is it safe to water fast?
As we said earlier you should consult with your doctor if you want to do a water fasting above 72 hours, and check if this type of diet is suited for you. If it is, then you will have to face consequences like the feeling of hunger, for the first few days, lack of energy, and even loss of your muscle mass.
I myself did it many times past few years, that’s why I’ve aimed for a full week. After that, I’ve lost 12 pounds in total, but after 3 days I’ve regained 3 pounds so in total there is 9 pounds loss of weight for me.
The addiction to eating is a huge barrier for us, hardly anyone knows that eating is a habit, and hard to overcome, but for me, sugar was the key. My body after a few days started to desire something sweet, like chocolate.
Everyone will have to face something different in their journey and that’s why it’s so important to know if that obstacle is something that we can beat by ourselves or with help of a doctor.
Will I get back fat that I’ve lost?
After your water fast days you should slowly return to eating food, but in small amounts at first. Most likely you will get some pounds after that but remember that there is a huge difference in your weight if your stomach is empty and when it’s full, and the big part of that weight gain will be exactly that thing.
Everything is in your mind, when you’re currently during that fasting process try to avoid thinking about what you will eat after that. It will only make things worse, try to focus yourself on something else, like watching movies or home duties.
Don’t be greedy and if you start to feel weird or unpleasant contact your doctor and try to consult that with him. Remember that you’re doing it for your health and that should be your priority rather than simply losing weight.
In conclusion, how long can you water fast ?
To make it simple if you’re interested only in pure detox as a way to clean your body from toxins you should do it for 24 to 72 hours. That won’t let you lose much of the body fat that you’ve stored, so everything more than 72 hours is a way for you, try to discuss it with your doctor, and he or she will give you an answer for how long can you water fast.
I’ve personally done this water fast many times, with great results. The hardest part is after that, when you know that you’ve done it and can eat now… but you have to hold yourself to regain that body fat instantly.