Water fasting is when you go on a diet that only includes liquid intake; mainly, water. You have to avoid eating food during this duration. This diet has been around for so many years and people still do it as a part of religious customs, such as during Ramadan. But water fasting is making a huge comeback in the world of health and wellness due to the benefits associated with water fasting. In this article, we will cover everything from the benefits of water fasting and how, when, and why you should do it. How Does Water Fasting Help in Weight Loss? There are dangers associated with water fasting that can make someone unqualified for this type of diet. So, keep reading to know if water fasting is for you.
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What is Water Fasting
It’s a period when a person goes on an only water diet. Water fasts can last from 1 to 30 days. However, medical professionals do not recommend water fasting for more than 48 hours.
Some people also add vitamin pills, drinking broth, and so on to their water diet to ensure that they are taking the nutrients needed for the body.
How Does Water Fasting Help in Weight Loss and provide other benefits?
Water fasting is used for many reasons including religious and spiritual reasons, for losing weight, detoxing, for other health benefits, and when preparing for a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy.
If you are thinking about going on a water diet for losing weight, there are some things you need to consider first. To benefit from a water diet, you need to be a healthy adult. If you are under 18 or underweight, it can be dangerous for your health.
The same goes for older persons. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, a water diet is not a healthy diet for you. Heart patients, people with type 1 diabetes, people suffering from uncontrollable migraines, or undergoing blood transfusion should not do a water diet. Those who are taking specific meditation for a long-term disease should also avoid water fasting.
If you are not going through any of the conditions stated above, you can safely follow a water diet. However, it is always advisable to always consult with your doctor before water fasting.
Benefits of water fasting
Water fasting is useful to avoid a few health issues and is a fast weight loss tool. Although there are dangers associated with water fasting, there are water fasting benefits as well.
How does water fasting help in weight loss? in reality. Here are some benefits you get through water fasting;
1. Water Fasting helps in Autophagy
During water fasting, as there are is no intake of food, the body starts depending on fat reserves and the muscle mass of the body. During this process, old cells are broken apart and recycled. This breaking down of old cells is known as autophagy.
Autophagy has been identified as a method to reduce cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart-related diseases. Although enough studies haven’t been done to make sure this happens in human bodies, autophagy had positive results in animal subjects during studies.
2. Blood Pressure Can be Reduced or Maintained
During several studies, it has been noted that water fasting helps bring down blood pressure in humans. This happens because you avoid the intake of high fatty food like bacon during a fast. However, lower blood pressure may be a short-term result. Your blood pressure may rise again according to the types of food you intake after the fast.
3. Increase Immunity to Fight Against Other Diseases
Water fasting can reduce cholesterol levels, and increase insulin sensitivity which means you have a better system for reducing blood sugar levels. The reason behind this benefit is the limiting of unhealthy food. These effects too can be temporary if you don’t take care to introduce your body to a healthy diet.
4. Works in Weight Loss – A great Method to Lose Weight
Water fasting is a great method to lose weight fast. When you are not eating food, your body will start depending on excess fat and protein stored in your body. However, this can also be harmful to the heart and may reduce muscle mass exponentially. So, it is always important to limit water fasting to promote healthy weight loss.
Negative effects of water fasting
Unfortunately, water fasting is not all benefits. There are some severe negative effects of water fasting that may as well make water fasting an unhealthy practice. Here are some dangers related to water fasting and how you should avoid them.
1. It May Cause Too Much Weight Loss
During a water fast, your body basically starts eating itself. This may reduce muscle mass and you may lose the wrong kind of weight. To avoid this, always water fast in moderation and consult your doctor before you embark on an extended water fast.
2. You May Suffer From Dehydration
Funnily enough, dehydration is very likely to happen during a water fast. The water content in our body mainly comes from the food we eat. Without food intake, your body is lacking the amount of water needed. Therefore, professionals advise drinking more water during water fasts. Make sure you are distributing the amount of water you drink throughout the day.
On the other hand, it is also important to not drink too much water. Your kidneys will be forced to overwork and it will affect their functioning. Drink a moderate amount of water.
3. It Can Give you Dizziness and fainting
This is a common side effect that can happen during a water fast. You may start feeling dizzy or experience faint or lightheadedness. Therefore, take care not to operate heavy machinery, drive, exercise, or do such activities that require energy.
If you are feeling headaches, finding it hard to focus, or are feeling confused, contact your doctor immediately. These are your body’s signs for fuel. If you ignore them, you will face severe negative conditions including death.
Don’t forget that food is fuel for your body. If your body is feeling excessive discomfort, you need to stop fasting immediately.
4. It May Worsen Existing Medical Conditions
If you are already going through medical conditions such as eating disorders, going on a water diet may worsen these issues.
How to do safe water fast?
It is possible to do safe water fast by taking care not to go too far. Here are some water fasting tips to get the best results through a water diet.
How to Prepare Your Body For The Water Fasting:
Your body may not be ready for water fasting right off the bat. Therefore, you should always prepare your body before you start. Try gradually taking fewer portions of your meals starting from 2 or 3 days before you officially start your water diet. This will help prepare your body to be without food.
When you finally decide to start the water fast, eat a full, healthy meal full of nutrients and carbohydrates. This will help sustain your body by providing nutrients during the diet and will reduce excessive weight loss as well.
How To Fast Healthily During The Water Fast:
Don’t try to do anything energy-consuming as it can be harmful to your body. Choose an off-work day for water dieting. Water fasting and exercise is not advisable. Keep your body at rest and avoid excessive exercise. Things to do during a water fast include meditating, reading, and other such less energy-consuming tasks. Drinking water moderately is also important. If you’re feeling uncomfortable during the fast, call your doctor immediately.
How To Maintain Your Body After The Water Fast:
After the fast, you shouldn’t eat a large meal. Your body will not be able to handle it and you will feel uncomfortable and probably will get stomachaches, vomiting, etc. Take smaller meals and let your body slowly adapt back to your normal over a few days.
You will notice a huge difference during water fasting before and after. You’ll especially see a surprising result when it comes to your weight. However, the results can only last if you adapt to a healthy diet along with exercising. So, don’t fall back to the same diet as before or you’ll gain the weight you lost in a few days.
How long should you do a water fast?
It depends. Water fasts can span from 1 day to 30 days. However, medical professionals advise against water fasts that last for more than 48 hours. The most popular fasting methods are 3 day water fast and 7 day water fast. But, always make sure to consult a doctor before your water fast to avoid potential health concerns.
Water fasting is a quick way to lose weight. Additionally, there are many other positive water fasting results as well. However, it is important to keep the dangers of water fasting in your mind. There are still only a few studies to prove that water fasting has results worth starving yourself and putting yourself through imminent danger.
Although a one-time water fasting will give satisfactory results, you will not get long-term results. So, we suggest trying an intermittent diet or taking the long, but safe way to weight loss through healthy eating and exercising.
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