I previously wrote a post on How to burn belly fat naturally in few days. This process has worked perfectly for so many, however, i was amazed to learn a new trick about loosing weight faster. However, water fasting comes with some risks if done wrongly.
A friend of mine who tried doing ab exercise, staying on a diet, calculating calorie intake and all that was not getting result as we envisioned. But, i was amazed to see the rapid shedding of weight after few days of water fasting.
Notwithstanding, the concept of water fasting is crazy and very challenging. but, before my very eyes, my friend lost 15 kg of weight just in 3 days.
The result was amazing and overwhelming that I decided to share these tips on how to water fast.
However, we have to bear in that its challenging but its achievable and you will be glad you did. So, let’s get on with it.
What is fasting?
Fasting is a willing abstinence from taking food nor drinks for a period of time. Or, in a religious sense, it can also mean staying away from things that will pleasure the body such as sex.
Therefore, fasting can be done for so many reasons which includes;
Many religion see abstaining from food and other activities that gratifies the flesh as a path to spiritual growth.
Hence, they see fasting as a way to seek spiritual strength, mortification of the flesh from sin and as a religious ritual e.g., Lenten fast by the Christians and Ekadashi fast by the Hindus.
Fasting in health means staying at least 8 to 12 hours without food before a medical procedure is carried out. Most times this fast can be done before diagnosis or examination processes such as; Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) test for diagnosing diabetes, Endoscopy (viewing the internal structures of the Gastrointestinal tract( GIT) e.t.c.
Fast is also necessary before any major surgery to avoid aspiration of food substances into the lungs that may result to Aspiration Pneumonitis. This type of fast is usually referred to as “Nil per os” (NPO)-meaning “nothing by mouth”. NPO can also be done after intestinal surgery to give the intestines time to pick up activity.
Nevertheless, there are so many health importance that comes with a moderate fast which will be discussed at the bottom of this post. Some of them includes; Helping to improve sensitivity, brain improvement, detoxification, reducing body cholesterol etc.
However, things may go wrong if you fast the wrong way – prolonged fasting or inappropriate fasting. Some of these risks includes Arthritis, Orthostatic hypotension and lethargy.
Another reason for fasting by so many people is to loose weight. However, weight loss through fasting can easily be gained back when normal eating activity is completely resumed. Therefore, to loose fat with fasting and still maintain the achieved result after the cessation of the fast is the main deal.
The secret lies in your ability to understand other methods of loosing weight and their safety margins. Hence, you will need to alternate fasting with other methods of loosing weight such as exercise and diet restrictions.
Types of fasting
In this post, we will focus more on fasting as a means of loosing weight. But before then, lets quickly show you the different types of fast that exist.
Dry fasting – This type of fasting entails a complete abstinence from food and drinks. This is the most risky and should not be done for more that 72 hours.
Partial fasting – Partial fasting allows you to take drinks but without food or to choose some types of food to eat while on the fasting.
Fruit fast – In this type of fasting, you are only mandated to take different types of fruits as a means of food.
Intermittent fasting – It is a collective term for describing a period of fasting being alternated with non periods of fasting. Therefore, it may mean skipping a meal or skipping a day and eating the other day. In whichever way, there is a period of fast and a period of eating. It therefore seems to be the safest type of fast.
Water fasting- this type of fasting involves only taking nothing but water throughout the period of fasting.
Water fasting tips
As mentioned earlier, water fast is not an easy one – staying several hours with just water and no food is not an easy task. Therefore, first step in water fast is to prepare your mind psychologically and also your body physically in other to keep up with the whole process.
Meanwhile, this few tips will help guide you on how to go about it without burning out.
You will see so many youtube videos on how people did 7 days, 25 days or even 30 days of water fasting at a stretch. Dear, don’t look at them, it is not a competition. Hence, you will have to learn your strength first by trying few things before going into the fasting major.
Before you choose to start the water fast process, Try to start with alternate fasting, Fruit fasting or Partial fasting few days before the water fast to enable your body get familiar with the process. In summary, do not just jump into water fasting because you are cool with the results of water fasting.
Try to rest as much as you can
During the fasting days, there is no absorption of fuel in the form of food. Consequently, body has to mobilize energy from the fat cells at the liver and other parts of the body (gluconeogenesis). The effect is the production of lactic acid that can cause lethargy and muscle weakness.1
Therefore, it is very important that you have enough rest while embarking on water fasting to rest the muscles and slow down lactic acid production process.
Tip: Fix your fast days when you will have less work to do to enable you get the much rest you can.
Don’t over drink water
Have you heard of water intoxication or water toxemia before? According to Paracelcius, “all substance are poison depending on the amount”2. So, water can also be poisonous if in excess.
The consequence of taking excess water is over dilution of the blood. This over dilution causes imbalance in the concentration of the blood electrolytes especially sodium. Therefore, the difference in the osmotic gradient between the cells and the blood increases. Cells will start swelling up and bursting if not controlled.
Therefore, keep the drinking of water moderate. Do not exceed 3 Liters of water per day when you are water fasting.
Avoid strenuous exercises
One of the major set backs of water fasting is the depletion of body fuel needed for activities. Hence, the body demand for glucose or other biofuels increase. The implication is that the brain and the muscles gets a very small amount of energy.
Therefore, expect to have light headedness, dizziness, vertigo and blurred vision.
Engaging in a strenuous exercise while fasting will aggravate these symptoms and can lead to fainting, coma or even death.
Adjust to new pattern of living
You will have to understand that the water fasting comes with so many changes with the way the body acts. In any case, be ready to adjust to these changes psychologically and physically. Some of the changes includes often Urinating and less pooing.
Also, when experiencing those side effects as dizziness or blurred vision, just take a small quantity of water and rest.
Because of the more frequent urination, you have to be at a place you can be comfortable to take care of it at all times.
Avoid alcohol and Narcotics
Taking alcohol can also cause ketoacidosis just like when you are fasting. Combining the two will give a synergistic result that can cause severe metabolic acidosis or brain damage to the individual.
Also, the narcotics or other drugs that affects the CNS should be avoided during the period of fasting since they can superimpose with other side effects of water fasting that may affect the brain functions.
Finally, it is important to tell your physician about your fast since some drugs can cause you harm without adequate food in the system.
Do not water fast for too long
No matter how desperate you are to burn your fats so fast. Please, avoid water fasting for so long. There are so many health implications of fasting for two long. I will list some of these implications below;
Water fasting dangers
Try to look out and avoid the following from occurring when you are on a long term fasting. Be observant and break the fast if you experience any of the following.
- Metabolic acidosis (ketoacidosis)
- Gout Arthritis
- Orthostatic Hypotension
- Weakness and muscle wasting
- Death of cells
- Brain damage
What to expect when water fasting?
It is normal to feel any of the following when water fasting
- Light headedness
- Blurred vision
- Muscle weakness
But, if any of these symptoms starts becoming severe, it may be a signal to your brain that you are crossing the safety zone of water fasting. The right thing to do at that moment is to break the fast with a glucose solution.
How to end a water fast?
Just as you started the fast gradually, it is also advised that you do not end a water fasting with a big meal.
Start breaking the fast with little fruit juice or fruits and vegetables. This will help to trigger the intestines to be ready for absorption.
Hence, do not overload the system after water fasting for few days.
Tips to keep you in shape after water fasting
From different observations, individuals may start adding weights back after a water fast. So, water fast is never a guarantee that you stay lean forever.
However, when you reach your target for weight reduction with a water fast. It is important that you maintain this shape with other weight reduction options like calorie restrictions, exercise and intermittent fasting.
Help your self with a time table on how to combine them to give you an outstanding result.
Who should not water fast?
Try to consider the following before thinking of embarking on this our fat shedding journey. These 2 categories of people are not in any way permitted to be part of water fasting since the risk outweighs the benefits.
There are a number of special population who are not allowed to be part of this fast. They are; the young children below the age of 15 years, adults greater than 50 years and pregnant women.
Some Disease conditions
There are some diseases that can not tolerate water fasting. Therefore, always seek a medical advice before thinking of fasting.
Some of these health challenges includes; Gout Arthritis, kidney diseases, hypertension, Anemia e.t.c.
Benefits of water fasting
Water fasting or any type of fast can help you loose weight as mentioned earlier. But, there are also so many health benefits of fasting that you may need to know. Therefore, a healthy fasting is not a bad idea but another way to keep the body in check.
Here are the few health benefits of water fasting.
Helps to control type 2 Diabetes
One of the major risk factors of type 2 diabetes mellitus is obesity. In most cases, there is accumulation of fats on the pancreas. The fatty pancreas causes a resistant to insulin action on the blood glucose.
A recent study suggested fasting as a means of improving insulin sensitivity in the body.3 When insulin sensitivity is improved in the body, the rate at which glucose leaves the blood will improve. Therefore, diabetics in this study is advised to at least carry out intermittent fasting once in a while.
Effective in getting rid of bad cholesterol
The bad cholesterol in the blood is the leading cause of most illness that affects individuals as you grow older . Such illness includes, hypertension, Coronary artery diseases, Angina, Stroke and many more.
Hence, the elderly are advised to carry out activities that targets mainly getting rid of these bad cholesterol and keeping the blood safe and clean.
Note: fasting is not for advanced folks as it may cause complications.
One of these methods of burning off cholesterol according to a study is through fasting. In the study, 110 patients who are obese, hypertensive and with diabetes engaged in a three week medically supervised fasting. At the end of the fasting, there is an improvement in the lipid profile, the blood pressure and significant loss of weight.4
Fasting Can help stop tumor progression in cancer
Fasting cycles with mice shows that fasting is effective in retarding the growth and spread of cancer in the experimented animals. 5
Also, fasting in combination with a chemotherapy improved the effect of the drugs on the cancer cells and also helps to reduce the side effects of these chemotherapeutic agents.
However, there are no much literature on the effect of fasting in the restriction of cancer among the humans.
Improves the brain function
One of the things fasting does to the brain is alertness. In so many studies, animals who fast have a greater advantage in respect to cognitive function, learning, memory, and alertness. 6
Animals that fast alternately according to the study tends to survive more than animals that are fed continuously. This proves that fasting have both psychological and physiological effects on animals.
In addition, Fasting also helps to regenerate dead cells and is a good shot in the management and treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzemier’s disease and Parkinsonism. 7
There are so many benefits of water fasting, and one of the most important is that it help you burn up fat easily and remove bad cholesterol. But, It is never a reason for you to just jump into water fasting since it has also bad effects if done wrongly.
Therefore, start small in the fasting or do intermittent fasting rather than a continuous fast that can last for a long time. Also, you can alternate your fasting with other weight reduction strategies such as exercise and eating right.
Finally, do not fail to seek a professional advice before trying out a water fast.