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Water Fasting: What It Is And How To Do It Right

Published April 13, 2019 (Revised: October 08, 2019)
Kate Sullivan

Written By: Kate Sullivan, MS

Kate holds a MS in Business Psychology and is currently a PHD researcher in Well-Being and Performance Psychology.

water-fasting-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-right
<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Kate Sullivan, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/04/Water-Fasting-Thumbnail.jpg" } }, "headline":"Water Fasting: What It Is And How To Do It Right", "datePublished":"2019-04-13", "dateModified": "2019-10-08", "description":"Water fasting restricts all food intake, only allowing a user to consume water. Here’s all you need to know about the health benefits and how to do it.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/04/Water-Fasting-Thumbnail.jpg" } </script> <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What Is Water Fasting?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Water fasting is a form of fasting that completely restricts food intake, only allowing a user to consume water for a certain amount of time (8). The health that people find with weight loss when following a water fast comes from your body’s autophagy process. Autophagy is your body’s natural process for clearing out damaged or dead cells.<br /> Plus, there have been some studies that have shown water fasting can help to lower blood pressure besides its added weight loss benefits. So, while you’re following a water fast, not only may you notice a smaller number on the scale, but you will also help your body to clear out all the poorly functioning cells in your body—and lower your blood pressure." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "What Are The Health Benefits Of Water Fasting?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Looking for weight loss with fasting, but also other health benefits?—that’s totally great! Here’s a list of benefits from water fasting that aren’t always talked about, including: Boosts weight loss, Fights inflammation, Reduces insulin resistance, Increases HGH production, Helps To Clear Out Unhealthy Cells." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "Is It Safe To Do A Water Fast?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "While there are some health benefits that potentially come from water fasting, this type of fasting does come with its own health risks. Before participating in water fasting, you should consult your doctor to see if fasting is the right weight-loss approach for you." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "Is Water Fasting Good For Weight Loss?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, you will lose weight with water fasting! <br />If you decide to follow the most common intermittent fasting, you would fast for 16-hours out of the day and eat during an 8-hour period. Meaning you can eat the foods that you enjoy while still receiving the benefits of fasting!<br /> Many people lose weight with intermittent fasting. Most find that this form of fasting is much easier to stick to and follow because it isn’t as restrictive as water fasting is. Want to learn more about how you can lose weight with intermittent fasting? Here’s how you can use intermittent fasting to speed up your weight loss!" } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Water Fast?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The amount of weight you can lose with a water fast depends on how much excess body fat you have, your current activity level, and how many calories you’re consuming on a daily basis. Also, the amount of weight that you may lose during your fast is dependent upon how long you’re fasting. <br />If you follow the standard American diet—lots of processed foods—your body is most likely retaining a lot of water. This is because of the high salt content in the foods that you’re eating.<br /> When you’re first starting out a water fast, you will most likely notice a huge flush of weight loss. This is because of the excess water that you’re drinking as a part of your fast. Your body will expel all that water it’s been holding on to. Then, as you come to the end of your water fast, you may notice that you’re not losing weight as quickly as you were when you first started. <br />Don’t get frustrated, just know that’s completely normal for your weight loss to slow down as you’re nearing the end of your fast!" } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "What Should You Do?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "First, if you’re considering participating in a water fast and you have complications with your health, consult your doctor before you start. Water fasting isn’t for everybody—and that’s okay!<br />But as we talked about earlier, intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and still be able to eat every day. Intermittent fasting is often paired with the ketogenic diet—a low-carb, high-fat diet that’s well-known for fast, healthy weight loss. However, water fasting is a great way to help clear out damaged cells and help healthy cells to regenerate! Plus, you’ll even lose a few pounds in the process. <br />If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet, take a look at our Warrior Made lifestyle complete with a cyclical ketogenic diet to help get a better understanding of how to use fasting to boost your health! We have tons of information and recipes to help you accomplish all your health and wellness goals!" } }] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">What Is Water Fasting?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">What Are The Health Benefits Of Water Fasting?</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Is It Safe To Do A Water Fast?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">Is Water Fasting Good For Weight Loss?</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Water Fast?</a></li> <li><a href="#section6">What Should You Do?</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>Water fasting may sound like a fad diet. The truth is, few people know the health benefits that a water fast could potentially bring to their lives. While fasting may seem like a phase in the dieting industry, it has actually been a common practice in many cultures for thousands of years.</p> <p>To take part in a fast, a person must avoid consuming any food (and even specific drinks) for a certain period of time. Generally, most fasts only last between 24 to 72 hours.</p> <p>Unlike intermittent fasting, water fasting requires a person to completely drop all substances—except for water—from their diet for 24 to 72-hours. Participating in water fasting has long been an excellent way to drop a few extra pounds fast. But, what exactly is water fasting and is it actually safe to follow?</p> <p>Today, we’re going to talk all about what exactly water fasting is. We’ll cover the possible benefits of water fasting, if water fasting is actually safe, and if water fasting is an efficient way to lose weight.</p> <p>Let’s jump right on in!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <h2>What Is Water Fasting?</h2> <p>Water fasting is a form of fasting that completely restricts food intake, only allowing a user to consume water for a certain amount of time<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/water-fasting/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">8</a></sup>. The health that people find with weight loss when following a water fast comes from your body’s <i>autophagy</i> process. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/fasting-and-autophagy-understanding-your-body/"rel="noreferrer"><b>Autophagy</b></a> is your body’s natural process for clearing out damaged or dead cells<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/health/autophagy/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">10</a></sup>.</p> <p>Plus, there have been some studies that have shown water fasting can help to lower blood pressure<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12470446/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">11</a></sup> besides its added weight loss benefits. So, while you’re following a water fast, not only may you notice a smaller number on the scale, but you will also help your body to clear out all the poorly functioning cells in your body—<i>and</i> lower your blood pressure.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/water-poured-into-glass-0136.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/water-poured-into-glass-0136.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/water-poured-into-glass-0136.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/water-poured-into-glass-LR-0136.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt=" water-poured-into-glass"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <h2>What Are The Health Benefits Of Water Fasting?</h2> <p>Looking for weight loss with fasting, but also other health benefits?—that’s totally great! Here’s a list of benefits from water fasting that aren’t always talked about, including:</p> <ol> <b><li><h3>Boosts weight loss</h3></li></b> <p>Creating a caloric deficit in your diet is how you lose weight. By participating in a water fast, you’ll be eliminating your calorie intake for a limited period of time. Even just by participating in one 24-hour water fast a week, you’ll be creating a calorie deficit on a consistent basis. This will lead to increased weight loss over time—as long as you maintain a caloric deficit through the days that you’re not fasting too!</p> <b><li><h3>Fights inflammation</h3></li></b> <p>There has been some research done to show that fasting can actually help decrease inflammation in the body. Making it a wonderful way to go about naturally treating joint pain or chronic inflammation<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anti-inflammatory-diet-101/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">16</a></sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-walking-in-park-0136.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-walking-in-park-0136.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-walking-in-park-0136.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-walking-in-park-LR-0136.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt=" people-walking-in-park"> </picture> <b><li><h3>Reduces insulin resistance</h3></li></b> <p>If you’re at risk of diabetes or you’re a Type 2 Diabetic, several studies have proven that fasting can help to reduce insulin resistance<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394735/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">15</a></sup>. By working to decrease your body’s insulin resistance, your body will work more efficiently to transport glucose levels to your cells<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/insulin-and-insulin-resistance/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">14</a></sup>.</p> <p>Ultimately, reducing your body’s insulin resistance will help you to keep your blood sugar levels even—lessening the chances of having a blood sugar spike or crash!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/diabetes-tools-0136.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/diabetes-tools-0136.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/diabetes-tools-0136.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/diabetes-tools-LR-0136.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt=" diabetes-tools"> </picture> <b><li><h3>Increases HGH production</h3></li></b> <p>Human Growth Hormone (HGH), is a protein hormone. It plays a vital part of cell regeneration, the growth of new tissue, and the repairing of damaged muscles<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://draxe.com/human-growth-hormone/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">12</a></sup>. While research has not found conclusive results, some studies have pointed to fasting helping enhance the presence of HGH in the body<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC329619/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">13</a></sup>. </p> <p>While you may notice other health benefits during a water fast, the above listed benefits are the most common. On the surface, water fasting looks to be the perfect solution to quick weight loss without having to change your eating habits or add exercise into your life. But, is it all too good to be true?</p> <b><li><h3>Helps To Clear Out Unhealthy Cells</h3></li></b> <p>As we talked about a little bit, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/fasting-and-autophagy-understanding-your-body/" rel="noreferrer"><b>autophagy</b></a> is your body’s self-cleaning process and using a water fast is a great way to help promote autophagy. By getting rid of unhealthy cells that aren’t working properly, you’ll also be making room for new, healthy cells!</p> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <h2>Is It Safe To Do A Water Fast?</h2> <p>While there are some health benefits that potentially come from water fasting, this type of fasting does come with its own health risks. Before participating in water fasting, you should consult your doctor to see if fasting is the right weight-loss approach for you.</p> <p>Some of the risks that come with water fasting include:</p> <h3>- You could become dehydrated<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084017/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a></sup></h3> <p>Wait—how can you become dehydrated if you’re only consuming water? </p> <p>Roughly 30% of your daily water intake actually comes from the foods that you’re eating<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084017/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a></sup>! So, while you may be drinking the same amount of water that you normally drink during the day for your water fast, if you aren’t eating any food you aren’t making up for the extra water that your body gets from your diet.</p> <p>The good news: there’s an easy fix for this. Focus on drinking more water than you normally do during the day while using water fasting.</p> <h3>- You could exacerbate your medical conditions<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6758355/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a></sup></h3> <p>While water fasting can provide several health benefits, depending on your current state of health, water fasting may exacerbate your medical condition. Some of the known conditions affected by water fasting are:</p> <ul> <li><p>Gout: The increase in uric acid while you’re fasting can increase your chances of having a gout attack<sup><a target="_blank" href="http://www.jbc.org/content/66/2/521.full.pdf/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">7</a></sup></p></li> <li><p>Type 2 Diabetes: If you’re not consuming any calories and you’re taking medication to lower your blood sugar levels, you may experience a dangerous drop in blood sugar.</p></li> <li><p>Heartburn: Your stomach produces bile to aid in digestion. If you aren’t eating anything, water fasting could trigger an episode of heartburn.</p></li> </ul> <h3>- You May Experience Dizziness</h3> <p>If you stand up quickly and notice that you’re feeling dizzy, your water fasting may be causing a drop in your blood pressure<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684131/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">3</a></sup>. This could increase the chances of you falling and becoming injured, so watch be careful if you do notice that you become dizzy when you’re standing up.</p> <h3>- You don’t lose fat<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6758355/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a></sup></h3> <p>Due to the massive calorie restriction during a water fast, your body quickly starts losing weight. Yet, while the number on the scale may be dropping, the majority of the weight that you’re losing is coming from a reduction in water weight.<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-reduce-water-retention" rel="nofollow noreferrer">4</a></sup></p> <p>While water fasting isn’t for everyone, it’s a great way to help your body clear out all of the cells that aren’t functioning the way that they should be thanks to autophagy.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>Is Water Fasting Good For Weight Loss?</h2> <p>Yes, you will lose weight with water fasting! </p> <p>If you decide to follow the most common intermittent fasting, you would fast for 16-hours out of the day and eat during an 8-hour period. Meaning you can eat the foods that you enjoy while still receiving the benefits of fasting!</p> <p>Many people lose weight with intermittent fasting. Most find that this form of fasting is much easier to stick to and follow because it isn’t as restrictive as water fasting is. Want to learn more about how you can lose weight with intermittent fasting? Here’s how you can use <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-to-use-intermittent-fasting-to-accelerate-your/"rel="noreferrer"><b>intermittent fasting</b></a> to speed up your weight loss!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-doing-yoga-outside-peaceful-0136.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-doing-yoga-outside-peaceful-0136.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-doing-yoga-outside-peaceful-0136.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/people-doing-yoga-outside-peaceful-LR-0136.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="people-doing-yoga-outside-peaceful"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section5"> <h2>How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Water Fast?</h2> <p>Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The amount of weight you can lose with a water fast depends on how much excess body fat you have, your current activity level, and how many calories you’re consuming on a daily basis. Also, the amount of weight that you may lose during your fast is dependent upon how long you’re fasting.</p> <p>If you follow the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-ugly-truth-behind-the-standard-american-diet/" rel="noreferrer"><b>standard American diet</b></a>—lots of processed foods—your body is most likely retaining a lot of water. This is because of the high salt content in the foods that you’re eating<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.livestrong.com/article/70706-rapid-weight-loss-water-fasting/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">17</a></sup>.</p> <p>When you’re first starting out a water fast, you will most likely notice a huge flush of weight loss. This is because of the excess water that you’re drinking as a part of your fast. Your body will expel all that water it’s been holding on to. Then, as you come to the end of your water fast, you may notice that you’re not losing weight as quickly as you were when you first started.</p> <p>Don’t get frustrated, just know that’s completely normal for your weight loss to slow down as you’re nearing the end of your fast!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-egg-avocado-image-0136.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-egg-avocado-image-0136.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-egg-avocado-image-0136.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-egg-avocado-image-LR-0136.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="tomatoes-egg-avocado-image"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section6"> <h2>What Should You Do?</h2> <p>First, if you’re considering participating in a water fast and you have complications with your health, consult your doctor before you start. Water fasting isn’t for everybody—and that’s okay!</p> <p>But as we talked about earlier, intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and still be able to eat every day. Intermittent fasting is often paired with the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/"rel="noreferrer"><b>ketogenic diet</b></a>—a low-carb, high-fat diet that’s well-known for fast, healthy weight loss. However, water fasting is a great way to help clear out damaged cells and help healthy cells to regenerate! Plus, you’ll even lose a few pounds in the process. </p> <p>If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet, take a look at our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/introduction/warrior-made-tribe/"rel="noreferrer"><b>Warrior Made</b></a> lifestyle complete with a <i>cyclical ketogenic diet</i> to help get a better understanding of how to use fasting to boost your health! We have tons of information and recipes to help you accomplish all your health and wellness goals!</p> </section> </article>

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