A Complete Guide to Water Fasting For Better Health
When you hear the word “fasting,” you can’t help but think “hungry,” “starving,” or “difficult.” But what you think about when you hear “water fasting” should be something like “cleansed,” “weight loss,” and “healthy.” Why? Because water fasting, when done safely, can have significant health benefits.
How Does One “Water Fast?”
Water fasting involves drinking only water, with no food or other beverages whatsoever, for a set period of time. Medical professionals advise doing a water fast for no more than three days. In order for a water fast to be effective, it should be done for a minimum of 24 hours.
As with any fast, water fasting should be done safely, and during a period when you know you won’t need a lot of energy.
Why Do People Do Water Fasting?
While some people may water fast for religious or spiritual reasons, it’s most commonly done for weight loss and other health benefits. Short-term water fasting can help those at risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
When Should You Not Do Water Fasting?
Water fasting can be dangerous if you have certain health conditions. You should not water fast if you suffer from an eating disorder, if you are underweight, have type 1 diabetes, have heart issues, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Trying to water fast when you have any one of these conditions can worsen them.
Water fasting may also be unsafe if you take certain medications, suffer from frequent migraines, or if you are undergoing a transfusion. Always talk to your doctor before going on a water fast to make sure it’s safe.
Before the Water Fast
If this is your first time doing a water fast, take it slow and take time to prepare yourself. Test it out for one day to see how you feel at the end of the day. If you don’t experience any negative effects, and you want to go longer, first consult with your doctor about doing the fast for two or three days.
Going without food for even one full day can take its toll on the body. Prepare your body’s strength by eating a well-balanced diet full of high-energy foods in the days leading up to your scheduled fast. As you get closer to the day, slowly decrease the size of your meals to help your body adjust to less and less food, so it won’t be as much of a shock when you go completely without food.
When choosing the day (or days) for your fast, choose a time when you know you won’t require a lot of energy and will be able to rest. For example, fasting over the weekend, when you have plenty of downtime at home, is preferable over weekdays when you have to go to work.
You also want to decide how you want to drink your water throughout the fast. Preferably, you want to drink clean, filtered water (not tap). Consider h2 water, which, in addition to giving you more energy, offers a variety of health benefits, such as reducing your risk of cognitive, learning, and memory issues.