If you are reading this article then you are more than likely interested in doing a water fast, or are actually fasting, or have fasted in the past.
I discovered water fasting about 18 months ago, and I joined a Facebook group called Water Fasting. One thing I can recommend if joining a group like this is using an app like LIFE as a means of support as doing a water fast when no-one around you is can be a lonely place. Facebook groups and an app like LIFE are free so there is nothing to stop you from getting support from fellow fasters.
What is a Water Fast?
A water fast is exactly as it sounds, water and nothing else, for the duration of your fast. It is a food restrictive method, which has been practised for thousands of years (throughout history, people have undertaken fasts for spiritual or religious reasons). Many people embark on a water fast as a way of losing some weight, but is has many health benefits too.
Research has shown that it may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases – it can lower risk of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Water fasts can last for any length of time that you would like it to. Most are from 24-72 hours long, but many are shorter, and some people can fast for a month or more. If you are taking on a longer fast then you should consult your doctor or a professional before you start.
How to Water Fast
The rules to water fasting is that you can only drink water, nothing else. The normal amount that fasters drinks is 2-3 litres of water per day.
How will I feel during a water fast?
It is normal to feel a bit dizzy during a fast, so makes sure that you are not operating heavy machinery or doing anything too energetic whilst fasting. Listen to your body if you are feeling drained and take a rest.
On the whole your body will quickly get used to not having food, so hunger pangs are not usually a big issue. You will feel hungry but when you do, try and distract yourself by eg going for a short walk, reading a book etc, and the feeling of needing to eat will quickly pass.
The pros of water fasting
People who are high risk for certain diseases could benefit from short-term fasting. For example, research has shown that people who have issues with heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and being overweight can benefit from short term fasting.
How safe is a water fast?
We have already mentioned the potential health benefits to fasting, there are considerable risks if a fast is carried out on a long term basis, or by someone who has health issues, or an age factor can put them at risk of causing damage to themselves.
If you have health problems, and are planning on undertaking a fast longer than 24 hours, then it is a good idea to seek medical advice, and perhaps do the fast under supervision.
Water fasting may not be safe for older people, under 18s, or those who are underweight.