Water fast is a traditional fasting method that has been used to treat various chronic conditions for hundreds of years. Currently, people are adopting new techniques every day to support their dietary habits and lose weight.
Similar to how intermittent fasting gained popularity in recent times, people are shifting towards water fasting to burn fat. At the same time, people have mixed feelings about fasting, as they have to stop eating food during the period. But it becomes easy to follow once your body adapts to it.
Water fasting can offer multiple health benefits, especially weight loss. The most popular water fasting is the 7-day water fast. You may have already known the major role of water in weight loss.
This procedure works the same way to burn fat. Before you begin the fast, you need to have an understanding of the fasting to check its suitability for you.
What is a 7-Day Water Fast?
A 7-day water fast is a fast where you only drink mineral water for a week. You have to stop eating your regular foods. All kinds of solid food are restricted for your consumption. But you can drink non-caloric beverages like green tea or black coffee.
When you include unsweetened, calorie-deficit beverages in the week of water fasting, it reduces the monotonous feeling that you are likely to have in water fasting.
How to Do A 7-Day Water Fast?
When you decide to water fast for a week, it is best to seek your physician’s advice regarding your health status and whether you can go for a 7-day water fast. A medically-supervised water fast can help you keep your health in check during the period.
As a next step, you may have mental and physical preparation to maintain a balance in the week. Though this is not mandatory, it helps to get better results without any side effects.
Mental health is a significant factor in fasting because it helps with your consistency. You have to realize that water fasting is not starvation. You water fast to get rid of the excess fat.
Your body can readily adapt to the deficiency of food. In addition, refraining from food for a week can be challenging. You can engage yourself in any of your favorite activities that do not drain much of your energy. They support your mental strength.
Before you water fast for a week, you can do a 24-hour water fast a week before to prepare your body for a more extended fasting period. This fasting also helps you understand how your body may react during the period.
You can do intermittent fasting for a few days instead of a 24-hour water fast before the 7-day water fast. They both help you have control over your hunger.
When you follow water fasting for a week immediately, the transition may be difficult for your body. Again, you have to make optimal food choices within 48 – 72 hours before the 7-day water fast to ensure a healthy metabolism. It is more beneficial when the food choices include nourishing foods and no packaged foods.
Who Should Not Take The 7-Day Water Fast?
Water fasting helps you lose weight by enhancing your metabolism. People following water fasting enjoy various health benefits. However, water fasting may not be suitable for some people due to some of its effects on health.
- People with a pre-existing heart condition should not do water fasting since it can lower their heart rate.
- People, who have gout-related problems, should avoid fasting, as water fasting may elevate the production of uric acid.
- People with eating disorders should not water fast since it may worsen the condition.
- As water fasting can lower your blood pressure, people, who suffer from low blood pressure, should avoid it.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid water fasting.
- People with chronic kidney disease should not do water fasting.
Again, if you have any severe medical condition, you need to consult your doctor before water fasting to avoid any harmful effects on your body.
Health Benefits of A 7-Day Water Fast
Water fasting for a week offers various health benefits, which we shall discuss below:
Promotes Autophagy and Cell Health
When you water fast, toxins get released from your cells, and new cells form in your body. Thus, water fasting promotes your cell health.
Apart from that, it enhances autophagy, a process through which aging components of your cells are degraded and recycled. Studies reveal that autophagy may prevent your body from health conditions, such as cancers, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
Enhances Metabolic Flexibility and Metabolism
When your body uses carbs for fuel, then fat accumulates in your body, and you gain weight. Water fasting helps to use fat as a fuel source and enhances metabolism.
It promotes metabolic flexibility, which is your body’s ability to adapt to any metabolic changes. When you have enhanced metabolic flexibility, your body can enter into keto, which is a process of utilizing fat for energy instead of carbs.
Lowers Appetite and Cravings
Water fasting helps to lower your appetite since it is able to reduce your habitual cravings. In addition, water fasting may improve leptin sensitivity. This consecutively aids in controlling your hunger.
Your cravings can be regulated by water fasting. Water fasting also improves insulin sensitivity, which successively reduces blood sugar levels.
Burns Fat and Supports Weight Loss
When you water fast, there will be a reduction of fat in your body. Comparatively, this natural process aids in losing weight effectively. A study demonstrates that doing water fasting may lower the levels of triglycerides in the body, which is a risk factor for heart-related problems.
Besides these health benefits, water fasting may also help people with health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, fibromyalgia, migraine, etc.
Potential Side Effects of A 7-Day Water Fast
When you follow the 7-day water fast as per directed, you are less likely to see any side effects. Nevertheless, water fasting may cause mineral deficiency. The reason owes to your body’s adaptability to foods for minerals and other nutritional values.
When you completely rely on water for a week, your body may have some side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, cramps, and exhaustion. But you can avoid these symptoms by drinking an adequate quantity of mineral water and consuming supplements.
How to Eat After A 7-Day Water Fast?
When you have completed a 7-day water fast, you should avoid involving in an excess intake of food. As your body was in the state of taking only water for a week, your body might take time to adapt to your usual food consumption.
You have to begin the transition with vegetable juices or smoothies. As a next step, you can take nutritious foods like cooked vegetables and nuts. It is best to have small portions of food at intervals initially to support healthy digestion. This refeeding may take a week.
You can increase the portion gradually. Instead of three meals, you can take the foods at regular intervals.
During water fasting, there may be a reduction of electrolytes like potassium, phosphate, and magnesium, which your body requires for digestion and nutrient absorption. You have to refeed these electrolytes to your body through food consumption.
The 7-day water fast may sound both exciting and intimidating. But the benefits of water fasting outweigh the possible side effects. Studies reveal that water fasting supports weight loss.
Water fasting for a week eliminates toxins from your body and burns fat. This fasting is more beneficial in losing weight when you include a regular exercise schedule and supplementation of vitamins and minerals along with it.
Though it does not instantly fix your health issues, it can be a better start.
A water fast is followed by taking only water for a week. You can also include unsweetened beverages in the fasting. This water fasting offers various health benefits, including weight loss. It is safe for adults of all ages who do not have any medical condition. If you have any medical condition, you have to seek your doctor’s advice on water fasting.
Every individual has a unique body type. Thus, there is a difference in pounds lost among people based on their body’s nature. But if you do a water fast for a week, you are more likely to lose one to two pounds per day.
When you break your fast, you can either take a limited amount of smoothies or vegetable juices. You have to increase the amount of food gradually by letting your body adapt to it. As a next step, you can start consuming organic fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods.