Rapid Weight Loss With Water Fasting

Water fasting requires you to eat no food for a designated amount of time. Almost all religions employ some type of fast as a spiritual ritual, and some people use a water fast to cleanse toxins from their bodies and to symbolize a fresh start. Water fasting may result in some weight loss, but that weight will most likely return as soon as you get back to eating food. Water fasting can help you jump start a new diet program, provided that you approach it in a mentally and physically sound manner.

Preparation 

Eat lightly for several days before beginning your fast to help your system slow down and begin to cleanse without complete deprivation. Eat light meals that include raw fruits and vegetables, and small servings of lean protein and brown rice. The intake of extra fiber will help your system continue to move smoothly as you undertake the fast. Carve out one to three days for your water fast, making it a time where you do not have to undertake any physically strenuous activity or make important decisions. Although your intention may be weight loss, do not exercise during your fast.

Features

The fast itself is quite simple in that you take in only water for a set number of days. If this is your first time water fasting, make it last only a day to see how your body will react. Drink as much water as you like, and spend your time reading or meditating.

Effects

A water fast may make you feel weak and dizzy. Expect to lose as much as 5 lbs. in a few days, but realize that most of this weight is simply fluids, and it will likely return when you begin to re-introduce food. Keep in mind that you may grow irritable during the fast.

Benefits

A water fast may put you in better touch with your appetite—really feeling hunger may help you understand your response to food triggers. Proponents of fasting believe that a periodic, short-term fast can help you live longer and delay the onset of chronic disease. A fast may assist your liver, kidneys and lymphatic system in clearing the body of toxins, which will help you process food more efficiently when you return to solid foods. Remember, in the long term, you cannot rely on a fast alone for weight loss. It may kick start your program, but a healthy diet combined with moderate activity and exercise is the only proven long-term weight-loss solution.

Warning

Although you might lose a small amount of fat during a fast, you are likely to lose muscle tissue as well, and this results in a slower metabolism. Fasts that are followed for more than two or three days can cause unpleasant side effects such as sensitivity to cold temperatures, digestive ailments, brittle nails and extreme tiredness. Repeated periods of fasting may cause heart problems and nutritional deficiencies. Certain people should never fast: the underweight, pregnant and nursing women, those with eating disorders and anemia, and people with chronic health problems like cancer, lung disease and diabetes.