If you want to go on a water fast without ruining your health, this article will show you how to safely use water fasting for weight loss.
With the variety of fasting methods available, water fasting is one method that is taking off as a great weight loss tool.
So how effective is it? Is it sustainable? What does it involve?
A water fast involves consuming water for a certain duration, without eating any food. It could be a day, a week or a month.
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When not done properly, water fasting can do more harm than good.
Below are a few ways you can safely use water fasting for weight loss.
How to Safely Use Water Fasting for Weight Loss
1. Consult Your Doctor
Starting a fast may seem like a great idea, besides how hard can it be? It’s just drinking water, right?
You probably did your due diligence and read all the benefits of water fasting but just like any other diet change, you need to consult with your doctor.
Do not start a water fast without talking to a doctor who can further explain in detail the benefits, and side effects of water fasting.
If you plan to go on a long water fast, talk to professional who can supervise and walk you through the period.
2. Prepare Yourself Mentally
Starting a fast is not easy. What if you don’t like taking water? Or you do, but the idea seems daunting. What should you do? How do you go about it?
The benefits look great but you may want to quit when the going gets tough.
You need to know it won’t be a smooth ride.
Realize that you may struggle with dizziness, fatigue or sleepiness.
Luckily, with time, your body gets used to water fasting.
Watching videos or reading testimonials of people who have tried water fasting for weight loss is a great way to prepare yourself.
3. Decide How Long You Plan to Water Fast
When you embark on a water fast, be aware that you will go without food for a few days.
Therefore, decide the number of days you plan to fast and prepare yourself.
A safe water fast should be between 24-72 hours, not longer.
If longer, it should be under medical supervision.
Studies have shown that fasting for longer than 3 days can have detrimental effects on your health and functions of the kidneys.
4. Slowly Ease into the Water Fast
You can’t expect to walk without first crawling. A few days prior to the water fast, gradually decrease your food portions so that your body can slowly adjust.
If you start water fasting rapidly, the brain will send signals to the body which will go into shock, and the side effects will be pronounced.
It’s safe to start by taking one less meal, then progressing to half a day then a full day, and finally two or three days.
5. Drink the Right Amount of Water
Now that you decided to embark on the fast, how much water should you take?
Women should aim for 2 liters of water while men should drink 3 liters.
However, don’t drink all the water in one sitting.
It’s advisable to drink it throughout the day. If you feel hungry, take one or two glasses of water and relax and wait.
Carrying a BPA-free water bottle with you everywhere you go will reduce chances of skimping on water.
6. Choose a Good Period to Fast
Drinking water will definitely reduce your calorie intake but remember you are not taking any foods.
You get a lot of energy from your food and now it’s drastically reduced. Your energy levels will be lower.
Choose a time where you probably are not going to work, or aren’t involved in strenuous activities.
The best time is when you are at home over a weekend and you don’t have to over exert.
If you are on your periods you may want to postpone until a later time. This is because, during menses, you lose blood, and you may easily feel fatigued due to low levels of iron.
7. Be Committed
Having plans is all well and good but how committed are you?
If you struggle with food cravings or unhealthy eating habits maybe you need to reconsider.
Going on fasts like intermittent fasting is easier because you have an eating period but water fasting tests your resilience and willpower.
Will you be able to refrain from reaching out for that snack or fruit? Can you go the whole hog without giving up?
There is no shortcut, your motivation will determine how committed you will be.
Know that motivation is sustainable when you own it. When it’s part of your identity.
8. Have a Support System
No man is an island. Having family and friends who will support you during the fast is important.
Fasting is hard and there are days the side effects like headaches, nausea or stomach cramps will seem to have peaked to unbearable levels.
Here is where a parent, relative or friend comes in handy to keep you in check.
You could join a support group for Water fasting where you will get motivation and encouragement to keep going.
9. Do you have a Medical Condition?
Water fasting can help deal with or lower the risk of diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
Even with this knowledge, there are certain medical conditions like gout, heartburn and chronic kidney diseases that could be worsened by water fasting.
If you are under medications, it would be best to see if water fasting will have any adverse effects on how the medications work and what you could do to counter these effects.
10. Adding Lemon Juice
Drinking plain water is a challenge to many of us. It has no flavor and the thought of guzzling two or three liters may seem like a task.
I know what you may be thinking? If it’s a water fast, should I be adding lemon juice? Lemon has very few calories and doesn’t affect the fasted state in any way.
In fact, adding fresh lemon juice to water can help get vitamin C and increase your water intake without affecting your weight loss.
Go ahead and squeeze a slice of lemon water into your glass of water.
A word of caution is advised though. If you suffer from hyperacidity then it’s best to avoid lemon water.
11. Explore Your Reasons for Fasting
Why exactly are you water fasting? Is it because it’s cool? Or you saw someone looking good and they recommended it? Or is it because you tried everything else and it failed?
Knowing your ‘why’ helps you stick to the fast when things get tough.
12. Practice Meditation During the Water Fast
Fasting and meditation go hand in hand.
Meditation can help calm the thoughts and cravings you will experience while fasting.
You have to practice mindfulness especially with regards to your thought processes, emotions, beliefs, and feelings.
There are those who achieve clarity when they meditate but if you haven’t tried it before, it’s a good tool to use.
Use the available apps like Calm, or Headspace, that have beginner meditation routines.
Deep breathing exercises especially belly or mouth breathing can help you not only lose weight but in blood circulation, metabolism and memory cognitive functions.
The truth is water fasting can help you lose weight when done safely. Use the strategies above to ensure you don’t harm yourself during your water fast.
In fact, you can lose weight fast if you combine water fasting with this simple weight loss program. It has helped thousands of busy women lose weight and regain their confidence.
Do you know other safety tips when using water fasting for weight loss?