What is Water Fasting?

A. Pasbjerg

Water fasting is the practice of abstaining from all food and ingesting only water for a period of time. It is usually done by those who wish to lose weight, gain health benefits, or both. Fasting has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the body and promote healing, and is still recognized as having many significant positive effects on the body. For those in good health, it is typically considered a safe and natural method to promote overall wellness.

A water cooler bottle.
A water cooler bottle.

One of the benefits of water fasting is weight loss. By removing all food from one’s diet, the body is forced to turn to its fat stores for energy. This use of fat for fuel is known as ketosis.

Weight loss is a benefit of water fasting.
Weight loss is a benefit of water fasting.

During water fasting, the body is allowed to rest and rejuvenate. Energy that would normally be used for digestion is redirected toward healing. As fat stores are broken down, many impurities and toxins accumulated in those tissues are released and flushed from the body. These processes promote overall tissue health as the body is able to address and mend many ailments.

Due to its healing effects, water fasting is considered a useful treatment for a variety of issues. It has been shown to have positive results for those suffering from arthritis. People with epilepsy may decrease episodes of seizures through fasting. Both diabetes and cardiovascular disease typically respond positively as well.

Those interested in trying water fasting should use a gradual approach to get used to the process and understand how their bodies will react. One method is to start by skipping a single meal each day for a period of time, and then move up to a single day of fasting. Once accustomed to this, fasters can then move on to longer periods of time. Some people choose to fast for several days, while others may go as long as several weeks.

While doing a water fast, a person should drink around seven to ten glasses of water a day; it should preferably be purified water, to avoid the introduction of new toxins to the body. He or she should get plenty of rest and abstain from excess activity. Some people may want to use a laxative or other method to clear extra toxins from the colon before starting the process. The fast should be ended gradually, starting with the intake of fruit juices and broth and then moving slowly to small portions of easily digested solid foods.

Lemon and lemon juice add flavoring and vitamin C to drinking water.
Lemon and lemon juice add flavoring and vitamin C to drinking water.

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