In today’s times when everything is available just at the press of a button, people what to lose weight and achieve thinner waists in an instant. They try out all kinds of diet plans, lose a few kilos and then gain them again as quickly. One such diet is water fasting. I am sure you all must have heard about it. Well, it is not something new. People have been observing this for umpteen years for religious and spiritual reasons, but only recently have they taken it up to lose weight as well.
What Is Water Fasting?
As the name suggests, on the day that you observe water fasting you can drink only water, no tea, coffee, green tea, soda, or any other beverage. You definitely cannot eat any food. People go on water fasts for 21 days to 40 days.
According to Medical science, it is safe to stay only on water from 24 hours to 72 hours at the maximum, that too only under medical supervision. Here you are observed for foul taste in the mouth, lower back pain, skin rashes, headaches, nausea, irritability, and discharge from mucous membranes. Regular blood and urine tests are also conducted.
Water Fasting Is Harmful
Water Fasting is harmful to people who are already suffering from
- Chronic Kidney Disease: Fasting may worsen kidney functions
- Diabetes: Fasting may cause the blood sugars to drop drastically which can be very harmful.
- Eating Disorders: Fasting may lead to a disrupted eating pattern and may you indulge in binge eating.
- Heartburn or GERD: If you suffer from GERD your stomach will continue to make Acid even without food and that will lead to worsened symptoms.
- Pregnant and Lactating Women: Pregnant and lactating women should take special care of their nutrition as it directly affects the development of the child.
- Teens Under 18: teenagers should be very conscious of what they eat as it is the growth and development phase of their lives.
Benefits of Water Fasting
Everything in the world has both pros and cons, similarly, water fasting has a few pros. However, these benefits are short-lived and very limited.
- Reduces alcohol, sugar and sodium intake: For those who are regular alcohol consumers fasting may help them to observe self-control. You might also benefit from the reduced intake of sugar and sodium for a day or two.
- Lowering Blood Pressure: reduced salt intake and increased water consumption will surely reduce the blood pressure readings for borderline hypertension patients however, it should only be done under medical supervision.
- Weight loss: Since you are not eating any food for the duration of hours that you are on water fasting, you will definitely observe a loss in weight. This weight loss is only temporary until, you consume food.
Disadvantages Of Water Fasting
There is a long list of the disadvantages of water fasting that we are enumerating
- Digestive upset: Consuming food after long duration of fasting causes digestive discomfort and nausea.
- May cause nutrient deficiencies: By restricting yourself to only water you are cutting out the essential electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and all that body needs for its optimum functioning.
- Unsafe Blood Pressure changes: Drinking to much water might cause the blood pressure levels to fall too low which causes dizziness and lightheadedness. This is medically called orthostatic hypotension.
- Hyponatremia: commonly caused water intoxication happens when water and salt are lost from the body due to sweating and are replaced only by water during a water fasting period.
- Dizziness, fatigue, and trouble focusing: When we do not consume the number of calories needed by our body it does not perform optimally. It becomes difficult to focus on work. It causes mild to severe headaches, dizziness, brain fog and fatigue.
- May lead to Binge eating: If you have not yet mastered the art of self-control, during the fast you will feel like eating different kinds of foods. As soon as the water fast is over you might indulge in binge eating, or the thoughts might lead to anxiety and depression.
A Word from H2F Care
Water fasting might result in weight loss but it is only temporary and an unhealthy way to lose weight. The continuous cycle of weight loss and gain is detrimental for the body’s organs and the functioning of the body.
Remember there are no shortcuts to achieving a healthy and fit body. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and a balanced eating pattern which you can maintain for most if not the entire lifetime. Also important is to include a workout regime in your daily routine along with a healthy sleep pattern.