We all need food and water to survive as functioning human beings. Healthy food, good nutrition and drinking enough water are the most critical elements for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But during some part of our shared history, people have consciously decided to have no food or water during some hours of the day, and started to practice fasting. In the article below, you will find information about the basics and health benefits of fasting.
Learning how long can you go without food because of adverse conditions such as wars and famines may have intrigued our ancestors. Now we have the information that you can go without food for about 21 days. But if you wonder how long you can go without water compared to food, it is only 3 to 4 days! As almost 70% of our body is made of water, we need to stay hydrated as our bodies are losing water constantly.
It is believed that fasting has its roots in ancient Greece, the reasons why people choose to fast have changed through history, from rituals to beliefs, religions to life conditions. But the undoubted health benefits of fasting were appreciated and mentioned by famous people like Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin even in 18. and 19. centuries. Leading American author Benjamin Franklin wrote a pioneering article on fasting:
“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”
Today, fasting plans and programs have became popular because of the benefits of fasting. When it comes to how to fast properly, there are two common methods.. First way is eating no food and drinking no water for selected periods of time. This is called Intermittent fasting where you shorten your eating periods and lengthen your fasting periods. The second way is called water fasting.
Can You Drink Water While Fasting?
If you choose to follow a water fasting diet, you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything besides water. The amount of the water you would consume during the day is around two or three liters (depends on the fasting plan you would follow).
Other forms of fasting such as intermittent fasting allow water and other calorie-free drinks like tea and coffee. For example, drinking juice is not allowed during intermittent fasting as its not calorie-free. Water is completely calorie-free.
What Does Water Do For the Body?
Water takes a long journey to reach cells and provide hydration to them. This is because water is absorbed into your body’s system instead of being digested like food. Absorption of water happens faster when you drink it on an empty stomach. Sometimes the connection between mouth and brain can cause us to drink more water than our body needs or stop drinking before we have the amount that we need. Once your body has a sufficient amount of water, it begins to the process of evacuating the excess water.
Water is very important to maintain a healthy body and stay hydrated. It has tremendous benefits on the body from the inside out. Drinking enough water helps you have high energy and physical performance levels in your daily life. It supports your skin strength and hair growth. Hydration is important to maintain brain and other bodily functions. Water reduces headache symptoms & migraine caused by not having enough fluid in the body. Your body’s detoxification process mainly depends on drinking water. Because when your kidney doesn’t receive a sufficient amount of water, this can lead to kidney-related diseases. That’s why water helps the detox process by flushing the liver tissues and through sweating.
What is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is a fasting method where you don’t consume anything else other than water during the day. Water fasting benefits include weight loss, detoxification and rejuvenation, making it a popular diet plan nowadays. Oxygen in the water helps your digestive system and triggers your liver to eliminate harmful toxins. That’s why water fasting is also known as ‘water cleansing’. Because where water and fasting meets, detoxification happens naturally!
Water is completely calorie-free. That’s why water fasting supports your metabolism and ketosis process. There are connections between drinking water and weight loss. As your body switches to ketosis during water fasting, you can burn more fat. At the same time, water fasting boosts your body’s healing process. It decreases inflammation in the body and blood sugar levels while supporting your heart and brain health. Last but not least, drinking water supports collagen in the skin.
How to Water Fast?
Even eating once a day may sound hard. So drinking only water during a day sounds probably way harder to do, right? But before you start to water fast, first you need to prepare yourself mentally. Most importantly, you need to choose a goal to do it! Choosing a goal will help you achieve a satisfying result at the end of your journey.
After you are mentally prepared, it is good to have a doctor’s consultation to decide the length of your program. Water fasting programs at detox and healthy nutrition centers are better choices because of professionally prepared programs and expert support. You can completely focus on your program at a detox center, instead of trying to balance your fasting and daily life at home.
During water fasting programs at The LifeCo, all guests are served alkaline water on a 30-minute basis to make sure that the required amount of water intake has been fulfilled throughout the day. Guests also meet with program coordinator on a daily basis to help you understand more about the program as well as providing guidance throughout the fasting period.
Not eating for a week and having nothing but water can be tough at the beginning. You can feel hungry or have a fasting headache as your body will be in a state of ketosis after 3-4 days. But your body will start to get used to this ‘new’ system and you will be able to maintain your fasting in a relaxed way.
How Long Should I Fast?
Fasting in general is way of abstinence from all foods. In Islam or Greek Orthodox Christianity for example, periods of fasting are based on days of the week, calendar year or lunar calendar and done for different lengths of time.
Water fasting can be done from 3 days to a whole month based on the need and capacity of the person. For example, it is recommended that individuals who are experiencing serious chronic illnesses join at least 2 consecutive 14 days of water fasting and a 7 day guided fast-breaking period at The LifeCo’s water fasting program.
If you are wondering about how much water should you drink a day to lose weight, it depends on your level of activity in a day. But if you decide to start a water fasting program for weight loss, you will receive the right amount of alkaline water and a bespoke activity plan during the program.
If you are interested in trying water fasting programs and asking yourself how long should i fast, you don’t need to worry about the results. Because even if you try a 5 day water fast or 30-day water fast plan you will still be able to see positive water fasting results!
You can check water fasting programs at The LifeCo here and get more information about water fasting to start your journey to better health.