What is water fasting?
Fasting is restricted or no calories intake process, which has been performed since ages. Then, therapeutic fasting came into existence. Therapeutic fasting means fasting, performed for the sake of treatment of any disease. Various alternatives are in trend, like water fasting and intermittent fasting. It does not mean that water fasting is new, it also has been performed for detoxification, and for spiritual quest centuries ago. Water fasting is hot tool to lose weight now-a-days. Water fasting or more accurately water-only fasting is to survive only on pure water for a particular period of time.
Water fasting is a type of fast that restricts to intake everything except water. Water fasting helps in losing weight, but is it safe? Or is it safe to everyone? We are going to study more about its safety concerns in later parts of this article.
How it does work?
Taking no calories or low calories for a certain period of time and body will not be able to use carbohydrates, for production of energy, it will use fats. This is how fast can lead to weight loss by using fat. Studies have shown that water fasting also exhibits several health benefits which are directly or indirectly related with body weight.
- It may stimulate autophagy, a process of renewing the old parts of cells.
- It lowers the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- Detoxification by removing the toxic by-products from the body.
What are safety issues with water fasting
Water fasting is not for everyone. One should be prepared before performing the water fasting, as fasting is a mentally and physically exhausting process,
- When the body needs less energy, is the perfect time to go without food/fasting
- As per medical advice fasting should not more than 3 days. Long-term fasting may cause ill-health
- People under 18, older adults (as fasting can adversely affect the immune system of older adults), pregnant women or underweight are advised to not perform water fasting
- People who are suffering from chronic migraines or heart disease are advised to take medical supervision
After the fast ends taking a heavy meal should be avoided.
Various researches on mice and rat reveals that along with losing weight, fasting may also protect from several diseases like High blood pressure, diabetes, and also potentially reduce or delay effect of ageing. It helps in lowering the risk of coronary artery disease.
Water fasting is becoming popular again in diet and fitness world. Specialists suggests that systematic fasting may help with weight loss, although other methods may be more effective long-term. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says ‘best way to lose weight and to be healthy is a combination of healthy diet and proper exercise. They also emphasize to change some eating habits such as consumption of sugar and junk food. It is acceptable to perform water fasting if you are healthy and do not have any contraindications. But longer duration of fasting may cause undesirable consequences.