Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Leaving aside the absolute fast, fasting with water offers the fastest way of detoxification and the most potent therapeutic effects. On the other hand, it is the most difficult fast to perform. For that reason, it requires intensive physical and emotional preparation during the previous days.
Due to the intensity with which it detoxifies the organism, not everyone is prepared to carry it out and, in any case, it is recommended to do it under professional supervision.
Fasting with water represents a zero-calorie diet. For the most puritanical, this is the only "genuine" fasting that exists, under the conviction that the intake of any food prevents the complete state of repose desired, and by extension, optimal cleansing and detoxification. While it is true that water is the most intense type of fasting in terms of therapeutic benefits, it is possible to obtain the same effects through other types of partial fasting, although over a longer period. What differs from one to the other is the intensity and speed of the experience.
As we just mentioned, water fasting is not indicated for everyone, and even for those who are prepared, it will not be appropriate to carry it out at any time. The more "intoxicated" an organism is, the stronger the cleanliness will be and, especially during the first days, more and more will be the symptoms of purification, which materializes in a greater discomfort. The observation of a professional is essential to determine if these symptoms go beyond the healthy, in which case the fasting should be interrupted.
It is recommended to consume one to two liters of the purest water available, or even to use distilled water. Although distilled water is not good for daily consumption, it is advisable during a fast because of its greater capacity to adhere to toxins.
Once the first three days have passed and after the worst discomforts due to the readjustment of the organism, the body adapts to the new state of fasting. Most people stop feeling unwell, and even hunger disappears.
After 2-3 days, the body enters a state called ketosis, where it begins to be internally fed by the burning of fat cells. Ketosis usually lasts approximately 48 hours in women and 72 hours in men. The time that the body can safely operate through ketosis is variable in each person. After this time, the appetite sensation reappears ("true hunger"), which is an unmistakable sign that the body needs to feed again and, therefore, a call to break the fast.
Guide to safe water-only fast
Do not fast if you have certain diseases
Some diseases can be aggravated by fasting and this can have serious consequences for health. Do not perform a water fast if you meet any of the following conditions (unless the doctor gives you permission):
Ø Eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
Ø Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or diabetes.
Ø You suffer from an insufficiency of enzymes.
Ø Advanced kidney or liver disease.
Ø Alcoholism problems.
Ø You suffer from thyroid dysfunction.
Ø You suffer from AIDS, tuberculosis or an infectious disease.
Ø Cancer at an advanced stage.
Ø You suffer from lupus.
Ø Vascular disease or poor circulation.
Ø You have heart disease, including heart failure, arrhythmias (especially atrial fibrillation), a history of heart attacks, valve problems, or cardiomyopathy.
Ø Alzheimer's disease or an organic brain syndrome.
Ø You have just undergone a transplant.
Ø You suffer from paralysis.
Ø You are pregnant or lactating.
Ø You are under 18 years old.
Ø You consume medicines that you can not leave
Choose the time period during which you will perform the water fast
You can start with a day's water fast. Limit your water fast to 3 days if you are going to do it without the help of a professional. If you wish to fast for longer, you should only do it under medical supervision (as in the case of a fasting retreat under the supervision of a health professional)
Fast during periods of low stress
Schedule your water fast for an occasion when you are not under a lot of stress and where it does not interfere with your daily routine. Do not work when you fast, whenever possible. Schedule your fast for a time when you can rest both body and mind.
Enlist yourself at the mental level
The idea of fasting for several days can overwhelm you. Consult with the doctor, read books on the subject that have been written by reputable authors and talk to others who have already fasted. Consider your fast as an adventure.
Adopt the water fast gradually
Start with something small, instead of starting immediately. First eliminate sugar, processed foods and caffeine from your diet at least 2 or 3 days before fasting, and consume mostly fruits and vegetables. You can also reduce the portion of your meals for several weeks before fasting. This can help you prepare your body for fasting and make the transition to water easier at the mental level. You can alternate fasting and your habitual consumption until you start fasting with water. You could make this plan in the course of a month in the following way:
Ø First week: do not eat breakfast.
Ø Second week: skip breakfast and lunch.
Ø Third week: skip breakfast and lunch, and decrease your dinner portion.
Ø Fourth week: start your water fast.
What to Expect from a water only fast
When performing a water only fast for an extended period, constant hunger is experienced during the first three days until the appetite decreases completely. In addition to the feeling of hunger, you may feel a little irritable, and may have slight headaches and some fatigue, as the body begins the process of detoxification.
After three days, the appetite disappears, the skin begins to cleanse and the energy returns. While fasting, do not exercise strenuous or heavy work.
Fasting is generally safe for most people, with the exception of people suffering from cancer, diabetes or serious illness. Ask a skilled naturopath before beginning a long water-based fast.
Breaking the fast
To break a long water only fast, it is advisable that you first start drinking natural juices within the first two days, then add fresh fruits, next will be fresh vegetables and finally cooked foods. Now, you will notice how your sense of taste is sharpened and you can enjoy the sensation by drinking a freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Think of a water fast of this nature as a new beginning, and if you are determined to stay away from unhealthy foods and beverages, from processed foods in the future, the benefits of fasting with water will continue to manifest for a long time afterwards.