Fasting is a present-day reality, and it’s making me miserable. For example, the 16:8 diet involves fasting 16 hours per day while eating what you need the other 8 hours. Since you will be sleeping for most of the 16 hours without food, it does not sound too bad. . . But there is one diet that does it: the water fast. It’s also exactly what you think it is. Water fasting is basically a “slimdown” in which you only consume water. TL;DR: Water fasting is outrageous. There’s even “waterfasting centers”, and it’s just not right.
How does water fasting work? Whitney Linsenmeyer says that if you are only drinking water during a water fast, your digestive system will be in a state of “fasting” – the precursor to “starvation”. D.,R.D., an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Representative and Educator in the Bureau of Nutrition and Dietetics of Saint Louis University. Lisenmeyer: “The body is relying on its own stores of lipids and protein to fuel itself. After a few days, or even a couple of hours, the body can become ill. Linsenmeyer says that prolonged absence of nutrition can cause a variety of symptoms, including weakness, irritability, unease, drops in circulation strain, heart arrhythmias and seizures. You’re not providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, and it’s hopeless. Linsenmeyer says that the subject is not well-studied, and this makes it even more risky because it’s impossible to determine how water fasting affects the body. She adds that, “Only a few research studies have been conducted on water-fasting in humans.” This is complicated further by the lack of established parameters and rules that govern this type or fasting, she adds. There are many stories from people who tried water fasting, but these do not replace brilliant research. “
Do you think it will help me lose some weight? Should I try it? You will lose weight, because you won’t be consuming anything other than water for extended periods of time, which is highly undesirable. Linsenmeyer says that since it’s not a realistic weight loss, you will eventually gain it back, and possibly even more. “Your digestion will slow down during a starvation condition as your body is rationing energy, which is not conducive to weight loss over the long term. Water fasting, therefore, is not recommended as a way to lose weight. If weight loss is what you’re after, but you don’t want to risk it, an irregular eating schedule like the 16:8 diet is much more safe and may actually give you results that you can sustain. Linsenmeyer says that a healthy lifestyle is based on a balanced diet and regular exercise. Don’t even think about water fasting. It is not only unbeneficial, but could be harmful.