In this article I will be discussing following points:
- What happens to your body if fasting for 3, 7, 21 and 40 days
- Benefits and dangers of water fasting
- How to suppress hunger
- Vitamins and therapies
- Support group
- How to exit a fast correctly?
Day 1 : you should not expect significant changes in the body. You will feel hunger, but the reserves of nutrients and energy are quite enough, not only to overcome the desire to eat but also to complete daily tasks. In order to contain hunger and feel good, it is recommended to drink 250 ml of water every hour.
Day 2 : energy levels will undoubtedly decrease and the hunger will clearly remind of itself. In addition, there is a chance that you will feel incredibly thirsty. You can drink up to 2.5 liters per day.
Day 3 : is marked by the appearance of nausea and weakness an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth, even a plaque on the tongue of a white color. For people with health problems, the plaque can be yellow, grey and even brown. To calm these signs will help water. Acute feeling of hunger comes and goes during the day.
According to those who survived such a three-day hungry marathon, and not everyone can do this, the following changes have occurred:
- the body cleared of toxins, slags and mucus,
- excess water retention went away, including the swelling of the legs of the hands and face.
- disappeared from 1 to 3 kg of excess weight
- normalized the work of the gastrointestinal tract
- significantly reduced pain feeling, especially in the joints
- improved the condition of the musculoskeletal system
Let’s be objective and voice the negative consequences of three-day fasting due to which many refuse and fear water fasting.
- increased heart rate up to 120 140 beats per minute
- bradycardia lowering the pulse below 60 beats per minute nausea
- daytime sleepiness
- fast fatigue
- irritability and aggressiveness
Similar manifestations can appear on the 1st and on the 3rd day fasting.
Day 4 : comes lightness and a charge of vivacity, exacerbation of the senses and activation of mental processes, but many say that during this period they are not left with a feeling of fatigue and nausea.
Day 5 : brings relief because the nausea and headaches disappear and life seems to be back to normal.
Day 6 : can be called a kind of crisis characterised by the appearance of weakness, especially in the evening. The tongue can have a white plaque from which it is necessary to get rid of. For some the feeling of hunger is aggravated again, although it is more easy to overcome than the first 3 days of fasting, while others generally lose the desire to eat.
Day 7 : begins with a feeling of excitement and emotional uplift. However, in the late afternoon, a wave of weakness rolls over and the temperature can rise to high levels. (Advice: drink plenty of water! )
7 day refusal of food has the following effect:
- the skin has become smoother
- the number of acne eruptions on the face has decreased
- weight loss is about 500 g per day
- the amount of plaque on the tongue increases
- an unpleasant odour of acetone from the oral cavity appears
- urine and sweat acquires a pungent odour
- the existing diseases are aggravated
A seven-day water starvation helps to rebuild and prepare organism for a longer fasting. The fact is that it is at the end of the 7th day of fasting that the body switches to internal or energy nutrition.
Fasting 21 days
A 3-week water fasting is a complex process that requires not only willpower but also a competent approach. If you decide to fast for more than 7 days, you should consult a doctor and undergo a series of examinations that will help you decide whether your body is ready.
But let’s talk about what to expect you if you decide to fast 21 days:
Day 8: like on the 7th day, it starts quite vigorously and energetically, but unfortunately, energy is rarely enough for the whole day. In the evening you will start experiencing severe fatigue. My advice: take more rest and go earlier to bed.
Day 9 to 14: the fasting proceeds without any feeling of hunger. You will feel an incredible lightness in your body and an exacerbation of smell can be noticed. However, sometimes you can have strong mood swings from aversion to food to severe hunger attacks.
Day 15 & 16 : the period of cleansing of the skin, which becomes more even, smooth and healthy. Plaque on the tongue and a strong breath smell are still present. The plaque must be removed and to fight the odor from the oral cavity, use some herbal rinse.
Day 17: Finally the bad breath disappears and so does the plaque on the tongue. The feeling in the evening may worsen, but weakness and dizziness appears generally. The body temperature rises.
Day 18 & 19: This can be the beginning of a second crisis, which can last one day but can also stretch up to 3 days. At this time, fasting people may experience weakness, nausea and discomfort in the digestive tract. But this crisis is tolerated much easier than the first one.
Day 20 & 21: The mood improves significantly, although the body is weakened. In addition, with prolonged fasting, speech, movement and reactions can slow down. Now there is total absence of the feeling of hunger.
Benefits & Dangers of a 3 weeks water fasting:
- Deep cleansing of the body
- Regeneration of the skin
- Increased elasticity and tightness of the skin
- Smoothing of small wrinkles
- Normalization of the stomach and intestines
- Excess weight loss
- Optimization of mental activity
However, it should be remembered that the body of each person is individual. It therefore can respond to such a prolonged lack of food in many different ways. If any of the following signs appear, it´s necessary do consult a doctor who can successfully help you to correctly exit from fasting:
- Severe dizziness accompanied by nausea and vomiting
- A sharp decrease or increase in pressure
- Flashing of flies before the eyes
- Loss of more than 40 45% of body weight
- Appearance of pain syndrome
- Exacerbation of existing chronic diseases
Among the less dangerous, but still no less unpleasant symptoms of fasting, I would like to highlight the following:
- Sleep disorders
- Constant thoughts about food
- Irritability and mood swings
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
- Bruises under the eyes
- Some can also appear purulent discharge from nasal cavity and a wet cough
People with experience of fasting advise not pay special attention to these symptoms which indicate that the body is cleansing. Generally is believed that during the first 3 days of fasting the kidneys are cleansed. By the 7th Day of fasting, the gastrointestinal tract. is cleaned. By the 12th day, the lymphatic system and blood vessels are cleansed. If you want to cleanse the skeletal system, you will have to give up food 21 days. The nervous system can be regenerated after 36 days of water fasting. And only by the 40th Day, the body will be fully cleansed and regenerated.
Fasting for weight loss
Some people come to such extreme methods of losing weight like water fasting to quickly get rid of excess weight. Undeniably during a water fast you can lose from 1 to 20 or more kilograms, depending on the duration of the refusal of food, although every person has individual body composition characteristics. However, the safety of such a diet should be taken into account, and that it is extremely difficult to maintain the weight after it.
Why? First of all, 1/3 of body weight lost during water starvation are muscles and not fat deposits, as many mistakenly believe. To maintain performance, the body needs proteins that come with food. During fasting, the body is looking for alternative ways to get protein, and the easiest and fastest way to get it from is from muscles and not from fat which is stored in reserve; secondly muscle depletion, as well as connective tissue leads to the destruction of the muscle corset, as a result of which cellulite appears; thirdly, after starvation, our body remembers the stress it experienced and begins to actively store fats in case it is again deprived of nutrients. As a result, the dropped kilograms can return very quickly (often even in double quantity). Whatever purpose you pursue in the decision to starve, remember, when it comes to health, you should adhere to a simple and immutable truth: DO NO HARM. Simply Visit a doctor and take all the necessary tests.
How to suppress hunger during fasting?
Very effective methods for me to suppress hunger are:
- large amounts of water, possibly warm or room temperature
- sparkling water
- warm bath ( I usually add 500g of epsom salt and 500g of baking soda )
- coffee ( during fasting not recommended, but I take a cup of coffee mixed 1:1 with water in the mornings )
- walk in the fresh air
Vitamins and therapies
After trying different ways of water fasting, I have experienced a series of symptoms like hair loss, low immune defence, etc. During my last fast, I was taking Orthomol Immun and all these unpleasant symptoms were gone. Generally, I get often a cold and it’s rather severe, but after I started to take these vitamins, I didn’t get a cold or a flu not even once. So, I definitely recommend to try these. These vitamins also exist for children and seem to be very effective.
Where to find it?
If you live in a German speaking country you can easily find it in the pharmacy, otherwise click on the Amazon link on the right ->
As for therapies: yoga, meditation, massages, thermal baths, seaweed wraps, scrubs are great during water fasting. These will relax you and keep you distracted from food.
Fasting by yourself and without any support can turn out to be very challenging. I believe that by being in a group of people who motivate each other and share their feeling and experiences, can be very helpful. This was a reason why I created 6 chat groups on my Instagram (5 English speaking groups and 1 Russian speaking, each group contained 32 people). It was truly great to connect with people and share the struggles and help each other. Each time girls tried to motivate and support each other.
If you would like to join this kind of group you are welcome to get in touch with me and I will let you know when I’m hosting this kind of support chat group.
How to exit a fast correctly?
It can be harmful for the body if you start swallowing all the food you see after finishing your fast. It’s crucial to introduce the food slowly and correctly. Usually the exit time should last at least the same length as the fasting period or even double of time. Many people, after water fasting, re-think their daily nutrition and often become vegans or vegetarians.
Here is an example of how I usually do it (but I would suggest to consult a doctor):
Day 1-3: water mixed with juice 1:1 ( I start usually with citrus juices )
Day 3-5: full bodied juices or vegetable broth
Day 5-12: introduction of steamed vegetables which are soft and easy to digest
Day 12-16: introduction of steamed rice
Day 16-21: introduction of steamed fish
DISCLAIMER: This article outlines my personal experiences with water fasting and shall in no way constitute a recommendation. I suggest you research yourself or consult with your doctor to make an informed fasting decision yourself.