10-Day Water Fasting For Weight Loss: Benefits & Side Effects

Many people fast for religious reasons. But did you know that water fasting for weight loss works great? Going on a water fast for a day or two in a week can boost your metabolism, reduce calorie intake, and help you lose up to 14 pounds in just 30 days. However, this is a short-term weight loss plan. You must consume a balanced diet and exercise regularly as well.

Water fasting has been practiced since ancient times. Humans did not know to grow their own food or hunt. By drinking just water, humans could survive for days. But today, obesity has become a global issue. We overstuff ourselves with foods that have zero nutritional value and empty calories. However, you can change that by modifying your lifestyle and taking small steps. Start the 1- or 2-day water fasting per week to lose weight and improve your overall health.

Continue reading to know more about it.

Water Fasting To Lose Weight

  1. What Is Water Fasting?
  2. How Does Water Fasting Help In Weight Loss?
  3. 10 Days Water Fasting Plan For Weight Loss (With Diet Charts)
  • Pre-Fasting Phase (Day 1 And Day 2)
  • Water Fasting Phase (Day 3- Day 7)
  • Post-Fasting Phase (Day 8- Day 10)
  1. Added Benefits Of Water Fasting
  2. Side Effects Of Water Fasting
  3. Caution

1. What Is Water Fasting?

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Water fasting involves drinking 1-2 liters of water per day for five days. Doing this will give your body a chance to rejuvenate itself and flush out toxins that have been building up in the body for a long time. The most important aspect of water fasting is that your brain will be more alert and you will become super focused on what you do. You may feel tired and need to sleep more. But overall, it will show good results, provided you do it properly, with the help of your physician or dietitian. Also, it is important to understand that not all bodies have the same stress coping ability. Therefore, it is up to you whether you want to undertake water fast when you are on a sabbatical or while you are working or going to school.

A pre-fast and post-fast phase is necessary. Slowly reduce food intake before the actual water fast and then again gradually re-introduce food after the water fast is completed. Sudden water fasting or breaking the fast suddenly will harm your body and can even kill you.

2. How Does Water Fasting Help In Weight Loss?

For the first two days during your water fasting phase, all you lose is the water weight. The fats start to burn from the 3rd day of water fasting phase. When you stop eating, your digestive system stops working. Your body slows down, except the brain and the heart. The stored fat is now broken down to provide energy for all involuntary and voluntary functions of the body. Water helps to get rid of the toxins and any waste present in the colon. This further helps you to lose a good chunk of weight. All this coupled with the right amount of daily exercise (depending on the body type and the body’s current activity level) will help you to lose a considerable amount of flab.

3. 10 Days Water Fasting Plan For Weight Loss (With Diet Charts)

To make sure that you get the most out of this fast, I have divided the fasting period into 3 phases. The first phase or the pre-fasting phase lasts for 2 days, allowing your body to consume less and less solid foods and making your body more comfortable with “liquid only” diet. The second phase or the water fasting phase is the toughest of all, but by the time you complete this phase, I assure you that you will feel like a new person. Drink neither less nor too much of water. Drinking less water can make you dehydrated and drinking more water can flush out all the salts from your body, which can prove to be fatal. Drink about 1-2 liters of water per day during the water fasting phase. The last phase of breaking the fast is crucial. You have to gradually re-introduce the solid foods or any other liquid food (juices or soup) over a period of three days. Eating fruits and veggies in the first and third phases will provide your body with enough vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber to survive the water fasting phase as well as for recuperating from the fast.

Here is a diet chart for all the three phases to help you get an idea about what to eat in the first and third phases. Take a look.

  • Pre-Fasting Phase

Image: Shutterstock

Early MorningLemon, honey and warm water detox drink
Breakfast1 bowl of fruits or 1 banana and a probiotic drink
LunchVegetable sandwich (no cheese or mayonnaise) or grilled veggies
Post-Lunch1 glass fruit juice
Evening Snack1 cup green or black tea (without sugar or artificial sweetener) with two multigrain biscuits
DinnerVegetable soup or veggie salad
Bed Time1 glass warm milk
Why This Works

Day 1 allows you to eat a good amount of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are nutrient-dense foods that will keep you healthy and keep your hunger pangs at bay. Fruits and veggies will also make your skin glow. Probiotics are gut bacteria that help in digestion. The probiotic drink will keep your digestive system healthy.

Useful Tip

Try not to shop for any meat so that you don’t have to see it in the refrigerator! Buy lots of fruits and veggies instead. Take a break of 20-30 minutes before drinking the probiotic drink after breakfast.

Day 2

Early MorningWarm water and lemon detox drink.
Breakfast1 glass fruit juice.
Lunch1 small bowl vegetable salad.
Post-Lunch1 apple or an orange.
Evening Snack1 cup green or black tea (without sugar or artificial sweetener).
Dinner1 medium bowl of fruits.
Bed Time1 glass warm water.

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Useful Tip

Try not to eat fruits that have a lot of fructose. Fruits like grapes, mango, banana, pineapple, jackfruit, etc., should be avoided. You can have muskmelon, papaya, kiwi, berries, orange, apple, plum, etc. Drink at least three liters of water.

Why This Works

On Day 2, you will be allowed to eat fruits and veggies, but in lesser amounts, i.e., you will consume fewer calories. This pre-fasting phase will prepare you for the coming five days of water fasting.

  • Water Fasting Phase

Image: Shutterstock

Day 3- Day 7

This is the most challenging phase. Drink 1-2 liters of water per day. It is better to get your doctor’s opinion on whether or not you should water fast for so many days to lose weight. You may feel weak and tired. Do remember to take rest and sleep well.

Depending on your current body activity, you can either go for short medium paced walks, yoga or even push ups! Each body has a different coping ability. If you have been working out and lead an active life, you would probably be fine with mild workouts until the third day into the water fasting phase. If you do not lead an active life, just go for short, lazy walks.

I would also like to mention that more than three days of water fasting requires medical supervision. Therefore, I advise you to keep your doctor involved in this process.

  • Post-Fasting Phase

Image: Shutterstock

Day 8

Early MorningWarm water and lemon detox drink.
Breakfast1 glass watermelon juice.
Lunch1 glass apple juice and 2 almonds.
Evening Snack1 cup green or black tea (without sugar or artificial sweetener).
Dinner1 medium bowl of veggie or fruit salad (you can also juice them).
Bed Time1 glass warm milk.
Why This Works

On the first day of your breaking the fast, be very careful about the calories you consume. This diet chart allows you to eat mostly liquid foods. The sudden introduction of high calorie foods can lead to a spike in blood glucose levels, which can prove fatal sometimes.

Useful Tip

No matter what, resist your temptation for just one more day. You can drink musk melon or beetroot juice for breakfast. For lunch, you can have just an apple if you don’t want to juice it. A glass of milk before bed will help you sleep better and provide your bones the required nutrition.

Day 9

Early MorningLemon, honey, and warm water detox drink.
Breakfast1 banana.
Lunch1 medium bowl of cabbage soup or vegetable salad.
Evening Snack1 cup green/black tea with 1 multigrain biscuit.
DinnerSauteed/baked broccoli, spinach, tomato, and spring onions.
Bed Time1 glass warm milk.
Why This Works

Gradually, high calorie foods are re-introduced into your diet. You understand your body better, so eat as much as you can digest properly without falling sick.

Useful Tip

You can have just a glass of orange juice if you don’t want to eat a banana. If you choose to eat vegetable salad, eat the veggies raw. For dinner, you can blend all the above mentioned veggies and make soup.

Day 10

Early MorningLemon, honey, and warm water detox drink or any other detox drink.
Breakfast1 medium bowl of wheat flakes with strawberries or 1 glass of mixed fruit juice.
Lunch1 grilled veggie sandwich.
Post-Lunch1 bowl of fruits.
Evening Snack1 cup green/black tea with 2 multigrain biscuits.
Dinner1 medium bowl of clear veggie soup.
Bed Time1 glass warm milk.
Why This Works

On the last day, eat a little more solid food along with liquid food. Eat fruits and veggies in solid and liquid form to create a balance, signaling your body to expect a normal diet routine from the next day.

Useful Tip

Do not use corn flour for preparing vegetable soup. If you do not get multigrain biscuits, just drink the green tea. If your body allows, you can snack on a carrot or cucumber.

4. Other Benefits Of Water Fasting

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It is tough to believe, but yes, water fasting can improve your overall health. Here is a list of the benefits.

  1. Helps you to lose weight.
  2. Water fasting has proven to be beneficial for those who are suffering from hypertension (1).
  3. It will help reboot your body (2).
  4. Since water flushes out all the toxins, your skin becomes smoother.
  5. Water fasting can also help you sleep better. When your body is denied of any nutrition, it will be impossible to be awake for long hours. Sleep helps us to have a better memory and less tension and anxiety.
  6. Your digestion is improved significantly.
  7. Extra unwanted toxins in your colon get cleansed.
  8. Water fasting can eliminate or decrease muscle pain, joint pains, and headaches.
  9. Food and drink can cause a lot of harm to your teeth and gums. Water fasting can help you get healthier gums and teeth.
  10. Water fasting can also improve blood circulation.
  11. You can get a healthier cardiovascular system.
  12. It helps build lean muscle.
  13. Your brain becomes more active and your concentration improves.
  14. This fasting can help you improve the condition of many chronic diseases.
  15. Can help fight Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s.
  16. It improves insulin sensitivity.
  17. Improves self-esteem. You lose weight and your determination to complete this fast gives you the satisfaction of accomplishing a tough job.

5. Side Effects Of Water Fasting

  1. Drinking more than 2 liters of water per day can be fatal.
  2. You may feel weak and tired all the time.
  3. Working out too much can cause you to faint.
  4. Your body will lose lean muscle.
  5. There is a risk that your heart muscles may become weak.
  6. It can damage other organs if extended beyond 10 days.
  7. This can be harmful to pregnant women, children, and teens.

6. Caution

Any fad diet can be dangerous, depending on your body type. This is the precise reason why not all medicines act or react the same way on all patients. Depending on your age, medical history, genetics, current activity level etc., water fasting can prove to be the best way to lose weight or the worst. The point here is to remain healthy and active. Weight loss will do no good if you look tired and worn out all the time. Long-term weight loss can only be achieved by eating good food in small portions and by working out. Water fasting should not be extended beyond 10 days but can be done intermittently. Do take advice from an expert before taking up this 10-day diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you shower while water fasting?

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Jesse Feder, Clinical Dietitian at the Memorial Regional Hospital South, says, “Yes, you may shower while water fasting. The shower will not affect your fasting at all.”

What happens after 72 hours of water fasting?

According to Jesse, “After fasting for 72 hours, your body will enter ketosis, you will have low blood glucose levels, you will have lost body weight, and you may experience irregular heartbeat.”

Do you poop more when fasting?

Jesse says, “You do not poop more when fasting. This is mostly due to the fact that you are not consuming fiber as well as enough nutrients to really develop normal bowel movements. People will typically experience a change in their bowel regimen during fasting.”

Can I drink coffee while water fasting?

Possibly. A water fast is primarily geared towards detoxification, and you might want to skip having coffee. However, if you want to, opt for a black coffee.

Should I take vitamins while water fasting?

Yes. Vitamin supplements may help prevent any deficiencies that may occur due to the fast. Choose liquid formulations if possible.

— Update: 16-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Water Fasting For A Week: Benefits And Dangers from the website betterme.world for the keyword water diet for a week.

Fasting is nothing new; people have been doing it for centuries as a way to cleanse their bodies and minds. Water fasting is when you drink only water and consume no food for a set period of time. There are many claimed benefits of water fasting, including weight loss, increased energy levels, improved brain function, and enhanced detoxification. Water fasting is also said to help improve your skin health and reduce inflammation (11). However, there are also some risks associated with water fasting, such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and low blood sugar levels (10). It is important to speak to your doctor before embarking on a water fast, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. Let’s dive into the benefits and risks of water fasting so that you can decide if it’s right for you.

Water diet for a week

How To Do Water Fasting For A Week?

The idea behind water fasting is that you are giving your body a break from digesting food. When you consume only water, it’s thought that your body can focus on cleansing and repair.

There are different ways to do water fasting. The most common method is to fast for 24 hours, followed by a period of eating normally. This cycle can be repeated as often as you like, for a period of days, weeks, or even months.

Another way to do water fasting is to fast for 36 hours straight, followed by 12 hours of eating normally. This cycle can also be repeated as often as you like.

And finally, you can do a more extreme form of water fasting where you consume only water for 7 days or more. This type of fast is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted under the supervision of a medical professional.

You don’t just wake up one morning and go on a water fast. There’s a method to the madness. For 24 hour fasting, you will want to start by cutting out solid foods the night before. This means no dinner, just soup, broth or juice.

For 36 hour fasting, you will want to start by cutting out solid foods two meals before your fast.

And for 7 days or more, you will want to start by gradually reducing your food intake over the course of a few days, until you are only consuming water.

Note that if you’re a beginner to the world of fasting, you should not attempt a fast that is longer than 24 hours. It’s best to start slow and work your way up as your body gets used to the idea of not eating solid food.

Always talk to your doctor before attempting any type of fast, as it is not safe for everyone.

Water diet for a week

How Much Water Should You Drink While Fasting?

It is important to drink plenty of water while you are fasting, as dehydration can quickly set in.

How much water you should drink depends on a number of factors, including your body weight, activity level, and the climate you live in.

As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day (12). If you are doing a more extreme fast, such as a 7-day fast, you may need to drink even more water than this. Talk to your doctor for more specific recommendations.

Drinking too much water can also be dangerous, so it is important to listen to your body and drink whenever you are thirsty.

It is also important to stay well-hydrated during the eating periods of your fast. This will help your body to better absorb the nutrients from the food you are consuming.

What Are The Benefits Of Water Fasting?

Some research has been conducted on the benefits of fasting, and there are many possible benefits of doing a water fast.

Some of the most well-known potential benefits of water fasting include:

Weight Loss

One of the most common reasons people fast is for weight loss. When you cut out all food, your body is forced to burn stored fat for energy. This process can lead to rapid weight loss, especially in the first few days of fasting (11).

How much weight can you lose from water fasting for a week? Well, it depends. We should probably clarify that most of the changes on the scale will be due to loss of water weight, rather than loss of actual body fat.

You can’t go the rest of your life without food. At some point, you’re going to have to eat again. When you do eat again, the food quality and quantity will play a big role in whether or not you gain all the weight back.

Water diet for a week

Increased Energy Levels

Another common benefit of water fasting that people claim to experience is increased energy levels (11). When you fast, your body starts to burn stored glycogen for energy. Glycogen is a form of sugar that is stored in your liver and muscles.

After 12-24 hours without food, your glycogen stores will be depleted and your body will start burning stored fat for energy. This process is known as ketosis and some people say it can lead to increased energy levels (11). Other people experience fatigue – different people have different experiences and reactions to fasting.

Mental Clarity

Many people report feeling more clear headed and focused while fasting. This is likely due to the increased levels of ketones in the brain. Ketones are a byproduct of fat burning which provide energy for the brain when glucose is not available. Some people report improved cognitive function when in ketosis, while others experience the opposite (11).

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Improved Digestion

Fasting gives your digestive system a break. When you fast, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest food. Some say that this can lead to improved digestion and a reduction in digestive problems like bloating, heartburn, and constipation.

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Water diet for a week

Reduced Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Moderate fasting may help reduce inflammation throughout the body, but extended fasting can actually cause damage from oxidative stress and inflammation (11).


Fasting has been shown to increase lifespan in some species. While more research is needed to confirm these results in humans (which may not be possible), the autophagy process that occurs during fasting is thought to play a role in longevity (1).

Autophagy is when the body breaks down and recycles damaged cells and organelles. This process helps to prevent the buildup of toxins and might lead to improved cell function (3).

Disease Prevention

Fasting has also been suggested to help prevent a variety of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease (6).

Fasting has also been theorized to improve brain health and protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This could be due to the autophagy process that occurs during fasting, which helps to clear out damaged cells and promote new cell growth (4).

Fasting has also been suggested to help prevent cancer and slow the growth of tumors (9).

These benefits are far from proven, but they are interesting areas for further study by scientists.

Water diet for a week

What Are The Dangers Of Water Fasting For A Week?

When water fasting for a week, you may experience some dangerous side effects, such as:


Contrary to popular belief, drinking water only for days doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated. In fact, you may become severely dehydrated because your body also needs electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and others to regulate fluid balance (10).


Water fasting for a week can also lead to malnutrition. This is because you’re not consuming any nutrients or calories, which your body needs for fuel. As a result, you may experience weakness, fatigue, and dizziness (10).

You may also be at risk for developing serious health problems, such as organ failure.

Electrolyte Imbalance

When you fast, your body may also experience an electrolyte imbalance. This is because you lose sodium and potassium through urine and sweat, and you aren’t replacing them by eating food. If not addressed, this imbalance can lead to dangerous consequences, such as heart arrhythmia or seizures (8).

Kidney Damage

Another potential danger of water fasting for a week is kidney damage. This is because your kidneys have to work harder and are affected by the fluid and electrolyte disturbances when you’re neither eating nor drinking, which can lead to strain and damage (5).

If you have kidney problems or are at risk for developing them, water fasting is particularly dangerous.

Muscle Wasting

Another danger of water fasting for a week is muscle wasting. This is because your body will start breaking down muscle for energy since it’s not getting any from food. As a result, you may experience weakness and muscle loss (10).


Gallstones are another potential complication of water fasting for a week. This is because the burning of fat for fuel can cause the release of cholesterol into the bile to increase, which can lead to the formation of gallstones (7).


Diarrhea is another common side effect of water fasting for a week. This is because your digestive system probably isn’t used to not processing food, and as a result, when you break your fast, you may experience diarrhea (10).

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Water diet for a week


Headaches are another potential side effect of water fasting for a week. This is likely due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (10). If you experience a headache while fasting, be sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids and see a doctor if the pain is severe.

Binge Eating

Once you break your fast, you may be tempted to overeat or binge eat. This is because your body will be craving food after days of not eating. While this isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can lead to weight gain and other complications.

People with a history of eating disorders or who are struggling with their weight may want to avoid water fasting for a week.

Orthostatic Hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension is a condition that can occur when you stand up too quickly. When you’re dehydrated, your blood pressure may drop, which can cause you to feel lightheaded or dizzy (2).

If you experience this while water fasting, be sure to drink more fluids and sit or lie down if you feel dizzy. Talk to your doctor and consider breaking your fast.

What To Do For Weight Loss And Overall Health, Instead Of Water Fasting For A Week

If you’re looking to lose weight or improve your overall health, there are better ways to do it than water fasting for a week. Instead, try making changes to your diet and lifestyle.

  • Cut out processed foods, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates. These foods are high in calories and low in nutrients, so they can contribute to weight gain.
  • Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. These foods are packed with nutrients and can help you feel full longer.
  • Exercise regularly. This can help you burn calories and improve your overall health.

Note that the most effective approach to lifestyle changes is small, gradual changes that you can stick with over the long-term. Crash diets, like water fasting for a week, are not sustainable and can actually be harmful to your health.

If you’re looking to water fast for health reasons, talk to your doctor first. Water fasting is a potentially dangerous practice, and it’s not right for everyone. Your doctor can help you understand the risks and benefits and determine if water fasting is right for you.

The Bottom Line

Water fasting for a week can lead to some dangerous side effects, such as dehydration, malnutrition, electrolyte imbalance, and kidney damage.

Water diet for a week


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About the Author: Tung Chi