Fasting and ketosis
As mentioned, ketosis relies on glucose levels dropping low enough for the body to produce ketones, causing it to switch to stored fat as its primary source of energy. This is precisely what happens during intermittent fasting, whether following the 16/8, the 5:2, the alternate day, or any other method of intermittent fasting.
These methods start the ketosis process and are great choices to adopt as a permanent lifestyle for the long-term benefits. If you want to reach full ketosis and stay there for a while to reap the benefits, prolonged fasting, sometimes referred to as water fasting, is necessary.
How long does it take to go into ketosis when fasting?
The length of time it takes for fasting to induce ketosis varies between people. It depends on many factors, including how often you eat, your activity level, and the number of carbs you consume. The beginning of intermittent fasting ketosis can start after 12 hours for some people. By 24-48 hours, the body is reaping the full benefits of ketosis (5).
Most intermittent fasting methods schedule fasting periods of less than 24 hours. Water fasting takes it up a notch, eliminating all food and allowing the drinking of water-only for 1-3 days. It is essential to consume at least 2-3 liters of water per day. Although people do longer water fasts, you should not extend a water fast beyond 3 days without medical supervision. Some people do a water fast once a month, others a few times a year.
Water fasting to induce ketosis
Water fasting allows the body to enter the state of ketosis more quickly than through Keto or another low-carb diet. All food is withheld. Therefore, the body depletes its energy source sooner and turns to ketones and fat burning to keep it running.
Water fasting benefits
The positive outcomes of water fasting are the same, but at an increased level, as the benefits of intermittent fasting. They include decreased insulin resistance, improved cardiovascular and brain health, and increased production of the “anti-aging” human growth hormone (HgH).
Water fasting also enhances autophagy, the body’s natural cell cleaning and recycling system, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Water fasting can help with weight loss, especially when practiced regularly. But prolonged fasting of more than three days is more beneficial in this regard (6).
Also, consider adopting an intermittent fasting lifestyle for the long term, possibly pairing it with Keto or a low carbohydrate diet to obtain and maintain the desired results.
People with eating disorders, pregnant women and children under 18 should avoid water fasting.
Water fasting can help with gout and type 1 or 2 diabetes, but people with such a medical condition should practice water fasting only under medical supervision.
It is normal to feel irritable, but if you start to feel disoriented or confused, stop immediately and seek medical advice.
Short-term water fasting doesn’t cause nutritional deficiencies, but you could find yourself lacking in vitamins, minerals, or protein if you are doing them frequently. Space out your fasts and take the appropriate supplements for fasting.
Water fasting helps one enter ketosis more quickly than other ways of reaching this metabolic state. The body is wholly deprived of nutrients, so it turns to its own fat stores for energy. Adding in a water fast to your routine for a few days to induce periodic ketosis has many long-term benefits for physical and mental health, including reducing inflammation, decreasing insulin resistance, and increasing energy levels and mental clarity. Best weight loss results may be achieved with medically supervised, prolonged fasting of more than 3 days.
— Update: 15-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Fast Series Part 4: Eight Steps to a Successful Water Fast from the website thebrothersgreen.co for the keyword 3 day water fast keto diet.
The Brothers Green team regularly practice fasting and thrive from the nutrients that come from consuming the range of The Brothers Green raw hemp foods leading up to the fast.
- 48-36 Hours Before the Fast – Prepare Your Body with Hemp Seed Oil
- 12 Hours Fasting – Enter the Metabolic State
- 18 Hours Fasting – Switch to Fat-Burning Mode
- 24 Hours Fasting – Autophagy
- 48 Hours Fasting – Increase Growth Hormone Levels
- 54 Hours Fasting – Insulin Levels Drop to Lowest Point
- 72 Hours Fasting – Generation of New Immune Cells
- After the Water Fast – The ‘Refeed’ with Hemp Seeds
Stage 1 – How To Begin a Water Fast
What you eat before the fast can set up the next few days for a greater chance of success. The 48 – 36 hours before the fast are important to prepare the body and mind. Beginning to implement a 16 hour fast for the day or two before will give your body time to adjust and then cut down the intake of energy intensive food to process. By eating light, wholefood meals (fruits and vegetables) and not consuming any processed foods you will allow your body to better capitalise on the benefits of the fast and make the most of the experience for autophagy and cell renewal.
Hemp Seed Oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, low in carbs, perfect to enter a ketogenic state. In the 2-3 days leading up to your fast, increase your usual 1 TBSP daily serving to 3 TBSP a day. The Brothers Green Hemp Seed Oil is perfect because it’s cold-pressed, unprocessed, Omega-3 rich healthy oil.
The Water Fast Itself
Stage 2 – 12 Hours Fasting
By 12 hours fasting you’ve entered the metabolic state called ketosis (Anton et al., Obesity 2018). This is when your body starts to break down stored energy and starts to burn fat.
Stage 3 – 18 Hours Fasting
By 18 hours you’ve switched to fat-burning mode and are generating significant ketones (Anton et al., Obesity 2018).
Stage 4 – 24 Hours Fasting
Within 24 hours your cells are increasingly recycling old components and breaking down misfolded proteins linked to alzheimers and other diseases (Alirezaei et al., Autophagy 2010). This is the process called autophagy which we need to begin immune system regeneration.
Stage 5 – 48 Hours Fasting
By 48 hours fasting without any/ very few calories, carbs or protein, your growth hormone level has increased up to five times higher than when you started your fast (Hartman et al.,1992).
Stage 6 – 54 Hours Fasting
By 54 hours your insulin has dropped to its lowest level point since you started fasting and your body is becoming increasingly insulin-sensitive (Klein et al., 1993). This is where those with type 2 diabetes (insulin insensitivity) begin to see the body naturally re-sensitise to insulin.
Stage 7 – 72 Hours Fasting
By 72 hours water fasting your body is breaking down old immune cells and generating new ones (Cheng et al., 2014).
Maximising the Fasting Benefits
Stage 8 – After the Water Fast – The ‘Refeed’
What happens after a water fast – the ‘refeed’ – is one of the most important parts of the fast as this is how your body will regenerate your system. After multiple days without any food your digestive system needs something simple and easy to process. The best food to break a fast is light fruit such as watermelon or a smoothie is the best way to start. This is giving your system a chance to get used to food again before beginning on solid foods. Usually waiting 2-3 hours after your fruit or smoothie is enough time before reintroducing solid food. Although it can be tempting to get stuck into an indulging feed, you won’t regret giving your body time to readjust. This ensures you don’t upset the system and can get back to your normal routine. Your first feed will taste amazing!
I find that my appetite is never as strong as before the fast, the fast can reset our idea of hunger. This gives our mind the understanding that just because our stomach is empty, it does not mean our bodies need more food. It can make it a lot easier to introduce an intermittent fasting regime or healthier diet as it resets your hunger and taste buds.
Hemp Oil & Hemp Seeds
The Brothers Green Hemp Seed Oil & Hemp Hearts are the ideal food for the transition back into eating. They are light, versatile and easy on the gut. The high polyunsaturated fats and low carbohydrates profile will keep your body in ketosis and prolong the benefits of your fast.
Read more The Gut and Skin Reset Meal Plan
Fasting While Working & Working Out While Fasting
When Brendon and I did our water fast we aimed to fast for 72 hours. Consuming nothing but water, tea and black coffee for three days. We had our last meal on Monday evening and then we didn’t eat again until Thursday evening. During this time we also:
- Worked three full days
- Went to the gym three times
- Walked up the Rapaki Track at Otautahi’s Port Hills
- Attended a Bikram Yoga session at Flow Hot Yoga Christchurch
- Ran around Hagley Park, Otautahi’s largest park
All while not eating. This is not exactly necessary, but we wanted to highlight the fact that we do not always need to eat to operate. Our body stores energy (yes, that’s what fat is) for us to use in these times, however, we never have access to this stored energy because we keep topping up our fuel tank with food.
As a matter of fact, one of the most surprising outcomes of the fast is how much more focused you are, and how much work you can get done when you’re not having to prepare and consume a meal three times a day. Your body is the most complicated and intelligent machine that we have ever discovered. You’re not going to fall over and die if you don’t eat for 12 hours – I’m not sure how we would have made it this far otherwise. Especially when we have so much energy stored around our body.
My favourite part… it’s so simple! Just drink water and don’t eat… I dare ya!!
Our 3 Water Fasting Tips
1. Share the Experience and Results
Practice with a friend, group or partner. This means you have someone to share the experience with and they can keep you on track. It is always easier knowing that someone else is going through the same experience and you will both be able to share the benefits.
2. Keep Your Schedule Free
Don’t plan anything too strenuous or physically difficult. Enjoy the last 24 – 48 hours of the fast at home (weekends, days off, quarantine etc.) and try not to plan any social engagements around a meal. Instead you could go for a walk or have a cup of tea.
3. Keep Your Mind Busy
Although you don’t want to be doing anything involving food, it is a great time to read, study, do some mindfulness or complete those tedious jobs that you have been putting off. You will see that you will have a lot more time in your day, so planning to get some of these activities and jobs done will pass the time quicker.
4. Use Hemp in Transition Periods
Before & after the fast are the key times for getting the most benefits. Food with high fats and low carbs are perfect. Drink hemp seed oil and eat hemp seeds! Click here to explore The Brothers Green product range.
Click here to see our newly released downloadable PDF Water Fasting e-Guide. Our specific manifesto for our three month protocol for introducing your body gradually to a 24hr, 48hr & 72hr water fast.
Read Fast Series Part 5: ‘Reversing the Aging Process Through Fasting’ by clicking here.
— Update: 15-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article The 3 Day Water Fast: A Complete Guide [How To + What To Expect] from the website marathonhandbook.com for the keyword 3 day water fast keto diet.
Approaches to eating and dieting span the gamut from strict weight loss diets like the Whole30 diet, which dictates what you can and can’t eat, or the keto diet, which essentially eliminates an entire macronutrient from the diet to more permissive diets that involve altering the way you structure you’re eating but don’t specify exactly what you can and cannot eat.
Examples of the latter include the CICO diet (calories in, calories out), carb cycling, and intermittent fasting.
Another more extreme approach to dieting is water fasting. An occasional 3 day water fast is a fairly common practice meant to help facilitate weight loss and support other health-related goals.
Water fasting for three days can sound completely overwhelming, if not impossible if you have never done it before. However, proponents of 3 day water fasts attest that with a little preparation and mental grit, it’s not only worth it but not that hard to do once you actually try.
In this 3 day water fast guide, we will discuss how to do a 3 day water fast and the benefits of a 72 water fast.
We will cover:
- What Is a 3 Day Water Fast?
- Is 3 Day Water Fasting Safe?
- How To Do A 3 Day Water Fast
- What to Expect With a 3 Day Water Fast: Benefits of Fasting
Let’s dive in!
What Is a 3 Day Water Fast?
A 3-day water fast, also called a 72 hour fast, is an extreme version of water fasting that involves consuming only water for 72 hours or 3 full days.
As the name suggests, water fasting entails consuming only water for the entire duration of the fasting protocol.
With that said, some people who practice water fasting permit non-caloric beverages like green tea, herbal tea, club soda, or very low-calorie beverages such as black coffee during the fast.
It is also common to supplement water with unsweetened electrolyte powders, tablets, or capsules during a 3 day water fast, although strict protocols only allow you to lick pure pink Himalayan salt to attain necessary sodium.
Is 3 Day Water Fasting Safe?
A 24 hour water fast, or water fasting for a day or two, is not particularly uncommon, but a 72 hour fast is fairly extreme and should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a medical professional.
Although studies suggest that prolonged fasting can be safe, water fasting for three days is often not recommended nor safe for some people, and there are usually healthier, less severe alternatives for weight management and perceived health benefits.
These may include a shorter fast, an intermittent fasting diet, a well-balanced program of diet and exercise, etc.
It’s highly recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before embarking on a 3 day fast and discuss potential safer alternatives.
Fasting for 72 hours may result in adverse health and metabolic changes such as dehydration, a loss of lean muscle mass, hyperuricemia, hyponatremia, protein sparing, sodium and potassium sparing, decreased serum calcium and magnesium levels, and acidic urine.
Additionally, a 72 hour fast can lead to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, constipation, the inability to regulate body temperature, muscle loss, lightheadedness, shakiness, poor healing, blurry vision, difficulty sleeping, mood instability, and adverse nutritional deficiencies.
How To Do A 3 Day Water Fast
If you’ve never tried water fasting before, you’re probably wondering, “How do you do a 3 day water fast?”
This question seems simple enough, but it can actually be trying to pinpoint the answer to two distinct questions:
- How do you do a 3 day water fast from a practical perspective? (i.e., what does water fasting entail, what can you eat, what do you have to do to prepare, etc.); and
- How do you fast for 72 hours from a mental/hunger/discipline standpoint?
Let’s address both of these valid questions.
After you get the go-ahead from your healthcare provider, the next steps are to physically prepare your body and mentally and emotionally prepare your mind to fast for 72 hours.
To physically prepare yourself for a 3 day water fast, it is advisable that you practice with shorter fasting intervals before you take on a full 72 hour fast.
Although this isn’t required, it can help your body get used to the physical sensations of not receiving any type of energy intake for an extended period of time.
For example, you might try a 24-hour fast one week before your 72 hour water fast, or you might try several days of 18/6 intermittent fasting (extending your overnight fast for a full 18 hours and then only allowing the consumption of food during a 6-hour window during the day) or a 20/4 intermittent fasting diet for a week.
If your body is not accustomed to any type of fasting or intermittent caloric restriction, it can be quite jarring to suddenly have a complete absence of calories coming in.
Engaging in “mini” fasts will improve your ability to burn fat and use ketones for energy (which will occur after prolonged fasting), which can make your longer water fast more comfortable.
Whether or not you decide to try shorter fasts to prepare your body, it’s a good idea to be deliberate in your food and beverage choices in the 48 to 72 hours before you begin your water fast.
Eliminate alcohol, soda, excessive caffeine, and processed foods high in sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners, as these can trigger appetite.
Instead, focus on eating nourishing, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, eggs, and fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh.
It’s also wise to resist the urge to “stock up“ or overeat with a big meal heading into a 72 hour water fast. Binging can throw your insulin and blood sugar levels into haywire and can also compromise some of the potential health and weight loss benefits of water fasting that you’re ultimately aiming for.
Once the 3 day water fast begins, you will drink only water (and potentially herbal tea or black coffee if you choose) for a full 72 hours.
You cannot eat any caloric food or beverages, and most people avoid all artificial sweeteners as well.
In terms of the second question about how to mentally do a 3 day water fast and control your cravings and manage your hunger, it helps to come up with a few strategies you can employ when things get tough.
There’s no “secret” or magic solution that will make fasting for 72 hours feel easy.
However, some people find things like mindfulness meditation, journaling, praying, taking walks, doing some kind of art, playing music, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, or doing needle crafts can be a good way to ground themselves when they feel overwhelmed with cravings.
Read more 8 Worst Foods for Acid Reflux (And What to Eat for Heartburn Relief)
It’s important to state that if you experience any type of concerning symptoms, you should consult your doctor immediately.
What to Expect With a 3 Day Water Fast: Benefits of Fasting
There are a variety of different benefits that can potentially be enjoyed by occasionally doing prolonged fasts or engaging in intermittent fasting with more regularity.
Some of the reported benefits of fasting include the following:
- Supporting weight loss and a reduction in body fat percentage because you are creating a caloric deficit.
- Improving blood sugar regulation and reducing insulin levels. For example, studies investigating the effects of intermittent fasting on blood sugar and insulin levels in people with pre-diabetes have found that intermittent fasting can reduce fasting blood sugar by 3-6% and fasting insulin levels by 20-31%.
- Promoting autophagy and improving cellular health.
- Reducing the risk of heart failure by as much as 70%.
- Increasing the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH).
- Reducing the risk of various diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
While this list of benefits of fasting is impressive, many of these benefits are achievable with more conservative approaches to fasting, such as intermittent fasting diets and periodic 24-hour water fasts.
You might not need to do a full 3 day water fast to achieve the results you are looking for, so it often makes sense to review your options with your healthcare provider.
With that said, some people who do occasional 3 day water fasting find that it’s a powerful physical and mental reset that helps them feel much more vibrant, focused, and healthy afterward.
The response to prolonged fasting is quite individual, so work with a healthcare provider you trust, and try to be open to experimenting to find what works best for you.
To get started with a 24-hour water fast, check out our guide here.
— Update: 15-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Water Fasting: What Is It and Should You Do It? from the website perfectketo.com for the keyword 3 day water fast keto diet.
Thousands of years ago, fasting was an everyday practice. Before food was readily available (and convenience stores stood on every corner) humans went long periods without food.
There are many different approaches to fasting, each with different benefits. The length, frequency, and number of calories (if any) allowed on a fast depend on the type of fast, and its corresponding objectives.
Below, you’ll learn about a certain type of fast called water fasting. During a water fast, you will forgo food entirely, but drink as much water as you like. Keep reading to uncover the associated risks and benefits and how to start a water fast.
What Is Water Fasting?
A water fast consists of drinking only water and completely eliminating any food intake for a minimum of 24 hours and up to three days.
There are many reasons someone may partake in a water fast. They might choose to fast for medical reasons, weight loss, heightened mental clarity, or as a religious or spiritual practice.
3 Potential Benefits of Water Fasting
Like other forms of fasting, water fasts have been linked to various physical and mental benefits, including:
#1: It Could Reduce Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress occurs when there’s a higher number of free radicals (molecules with an uneven number of electrons) with antioxidants (molecules that “give” an electron to a free radical to make it more stable).
When this happens, free radicals can damage fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body. This, in turn, is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s[*].
In a study observing the effects of an 11-day water fast, participants showed a reduction in oxidative stress, body weight, and blood pressure[*]. This shows similar results to studies observing the effect of intermittent fasting, where levels of oxidative stress and inflammation were reduced[*].
#2: It May Increase Autophagy
Autophagy is a natural (and beneficial) process where old cells are broken down and recycled. In recent years, autophagy has been shown to protect against infection and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Short-term fasting has been shown to increase autophagy[*]. Prolonged fasting, or fasts that last for two days or more, have been shown to increase autophagy, protect cells from toxins, and increase the death of various cancer cells[*].
#3: It Can Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone, secreted by the pancreas, that helps keep your blood sugar levels stable. When you eat carbohydrates and sugar, your blood glucose levels rise. This signals the release of insulin, which works to remove sugar from your bloodstream.
Various studies show that fasting can help improve insulin sensitivity[*][*]. This means only a small amount of insulin is needed to move glucose to cells (a good thing). Insulin resistance can lead to obesity and diabetes[*].
3 Potential Risk Factors of Water Fasting
While water fasting offers many mental and physical benefits, there are some concerns that come along with it.
For one, extreme calorie restriction over a long time can be taxing, both physically and mentally. In some cases, fasting for long periods of time can pose these potential dangers to your health:
While this may come as a surprise, water fasts can make you become dehydrated. Up to 30% of your water intake can come from solid foods, so it is important to drink an abnormally high amount of water to make up the difference[*].
#2: You May Lose an Unhealthy Amount of Weight
On a water fast, you may lose weight extremely rapidly. On the surface, this sounds great, but it can be detrimental to your health. When you lose a great deal of weight in a very short amount of time, you might be losing water weight, or worse, muscle mass.
#3: It Can Disrupt Your Electrolyte Balance
Electrolytes play a central role in various bodily functions, supporting your digestive, nervous, cardiac, or muscular system. If you are an athlete (or were in your younger days), you probably know the oh-too-familiar feeling of muscle cramps — a side effect of an electrolyte imbalance. Unfortunately, prolonged fasting has been shown to breakdown the balance of electrolytes in your body[*].
Who Should Not Experiment With Water Fasting?
Health benefits and drawbacks aside, there are some people who should not participate in water fasting:
- People who previously struggled with an eating disorder or disordered eating.
- Children, teenagers, pregnant women.
- People with thyroid problems, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune diseases, and other health issues.
An Alternative to Water Fasting: Fast Mimicking
If water fasting does not sound like a viable practice to you, there is one alternative you might consider trying: fast mimicking.
The idea of fast mimicking began with the Fasting Mimicking Diet developed by Dr. Valter Longo at the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute. This alternative fasting diet follows a low carbohydrate, low protein, and low calorie diet, while eating high amounts of fat, for five days. It’s meant to mimic the effects of water fasting or other periodic fasting to reduce fat, promote longevity, and improve overall health.
Each day, caloric intake is kept to around 40% of regular calories. The original diet includes plant-based bars, soups, snacks, and drinks, including chamomile tea, and a supplement. Since its development, others have experimented with their own homemade versions of the diet, including Perfect Keto’s Dr. Anthony who did a ketogenic version of four-day fast mimicking.
3 Benefits of Fast Mimicking
Fast mimicking has been clinically tested with favorable results. It’s been found to:
- Improve fasting glucose levels
- Lessen risk factors of human disease related to aging
- Reverse late-stage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes[*]
- Improve metabolism and cognition
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Boost the immune system
- Alleviate the negative effects of Alzheimer’s[*]
What’s the Difference Between Fast Mimicking and Other Types of Fasting?
Fast mimicking may sound a bit like intermittent fasting, which is a more well-known practice.
Here’s the difference: Intermittent fasting is short-term fasting (usually around 16–48 hours) used to improve health. Fast mimicking, like water fasting, is a much longer fast. Fast mimicking can last for up to five days, when eating resumes as usual.
Is Water Fasting Right for You?
Water fasting is a practice where someone abstains from food completely, but drinks as much water as they please, for a set period of time. A typical water fast lasts 24–48 hours.
Water fasting can help improve blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, increase autophagy, and reduce oxidative stress. Unfortunately, water fasting for extended periods of time can cause dehydration, muscle loss, or an electrolyte imbalance.
Water fasting might be worth an experiment, except under certain circumstances. If you never tried fasting previously, you might consider starting with fast mimicking, which is a more moderate approach. Or, check out the Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting.
— Update: 16-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article I Went on a 3 Day Water Fast and This is What Happened from the website poshinprogress.com for the keyword 3 day water fast keto diet.
I know you’re probably going to think I’m nuts. I’m sure you’re thinking, a 3 day water fast sounds crazy. Why would you do that? Well, I decided to do a 3 day water fast because after I got back from New York I just felt bloated, unhealthy, and not my best. I’d read some interesting studies about the health benefits of fasting, so I figured why not give it a try? Also, this year, I’m all about breaking out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and pushing myself. A fast definitely seemed like it would check off all of those boxes.
I initially planned to do a 7 day fast, but honestly, I quit after 84 hours. I just felt too unwell to continue. I’ll explain why in a minute. If you haven’t heard of a 3 day water fast, it’s exactly how it sounds. You eat nothing and you only drink water for 3 days. I chose to also incorporate tea and coffee, but I’ll tell you why later on. I’ve previously tried intermittent fasting, with good result (I finally got to my pre-babies weight late last year).
Read more I'm in Ketosis but Not Losing Weight. What Should I Do?
Although weight loss was not the only motivator to try a 3 day water fast, it was definitely an added bonus. After getting back from NYC, I was carrying a lot of water weight. I generally follow a pretty low-carb diet, so adding in all the alcohol and pizza I ate made me retain a lot of water and I felt (and looked) pretty bloated.
I planned to start my 3 day water fast on a random Friday in February, but I had to abort at lunch time because I failed to remember I had a very important donor meeting and my boss was there too. It would be super weird not to eat lunch when a high-powered executive and wealthy prospective donor offers to take you to lunch. So, I had to start later that night. My last meal was on Friday evening at around 6:00pm.
Day 1 of My 3 Day Water Fast
The first day, I didn’t feel great, but I didn’t feel terrible either. I was definitely tired and I actually took a nap while my kids were napping. I wasn’t craving food or feeling very hungry. Although a lot of people who do a 3 day water fast do not include caffeine, I chose to include coffee and tea (no sweeteners, artificial sweeteners or milk). To be honest, I couldn’t deal with a caffeine withdrawal on top of being hungry all the time. Plus, caffeine is known to be an appetite suppressant and a metabolism booster, so I knew the caffeine would ease the experience a bit.
Overall, day one was fairly easy. I felt tired, and I did end up getting a pretty bad headache that night. I just drank more water and tea and went to sleep really early.
Day 2 of My 3 Day Water Fast
I woke up and weighed myself. I was down 2.4 pounds and felt pretty good on the second day. Overall, day two was fairly simple. I didn’t have any negative symptoms, other than just feeling very tired. I didn’t have a lot of energy to do much of anything, and I had to drag myself to play with my kids, which wasn’t ideal for them, but I don’t think they noticed much of my lethargy. On day two, I still wasn’t feeling very hungry and I didn’t have any cravings. I actually found day two was the easiest of the three and a half days for me.
Day 3 of My 3 Day Water Fast
On the third morning, I was down another 3.2 pounds. To be completely honest, the third day was horrendous. I felt unwell all day. It also happened to be President’s day, so my kids were off of school. I was super short with them and generally just not that happy of a person. Also, I started having tons of food cravings and felt ravenously hungry. I do wonder if this would have passed if I had stuck with it another full day, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go through that anymore.On the third day, I felt so terrible, I just couldn’t take it much longer. I had such a bad headache, my stomach felt so empty that it felt upset, my legs were giving out underneath me, and I was tired of the fast.
Overall, I was happy with my results and felt confident I’d read enough on the refeeding techniques to maintain the weight loss (knowing it’s mostly water). I opted not to start refeeding until the morning of the fourth day. I’ve read some things that talk a lot about the health benefits of a 3 day fast, so I wanted to make sure I got at least 72 hours in. I made it to 84 hours, and then I broke my fast on day 4.
Day 4 of My 3 Day Fast
On the fourth day, I made a conscious decision to break the fast. After weighing myself (I was down another 3 pounds), and getting ready for work, I drank a cup and a half of bone broth. I read a lot of articles about the refeeding period and I opted to have bone broth because I wanted to keep my body in ketosis. A lot of people break their fasts with fruit, but that seems odd to me, since I’d just worked so hard to put my body in a ketogenic state. I also know that low-carb diets work the best for me for weight loss (a lot of trial and error), so it felt silly to take myself out of that fat burning state right after the fast. I also don’t like fruit that much, to be honest.
When I first drank the broth, my stomach felt a little odd, but I immediately noticed my headache that had lasted all night long slowly faded away. I also noticed, almost immediately, the tiredness in my legs and my overall tiredness was slowly starting to subside.
At 8am, I went to Starbucks and had a cold brew and their egg white bites. Although some things I’d read said not to start eggs or meat too quickly, I’d read conflicting things that said on a three day fast, you don’t have to spend that much time before introducing these foods. The eggs were not only delicious, I immediately felt a surge of energy and overall wellness.
At 12, I had a turkey breast salad without dressing and a little bit of feta. For dinner, I had two grilled tilapia filets. I didn’t feel overly hungry, but I did wake up at midnight starving. I ended up eating a handful of almonds at 2am, because I just couldn’t take the hunger anymore.
Overall, I felt so much better on the fourth day. I was very happy I chose to end the fast after 3 days instead of 5 or 7, which I had originally planned.
Day 5 of My 3 Day Water Fast
On the fifth morning, I definitely felt more like myself. I was down another 3.2 pounds, for a total loss of nearly 12 pounds in five days. Honestly, I felt quite hungry on the fifth day, so I paid a lot of attention to watching my calorie intake. I didn’t want to see a big jump in my weight and I also know my body is still adjusting to eating again. For breakfast, I had a three-egg omelet with a little cheese and a heaping serving of steamed broccoli. For lunch I had grilled tilapia and broccoli, and for dinner, I had 1/2 oz of almonds and some peanut butter. I honestly wasn’t very hungry, which is why the odd dinner. I’ve also read nuts aid in digestion.
Day 6: 3 Day Fast Before and After
Are you wondering about 3 day fast weight loss? Well, on the sixth morning, I was down another .2 pounds, for a total loss of 12 pounds. I’m encouraged to see my weight has stayed steady and I’m incorporating whole foods without a rebound gain. My food tastes have definitely shifted and the thought of eating anything heavy, sugary, and fatty just doesn’t appeal to me right now. That’s definitely a major benefit.
3 Day Fast Benefits & Negatives
I’m only six days out, so I can’t give you more details on how I feel after this. However, I did want to talk about some of the benefits I felt and some of the negatives I experienced. The biggest benefit for me was getting rid of all that water weight I was carrying around after my trip to NYC. My clothes felt better, I felt lighter, and my digestion improved. The other major benefit was when I started eating, food tasted so much better. I gave my body a break, and after only three days, I remembered how fantastic foods taste. Steamed broccoli, with nothing on it, tastes great. Tilapia with a little bit of seasoning, is really fantastic. I personally appreciated these whole foods a lot more after taking a break from all the junk.
One interesting thing that happened on the first feeding day (Day 4). I mentioned I went to Starbucks and had an iced coffee. I usually use two artificial sweeteners in a venti-sized coffee. When I tried to drink it, it tasted horrible to me. It wasn’t the coffee, which I love, it was the artificial sweetener. I simply couldn’t drink it and I asked them to replace it with a new version without any sweetener. It’s amazing to me that my go-to drink suddenly tasted disgusting.
Based on what I’ve read, there are likely other health benefits I experienced by doing a 3-day fast, but I don’t really feel comfortable talking about that since I’m not a medical professional. If you’re considering a fast for health reasons, please do your own research and talk to your doctor.
The biggest negatives from the experience, there are quite a few. The biggest one is that I felt pretty unwell about half the time and it was hard to live life and very difficult to be a good parent. I had a major headache for almost half the time, despite drinking coffee and tea. I didn’t take any pain relievers, because I didn’t know how that would affect me. Also, I was super short with my kids, especially on the third day. I’d even say I bordered on mean that day. That’s not fair to them. I was in a terrible mood and slept badly about two of the three nights. Even on the refeeding nights, I haven’t slept very well.
Would I Do a 3 Day Water Fast Again?
Maybe. I don’t like to say never, but I don’t plan to do a 3 day water fast anytime soon.
Honestly, it wasn’t very fun and the weight loss alone probably wouldn’t get me to do a fast again. However, I would do a 24 hour fast, which I’ve done before and those are really simple. I’m also planning to continue to incorporate intermittent fasting, as I’ve found it’s one of the best ways for me to drop weight in a healthy way, along with a healthy low-carb diet.
Overall, I’m glad I tried doing a 3 day water fast. I’m honestly kind of a wimp when it comes to pushing myself, so this felt like a pretty good test of endurance and brain power. This year, I’m all about taking myself out of my comfort zone, and this fast definitely did that. If you’ve done a fast, I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a comment and tell me about your experience.
I am not a medical professional. If you are considering a 3 day fast, I strongly encourage you to speak to your medical care provider before starting any extreme diet.