Water Fasting: Benefits and drawbacks

01:04 PM Apr 06, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

Water fasting is a popular plan to lose weight, which has come into focus in recent years as a weight-loss strategy. As the name suggests, this fasting regime involves fasting, restricting everything and anything except water.


Water fasting has been backed by many celebs and influencers and has added to its popularity on social media. Water fasting is known to speed up weight loss considerably and may even help a person drop kilo quickly.

According to researchers, water fasting may be a good way to scale up fat loss and this involves a prolonged period where a person goes without any food and only consumes water.

There is no set time limit to how long a person is supposed to fast this way, but experts suggest that a time duration of 24 hours to three days is a maximum a person could really go without food.

There are a number of spiritual, religious reasons why a person may want to try water fasting, apart from weight loss.


Water fasting has been subjected to a number of studies and the evidence on the same is still not foolproof. The studies found that water fasting can have surprising health benefits such as, lowering the risk of diabetes, preventing certain types of cancers, reducing heart problems, promoting autophagy, controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol, etc.

If you are a beginner, then prep your body prior to the actual fast by cutting down or eating minimal food forv2-3 days. Studies show that when water fasting is done the right way can help you lose up to 0.9 kilos each day spent fasting.

If one is following a 24-72 hour fast, then water is the only thing one can consume. Drinking two to three liters of water is sufficient. Eat well before your fast begins and fill up on protein-packed, energy-rich food.

As this would make a drastic difference from your usual diet plan, restrict your activities as you may feel weak and dizzy.

Water fasting works majorly by restricting your calorie intake, although even if you drop kilos quickly, a major chunk of it may be water weight or muscle mass. Hence water fasting may not be beneficial if tried long-run.

Water fasting in fact may make you dehydrated as a lot of our water intake is through the food we consume. Hence feeling dizzy, fatigued, irritable could be some of the symptoms.  There is also a risk of experiencing orthostatic hypotension and can worsen health conditions for those with underlying problems.

Water fasting isn’t recommended if you are underweight, are under the age of 18 or above 70, pregnant, suffer from eating disorder, have cardiac problems, complications pertaining to Type-1 diabetes, are on specific medication, etc.

Disclaimer: Extending the fast for more than 3 days time may make you prone to medical complications. Consult a doctor before attempting it. 


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