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5-Day Water Fast – Quick And Easy Weight Loss?

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How to lose weight quickly? How to clear your mind? How to make a profound cleansing of every cell in your body? How to start a reboot of your body’s functioning system? Many people address these issues, and It seems like the answer has been found – 5 day water fast. Instead of hitting the gym, making diet plans, and slowly learning to control your appetite, you can simply follow a challenging yet rewarding 5 day water fasting. Is it all so simple and comes down to eliminating food alone? Is fasting for 5 days true to be rewarding and extra-weight liberating? Let’s dig deeper into the topic to discover all the details and facts.

What Happens To Your Body On A 5-Day Water Fast?

We all fast to some extent every day – while sleeping mainly. Fasting as a particular method and approach has long been considered religious, which targets impurities in the body and mind. However, in this day and age, people who think having 5-day water fast have excess weight as their primary concern among all the health benefits of fasting. It is believed that zero food intake completely reboots body systems and helps to lose weight significantly.

It is hard to define 5 day water fast weight loss results because every experience is based on a type of fast, age, health condition, weight, etc. One thing is for sure; all the quickly lost kilos initially are linked to significant water weight loss.

It will be a good idea to prepare for fasting, not just jump into it after reading some praiseful comments about the health benefits of fasting and weight loss. Depending on the duration of fasting, there can be distinguished several stages.

However, 5-day fasting for weight loss is not recommended for people who have never tried fasting for several hours or a day. Preparation may require following intermittent fasting first.

Stage I

  • Physical changes

The first few days after your last meal, make the first phase. Your body tries to adjust to a fasting mode, which can be the most challenging part of 5 days fasting. You start to feel the hunger pangs when skipping regular mealtime and a significant reduction in energy levels. It’s essential to be aware of such effects because they’ll be a reason for high irritability and anger. This is the biggest obstacle for fresh-starters, and there’s a high chance of quitting if you’re short on patience.

When you follow a regular nutrition schedule, your body breaks down glucose to get the energy it needs for functioning. When fasting, your body lacks sugar for energy, so it begins to convert non-carbohydrate materials – lactate, amino acids, and fat tissue – into glucose. It’s a period when insulin levels drop.

Fasting causes a “battery save mode,” and your basal metabolic rate (BMR) uses less energy. This “mode” includes lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Mental changes

Fasting is an excellent way to challenge willpower and fight emotional eating. It may seem absolutely impossible; however, there’s nothing impossible if there’s determination.

When you see a marathon runner, do you think he was born with muscles on his legs, and it’s so easy on him? On the contrary, it took long hours of practice and inner battle.

If you want to improve your willpower, it’s worth trying sport – running, strength training, cycling, yoga, etc. – for psychological and weight loss benefits.

Stage II

  • Physical changes

They start from the 3 days of fasting and are marked by the critical phase of fasting – ketosis – your body starts to burn fats as the primary energy source. Your body breaks fat down into glycerol and fatty acids. The liver synthesizes ketones using glycerol. The liver breaks down the glycerol for additional glucose, and finally, those ketones are used by your brain as glucose becomes less available. With the ketosis carried out, you might stop feeling hungry and tired. It is ideal for weight loss, balancing blood sugar, etc.

  • Mental changes

You may feel more concentrated as you stop worrying about food and breaks. Therefore, you can show more efficient results with work projects. Apart from 5 day water fasting, some people add ‘digital detox”, aiming to use the phone less. It’s beneficial for your day-time, giving a chance to read something or spend quality time with close people, avoiding any food-related conversations and activities.

When overviewing such changes, you’ll definitely feel proud of yourself after looking at fasting for 5 days results – several kilos down, brighter head and mental clarity, higher attention span, and concentration. However, it’s worth noting that doing sport, keeping a nutritional schedule, and limited usage of devices will have the same outcome, taking more extended time, of course, but being more sustainable.

How Long Can A Person Survive On Water?

The person can make do without food for 3-4 weeks [1], drinking only water. Many factors can affect it: a person’s age, sex, body size, fitness, general health, and activity level – everything is counted. The amount of water consumed is also significant. The research shows that sipping water early in the period without food may prolong the fasting period [2].

However, conscious deprivation of nutrients for such a long time for weight loss is pretty mindless.

How To Do A 5-Day Water Fast

5 day fasting program can only start with a visit to your health care provider. Even if you don’t have any health issues, you may provoke some:

  • Due to changes in your blood chemistry during fasting, your medication can go the wrong way, causing the side-effects.
  • People with pregnancy, low blood pressure, heart diseases, etc., are in a high-risk zone.
  • Before and after fasting, it’s worth doing blood and urine tests to see actual results.
  • Fasting may provoke side effects such as diarrhea, which will give false fat loss feelings, fatigue and weakness, increased body odor, and headaches.

Think about taking time off from work – your body requires time to adjust to the effects fasting has.

How To Prepare For A 5-Day Water Fast

Step 1

Preparation is half the battle:

  1. Minimize the intake of all addictive substances 1 to 2 weeks before fasting. The less garbage in – the better time during fasting. It’s not recommended to drink alcohol (and not only during fasting), and it’s worth cutting down on smoking. Addictive substances include alcohol, caffeinated beverages, cigarettes, or cigars.
  2. Alter your eating habits 1-2 weeks before fasting:
  • Eliminate a few things every day – refined sugar products, then meat, then dairy.
  • Reduce foods that contain refined sugar and are high in fat – chocolate, candy, and bakery.
  • Go for smaller meals to go easier on your digestive system.
  • Give preference to cooked or raw fruits and vegetables.

3. Limit your diet 1 to 2 days before fasting – only small portions of vegetables and water.

 Step 2

Many people give up in the first couple of days, considering fasting an insurmountable obstacle. Your psychological readiness is no less critical:

  • Se the goal and go for it – make a clear and credible statement on why you’re doing this fast. In the moment of despair, always look at it.
  • Find support – if you’re not a loner, who prefers doing everything on its own, ask a friend or a family member to help monitor you daily.
  • Make notes – write how you feel daily, what the changes are, and your thoughts – everything is helpful because after you finish, it will show you the big picture, and you will understand if it’s worth repeating.
  • Talk to the doctor, and ensure you’re ready for five days of food deprivation and diet.

How To Break A 5-Day Water Fast

Breaking the fast may even be a more significant issue than fasting itself. Jumping into the “finally-I-can-eat-it” menu will cause unexpected problems – vomiting, stomach pain, and bloating. Your body, simply, will not be ready for food coming after 5 days of nothing in the mouth. It may cause a refeeding syndrome, which has a dangerous impact on your body and life. [3] Typically refeeding syndrome is caused by dramatic hormonal and metabolic changes and can assist anorexia nervosa.

Go easy on food. Smoothies may help, vegetable water-like soups, and boiled vegetables.

What Are The Benefits Of A 5-Day Water Fast?

The benefits of fasting include:

  • Weight Loss

5 day fast weight loss results will be pretty impressive, as long your body gets rid of water excess first and then, due to glucose shortage, will start using the fat tissue and lean muscle mass for energy due to the lack of other sources. So yes, this is an effective way to lose weight. However, prolonged fasting will slow down your metabolism, which, in the long run, may lead to weight gain.

  • May Promote Autophagy

The term “autophagy” derives from the Ancient Greek and means “self-eating.” Autophagy is a natural body process where old cells are broken down and used once again – a kind of renovation. A 2015 article [4] claims that the process of autophagy helps the cells remove unwanted molecules and dysfunctional parts. Some doctors claim that autophagy can help the body eliminate toxins and slow down cancer cells. However, this statement is highly questionable and requires a better evidence base [5].

  • May Improve Insulin And Leptin Sensitivity

Consuming nothing but water for 5 days may help you regulate ‘digestive’ hormone levels in the blood.

Insulin and leptin are two critical hormones that affect the metabolism of the body:

  • Insulin regulates blood glucose levels after food intake and promotes the storage of nutrients and energy when taken in the body.
  • Leptin – a satiety hormone, helps to control your hunger. It sends a signal to the brain that fat cells are full and there’s no more need to eat. It also participates in turning fat into energy. The efficiency of these hormones depends on their sensitivity.

For instance, insulin sensitivity helps to decrease blood sugar levels; leptin sensitivity provides better processing of ‘hunger signals’; therefore, the person will have a better result in fat loss. However, it only works with physical hunger; hormones do not regulate mood hunger.

  • May Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is often caused by irrelevant nutrition and lifestyle. With the insulin levels reduced, you have fewer triggers of high blood pressure – that’s one of the significant benefits of water fasting.

What Are The Dangers Of A 5-Day Water Fast?

Despite the positive sides of water fasting, it has numerous downsides. Everything is strictly individual; however, it’s essential to see the big picture altogether, not just fat loss ideas.

  • Digestive System

Restricting food consumption drastically interferes with the digestive system and causes its disruption. It can lead to:

  • bloating
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • fluctuations in blood sugar levels
  • bacterial infections

Long-term negligible nutrient intake due to water fasting can cause constipation as it weakens the muscles in the intestines; thus, there’s no strength to push digested food through the gut.

Besides, there’s a high chance of refeeding syndrome after you stop fasting.

  • Endocrine System

The endocrine system needs fat and cholesterol to make hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. Without them:

  • menstruation can become irregular or even worse, stop
  • bones weaken
  • metabolic rate slows down, reducing the calories it needs for functioning
  • possibility of hypothermia

A ‘good’ company will make dry skin, brittle hair, and hair loss.

  • Loss Of Muscle Mass

To compensate for the lack of energy from food, our body begins to break down its tissue to use as fuel, including lean muscle tissue. This process will lead to the body’s overall weakness, lightheadedness, constant fatigue, and poor physical performance. You do lose weight – that’s your main concern, but is muscle mass also on the list of enemies?

  • Poor Concentration Levels, Poor Memory

If your daily food is nothing but water, you may experience an inability to concentrate just because you’re weak. Our brain represents only 2% of total body weight; however, it’s responsible for 20% of the body’s energy use. During a typical day, a person uses about 320 calories for mental activities [6]. Different cognitive tasks can subtly impact the way the brain consumes energy. What will charge your brain if you drink only several glasses of water a day instead of providing nutrients?

  • Dehydration & Orthostatic Hypotension

Our body mainly consists of water. If you don’t provide it with enough liquid, you may experience dehydration – lack of strength, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, and little peeing. It prevents your body from carrying out its normal functions. If the lever of water drops critically, fasting may pose a risk to your life.

Orthostatic (postural) hypotension [7] is a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand after you sit, lie down, or rest for too long. It can cause dizziness, blurry vision, lightheadedness, and possibly fainting. Orthostatic hypotension can be caused by mild dehydration or be a sign of other health problems. To prevent serious medical issues, track all the body changes.

  • Danger Of Medical Complications

1. As long as you start losing lean mass, your heart will suffer first. The pulse and blood pressure drop because your engine does not have the fuel to pump blood around the body as effectively as usual. This inefficient pumping can even lead to heart failure.

2. The hormonal system suffers a lot (especially reproductory). While women with obesity may have a hard time getting pregnant, those who limit food intake or constantly follow a fasting regimen can shift the healthy levels of hormones, disrupting their functioning. Besides, reproductory hormones are responsible for other systems too. For instance, they contribute to the change in bone mass [8]

3. Prolonged fasting can also be a cause of heartburn. Lack of food leads to reduced acid; however, smelling or thinking about food alerts your brain, signals your stomach to prepare for meal consumption, and produces more acid. Thus, you may feel burning pain in your chest, just behind your breastbone.

4. Another unpleasant side effect is bad breath. It occurs due to several reasons:

  • Lack of salivary flow
  • Rise of acetone, which is a by-product of fat metabolism
  • Dehydration, which leads to a dry mouth and can cause dry mouth and bad breath, respectively.

The Bottom Line

Fasting used to be a mainly religious or spartan thing. Now it is primarily used as an effective way to lose weight and/or as a part of spiritual practices to cleanse your body in a few days. While intermittent fasting may show some positive effects on your body, including

  • lower blood sugar levels,
  • normalized insulin levels and heart rate,
  • lower blood pressure,
  • improved well-being,

there’s still a need to study the effects of prolonged fasting.

5 day fast benefits will definitely result in weight loss and a feeling of pride for your quick achievement, despite the hardship. However, such a stressful approach is not the best way to lose weight. It’s important to understand that water fasting is not a magic pill and that five days won’t make up for all the days of unhealthy eating behavior and a sedentary lifestyle.

All the benefits of fasting mentioned above make you spend days counting hours and time without food. Why not take a different road? Following a healthy diet and including physical activity in your life will bring you more benefits and sustainable results. Instead of not eating food at all, try limiting the number of simple carbs and unhealthy fats; add several days of activities; a walk in the evening can be a great alternative to social media scrolling; learn to control your hunger – it will definitely have better results than water fasting alone. All these means will help you shed the unwanted pounds – slowly but with fewer chances to regain them and no risk to your health.

FAQ

🥛How much weight can you lose on a 5-day fast❓

Water fasting will help you lose weight. However, it's impossible to give you a precise number without considering your body type, age, weight, height, etc. All these factors are equally important and individual.

🥛Is fasting for 5 days OK❓

Water fasting for 5 days may be an experience if you have already practiced enough with intermittent fasting so that your body understands energyless periods. Despite many positive reviews about such a diet, doctors don't recommend fasting for more than 3 days in a row. While you expect miraculous changes in drinking water, your body can behave unexpectedly under such stressful conditions and trigger numerous health issues.

🥛What are the benefits of a 5-day water fast❓

The followers of water fast claim significant weight loss and a pleasant body legerity. However, these results won't last long if you don't learn to control your hunger and return to a typical diet.

Sources:

  1. Here’s how many days a person can survive without water
  2. How Long Can a Person Survive without Food?
  3. How long can you survive without food?
  4. Autophagy: eat thyself, sustain thyself
  5. The Roles of Autophagy in Cancer
  6. Does thinking burn calories?
  7. Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension)
  8. The Relationship Between Bone and Reproductive Hormones Beyond Estrogens and Androgens

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