Fasting has long been considered holy, which means spiritual and physical purification. Nowadays, fasting is more of a fad diet, a quick and miraculous fix to weight and health problems. The followers claim that water fasting for 3 days will bring positive changes to the body, help to get rid of toxins, cleanse the lymphatic system, regulate the appetite, and bring peace of mind; this laundry list of advantages doesn’t cease to amaze. 3 day fast weight loss option definitely has its benefits, but are they long-lasting? How to make sure that a starvation mode is safe for you? Today we will clarify how to fast for 3 days, how to keep to the water regimen, and what other changes you need regarding healthy weight loss.
Is fasting for 3 days healthy?
3 day fast benefits immune system and stimulates weight loss, as the theory proponents claim. However, that’s a bit of a stretch. The research base doesn’t have enough prooves that 72 hour fast benefits your health that much. On the contrary, healthy people may not experience any problems while fasting; however, those with compromised immune system functioning may aggravate them.
What does a 72 hour fast do to your body?
It is believed that fasting for 3 days benefits our excretory system and helps eliminate toxins and wastes, which, theoretically, make the basis of excess body fat. Going without eating for more than a day or two brings your body into ketosis – a process that occurs when it runs out of carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it starts burning fat. As long as weight loss is our initial goal, what’s wrong then?
Fasting for 3 days weight loss may pose a problem, as people get distracted from the real reason for the extra kilos: mainly physically inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet. When having typically irregular nutrition and lack of movement for months and years, you’d better not expect miracles from 3 day fasting.
Besides, after doing 3 day water fasting, people are almost back to normal lifestyle, which means winning back all the kilos you could possibly lose.
How to do a 3-day fast?
A three day water fast is about having nothing but water for 72 consecutive hours. It sounds pretty simple, no food, no cooking, no shopping, no calories to count. Your only intake consists of water, black/green/herbal tea, non-alcoholic and non-sweetened beverages. Black coffee is also allowed (but with no sugar, milk, or cream), as long as it has a diuretic effect and increases your urine output.
How Do You Define Fasting?
Fasting for 3 days weight loss is the abstention from eating. Metabolic changes in the fasting state begin after absorption of the last meal (typically 3–5 hours after eating). Many people may fast as part of a medical procedure (colonoscopy, check-up). There’s also intermittent fasting, which incorporates regular fasting hours into your dietary regimen. Fasting is also used for religious rituals and is typically used on specific days.
However, don’t get it wrong, fasting is not starvation. When you fast for three days, you reject food voluntarily, aiming to improve your health. Starvation is typically brought by war, famine, and natural disasters. That’s a whole different story.
What Is a 3-Day Water Fast?
A water diet for 3 days means consuming nothing but fluids for 3 days. If you get more than 50 calories a day, you break the fast. While relatively healthy people might not worry about the harmful effects of 3 days fasting, some should be more alert:
There are people for whom three day fasting may be prohibited due to medical reasons. Before taking such steps, a check-up with your doctor and make sure you are not mentioned in the following list:
- you experience eating disorders,
- you are underweight (BMI is less than 16)
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding women
- you have heart issues
- you have type 1 diabetes
- you suffer from hyperacidity
- you are taking a specific medication
- you have a physically-demanding job
Fasting isn’t for everyone, and it must be taken seriously. While some people experience the benefits of a lower calorie intake, some pitfalls may accompany such drastic changes:
- Low Blood Sugar
- Fatigue & Weakness
- Muscle Aches
A word of caution:
Long term fasting can bring many other more severe side effects. Don’t wait for your friends’ opinions on what foods to avoid or eat; ask the specialist.
The 3-Day Fast Benefits
The 3 – day fasting is claimed to have many benefits; however, everything is very individual.
A three days fast helps to decrease inflammation in the body by lowering the monocytes in the blood. If you experience constant inflammation, it can lead to many health-related autoimmune issues.
Weight Loss Stimulation
If you plan to start dieting for a very long time, 3 day fasts can make a good push. Refraining from eating for some time will easily create a caloric deficit, which is the basis of weight loss.
We know that our body gets energy from glycogen storage in the liver. After fasting for around 24 hours, glycogen levels are depleted, which causes our body to utilize energy stores from adipose tissue and protein stores, stimulating further weight loss.
That’s, obviously, one of the main health benefits. However, for some people, it may be too radical and stressful.
Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more and more often. Fasting for a short period of time can decrease insulin resistance, increase insulin sensitivity, and control insulin levels, lowering blood sugar levels.
Our body works through cycles. A three day fast stimulates cell regeneration, vital for healthier and longer life. It is believed that eliminating toxing from the body, you also improve an anti-aging effect.
However, keep in mind. Your body is a complex system, which is self-regulatory. Cleasing is one of the main functions without any intervention.
Improves Heart Health
Fasting is believed to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides . The positive benefits of fasting on heart health can’t be understated. The study published in Circulation journal suggests that people who incorporate fasting techniques into their dietary regimen are 70% less likely to have heart failure. However, this is mainly related to intermittent fasting.
Fasting can lead to clearer thoughts and mental clarity. It helps to increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein vital to a healthy brain.
Fasting enhances human growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. Studies show that fasting leads to a major increase in HGH levels. One study found that 3 days into a fast, HGH levels increased by over 300%. After 1 week of fasting, they had increased by a massive 1,250%
How to prepare for a 3-day water fast
If you decide to start fasting right after reading this article, then you are about to make a huge mistake. 3 days ting looks like a short period of time; however, without proper preparation, there’s a high chance of flaunting the rules and not getting health benefits as expected.
If someone has not fasted before, they should consider starting with 24 hours fast to try it out and ensure there are no adverse effects. Longer fasts should only be carried out after seeking the advice of a medical professional.
Fasting can be mentally and physically tiring, so people must carefully prepare themselves by:
- eating well before the fast, with foods that are high in energy
- picking a time that will allow for rest, maybe a day when not at work
- avoiding fasting if unwell or very tired
- avoiding demanding exercise
- considering building up to a fast slowly, perhaps by reducing the size of meals
During the fast, drinking enough water throughout the day is essential.
Preparing for an Extended Fast
1. Time limits
It’s not recommended to start a 3 day fasting without prior experience. People who have done intermittent fasting may be ready to enter the 3-day fast without hesitation, as long as their body knows how to behave, and they are likely to have fewer emotional failures.
However, the newbies should prepare with shorter periods for start. Begin with 12 hours of abstinence (from lunch to the following day); then 16 and 18 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and finally 72 hours. Whenever you feel hungry, drink water or tea.
If it felt great after 3 days of fasting, you can move on to longer fasts. There are no standards regarding the length of fast. Just make sure you feel okay during hours of fasting.
If you are willing to go for longer fast periods, you should see your doctor first and check if your health will withstand such a regimen.
By the way:
The fasting record belongs to a Scottish guy, Angus Barbieri. He suffered from obesity, weighing 456 pounds. Under his doctor’s supervision and regular health check-ups, he reached a dream – 180 pounds. It took him a bit more than a year – 382 days.
That’s a fantastic story and a very extreme way of losing weight, and it is recommended only under clinical control, as it may turn into a danger.
2. Variety of drinks
Be sure to buy enough tea of different flavors and types – green tea and black tea, herbs can also make the difference because plain water will probably not satisfy your needs during the first fasting. Luckily, you may also drink coffee, which helps eliminate water excess and deal with headaches. Besides, if you’re a faithful follower of coffee, you’ll not experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
3. 73 hours and longer fasting
For fasts that last longer than 3 days, it’s recommended to freshen up with electrolytes and minerals. Besides, low-calorie meals like broth with sea salt and miso soup for vegetarians are also acceptable. 3 days fasting is a limit that, in general, will not significantly influence your body. However, when keeping on, you’re likely to have health issues as long as you start missing greatly on macro- and micronutrients provided by solid food.
People fast for three days; however, the time for preparation also matters. The rule of thumb is to take the number of fasting days and divide it by two. That’s the number of days you should dedicate to preparation.
Opt for light meals, don’t try to eat everything in advance because you’ll feel sick and bloated. Probably one of the things fasting trains is a more moderate approach to eating.
5. Friends or Family knowledge
The ones you live with or spend time with should be aware of your fasting plans. It’s challenging to maintain the hunger mode with tea while someone else eats a bowl of pasta or a piece of cake.
6. Don’t start Mondays
When we plan to start a new lifestyle next Monday (it never happens, though), it’s definitely not the case with fasting. Do it at the end of your week. Friday will be the first day, which is actually the easiest to follow, and then you’ll have a weekend to lie in, in case you get tired.
7. Measure your progress.
If you want to track and analyze the results, be sure to have reliable scales, a measuring tape, and HR with a sleep monitor (fitness bracelets option). When you note down all the changes, you’ll see the real influence of fasting on your body. More advanced participants may want to try ketone test strips (to understand how your body responds to fasting).
3 Day fast before and after results
Day 1, 24 hours
The person fasting is a woman, 110 lbs, who works remotely from home.
First morning of fasting – normal sleep, quite a high level of energy after waking up. The morning starts with a glass of water. As long as the work style is relatively sedentary, breakfast water is followed by a 30 – minutes workout program to strengthen the body. As she has practiced intermittent fasting from time to time, she is adjusted to exercising with an empty stomach, she doesn’t feel tired, and my worries with the stomach.
!!! If you’re never tried fasting in combination with workouts, we recommend concentrating on your water fast only. Don’t try everything at once.
Lunchtime was marked with a dull headache, which almost immediately healed with a cup of black coffee.
By the end of the day, nothing serious happens; no withdrawal symptoms or hunger cravings.
Day 2, 48 hours
The weight – 107 lbs
The sleep was quite restless, only 5 hours, as the stomach sent the hungry signals. However, after waking up, the energy levels are okay. A dynamic stretching workout is done without hesitation and within a typical time.
No hunger pangs or any physical and mental fatigue during the day. Just a sudden feeling of light head and body. 48 hour period survived!
Day 3, 72 hours
The weight – 103 lbs, 4 lbs down
That’s a difficult morning. Stomach was dissatisfied with the food shortage, and the night was quite restless. More water and tea improve the situation. Legs feel a bit weak; however, in general, the condition is okay. Heart rate was a bit higher in the morning but became even afterward.
Workout is 12 min shorter this time to save energy. However, a long walk in the evening helped to distract from the thoughts about food.
By the end of the day, there were no more pangs. That’s a victory.
Final results: 72 hours fast before and after
3 days of fasting are much easier than expected. It doesn’t bring significant discomfort; however, it’s a good idea to keep farther from places with food, as it may worsen the stomach reaction.
After 72 hours of fasting, the scales showed 101 lbs, 9 lbs less than started. The heart rate is within limits, and the blood glucose level is lower than usual.
A three day fast is the best choice for those who want to try longer fasting after having intermittent ones.
3-Day Fast Weight Loss
Fasting for 3 days weight loss is a crash and extreme diet. You will undoubtedly see the lower numbers on the scales; however, that’s mainly water excesses going away. If you have some special events, you need to slim for, that may be a suitable option. But instead of experiencing extra strength, better plan a healthy menu and follow it daily. That’s the way to save health and keep your weight under control.
How to break a 3-day water fast?
When you lose a significant number of kilos, the most challenging thing to do is maintain this weight. Same story here. Breaking the fast and returning to typical nutrition is not easy. After losing 9 lbs in only three days, there’s a high chance you’ll get everything back in a week or so. Such weight roller coasters are not beneficial for your body.
Besides, there’s a high risk of overeating, which has a psychological background. After being under stress for 3 days, your body will make up for it with stronger emotional hunger and more weight back as a result.
2-3 days after fasting, you must have light food, juices, broth, miso soup, and salads – they are nutritious and low-calorie; however, they don’t require extra energy and time for digestion. Right after fasting, you are not ready to eat all the types of solid food.
Closing Thoughts on How To 3-Day Fast
Nowadays, with the diversity of foods we have and lack of physical activity, people more and more often face weight problems. However, instead of long-term but practical and beneficial approaches, they tend to opt for easier and faster options like detox diets or fasting. If your numerous friends have tried these fad diets, they are probably enthusiastic about the results on the scales. Well, that’s a major disappointment – the numbers got lower because of fluid loss, not the substantial body fat percentage loss. While it’s easy off, it will quickly get back to you in no time.
Fasting has long been practiced, but there’s not enough scientific research with many participants to claim that it has a healing influence and helps reset all the functions of your body. That’s something we genuinely believe in, but it simply doesn’t work like that. If all illnesses and health issues could be treated with fasting, we would not need medical treatment.
After trying various and psychologically exhausting diets:
- Think about changing your lifestyle.
- Instead of checking more articles on weight loss, have a healthy dinner and go for a walk in the park.
- Instead of having long Friday sit-ins, go to the theatre or cinema, or have a weekend trip somewhere.
- Become an active participant in life instead of suffering from dieting from time to time.