Have you heard of water fasting as a way to reduce your weight? It’s a fairly popular approach among modern health enthusiasts for dropping excess pounds.

How It Works

WaterWeightLossIn order to lose 1 pound every week, a standard diet requires that a drop of 500 calories every day. Dropping the calorie count down by 2000 calories will help you lose 4 pounds. And that’s precisely what you do during a water fast. Some say you can lose as much as 10lbs over 72 hours, but those results are certainly not normal!

But whether you’re losing actual fat or muscle is difficult to verify, and it can be somewhat risky. This is why it’s best to call in an outside, licensed observer from the International Association of Hygienic Physicians, a group devoted to natural and hygienic medicine.

Background of the Water Fast

Buddhists and Yogis in particular have practiced the water fast for many centuries, but not as an actual diet. The water fast began as a means of purifying and purging the mind, body and spirit.

Those who practiced it were also most often monastics or very dedicated spiritual devotees, who lived quiet, contemplative lives, nothing like our modern world of cell phones, sports and busy work schedules. So bear this in mind when undertaking the fast, because the differences in lifestyle can and will ultimately affect your health.

Possible Risks

Those individuals with a higher metabolism or naturally slender body risk muscle loss during the water fast, and should proceed with caution. While it will certainly help you cleanse the body of undesirable toxins, it can also weaken your immune system.

And even though numerous people claim the water fast is 100% guaranteed to help you rid yourself of every unwanted toxin and all excess fat, many physicians disagree on its actual benefits and feel that the risks may outweigh any positive outcomes. Certain conditions prohibit water fasting (pregnancy, breastfeeding, auto-immune disorders), and neither young children nor the elderly should commence a water fast under any circumstances.

Additional Side Effects

If you do follow a water fast, be prepared to experience vertigo, nausea and headaches, at least for the first day or two. Also be mindful how you break your fast, as the stomach needs to re-accustom itself to eat food after multiple days with just water.

Other Options

For those who are unable or unwilling to endure the effects of the water fast, juice fasting may be a better option, or partial fasting (cutting out 1-2 meals a day). Just adding more water to your diet and decreasing fat intake by means of healthier food choices (i.e., avoiding caffeinated soda and fast food, eating lean meats, increasing raw fruit and vegetable intake, cutting down on sugar and replacing white bread with whole grains, etc.), as well as performing an exercise routine that is right for you, is an excellent way to reduce your weight without necessarily needing to fast.

Remember, the decision is yours alone, but research, ask questions, and choose wisely. Your health is the most important factor, because it’s not easily repaired once damaged.