Not Just a Cleanse: The Benefits of Fasting for 3 Days

benefits of fasting for 3 days

When most people hear “fast”, they immediately think of starvation diets or a diet trend that people do for a quick fix. But, fasting has many benefits beyond just losing weight. It’s proven to help with everything from brain health to mental clarity to chronic diseases. It is also recommended by health professionals for its many benefits.

If you’ve never tried fasting before, here’s a brief guide on how to do it safely to get the most out of your fast.

What Is Fasting?

Fasting

When you fast, you don’t eat or drink anything for a specific period. Except for water. This is also why a long fast such as a three-day fast is often called a “water fast”.

The point of fasting is to stop putting calories into your body for a while.

The obvious result of not eating is losing weight. But, not putting any food into your body for a certain period also helps deliver many health benefits.

What Are the Different Types of Fasting?

Different Types

There are three main types of fasting;

1. Calorie Restriction

The most fundamental form of fasting is known as a calorie restriction fast. The vast majority of individuals have this image in their heads once they hear the word “fasting”.

You essentially abstain from food for a set amount of time. The duration of these types of fasts ranges anywhere from 18 to 48 hours.

2. Macronutrient Restriction

During this type of fast, you won’t eat much of a certain macronutrient (the three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).

Athletes who have a higher requirement for protein and who frequently stress their stomachs are the greatest candidates for this type of fast.

3. Seasonal Eating

In order to successfully complete this type of fast, we need to cast our minds back to more primitive times and investigate how our available food supply would have changed according to the changing seasons.

In the winter, heartier cuts of meat and tubers were preferred, whereas, in summer, fruits and lean cuts of meat were preferred. Consume only foods that would be naturally available at a given time of the year.

Six Benefits of Fasting

Benefits of Fasting

The benefits of fasting are numerous and may differ from one person to another. This is also affected by how often a person fasts. Some of the benefits include:

#1. Cleansing Your Body

When you fast, your digestive system cleanses itself. Cleaning out your stomach and bacteria allows the system to start afresh.

#2. Improving Brain Function

Your brain functions better when you’re well-hydrated. During a water fast, you replace your food with water. It helps get rid of the fog and gives you more mental clarity and boosts focus.

#3. Boosts Immunity

Your immune system will be stronger if you fast regularly. A stronger immune system means fewer days of sickness.

#4. Reduces Stress Levels

Stress causes your body to produce cortisol, a stress hormone that makes you feel more hungry. Cortisol also makes you more sensitive to stress, so you may crave unhealthy foods. When you stop eating, your body produces less cortisol.

#5. Mental Health

You’ll feel calmer and sharper during a fast. You won’t get distracted by thoughts about food or other things in life. Instead, you’ll focus on what matters most and experience more psychological benefits.

#6. Helps With Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, try going without food for 72 hours. You’ll burn up to 500 extra calories each day.

5 Side Effects of Fasting

Side Effects

Fasting is a great way to lose weight, but there are side effects that should be highlighted.

#1. Headaches

One of the most common side effects of fasting is headaches. Most of the time, they happen in the first few days as your body is getting rid of toxins.

#2. Nausea

Nausea is another common side effect of fasting. You may experience nausea while you’re fasting. It simply means that you need to keep drinking fluids and keep yourself well-hydrated throughout the day.

#3. Hunger Pangs

Fasting can make you feel hungrier than normal. You may even feel nauseous and dizzy. To avoid these symptoms, it’s important that you drink plenty of fluids.

#4. Dry Mouth

A dry mouth is another common side effect. This happens because your saliva production decreases, which can also cause your lips to become dry.

#5. Constipation

Constipation is another common side effect that occurs when you fast. It’s caused by dehydration. Drink lots of water to prevent constipation.

Is Fasting for 3 Days Healthy?

Healthy

Yes! Fasting for three days, or water fasting, offers many surprising health benefits. However, it’s not recommended for everyone. People who have certain medical conditions should not fast without medical supervision.

Pregnant women should never fast. Their bodies aren’t able to process carbohydrates very well, which may cause their babies to develop problems.

Children and adolescents should also not attempt to fast as their bodies and organs have not yet fully matured. Fasting is not encouraged for those who are underweight (BMI < 18.5), which many children are as they are still growing.

Furthermore, diabetics or those with other medical conditions should consult their doctors before fasting as it can exacerbate their underlying health issues.

What Are the Benefits of Fasting for 3 Days?

burns fat

There are a number of different benefits of fasting, many of which are listed above. When fasting for 72 hours, however, your body will go through different stages that have different benefits. Here is a breakdown of the benefits you will experience during your three-day fast.

After 12 Hours

When you start fasting, your body enters ketosis from the 12th hour. This is a metabolic state in which the body gets most of its energy from fat instead of glucose.

This speeds up the rate at which your body burns fat.

During ketosis, your liver converts fats into fatty acids called ketones. These ketones enter your bloodstream and provide energy to your brain and muscles.

Ketosis also reduces inflammation in the body. Chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes are all linked to inflammation.

During ketosis, your body releases hormones called glucagon and insulin. Glucagon helps regulate blood sugar levels, while insulin controls how much sugar gets stored in your body.

After 18 Hours

After about 18 hours, your body begins burning fat for fuel. Your body starts producing more ketones and less insulin. This makes it easier for your body to use fat for energy.

After 24 Hours

After around 24 hours, your body will go into the next stage called autophagy.

Autophagy is a natural process that recycles old cells and cell parts. It’s a self-destruct mechanism that allows us to live longer.

Autophagy is triggered by starvation and stress when your body doesn’t get enough food. The process involves breaking down damaged organelles like mitochondria, ribosomes, and lysosomes to build new ones.

It helps eliminate toxins and bacteria and is one of the reasons why we’re supposed to eat every two to three hours.

After 48 hours

After 48 hours, your body enters the next stage when some hormones like the growth hormone increase.
Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It stimulates protein synthesis, muscle growth, and bone growth. It also increases metabolism and improves immune function.

At 72 Hours

Finally, at 72 hours, your body enters the last phase called catabolic.

Catabolism is the opposite of anabolism. Anabolism is the process of building up while catabolism is the process that breaking things down.

Your body begins using proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for energy. It also removes waste products such as cholesterol and uric acid.

How To Do A 3-Day Fast? 5 Essential Tips

Essential Tips

Typically, a three-day fast consists of only drinking water to keep your body hydrated. Some may include black coffee and tea into your diet or add a splash of lemon or sea salt to the water.

Apart from these basics, here are our five essential tips to ensure a safe and effective three-day fast.

1: Consult A Professional

Consult a medical professional before you fast to confirm that you are in good health. Your doctor may suggest consuming high-energy foods before you begin the fast as your body will be going into survival mode.

Furthermore, you can reduce your food ratios and portions as a possible way to get ready for the fast. It will help you prepare for the three-day water fast.

2: Listen To Your Body

During the first few hours of your fast, you may feel comfortable. Later on, however, it is important that you pay attention to how you are feeling.

Don’t engage in any strenuous exercise. Doctors may advise you to forgo exercise entirely while on a fast. If you feel unwell or are really fatigued, stop fasting.

Remember that your health is of utmost importance, so avoid pushing your body too much as it can do more harm.

3: Break Your Fast Correctly

After finishing your fast, you may want to indulge in a large spread. Given that you haven’t eaten in a few days, that makes sense.

When breaking a fast, however, there are many things to take into account. And because most people are unaware of this, they wind up breaking their fast in a dangerous way.

Your digestive system needs something easy to handle after several days without any food. Fruits, like watermelon, or a smoothie is the best food to break a fast with. You can even have bone broth to get extra nutrients back into your body.

Give your body time to get used to food again before you start eating solids.

4: Do It With Someone

Doing a fast with someone like your friend or partner is great. You get to share the fasting experience with someone and have them feel and experience the same things you do.

It’s also great to have someone with you during the fast to keep you motivated and give you support. Fasting is hard, so doing it with someone else can make it easier.

5: Build Up To The Fast

Different people react differently to a three-day fast. If you’ve never fasted before, it’s best to start with a smaller 24-hour fast and see how your body changes over 24 hours.

You will get many benefits out of it, but there will also be some bad things. This will indicate if you are healthy enough to go on a three-day fast.

Amie has a love for numbers and holds a master’s degree in finance. When she’s not playing with numbers or words or pottering in the garden, you can find her in the kitchen roasting her own coffee beans.

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