How Long Can You Fast (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 To 3 Days

When people put on weight, they finally conclude losing fats by fasting. It has been an ongoing truth during recent years. However, it is true, but doing it for a few hours or intermittently is better to remain healthy.

If we talk about the history of fasting, it has been practiced for religious or spiritual purposes. They did it in many ways. Either they fast without food and water or fast only without food for a short period.

It is an interesting fact to learn that a Scottish man, Angus Barbieri of 27 years, fasted for 382 days, dated June 1965 to July 1966. It is the longest known fasting period ever recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. He lived on water and supplements and frequently went for a medical evaluation.

How Long Can You Fast?

TypesPeriod
Fasting (food)One to three days
Fasting (liquid items)15 to 24 hours

Many people around the world have their reasons for performing fasting. Some do it as a part of their religion to strengthen their faith in Almighty as well as increase patience and modesty. Others do it to lose weight.

Water fasting is the type of fast where a person doesn’t eat and drinks only water for some time. In other words, it is the fast type that restricts the intake of food but not water. It has been popular among people in recent years as a way of losing weight.

Fasting is not safe for everyone, especially for those who have some health issues. If someone has not done fasting before, they should try out with a day fast to avoid having adverse effects. Fasting for more than days should be done only after taking the advice of a professional doctor.

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Before fasting, people must prepare themselves as it would be tiring both physically and mentally. They must eat well before fast with the energy-riched food items. They should avoid fasting if felt unwell or dizzy and also avoid some demanding physical exercises.

While fasting, it is essential to drink plentiful water throughout the day to avoid any adverse effects. While ending the fast, a person should avoid having a large meal as it could lead to a stomach ache and other undesirable symptoms.

Fasting makes people weak or nauseous due to a lack of food and if the condition becomes worse, eat something. Having a complete rest and avoiding intensive exercise would help in conserving energy.

Why Can You Fast That Long?

Fasting would not be safe for every person and must not be done by older people, children, and underweight individuals. In water fasting, an individual only consumes water for 1 to 3 days to remain on the safe side. One must drink 2 to 3 liters of water each day to remain fully hydrated and feel less hungry.

It too has some health benefits, such as it can promote autophagy which is a process where old parts of cells are broken down and recycled. Autophagy can help in protecting the body from chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.

Fasting also comes with some health risks. It can make a person lose a lot of weight too quickly, also leading to the loss of muscle mass.

By doing fasting, a person can get dehydrated. Therefore, he needs to drink more water than usual. It can also cause orthostatic hypotension and may worsen some health conditions such as hours, diabetes, or eating disorders.

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However, rather than fasting, the best way to lose weight is to have a healthy and balanced diet with regular exercise. It is also necessary to try to change the eating habits, such as reducing the consumption of fast foods and snacks.

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Conclusion

Some people are there who can’t live without eating while some are willing to do fast to reduce their weight and have a slim body.

Fasting should be done for a short period of around 24 hours or a day if the body is unprepared. Fasting has some health benefits, such as preventing the risk of several chronic diseases, promotes autophagy, and leads to better functioning of the body organs due to a high intake of water.

It also has several risks like dehydration or muscle loss, especially to people having gouts or eating disorders. To seek better results, have a healthy and balanced diet on non-fasting days. It is necessary to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095539591730110X
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41592-019-0669-3