I am doing a seven day water fast because I want to clean out my system! I wouldn't have a problem with losing a few extra pounds to be honest haha. My question is.. around how much fat would I lose in seven days? Also, will I gain it all back with a low carb paleo diet?
I don't know about fat loss but I'd be concerned with losing lean muscle doing that.
I do 3-5 day fasts every few months and have for years, for spiritual reasons. I have never noticed any obvious loss of muscle mass/strength, infact just the opposite I come away feeling stronger esp spiritually and emotionally. If one's body is healthy and you have been eating properly for a long time long fast are a non-issue.
I've done 14 days on water. I was 19 years old (16 years ago) and I was doing it as a sort of spiritual cleanse, rather than a weight loss diet. I'm sure I lost weight, but whatever weight I lost was most likely water and later, muscle. I personally believe deeply in fasting -- both for spiritual and health reasons -- It puts you in touch with your body in new and unexpected ways. But I don't think it's a good weight loss strategy by any means.
Eating nourishing food during the day and then fasting in the evening and through the morning can give you the best of both worlds.
But if you want to learn a hellofalot about your body, how it functions, what it's limits are. If you want to experience the euphoric chemicals that your body is capable of producing all on it's own and have an interesting trip that's outside of normal human experience? Go for it. Just don't expect it to be a solution to weight problems. ;)
I'm not into fasting as a way of cleansing. The liver needs protein for proper detoxification as well as some cruciferous veggies. If I wanted to do a detox I'd add in some light proteins -maybe a poached egg or two, steamed broccoli and milk thistle tea.
This is a well respected clinician who has this to say on the subject: Fasting for more than a day or two without protein in your diet can shut down primary Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification function which can stay impaired for months.
I highly doubt anyone would be able to tell you how much fat you will lose. Good luck. Keep us posted.
Assuming you did no sort of exercise during that time a generic calculation would be 7 x your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) / 3500. For me 7x1800/3500 is 3.6 pounds. No way to really know for sure but that is about as generic as you can get. I suspect you will actually lose substantially more as your body starts eating itself.
A better way to do this is to simply cut out all carbs or limit yourself to < 20g of carbs a day. After two days or so your body will begin using fat for fuel and you will lose weight. It's Atkins induction. Search Ketosis for more info on that.
Fasting for 7 days is pretty extreme in my book. I generally fast 1 day a week. On that day I drink green tea to eliminate my hunger. It works. I wouldn't attempt 7 days without some professional advice myself. I too would be extremely fearful of muscle loss and I work too hard to gain it to let my body eat it.
Try a day here and there to see what it's like. I am afraid 7 days may be quite a shock to your system but hey! I'm not you.
It's funny reading comments from how bad fasting is for you, before I did my first fast I spoke to a dietician friend of mine, she said it's really bad for you, don't do it, luckily I didn't listen to her. Our bodies are designed to go without food for 40 days if needed, how could a 7 day water fast do any real damage to a healthy person. Our ancestors frequently went without food for days and weeks, that's why we store fat in the first place, the body will eat fat first, it's only when you are out of fat on a fast that you are in trouble. If you fast beyond the point of your fat reserves the body will start consuming your muscles and organs, and tumours, that's why fasting can sometimes cure cancer (emphasis on sometimes).
In any case everyone in the west should try fasting 5+ days, at least once in their life. It's a interesting experience. And it doesn't kill you.
If you haven't yet, you should probably read this critique of the "cleansing" idea: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/are-detoxes-and-cleanses-safe-and-effective/#axzz1p6cbWse1
After water loss, some protein loss, once you hit ketosis, it will mostly be fat loss, but some continued protein los. I have done several 5 day water fasts and I lose the same amount of weight like clockwork whether I start at 126 or 136 - 12.6 lbs. I am 5'4.5", female, age 30, pear shaped. And it does stay off, just be sure to break it gently with bone broths and soft cooked vegetables if you are trying to avoid fruit sugars, or some diluted juices and watery fruits if you're not avoiding sugars. If you go and have a steak right away you will be rushing to the bathroom within 30 minutes! As soon as you have any solids you will, so just plan to break your fast at home and take it slowly!!
Water fasting can be super trippy - time slows down, you feel weak but inspired in weird ways. If I am in a rough patch in life it actually really helps me find my footing, mentally. I guess that is why many do it for spiritual practices. Good luck.
During my first 7 day water fast (about 2 years ago) I lost about 20 lbs (I had about 60 lbs to lose total). On breaking the fast everyone recommended juice and fruit because it isn't too hard on your system . . . I did the opposite. Moderate amounts of protein and fat for a few days and then increased the amounts back to my normal calorie intake. I gained back about 4 lbs. (which I assume was mostly water) and then continued to lose weight, because I stayed low carb Paleo. I now fast once or twice a month for a day or 2 (especially if I have a high carb day or two when traveling) - and it works well to push me quickly back into ketosis.
The other thing I did that really helped was to go low carb for several days before starting the fast. I basically did Atkins Paleo for 3 days (until I was solidly in ketosis) - I then started the water fast - and basically didn't feel hungry at all during the whole 7 day fast (just the mild "I could eat something" feelings that you will feel the whole time you fast).
Sidenote: The weight you lose in the first week is really going to depend on how much weight you have to lose. If you are 100 lbs over weight, you can expect to lose 25 lbs in week 1 - on the other hand if you are only 25 lbs over weight, you will probably lose more like 7. It just depends on your body. If you are near your goal weight and trying to take off the last few lbs then just be careful you don't go to far . . . when you run out of body fat and the major hunger returns you MUST begin eating again! Good luck!!
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