Water fasting comes with health risks.
Water fasting can make one’s body more sensitive to leptin and insulin.
Fasting is a method of restricting food intake that has been practised for thousands of years. In recent times, embarking on a water fasting journey for weight loss has surged in popularity, drawing attention for its touted benefits. But first, let’s understand what is water fasting. It is a type of fasting that involves abstaining from food and consuming only water for a set period.
It harnesses the body’s natural metabolic processes, including a state of ketosis where the body burns stored fat for energy due to the absence of incoming calories from food. Here are the benefits of water fasting:
Reduces Calorie Intake
Water fasting inherently reduces calorie intake to zero. Weight loss happens when the body burns more calories than it consumes and fasting can create a significant calorie deficit, leading to weight loss.
Helps in Maintaining Blood Pressure
Research has shown that longer, medically supervised water fasts may help people with high blood pressure lower their blood pressure, as reported by Healthline. It also helps to lose weight for people with high blood pressure.
Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity
Insulin and leptin are important hormones that affect the body’s metabolism. Insulin helps the body to store nutrients from the bloodstream while leptin helps the body feel full. Water fasting can make one’s body more sensitive to leptin and insulin and this makes the hormones more effective.
Increases Fat Oxidation
During a water fast, the body transitions into a state of ketosis where it relies on stored fat for energy. This increased reliance on fat stores can contribute to fat loss.
Water fasting triggers a process called autophagy, where the body cleans out damaged cells and regenerates new healthy ones. This may contribute to overall health and could impact weight management.
What Are the Risks?
Although water fasting can help you to potentially lose weight it also comes with health risks. It can lose the wrong type of weight, you may become dehydrated, experience orthostatic hypotension or it can also worsen several medical conditions.
People with gout, diabetes and eating disorders, older adults, pregnant women and children should not do water fasting without medical supervision.