10 Water Fasting Tips To Maximize Your Results
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When I decided to take on a water fast last week, I was so nervous! I had never fasted more than 24 hours at a time without cheating! 😬 So, when I made it a whole 5 days I was SUPER proud of myself! I wanted to share with you why I decided to water fast, as well as 10 water fasting tips to teach you how to maintain, as well as how to break your water fast and stay in that powerful fat burning mode (ketosis). I lost a total of 12 lbs in 5 days of water fasting and I am happy to report not one pound has come back!
The Health Benefits of Water Fasting
Some of the most powerful benefits of fasting are also some of the most subtle including: liver detoxification, intestinal cleanse, and giving you body a much needed resting period. Personally, I was interested in the promotion of “Autophagy”. This is a process where your old cells are broken down and recycled. Autophagy has also shown benefits for people with cancer and other serious medical diseases.
Water fasting can also help with insulin production, allowing you to enter ketosis (fat burning mode) by cleaning all the glucose out of your blood stream, as well as hitting the rest button for your body. Overall there are a lot of medical benefits and precautions you should seriously consider BEFORE starting a water fast!
Here is a great article to read and because I do not want anyone suing me, please consult a medical professional before beginning a fast of any kind. Also, if you have an eating disorder or any kind, please do NOT attempt this. (site note: please know that you are valuable to the world no matter what you weigh and I have been where you are. Get your mind healthy and then your body will follow.)
Fasting for Hormonal Balance
This was just another benefit I came across when I started looking for water fasting tips… Did you know that insulin is actually a hormone? YEP! So when people are using insulin injections it is literally hormone therapy. Another hormone I wanted to address was my cortisol (the stress hormone). Fasting can help you reset everything that is making your body feel overly tired, overly stressed, and it resets your hormonal balances.
Most of the time when we start a weight loss journey we have no idea that our hormones can either fight against us or with us. This was certainly the case for me. I have been on a mission to balance my hormones for a couple of years now. One of the best books I have read about hormones is called “The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep and Sex Drive; Lose Weight; Feel Focused, Vital, and Energized Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol” by Sarah Gottfried.
When I read this I realized… I am NOT crazy, my hormones are just imbalanced. It was life changing. You can pick it up on amazon and start reading it today…
How to Break a Water Fast and Stay in Ketosis
It may not be as tricky as you think to come out of a water fast, but I will admit… I had a secret weapon (which I will share in a moment). 😉 The best way to keep your body solidly in ketosis (fat burning state) is to actually have a plan for what you want to do when you end, and also to know your “Magical Macros”. If you do not know what macros are, they are basically the big sections of nutrients that you get from food: calories, fat, protein, and carbs. You can use this free macros calculator and find out exactly what your target nutrient counts should be.
You can also just keep reading and see my lazy girl hack for eating clean and losing weight… because I may be an adult but math (and counting all your food) still sucks!
What to Eat After Fasting for 24 Hours +
So here is my BEST advice and secret weapon… I have been on a nutrition and eating plan called “Optavia” for a while now and I am a FIRM believer in it. If you want to read more about my story on that you can do that on my about page. I have lost over 40 lbs on this diet. So, why would I bother fasting? Because I wanted a reset. After the holidays I never really got back on track and I needed a “do over”. I also recently became an Optavia coach, meaning I am certified to help people on their weight loss journeys. It’s a free service that is provided through Optavia because you are 86% more likely to be successful if you keep in contact with a coach who is there to support and encourage you.
So here is the hack for food, they have natural, nutritionally balanced pre-made meals ready to go for you. It literally takes all the brain work out of it! No math, no counting, no guessing ingredients, just good food that is portion controlled for you. The food is actually SO good, I was surprised. Plus I can eat cookies. Yes, really! If you are interested in starting your weight loss journey and want me to coach you personally, snag this free PDF with my 5 secrets to help you get started and I will send you a link to get a free health assessment.
10 Water Fasting Tips & How to Break a Fast Without Gaining Weight
1. Make sure you go slow
If I can tell you one thing, please do not be like me and go from 24 hours MAX fasted time to a 5 day fast at once. It made it harder than it needed to be. Its ok to do a one day or two day fast and build up.
2. Give yourself check points
I am SOOO glad I did this. My goal was to water fast for 7 days but that was ambitious. 😬 I got to the 5 day check point and gracefully took the out. There was no guilt and no shame in ending at 5 days, because I had already built in an escape hatch for myself.
3. Get water with electrolytes
I drank SmartWater while I was fasting to help maximize the purification process. This also helps me to make sure that I got the proper amount of electrolytes while I was fasting. I firmly believe that the electrolytes helped me not get as dizzy as I could have those few times when I stood up far too fast. I did also indulge in a daily Lime flavored LaCroix water, To help break up the monotony of just drinking water.
4. Drink herbal calorie-free teas
This is one of the best tips that I got from a fellow YouTuber that has videos on fasting. I got a box of throat coat herbal tea, And had 2 to 3 large 32 ounce tumblers of that per day. This really helped when I was feeling hungry because the warmth of the tea would make me feel satiated. If I had seen this one I would have tried it for sure!
5. Rest your body
When I started researching water fasting on YouTube, I found that a lot of people overdid it and it caused them physical harm, or it caused them to end their fast prematurely. I wanted to avoid this at all costs, so I made a daily plan of what I was going to do each day. Thankfully, I work from home so this part was pretty easy for me.
6. Mentally prepare yourself
98% of water fasting is about your mental state. There is nothing that will make you go longer or do better than simply being in a good mood. You have to make up your mind that you’re going to do this, and then you have to decide it to be in a good mood about it. On day four my mental state of mind declined significantly. I was grumpy, I even yelled at my husband once, I was frustrated because of being hangry, and overall in a bad mood. If I had been in a better state of mind, I believe I would have been able to go the whole 7 days.
7. Take a walk each day
When you’re fasting your intake of vitamins goes down to zero (obviously 😳 ). Because of this, I wanted to make sure that I at least got a walk in the sunshine each day to get a little bit of vitamin D into my system. These were some of my favorite times. My husband, my daughter, and myself would go out and walk around our neighborhood for about 20 minutes at a time. We would wave to the neighbors, the fresh air would wake me up again, and I would feel like a new woman.
8. Bullet journal (aka “BuJo”)
This was quite possibly one of my favorite parts of fasting. I tracked how much I weighed, tracked mood fluctuations, and even saw my hunger levels at a glance. It was extremely valuable and important to my water fasting journey. It allowed me a chance to put my thoughts on paper with everything that was being processed inside of me. Water fasting has a way of illuminating revelations in your mind and helps bring clarity to situations. Plus this “BuJo” spread turned out so good! 👊🏻
9. Have a plan for your first meal
When you have done all of this work to water fast for days and days, you do not want to leave your first meal to chance. You will likely be quite hungry when you break your fast, but you do not want to overwhelm your digestive system. I planned that once I was off my fast, I would use my Optavia fuelings to maintain my ketosis. This would also allow me to have small, evenly portioned meals, that were already prepared so I didn’t have to think about cooking or grocery shopping. I chose to break my fast with the garlic mashed potatoes. It was soft and easily digestible and the perfect thing to ease myself back into the world eating food.
10. Keep eating clean
This is similar to the point above, but if you don’t have a plan you will fail. If you are going on a road trip, the first thing you do is look at the map. The same principle applies with your diet and exercise routines. You need to know what the destination is, and how you want to get there, before you start. This was… again a very easy step for me, because I knew that I was going right back on to my optimal weight loss plan.
Have you ever water fasted before? Share your tips in the comments below!