10 Tips for extended water fasting beginners
*(Scroll down to the link at the bottom if you would rather watch the YouTube video!)
1. Do as much research as you can about water fasting prior to getting started on your journey.
This will help you program your mind, and your mind is the key to succeeding in this journey. I really think that it’s a crucial element to be doing proper research to understand water fasting as well as the benefits and how it can aid in fat loss if that is your goal.
2. Seek advice within the water fasting communities!
The hardest thing about water fasting is that most people think it’s so radical that you can’t even really bring it up to them without them thinking it’s unhealthy, you’re going to die, or you’re developing an eating disorder. If you wish to seek advice about fasting, make sure you ask the right people for advice, your colleagues, friends and family most likely don’t have a clue, and it is better to conserve your mental energy and focus on your fast rather than overcoming objections from your social circle. This being said, Facebook and Reddit have amazing water fasting groups and I’ll post the links below to the ones I have joined.
3. Ease yourself into the fast
If this is your first time doing a water fast, or you still eat sugar, or you have never tried any form of intermittent fasting or your diet is still high in carbs, it might be a good idea to ease yourself into the fast. I made a quick video of that if you click on the links below I’ll add the link. It’s called “How to ease yourself into an extended water fast + benefits of fasting”. In a nutshell, maybe you can try starting to quit sugar and carbs and try intermittent fasting or a 2–3 day fast or start a ketogenic diet prior to starting an extended fast. This is just because you might get some mild symptoms of what we call the keto flu or some headaches from sugar withdrawal.
4. Keep your mind occupied during your fast.
I highly recommend constantly watching more and more videos or reading posts about water fasting in order to keep your mind engaged throughout the water fast. Don’t forget, when the hunger wears off after day 2–3 the first thing to give up is your mind, and not the physical side of fasting (such as “hunger”).
5. Keep some salt handy.
You will FOR SURE have days that you might feel a bit more “tired or low energy”. I experienced that on day 6 and couldn’t focus after having high energy throughout the whole week. That is most likely your body’s sodium levels being depleted so pop a couple sprinkles of salt (ideally Himalayan salt if you can, amazon link below), and you’ll perk right up almost immediately! I did! Caution: don’t drink too much or else you’ll end up in the bathroom for the rest of the day haha!
6. Conserve energy.
Don’t feel the need to update your social circle – you’ll see the deeper you get into your fast the more “ worried” your friends and family will be. Don’t exert too much energy, I recommend taking a break from your workouts or doing some light walking if you’re getting antsy.
7. Keep a normal life
Stay distracted with your normal day to day activities. Go to work, go see your friends, I mean even go for dinner with friends and just drink water, your will power and mental resilience will be tested but it will even make you stronger. Contrary to some videos on YouTube where some people are fortunate enough to laze around in random exotic locations for a month, most people have to work and carry on with their lives so keep doing the same thing you do on a daily basis, you’ll just have less dishes to wash! Unless of course you have a partner or a family to feed like me and then you’ll have to continue doing groceries and washing dishes, but you can keep the meals easy and healthy for your partner or family within that time period.
8. Set short term goals.
Determine how long you want your fast to be and if you feel good extend from there. If you go in saying “hey I’m going to fast for 30 days” you might get overwhelmed. I started with a goal of 5-days, extended to 7 then 10 then 14 then 21 days! So set a short term goal, with a big goal in mind and listen to your body and adjust it as you progress.
9. Tame your cravings . You might go through a period of time, or even the whole fast thinking “ouuu after my fast, I will eat this and this and this” but just remember you have your WHOLE life ahead of you to eat the foods you want, that is my mantra that I tell myself over and over. I have my whole life to eat the things I want, you don’t need to feel deprived. Train your mind, build that mental resilience and learn about yourself to build a better relationship with food within that time frame. This is where the spirituality comes in, reflect about your eating habits and about what “hunger” really means to you. All those times you went out to get bad food, were you really “hungry”? Or was it just your mind giving in to gluttony? Food is fuel, you don’t need to eat as much as people are eating nowadays. Remember that!
10. Research about how to break your fast!
This is the last but most important part of your fast. I have seen sooooo many cringey videos of people breaking 10+ day fasts on candies or junk food or all the things they were craving. Resist the temptation to binge and give into all your cravings by all means! You need a plan before you break your fast, write down exactly what you’re going to eat and stay on plan. Remember, your digestive system shuts down during a fast so shocking it with bad food just because of your cravings will do you soooo much harm, and also shows that you really didn’t grow mentally at all during this experience. By the end of your fast you should have the mental clarity to lead you to make good food choices and easing back into foods when you break your fast. I’ll make a video about this but you should really only be eating 500–800 calories (depending on your weight it could be more) of certain foods like cooked veggies, grass fed yogurt, raw nut butter, avocado drizzled in oil, olives, etc. And day 2 is around 800–1000 calories of similar foods (depending on your weight also!) so make sure to plan how you break your fast and do research. You really shouldn’t be eating any meat until day 3 post fast, and it’s highly recommended to maintain a ketogenic diet for the next 1–2 months after your fast. I’ll post a link below from Dr. Daniel Pompa as he explains how to break an extended fast.
Good luck with your water fasting journey and make sure you do your research and you have a plan!
Disclaimer: Check with your doctor!
10 Tips: Extended Water Fasting (Beginners)