Dry Fasting and Weight Loss

Dry fasting is an extreme form of fasting that is often practiced for its purported spiritual benefits. While dry fasting will help you lose weight, it is not recommended for this purpose as it is a stressful experience for your body. Dry fasting is not recommended as a long term weight loss solution, because it may lead to only water weight loss that will quickly be regained after you resume a regular diet. (Ref 1, 4)

What is Dry Fasting

Dry fasting is where you abstain from consuming any foods or liquids, including water, for the entirety of the fast, often for spiritual or detoxification reasons. (Ref 2, 3) Randi Fredricks, the author of “Fasting: An Exceptional Human Experience,” details different spiritual and religious communities around the world that practice dry fasting. (Ref 1) Because dry fasting

Weight Loss and Dry Fasting

Water Fasting Vs. Juice Fasting

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When participating on a dry fast, you will lose weight due to water loss as well as from a low calorie intake. How much weight you lose depends on how long you fast for, with greater water, fat and muscle loss occurring the longer your are on your fast. (Ref 1, 2, 3) According to Dr. Ben Kim however, most people on a water fast will lose, on average one pound per day on a water fast. At the beginning of a fast, there can sometimes be a loss of up to two to three pounds per day at the start of a fast due to water weight loss. However, the weight loss will drop to half a pound a day after the early stages. The loss will be even greater on a dry fast, as there is no water consumption. (Ref 5)

Changes in the Digestive Process

During the fasting process, your body progresses through several stages. After using up the nutrition from your final meal before a fast, it will gradually turn to the stored glycogen in your muscles and then the fatty acids stored in your body. (Ref 4) The longer you fast, the longer your body stays in a state of ketosis, usually occurring on day two or three, where fat is the primary fuel source for your body’s energy needs. (Ref 4, 5)

Dry Fasting Safety

Drinking Enough Water During a Juice Fast

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According to the American Cancer Society, dry fasting can be potentially lethal in only a matter of hours depending on your overall health, as well as exposure to external stressors, such as heat or heavy exertion. (Ref 2) Because water makes up the majority of your body’s weight and is needed for all organ functions, not consuming any water during an extended period of time can lead to dehydration, which, if left untreated, can potentially be lethal. (Ref 6) Because of this, no dry fasts should be undertaken without explicit medical consent and monitoring. (Ref 1, 2, 3)