Dry fasting and weight loss  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: You might have heard that intermittent fasting, the popular health trend that involves not eating during certain periods of time, is a great way to lose weight. But do you know about the wondrous health benefits of dry fasting? Perhaps, if you’re trying to lose a few pounds and belly fat, this type of fasting could be a powerful tool for achieving your weight loss goals. Dry fasting, which is complete abstinence from food or water, believed to be more effective than any other kinds of body cleansing.
Dry fasting has been practised by many cultures and religions since ages. A dry fast not only is effective for burning body fat but also claimed to offer a plethora of health benefits, such as boosting immunity, improving body’s anti-inflammatory effects, removing toxins, etc. During dry fasting, research suggests that stem cells are also released into the blood than usual, which activates regeneration and rejuvenation processes. What’s even more, dry fasting can help extend life, helping you live longer. Read – Reverse fasting weight loss diet: 3 ways it helps you melt belly fat, 5 meal-timing tips for optimal results
How is dry fasting more effective for weight loss than water fasting or other body cleansing plans?
When you are on a dry fast, your body becomes a waste-burning machine and eliminates toxins in different ways than normal. For instance, the accumulated fat and toxins in the body are burned up instead of eliminating them from urine, bowels, kidneys, liver, and skin. This type of fasting puts your body in the state where it starts the process of utilising everything available for energy – at the cellular level.
Secondly, fasting helps stimulate the immune system and activate the body’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms, purify the blood and cleanses the digestive tract – all of which can be beneficial for losing weight and improving overall health. This type of fasting also forces the body to obtain water from the cells, hence, damaged tissues (such as fat deposits, tumours) can be eliminated faster.
Dry fasting is said to be equivalent to 3 days of a water fast when it comes to detoxification, which means it can burn fat up to 3 times faster than water fasting. Dry fasting can be exceptionally beneficial to cell regeneration and repair. It also leads to autophagy where every cell of the body can clean house — scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells are removed. Read – Does weight loss increase the risk of osteoporosis? 6 tips to reduce belly fat and maintain strong bones
Things to keep in mind before and after doing a dry fast
Basically, there are two popular types of dry fasting – hard dry and soft dry fasting methods. In the hard dry fast, the faster does not come in touch with water, which means the participant does not even allow water to touch their body. On the other hand, the soft dry fast allows the faster to drink water during the fast. That is why the soft dry fast is a better option for beginners.
- Remember, dry fasting can be beneficial for weight loss, but it can be dangerous to your health in many ways, so do not jump into it without consulting your doctor or an expert. If done incorrectly, it can lead to dehydration and even death in a few days. Ideally, it should be done under the supervision of an expert.
- It may be noted that dry fasting is not recommended as a long-term weight loss solution. Dry fasting may cause only water weight loss that will quickly be regained after the faster resumes a regular diet. Read – Weight loss diet: Warm lemon water, fresh fruits & veggies and other natural detox tips to melt belly fat
- Also, certain factors, such as the heat, the participant’s overall health, can reduce the chances of yielding results or even make dry fasting lethal in a short span of time. Hence, it’s advisable to begin with the soft dry fasting where you can have water and juices (fresh fruit juices). This will help you prepare physically and mentally before easing into a full-blown dry fast.
- Another dry fasting method called ‘daily fast’ is also considered a good one to start with – here, the participant usually fasts for 14 to 16 hours a day for a set amount of days, or indefinitely. Some believe this method is one of the best ways to get into dry fasting while helping the faster to reap the benefits of dry fasting each day.
- During fasting, one should treat his/her body with gentleness and engage in activities that calm the mind, such as yoga, meditation, etc. And of course, one should not ignore those subtle cues from the body that could signal huge health problems – even if it requires the participant to end the fast.
- After the fast, one should plan the rebuilding period wisely, for example, if you dry fast for 3 days you must give your body at least 6 days to recover, which means the average recovery time should be twice the length of the fast.
- On completion of your fast, it’s important to give your stomach time to return to normal size and the digestive organs time to ‘wake up’ fully. Start with water – drink it slowly. Then you can start introducing other liquids and light solid foods. Avoid foods that are difficult to digest.
- Continue to hydrate with water, vegetable soup, broth, and fresh fruit juices. Perhaps, this may be an ideal time to kickstart a healthier lifestyle or a healthy eating plan.
Note: All content, including tips and suggestions, is purely for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting a fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.