Water Fasting Diet Method, Benefits and Dangers
Water Fasting Diet Method, Benefits and Dangers
Water fasting or water diet is a diet method that is done by consuming only water without consuming other foods or drinks. However, you need to be careful, because this diet can cause various health problems if not done properly.
Water fasting is a diet method that is widely applied to reduce weight, eliminate toxins in the body, and as preparation before surgery. During this diet, you should not consume any food or drink except water, so that no calories enter the body. Why water? Because besides not containing calories, water is also proven to be very good for health.
What are the Benefits of the Water Fasting Diet?
The following are the various benefits that can be obtained by undergoing a water fasting diet:
When you don't get your calorie intake for 24 hours or more, you can lose 0.9 kg per day. In addition, the intake of 2 liters of water can also burn up to 100 calories per day.
However, you don't need to worry that your body will feel weak due to not getting energy from calories, because initially energy can still be obtained from the breakdown of glycogen which acts as a carbohydrate reserve.
Lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer
Several studies have shown that water fasting can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are risk factors for heart disease. Not only that, undergoing a water fasting diet is also believed to prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Lowering the risk of diabetes
Water fasting diet can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, because the body does not get sugar intake from food or drink.
In addition, this diet method also plays a role in increasing the body's sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone that plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. Increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin can prevent excessive increases in blood sugar levels.
Lowering blood pressure
Water fasting that is done under the supervision of a doctor can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. A study states that 82-90% of people experience a decrease in blood pressure after doing water fasting for 10-14 days.
What are the Dangers of the Water Fasting Diet?
In addition to the various benefits, water fasting is also dangerous if not done in the right way. The following are some of the bad effects of the water fasting diet:
Because there is no intake of food or drink other than water, the body is at risk of malnutrition due to no nutrients entering the body. In fact, nutrients that include protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals are needed by the body to function properly.
Therefore, this diet method is not recommended for long periods of time.
As strange as it may sound, water fasting can cause you to become dehydrated. This happens because 20-30% of body fluid intake actually comes from food. Therefore, even if you consume the same amount of water, your body will still be dehydrated.
Symptoms that can appear are dizziness, nausea, headache, and constipation. To avoid dehydration, you are advised to drink more than usual.
Orthostatic hypotension is a condition that is often experienced by people who undergo water fasting. Orthostatic hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure that occurs when a person suddenly stands up from a sitting or lying position, causing dizziness and feeling like fainting.
How To Do The Water Fasting Diet?
Although there are no definite rules about how to do the water fasting diet properly, so that this diet doesn't actually harm your health, follow the following phases:
If you've never done water fasting before, prepare yourself 3-4 days in advance by eating small portions or fasting several hours a day.
Diet phase (24-72 hours)
During the diet, you are recommended to drink 2-3 liters of water per day. This diet can be done for 24-72 hours and should not be done more than that time without a doctor's supervision, because it can be harmful to health.
It's best to avoid activities that require full focus, such as driving a vehicle or driving heavy machinery, to prevent accidents or injuries.
When ending the diet, you are advised to consume small meals or juices. After that, you can increase your food intake slowly. This is done to prevent refeeding syndrome which is a fatal condition when the body experiences fluid and electrolyte changes rapidly.
This phase normally lasts a day. However, the longer the duration of your diet, the longer it will take your body to adapt before it can eat large amounts of food.
Water fasting includes a diet that is classified as heavy, so not everyone can do this diet method. The water fasting diet is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers, the elderly, and people who suffer from certain diseases, such as kidney failure, gout, ulcers, or eating disorders.
Consult again with a nutritionist about a healthy diet that suits your health condition. The doctor will also advise you to lead a healthy lifestyle, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and stopping smoking or drinking alcohol.