A Water Only Fast — Is It Safe?

A Water Only Fast — Is It Safe?
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Fasting and Weight Loss

Taking one to three days to detox can be beneficial for your health. Doing this regularly, such as every three to four months, can not only help flush out toxins but it can encourage weight loss. It is very important however to understand that there is a difference between healthy cleansing and unhealthy starving. It is also important to have reasonable weight loss expectations to actually achieve results.

A detoxification program can help to eliminate excess mucous and toxins, supporting the more efficient functioning of major organs. It can

Carrot Juice

also help promote the rebuilding of new, healthy tissue — only if detoxing and fasting includes the intake of fresh fruit and vegetable juices and other sources of nutrition.

Fasting, or abstaining from many foods, can lead to such benefits as clearer skin, increased energy levels and better digestion. It is true that cleansing can lead to a small amount of weight loss, which can easily be regained if healthy eating habits are not continued. A more realistic goal is to improve overall well-being and to immensely transform eating habits through cleansing, thus leading to healthy and substantial weight loss over time.

What About Water?

Drink Water

Drinking plenty of water is important for everyday living as well as any cleansing program. Eight to ten glasses of water a day is a healthy goal. What about a water only fast? Wouldn’t this speed up the detox process that comes with fasting and yield faster or better benefits?

Detoxing with water only actually has many possible negative effects. First, it is too demanding on the body, both physically and mentally. Without any nutrients coming in tissue is not able to rebuild and body systems are deprived, rather then setting them up to thrive. Second, drinking water only can lead to too intense of a release of toxins into the bloodstream. This can put a lot of accumulated chemicals and waste into the blood to be circulated through the body and eliminated. Third, it can be an uncomfortable experience rather than the nourishing, cleansing experience of a regular juice fast. This is not likely to encourage you to detox regularly. In the end, fasting with water only can have a detrimental effect on the body despite all the effort.

Detoxing for Health

Use fasting as a way to routinely take care of your body, flushing out waste and improving organ functioning. Think of it as part of an overall weight loss lifestyle that includes eating a healthy diet all of the time and exercising regularly. Take a weekend to cleanse every few months and to boost nutrient intake with fresh juices. Once you are used to making fresh juices and other cleansing drinks during your fasts you can incorporate them into your diet regularly, enjoying a green veggie drink several times a week and making your own fresh juice blends for in-between meals.

The healthier you feel and the more energy that you have the more likely you are to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight. Water fasting is not a practical route to losing weight. Juice fasts and other detox diets in addition to eating a balanced diet and exercising are practical weight loss methods.


Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition” (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).

Davis, Jeanie Lerche. Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/detox-diets-cleansing-body-feature

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