Water Fasting - Do it yourself

Water Fasting is a process by which an individual consumes only water and some other zero calorie liquids such as black coffee, black tea, green tea (diet coke counts as well I think but generally avoidable) for a few days (usually 3-5 days).

Fasting is an ancient practise encouraged by most cultures as a means to further ones spirtual and mental health. In today's sedentary world, it also offers the benefits of a quick weight loss process which is where most people reading this article may come for.

My own experience with Water Fasting and Fasting in general started from my Community's observance of the Ekadashi Fast, a Hindu Fasting ritual observed on every 11th day of a moon cycle (So twice a month). Observing members undergo some kind of fasting - young children, old people, pregnant women eat more or less 2-3 times but usually stick to fruits, milk and sometimes wheat based food items. Those who can observe the Fast fully will not eat any food starting from dinner on the previous day to breakfast on the next day. A few (though this is the recommended practice) don’t drink water as well (yours truly and my brother in our current family are members who go the whole day with no food or water).

I've been fasting on Ekadashi for more than 24 Years now (No food as such for 20+ years and without water for 12+ Years).

Furthermore, in the months of April-May 2020, I undertook my first multi day fast where I had only water and milk and for the past 2 years, have done at least 3 multi day water fasts as part of the Navaratri Festivals observed by Hindus globally (the fasts here are entirely optional).

Using this experience, I will share some pointers for those looking to incorporating water fasting into their lives. I believe this will help you to better transition into this practice more seamlessly.

  1. Firstly, lets acknowledge something - Fasting is difficult, especially a full day or multi day water only fast. Hence, don’t go all out immediately.
  2. You can start off with a single day fast where you may choose to have a meal at the end of the day (essentially One Meal A Day Intermittent Fasting). Do this 2-3 times a week for 2 weeks and you should get the hang of it.
  3. The next step is to choose a day for full fasting. Try doing it for the first time on a Holiday so that you’re not expected to work.
  4. The day before, have a good meal - protein heavy and if it’s your first attempt, have something sweet as well. This gives you a good mental boost.
  5. On the day of fasting, you may consume black coffee or black tea. Green tea is good as well but I don’t like the taste of it. So I usually avoid it.
  6. The first half of the day is easy enough. It’s when the night approaches that you’d feel hunger pangs. There’s no way apart from having more water or some more black coffee at this point. Be stubborn about not wanting to eat.
  7. You may find it a bit hard to sleep that day. Even after these many years of fasting, this happens to me as well. For the love of God, please do not scroll through any food related content at that time. You just make it harder for yourself.
  8. When you get up the next day, there is a high chance you will feel groggy and a bit weak. Don’t worry. It’s only natural.
  9. Break your fast with something light. Contrary to what you read on the internet, it need not be protein heavy. What it needs to be is mild on the stomach. So no greasy foods or spicy stuff. This will just because you stomach problems later.
  10. Take a 15-20-minute nap after you break the fast in case you’re still feeling tired. It’s okay, this is your first time and your body needs a bit more rest. This step is useful even for those who are experienced in Fasting as well. Remember, listen to your body and for whatever reason if you're feeling like you can’t go (from a health perspective and not because you’re feeling hungry) on with the fasting, you may consider breaking it with some milk or a fruit.

These 10 steps should help you get used to water fasting for a day within a month or so. Many of you won’t need so much time but this is a good pace anyways.

And voila... you're ready.

This paves the way for the ultimate stage of Intermittent Fasting, the Multi Day Water Fast. But that is for another article. For now, this will do for our readers.