Hey, and welcome to my science based guide to water fasting and weight loss.
I'll show you exactly what I did to lose 14.6 pounds (6.6 kilograms) in 5 short days.
This comes down to losing almost 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) per day, which is ridiculously fast by any standard.
And just in case you're wondering, the answer is no. It's damn near possible to lose 3 pounds of pure body fat per day.
Read this guide all the way through and you’ll understand exactly what happens behind the scenes of such an awesome drop of that number on your bathroom scale.
HINT: There's actually SIX different types of body weight you'll end up losing when you lose weight this quickly with water fasting (I'll cover all of them in a bit.)
In this guide, I'll also show you some advanced weight loss tricks that you can use to boost your water fasting results even further.
These tips won't "only" help you laser-target that stubborn body fat, they will also help reverse the loss of muscle mass during a water fast.
Before we dive in, you should know that this advanced guide focuses on maximizing your weight loss results during water fasting.
In other words, I'm assuming you already have some experience with water fasting or that you at least understand how water fasting is done.
But if you need a more general introduction to water fasting, you can also read my step-by-step guide on how to do a water fast safely and effectively.
Now that you know what you're getting yourself into, here's a short roadmap you can use to easily navigate this advanced guide to water fasting for weight loss:
Muscle loss during water fasting (and how to reverse it)
This is easily the single most important issue of water fasting for weight loss, so I'll talk about this first.
In one study, scientists proved that it's possible to destroy as much as 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) of lean body mass during a 21-day water fast.
(Your lean body mass includes everything in your body that's not body fat...so muscle mass, bone mass, water weight, glycogen, internal organs, etc.)
Now, maybe youre the kind of person who doesn't really care about how much muscle mass you will lose during a water fast. Maybe you just want to get rid of that stubborn and annoying body fat as quickly as possible.
But even if that's you, you should know that the single most important muscle in your body that can suffer because of this (and that muscle just happens to be your most important vital organ as well) is your heart.
Relax. A short water fast isn't likely to cause any serious damage your heart. I'm only telling you about this scary stuff to make sure you always stay on the safe side with fasting.
But still. If you ask me, losing even a single pound of muscle mass mass as you go after a quick drop of that number on your scale isn't really worth it.
Especially since science has already discovered a better and more effective way of fasting. This modern way of fasting has actually been proven to be a lot safer than water fasting in over 10,000 of medically-supervised cases.
The kind of fasting that can fully reverse the unnecessary destruction of your muscle mass and vital organ tissue is called muscle sparing fasting.
And the best part? When done right, muscle sparing fasting won't slow down the incredibly fast fat burn water fasting can deliver.
In fact, modern science has proven that muscle sparing fasting can be done in a way that doesn't interrupt the fasting ketosis in your body. When done right, muscle sparing fasting can actually offer higher fat burn rates than water fasting alone ever could.
But I'm getting off track here. This isn't a guide on muscle sparing fasting, but a guide on how to maximize your water fasting weight loss results. So let's get on with that.
The ugly truth behind my awesome water fasting results
In this part of the guide, I'll explain all about the SIX different types of weight that you will lose during a water fast.
(I've already covered the loss of muscle mass during water fasting, so that leaves us with 5 more.)
After you're done with this part of the guide, you'll understand what actually goes on when you lose weight as quickly as with water fasting.
You'll see exactly why most people keep celebrating that quick drop of that number on their bathroom scale...only to end up totally frustrated after they quickly regain all the lost weight.
To be fair, "fake" weight loss results aren't just a problem of water fasting. Most quick weight loss diets on the market today take advantage of this as well.
Now, let's dive right into taking a closer look at what actually goes on "under the hood" of extremely fast weight loss results.
If I had to name the single most widespread, yet totally irrational fear of weight gains, then drinking water would definitely be it.
So let me set the record straight once and for all:
Drinking plenty of water DOES NOT make you gain weight.
So even though water fasting is about driniking lots of water, this will actually help you get rid of some of the extra water weight that's normally "stuck" on your body.
Whatever your fears about water fasting might be, you shouldn't be afraid to drink plenty of water throughout your fast.
In fact, drinking pleny of water throughout your next water fast will only help keep your body properly hydrated and keep your metabolism properly revved up.
(If you're interested in exactly how much water you need to drink during a water fast to maximize your weight loss results, you can check out my general guide on how to actually do a water fast.)
So let's take a closer look at some of the reasons why your body actually holds on to unnecessary water weight (and how water fasting can help you get rid of that extra water weight).
While your body stores away most of the energy in your body fat reserves, it also stores some energy in your muscles and your liver as glycogen.
And just like your body fat, your glycogen reserves (plus the water bound to them) can add quite a few extra pounds to your total body weight.
I can't cover all the details on how much extra weight you're carrying around because of glycogen or how to get rid of it in this guide on wight loss with water fasting.
(But you can read all about the benefits of getting rid of all the glycogen in your body in my science-based guide to glycogen and weight loss.)
But when it comes to how glycogen affects your water fasting weight loss results (and your energy leves during fasting), you need to understand what will happen during the first 3-5 days of your next water fast:
- Your body will burn through most of your glycogen reserves, meaning that you can lose as much as 10 pounds (5 kilograms) of glycogen-bound water weight. Again, this will make your final water fasting weight loss results look pretty damn awesome, but this doesn't mean you're actually losing any extra body fat.
- After your body wipes out your glycogen reserves, you will start feeling a lot weaker and possibly even dizzy (find out how to deal with this in my general guide to water fasting). Like I said, glycogen is how your body stores energy, and with your glycogen reserves wiped out, you simply won't have as much spring in your step.
- You won't be able to reach your highest possible fat burn rate for as long as your body can still rely on glycogen for energy. So unless you follow the tips I'm going to reveal later on in the guide, you'll have to wait for 3-5 days before your body gets rid of glycogen at its own natural pace.
On to another type of weight you'll almost inevitably lose during water fasting.
Sodium is a very common mineral in our diets (think table salt) and unless you're sticking to a specific, low-sodium diet, you're probably packing on quite a lot of extra pounds because of sodium (salt).
You see, just like glycogen, sodium too binds water to itself. So the more sodium you eat, the more sodium-bound water weight you might be carrying with you at all times.
Again, I can't cover all of the details on sodium and water weight in this guide to water fasting and weight loss.
(But if you want to see just how much extra weight we're talking about, you can take a look at my personal experiment with sodium and weight loss.)
The important thing to remember about sodium and water fasting is this:
Because water fasting means that you'll basically be getting in zero sodium, your body will finally get the chance to flush any extra sodium out of your body.
In other words, if you switch from a high-sodium diet (aka your standard modern diet) to water fasting, you'll quickly drop up to 4 pounds (2 kilograms) of sodium-bound water weight.
Again, this will make your final water fasting results look a lot better on paper, but it won't actually help you burn off any of that annoying body fat.
Time to take a look at another reason why your weight loss results after a water fast may be "inflated".
If you're on just about any kind of a diet (where you're actually allowed to eat solid food), you'll always be carrying around a few pounds of partially digested food in your digestive tract.
But after you stop eating solid foods completely during a water fast, your colon will still keep emptying out for a few days into your fast.
In fact, some people even do a colon cleanse before or during a water fast - to help speed up this process and help the body get rid of "toxins".
(If you're one of those people who'd actually consider doing a colon cleanse for a water fast, then you should definitely read what science has to say about this in my science-based guide to colon cleansing and weight loss.)
Ultimately, with or without a colon cleanse, your weight may drop by a few pounds because at least some of the digested food will leave your body during a water fast.
In other words, this means that you can lose as much as 7 pounds (3 kilograms) of non-fat weight during your next water fast, just because your colon will empty out a bit more than usual.
So let's wrap up this part of the guide with what should be the ultimate target of any well-designed diet, your body fat.
If you've read all about the FIVE types of weight loss results that have absolutely nothing to do with your body fat, then you might feel like you'll barely lose any body fat at all during a water fast.
But I can assure you that water fasting IS one of the fastest ways in existence for you to get rid of that annoying body fat.
Water fasting is definitely not without problems, but that doesn't mean your body fat won't melt away like it's on fire during a water fast.
Explaining (in words) how much actual body fat you can expect to lose during a water fast would be quite tough, because it depends on a lot of factors (your starting weight and body composition, for example).
So in order to help you understand just how much body fat you can expect to lose, I'd need to hire a coder and develop a water fasting calculator.
Such a calculator would be able to tell you as precisely as possible how much total body weight, how much body fat and how much muscle mass you can expect to lose.
(If you actually want me to create a water fasting calculator for you, join our private newsletter community and let me know. If enough people show interest, I'll get on with creating the calculator right away.)
But for the time being, I can "only" offer you some science that will help you estimate how much total weight you can expect to lose during your next water fast.
Estimate your own water fasting results
While I lost almost 3 pounds per day in my own water fasting weight loss challenge, you could be getting better or worse results than me.
Your final water fasting results will depend on a lot of factors, but mostly on how much weight you have to lose at the beginning of your fast.
While a skinny, 140-pound guy can't expect to lose anywhere near 3 lbs per day, a heavy, 300-pound guy could lose even more weight than that.
So the more weight you have to lose at the beginning of a fast (and the longer you plan on fasting), the better your final weight loss results will be.
Because my own results may not be a good rule of thumb for everyone, I turned to science to help you estimate what kind of results you can expect to get with a typical water fast.
According to one study  that compared the average weight loss results between men and women, men can expect to lose more weight than women during water fasting.
I've converted the data from the study into a pretty long table.
But you can easily use this table to estimate your own results depending on how long your fast is going to be and your current weight.
|Water Fast Duration (days)||Weight loss - women (%)||Weight loss - men (%)|
Here are two example calculations:
Example 1 (for women):
You're a 150-lbs woman who plans on doing a 7-day water fast. You can estimate your weight loss results by taking the value from the second column in the table for a 7-day water fast and multiply it by your current weight.
Your estimated 7-day water fasting results: 150 lbs * 4.5 / 100 = 6.75 lbs
Example 2 (for men):
You're a 180-lbs man who plans on doing a 14-day water fast. You can estimate your weight loss results by taking the value from the third column in the table for a 14-day water fast and multiply it by your current weight.
Your estimated 14-day water fasting results: 180 lbs * 7.9 / 100 = 14.2 lbs
But enough about estimating your water fasting weight loss results.
Let's get on with some of the more advanced water fasting tips that are bound to skyrocket fat loss during your next water fast.
How to speed up fat loss BEFORE a water fast
Before we get to my advanced water fasting weight loss tips, let me repeat this one simple fact:
Water fasting IS one of the fastest ways to lose weight on the planet.
In other words, your final weight loss results will beat the results of 95% of all diet and exercise programs in existence.
That's even if you do absolutely nothing but lie in bed all day.
With that out of the way, here are a couple weight loss tips you can use to boost your water fasting weight loss results before you even begin the fast:
Enter into fasting ketosis 3-5 days sooner
If you simply eat less calories than usual before your water fast, your body will need to burn through a lot less energy reserves in your body before it can laser-target your body fat reserves.
This means that you can start burning off that stubborn body fat at the highest possible speeds a lot sooner than if you simply waited things out.
In other words, eating less calories before your fast can help you enter a state of ultra-high fat burn called "water fasting ketosis" 3-5 days faster.
(If you want to find out more about how to enter, how not to interrupt it, and how long it usually takes to reach this state of extremely high fat burn, you can read all about it in my science based guide to water fasting ketosis.)
But restricting calories right before your fast isn't the only thing that can help you start enjoying that state of super-high fat burn as quickly as possible.
Do this BEFORE the fast to speed up fat loss DURING the fast
Exercising right before a water fast is another awesome tip that will help you reach that highly sought-after state of extreme fat burn 3-5 days faster.
Because exercise also helps you wipe out the energy reserves in your body that prevent you from being able to really laser-target that ugly body fat.
So you can simply eat less, you can rely on exercise, or use a combination of both to enter water fasting ketosis as early into your fast as possible.
(To find out more about how much exercise, what kind of exercise, and at what intensity you need to exercise to enter a state of super-high fat burn up to 5 days faster, you can subscribe to my free newsletter.)
On to the water fasting weight loss tip that can be used by those who aren't fans of eating less or exercising.
Burn off more body fat without eating less or exercising
The third tip you can use right before a water fast (to speed up your entry into water fasting ketosis), is to stick with "ketogenic" meals.
(If you want more information on what ketogenic meals are and how much body fat they can actually help you burn away, simply hop on my free newsletter.)
Again, ketogenic meals can help you start burning off your own body fat reserves at a high rate (without necessarily eating any less calories or exercising).
So before a water fast, you can use any combination of calorie restriction, exercise, or ketogenic meals to be able to reach your highest possible fat burn rate up to 5 days faster.
Let's move on to the water fasting weight loss tips you can use during the fast.
How to speed up weight loss DURING a water fast
Back when I did my water fasting experiment, I didn't really know a lot of science on how to speed up weight loss during a water fast even further.
But I've done my research since then. So what you're about to see, are some pretty neat tricks that can boost your fat loss even beyond what water fasting can do on its own.
In other words, even though I've gotten some pretty amazing results with my experiment, if I had used any of the tricks you're about to read, I could have lost even more weight during my water fast.
Let's dive right in.
Use caffeine to DOUBLE the release of body fat
If you really want to skyrocket your fat burn rate during your next water fast, here's a science-based weight loss tip that can help you out:
Research has proven that taking just a tiny amount of caffeine, an extremely popular natural fat burner found mostly in coffee and tea, can literally double the release of fat from your body fat reserves.
(To find out more about how caffeine actually speeds up fat loss, how many calories it can actually help you burn, and how to make caffeine work on ANY diet, go to my science based guide to maximizing your weight loss results with caffeine.)
In other words, if you do a water fast without caffeine, your highest possible fat burn rate will be limited by your body's natural ability to release fat from your body fat reserves.
But if you take caffeine during a water fast, you can actually reach a state of "superhuman" fat burn (because caffeine helps your body release and burn off that stubborn body fat even faster).
Also, because caffeine will help you release more energy from your body fat reserves, you'll feel much more energized and mentally focused during a water fast.
Time to take a look at an awesome drink that's also been scientifically proven to speed up weight loss:
Drink green tea to burn more body fat
Yes, green tea is another zero-calorie drink you can use to speed up weight loss during a water fast.
Science has proven that green tea can speed up fat burn by over 35%!
And the best part?
Burning off more body fat also means you'll destroy less of your lean body mass (because your body will be able to draw more energy from those ugly body fat reserves).
The ability of green tea to protect your lean body mass while helping you burn away more body fat during a water fast is amazing in and of itself.
(But if you want to discover a few more little-known weight loss benefits of green tea, you can read all about them in my science based guide to boosting weight loss with green tea.)
Here's another kind of tea you can drink for quicker fat loss during a water fast:
Drink oolong tea to burn more calories
What if I told you, or better yet, what if I could prove to you that burning off even more calories during a water fast comes down to something as simple and natural as drinking tea?
Well, science says, oolong tea contains the so called "polyphenols" that have been proven to speed up weight loss.
Furthermore, teas like oolong tea also contain caffeine, and you've already seen the science on how well that one works.
Needless to say, the fat burning combo of polyphenols and caffeine you can get in by drinking some oolong tea, could easily boost your final water fating weight loss results even further.
(If you want to find out how many calories oolong tea can help you burn, how it can help you better target your body fat, and discover a little-known weight loss benefit of oolong tea, then you can go to my science based guide to speeding up weight loss with oolong tea.)
But now it's time you find out how to avoid one of the most common traps people who are doing a water fast for weight loss tend to fall into.
How NOT to speed up weight loss during a water fast
I really need to warn you about one of the stupidest mistakes I made in my extreme water fasting challenge. I did it, because I simply didn't know about this back when I went through with my weight loss challenge.
My dumb mistake was, I tried to boost my water fasting results with exercise.
I mean, it's widely known that exercise and weight loss go hand in hand, right?
So why not do some light exercise to boost your water fasting results, especially once you start feeling that "energy high" after a couple of days?
Well, unfortunately for me (but fortunately for you cause you're reading this now) it took me quite a while before I found out just how dangerous exercise can be during a water fast.
One water fasting study proved that every hour of exercise during a water fast will destroy over 100 grams of your lean body mass!
And the people in the study weren't doing intense exercise. The loss of lean body mass is bound to happen even if you exercise lightly during your water fast.
Like I said, that destruction of your lean body mass will not only hurt your muscles, it can damage your vital organs as well.
The bottom line is, you can do pretty much everything you normally do during a water fast.
Just do your best to avoid any activities that will raise your heart rate, make you start breathing heavily, or require a lot of energy to perform (think heavy work, weight lifting, or basically any kind of sport).
And while this wasn't exactly a tip that can boost your water fasting results, it's even more important you understand what you're NOT supposed to do.
So many people make the mistake of staying overly active during a fast, but instead of improving their final water fasting results, they only end up harming their bodies.
How to prevent weight gain AFTER a water fast?
That very first bite you take after not eating for 5 days will taste out of this world. Even if you start by eating a food you're usually not all that excited about (celery, anyone?), that first sensation of food in your mouth will be far beyond your usual experience.
If you haven't been eating for five days, you need to slowly ease back into your normal diet. This is even more important with longer fasts. But even after a 5-day water fast, you can't just start eating like a horse right away.
You can start by eating some fruit every couple of hours. After a while, you can start including some smaller meals.
Your stomach will shrink during the fast and you'll be excited to notice you now feel fully satisfied with far less food than before the fast.
You want to hold on to that feeling for as long as possible, so try not to expand your stomach too quickly with huge meals.
The daily breakdown of my water fasting weight loss experiment
Here's exactly what happened during the 5 days of my extreme water fasting weight loss experiment.
If you're thinking of doing a water fast yourself (even if just for a day or two), this will give you a better idea of what to expect.
You'll also see that I've gotten myself into a pretty risky situation on the fifth day (and had no choice but to "cheat" during my fast).
Let this incident be a reminder to you that water fasting is not to be taken lightly (especially if you plan on exercising during your fast), and that safety must always come first.
Day 1 (daily weight loss = 3.1 lbs / 1.4 kg)
During the first day of the fast, my energy levels were still pretty good. I spent about two hours on my bicycle, plus, I did some sprinting. By the end of the day, I felt really tired, but nothing too out of the ordinary.
The hardest part of the first day is handling your hunger and food cravings.
I properly transitioned into my water fast, so my body was already used to getting just one meal per day (a late dinner). Because I was tired from exercising without food, I fell asleep way before dinnertime. So during the first day, I tricked my mind into not even noticing that I was going to skip food altogether.
But that only got me through the first day.
Day 2 (daily weight loss = 2.4 lbs / 1.1 kg)
The hunger, the cravings, and the constant feeling of emptiness in your stomach. Even without exercise, these things CAN get to you.
On the second day of my water fast, I went on a hike. But after about two hours of brisk walking, that was it. I was completely out of gas, and that familiar feeling of dizziness started creeping in.
A little dizziness is completely normal during a water fast (even if you completely avoid exercise). But during my previous fasts, it never started feeling dizzy before day three.
Exercise really worked to speed things up.
Day 3 (daily weight loss = 3.1 lbs / 1.4 kg)
The third day could easily compete for the worst day of my life.
I was so completely out of energy, that I barely dragged myself around the apartment. The only time I felt this way was when I was extremely weak because of an illness.
If you do a water fast without exercise, the third day is usually much, much easier.
So if you want to burn off more body fat by exercising in the beginning of your water fast, feeling like crap might be the price you'll have to pay.
The good news was, my hunger was almost completely gone by the third day.
Day 4 (daily weight loss = 3.7 lbs / 1.7 kg)
On the fourth day, I got some of my energy back.
I was actually able to walk a couple of miles, but that was it for the day.
Like I said, the hunger was now completely gone. I literally felt like I didn't care if I ever eat anything again.
And this is actually the biggest advantage of doing a water fast for weight loss.
If you can learn how to handle yourself during those first few days, you'll get to a place where hunger virtually disappears.
But it wasn't until the final day that I got reminded fasting is no walk in the park.
Day 5 (daily weight loss = 2.2 lbs / 1.0 kg)
The last day of my water fast surprisingly began really great. I felt like I had a TON of energy, so I courageously went on a hike.
But almost exactly at the farthest point from my home, I nearly collapsed from exhaustion.
I remember leaning against a fence, just wanting to lie down. I had no idea how I was supposed to get home.
I had no choice. My safety had to come first, even if it meant not completing my weight loss experiment.
Somehow, I managed to slowly make my way to the nearby store, and bought some dates.
Dates have an extremely high-glycemic index, which means that the sugar they contain will rush into your bloodstream like a speed train.
And boy, did they work.
I only ate two dates, and it was like pouring gasoline on fire. With this quick energy boost, I was able to get back home with no problems.
So yes, I technically "broke" the fast before day 5 was over.
But those two dates weighed only a couple of grams, so they really couldn't have affected the final weight loss results a lot.
So in spite of me "cheating" during my fast, I still ended up losing 14.5 pounds (6.6 kilograms) in 5 short days.
How much body fat did I actually lose?
Like I said, my water fasting weight loss results look pretty impressive on paper:
I lost a total of 14.6 pounds (6.6 kilograms) in less than a week, while the recommended weight loss rate is about 1-2 pounds (0.5-1 kilogram) per week.
In other words, my water fasting results were more than 10 times better than what you can get on your standard, "doctor's approved" weight loss diet.
But the truth is, more than two thirds of my awesome weight loss results had nothing to do with my body fat.
So even though water fasting IS one of the fastest fat loss methods on the planet, you'll have to sacrifice a lot of your lean body mass to lose so much weight so quickly.
But this preventable and reversible loss of your lean body mass is not just a problem with water fasting. Trying to lose body fat really quickly (while holding on to as much of your lean body mass as possible) is easily the single biggest problem in the weight loss community.
Because this issue is so hard to avoid, many rapid weight lost diets trick you with a big fake drop of the number on your bathroom scale. And while you celebrate those fake weight loss results, you stay completely blind to the fact that you probably lost little or no body fat at all.
Again, this article is about water fasting, so I obviously can't go into all the details here.
But if you want to learn more about the 5 different ways your body can trick you into believing you're losing a lot of weight (even when you're hardly losing any body fat at all), you can download a free sample chapter from my "Perfect Fat Burn Diet" book.
If you only take the time to read that one short chapter, you will never again be fooled by the promise of fast results on ANY weight loss diet.
Why repeating my experiment is probably a bad idea for you
I know that the more I tell you not to repeat my experiment, the more tempted you will be to try and lose weight as quickly as I did.
So I'm not going to.
Instead, I'm going to warn you about the risks involved, and give you some tips on what you can do to minimize the damage.
So let's take a look at the two major reasons why water fasting for weight loss could be a really bad idea for you.
1. The damage water fasting can do to your body
This experiment proves water fasting can help you burn a hell of a lot of body fat really quickly. And while many people survived fasts longer than a month, some death cases have been recorded as well.
Not just anecdotes and stories, but actual medical cases. And those deaths happened in spite of those poor people having plenty of body fat reserves left.
I won't go into the details here, but you should know that those deaths are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential dangers of pure water fasting.
I'll only say it's quite overwhelming on how much of the advice I got from the fasting community turned out to be completely wrong or downright dangerous, after I finally did my own research into the actual science on water fasting.
Because of that - and if you still want to fast for rapid fat burn - I would recommend you do a muscle sparing fast instead of a pure water fast any day of the week.
Again, I won't go into the details on how muscle sparing can increase your fat burn rates without destroying your lean body mass here.
But if you want to learn more about a fast that practically eliminates all the health risks pure water fasting brings to the table, you can read more about a muscle sparing fasting diet here.
2. Water fasting can mess with your head as well
Here's the worst case scenario.
If you don't know how to handle intense hunger and strong food cravings during a water fast, you will suffer at best, and fall face first into a food binge at worst.
But even if by some miracle you make it through the entire fast, all those bottled-up feelings of denial and suffering will explode in your face as soon as you allow yourself to eat again.
Before you know it, you will be standing in front of your fridge, stuffing your face with any fattening, unhealthy and junky food you can get your hands on.
You have walked right into the yoyo dieting trap, without even realizing it. And the only painfully useless consolation I can offer, is that you aren't the first.
I know this because I went through this dieting-binge-dieting cycle many more times that I'd like to admit.
Today, after more than a decade of research into human behavior around food, I am quite capable of surviving that relentless assault of hunger cravings that usually happens at the beginning of a fast.
But if you don't feel fully confident you can actually handle such severe dietary restrictions, I would again recommend you take a look at muscle sparing fasting.
Because The PFB Diet I already recommended earlier in the article, isn't just a step by step guide on how to do a muscle sparing fast, but it also includes some "mental exercises" that can help you deal with hunger and cravings, so you can make it through your fast way easier.