10-Day Water Fasting For Weight Loss: Benefits & Side Effects

Lose water weight, burn stored fat, and flush out toxins with this ten-day long fast.

Medically reviewed by Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN Alexandra Dusenberry Alexandra DusenberryMS, RDN twitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Health & Wellness Writer Charushila Biswas Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 6 years
Edited by , Senior Editor Ravi Teja Tadimalla Senior Editor Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , Senior Health & Wellness Writer Payal Karnik Senior Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 2.5 years
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Many people fast for religious reasons. But did you know that water fasting for weight loss works great? Going on a water fast for a day or two in a week can boost your metabolism, reduce calorie intake, and help you lose up to 14 pounds in just 30 days. However, this is a short-term weight loss plan. You must consume a balanced diet and exercise regularly as well.

Water fasting has been practiced since ancient times when humans did not know to grow their own food or hunt. Anecdotal evidence suggests that humans survived with intermittent fasting, which meant going long periods without eating. By drinking just water, humans could survive for days. But today, obesity has become a global issue. We overstuff ourselves with foods that have zero nutritional value and empty calories. However, you can change that by modifying your lifestyle and taking small steps. Start the 1- or 2-day water fasting per week to lose weight and improve your overall health.

Continue reading to know more about it.

Water Fasting To Lose Weight

1. What Is Water Fasting?

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Water fasting involves drinking 1-2 liters of water per day for five days. Doing this will give your body a chance to rejuvenate itself and flush out toxins that have been building up in the body for a long time. The most important aspect of water fasting is that your brain will be more alert and you will become super focused on what you do. You may feel tired and need to sleep more. But overall, it will show good results, provided you do it properly, with the help of your physician or dietitian. Also, it is important to understand that not all bodies have the same stress coping ability. Therefore, it is up to you whether you want to undertake water fast when you are on a sabbatical or while you are working or going to school.

A pre-fast and post-fast phase is necessary. Slowly reduce food intake before the actual water fast and then again gradually re-introduce food after the water fast is completed. Sudden water fasting or breaking the fast suddenly will harm your body and can even kill you.

2. How Does Water Fasting Help In Weight Loss?

For the first two days of your water fasting phase, all you lose is the water weight. The fat burning starts from the 3rd day of the water fasting phase. When you stop eating, your digestive system stops working. Your body slows down, except the brain and the heart. The stored fat is now broken down to provide energy for all involuntary and voluntary functions of the body. Water helps to get rid of the toxins and any waste present in the colon. This further helps you to lose a good chunk of weight. All this coupled with the right amount of daily exercise (depending on the body type and the body’s current activity level) will help you to lose a considerable amount of flab.

3. 10 Days Water Fasting Plan For Weight Loss (With Diet Charts)

To make sure that you get the most out of this fast, I have divided the fasting period into 3 phases. The first phase or the pre-fasting phase lasts for 2 days, allowing your body to consume less and less solid foods and making your body more comfortable with “liquid only” diet. The second phase or the water fasting phase is the toughest of all, but by the time you complete this phase, I assure you that you will feel like a new person. Drink neither less nor too much of water. Drinking less water can make you dehydrated and drinking more water can flush out all the salts from your body, which can prove to be fatal. Drink about 1-2 liters of water per day during the water fasting phase. The last phase of breaking the fast is crucial. You have to gradually re-introduce the solid foods or any other liquid food (juices or soup) over a period of three days. Eating fruits and veggies in the first and third phases will provide your body with enough vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber to survive the water fasting phase as well as for recuperating from the fast.

Here is a diet chart for all the three phases to help you get an idea about what to eat in the first and third phases. Take a look.

  • Pre-Fasting Phase

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Early MorningLemon, honey and warm water detox drink
Breakfast1 bowl of fruits or 1 banana and a probiotic drink
LunchVegetable sandwich (no cheese or mayonnaise) or grilled veggies
Post-Lunch1 glass fruit juice
Evening Snack1 cup green or black tea (without sugar or artificial sweetener) with two multigrain biscuits
DinnerVegetable soup or veggie salad
Bed Time1 glass warm milk
Why This Works

Day 1 allows you to eat a good amount of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are nutrient-dense foods that will keep you healthy and keep your hunger pangs at bay. This makes them a crucial part of calorie restriction diet plans.  Fruits and veggies will also make your skin glow. Probiotics are gut bacteria that help in digestion. The probiotic drink will keep your digestive system healthy.

Useful Tip

Try not to shop for any meat so that you don’t have to see it in the refrigerator! Buy lots of fruits and veggies instead. Take a break of 20-30 minutes before drinking the probiotic drink after breakfast.

Day 2

Early MorningWarm water and lemon detox drink.
Breakfast1 glass fruit juice.
Lunch1 small bowl vegetable salad.
Post-Lunch1 apple or an orange.
Evening Snack1 cup green or black tea (without sugar or artificial sweetener).
Dinner1 medium bowl of fruits.
Bed Time1 glass warm water.
Useful Tip

Try not to eat fruits that have a lot of fructose. Fruits like grapes, mango, banana, pineapple, jackfruit, etc., should be avoided. You can have muskmelon, papaya, kiwi, berries, orange, apple, plum, etc. Drink at least three liters of water.

Why This Works

On Day 2, you will be allowed to eat fruits and veggies, but in lesser amounts, i.e., you will consume fewer calories. This pre-fasting phase will prepare you for the coming five days of water fasting.

  • Water Fasting Phase

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Day 3- Day 7

This is the most challenging phase. Drink 1-2 liters of water per day. It is better to get your doctor’s opinion on whether or not you should water fast for so many days to lose weight. You may feel weak and tired. Do remember to take rest and sleep well.

Depending on your current body activity, you can either go for short medium paced walks, yoga or even push ups! Each body has a different coping ability. If you have been working out and lead an active life, you would probably be fine with mild workouts until the third day into the water fasting phase. If you do not lead an active life, just go for short, lazy walks.

I would also like to mention that more than three days of water fasting requires medical supervision. Therefore, I advise you to keep your doctor involved in this process.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You may drink coconut water or add a pinch of sea salt to your glass of water if you feel dizzy or have headaches during the fasting phase.
  • Post-Fasting Phase

Post-fasting phase of water fasting for weight loss
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Day 8

Early MorningWarm water and lemon detox drink.
Breakfast1 glass watermelon juice.
Lunch1 glass apple juice and 2 almonds.
Evening Snack1 cup green or black tea (without sugar or artificial sweetener).
Dinner1 medium bowl of veggie or fruit salad (you can also juice them).
Bed Time1 glass warm milk.
Why This Works

On the first day of your breaking the fast, be very careful about the calories you consume. This diet chart allows you to eat mostly liquid foods. The sudden introduction of high calorie foods can lead to a spike in blood glucose levels, which can prove fatal sometimes.

Useful Tip

No matter what, resist your temptation for just one more day. You can drink musk melon or beetroot juice for breakfast. For lunch, you can have just an apple if you don’t want to juice it. A glass of milk before bed will help you sleep better and provide your bones the required nutrition.

Day 9

Early MorningLemon, honey, and warm water detox drink.
Breakfast1 banana.
Lunch1 medium bowl of cabbage soup or vegetable salad.
Evening Snack1 cup green/black tea with 1 multigrain biscuit.
DinnerSauteed/baked broccoli, spinach, tomato, and spring onions.
Bed Time1 glass warm milk.
Why This Works

Gradually, high calorie foods are re-introduced into your diet. You understand your body better, so eat as much as you can digest properly without falling sick.

Useful Tip

You can have just a glass of orange juice if you don’t want to eat a banana. If you choose to eat vegetable salad, eat the veggies raw. For dinner, you can blend all the above mentioned veggies and make soup.

Day 10

Early MorningLemon, honey, and warm water detox drink or any other detox drink.
Breakfast1 medium bowl of wheat flakes with strawberries or 1 glass of mixed fruit juice.
Lunch1 grilled veggie sandwich.
Post-Lunch1 bowl of fruits.
Evening Snack1 cup green/black tea with 2 multigrain biscuits.
Dinner1 medium bowl of clear veggie soup.
Bed Time1 glass warm milk.
Why This Works

On the last day, eat a little more solid food along with liquid food. Eat fruits and veggies in solid and liquid form to create a balance, signaling your body to expect a normal diet routine from the next day.

Useful Tip

Do not use corn flour for preparing vegetable soup. If you do not get multigrain biscuits, just drink the green tea. If your body allows, you can snack on a carrot or cucumber.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also eat a few pumpkin or watermelon seeds and 2-5 almonds instead of wheat crackers. But be careful not to overindulge.

4. Other Benefits Of Water Fasting

Benefits of water fasting for weight loss
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It is tough to believe, but yes, water fasting can improve your overall health. Here is a list of the benefits.

  1. Helps you to lose weight.
  2. Water fasting has proven to be beneficial for those who are suffering from hypertension (1).
  3. It will help reboot your body and improve overall wellness (2).
  4. Since water flushes out all the toxins, your skin becomes smoother.
  5. Water fasting triggers autophagy due to stress and the need to find alternative energy sources. The body breaks down and recycles damaged cellular components. This helps improve body functioning and better cellular functioning (3). Anecdotal evidence suggests that water fasting may improve your insulin sensitivity. However, limited data is available to prove this claim.
  6. Your digestion is improved significantly.
  7. Extra unwanted toxins in your colon get cleansed.
  8. Water fasting can eliminate or decrease muscle pain, joint pains, and headaches.
  9. Food and drink can cause a lot of harm to your teeth and gums. Water fasting can help you get healthier gums and teeth.
  10. Water fasting can also improve blood circulation.
  11. You can get a healthier cardiovascular system.
  12. It helps build lean muscle.
  13. Your brain becomes more active and your concentration improves.
  14. This fasting can help you improve the condition of many chronic diseases.
  15. Can help fight Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s.
  16. It improves insulin sensitivity.
  17. Improves self-esteem. You lose weight and your determination to complete this fast gives you the satisfaction of accomplishing a tough job.
  18. Water fasting may help lower blood pressure levels. Studies indicate that sustained fasting, typically spanning 5-20 days, leads to a consistent decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels (4). This reduction can be of significance to those looking to manage their blood pressure effectively. However, it is important to note that the effects of such fasting on plasma lipids, such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, remain less clear, with varying outcomes reported in different trials. While water fasting may offer a moderately safe and efficient strategy for achieving substantial weight loss over a short period, its ability to sustain long-term improvements in blood pressure and metabolic markers requires further investigation (4).

Kiki Wellington, a blogger, shared her experience of water fasting on her personal blog where she explains, “(I)t was a straight water fast for seven days. The only things I had were tea and water with electrolytes in it. I was amazed at how well it went. I felt great, and over time, my fasts got longer, with 12 days being the longest (i).” She goes on to mention how she began to understand her body’s needs while fasting and adds, “At this point, I’ve become so in tune with what my body wants that I know how not to overdo fasting. I also know when I can do something to mitigate whatever I’m feeling to get back on track.”

5. Side Effects Of Water Fasting

  1. Drinking more than 2 liters of water per day can be fatal.
  2. You may feel weak and tired all the time.
  3. Working out too much can cause you to faint.
  4. Your body will lose lean muscle.
  5. There is a risk that your heart muscles may become weak.
  6. It can damage other organs if extended beyond 10 days.
  7. This can be harmful to pregnant women, children, and teens.

6. Caution

Any fad diet can be dangerous, depending on your body type. This is the precise reason why not all medicines act or react the same way on all patients. Depending on your age, medical history, genetics, current activity level, body composition etc., water fasting can prove to be the best way to lose weight or the worst. The point here is to remain healthy and active. Weight loss will do no good if you look tired and worn out all the time. Long-term weight loss can only be achieved by eating good food in small portions and by working out. Water fasting should not be extended beyond 10 days but can be done intermittently. This is because water fasting may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (5), (6). Do take advice from an expert before taking up this 10-day diet.

Infographic: The Benefits And Side Effects Of Doing A 10-Day Water Fasting

Water fasting can help shed those extra pounds and reduce your calorie intake. Since it is a short-term weight loss plan, the key is to balance it with exercise and good food. We have compiled a list of the top benefits and side effects of doing the 10-day water fasting plan. Check out the infographic below to know more!

the benefits and side effects of doing a 10-day water fasting (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Water fasting for weight loss is an ideal short-term strategy to burn fat and use it as energy. A 10-day water fasting plan should ideally begin with limiting the intake of solid foods during the first two days. From day 3 to day 7, drink 1-2 liters and completely avoid solid foods. This way, you can boost your body’s metabolism, burn fat, and eliminate toxins. Gradually introduce solid foods into your diet over the next three days to finish the 10-day cycle. Consult a doctor before water fasting for more than three days. Your doctor can advise you on how to do it safely. That said, it is better to avoid these fad diets. Go for a long-term weight-loss strategy with a proper diet and regular exercise instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you shower while water fasting?

Jesse Feder, Clinical Dietitian at the Memorial Regional Hospital South, says, “Yes, you may shower while water fasting. The shower will not affect your fasting at all.”

What happens after 72 hours of water fasting?

According to Jesse, “After fasting for 72 hours, your body will enter ketosis, you will have low blood glucose levels, you will have lost body weight, and you may experience irregular heartbeat.”

Do you poop more when fasting?

Jesse says, “You do not poop more when fasting. This is mostly due to the fact that you are not consuming fiber as well as enough nutrients to really develop normal bowel movements. People will typically experience a change in their bowel regimen during fasting.”

Can I drink coffee while water fasting?

Possibly. A water fast is primarily geared towards detoxification, and you might want to skip having coffee. However, if you want to, opt for a black coffee.

Should I take vitamins while water fasting?

Yes. Vitamin supplements may help prevent any deficiencies that may occur due to the fast. Choose liquid formulations if possible.

Key Takeaways

  • Drink 1-2 liters of water during water fasting to reduce weight and flush out toxins. The body should be provided with the right hydration, not less or more.
  • Water fasting can cause weakness, muscle loss and decreased energy in some individuals.
  • It is divided into phases: Pre-fasting, fasting and post-fasting phase, which involves a liquid and solid diet at the end.
  • It is crucial to maintain self-control and discipline in eating habits in the pre and post-fasting phases.
  • It is recommended to seek medical advice before water fasting to avoid health complications.
water fasting for weight loss

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Discover the power of water fasting and how it can help you achieve the fastest fat loss. Watch the video to learn the complete guide to this amazing method.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11416824/
  2. Alan Goldhamer dc: Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684131/
  3. Autophagy and intermittent fasting: the connection for cancer therapy?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6257056/
  4. Efficacy and safety of prolonged water fasting: a narrative review of human trials
    https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/nutrit/nuad081/7209209?redirectedFrom=fulltext
  5. Is Water-Only Fasting Safe?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8369953/
  6. Eight Days of Water-Only Fasting Promotes Favorable Changes in the Functioning of the Urogenital System of Middle-Aged Healthy Men
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824351/
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