What is the 48 Hour Fast | How to Practice the 48 Hours Fast Safely? | How to break the 48 hours Fast | Benefits of the 48 Hour Fast | Side Effects of the 48 Hour Fast
You must have heard about intermittent fasting from various online sources and fitness influencers by now. This new form of dieting has taken the fitness world by the storm. Several people claim its various health benefits apart from weight loss.
Intermittent fasting has been further molded into different fasting regimens that involve fasting for a few hours and having food only during eating windows. The most common intermittent fasting pattern consists of 16/8, 12/12 intermittent fasting, OMAD, etc.
Compared to other intermittent fasting patterns, the 48 hour fast is the most prolonged form of intermittent fasting. During the 48 hours fast, a person needs to stop eating for two days while drinking only fluids to replenish their electrolytes. If you think it sounds a bit extreme, you are not alone. The 48 hours fast can be difficult for several people and involves careful monitoring.
This article will break down the 48 hours fast and answer your queries regarding this new diet trend. We will shed light on whether the 48 hour fast is safe and what you need to know before jumping on this diet train.
Let’s get started.
What is the 48 Hour Fast?
The 48 hour fast is a type of intermittent fasting during which you need to pause eating any food for at least 48 hours. You can only drink calorie-free drinks throughout the day that will help you replenish your electrolytes and energy levels.
To understand the 48 hours fast, you need to understand the logic behind the concept of intermittent fasting. This fasting diet trend involves rotating between eating periods and fasting periods that provide your digestive system with some windows of rest.
During the fasting period, your body generates energy from stored forms of fuel. Intermittent fasting is based on the benefits of ketosis, a process where your body starts using your fat stores as you run out of glucose.
The idea of fasting has been around for several years and is safely practiced by several people for religious purposes. According to studies, following a diet pattern with fasting and eating windows can increase weight loss and other health benefits.
The 48-hour intermittent fasting is pretty strict and can not be performed by everyone. Many people opt to practice this fast once a week.
How to Practice the 48 Hours Fast Safely?
Theoretically, the 48 hour fast sounds pretty straightforward, which means you go two days without eating any food. Commonly, people stop eating after dinner and restart eating after 48 hours at dinner time.
But the 48 hours fast might not be safe for everyone, and you need to brief yourself with the ins and outs of the diet before deciding to practice it. The 48 hours fast can be followed by drinking calorie-free drinks such as black coffee, tea, and water.
Drinking fluids is a crucial part of the 48-hour fast that prevents dehydration, a critical complication of fasting for long hours.
Example of 48 hour fast schedule
Here is an example of how a two-day fast works. To start, you can stop eating on a Tuesday evening and later begin eating on the evening of Thursday. This method will provide your body with time to digest your last meal on Tuesday, and by the time you wake up on Wednesday morning, you will have successfully completed 8-10 hours of fasting.
You can drink zero-calorie fluids like green tea and water for the next two days. Adding some salt or electrolyte tablets to your water will help you replenish the electrolytes in your system. It is also important to drink when you are thirsty. Overdrinking fluids can make it difficult for your body to keep its electrolyte levels in check.
After completing your fast on Thursday, break your two-day fast by eating light meals and continue with your regular diet from Friday onwards. The 48 hours fast can be tricky at the start, and it is advisable for beginners to start with shorter versions of intermittent fasting, such as the 12/12 or 16:8 method, before going for the more extended versions of fasting.
Shorter fasts will help your body accommodate fasting and help you learn how your body responds to fasting in general. Several people try the 48 hours fast once a week since it provides your body with a longer fasting window.
While practicing the 48 hours fast, remember to listen to your body. Feeling exhausted or dizzy may indicate that the fast is becoming too much for your body.
How to break the 48 hours Fast?
After dieting for straight two days, you might want to start binge eating. However, after denying your body any real food for two days, overeating would end up overstimulating your gut. This can lead to nausea, diarrhea, and bloating.
To prevent that, you should slowly reintroduce small portions of food and give your body some time to adjust back to its normal physiology. Easing back into eating is essential for breaking your two-day fast.
People on the 48 hour fast can break their fast by eating small and light snacks such as a handful of walnuts or almonds. Later, you can eat a small meal after an hour or two.
It’s crucial to eat regular and balanced food on the days that you are not fasting. Many people may give in to cravings and binge on high-calorie food on their non-fasting days. This would negate the effects of your fasting days and render the two-day fast practice less effective.
What Are The Benefits of the 48 Hour Fast?
The 48 hour fast has quite a few benefits that are backed by science. Fasting allows your body to take a break from the energy-consuming process of digestion. It can help your body refocus its energies on other tasks such as repairing itself. According to reports, fasting can reduce hypertension, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
- Enhanced brain function
- Low inflammation
- Reduced glucose levels
- Better digestion
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved insulin sensitivity
Many of these benefits come from losing weight during the two-day fast.
Autophagy is a process that involves the body cleansing itself by removing all the dead and damaged cells. It also allows your body to heal and regenerate itself. A report states that fasting and restricting your calorie intake are great ways to trigger the process of autophagy in your body, allowing your body to focus on self-healing.
Weight loss is one of the biggest reasons for the popularity of the 48 hour fast. Experts say that intermittent fasting produces the same results as when people with obesity restrict their calorie intake. The two-day fast can help people reach their weight loss goal if they practice it the right way. However, it is essential to follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain weight loss.
Fasting for more extended periods allows your body to use its glycogen reserves, hence causing a reduction in the body’s insulin levels. Fasting for two days can boost insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels.
Side Effects of the 48 Hour Fast
The side effects of the two-day fast are the same as the side effects of any long-duration fast. That is why it is advised to try shorter fasts that can allow you to learn about your body’s natural response to fasting. Most common side effects of fasting are;
- Hunger pangs
- Digestive issues
Who Should Avoid Practicing 48 Hours Fast?
The two-day fast requires taking a pause from food for 48 hours. This can affect people differently depending on their overall health and any underlying medical condition. People with diabetes should consult their doctor before trying any kind of fast since it can drastically change their sugar levels and affect how their medications act.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not advised to try the two days fast. People with eating disorders should also avoid the two days fast. If you take medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, or blood pressure medications, consult your doctor before trying the 48 hours fast.
The Bottom Line
The 48 hours fast can provide your body several benefits, including self-healing, weight loss, and boosting insulin sensitivity. Practicing longer fasts can be daunting for people who aren’t used to fasting for long hours.
Hence, it’s recommended to dip your toes slowly into the world of intermittent fasting and consult a doctor before trying out any new diet trend, especially if you are a beginner to intermittent fasting.