Three days ago I began an extended water fast to see how much fat I could lose. Here are my results.
My 72 Hour Water Fasting Fat Loss Protocol
Below I’ve listed all the key components to a successful 72 hour water fast, for maximum weight loss results, all of which I incorporated into my protocol, to some degree.
Go Into It As ‘Fat Adapted’ As Possible
You want to begin a fast in as deep of a ketogenic state as possible. This is where your body is burning fat for fuel. The longer you train your body to burn fat as energy, the more efficient it gets at it.
In an ideal world, before beginning any extended fast, you should be eating a strict ketogenic diet for 2-4 weeks beforehand. Obviously, this isn’t practical as it’s a lot of preparation for a mere 72 hour fast – no one is that good at planning!
But what I did was eat only keto foods for 3 days prior. This would put me into ketosis at least so I could hit the ground running when beginning the fast.
I would get up at 5am each day, drink a black coffee (purely for enjoyment, you don’t need to do this), and begin my day by going for a 60 minute walk on the beach.
The reason this is so effective is because low intensity steady state cardio is extremely efficient at burning fat. It’s more effective than running since we’re remaining in the aerobic energy system which is able to metabolise fat as opposed to liver glycogen.
I’d also go for a walk in the evenings for an hour as well.
Admittedly, the evening walk on day 3 was difficult. My shoulders/traps ached a little bit from holding myself up and carrying my water bottle.
Aside from this, the cardio was quite literally a walk in the park!
Daily Resistance Training
This is absolutely key if you want to max out your results on any extended fast. You need to do some form of resistance training in order to maintain muscle mass. You need to be sending a signal from your muscles to your brain saying that you’re still using them and to keep muscle protein synthesis ticking over.
It’s important though that you don’t do any overly strenuous workouts. Moderate to high weights for very low reps and low sets – overall low volume is ideal. We want to avoid getting our heart rate up too high. Avoid sweating a lot and lactic acid build up. We don’t want to be huffing and puffing.
I wrote a full article on lifting weights effectively during an extended fast, check it out here: Lifting Weights While Extended Fasting.
Since we’re working out and doing a fair bit of cardio still it’s super important we’re replenishing the electrolytes we’re losing via our urine and sweat. By consuming electrolytes while on our fast, we’re going to keep energy levels high and avoid feeling weak and lethargic.
The simplest way to do this is to mix up 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (table salt or pink Himalayan salt are both great) with 1 teaspoon of potassium chloride (‘No Salt’ or ‘Lo Salt’) into a liter of water. Shake well. Sip on it throughout the day and during your workout.
How Much Weight Will I Lose On A 3 Day Water Fast?
How much weight you’re able to lose on a 72 hour fast will depend on the following factors:
- How fat adapted you are going into the fast – The more fat adapted you are (i.e. the longer you’re in ketosis before beginning the fast), the more efficiently your body will burn fat. If you come into a 3 day fast after eating a high carb diet, you’ll have significantly lower results than you would have had you been on a keto diet prior.
- How much activity/cardio you do throughout the fast – If you just sit around all day, you’ll not be burning a ton of fat. Additionally, your muscles may begin to atrophy because they’re not receiving any stimulus. Doing steady state cardio and lifting weights during a 3 day fast is optimal for weight loss.
I was able to lose just under 3kg or just over 6lb from doing 1.5-2 hours of cardio each day and lifting weights only on the first two days.
Watch The Full Video On How I Did It
I recorded the whole fast with some deeper insights in the below YouTube video, feel free to check it out!
Video will go live on 16/09/21!
Oh and I actually decided I’d continue the water fast to the 7 day mark. So if you want to see the full 7 day transformation, check out the YouTube channel and look for the 7 day water fasting video!