If you’re interested in seeing the 3 day fast results then this is going to blow your mind. There are quite a few health benefits to doing a 3 day water fast including losing weight.
If you need or want to lose some weight fast then this could very well be the answer. A 3-day water fast is a great way to “reset” your body. This will get rid of much of the cravings and overindulging that can take over your mind and body (1). So if you’re looking for a change in your mindset when it comes to food then this will be right up your alley.
You’ll undoubtedly lose weight from a 3 day water fast simply because you’re cutting your calorie intake to zero. Caloric restriction is the most proven way to fast weight loss (2). And a prolonged fast is also a great way to break through a weight loss plateau. So if you want to look and feel your best but have been stuck in a rut then water fasting for 72 hours will do the job.
A prolonged fast will also lower high blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, boost your immune system, and have overall disease prevention (3,4,5). But most make the mistake with their water fasts by only drinking water. Even adding a little lemon water to your intermittent fasting can make it way easier to get through.
If you want to know what works when you need to lose weight fast then be sure to read everything here. It doesn’t matter if you have an important event coming up or if you just want to reset your body… the health benefits of a 3-day water fast can get you there. Here you’ll discover everything you need to know on what does a 72 hours water fast can do for your body.
3 Day Water Fast & Ketosis
So what realistic results can you expect after 72 hours of water fasting?
One of the biggest health benefits when it comes to weight loss with water fasting is it’ll induce ketosis (6). Normally your body uses carbohydrates and sugars in the form of glycogen stores for quick-burning energy (7). But the goal with ketosis is to get rid of these quick-burning sugars (glycogen stores) from your body. Then your body will have to use your fat stores for energy instead (8).
Your body will store those excess sugars and carbs as fat if you’re not burning through them all (9). And once you take these carbs and sugars away your body then has to default on excess fat for energy. But first, you have to burn through stored liver and muscle glycogen.
The longer you’re water fasting the more your body will be forced to use its fat stores for energy. This is why it’s a great idea to use ketones when water fasting (especially your first day) in the mornings as it’ll enhance the fat burning process. Ketones are the byproducts of ketosis that your body uses for energy (10).
So by taking a ketone supplement like Keto Elevate you can accelerate this weight loss process. Plus it will suppress your appetite which will make getting through your 3 day fast much easier since you’ll be putting your body through extreme caloric restriction (11).
What are the health benefits of water fasting for 3 days?
Your body will also begin to break down white blood cells with intermittent fasting (12). This begins a process known as autophagy which has tremendous health benefits (13). This is your body breaking down and eliminating old white blood cells that can lead to serious health problems like cancer (14).
Studies are finding water fasting even for 3 days can regenerate your entire immune system (15). Many people with significant food allergies find water fasting can eliminate them sometimes entirely (16). If you find yourself taking Ibuprofen for inflammation then water fasting can get you the same results (17).
How to Do a 3 Day Water Fast
With water fasts, you’ll be drinking water over the 3 days. Some people try a “dry” water fast where you can’t eat or drink anything. I’ve found this to be way too extreme to the point most people aren’t able to complete it. I would only do this if you have some serious digestive or food allergy problems.
If you’re a coffee drinker then I’d stick with the coffee over the next 3 days of water fasting. There can be a lot of ups and downs when it comes to water fasting if you’re not used to it. So if you’re going through caffeine withdrawals in addition to the dreaded “hunger pangs” then you could be putting yourself through a harder time then you need to.
Plus coffee is thermogenic so it’ll increase your metabolism (18). This will have your body burning through more calories. And coffee contains powerful polyphenols and antioxidants that also have health benefits (19). Just be sure not to put anything your coffee and to drink it black.
I’m also a big fan of drinking teas during your water fast. Of course, make sure they’re unsweetened. Many teas are also thermogenic which will be smart to drink while fasting to get even better results. I prefer green tea but there are quite a few other weight loss teas that work well too. Just make sure you’re drinking a lot of water if you are drinking coffee and tea. Many believe drinking coffee and tea can make you dehydrated but recent evidence proves otherwise (20).
I’d also consider taking a greens supplement. It’ll provide your body with powerful micronutrients to fuel your body during the water fast. Plus it contains gut boosting probiotics to regenerate your gut health even quicker. It does contain a few derivative calories but it shouldn’t break your water fast.
I know some water fasting purists out there will say you can strictly only have water. But this is also going to make your water fast way harder to get through. So it’ll be better to add some of these approved fasting drinks instead. Better this than suffer and not want to even think about doing another water fast again. I’d stay away from bone broth unless you’re really having a hard time getting through the 3 day fast. It does contain calories from protein and fats which can take away some of the benefits. But you can add a little pinch of sea salt to your water sometimes to help.
Lastly, try to get out and do some light exercising during this 3-day water fast. You can also do some light weight lifting but be sure not to push yourself too hard. Your body will naturally become depleted during a water fast and won’t have the energy you normally do. I prefer going on longer walks (5 miles or so) when doing fasts like this. The more you can stay busy over these 3 days the quicker they’re going to fly by.
What to Expect Over These 3 Days
The process of water fasting over prolonged periods varies greatly from person to person. Some find it super easy and others seem to suffer endlessly.
But everybody can agree there are going be times when the hunger pangs set in. Just remember these feelings are just that. A FEELING. They’ll go away sooner or later and you’re not going to starve to death. It’s your body’s natural response to taking away food when it’s used to eating. This survival mechanism is the result of tens of thousands of years of evolution. But in the case of this 3 day fast it’s going to be to your disadvantage.
Whenever these hunger pangs set it I’ll just drink more water or some of the other fasting drinks. Try to keep yourself busy… get some work done, take a nap or go for a walk. One day you might feel great but then the next could be hard. Keep focusing on that feeling of success you’ll get once you’ve accomplished this fast.
If you’re used to eating a lot of carbs then it can “shock” your body if you cut off this energy source so quickly. It’s best to taper down your carb intake leading up to your fast. Some have a hard time if they’ve never fasted before and can have nausea and/or an increased heart rate. But you’ll do a lot better if you prepare your body by ramping up your daily water fasting hours and tapering down your carb intake.
Another problem you don’t hear too much about are the side effects of sleep that come with fasting. When your body is hungry the odds of you getting a good night’s sleep goes down the tubes. This will only make you more hungry the next day (21).
I’ll try to drink a bottle of sparkling water for “dinner.” And if you need some help sleeping then try taking CBD oil. It won’t break your fast and it’ll help to take away some of the ‘pain’ of hunger. Researchers have found CBD can even boost autophagy (22). CBD has also been found to increase how fast and deeply you fall asleep (23).
3 Day Water Fast Results (Before & After)
Now if you’re doing this 3 day fast for weight loss then you can expect to lose 3-6 pounds. But many people also report losing 10 pounds and even up to 15 pounds.
A lot is going to depend on how much weight you have to lose in the first place. If you’re very overweight then more weight will come off easier. But if you only have a handful of pounds to lose then you could end up on the lesser side.
Remember that some of the weight you lose is going to be from water. Glycogen holds onto water so once your body burns through this it’ll eliminate some of the water weight you’re holding (24). But it’s a great feeling to get rid of all that gloating you’re carrying around. If you eat a lot of high sodium foods or coming off a vacation binge then getting rid of this bloating will make you feel much lighter.
One of my favorite parts of fasting is that ‘light’ feeling. You’ll feel lighter since you’re flushing out that water weight and not holding any food in your system. Plus your body will lose much of the waste that’s left passing through your digestive system.
Remember menstruation cycles can throw off your fasting results. Women can hold on to excess water weight up to 10 days before they menstruate (25). But once it’s over this excess water weight should be flushed out too. So remember this in case the scale didn’t budge as much as you were hoping.
Another big benefit of these prolonged fasts is mental clarity. Now not everybody gets it but it’s a great feeling to be completely clear-headed. Many people note they feel free from anxiety and depression after prolonged fasting (26). Some even have a new enjoyment for living and this is what truly being healthy is all about.
How to Break a 3 Day Fast
Many of those who have the hardest times fasting are those coming off eating a high carb diet. If your body is used to getting dumped with quick-burning sugars and carbs all day long then it’s going to be a shock to the system when you cut it off completely. This is why it’s a good idea to start lowering your carb intake and slowly increase your daily fasting times when preparing for a 3 day fast.
So when it comes time to break your fast it’s a good idea to not eat a high carb meal. You want to keep your body in at least a semi-state of ketosis that you’ve earned over 3 days of fasting.
It’s best to have a lighter meal that’s lower in carbs. I definitely wouldn’t recommend going on a full cheat day after completing your fast. I’ll usually eat some protein and veggies to break my fast. A little grilled steak and salad are my usual go-to.
Is it safe to do a 3 day fast?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe for most people to do a 3 day fast or even 7 days. I like to tell people if they were stranded on a desert island for a long weekend with only water they’d be healthier than before they got there. You’ll get off the island after a 3 day fast or 4 days with lower blood pressure, stronger immune system and feeling much better.
Keep in mind doctors advise against women who are pregnant or breastfeeding from fasting (27). If you’re taking medication or have diabetes then it’s best to talk to your doctor first. And if you’ve ever had an eating disorder then this might not be the best idea for you. If you experience any side effects then I’d stop and talk to your doctor.
The Last Word
Now a 3-day water fast can give you some fantastic results but if you want to keep them long term then you have to keep this ball rolling. Most people lose many of the cravings and overindulging of food they have before they started the 3 day fast.
The benefits of fasting including strengthening your immune system and lowering your risk of heart disease. If you have high blood pressure then know one of the benefits of fasting is lowering of blood pressure. A prolonged fast will get rid your glycogen stores and boost weight loss by natural calorie restriction. The first day for many can be hard since its a shock to the system but the benefits of fasting are worth it.
This reset will only last so long though so it’s best to continue with eating healthy foods, low carbs, and fasting for the long run. I’ve found fasting has given me a significant improvement in my life. My mind is clearer, anxiety and depression are reduced, less inflammation in my body, fewer allergies, and my food intake is greatly reduced.
It’s a good feeling to not have anything in your stomach. Not putting your body through the ups and downs of sugar crashes is like opening up a whole new world. With these 3 day fasting results you’ll not only feel lighter but you’ll overall feel a lot better.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.