Interested to know what a 7-day water fast for weight loss will do to your body?
Even though it may sound extreme a 7-day water fast isn’t impossible to do. In fact, it can be an effective way to kickstart your weight loss and health.
If you’re stuck in a weight loss plateau then doing a 7-day water fast will help to reignite your weight loss. Or even if you’re finally ready to take your weight and health seriously then this is for you.
When you think about it our ancestors didn’t always have easy access to food. It wasn’t as easy as grabbing a bag of Cheetos and Doritos from the pantry.
When food was scarce they’d go days or even weeks without it. They didn’t have food delivery services like DoorDash back then.
Nowadays we’re zombies to food as we’re conditioned to eat so much of it all the time. How often do you find yourself mindlessly snacking during the day?
There’s nothing in the rule book of nutrition that says you have to eat all the time. One of the reasons people are so overweight today is our bodies are constantly trying to burn off all the calories and carbs. But then there’s always more to spare which get converted to fat on your body.
I’m sure you’ll agree there are some powerful benefits to doing a 7-day water fast for weight loss but there are also some dangers you should know about.
Here you’ll find out what happens to your body when you do a 7-day water fast, how much weight you can lose and how to hack it for the best results.
Why A 7 Day Water Fast for Weight Loss?
If you were to take a before and after picture of your 7-day water fast then you’ll find you lost at least 10 pounds.
Most people who do a 7-day water fast end up losing anywhere from 10-20 pounds after the week is up.
A lot of it depends on how much weight you have to lose in the first place, where you currently are with your health and other factors such as the efficiency of your metabolism.
But consider the average 7-day weekly weight loss is 1-2 pounds. So you’ll be getting a 5-10x more weight loss than the norm.
The only thing I have to say is not to take a 7-day water fast lightly as it will be quite difficult. There are going to be times when you breeze right through it and there are going to be other times when you’re super hungry.
If you want to ease into a 7-day water fast then try Fasting Every Other Day first.
Keep in mind some of the weight you’re going to lose isn’t just going to be from fat. You’ll also naturally lose some muscle, water and liver glycogen as well.
Here’s a study following an overweight man who lost 25.5% of his body weight during a 44 day fast. But they found only about a third of that was from fat and the rest was mainly muscle.
7 Day Water Fast Benefits
There are more than a handful of benefits to doing a 7-day water fast other than weight loss.
This study alone found fasting was effective for losing weight, lowering blood pressure and reducing oxidative stress.
The fasting process has been found to promote autophagy. This is your body’s process of killing off dangerous cancerous cells in the body.
Studies have also found fasting helps to regenerate stem cells. As the years go by your body becomes less and less efficient and stem cell regeneration.
Since you won’t have any food coming in you can expect for your insulin sensitivity to improve. This is great to help reduce your risk of diabetes which in itself can cause weight gain.
You’ll lower the inflammation in your body while fasting for 7 days. This, in turn, will help your body repair and heal as well as fighting the aging process.
Studies have found fasting helps to lower the risk of heart disease too. If you have any symptoms or wish to better prevent heart disease then it’s a good idea to consider fasting.
You can also expect gut health problems to improve as well. This will give your gut time to heal and recover since it won’t have any food to process for a while.
The health of your skin will also improve with stem cell regeneration and less inflammation. If you have any skin conditions or wish to improve its appearance then fasting can help.
Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world today. Fasting has been found to lower the risk of heart disease.
Some other extra benefits include realizing what hunger really means. Just because you feel hungry doesn’t mean you always have to go to the kitchen and scarf down. If you know these feelings of hunger will pass then you’ll be less likely to overeat down the road.
Plus you’ll get a greater sense of control over your future thoughts. You’ll have more power of those uncontrollable feelings of hunger after making it through the 7-day fast.
7 Day Water Fasting Dangers
Now that you know the amazing benefits that come from a 7-day water fast you should also know about the dangers.
If you don’t have any health issues then for the majority of people doing a 7-day water fast will be completely fine. Other than periods of hunger you should actually end up better off after the fast than you were before it.
But if you have any medical issues then it’s a wise and recommended idea to first talk to your doctor. Or if you have or have had an eating disorder in the past then this might not be the best for you.
Some common medical reasons for not doing a 7-day water fast include hypoglycemia, taking medications, recent surgeries, and if you are pregnant/nursing.
And try to use your common sense and monitor yourself during your fast. If you feel anything is off during the 7 days while fasting then it’ll be a wise idea to stop.
If none of this sounds like you then you’ll be good to go!
Water Fasting Hacks
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know not eating anything for 7 days is going to be tough at times.
That’s why I wanted to share with you some of these tips you can use to better improve the odds you successfully complete a 7-day water fast.
My number one tip is to do what you can to avoid food.
If people are constantly eating right in front of you then it’s going to be that much harder to stick to the fast. I’d even go so far as to stay away walking by restaurants and the grocery store. The fewer temptations the better.
Since this is a water fast it’s critical to make sure you drink lots and lots of water. It’ll not only keep you hydrated but it’ll also help to fill out your stomach. This will help to lessen the feelings of hunger.
If you ever find yourself feeling woozy and your muscles cramping then start taking some electrolytes. You can add a small pinch of Himalayan pink salt to a glass of water to help too.
I’d stay away from tough and/or weightlifting workouts while on a 7-day water fast. Instead, stick to light exercise such as walking and riding a bike.
Now is also a good time to catch up on your sleep. Feel free to sleep longer than usual while water fasting to allow your body to properly recover. But try not to lay around just because you feel tired. Gotta get up and keep moving.
And remember your body is programmed for survival. There are going to be times while water fasting that your body tells you that you should eat, eat, eat.
Just remember and have confidence that these feelings of hunger will pass. Stay the course and remember your goal to keep motivated.
What Happens to Your Body During a 7 Day Water Fast
Day 1: If you’ve done Intermittent Fasting for weight loss before then this won’t be too difficult. There will be small waves of hunger earlier in the day. As the day goes on your body is so used to food you’ll get some hunger pangs. Expect to maybe have feelings of irritability in the afternoon but it’s usually nothing unbearable. This is when your mental toughness will be needed to kick this 7-day water fast for weight loss off successfully.
Day 2-3: You’ll probably wake up feeling ok in the morning but don’t be surprised if you crash hard not much longer after. The majority of people say Days 2-3 are going to be the toughest to get through. You’ll feel the most hunger during these first few days. Just remember to keep motivated and hang in there. The feelings of being bloated will start to go away and your body will begin to feel lighter. Don’t worry if you get a little brain fog too it’s your body dumping all the toxins out of the system as autophagy kicks in.
Day 4: This is when the energy levels should really start coming back to you. Your body begins to realize what’s going on and will start using your fat stores for energy. After you get over that first 3 days you’ll experience a sense of empowerment. You’ll begin waking up feeling good once again and can start getting more stuff done. Expect much of the brain fog to go away and you’ll have more mental clarity.
Day 5-7: You’ll continue to wake up with much better energy than those first few days. Your body is no longer working to digest foods while you sleep so you should be feeling a lot better. You’ll still have experiences with hunger but it’s usually nothing crazy like before. Many people have ups and downs during these last few days but overall actually feel quite good. As the 7-day water fast comes to a close you’ll feel like you’re on cloud nine as you just successfully completing a 7-day water fast.
How Much Weight Can You Lose if You Fast for One Week?
Most people report losing anywhere from 10-20 pounds while on a 7-day water fast. This is a big number compared to the average weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Just keep in mind you’ll also be losing muscle, water & glycogen stores while fasting too. It’s not all from fat.
Can You Lose 10 Pounds in a Week?
Yes, it’s definitely possible with a water fast. It’s not something you’re going to want to do often but most people report on the lesser side losing 10 pounds in a week. At the top range you can expect to lose up to 20 pounds in the week. You can lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks with less intense methods too.
There are some amazing benefits to doing a 7-day water fast for weight loss. Even though it won’t come at an easy price to pay.
There will be quite a few times when you have seemingly overwhelming feelings of hunger during the week. Just remember these feelings will pass and you’ll be perfectly fine with water.
Other than the powerful health benefits that can come with a 7 day fast you can expect to lose 10-20 pounds in the end.
But everybody is different and responds in their own way to just drinking water for a whole week. Listen to your body and do what you feel is right.
Now that you know how to do a 7-day water fast for weight loss successfully it’s time to start fasting. See you in a week!
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.