Dry fasting is a new fad in current fitness industry. Many Peoples advocate the Benefits of dry fasting over all other fasting types. Also there are some who believe that it is very dangerous and have long term side effects.
What is Dry Fasting?
” It is a type of fasting in which you are not allowed to eat or drink anything. “
Now, There are two types of fasting based on the intensity of fasting.
1) Soft Dry Fasting
2) Hard Dry Fasting
Soft Dry Fasting:-
In this, You can use water for all your daily activities like Brushing your teeths, Bathing, Washing your hands etc. Your body can absorb water during these activities. Hence It is called as soft dry fasting.
Hard Dry Fasting:-
In this, You can not touch water for any activity. You have to completely keep yourself away from any type of contact with water. That is why it is called as hard dry fasting.
Stages of Dry Fasting:-
1) Glycogen Depletion:-
As there is no incoming food or water for energy. And you are not in the ketosis before starting your dry fast. So your body first uses glycogen as a energy which is stored in liver. During this process you may have some side effects like fatigues or headaches.
2) Burning fat for Energy:-
Once your glycogen reserves are finished. Now your body starts to burn fat for energy. This is also called as ketosis. If you are previously fat adapted by doing keto diet. Then this stage will be easier as your body is familiar with burning fat for energy.
How to do Dry Fasting Safely?
It looks very simple as you don’t have to eat or drink anything ….Right??
Let me give you an Example. If you don’t know how to swim, You will not jump straight into ocean. For that you will start to learn swimming in the swimming pool first. Then may be in river and once you have some experience then only you can jump into ocean.
Before you try this fasting. I hope you have some experience of doing any type of fasting with you.
If you don’t have any experience of fasting then I will suggest you to start with intermittent fasting first. Then go for One meal a day fasting like this you need to prepare your body for long term fasting.
You should at least once do a ketogenic diet, Before doing this fasting. Because it will help your body to switch to internal feeding once you stop eating and drinking.
Once you have all the experience with you. You should prepare your body at least a week before doing dry fasting. It includes avoiding alcohol and caffeine in diet. Eating healthy food to fulfill your nutrition reserves.
Now decide that how longer you can do fasting. Also type of it i.e. Soft or Hard Dry fasting. And now you are Ready to go….
How to Break Dry Fasting Without Gaining Weight:-
Make sure you don’t drink gallons of water while breaking your fast. Instead I would suggest you to drink half a litre of pure water while breaking your fast.
Then wait for an hour and drink another half a litre of pure water then an hour later start drinking water as you always do. This will help you for not to retain water weight back.
If you did a prolonged dry fasting then your body becomes very sensitive to sodium. Hence if you eat foods with high carbohydrates and sodium straight away after breaking the fast.
Your body ends up storing lots of water weight and you may feel bloated on second day. So if you want to include sodium in your food.
Benefits of Dry Fasting:-
1) It Induces Autophagy faster:-
It is often said that dry fasting is 3 times more effective than water fasting. Because autophagy in normal fasting starts on 2nd or 3rd day. But in dry fasting it starts on 1st day.
Because of energy requirements your body starts to eat dead and weaker cells early hence induces autophagy faster than any other fasting.
2) Reduces Chronic Inflammation:-
Inflammation is the body’s natural way of healing and repairing, By sending more blood at a particular organ. But when you do dry fasting.
Blood gets thicker and reduced and so as the inflammation. That’s why some peoples say that it only suppresses the inflammation and not cure it.
3) It Helps for Weight Loss:-
As soon as our glycogen reserves in liver gets depleted. Our Body goes into ketosis where it starts to burn fat for energy same as in the ketogenic diet. But in dry fasting we stop taking water also hence our body try to generate water by itself.
Hence body taps the fat stores for hydrogen and takes the oxygen that we Breathe and make pure water. But it has to continuously take hydrogen from fat by breaking it down, Hence we lose fat and weight faster.
Once our body goes into ketosis, It uses Ketones as the energy. And ketones are more efficient fuel than glucose which provides more oxygen to brain. Hence it helps to increase BDNF numbers and helps you to learn more and increases your ability to focus.
5) It Can Cure Cancers:-
Cancer cells prefer water and glucose to grow and live but when you stop both by doing dry fasting. It is difficult to survive for them as your body starts to kill unwanted cells for energy during autophagy.
Hence it is said that it can cure cancer if identified in 1st or 2nd stage.
6) It helps to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
7) It helps to kill parasites and bacterial infections in our body faster as they require water for their existence.
Dangers of Dry Fasting:-
1) It May Cause Severe Dehydration :-
Our body is made from 65 to 70% of water. And it needs water for carrying out every healing and smooth working activities of organs. If we stop drinking water then it may cause severe dehydration.
Which will cause low blood pressure and imbalance of electrolytes which can be life threatening if done for longer time duration.
2) You May Lose Muscle Mass:-
Your body needs glucose as fuel and when you stop eating. It breaks your muscle proteins to create glucose and breaks fat for making water to stay alive. So you may lose wrong weight in this process.
3) It may cause Kidney and Urinary Problems:-
Your kidney needs water for flushing out toxins from blood through Urinary tract. And because of dehydration, it can cause Urinary tract infections and may cause kidney stones in absence of water.
4) May cause Eating Disorder:-
Because of continuous dry fasting and Dehydration, Your blood pressure drops and Hypoglycemia can cause you suffer from fainting if you stand up immediately.
Precautions of Dry Fasting:-
1) You should do it absolutely under doctor’s supervision. If you are doing dry fasting for the first time.
2) You have to consult with your doctor before doing this fasting, If you are on any medication, .
3) It is said that Dry fasting is like a Surgery where Preparation is a surgeon. You should well prepare yourself for fasting before doing it.
4) If you are a child or a pregnant woman, You should avoid doing this fasting.
5) If you are Underweight or have any eating disorder then you should not do this.
6) You should avoid this if you have any type of diabetes.
Though Numerous benefits of dry fasting are there but there are some dangers also. Hence if you want to do it then you should do your proper research. And then plan accordingly to avoid any mishaps.
Above listed benefits and side effects are purely based on my personal experience and research done on this topic. I have taken some references from the book DRY FASTING by Dr. Sergey Filonov.
To prove the benefits of dry fasting there are no researches done on humans. So you should use your sense before indulging in it.