In this article, let us see what exactly a 48-hour fast means and the benefits of 48-hour fasting.
You only have one body. It is essential to take care of it.
Being healthy doesn’t mean you exercise all day and take a deep sleep. No, what it exactly means is that you must regularly follow the habits of eating healthy foods, balancing a nutritious diet, being physically fit, getting enough rest, building mental strength, and enhancing your emotional and social well-being.
What Is Fasting?
Fasting is the process of holding oneself back from eating and drinking willingly for a certain period. People undergo the fasting process for medical, religious, ritualistic, and ethical purposes.
The three types of fasting are:
- Calorie restriction fasts
- Macronutrient restriction fasts
- Seasonal eating
The duration of these fasts can be from 24 to 72 hours. Fasting has shown various health benefits which can improve your overall performance.
What Happens to Your Body When You Fast?
When you fast, the following changes occur in your body:
- The first few hours of fasting are simply regular as your body undergoes the process of breaking down glycogen and storing the gained glucose as an energy fuel. 75% of the glucose goes to red blood cells and muscles, while the rest is transferred to the brain.
- After a few hours, the body loses its glucose, forcing the cells to adapt to new energy-production materials.
- Later, the body produces its sugar through a process called gluconeogenesis. The liver contributes to transforming non-carbohydrate materials like lactate, amino acids, and fats into glucose.
- Ketosis is a process that occurs late in the fast cycle, which burns the body’s stored fat. This process can cause headaches and mild stress.
What Is a 48-Hour Fast?
A 48-hour fast which is a type of intermittent fasting is the process of taking a 2-day pause on eating. This process is carried out by reducing calorie consumption to zero.
Usually, it can be done about 1 to 2 times per month. Since it is a long fasting process, plenty of calorie-free fluids like water, black coffee, and tea should be drunk to keep the body hydrated.
During this process, the only way of producing energy is from the stored fuel sources.
It is not good for some groups of people, specifically the older ones.
It is always better to try consulting your doctor before you decide too fast. Though there are several health benefits, you must be aware of their drawbacks as they can lead to some side effects.
Check out this article that details the things to know about the 24-hour fast.
How To Do a 48-Hour Fast?
The preferred way to start a 48-hour fast is to stop eating dinner on a particular day. Later, after 2 days(i.e., on the third day), start eating dinner by considering it as the first meal.
For example, let us assume that you begin a 48-hour fast on a Monday evening. You would end your 48 hours fast on a Wednesday evening. Once you stop eating dinner on Monday, your body would have digested your last meal before you go to sleep.
Follow to intake only calorie-free fluids like water, black coffee, and herbal tea. Most often, people call it a 2-day water fast weight loss.
The major downside of a long fast is that your body becomes dehydrated. So, it is very important to stay hydrated in the 48 hours fast.
As juice cleanses are excluded from food groups and calories, it is also known as a 2-day juice fast weight loss. It involves consuming only fruit and vegetable juices to lose weight and detoxify the body.
Who Should Not Commit to a 48-Hour Fast?
People who come under any of the following conditions should not take on a 48-hour fast:
- Under the age of 18
- Low blood pressure
- Type 1 diabetes
- Eating disorders
- Trying to conceive
- Intake of medications like blood thinners, insulin blood pressure, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
48-Hour Fast Benefits
1. Aids Weight Loss
Excess body weight or obesity can result in severe health problems like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. To lose weight, you must limit the calorie intake in your diet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is surveyed that about 93.3 million adults in the United States have had obesity in the year 2015-2016. Approximately, it is equal to 39.8 percent of the population.
Weight loss does not mean adjusting the levels of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the diet. Weight loss is the activity of reducing the total intake of calories.
It can be achieved by following a 48-hour fast. When carried out safely, it is possible to achieve long-term weight loss goals.
Following a 48-hour fast 2 times per month can reduce the intake by 8000 calories approximately. The 48-hour fast can improve your metabolism functionality which burns more calories during the non-fasting days.
As 1 pound equals 3500 calories, you can expect to lose about 2 pounds of weight per month by fasting.
2. Regenerates the Entire Immune System
Researchers have found that making the body starve strengthens the entire immune system. It kick-starts the cells for the production of new white blood cells that guard your body against infection.
Also, the body gets rid of the damaged parts of the system during fasting.
Prolonged fasting uses stored glucose and fat as fuel. This process breaks down a part of white blood cells. Once the white blood cells become insufficient, the body induces the formation of new immune cells, promoting stem-cell-based generation.
Dr. Longo said that when we starve, the body tries to save energy. As a result of saving energy, the system recycles all the unwanted and damaged immune cells in the body.
3. Slows Cell Ageing
The body follows a natural way of restoring its cells with the process of cellular repair. It helps your body in preventing disease and delays tissue aging.
According to an animal study, scientists found that overall longevity can be attained with the support of enhanced cellular repair and delayed tissue aging. Studies report that a 48-hour fast can improve such functionalities more than any other fasting.
Prolonged fasting reduces the enzyme PKA, which is responsible for aging. It also minimizes the rise of a hormone that increases cancer risk and tumor growth.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is the way the body protects itself from infection, injury, and illness. There are 2 types of inflammation: short-lived acute inflammation is the body’s response to microbes and tissue injury. At the same time, long-lasting chronic inflammation is the process of inflammation that happens for a longer period.
A 48-hour fast has the power of lowering inflammation, thus reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases caused by chronic inflammation.
Prolonged fasting reduces oxidative stress in the cells. Monocytes are the blood cells that cause inflammation. A study has proved that monocytes became less inflammatory when subjected to intermittent fasting.
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5. Boosts Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin manages the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats by improving glucose consumption from the blood into the liver and skeletal muscle cells.
A 48-hour fast can deplete the insulin level as stored carbohydrates and fats are reduced. This makes your body burn unwanted fat for the production of energy.
Decreasing the insulin level can improve insulin sensitivity which provides an efficient way of transporting blood sugar.
6. Improves cognitive function
A 48-hour fast can stimulate a set of metabolic processes that are important for the proper function of the brain. Fasting has the power to increase the circulation of neurotrophic factors and biomolecules which results in enhanced cognitive energy.
The process of autophagy(removal of all the damaged cells that are no longer functioning) improves the brain’s performance. Fasting has also resulted in a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular diseases.
Moreover, a 48-hour fast reduces blood pressure and resting heart rate.
What to do After the 48-Hour Fast?
Once you finish your fasting, the intake of post-fast foods matters;
- Begin your first meal with a light snack like a handful of almonds.
- After one to two hours, you can have a small meal.
- Gradually reintroduce food by which you can keep away from overstimulation of your stomach.
During non-fasting days, you can follow your regular eating pattern. It is to be remembered that you don’t consume a large amount of high-calorie foods. During the process, if you feel ill, it is good to stop fasting.
In the End
Being a form of prolonged fasting, the downsides of a 48-hour fast are something that you should be aware of. Do consult your doctor before you kick off a 48-hour fast.
Do a favor to your body by giving some rest from the daily duties of consumption and digestion. At least once in two months, give your body a chance to refresh and renew the damaged cells.
Your body will probably thank you for taking such actions. And, you will thank your body for the outcoming benefits.