The 48-hour fast is a form of intermittent fasting that involves taking a two-day break from eating while drinking only calorie-free liquids. Fasting for 48 hours may not be suitable for everyone, as it carries certain risks for certain groups of people, but for others, here are the health benefits.
Intermittent fasting as a whole has recently gained popularity due to the health benefits of this practice. The 48-hour fast is one of the longest periods of fasting, with shorter fasting periods being more common.
Here’s how to practice the 48-hour fast and the potential risks and benefits.
What is a 48 hour fast?
The 48-hour fast is an extended form of intermittent fasting. It consists of not eating any calories for two whole days. During the 48-hour fast, you can only drink calorie-free beverages, including water, black coffee, and herbal tea. Intermittent fasting consists of alternating periods of eating and fasting to allow the body, especially the digestive system, to rest. During this period, the body uses energy from stored energy sources.
Although fasting involves eliminating foods that contain calories, it is still important to drink plenty of non-caloric fluids throughout the fast to keep yourself hydrated. Some people may use a 48-hour fast to reduce their calorie intake and help them lose weight. Some may use fasting to support digestive health.
How to fast for 48 hours
Although taking a two-day break from eating seems daunting at first, this method generally uses the body’s natural rhythms to make fasting easier.
Fasting for 48 hours will use the body’s sleep schedule to reduce this time. For example, for a fast that begins on Monday, a person will stop eating on the evening of that day. She will start eating again on Wednesday evening. Thanks to this method, a person gives his body time to digest his last meal on Monday before bedtime. When you wake up on Tuesday, you’ve already gone through about 10 to 12 hours of fasting. The person then spends Tuesday and Wednesday drinking only calorie-free fluids, such as water, herbal tea, and black coffee. Wednesday evening, a light and simple dinner. From Thursday, she can gradually reintroduce her usual diet.
Water is one of the most important aspects of any fasting. Fluids keep the body and cells hydrated, while helping to eliminate waste. It is important to avoid dehydration while fasting by making sure to drink plenty of fluids. You may also be advised to start with other, less extreme versions of intermittent fasting before attempting the 48-hour fast. One such version is the 16:8 method, which involves consuming all foods within 8 hours, then drinking only zero-calorie drinks for the next 16 hours. Starting with a shorter fast will help the person prepare for a longer fast and get a feel for the body’s reaction.
Health benefits of fasting 48 hours
Fasting for 48 hours can be a reset for the body, allowing it to take a break from digestion to focus on other tasks. This break could allow him to focus his energy elsewhere, for example on body repair.
According to the authors of an article published in 2014, fasting can reduce obesity, high blood pressure, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. A study featured in the Obesity section reports that regular intermittent fasting provides many benefits to the body, including:
improve brain function
Low blood pressure and heart rate
Increased insulin sensitivity
decrease in glucose levels
Reducing oxidative stress and signs of stress
Researchers suggest that many of these benefits are due to the weight loss effect.
Autophagy: the body renews itself
The concept of autophagy is also popular among supporters of intermittent fasting. In simple terms, it is the process by which the body removes parts of cells that are no longer working as they should. By recycling or discarding damaged cellular material, autophagy allows tissues to regenerate. The depletion of energy stores, which occurs during prolonged fasting, leads to the activation of certain pathways that lead to autophagy. A 2018 study suggests that fasting and calorie restriction are two ways to stimulate autophagy in the body’s cells. Slowing down digestion allows cells to focus on self-renewal.
Weight loss: short or long term positive effects
Fasting for 48 hours is a large part of the calorie deficit in the diet. Which can help with long-term weight loss in some people. However, fasting for 48 hours should not be done too often. A review article in the Journal of Behavioral Science reports that intermittent fasting leads to short-term weight loss with results similar to sustained calorie restriction in overweight and obese people. Therefore, reducing excess calories from the diet can be just as effective as fasting for weight loss.
As part of a regular intermittent fasting program or a healthy weight loss regimen, fasting for 48 hours can help a person reach their long-term weight loss goals. However, no fasting will replace a healthy diet and lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet to support moderate weight.
Possible risks and contraindications to fasting
Some side effects are common with prolonged fasting, such as fasting for 48 hours. That’s why it’s important to try smaller fasts first to see how the body responds. If a person is not well, he should stop fasting.
The most common side effects of prolonged fasting are:
Hunger and cravings
Insomnia or frequent awakening in the middle of the night
Also, it is important to slowly reintroduce foods. Overstimulating the digestive system by eating a large or heavy meal after fasting can cause side effects of its own, such as:
Some people should also avoid fasting. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and those who are underweight or have eating disorders should not fast. People who take certain medications with food may also need to avoid fasting. These medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), blood pressure medications, and blood thinners.
* Presse Santé strives to impart medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In no way can the information provided replace medical advice.
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