How To Do Water Fasting? Benefits Of Water Fasting To Lose Weight

water fasting

Water fasting to lose weight is the next best thing to complete fasting. It is a  relatively safer method. One of the main benefits of water fasting is its effectiveness in losing weight. Here is a guide on how to do water fasting.

What is water fasting?

Water fasting is one of the best methods of fasting. Here, you will have no other food or drink through out the day other than water.
You will drink only water through out the day.

Water fasting duration

It can be done for many days at a stretch. But if you are new to fasting, it is better to limit fasting to only one day. If you want to do it frequently, better to do one day water fast, once in a week or a fortnight.

What do you need? 

  • Firm resolution
  • Consent from your doctor
  • A strong body and a stronger mind
  • One day for yourself
  • Few glasses of water

Preparation before water fasting

  • Consult your doctor whether you are eligible for a water fast.
  • Have good amount of food, the night before the fasting day.
  • Plan your fasting day well ahead for complete rest, or minimal activity.
  • Some people get a colon cleanse. But I do not recommend it as such. [reason is explained below]


On the morning of the fasting day, wake up early in the morning, have hot or cold water head bath, do prayer and pranayama.

When to drink water? 

The basic purpose of fasting is to avoid any kind of food or drink for as long as possible. Hence even water drinking is a licensed activity in water fasting, you should drink water only when you are completely thirsty.

Hot water or cold water to drink? 

  • Very hot water is best avoided. Because it increases appetite.
  • Ideally, in the morning session of water fasting, it is best to drink luke warm water.
  • A few people recommend a colon cleanse before the day of fasting. Colon refers to the small and large intestines. The idea is to cleanse off the intestines from toxins to enjoy washing effect of water. This is not really necessary in water fasting, if you drink warm water in the morning session.
  • Warm water itself has colon cleansing action. It also stimulates the liver and stomach. Hence if you drink warm water for initial few hours, it is just fine.
  • From around 11 am onwards, it is ideal to drink cold water. Because, afternoon is naturally dominated by Pitta, warm water also increases Pitta so also fasting.  Hence, cold water helps to balance Pitta.

What are the other activities to do? 
All the general activities and rules of fasting can be followed.

How to end water fasting? 
As a general rule, any fasting should not be ended with heavy food.
A light sugarless nourishing fruit juice like grape juice, apple juice are good ones to take.

Benefits of water fasting 

Stomach – Helps to cleanse the stomach, to rest the enzyme secretions.

Intestines – Helps to cleanse intestine and entire digestive tract.  In Ayurvedic terms, it helps to relieve ‘Ama’. Ama is undigested food – enzyme – toxin mix-up generated in the stomach and intestines.

Liver and pancreas –Water fasting helps to stimulate liver and pancreas.

Detox – It is actually a natural detox method.

Kidney and bladder cleanse – If you are drinking good amounts of water during fasting, it will help to flush off toxins from the kidneys and bladder.

Water fasting for weight loss

Water fasting to lose weight – It helps to keep hunger under check, helps to use up the stored fat in the body, while you avoid calorie intake. Water fasting, if done repeatedly over a scheduled period of time, is an awesome way to lose weight.

Variations of water fasting to lose weight
Often, fasting is considered as a spiritual practice. If that is the case with you, then you are not supposed to take anything but water till the intended time period is complete.

But if you are doing it just to enjoy health benefits of water fasting, try the below method –
Hot water with honey – In the morning hours of fasting, take one cup of warm water with one teaspoon full of honey. Repeat it for 3 – 4 times, before 11 am.

Honey, though sweet in taste, is a prime Ayurveda product, with weight loss benefit.

Hot water with honey is one of the authentic Ayurvedic traditional weight loss recipe. Read here – hot water with honey.

Carbohydrates in the honey keeps you nourished during the fasting day.

Honey also has astringent principles, which helps to check hunger.

In the initial hours of water fasting, drink 2 – 3 doses of hot water with honey. This will have bonus benefits to lose weight quickly.

One comment on “How To Do Water Fasting? Benefits Of Water Fasting To Lose Weight

  • Shubham

    11/11/2016 - 2:36 pm

    Dear Dr Hebbar,

    Is excessive fasting contradicted in low agni persons? For people with low agni is fruit fasting better than water fasting?


    Reply to comment

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