What a 30-Day Water Fast Did To Me

Common things you’ll hear from others of whom don’t understand fasting:

“Fasting is a fad diet!”

“Why are you starving yourself?”

“Water fasting is dangerous”

Fasting isn’t a fad, it isn’t a diet, it’s not dangerous and you are not starving yourself. Fasting is one of the oldest dietary interventions in the world, and modern science confirms it can have a profoundly beneficial influence on your health. Millions of people worldwide practice fasting during the Lent season for 40 days and nights every year with no ill or adverse side effects long before the science supported it. This has been going on for thousands of year. Way longer if you include our great ancestors fasting during times of famine.

This is why I initially decided to fast, for spiritual reasons. I praise God that this fast was unto HIM and only HIM. I commend all of you who go through this on pure motivation alone. I felt hunger physically but spiritually I was FULL.

Before this I was an emotional eater. Food controlled my emotions. If I was sad, I ate; If I was happy I ate; If I was depressed, I ate; If I was bored, I ate. It’s the soul having mastery over the flesh that helped me kick my emotional eating habits. “We are not bodies having a spiritual experience, we are spirits having a body experience.” To me fasting is a way to purify body & soul, a way of removing both physical & spiritual toxins. I am such an advocate now and what to inform others on the benefits as well.

Here are my best pro-tips if you are thinking about water-fasting:

  • Although I didn’t, I would suggest doing Keto or a juice cleanse before going into water fasting. Help build that discipline beforehand.
  • If you can, try to start your fast on a week where you have a break from work as you wont have much energy the first few days and being around others and so much food will just cause unnecessary temptation. I am a teacher and every day during lunch, I would look myself in my room and read or pray.
  • Give God your firstfruits every morning before you do anything else (open the Word, study, pray as soon as you wake up). Walks through nature, mountain hikes, etc. Also, stay off social media and seek silence. Ask God to reveal your character to you and help you overcome self (this one will be painful but necessary).
  • Once you make it to Ketosis then make it to Day 5-7, it will be so much easier so please just try to make it to week 2 and you will thank yourself.
  • Join a Facebook Support Group. The motivation of others helped me on many of days when I was ready to call it quits.
  • Download a Fasting App to help you keep track of your time.
  • Do a salt-water flush (1 TBLS of Himalayan Pink Salt & 1L of hot water) to replenish electrolytes balance. I was feeling very groggy and dizzy until I figured this out. I did one every other day. Just make sure you don’t do this at work and have a bathroom nearby when you do as you will need it in 30 minutes or less.
  • You must go number 2 when you are fasting and the salt-water flush is key. You will become very sick if you keep the detox in your body. So please, flush it out.
  • Please get up very slowly every morning, especially in the early stages of fasting. I was late for work one day and got up really urgently and ended up passing out and my dad woke me up 5 minutes later. Scary experience but your body literally needs extra time to get up in the morning when it is fasting.
  • You will have an insane amount of energy after Day 10 but please try to conserve it which means try not to workout and do strenuous activities as your body is trying to detox and that already takes up so much energy. I remember waking up at 4 every morning as all I needed was a few hours of sleep before I felt like I could run a marathon. I found myself being more productive than ever on this fast. Honestly, the best benefit as many people believe you will be weak and tired, nope not after that first week.
  • I lost 28 pounds while fasting and gained only about 30% back. You will gain weight back if you are fasting for weight loss alone. Most of it will be waterweight but please be okay with the this reality. I honestly think fasting is not a good plan for effective weight loss because it can’t be sustained like you can’t fast forever. But it can kick those bad habits that can lead to a healthy lifestyle change.
  • Try to stick to a Keto/Low-Carb diet and intermittent-fasting right after you end your water fast. You will already be in Ketosis and it will be so much more easier.
  • I ended my fast with bone-broth and watermelon and after 30 days with no-food, it savored like the best meal I’ve ever had!
  • I had detox acne bad on my chest where my chest looked like I had a measles infection. It cleared up right when I started back eating!
  • I am a curly girl who follows the curly girl method and noticed my hair feel out a lot during the fast. Since I follow the curly girl method, I do not use a lot of protein in my hair, so mostly moisture. Since I was only drinking water (moisture from inside) and using moisture-rich hair products (moisture from outside), my hair got moisture overload which caused it to fall out. I only realized this after the fast and have had multiple protein treatments to restore it. So if you are a curly girl as well, please learn from my mistake.
  • Also, there is a such thing as drinking too much water during a water fast. It’s called hyponatremia. You flood so much water in your system that it reduces the concentration of all the dissolved electrolytes and minerals, most notably sodium and potassium. I read that a college student died from drinking 2.5 gallons of water in one hour. He began having seizures and pink foam from mouth. In other words, don’t drink too much. Nobody needs more than 2 gallons across a whole day and that’s a soldier in full kit in Afghanistan. Average person only needs 3L per day.
  • I drank tea alongside my water everyday as I consider tea, enhanced water. It did not break my fast nor decrease the benefits. It helped!
  • You will have what is called “Keto Breath.” This was the worst part for me. My tongue got a white fur like layer of detox which smelled bad that I had to scrub away each morning with a tongue scrapper. It was literally coming off my tongue like fur and my breath would be back on bump in less than 30 minutes after brushing, gargling, flossing, whole nine! Nothing worked so just get use to it if you plan to water fast. Keto Breath is a good sign!
  • I watched Mukbang videos on Youtube to help my hunger cravings. And I still do this to this day and there is research behind this that suggests watching other people can help you not eat. Fascinating!
  • Contrary to popular belief, water fasting is safe for most people. Groups that should NOT fast include those who are underweight or malnourished, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Fasting does not deprive the body of nutrients. Most people have more than ample quantities of nutrients. That’s the whole point..to get rid of some of these nutrients – such as fat. 

“Take away food from a sick man’s stomach and you have begun, not to starve the sick man, but the disease.”—E. H. Dewey, M.D

Fasting Stages & Associated Symptoms of Each
(Most of the symptoms, if they appear, are usually transient – lasting only a day or two)

Stage 1: Psychological Hunger (Days 1 thru 2-3)Stage 1: Psychological Hunger (Days 1 thru 2-3)
• Blood Sugar levels drop below 70mg/dl
• Liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood (enough for ½ day)
• The body reduces basal metabolic rate (to conserve energy)
• The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced
• Glycogen is pulled from the muscles
• Quick loss of weight is noticed, mainly due to loss of water

Typical Symptoms for this Stage:
1. Psychological hunger cravings (sometimes intense)
2. Irritability
3. Weakness
4. Breach of sleep
5. Acute reaction on look/scent/conversations about eating
6. Sucking pain in stomach
7. Discomfort of intestines
8. Muscle weakness
9. Headaches
10. Dizziness or lightheadedness (from lowering blood pressure)
11. Digestive upset
12. Flatulence
13. Nausea and vomiting are possible
14. Bad breath
15. Mucousy stools
16. Glazed eyes
17. Heavily coated tongue (a thick white or yellow fur coating, which can be scraped or brushed off)
18. Skin odors/eruptions may appear
19. Bad dreams

Stage 2: Acidosis (Days 2-3 thru 7-9)
• Fats are broken down to release glycerol and converted to glucose
• The energy for maintenance of basal metabolism is almost entirely met by the use of free fatty acids and ketones
• Increased norepinephrine (adrenalin) levels prevent the decrease in metabolic rate (after Day 5)
• Appetite is suppressed as ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fats
• High levels of growth hormone (HGH) maintain muscle growth and lean tissues (after Day 5 – also the best time to exercise, due to the high levels of HGH)
• The body vigorously throws off acid waste products
• Scent of acetone from the mouth and metallic aftertaste in the mouth appears
• The tongue is covered by a white-grayish patch
• Ketone bodies are increasing in urine and reach its maximum on day 7-9
• Rancid oils are purged from the body
• Toxic waste in the blood
• Cleansing and repair of organs and lungs begins
• The colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen and are autolyzed

Typical Symptoms for this Stage:
1. Fatigue
2. Blurred vision
3. Possible dizziness
4. Nervousness
5. Backaches
6. Muscle tightness (the legs are the worst affected as toxins accumulate in the legs)
7. Cold virus (aka the body eliminating toxins)
8. Emotional disturbances (if eating was used for emotional comfort)
9. Occasional daytime weakness, drowsiness as well as breach of sleep
10. Rare but possible sickness, nausea and vomiting
11. Moderate bradicardia (48-60 beats per minute), possibly leading to blackouts
12. Blood pressure drops (be warned to get up slowly and avoid sharp movements)
13. Mild hypoglycemia
14. Potassium and urea decrease
15. Oily skin
16. Possible pimples and/or boils
17. Clogged sinuses (from periodic expelling of the lymphatic system, expelling mucoid matter through the nose and throat, sometimes in shocking quantities)
18. Foul breath
19. Pallid complexion
20. Tongue is coated with a bad-tasting dryish mucus
21. Urine may be concentrated and foul (unless a good deal of water is taken daily)

Stage 3: Normalization (Days 7-9 thru 14-16)
• Enhanced energy
• Clear-mindedness
• An increasing sense of well-being
• Acidic blood chemistry is gradually corrected
• The body’s healing process is at optimum efficiency
• The body scours for dead/damaged tissue, secreting substances to dissolved the damaged cells, irritating the nerves in the surrounding region
• Toxin irritation of the muscles (especially the legs)
• Excessive bacteria in the mouth

Typical Symptoms for this Stage
1. Daily loses of weight decrease
2. Dreams on food subjects
3. Old injuries may become irritated and painful as a result of the body’s increased ability to heal
4. Sore/tight muscles (the legs being the worst due to toxin accumulation)
5. Canker sores

Stage 4: Accelerated Healing (Days 16 – 30)
• The body is completely adapted to the fasting process
• The body now has more energy
• The mind has heightened clarity and emotional balance
• Damaged tissue is now being replaced
• Cleansing periods can be short with many days of feeling good in between
• Symptoms of diseases significantly decrease or disappear completely
• Glucose, cholesterol, potassium, urea, bilirubin normalize
• There are now days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh
• The healing work of the organs is being completed
• The body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue (after the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or rendered it harmless; while a short fast will reduce symptoms, a longer fast can completely heal)
• The lymphatic system is basically clean
• After day 20, the mind is affected with heightened clarity and emotional balance
• Memory and concentration improve
• Repair and regeneration of tissues
• Tumors are metabolized as food for the body
• Arthritic deposits dissolve
• Scar tissues tend to disappear
• Damaged organs regain lost function (if they can)
• Seriously ill people begin to heal

Typical Symptoms for this Stage
1. Shorter cleansing days
2. Rare discharge of mucus through the nose and throat

Stage 5 (30 – ?): Breaking the Fast with the genuine return of Natural Hunger
• The Breath becomes sweet and clean
• The Tongue becomes clean
• Body Temperature returns to normal, where it remains
• Pulse becomes normal in time and rhythm
• Skin reactions and other reactions become normal
• Salivary secretion becomes normal
• Eyes become bright and eye sight improves
• Excreta loses its odor
• Urine becomes light
• Hunger returns, indicating that the fast is to be broken; all other indications are secondary. Often one or more of the above secondary signs are absent when hunger returns, but one should not refrain from breaking the fast when there is an unmistakable demand for food.

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EDIT: I have now completed four 30-day Waterfasts since January 2018 and will be completing my first 40-day Waterfast in September 2019. I now offer water-fast coaching and consulting as well as other lifestyle coaching such as Intermittent Fasting, OMAD and Keto. I would love to help you reap the benefits of fasting like I did. You can book your Coaching/Consulting session here:

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=15897381

42 Comments »

  1. Thanks Sirrita for this great artical. I’m currently on day 9 and it’s going great! I especially find useful the what to expect in each stage advise and detailing the internal processes. From day one I ask God to assist me and haven’t and any issue at all with hunger. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Curious. I am in the middle of a 30 day fast for healing. May I ask where you gathered the information as to the stages. I have looked and your site is the first I have found with this much detail. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Gathered this from my own research on fasting and from Fasting Facebook Groups with people who carry a wealth of knowledge on the topic.

      Like

  3. Thanks for your article. I am venturing out on this journey to recover full use of my right foot after falling feet-first down an empty water drain in Accra, Ghana West Africa. I have finished using the crutches and waiting for an MRI scan to find out what’s going on inside the ligament because of the discomfort putting full pressure on the foot. I miss feeling well in my body. I’m used to dancing, walking, running and living without complaints and your article is timely in supporting my decision to go all in and embrace the cure – to fast.

    I’m not new to fasting. Like you I too fast as a way to seek God’s direction when I’m seeking clarity on a spiritual issue. Admittedly, I’ve not fasted with a clean break from food for sometime but have used intermittent fasting by way of connecting on a deeper level with the Father from time to time. Your journey and the details you’ve recorded is useful to me and the journey I’m embarking on for the next 30 days.

    I’ve read many articles about people who fasted to restore their health and your’s is the one with the kind of details I’ve been looking for. Thank you for taking the time to include your process and experience.

    Sincerely,
    Jacqueline

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for this! I’m on day 5 and am going well. I’m also using a Christian 30 day fasting journey personal guide I found online. “Fasting is more about replacing than abstaining”, praying for a new level of freedom and victory as I press in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this enlightened article it’s very clear and very thorough job well done especially the brake down of each stages I’m currently on day 26 started May 1 2019 goal is until June 1 2019 that will be a 31 day fast I may are may not shoot for the 40 day haven’t decided yet all depends on if I’m steady seeing signs of healing like damaged tissues healing or internal issues healing getting better like four instance nerves,arthritis,prostate,blood pressure,eye sight,plantar fasciitis (foot). Than it will be definitely Extended 40+ days because I wouldn’t wanna get this close and stop the fasting because my 30 days is up my body starts doing remarkable things no sirrrrrrrrr let’s keep the party going lol ( Dr. Sabi did it 90+ days God rest his soul love you Dr. Sabi ) Let me continue on before I start crying about him and I’m a man Anyway I have 5 days left before my 30 days is up good luck to everyone who is trying this it has done me much justice so far especially the weight lost O MY GOODNESS the weight lost is enormous in that small amount of time I’m very very proud of that part alone is worth it, I have gone all the way back to high school weight and I’m 54 wife be like you need to stop now baby that’s enough. nope nope my goal is 30 days but because this month has 31 days in it I wanna finish out the month so it will be 31 days AT LEAST ……. shhhhhhhh she doesn’t kno about the possible Extension yet I deal with that in 5 more days wish me luck. I can’t tell you guys how good it feels to have NO STOMACH Again i feel young and healthy and fine well sort of fine cuz I’ma lil to skinny now more skinny than I wanna be but knowing I will gain water weight back and a lil weight back frm eating again even if it is better healthy food so I’m compensating for that expected weight and muscle gain and still be at a nice slim trim level I will build back up with the right alkaline foods I’m still going to eat bad I’ll just make sure my body stays in an alkaline state so it can better fight off the bad food, sickness and diseases. But anyways enough about me thanks again for the article good luck & God Bless you guys on your Healing Journey

    P.S if I had one piece of advice to give Anyone even though I’m not worthy or Qualified to do so please look up (Dr. Sebi on YouTube) you will be in disarray I assure you that this man even existed the more lectures you hear the more smarter your get 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kernan,

      When you posted this comment you were on day 26, and stated you would continue fasting past 30 days if you didn’t see any healing occurring. Is this to mean you have not seen any healing take place in the 26 days so far? I am very curious, please let us know. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • HI BRIAN
        Other than MAJOR weight lost and piece of mind , better focused, and happier NO not much more yet BUTT after my 30 days I will definitely start on herbs and eating better from DR SEBI list yo kick start my alkaline body to see if that will help with the process better

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Kernan! I did extensive research on Dr. Sebi and I agree, his findings and philosophies are lifechanging! He has kinda become my hero in the last couple of years. Literally saved my life.

      Like

  6. thank you this has inspired me and motivated me to start fasting and think big!! is it necessary to break fast after day hungry returns in later stages of the fast or can you keep going?

    Liked by 1 person

    • If “true hunger” comes back, I would break my fast because that is an indicator that your body is done detoxing. But please learn the difference because “true hunger” and “false hunger.”

      Like

  7. Thanks Sirrita for the comprehensive information! I’m about to do a 28 day fast in the wilderness. Since I won’t have access to fresh produce for juicing if I need to break it any earlier, I’m wondering if you could recommend any alternative fast-breaking solutions I could have on hand? (Luckily I’ll have electricity.) And also how do you normally break your fasts? Lots of conflicting information out there. 🙏🙏🙏

    Like

    • You are welcome Eve! I recommend broth if you don’t have access to fresh produce (bone broth or vegetable broth.) I usually break my fast with broth then watermelon.

      Like

      • Hi Sirrita! Thank you for response 🙂 I’m on day 9 and feeling week on acidosis but proud of my progress so far! I’m wondering recovery. Initially I thought to do 24 days so I’d have a few days at my current accommodation to reintegrate food before returning to normal life. After re-reading your post, I’m considering doing a full 30 days, which would require around a 5 hr drive back home. Would you consider that doable? Because I’ve been so weak
        thus far, I’ve been weary of making any future commitments. Thank you for your guidance friend 🙏🌟💙

        Like

  8. This is great and so helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.
    On Day 7 of my 30 day Water and experiencing most of these symptoms. This has strengthened my resolve not to give up. Thank you so much

    Like

  9. I’m on Day 15 of a water fast with healing and so far the different stages you mentioned have been spot on. I’m debating between doing a 30 day water fast or a longer water fast. I’m dealing with varicocele and I’m really hoping the water fast leads to a cure. I’ve been told a water fast cures every diseases so I figured that I better try it. Please let me know if a water fast can cure a severe varicocele.

    Like

    • Hello Adam! Cheers to Day 15! I am not sure if a water fast can cure varicocele but I am sure it can help in some way. I am curious to know if it does. Trying pushing yourself and going 40 days.

      Like

  10. Hi Ms. Darby. I know that you lost 28
    pounds during your first fast, but since you’ve completedd four 30-day Water fasts since January 2018, what has been your total weight loss? Thanks so much for this well-written article and timeline.

    Like

  11. Hi Ms. Sirrita. I have 2 questions. I know that you lost 28 pounds during your first fast, but since you’ve completedd four 30-day Water fasts since January 2018, what has been your total weight loss? Thanks so much for this well-written article and timeline. And how much did you weigh before January 2018 fast? I’m on day 10 by the way. Thanks

    Like

      • Sirrita, Thanks for answering my question. So doing the math, 220-28=192. You’re at 192. You must be tall because you look a lot less than 192. I just did a 2 week fast. I believe your timeline of stages helped me go as long as I did.

        Like

  12. Hello,

    I’m currently on my 28th day of my water fast. My plan is to fast 40 days, however, I’m facing a major roadblock. I’ve been feeling nauseous the last 3 days and the past 2 days I’ve been throwing up bile. I’m not sure if I can continue or not. I’m not really facing any serious hunger right now. I’m actually struggling consuming water. The more water I consume the more nauseous I feel. I used to drink 3-4 liters a day. As of right now I’m only really able to drink 1 liter of water. What do you think I should do?

    Like

    • Try to do a salt water flush to replenish your electrolytes that may have you feeling nauseous. This always helps me. Just 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of pin Himalayan salt.

      Like

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