Healthy Living

Dry Fasting: What You Need To Know

Those who are familiar with fasting in the month of Ramadan know that solid food and fluids are to be completely abstained from between dawn and sunset every day. Identical to this concept is the new diet fad trending on Instagram called dry fasting. 

Intermittent fasting is the avoidance of solid food for 12 to 16 hours straight in a day while making exceptions for water and fruits. This is not the case with dry fasting, which is an extreme version of various diet plans. Of late, completely restricting the consumption of fluids altogether is becoming part of the diet regimen in several fasting diets. It also includes alternate day fasting and eat-stop-eat fasting, which both involve fasting for 24 hours with breaks to eat well a few days during the week. 

Generally, fasting allows water, fruits and vegetables to enable people to restrain themselves from unhealthy food. Similarly, starting with the soft version of the dry fast could make it easier to follow through. Making physical contact with water while taking a shower, brushing teeth and washing skin could help prevent the skin from dehydration. 

On the contrary, there is no research and evidence to suggest that dry fasting has any potential health benefits as such. Extreme restriction of calories more than water could have short-term payoffs. However, the immediate benefit of dry fasting is that it provides a more toned look, but that is only the result of water inside our cells being used for energy.  

Experts Speak

Experts unanimously agree that the dry fast diet does more harm than good. A physician at UCLA Health Beverly Hills, Dr. Pauline Yi does not recommend it at all. While she does not discourage patients from trying intermittent fasting, she emphasized the need to stay hydrated while not eating for long intervals. 

People should be consuming at least nine cups of water on a daily basis, according to Yi. If not, the body tries to restore homeostasis by going into water conservation mode. "If you're going to cut back on water, your body will produce hormones and chemicals to hold onto any water," Yi explained. 

As per Healthline, dehydration can lead to urinary tract infections and kidney stones. An associate professor and an expert on nutrition and diet, Cary Kreutzer explained that the digestive system is not made to adapt to breaks from food or water. "You can basically burn out some parts of the car that you're going to have to get replaced. "You don't want those replacement parts to include your vital organs," Kreutzer said.  

Director of the Longevity Institute at USC and a professor of gerontology, Valter Longo has seen fasting diets work. However, he would not advise giving up water since there are no studies to back claims that it helps in any way. "For sure, the body needs to reset, but there are safe ways of doing that, and dry fasting is not one of them. We require water," Longo said. 

Intermittent fasting Intermittent fasting has been linked to increased resistance to stress, improved blood sugar levels and better blood pressure and resting heart rates. However, the dieters are encouraged to stay hydrated. Pixabay

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