Intermittent fasting is a time-restricted eating method for weight loss and a healthier diet that is growing in popularity with people across the world who want to lose weight and lead healthier lives.
Whether it’s alternate-day fasting or calorie restriction over longer periods of time, there is an intermittent fasting strategy to suit any schedule and lifestyle.
On the days when there is no fasting, people should resume their regular eating habits. This type of eating reduces a person’s overall calorie intake without limiting the types of meals they consume.
A 24-hour fast can be difficult and can result in headaches, weariness, or irritation. Many people discover that when their bodies become used to this new eating pattern, these effects gradually become less severe.
Before switching to the 24-hour fast, some people may find it helpful to try a 12- or 16-hour fast.
Although there are numerous potential health advantages to this kind of intense intermittent fasting, it is also a demanding commitment. Before fully committing, let’s address the key concerns about what to anticipate from this kind of diet.
What should you know about the effects of a 24-hour fast and how to complete one? Read on to learn about all that and more.
What’s A 24 Hour Fast?
People keep coming back to fasting because it can change your health and help you lose weight. Because this way of dieting is so easy to understand, more and more people are interested in it.
A 24 hour fast or the Eat-Stop-Eat diet is when you don’t eat anything for 24 hours. This is kind of like the OMAD (one meal a day) plan, where you don’t eat for 23 hours and then eat all your food in one hour.
The main difference is that OMAD has a very strict and continuous schedule, while the 24 hour fast can be done, for example, once a month.
The 24-hour fast diet offers other health advantages, such as improved cardiometabolic health, in addition to laying a strong basis for weight loss. Those following this diet can consume calorie-free beverages including water, tea, and others while fasting.
You don’t have to completely change your eating habits, stop eating your favorite foods, or drastically cut the number of calories you eat. For fasting to work, you have to limit the time you can eat. People can fast in many different ways, from not eating for 12 hours to not eating for a few days in a row.
What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Eat For 24 Hours?
Even if you don’t believe it, you won’t shrink and die! Our bodies are smarter than they seem, and they have biochemical ways to change.
Your body won’t know you’re fasting until you’ve been fasting for a long time.
During the first eight hours, your body will keep breaking down the last food you ate. Your body will use the glucose it has stored as energy and keep going as if you were going to eat soon.
Your body goes into a “fasting” state about eight hours after your last meal. This is because it takes about that long for your body to fully digest and absorb all the nutrients you ate (depending on the content of your pre-fast meal).
At this time, your body gets energy from the glucose (carbohydrate) stores (also called glycogen) it has.
After a 24-hour fast, your liver glycogen stores will be mostly gone. Research shows that after a 24-hour fast with no exercise, the amount of glycogen in the muscles was cut by about 50%.
When your body runs out of glucose, it breaks down fat stores to get energy. But keep in mind that your body does start to use fat before all of its glucose stores are gone. Researchers think that this is why “intermittent fasting” can help you burn more fat (it’s physiology!).
During a long fast, your body will also start to break down your muscles so it can use the protein in them for energy.
How to Do a 24 Hour Fast?
As the name says and as we said already, a 24 hour fast means not eating anything for 24 hours – simple.
Let me make it clearer, for a 24-hour fast, all you have to do is go without food for 24 hours straight, from breakfast to breakfast or any other meal you choose.
For example, if you want to fast for 24 hours from dinner to dinner, you would eat dinner at 7 PM and then not eat anything until you go for dinner 24 hours later. So there’s no misunderstanding, it basically means one meal a day (over a 24 hour period).
Taking medicine is one of the most common questions I get about fasting. Yes, you can still take your medicines or supplements, but if you need to take them with food, you must plan to do so during your one meal.
If you find that fasting is the best thing for your body and mind that you’ve ever done, you shouldn’t do it too much. Start by doing it once a week and go from there. Many people start a 24-hour fasting cycle a few times a week or a few times a month, and it’s become an important part of their health routine.
What Are The Benefits Of 24 Hour Fast?
We’ve already said that a 24-hour fast is good for you in more ways than you might think. Here are some of the most powerful and real benefits of fasting for 24 hours.
A 24 Hour Fast Can Help You Manage Your Cholesterol And Sugar Levels
Regularly observing an intermittent fast may help your body better break down sugar and cholesterol. Your risk of developing diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease may be lower as a result of these modifications to your metabolism.
24 Hour Fast Promotes Weight Loss
Losing weight is frequently the main goal of hard-core fasting, and it is possible to accomplish so using this technique rather successfully. Your metabolism may benefit from the energy limitation brought on by a 24-hour fast, which may aid in weight loss.
You won’t lose muscle mass, but you will start to see the pounds melt away as this fast forces your body into a metabolic process that burns fat.
This is due to metabolic ketosis, which only kicks in at 16 hours into a fast and becomes more potent the longer you fast for increased weight loss.
Increases Growth Hormone Production
Our continuing development maintained muscular mass, and general aging are all caused by growth hormones in a natural way.
And because long periods of fasting result in the increased production of growth hormones, this is a fantastic strategy to maintain the health of your body, promote muscle retention, and aid in weight loss.
Your Risk Of Developing Coronary Artery Disease Might Reduce If You Follow 24 Hour Fasting
Long-term levels of trimethylamine N-oxide may be lowered by a regular 24-hour fast. This may help lower your risk because high amounts of this chemical have been linked to coronary artery disease.
24 Hour Fast Enhances Brain Functions
Studies on animals have shown that fasting improves neurological processes, including the aging-related loss in cognitive ability.
It’s an amazing realization that memory troubles and other associated concerns can be resolved by improving mental sharpness by addressing the metabolic state.
24 Hour Fast May Help Prolong Life
In general, fasting has been shown to provide a wealth of advantages for your health, both physically and mentally, and can even slow down the aging process. You can also prevent some of the more prevalent issues associated with becoming older, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
And as a result, if you routinely include intermittent fasting into your schedule and enhance your gut health, you are probably going to live longer and have a generally higher quality of life.
Following 24 Hour Fast May Help In Preventing Cancer
Inflammation in the body is the cause of a wide range of health problems, so finding a strategy to stop chronic inflammation before it even begins will have a positive impact on your health.
One of them is the prevention of cancer, where it has been discovered that intermittent fasting has anticarcinogenic qualities.
Side Effects And Risks Of 24 Hour Fast
Frequent 24-hour fasts might have negative effects and raise your risk of developing certain issues.
Before going for a fast, always see your doctor to help lower your risk for any unanticipated health effects. This is especially crucial if you have underlying medical issues.
Avoid fasting if you:
Have type 1 diabetes, have an eating disorder, are pregnant or nursing, are under the age of 18, or are recovering from surgery.
Your risk for hypoglycemia and cardiac arrhythmias may increase if you fast more frequently than twice per week.
Remember that further study is required to thoroughly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of intermittent fasting. A balanced diet and regular exercise are two tried-and-true ways to maintain a healthy weight and live a healthier lifestyle.
How Much Water Should You Drink During 24 Hour Fast
During a 24-hour fast, it’s crucial to consume plenty of water—more than your typical eight glasses.
Since your body requires water to function, you won’t be consuming any water through food during this period. Water benefits your tissues and joints, aids in digestion, controls body temperature and can help you stay energized.
You should drink water as you feel thirsty throughout the day. This quantity varies from person to person and is also influenced by your degree of activity.
According to an older recommendation, men should consume an average of 15 1/2 glasses of water daily, while women should consume an equivalent amount of 11 1/2 glasses. We recommend that you should let your thirst be your guide when it comes to water intake.
What To Eat After 24 Hour Fast
After your fast, have readily digestible foods or a small meal of cooked foods that are rich in nutrients. When first breaking your fast, foods like soups and smoothies are excellent options, and don’t forget to drink water.
Following a 24-hour fast, you may choose to consume any of the following foods:
- Fermented foods – To ease yourself back into eating, look for kefir and yogurt without sugar.
- Healthy fats are a great way to satisfy your hunger and include avocado, eggs, nuts, and fatty fish.
- Cooked proteins including chicken, beef, fish, and seafood are great for breaking a fast.
- Brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, are ideal after a prolonged fast.
- After your fast is over, choose whole grains that are strong in protein and fiber, like spelt or kamut.
We hope you are now prepared to make a change in your life after learning about the challenges of completing a 24-hour fast, its advantages for your health, and how you can lose weight relatively rapidly.
However, when using this strategy, exercise caution. Before trying it on your own, discuss your health with your doctor. Your doctor may discuss the specific advantages and hazards with you and offer guidance on how to carry out this kind of fast in a safe and healthy manner.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.