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Tips, Benefits, and Preparation for Improved Health | Fitness tips of the day

Intermittent fasting appeals to people looking for a safe and effective way to lose weight and gain health benefits. Have you heard about 60-hour fasting? It is an extended fast that has been gaining popularity. Some swear by it to reset their bodies, boost their metabolisms, and promote weight loss. 

This article dives into the world of 60-hour fasting. We’ll explore the potential benefits and risks of this extended fasting type and give you practical tips and tricks to help you make it through the full 60 hours. Whether you are a seasoned faster or a newbie to the world of intermittent fasting, there’s sure to be something in this article to help you on your journey to better health and wellness. Let’s get started.

What is a 60-Hour Fast?

Extended intermittent fasting involves abstaining from food for a long period, and one example of this is fasting for 60 hours or nearly three days. Although this approach is more intensive than a typical fasting routine, it can offer several health benefits and support weight loss efforts. 

Some examples of intermittent fasting are the 16/8, 14/10, and OMAD fasting regimens. However, 60-hour fasting outscores the above dietary regimes by quite a lot. This fast requires you to spend 60 hours without ingesting calories to sustain the metabolic switch to ketosis for as long as possible to see maximum weight loss. Because fat burning and ketosis start only after 12 hours of your last meal, if you extend your fast to 60 hours, you will get enhanced results. 

Some of the Incredible Benefits of a 60-Hour Fast

Much like the other types of intermittent fasting, a 60-hour fast has incredible benefits that will enhance most aspects of your overall well-being. These involve weight loss, mental sharpness, increased energy levels, lowered blood pressure, and more. Here are a few of the benefits in more detail: 

Reduction in Inflammation

One of the primary causes of the many chronic illnesses we face is increased inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation may cause arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and more. However, intermittent fasting is the best way to reduce, lower, and reverse chronic inflammation. [1]

When you sustain a calorie deficit, pro-inflammatory monocytes are lowered and released into the bloodstream. This reduces the overall effectiveness of the monocytes’ assault on the immune response.

Reduction In Inflammation

Autophagy Gets Boosted

When you fast for an extended period, your body enters autophagy. This is where your nervous and metabolic systems work together to purge various toxins at a cellular level. Autophagy also rebuilds and rejuvenates your body on a molecule-by-molecule basis. [2]

The stage of autophagy is where maximum healing and removal of toxins, infections, and damaged cells occurs, and intermittent fasting is the best way to trigger this. Autophagy gives you quite significant benefits in short periods. However, fasting for 60 hours will have an even more pronounced effect on your wellness and will reset your body effectively.

Also, as your digestive, metabolic, and nervous systems reset, your weight loss potential and fat-burning chances are enhanced. 

Improvement in Insulin Sensitivity and Blood Sugar Levels

Prolonged fasting will remove excess glucose from your blood and turn your body into a fat-burning machine. The longer your fasting period, the better your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. When your body burns fat through ketosis, your liver releases glucose and processes it as waste instead of fuel, effectively lowering your insulin levels. [3]

Heart Health Improves

Heart disease risk factors include insulin resistance, increased blood sugar, high levels of blood triglycerides, inflammation, and LDL cholesterol. These risk factors decrease substantially with a prolonged 60-hour fast [4].

Weight Loss Help

Measuring Tape On Wrist

Fasting has a positive correlation with weight loss. When you put your body into a prolonged calorie deficit, your body will turn to fat cells for fuel, which means your extra weight will be burned away, especially in the form of abdominal fat. 

This particular benefit may be enough for most people considering a 60-hour fast. However, losing fat has more benefits than aesthetics; it can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and stave off depression. 

How To Begin a 60-Hour Fast?

With 60-hour fasting, you will spend an entire 60 hours without food, and you can only have water, black tea, and black coffee to sustain yourself during this time. You will likely experience hunger pangs and reduced energy during the fast, especially at the beginning. 

During the 60-hour fast, do not push yourself too hard and avoid heavy exercise. It is essential to listen to your body. Most long-term fasters prefer to start their 60-hour fast in the evening after their last meal and sleep through the initial part of the fast. 

If you are opting for a 60-hour fast over the weekend, your fasting schedule could be like the one below:

  • Friday, Day 1: 9 PM, Start fasting after dinner
  • Saturday, Day 2: Fast for full day — 24-hour mark
  • Sunday, Day 3: Keep fasting all day — 48-hour mark
  • Monday, Day 4:  Break your fast at 9 AM — 60-hour mark

How Often is a 60-Hour Fast Possible?

You cannot sustain frequent 60-hour fasts. Experienced fasters get the best results if they do 60-hour fasts once or twice a month. You, as a newbie, can try a prolonged fast once a month and see how your body responds to it before intensifying the schedule. 

How Do I Prepare for a 60-Hour Fast?

Prepping The Food

You have to prepare your body for going through ketosis and burning fat. Here are a few things to consider for the 60-hour fast:

Increase Fasting Window Only After You are Comfortable 

Logic suggests that instead of diving headfirst into the grueling 60-hour fast, it is better to acclimate your body by working your way up through the other fasting regimens. You could spend a few weeks pushing your fasting window north, starting with alternate day fasting and working up to 24 hours, 36 hours, and a 48-hour fast. 

Extended fasts are challenging, and they put your body under stress. However, if you do not gradually ease your body into the 60-hour fast, it will shock your system, and you may become ill. 

Avoid Refined Carbs and Sugar Before Fasting

If you want to prepare for a 60-hour fast, it is crucial to consider the food you are consuming in the two days leading up to the fast. Your body will process refined carbs and sugar as sugar; it will increase the insulin level in your body, inducing you to eat the same before your fast. This will set you up for failure. Hence, avoid sugar and refined carbs at least two days before you start your 60-hour fast. 

Stay Hydrated During the 60-Hour Fast

Drinking water in reasonable amounts is key to survival during extended fasts like the 60-hour fast. Water will help you cope with feelings of low energy and trick your body into thinking that your stomach is full. Add some lemon to your water for variation, but do not use additives or sugar. 

Your Last Meal Should Be Proteins and Healthy Fats

To sail through the demanding 60-hour fasting regimen, you must eat a healthy and well-balanced meal on your last night before starting your 60-hour fast. Your final meal should ideally have fats like olive oil and avocado and a healthy dose of proteins like chicken or fish. These will give you lots of fuel to burn during the 60 hours of fasting and kick-start your metabolism, making it easier to last the whole way.

Foods and Drinks You Can Have During 60-Hour Fasting

With intermittent fasting, your food choice is severely limited, especially during an extended fast like a 60-hour fast. What you drink during this period is also very important. Drink a lot of water, supplementing it with black coffee or tea. Keep away from artificial sweeteners, including sugar-free and zero-calorie drinks. They will, in all probability, alter your insulin levels and hamper the ketosis process. 

Bone broth is a critical fasting drink; you can make it from beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, or bone marrow. Sip bone broth at regular intervals to keep your hunger pangs at bay. Just because bone broth is allowed during the 60-hour fast, do not gulp it down by the gallon. 

Green Tea With Mint

Can I Exercise During a 60-Hour Fast?

You can exercise during intermittent fasting, but keep some parameters in mind. Avoid high-intensity workouts when you are in a calorie deficit and do easy, low-intensity exercises instead. Go for yoga, walking, or push-ups and crunches. 

How to Break a 60-Hour Fast?

Eating the right things after ending your extended fast is extremely important. You should eat small portions of easily digestible food that will keep you satiated.

Go for fermented foods like unsweetened yogurt and kefir. Opt for different dried fruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Try broths and soups that are light and non-creamy. Smoothies are another great option. 

60-Hour Fasting Side Effects

Going for 60 hours without food will have some side effects. You may experience hungriness, headaches, light-headedness, irritability, and trouble sleeping. However, these effects will go away. 

The following groups of people should abstain from 60-hour fasts:

  • Having eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia
  • Below 18 years of age
  • Pregnant, breastfeeding, or women trying to conceive
  • Diabetics
  • Immune system deficiencies
  • Insomniacs
  • Those with pre-existing medical conditions
  • Those taking certain medications

FAQs

1. What should I eat after a 60-hour fast?

It is essential to break your 60-hour fast with food that is light and can be easily digested. Go for smoothies, dried fruits, soups, fermented fruits, and vegetables. 

2. What is the longest that you can fast safely?

There is no set time for a fast, but experts recommend that anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days is the maximum amount of time you can go without food. 

3. Does lemon water break a fast?

Lemon water does not break a fast. Lemon water contains almost no calories and has zero sugar. It does not raise insulin levels, and you can consume it safely during fasting without fear of breaking your fast. 

Related Read: Lemon Water and Fasting: Everything You Need To Know

4. Does sleeping count as fasting?

Yes, while you are following intermittent fasting, your sleep time is included in your fasting time. You are not consuming food or drink while sleeping. That is why it is a fasting period. 

Conclusion

A 60-hour fast is and can be daunting. However, its many health benefits outweigh the potential risks, and many dieters who tried this fasting system have never looked back. Fasting for 60 hours is tricky, but if you can stick to it, it is an enriching experience. 

From boosting insulin response, improving mental clarity, and improving heart health to weight loss, 60-hour fasting is the regimen you need. Ensure you are well prepared and follow our tips for a successful fasting experience. 

References

  1. Alam, Iftikhar, et al. “Recurrent Circadian Fasting (RCF) Improves Blood Pressure, Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Risk and Regulates Inflammation in Men.” PubMed Central (PMC), 19 Aug. 2019.
  2. Alirezaei, Mehrdad, et al. “Short-term Fasting Induces Profound Neuronal Autophagy.” PubMed Central (PMC), 14 Aug. 2010.
  3. Sathananthan, Matheni, et al. “Six And 12 Weeks of Caloric Restriction Increases Β Cell Function and Lowers Fasting and Postprandial Glucose Concentrations in People With Type 2 Diabetes.” OUP Academic, 1 Sept.
  4. Mani, Kartik, et al. “Lysosomes Mediate Benefits of Intermittent Fasting in Cardiometabolic Disease: The Janitor Is the Undercover Boss.” PubMed Central (PMC), 14 Sept. 2018.

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