A water cleanse is very different to a water fast and can help you attain steady weight loss as opposed to fast weight loss; which you will probably gain back. When combined with a healthy diet and a good amount of exercise, frequent water cleanses work really well in flushing your body of toxins, preventing the damages caused by free radicals. However, if you have any pre-existing conditions such as those mentioned in this article, it is best to seek medical advice before partaking in a water fast or a cleanse.
A water cleanse may be considered extreme; however, the degree of extremeness depends on the duration for which you go on a water cleanse; and as to whether you are confused with the difference between a water fast and a water cleanse. When you consider going on a week-long water fast, this means the only thing you will be consuming for the entire week is water. Though told to have benefits for your body, this long of a water fast can be dangerous for your health. We’ll discuss the variance between a water cleanse and a water fast and underline the various dangers of both as we try to unravel the best one of weight loss.
You do stand to lose weight when you go on a week-long water fast, however the trouble with going on a water fast for too long is, you stand to gain the weight back as soon as you start eating again.
Water cleansing is considered cheaper as opposed to say juice cleanses. However, juice cleanses may be healthier since you would be consuming some calories throughout the day, though at a dangerously low level.
To be fair, humans need water to survive and there are various benefits of getting enough water every day. However going on a week-long zero-calorie diet, could bring with it various dangers, which is what we will be looking further into in this article. Not just that, we will recommend what is considered good practice to ensure that your water cleansing not only effectively flushes your body of toxins, but also maintain optimum levels of health for your overall wellbeing and effective weight loss.
Before we consider anything further, it is best to first understand what a water cleanse is, since it can be rather confusing considering the degree of length these cleanses or fasts last.
What is a Water Cleanse?
A water cleanse is a health practice where the partaking individual drinks a large amount of water for the duration of the cleanse, be it a few hours, a day or few days. It may involve fasting up to 24 hours, or coupled with healthy eating habits such as fresh fruits and vegetables. A water cleanse including only water and nothing else can last up to 24 hours, after which it is best termed as a water fast. The aim of a water cleanse is to flush out toxins from the body; toxins that have accumulated in our bodies from an unhealthy diet and eating patterns. The process involves drinking a large amount of water in hopes of removing toxins from your body through urination.
In more recent years, water fasting has been observed to be an effective means to lose weight and that too quickly. However, in comparison to this, the primary intention behind a water cleanse is to detox your body from harmful toxins that have gathered in your body over the years.
Though considered a fad, there is science behind the practice of going on a water cleanse. This is because the more water you drink, the easier it gets for your body to flush out toxins. The fad element however comes with the idea of losing weight. In hopes of losing weight fast, people go on week-long water fast where they only drink water and eat nothing. To better clarify, when a water cleanse is dragged on for this long without the consumption of food, the term to best describe the practice is a water fast; not exactly a water cleanse. Though all water fasts are water cleanses, all water cleanses are not water fasts. You can cleanse your body by consuming a large amount of water and continue to eat high fibre fruits and vegetables. This is not a fast, this is a cleanse.
A water cleanse is also varied to detox water cleanses. A water cleanse only relies on water, whereas a detox water cleanse uses a combination of water with either slices of fruit, vegetables or herbs. There are various ways to make delicious detox water.
However, a water cleanse only relies on water as the primary means to detox the body. Is it better in comparison to water fasting and is varied in comparison to detox water cleanses. We will explore the comparison between both in further sections of this article.
How is a Water Cleanse Different to Water Fasting? Is a Water Fast Dangerous?
With the difference between a water cleanse and a water fast established, let’s take a deeper look into the dangers of water fasting.
Though water fasting can help you lose weight fast, it comes with plenty of health risks, which is why it is considered so extreme. When you consider the severity of water fasting, the seriousness of the practice rests on how it may work to worsen several existing health conditions. When it comes to these health conditions, a water fast is not recommended; even a water cleanse may be too much for your body to handle. If you do want to go on a fasting water cleanse, even if it is for a short period of time, it is better to consult a healthcare professional before trying such a water cleanse. For those who suffer from these pre-existing conditions, it is better to do a water cleanse where you aren’t fasting, but are consuming fresh fruits and vegetables during your cleanse. Either way, it is better to consult a healthcare professional first, if you suffer from any of these health conditions.
- Eating disorders – If you suffer from bulimia or binge eating disorder, then it is advisable to not consider a water fast; you may want to consider a water cleanse coupled with healthy eating habits during the cleanse. This will help you to learn about healthy eating and heal the effects of the eating disorder. However, if you do notice that you tend to eat more after a cleanse, this could be due to binge eating disorder, which is why it is generally recommended to consult a health care professional first if you suffer from an eating disorder.
- Diabetes – Fasting is generally risky if you suffer from diabetes. This is because the act of fasting can cause irregularities in your blood glucose levels, which could impact your condition, interfering with any medication that you may be taking. If you suffer from diabetes, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before you make a practice out of water fasting. As for water cleansing, if you maintain healthy amounts of food consumption during the cleanse, you should be safe. However, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before partaking in any form of fasting.
- Gout – This form of arthritis is caused by excessive amounts of uric acid in your bloodstream. Uric acid crystals are formed in the joints of these individuals which brings about the symptoms experienced; pain and discomfort. Water fasting can increase the production of uric acid which places you at a greater risk of gout attacks. Hence if you are prone to gout, then it is best to consult a healthcare professional before undertaking any fast. A water cleanse which includes the consumption of a healthy diet including wholesome amounts of water should be safe. However, it is best to consult a healthcare professional first.
What Are the Benefits of a Water Cleanse?
A water cleanse can also be good for your metabolism. This is because a water cleanse works to improve the sensitivity of two hormones in your body, insulin and leptin. Insulin works to store nutrients from the bloodstream, while leptin is the hormone linked with the feeling of being full. The greater sensitivity of both these hormones means that they work at a more effective rate. Greater insulin sensitivity means, your body will be more capable of lowering blood sugar levels, thereby better regulating your blood glucose levels. Greater sensitivity of leptin works to regulate appetite more efficiently, thereby preventing overeating which leads to obesity.
Though this isn’t a clear cut benefit of a water cleanse, long-duration water fasting has been proven to lower blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. This study conducted over a period of 14 days under medical supervision, is not something that you should emulate or try at home without medical supervision. However, the findings do lead to the inclination that a water cleanse could help you better regulate your blood pressure, naturally.
Another benefit of a water cleanse is how it aids in the breaking down and recycling of old cells. This mechanism is known as autophagy. A study conducted on animals has proven a link between water fasting and greater efficiency of autophagy, which brings with it the reduced risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Since this is not a human study, the findings are inconclusive, however do incline to state that a water cleanse could help you improve the process of autophagy in your body.
How Does a Water Cleanse Help with Weight Loss?
Obvious to state that water fasting can help you lose weight and that too quite fast. However, there are various risks involved in doing a water fast, which is why in the article we differentiate and recommend occasional water cleanses. Repeatedly practised water cleanses without fasting could help you lose weight, and is considered more effective in keeping the weight off in comparison to a water fast. Though you tend to lose quite a bit of weight during a water fast, the weight usually comes back on as soon as you start eating. This is because a water fast messes with your metabolic rate and the act of starvation causes your body to store as much food consumed as possible in the form of fat.
As opposed to a water fast, a water cleanse is considered short term. Not just that, you don’t necessarily have to only drink water like a fast during a cleanse. During a water cleanse, you have to ensure that you are consuming a good amount of water, more than you would consume on a regular basis. This can be coupled with light healthy meals which are mostly fibre based. This would include food such as fruits and vegetables. Hence during a water cleanse, unlike a fast, you are allowed to consume healthy fruits and vegetables.
This means that the cleanse does not work to reduce your body weight immediately. In fact, if you compare a 48-hour water fast to a 12-hour water cleanse, obvious to state the amount of weight loss will be greater on the water fast as opposed to the water cleanse. However, the chances of maintaining the weight loss is significantly lower in a water fast in comparison to a water cleanse. Though you would not lose noticeable amounts of weight, a water cleanse works to lower your body weight in a controlled manner, thereby preventing any shocks to your system.
If you repeat a 24-hour water cleanse without fasting every week for a month, then you may see some noticeable results in your weight. The 24-hour window is sufficient time for your body to start breaking down fat in your body to produce energy. That being the case, you are only going to see results of weight loss based on your levels of exercise and healthy diet, which are integral. If you do a water cleanse every week and eat everything you can get your hands on, you will not lose weight.
A water cleanse is a commonly practised means of aiding your weight loss ambitions. However, a water cleanse only works alongside a healthy diet and sufficient exercise.
How is a Water Cleanse Different to a Detox Water Cleanses?
When you consider going on a water cleanse, many people find it difficult to drink large amounts of water due to the tasteless nature of water. For such people, the detox water cleanse would work wonders since these detox waters are usually rather tasty. You could add a few slices of lemon, some mint leaves and even add some cucumber and allow the water to soak all the nutrients from these ingredients before you drink it. It is the enhanced flavour of detox water that makes it more popular to water cleanses.
When you consider the grand scale of both, they are both effective as a means to detox your body and can help with weight loss ambitions.
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