There are many advantages to intermittent fasting, but what happens when you start extending fasts and going for more extreme options such as a 60 hour fast?
If you have ever been curious about what a 60 hour fast entails, and what are the benefits that come with it, then we have you covered.
Read on for what you need to know about 60-hour fasts and what to expect, including:
- What is 60 hour fast?
- 4 main benefits of 60 hour fast you should know of
- How to start 60 hour fast?
- How often can you do 60 hour fast?
- How to prepare for 60 hour fast?
- What can you have during fasting time?
- How much physical activity is ok during a prolonged fast?
- How to break a 60 hour fast safely?
- What are the side effects of 60 hour fast?
What Is a 60 Hour Fast?
Fasting for 60 hours or nearly 3 days is a form of extended type of intermittent fasting. Albeit a fairly intensive way to fast, when compared to a normal routine, extended fasting for 60 hours can provide many health benefits and help you lose weight.
In essence, this fast requires you to go for 60 straight hours in a calorie deficit to keep the metabolic switch to ketosis for as long as possible for maximum weight loss.
And because ketosis and fat burning start after just 12 hours without food, extending the fast to 60 will only enhance your results.
However, it is important to do plenty of your own research before reducing your caloric intake for 60 hours to see just what such an extended fast could mean for your body, and how it will affect you.
4 Main Benefits of 60 Hour Fast You Should Know Of
Like other forms of intermittent fasting, the benefits of a 60 hour fast can really enhance nearly every aspect of your overall well-being, from weight loss to mental acuity, lowering blood pressure to boosting energy levels, and many more. Let’s go over a few in greater detail here.
60 Hour Fast May Reduce Inflammation in the Body
Inflammation within the human body is a primary cause of many of the worst illnesses that we can suffer from. Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and arthritis, among others.
Thankfully, one of the best ways to lower and even reverse chronic inflammation in the body is through intermittent fasting. This is because a sustained calorie deficit actually lowers levels of pro-inflammatory monocytes released into the bloodstream and reduces the effectiveness of their attacks on the immune response.
One of the most important stages of fasting for the body to enter is autophagy which is a state where your entire metabolic and nervous system works together to purge toxins on a cellular level and rebuild or rejuvenate your entire body, molecule by molecule.
This is where the most healing and removal of infections, toxins, and damaged cells takes place, and going through a period of fasting is one of the best ways to trigger it!
Autophagy can give significant benefits to your overall health when experienced in just short periods, but when you spend multiple hours or even days in this state, it can essentially reset your body for the better.
And as your metabolic, digestive, and nervous system resets itself, your fat burning and weight loss potential are necessarily enhanced to an incredible degree.
Can Improve Insulin Sensitivity and Blood Sugar Levels
Because fasting removes the excess glucose levels from your blood and turns the body into a fat-burning machine, the longer you fast the better your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels become.
As the body burns fat through ketosis, the liver is able to release glucose and safely process it as waste instead of fuel, effectively lowering your insulin levels.
Help With Weight Loss
Studies have proven that fasting contributes to weight loss, as putting yourself in a prolonged state of calorie deprivation forces the body to turn to fat cells for fuel, effectively burning away the extra weight from around your body.
Of course, this benefit is enough for many people. But losing excess fat has more advantages than just your appearance— it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure as your heart doesn’t have to work as hard anymore, and helps with mental health issues like depression.
Plus, by losing just 5% of your body weight, you gain a myriad of other benefits and can even lengthen your life, so why not try it out!
How To Start 60 Hour Fast?
This type of fasting is exactly as it sounds— you will spend 60 full hours without food, relying only on water, black tea, black coffee, and sipping bone broth for sustenance.
During the fast, you might experience bouts of reduced energy and hunger, particularly at the beginning. It’s important not to push yourself at that point and stay away from heavy exercise. Listen to your body! But otherwise, the benefits of fasting for so long will certainly start to show.
Most long-term fasters like to start in the evening when they are freshly satisfied from their last meal and ready to sleep through the first portion of the fast. If you choose to do so over the weekend, a sample schedule could look like this:
- Friday, Day 1— At 9 PM, start fasting after dinner.
- Saturday, Day 2— Continue fasting all day – 24-hour mark.
- Sunday, Day 3— Continue fasting all day – 48-hour mark.
- Monday, Day 4— Break the fast at 9 AM – 60-hour mark.
How Often Can You Do 60 Hour Fast?
Fasting for this long is not sustainable frequently, and certainly not on a weekly basis. Instead, many fasters find the best results happen when only doing a 60 hour fasting period once or twice per month, and that seems to be a safe amount.
Start out with one prolonged fast a month, and see how you feel from there!
How To Prepare for 60 Hour Fast?
How you prepare for a fast is nearly as important as completing the calorie restriction period itself. You need to get your body ready for the amount of time it will be going without food and spending in a state of ultimate fat burning.
Increase Your Fasting Window When You Become Comfortable With It
Instead of diving right into extended periods of fasting such as 60 hours, it’s a great idea to work your way up to it. Spend a few weeks slowly pushing your fasting window and self-control further, from alternate day fasting to a 24-hour, 36-hour, and 48-hour fast.
Any extended fast is difficult, and you will feel hungry, but if you don’t ease your eating habits into being comfortable with calorie deficits first, intermittent fasting for 60 hours will be a total shock to your system and might make you feel ill.
Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs Before Fasting
To prepare yourself for an extended 60 hour fast, it’s important to consider the food consumed before it commences, up to two days in advance.
Because the human body processes sugar and refined carbohydrates as sugar, it will raise your insulin levels to eat such foods before a fast, and set your metabolism up for failure. So, avoid sugar and processed items for one or two days prior to starting.
Drink Plenty of Water During Fasting
Not only is staying hydrated important during shorter fasting periods, but drinking water is also essential during extended fasts. Water can help with feeling low-energy and help prevent hunger pangs by tricking your stomach into thinking it’s full!
You can add a splash of lemon juice to your plain water for some variation, but don’t use any sugars or additives as they will break your fast early.
Load Your Last Meal With Healthy Fats and Protein
For better health and happy fasting, make sure you eat a well-balanced meal on your last night before transitioning into 60 hours of fasting.
It should contain beneficial fats like avocado and olive oil, as well as plenty of protein from meat, chicken, or fish. These choices will fuel your fasting period and kick start your metabolism before it even starts, making it easier to last through the whole thing.
What Can You Have During Fasting Time?
Your dietary options are certainly limited for intermittent fasting, particularly throughout an extended fast, but during a 60 hour fast what to drink is also crucial.
Drink plenty of water, and supplement it with black coffee and black tea. Stay away from all sweeteners, including zero-calorie or sugar-free ones. They might still alter your insulin levels enough to push you out of ketosis.
You should also prepare bone broth ahead of fasting. This is veritable liquid gold for intermittent fasters, and can be made with chicken, beef, turkey, fish, pork, or marrow for ultimate flavor.
As bone broth is allowed during a 60 hour fast, make sure you sip it instead of gulping a cup down. Though it might be tempting, it will make you feel satisfied for much longer when savored.
How Much Physical Activity Is Ok During a Prolonged Fast?
While you certainly can exercise during intermittent fasting, there are some parameters you need to consider.
Exercise should be scheduled around your prolonged fasting periods. Try to avoid high-intensity workouts while in a calorie deficit and stick to low-intensity, easy exercises instead. Opt for walking, yoga, swimming, or some simple moves like crunches and push-ups to get your body moving.
High-intensity training will only strain your body during a calorie deficit, particularly if it is prolonged, and you might actually hurt yourself instead of building muscle.
How to Break a 60 Hour Fast Safely?
What to eat after a 60 hour fast is incredibly important for your entire body and health. Breaking a fasting period of any length is something to plan for, and the longer you fast the more critical it is to get breaking your fast right.
Don’t dive right into the process of re-feeding yourself. Instead, eat smaller portions of easily-digestible foods that will fill your stomach and help you feel satisfied without feeling sick.
Once you have eased out of calorie restriction, then you can proceed with larger portions, and make sure to have plenty of water and even herbal tea. Some great options for breaking your fast include:
- Fermented Foods— Eating cultured products like kefir or unsweetened yogurt will help refresh your gut and soothe your digestive system.
- Fruits and Vegetables— Opt for dried fruits and cooked starchy vegetables like potatoes.
- Good Fats— Eggs, olive oil, and avocados are excellent ingredients to include when breaking your fast.
- Soups— Try to eat soups and broths with plenty of protein, but stay away from rich and creamy ones or soups that have raw and fibrous vegetables in them.
- Smoothies— Add fresh fruit and vegetables to your blender and create a delicious smoothie to help refresh your entire system.
What Are the Side Effects of 60 Hour Fast?
Because you are going without food for an extended period, fasting for 60 straight hours will necessarily come with some temporary negative consequences, such as headaches, feeling hungry and light-headed, and trouble sleeping. You might even feel weak when standing or get irritable, but these effects will pass.
Though fasting can typically be done by anyone under the right circumstances, there are a few groups of people who should not attempt it without medical advice, including:
- A history of eating disorders.
- Below the age of 18 years old.
- Breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to conceive.
- Immune system deficiencies.
- Pre-existing health conditions.
- Suffering from heart disease or cardiovascular issues.
- Taking certain prescription medications.
While it can certainly be a daunting aspect, the various health advantages and weight loss results associated with a 60 hour fast can be enough to convince dieters to try it— and many have never looked back.
Fasting for prolonged periods is difficult but very rewarding.
From lowering your blood sugar levels to mental clarity, reducing the risk of heart disease to feeling more energetic as the pounds are shed, 60-hour fasting might be right for you, too. Just make sure you prepare well, follow our easy tips, and fast for ultimate success!