72 Hour Fast Weight Loss Results: The Surprising Before and After
Explore the astonishing transformations with 72 hour fast weight loss results. Discover before and after insights to jumpstart your journey.
Intermittent fasting approaches like the 72 hour fast have become hugely popular for weight loss in recent years. But what kind of results can you realistically expect to see on the scale after a 72 hour fast?
This article reveals the typical weight loss results from a 72 hour fast, including surprising before and after examples, averages to expect, health considerations, and tips to maximize your fasting success.
Average 72 Hour Fast Weight Loss Results
On average, most people can expect to lose around 2-5 pounds after completing a 72 hour fast, depending on starting weight and other factors. However, keep in mind that weight loss results can vary widely.
Here’s an overview of typical weight loss results from 72 hour fasting:
- 2-3 pounds for petite women and men under 150 pounds
- 3-5 pounds for average-size men and women 150-180 pounds
- 5-7 pounds for larger men over 200 pounds
These averages assume you’re consuming only water, black coffee, and zero-calorie beverages during the 72 hour period. Consuming any calories will reduce weight loss.
Now let’s look at some real-life examples of shocking before and after 72 hour fast weight loss results.
72 Hour Fast Before and After Weight Loss Examples
People are often surprised at how quickly weight drops off during an extended 72 hour fast. For example:
- Woman A lost 4.8 pounds after her first-ever 72-hour fast
- Man B lost 6 pounds on his fifth 72-hour fast
- Woman C lost 3 pounds during her 72-hour fast
As you can see, results can vary substantially. However, losing 2-6 pounds over a 3-day fast is very typical.
Let’s explore some factors that influence weight loss from 72 hour fasting.
Factors That Impact 72 Hour Fast Weight Loss Results
Several key factors determine how much weight you’ll lose during 3 days of fasting, including:
- Starting weight – Heavier people tend to lose more pounds.
- Gender – Men often lose weight faster than women.
- Hydration – Well-hydrated bodies retain less water weight.
- Activity level – Active people have higher calorie needs.
- Calorie intake – Consuming zero calories optimizes weight loss.
This explains why two people can have very different 72 hour fast results. A 300-pound man has more weight to lose than a 120-pound woman.
Is Losing 2-7 Pounds in 72 Hours Safe?
Losing a few pounds over a 72 hour fast is safe for most healthy adults. However, there are some considerations:
- Consult your doctor before fasting if you have diabetes, take medications, are underweight or have other health conditions.
- Take an electrolyte supplement to reduce dehydration symptoms like fatigue and headaches.
- Break your fast if you feel unwell – dizziness, nausea, etc. Hunger and crankiness are normal.
- Don’t exercise intensely during the fast as low energy intake raises injury risk.
- Don’t continue repeated long fasts unless you have weight to lose.
As long as you take precautions, fasting for 72 hours 1-2 times per year is unlikely to have adverse effects in healthy individuals. Just don’t view it as a quick fix for the long term.
How to Maximize 72 Hour Fast Weight Loss Results
To optimize temporary weight loss during a 72 hour fast, follow these tips:
- Start with a low-carb diet – Depleting glycogen stores brings faster water weight drops.
- Exercise lightly Light walking or yoga accelerates loss without feeling depleted.
- Stay very hydrated – Aiming for a full gallon (128 oz) minimizes water retention.
- Avoid caloric drinks – Beverages with calories/sweeteners blunt results.
- Supplement electrolytes – Prevent headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Plan rest – Fasting can lower energy levels, so rest when needed.
The 72 hour mark is also where autophagy may begin providing cellular renewal benefits.
In summary, aiming for a 72 hour fast 1-2 times per year can produce notable short-term weight loss of a few pounds while avoiding most downsides associated with more extreme fasting. Approach fasting as part of a balanced, sustainable diet, not a quick fix.
Part 2: Additional Details and Facts on 72 Hour Fasting
Extended fasting continues to gain popularity thanks to new research on potential anti-aging effects like autophagy. Here’s a deeper look at the science and health aspects of 72-hour fasting:
Autophagy Ramps Up After 72 Hours
Autophagy is the process of cellular cleanup and renewal. Preliminary research shows it may ramp up after 72 hours of fasting. This helps remove waste material from cells.
Metabolic Rate Only Slows ~8%
Some fear a drastic “starvation mode” slow down during fasting. However, studies show resting metabolic rate only drops around 8% compared to baseline calorie needs after 3 days of fasting. A small, temporary reduction.
Fasting May Support Immune Function
Fasting Doesn’t Cause Permanent Muscle Loss
Total protein breakdown increases during fasting, but research shows muscle returns to baseline after eating resumes. Use fasting sparingly to avoid overstressing muscles.
Cardiovascular Markers Improve
Studies note that extended fasting may improve blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol markers, and other cardiovascular risk factors when combined with a healthy diet.
Blood Sugar & Insulin Drop Rapidly
Fasting rapidly lowers blood glucose levels and enhances insulin sensitivity. This provides a break if following a diabetic or carb-heavy diet.
Cancer Applications Are Promising
Early research indicates fasting may help fight cancer or improve tolerance to treatments. This is an emerging area needing more quality clinical trials.
Addressing Common Myths and Questions About 72 Hour Fasting
There are many myths and questions surrounding 72 hour fasting. Here are science-based answers to common fasting concerns:
Myth: Extended fasting will put your body in starvation mode
- Fact: As described earlier, research shows only minor (8%) reductions in resting metabolic rate after 72 hours of fasting. Your body isn’t “starving” yet.
Myth: Fasting causes muscle wasting
- Fact: Some protein is broken down but muscle returns to baseline after reseeding. Use fasting sparingly to minimize any potential muscle loss.
Myth: Fasting will make you lose 10+ pounds quickly
- Fact: Losing 5+ pounds of actual body fat in 3 days is unrealistic. Most weight lost is water weight and food bulk that will return after eating.
Myth: Fasting for 72 hours is extremely dangerous
- Fact: Fasting for this duration is safe for most healthy adults. Speak to your doctor if you have any medical condition or take prescription medications before fasting.
Question: Will this help me break a weight loss plateau?
- Answer: Possibly! Fasting provides a caloric deficit that can help break a plateau. However, most weight loss is temporary water weight.
Question: How often can I do a 72 hour fast safely?
- Answer: Limit extended fasting to 1-2 times per year for general wellness and longevity purposes. Doing them too frequently risks muscle loss.
In Conclusion: A 72 Hour Fast Can Produce Notable Weight Loss
While not a long-term solution for fat loss on its own, committing to a temporary 72 hour fast 1-2 times per year can produce notable short-term weight loss of a few pounds. This can break through frustrating plateaus when combined with a healthy whole food diet and active lifestyle long term.
To maximize health, always speak to your physician before fasting and take precautions during your fast like staying hydrated and supplementing electrolytes. 72 Hour Fast Weight Loss Results, avoid fasting if you are underweight or have underlying medical conditions. Have you tried a 72-hour water fast? Share your experience and before and after results in the comments!