My 48 Hour Water Cleanse Challenge

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The typical modern diet includes chemicals from trace pesticides, additives and preservatives. A 48-hour water diet involves drinking only fluids to cleanse the body of toxins and quickly lose weight. 

In saying this, my aim was not to lose weight, it was to detox and refresh my body after a full trimester of consuming way too much fast food, sugary and caffeinated drinks. 

The purpose of a water diet is to cleanse your body and allow it to heal. A water diet gives your digestive system a break by eliminating solid food intake. A water fast promotes quick rebuilding of the mucosal lining of the intestines. Fasting also allows cells to eliminate waste products and neutralize dangeorous toxins.

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According to Dr. Ben Kim, a water fast diet is supposed to allow you to experience at least one or more of the following;

– Increase energy levels
– Healthier skin
– Better quality sleep
– A decrease in anxiety and tension
– Elimination of stored toxins
– Improved cardiovascular functioning
– Regulated digestive activity
– Decreased body pains.

Fasting is a powerful therapeutic process that can help people recover from mild to severe health conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, eczema, benign tumours and irritable bowel syndrome.

Research shows that digesting, assimilating and metabolising are activities that require a great deal of energy. It is estimated that 65% of the body’s energy must be directed to the digestive organs after a heavy meal. Water fasting will free up this energy and it can be diverted to healing and recuperation.

As someone who doesn’t even drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, the thought of having to survive 48 hours on only water was daunting. But, I wanted to challenge myself mentally, physically and emotionally. And let me tell you… they don’t call it a challenge for nothing.

After doing plenty of research to ensure that I was able to complete the challenge without any implications to my health, I began my preparation stage which I believe to be the most vital stage of the challenge.

*It is recommended that you speak to you doctor or local GP to discuss the water diet before you begin to ensure that you are not risking your health. Certain groups of people would not benefit from this challenge and shouldn’t undertake the task. 

The preparation stage:

For the three days leading up to the challenge I began to increasingly cut down my calorie intake by eliminating all processed foods, sugar and caffeinated drinks. I altered my diet to ensure I was eating smaller proportioned meals and lighter meals. I also focussed on eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This step was important in beginning the cleansing process of my body flushing out toxins, helping the transition to zero calorie and only water intake even easier. 

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The active stage: 

Day 1:

I decided to undertake the challenge on a weekend. Although I did work both the Saturday and the Sunday I strategically picked these days for a reason. 

I am aware that I become irritable and impatient when I am hungry. I work in retail, so I knew that this would force me to remain pleasant to be around as I had to maintain excellent customer service standards at work. The business of work was also a way to distract me from thinking about food for as long as possible and keep me away from any temptations at home. 

On Saturday I began my working day at 9.00am. I usually begin to feel hungry around midday and this day was no exception. My first tea- break at 12:00pm was a bit of a struggle. I was tempted to scoff down a quick snack and coffee before having to survive the rest of my shift. The hunger pangs and fatigue definitely began to kick in over the next two hours.

By my second break, this challenge definitely started to take an emotional and mental toll on me. I missed food. The tea room was filled with all different scents and delicious foods that people were enjoying and I had to sit there and watch, sipping on my water. 

I felt myself growing increasingly impatient at work, counting down the hours to go home and lie down and relax. I had to try hard towards the end of my shift to create the illusion that I was happy to be there and serve customers. 

I pushed through the day and although I wasn’t feeling up for a 40 minute game of basketball I still played. Luckily playing sport and exercise releases endorphins and increased my energy levels. I was feeling quite liberated. I had made it through the day. Could I push myself further and actually make it to 48 hours? 

Day 2: 

The following day was Sunday. Possibly because of my preparation, I felt quite normal and clear headed. I was no longer feeling hungry or craving any food.

I went to work again. This time I started at 12.00pm. I only began to grow hungry towards the end of my shift. I didn’t feel dizzy or light headed, but I did feel weak.

When I got home and relaxed I began to feel really lethargic. My energy levels were way down and I was wanting food more than ever. So.. I broke the fast at 7:40pm, Sunday night. 

Although I was starving and wanted to eat everything in sight, I was careful to start off with a lighter meal and smaller proportion than usual still. It is important not to binge eat after the completion of the water fast as this can often cause gastrointestinal distress.

Results: 

– Clearer skin: There was a noticeable improvement with my eczema and over all dryness on my face. 

– Better quality sleep: I’m not sure if it was because I had no energy from the lack of food, but I definitely had a solid, uninterrupted eight hours sleep both nights. 

– Absence of regular headaches: I often suffer with regular headaches. Perhaps my body was frequently dehydrated and what I really needed was to increase my water intake. Thankfully this challenge definitely limited the presence of my headaches. 

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