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What is Dry Fasting?

By Lindsay Pietroluongo
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Dry fasting is a type of quick detoxification of the body. This type of cleanse typically requires abstinence from all food and water. It is generally considered to be the most effective and most difficult type of fasting cleanses. Fasting is used both as a weight-loss tool and to cleanse the body of impurities. There are two types of dry fasts: rigid dry fasting and soft dry fasting.

Typically, dry fasting is not recommended for people who have never fasted before. In preparation for the fast, a person usually will fast for approximately three days on only juice. Then, he or she will fast on only water the day before starting the dry portion. For people who have never done such a fast, a person could try a few water fasts first to prepare for a dry fast. A water fast means that a person is not consuming any food or liquids other than fresh water.

A body that is going through a dry fast will dehydrate slowly. Since the whole body drastically slows down, there is minimal need for water. The body’s water level can fall to a dangerously low limit though, and this will be evident by how hydrated the skin feels. Rigid dry fasting means the body cannot be exposed to water at all, including showers, baths, and hand washing. Soft fasting means that while the body still cannot consume water, it can be exposed to water on the outside.

During a dry fast, the body’s digestive system barely needs to function since it is not receiving any nourishment. Since the body’s workload is reduced, the immune system is able to function better. This process reduces body functions more than juice or water fasts do. It completely cleanses the excretory system — the system that removes metabolic waste from the body — and can rid the body of toxins.

While some people dry fast for as long as 10 or 14 days, it usually is recommended to try this fast for just three to five days. It can also be as brief as one day. If the weather is substantially hot or dry, or if exercise is necessary, a person could attempt this fast for a shorter length of time.

While doing this kind of fast, a person typically should not perform any strenuous activities. Also, he or she should minimalize sunlight exposure. Engaging in light activity, such as walking or swimming, can rid the body of toxins quicker. If a person is feeling weak, however, it can be imperative for him or her to rest.

Urination can be painful after a couple of days on a dry fast and diarrhea usually will be prevalent. Additional negative side effects can include headaches, nausea, and joint pain. Emotions may become extreme and thoughts of food and water may be distracting, as well.

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Discussion Comments

By anon996066 — On Jul 04, 2016

Dry fasting isn't about weight loss, and this article doesn't seem to suggest that. Typical responses to fasting, both wet and dry, are usually full of myth. If you're not experienced, on a Western processed diet, and full of pharmaceuticals, of course you don't jump into dry fasting. The processed diet is toxic at best. Fasting is not.

Eat clean, practice intermittent water fasting (eating real food every other day), and consult with your doctor (who may be just as ignorant as the general/inexperienced public, fearfully telling you myths). If people knew how much fasting helps the body, doctors would lose a lot of business...and so would pharmaceutical companies).

If you're used to water fasting, and broken English, you can look up the Russian Dr. Filinov's writings on dry fasting. You may be ready for a few days of dry fasting. Or intermittent dry/water fasting. Keep notes about your before and after issues.

If you have had chemo/radiation, metabolic disorders, and special health problems, then fasting (especially dry) may not be advisable. Mainstream doctors are often caught up in 'dope' pushing (pills). It's more profitable. It's also easier than being educated and educating others about fasting and processed foods. In the US, I've seen a huge difference between dope pushing doctors and doctors who use meds as a last resort. The latter doctor is becoming harder to find.

By anon991688 — On Jul 09, 2015

Gotta love how they say "avoid washing hands" and then recommend swimming!

By Glasis — On Jan 03, 2014

There are better, more time-tested methods for losing weight than fasting. They may not be easier, but consider the negative effects a rigid fast may have on your body.

If you insist of fasting, either for weight loss or cleansing, it is imperative to talk to your doctor before fasting.

There are many even minor health issues that can be seriously exacerbated by the effects of fasting of any kind, especially in depriving your body of nutrients or water for days.

Plain and simple, we need water to survive.Shutting down your system, like the article indicates, might help, but it probably can't completely reverse the effects of severe dehydration.

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