What’s Behind the Water Diet?

Certain water diet theories include the idea that water is not only a means to hydrate the body, but depending on the temperature of the water, may accelerate the fat burning process. The theory has been proposed that drinking very cold water and chewing on ice forces the body to use energy to heat the water.

Whether or not the body burns stored fatty deposits while heating icy water is less important than the fact that the body needs fluids to cleanse itself, to provide effective elimination of waste, and to hydrate cells. It’s not merely a theory, but a fact of life, that the human organism requires large quantities of water to maintain and repair itself, to keep skin and organ tissue healthy, to fight infection and disease, and to keep the circulatory, lymphatic, renal, bladder and bowel systems functioning.

Eating your Water

In his book “The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger”, Dr Howard Murad advocates the powerful effects of hydration – in other words drinking and eating water. Eating water? Yes. However when he refers to “eating your water” he’s not necessarily talking about chewing on ice in order to force the body to heat it and thereby lose more weight, but eating high water content vegetables and fruits that are full of water. Yes, eating water by consuming vegetables and fruits is the best water diet available.

Dr Murad also talks about an 80/20 rule. He says that the outer part of our bodies, such as the skin, is 20% of us and therefore can be treated with topical products that can help with hydration, the other 80% is inside and requires treatment based on what we eat and drink.

From time to time we can super-hydrate ourselves by fasting and cleansing, imbibing nothing but pure water for a few days and detoxing, but everyday we can be on a water diet by eating watermelon, cucumber, celery, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes and a whole range of water intensive fresh vegetables and fruits. Although Dr Murad’s book may not contain a revolutionary diet plan that gets mass attention, it offers a needful reminder that we forget to use common sense when choosing how we eat. Eating dead, dry, pre-packaged and processed foods is not the way to health or a youthful appearance.

If we’re willing to spend hundreds of dollars on beauty aids and skin care products, and even more on dietary aids, weight loss solutions, vitamins and supplements to boost our energy, perhaps it’s about time we return to the basics – water, hydration, vegetables and fruit – simple things.

What about fasting? Is a pure water diet a way to lose weight and feel rejuvenated? What about heightened sensory perceptions that are linked to fasting and meditation or prayer and fasting techniques?

For centuries, in different cultures around the world, “prayer and fasting” or “fasting and meditation” have been linked together, used as an aid to heighten spiritual awareness. Due to the religious or spiritual element that has been associated with a water diet, the purely physical benefits (which are part of a real chemical / biological process) are often clouded by less than scientific ideologies, wishful thinking and preconceived ideas about supernatural or other-world experiences. Many books that teach fasting or water diet methods are tainted with religious/ spiritual bias about how to fast and reach god or obtain a heightened spiritual state. However, it’s interesting to note that many individuals who promote fasting for spiritual purposes say that when a person fasts, the spirit becomes “uncluttered” and is therefore more “sensitive”. This is supported by studying the body’s chemistry during a fast which explains why and how these “sensitive” or “uncluttered” conditions are created and why the mind may perceive them to be a form of spiritual awareness, closeness to god or enlightenment. Let’s take a closer look at what happens to the body during a fast or water diet.

The Chemical / Biological Process Behind Fasting

Part 1. The first and second days of a fast, where food is replaced by a pure water diet, are difficult because blood sugar levels begin to drop, the body begins to reduce its metabolic rate and cellular activity (interaction) is reduced to a state of rest in order to conserve energy. The heart rate slows down, blood pressure lowers and therefore there’s less oxygen going to the brain. The decrease in blood sugar levels and oxygen explain the spiritual states that are often felt. However, the body benefits overall because it rests from digestion and is therefore able to apply it’s energy to tackle problems it’s put off. If the water diet continues long enough, the body will begin healing areas that may have been sick or are currently in need of attention, as well as eliminating fat and toxins, initially obvious through expelled odors from the breath, a coated tongue, and an increase in elimination of accumulated waste matter in the colon.

Part 2. During a fast or water diet, the body attempts to repair and heal damaged areas, and therefore weak spots may reappear, pimples / boils may break out, rashes may reoccur, or fractures in bones or muscular regions or tendons that were previously damaged may ache or feel sore and painful. Why? The body may attempt to repair too much, as well as detoxify the liver, bladder, colon, lymphatic glands and tissue of waste and build-up and this may cause an initial heightening of toxicity and a reliving of pains and aches. While this discomfort and even painful process may help to heal and be beneficial overall, it can be too much, too fast in some people who have serious health problems or are simply too toxic and too weak to do it all at once with a pure water diet. Since it can require twenty or more days to eliminate mucus and build-up and obtain benefits of a water detoxification therapy it may be contraindicated for certain people.

Who Should NOT Start a Water Diet

Individuals who are severely overweight and therefore quite toxic, have never cleansed with juice, elderberry, lemon or apple cider vinegar, or have not lead a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and suspect they could have heavy metal and a lot of chemical toxins in their system should start cleansing slowly with a gentle vegetable juice diet, or do a water diet cleanse under supervision or at a professional body cleansing center. Please note that diabetics should NOT do a water cleanse, and any kind of juice diet or detoxification program will require professional supervision.

Alternatives to a Water ONLY Cleansing Program

To learn more about how to start a juice diet, how to choose a juice extractor and begin creating juicer recipes to detoxify the body, please consult posts dedicated to these topics. You’ll find ideas on body cleansing using elderberry and water as well as some unique suggestions for cleanse diet programs that can be done abroad while on a holiday in order to relieve stress and lose weight in 2 weeks or less. Many people find that instead of doing a water only cleanse, they prefer to use natural slimming tea preparations such as green tea or fruit infusions, and many choose to cleanse while still eating. This can be done effectively by incorporating high water content low calorie foods and raw vegetables (some that are listed as negative calorie foods) into a healthier way of eating everyday.

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About the editor

Nena Argent, editorial director of EbT magazine since 2009, oversees online editorial content in English and Spanish. She joined EbT after ten years as an investigative journalist in Asia where she researched oriental health, nutrition and beauty treatments. Now based in Europe, she reports on the latest beauty trends, health issues, high-tech medical advancements and state-of-the-art cosmetic procedures from around the world.

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The info in this site doesn't replace consulting with a dermatologist, micropigmentation expert, plastic surgeon or nutritionist prior to undergoing a dietary change or a cosmetic/surgical procedure.