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This diet sounds like an interrogation tactic designed by an espionage agency, water fasting is being touted by some social media users as a strategy for losing weight and improving health.

The limited research that does exist suggests that people do often lose weight by water fasting, but these difficult diets put you at risk for potentially harmful side effects. 

Some of the claims about water fasting specifically revolve around the idea that fasting can induce autophagy, your body’s natural process of cellular cleanup and removal of damaged cells. 

There is limited evidence, often from animal studies, that short-term fasting can increase autophagy, but there’s no published research in humans demonstrating that water fasting is a safe or effective way to induce it.

What is water fasting?

Fasting itself is hardly a new idea. Humans have incorporated fasts into their lives for thousands of years, often as part of religious traditions.

In the mid-1800s, a few doctors on the fringe started experimenting with fasts for health reasons, and this continued into the 20th century, with a bit of a revival in the 1960s.

if you have any health condition, you should talk to your healthcare provider before trying any new diet. Spoiler alert: They will probably not recommend a water fast.

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