January Water Fast – Day 1

January Water Fast - Day 1

One quart of water down and 7 to go! Today starts my January Water Fast and I’ve set a goal to drink 2 gallons of water today to help kick-start my body’s detox & healing. (I’m not aiming to drink 2 gallons ever day during my fast , just today and maybe tomorrow)

I’m doing a complete/therapeutic fast – basically consuming only water for the duration of the fast. First thing in the morning I’ll have a squeeze of fresh lemon in warm water, drink as much room temperature, filtered tap water as I want, up to 1 liter of mineral water and cup of organic chamomile herbal tea before bed.

Any Supplements? I will take magnesium at night to help keep things moving in the first week and to help me sleep, as needed

How Long am I Fasting? Honestly, I don’t know. Somewhere between 14 and 40 days. One of the most important factors to fasting is listening to your body and stopping when necessary.  I have done several extended fasts previously (45 day juice fasts, 30 day bone broth fasts and 10 day water fasts) so I’m not worried about the mental commitment.

Why am I Fasting? To allow my body a break from digestion so that it can heal –Specifically addressing my Insulin Resistance and regulate my Blood Glucose. And of course, the process will obviously encourage weight loss. I am also looking forward to seeing how fasting impacts my Vitiligo (under right arm, right elbow and right wrist)

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  1. I’ve had paralyzing anxiety and depression. Other than the weight loss benefit, is it possible it will help with the mental issues?

  2. Hi Hayley.

    Your experiences and information about fasting is so helpful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing. I have done a few fasts such as the Master Cleanse which includes the salt water flush or laxative tea for elimination during the liquid fast. What do you recommend for this purpose during the water fast? Is it the magnesium at night? I know it helps relax the muscles but it can also cause a laxative effect. It was stressed on that cleanse the importance of moving the bowels to help rid the body of toxins during the fast. What do you think is the best thing for that purpose? Thank you! Sonja

    1. your body NATURALLY detoxifies and continues elimination while fasting as long as there is food in your system… the magnesium is ONLY for sleep but can help with elimination during the first few days for some who are magnesium deficient.

      YOU will not continue going #2 during the whole fast and using laxatives to force it to do so can cause severe dehydration.

  3. Hi Hayley, is there a formula that you use according to how much water intake you consume while on your seven day fast? I’m 6’2, 240lbs. Just curious because I’m not sure if it’s possible to over-hydrate from consuming too much or dehydrate from lack of consumption. Thanks!

    1. Nope. Not magic formula, as long as you are drinking 90% water, strictly limiting coffee, tea, sparkling water you don’t have to worry. Drink what you need to feel good.

  4. Hi Hayley, thanks for sharing. Did the magnesium help you sleep? My biggest issue with fasting has always been trying to sleep on an empty stomach.

  5. Wait are you telling me you had no food at all for 7 days? I was thinking like at night for dinner you had a small meal or something. But ONLY water? Please don’t think I’m judging you I’m just trying to confirm that that is what you’re saying lol.

  6. This is really awesome and something I am keen to try. I’ve got aches and pains and I eat a terrible diet. Hoping a water fast might reset the system and also help me lose some excess weight. You mentioned that you squeezed lemon in your water. That didn’t break your fast?

    1. Jesse – don’t get hung up on extremely minor things. It’s about the big picture. A squeeze of lemon was totally acceptable to me, for my fast.

  7. Thank you so much for this article..I am going to start off doing a 72hour fast and then Monday start the full 7 days. I can’t wait to report back on my results.

  8. Interesting. I read this a while back and I’m trying it (finally). I had a baby almost a year ago and I’ve seriously struggled with weight loss. I lost 20 lbs immediately after giving birth, and that’s existing almost solely on Girl Scout cookies (which I craved like no other). Started pumping and everything came back. Been to the doctor after doing low carb and keto for a few months and they said to come back later.
    It’s been almost a year. I’m over it and I’m a teacher on Christmas break, so nothing to do and nowhere to go. I started this today. Day 1 is almost complete. We’ll see how Day 2 goes.

  9. This was a great story!!! I fasted for 5 days and lost 17 pounds. The 2nd day was the best I ever felt. I think people swear the know everyone’s body, they don’t. I have to do it for my career but the crazy thing is this time I was ready for the mental fight. They cant find anything wrong with me but it seems these are the only ways to do it. Thank you I am going to try and do my fast again!

  10. Hi Hayley,
    It is regarding vitiligo. I have vitiligo it was stable, now it started progressing on my fingers and wrists. I went for water fasting and gluten free diet in 2016 for two months, it helped me wieght control and my uric acid level.
    I am taking seven seas multivitamin,vitamin d3 tablet, vitamin b complex.
    Yesterday I started water fasting. After three days I want to go for AIP diet that is no to grains,night shade vegetables,nuts.
    Will it help me,?
    How is your vitiligo condition after going to paleo diet and no grains.
    Please inform me about vitamins I have to take. Your valuable opinion matters to me.
    In paleo diet what are the foods I have to take any food to avoid.

    1. You are detoxing and switching to being fueld on fat instead of sugar. I can’t stress enough to read my FAQ and all suggested books.

    1. You are detoxing and switching to being fueld on fat instead of sugar. I can’t stress enough to read my FAQ and all suggested books.

  11. Hi! I was also wondering how you lost 8 pounds when you first started. If you don’t mind me asking, what was your starting weight for that fasting session? I’m 214 and we’re going to the beach next week and I’ve been losing but not as fast as I’d like! I’m wondering if this fast would be helpful for me to fight my cravings as I also have BED. Thanks in advance.

    1. I’m not sure what BED is, so I can’t offer suggestions for it.. I lost 8 pounds when I first started by water fasting, there’s no gimmick or tricks. I’ve very openly talked about my weight and my opposition to sharing my weight because it’s not relevant. I am 5’4″ tall, very curvy in nature. I started my journey as a size 14. Many people can weight the same but look very differently, think that using a size is much easier to correlate.

  12. Were you peeing around the clock with the 2 gallons? I tried to get up to one but was on the potty all day long.

    I am only seeing 1.5 lbs at most per day with my week fast. It seems like everyone is having more loss per day than I am. Ideas?

    Also wondering if you measured your ketones throughout the fasting process?

    Thanks for sharing this! Different things work for different people. Whatever helps you to achieve a healthy, happy weight and lifestyle!

    1. My normal water intake is roughly 1 gallon, I drank more initially while fasting to adapt. I don’t pee more than normal – I did measure my ketone whiles fasting and achieved very deep ketosis.

    2. Add Himalayan sea salt to your water, just a bit, after a few days you won’t have the need to urinate all day long anymore. I’ve done this several times, yes, it really works.

  13. Hi, im 19 yrs old and I weigh, at least, last time I checked, is 137 lbs(pounds). I also wish to lose those 20 pounds. how would you recommend me I go about this? this will be my first time fasting to be honest, and im not sure what to do to lose this many in one week or two. Help?pls?

  14. Ok but after you’ve done the one week fasting and I guess then u start to eat normally again won’t u gain the weight back?

    1. If you ate an unhealthy diet, fasted, then ate unhealthy .. of course. I’ve maintained 80% if my fasting weight loss by eating a healthy post fast.

  15. hi I am a 16 year old girl and I weigh 120 pounds but I am only 4’11 and I am thinking about doing fasting for a week how much weight is a good amount to lose with a week of fasting?

  16. How in the heck does someone not eat something for 7 days. Did you still go to work? I am cranky in the morning when I haven’t had breakfast, let alone all day, plus seven more! I have no idea how people do that. How can you NOT eat?

    1. Lauren – I understand where you are coming from, unfortunately too often people aren’t ready to jump into fasting. Their bodies will need to adjust. Start by reading the books I recommend.

  17. Thank you for your reply Hayley!! I do love to work out and it also serves as a distraction. I feel like embarking on this without that distraction will make me fall short because I will be thinking about food so much. In addition to Zumba, I do weight lifting and some cardio on alternative weeks but I have plateaued with my weight and I need to break that plateau, which is what is making me consider the detox….

  18. can you exercise while on this water fast? I am looking at doing a 3 day water fast: Fri – Sun, but i do have zumba every day of the week, and i did not want to give that up because of the fast. What would you recommend?

    1. Fasting and exercise is a personal decision.. generally speaking it’s totally OK to continue all normal daily activity as long as you listen to your body, taking it easy to stopping exercise if it feels too strenuous.

      However, I do have to ask, why would it be so bothersome to miss Zumba to allow your body to calmly detoxify for just 3 days??

  19. I seem to only make it till the fourth day. I am trying again. Day one. Thank you for your inspiration

  20. Are you supposed to exercise during the seven-day water fast?????
    And how much fat did you lose in the seven days

    1. This is an old post. I’m currently fasting again, we fast for at least 2 weekend every January.

      This past 7 days I lost 17 pounds

      When fasting I recommend maintaining your normal exercise routine but don’t add new exercise

  21. Hello, I have a neurological disease I’m told there is no treatment for. After years of suffering I found the Keto diet & gave it a try. In 6 weeks I started to feel better for the first time since this mess started. Temp stopped & within a week felt awful again. My disease have affected my bowels severely & digestion causes me extreme pain. I’m convinced inflammation, eating grains, etc are the major problem. Do you think a water fast could help from the research you’ve done?

    1. Hey Melissa – First of all kudos to you for taking your health into your own hands. We lost my hubby’s dad to an undiagnosed neurological condition (most likely spin-o-ceballar ataxia family) and wish I knew then what I know now. Despite my begging his diet was not modified but today, I would certainly have had him fast for no less than 2 weeks then follow a strict paleo/keto diet for a minimum of 6 months.

      Here’s my thoughts “what it if works” — don’t wait to find out. I”m here to support you 100% please feel free to email me directly, hayley@healthstartsinthekitchen.com I’m more than glad to support you in any way I can.

    1. Razia – I’m so sorry that you’re going through a rough patch in your marriage, if your spouse is pressuring you or saying that you MUST loose weight or else they may leave – I would reconsider my relationship with them. Love is unconditional. I am always here for you if you need to talk. Best of luck.

  22. Thks for this information I’m gonna start my water fast in the morning and go til next Thursday
    Wish me grt luck. With God’s help I know I’ll be just fine.

  23. Hi, I appreciate your post.
    I have a stomach ulcer (Gastric), can I still ho ahead with the fast.
    Would it prop up ulcer pains during the course of the fast week.
    Thank you.

    1. Like with most fasting questions there are not absolute answers. Some say it’s great, some say it’s awful. In my thought process it would give your body a welcomed break from digestion and allow it to potentially heal – I’m not a doctor just sharing my theory.

      1. I want to this I did a spiritual fast not too long ago now I did not even focus on my weight but I lost 13 pounds for 7 days I started drinking water but water taste disgusting.Reading your post I believe it I am going to try I won’t call it a Fast cause my focus will not be spending time with God . I will call it healing my body lol but I exercise 4 or 5 times a week I was too week to exercise . I am starting and I cannot wait to see the result

        1. To fast means to go without food. To spiritualized a fast is wonderful but to go without food no matter the reaso is still called a fast.

    2. Have you seen a doctor? Most gastric ulcers are caused by H. pylori, which is treatable.

      If you’re overproducing acid, fasting may worsen that issue, so I’d both take a PPI and listen to your body. If you’re getting raging heartburn midfast, stop doing it.

      But make sure you check for that critter. It’s amazing how years of misery can be ended with a few weeks of antibiotics.

    1. My diet keeps my vitiligo stable, it’s hard to see a difference in such a short period of time. If you are wanting to halt the progression of vitiligo, I recommend a paleo or primal way of eating.

  24. Hi there, great post! Quick question, since there’s a few different types of magnesium, which one did you take during fast? Thanks. ☺

    1. A bone broth fast, much like a juice fast is just another type of fasting – that is not as effective as water fasting.

  25. Thank you for your candid post on this topic! I appreciated the honesty you placed into it.. it also gave me the courage to try this!!! Most of all I loved how you warned the “negative people” ahead of time!! 🙂
    I’m at the end of my first day and so far so good!!
    I love your site!!

  26. Hi, I just got vitiligo on my chin. It’s very embarassing as you can imagine. I decided to take on the challenge of a 21 day fast. Has this helped you? I’m 41 and I just moved to Los Angeles. It”s been a stressful move and I heard stress can actually be the reason not diet necessarily. So, I’m curious when your vitiligo came on if you were under any kind of stress. Please email me.

    1. Mine “happened” when I was writing my first cookbook – which was definitely stressful – however Stress can come in many different way, if you are eating foods that are inflammatory to your body that creates internal stress as well. It’s not acute stress (temporary) it’s chronic-long term stress that is related to ill health. Eliminating both forms of stress (internal and emotional) is essential. Along with diet, rest, exercise and at times supplementation are all essential aspects to be addressed.

      Water fasting helps for sure, but it’s just a temporary aspect of health what’s more important is what you do after the fast. Treat it as a catalyst to an ongoing healthy lifestyle.

      1. Starting to see small patches of skin that are lighter then those places of my body…what should i do….doea fasting and exercise help

        1. exercise is irrelevant to the vitiligo treatment. Extended fasts can help, my vitiligo has not been increasing for several years and is consistently repigmenting. Eliminating all grains is what stopped my progression, roughly 3 years and eating a nutrition dense diet full of probiotic foods, bone broth and high quality fats/proteins. Extended fasts are a great kick start to help the body stop it’s inflammation.

  27. I’ve done countless hours of research on vitiligo as I too have it on the genitals (very small patch). Gluten free diet, bone broth fast of 3 days to heal the gut, liver, bermagot oil and sunlight, are a few I have found to carry the most evidence in stimulating new melanocyte activity where the immune system has attacked, although I could probably name 50. Have you noticed any improvement since you first were diagnosed?

    1. My vitiligo came on in about 3 months of time, with rapid discoloration. Since the diagnosis I (was already gluten free and eating a clean, organic, high quality diet) removed all grains and the progressions halted immediately. Over the next 6 months to a year it began slowly repigmenting… it’s slowly healing.

    2. Are you allowed to drink coffee or just water I’ve been fasting for three days and only lost a pound a day

      1. Gina – have you consumed ANYTHING other than water? supplements, snacks, gum, etc? Many folks enjoy a cup or 2 of black coffee/herbal tea during fasting. What is your body fat percentage? Are you moving your bowels daily?


    1. Rosy – thanks for your concern but no need to worry. up to 2 gallons of water isn’t an excessive amount and my body is well stocked and prepared for fasting.

      1. So, you aren;t consuming any solids? As in, you are consuming only water-based liquids? You’re not eating anything else for the next 40 days?

          1. Congratulations on your published success Hayley!

            At age 32 I began water fasting for at least 14- 30-40 days every 6-8 months. At age 34 I was blessed with a beautiful pregnancy and daughter. With uterine cancer and a long family history of cancer , I was at the end of my rope and water fasting was so miraculous , I keep fasting still at age 45.!
            My skin is glowing. My blood sugar stays regular ,& my body is lean and healthy.
            Reading your blog is an inspiration and I wish you all the best. As long as there’s water, I feel abundantly blessed.

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