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Groundbreaking Research Reveals How a 7-Day Fast Impacts the Body and Leads to Massive Weight Loss

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Revealed: How a 7-Day Water Fast Impacts the Body and Leads to Massive Weight Loss

By Brooke Kato

Published on March 2, 2024, 12:06 p.m. ET

Image credit: undrey – stock.adobe.com

Groundbreaking research has recently uncovered the remarkable effects of a seven-day water fast on the human body. The study, published in the Nature Metabolism journal, reveals not only significant weight loss but also several positive changes in bodily functions and protein levels.

The Findings

The study, conducted by researchers from Queen Mary University of London’s Precision Healthcare University Research Institute and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, monitored 12 volunteers during a week-long water fast. The volunteers were kept under supervision and could only consume water.

The researchers observed that within the first 72 hours of the experiment, the participants’ bodies transitioned from using caloric intake to using stored fat as a source of energy. As a result, they lost an average of 12.5 pounds, which included both fat and lean mass.

However, while the lost lean mass was restored after the participants started eating again post-fast, the fat mass remained unchanged. This finding suggests that fasting, when done safely, can be an effective weight loss intervention.

Protein Level Changes and Organ Function

Additionally, the study found that protein levels changed in various organs throughout the body. Notably, there were changes in the proteins related to neuron structures in the brain. This offers insight into the molecular-level effects of fasting and provides a possible explanation for why fasting has been used for certain conditions.

Health Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

Study author Claudia Langenberg, the director of Queen Mary’s Precision Health University Research Institute, highlights the broader health benefits of fasting beyond weight loss. The study demonstrates that fasting can lead to whole-body protein-level changes that improve the functioning of certain organs, including the supportive structure for neurons in the brain. These benefits were observed after at least three days of fasting, which is later than previously thought.

Nevertheless, Langenberg emphasizes that fasting might not be suitable for individuals in ill health. However, the research points to the potential use of fasting for developing treatments in certain cases.

Intermittent Fasting and Other Health Outcomes

This study adds to the growing body of research supporting the health benefits of fasting. Diets that integrate fasting, such as intermittent fasting, have been associated with various positive health outcomes apart from weight loss. These outcomes include reducing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, reversing aging signs, and promoting autophagy—a process through which cells recycle themselves for rejuvenation.

It is important to note that while some studies have linked intermittent fasting with negative effects such as a higher risk of death, Type 2 diabetes, and fertility problems, fasting can still offer several health benefits if done in a safe and controlled manner.


Overall, this groundbreaking research sheds light on the metabolic changes that occur during a seven-day water fast. The findings reveal the effectiveness of fasting as a weight loss method and uncover several positive changes in protein levels that improve the functioning of certain organs. While fasting should be approached with caution, its health benefits go beyond weight loss. As further research is conducted, fasting and its potential applications in medical treatment may become more widely understood.

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