Video FAQ’s

Is water fasting safe?

Many people are convinced that water fasting must be dangerous. Unfortunately, this is mostly based on fear, misinformation, and only a minimal number of actual cases. This video takes a look at all the facts, in order to help you decide whether water fasting might be for you.


Can I work during a water fast?

This video addresses the potential problems of continuing your job as usual during a water fast, and covers (1) what to expect and (2) what to do about it.


Should I fast to lose weight?

Many people consider using a water fast to lose weight. Unfortunately this often ends in failure, and sometimes even leads to weight gain afterwards. This video takes a look at the issues you should think about before beginning such a fast.


Working out and exercise during a fast: is it safe?

A lot of people who exercise or work out in everyday life consider doing the same while water fasting. If you’re thinking about it too, watch this video first – before you damage your body in the process!


How are water fasts different from juice fasts?

This video takes a look at how water fasts are different from juice fasts, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Does healing continue after a fast?

This video looks at the way that the healing initiated during a water fast can actually continue long after the fast ends.


Water fasts versus dry fasts: how are they different in terms of detox, cleansing and healing?

Water fasts and dry fasts work differently on the body, so understanding the reasons why you’re fasting can help you to decide which kind of fast is best for you.

I’ll be adding more video FAQ’s to this page over the next few months. Stay tuned!

30 Comments

  1. Jim says

    Hi there. Have you come across any info or experience that fasting may reduce the inflammation and pain which comes from Bursitis? I would like to be able to play tennis again, but I have had pain in my hip and diagnosed with bursa inflammation, going on 6 months now. What length of fast would you recommend. My BMI is 20.2 at 5’10”, am I too think to conduct a water fast, and would 7 days heal me?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks for writing. I haven’t had any clients who have fasted specifically to heal bursitis, but, given the nature of the issue, a longer fast should definitely help. I suspect you’d need longer than 7 days to elicit a permanent improvement, but it will depend on the severity of the inflammation, the length of time you’ve suffered from it, as well as whether there are any signs of underlying inflammation elsewhere in the body. Like the vast majority of people in the modern world, you definitely have the fast reserves to fast for longer than 7 days!
      All the best,
      Tallis

  2. Evelyne says

    Hi Tallis,
    Thank you so much for the reply, it helped me a lot! I did the c flush because I always heared that you have to empty your bowels at the start of a fast to not reabsorb toxins. No specific sympoms that made me think so. I just finished the 7 days and I have to say I did have symptoms of extrem weakness and tummy irritation but did let go of the idea of a second flush after reading your words. Yes you were right, it was the mind telling to do it but when I listened carefully inside, my body absolutely didn’t like the idea.
    Still, what do you think about the reabsorbtion of mobilized toxins if there is no bowlemovement for the entire time of the 7 day waterfast?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi again Evelyne,
      The best way to prepare before a fast is with a good dietary transition involving lots of fruits and vegetables. The high fibre content will help to clean out the intestines so you fully eliminate before your digestion shuts down a few days into the fast. Even if your digestion does shut down with some food still in it, the bowels are perfectly capable of reawakening to eliminate if necessary. Occasional bowel movements are perfectly normal even several weeks into an extended fast of toxins build up excessively. It’s also perfectly normal not to have any bowel movements at all! It all depends on the individual person and the individual fast.
      Tallis

  3. Krisztina says

    Hi there,

    You have inspired me and definitely feeling more confident in water fast, knowing that i do good for my body. I have done 3/5/7 days water fast several times and i find it ‘easy’ to do. Hardly experience any negative ‘side effects’. Could i please have a question? Is it safe to fly when I am in my 7th day water fast and wanna continue to day 10-14?
    It would be London-Budapest distance.

    Thank you if you answer on my question.

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Kedves Krisztina!

      Köszönöm a kérdésedet. (Just showing off with a little Hungarian ;-). Yes, it’s definitely safe to fly on Day 7 of a water fast. There are a couple of considerations to keep in mind, though. It’s important to make sure you stay hydrated while flying, since your only source of fluid is what you’re drinking (as opposed to the fluids in food too). Also, oxygen levels are usually lower in a plane, so if you’re experiencing low energies from the fast, these will probably be further exacerbated while flying – and all the more so if a face mask is impeding air flow into your lungs.
      Long periods of standing in queues before boarding can also be difficult for some people while fasting.

      Egyébként jó utat!
      Tallis

      • Krisztina says

        Koszonom szepen a valaszod! 🙂

        I have typed in a replay but i think I have lost it so I try again. I think the standing part would be fine for me, i would just worry if anything could go wrong health wise in the air.
        Also i had an other thought in my mind. Usually when i am at day 7, my tongue goes so white. I remember the very first time I thought it is a bad sign and I broke my water fast even i felt AMAZING on the 7th day. I felt I could continue. Is this sign normal during fast?
        An other thought in my mind is bone broth. I think i haven’t seen you mentioning it in your routine . I always brake my fast with bone broth, sourkraut, steamed spinach. Is it not a good way to do?

        Koszonom megegyszer es elnezest hogy nem egy kommentben foglaltam ossze a kerdeseim.

        Krisztina

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Hi again Krisztina,
          The white tongue is a universal symptom of detox, so it’s definitely a good sign that your body is working!
          Bone broth can be fine, but you need to be careful that it doesn’t include salt. Reintroducing salt too soon usually leads to excessive water retention and inflammation. This is why sauerkraut (which usually contains a lot of salt) can also be problematic when reintroduced too soon.
          Tallis

          • Krisztina says

            Thank you Tallis. I have just bought your ‘how to break any fast’ item. 🙂

  4. Austin Elliott says

    Hey, my wife and I are wanting to do a 40 day water only fast. What’s the best way to prepare physically for this fast? Example; should we be taking supplements beforehand? Should we be eating specific things before we begin the fast?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Austin,

      Thanks for writing. If you’ve been eating healthily, there’s no need for supplements – after all, people have been fasting since long before the age of supplements and pills! In terms of eating specific foods, the main issue is simply trying to lighten up your diet beforehand, so that you’re avoiding (1) acid-forming foods, (2) foods which require a lot of energy to digest and (3) foods which get sticky in the GI tract.

      Whatever you do physically to prepare for a 40-day fast, though, much more important is to prepare psychologically! This is a journey which takes most people to breaking point – not because of food deprivation – but because it strips away all the layers in everyday life that you’ve been using as a crutch. It’s about finding the right balance within yourself between strength and sensitivity.

      All the best,
      Tallis

  5. Mert Yilmaz says

    Hello Tallks,

    I am 21 yeara old and have been struggling with irritable bowel syndrome and excessive bloating for months. I have done 3 days of water fasting and my symptoms didn’t go away. So, how long do you think should i fast to relieve my ibs?

    I will fast for 4 to 5 days again, anyways.

    Tallis, do you know anybody who relieved IBS by fasting? Or can IBS be solved less than six or seven days of fasting?

    Thanks.

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Mert,

      Fasting is about the most effective thing you can do to heal from IBS. I’ve coached countless clients over the years who have healed from it: either as their primary aim, or as a secondary benefit of fasting in order to heal another chronic health issue.

      Unfortunately, though, 3 days isn’t going to be enough to have much effect. You’d need a minimum of about 7 days to start noticing any difference. It really depends on the severity of your case. If you’re lucky, a couple of 7-day fasts might be enough. In cases where the client has suffered from severe IBS for years, it can take upwards of a month or so to reach a full healing. I know this may sound like a very long time (and it’s one reason why people reach out to me for coaching), but it’s a small price to pay for better health over the long term!

      All the best,
      Tallis

      • Mert Yilmaz says

        Days ago, i just finished my 4 day long water fasting and my ibs symtoms have just gone down a little bit.

        I will try a 7 day long fasting in near future. Let see if my ibs will go away after this long water fasting.

        Anyway, thanks for the info you share online, Tallis.

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          That’s really positive that after only 4 days you experienced an improvement to your IBS symptoms! I still wouldn’t expect a full healing after 7 days, but the chances are very good that you’ll heal much more deeply over a whole week.
          Fingers crossed and all the best,
          Tallis

          • mert yilmaz says

            I did 7 days fasting and as you said My ibs was not cured. I’ll do 14 days in the near future.

            • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

              Hi Mert,
              Please don’t feel that the 7 days were a waste of time. Even if they didn’t heal your IBS, they will have reduced your overall toxic load, which will allow your next fast to focus more quickly and efficiently on underlying health issues, such as IBS. If you’re fasting to heal a condition which usually relates to chronic stress (such as IBS), it’s also important to make sure that the circumstances in your life which caused the illness in the first place are no longer present!
              All the best,
              Tallis

  6. Andrea says

    Also, can you do this while on blood thinners? I have clots in my brain and need to be on them

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi again Andrea,
      You should check with your doctor about the specific blood thinner that you’re using – and whether fasting will interfere with it. What I can tell you is that, in general, clotting factors and blood plasma viscosity all tend to remain very stable during a fast, and therefore shouldn’t cause you issues.
      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

  7. Andrea says

    How about using an infrared sauna during a 10 day fast? Would this be beneficial or damaging?

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for writing. An infrared sauna can help support cleansing during a fast. Just be aware that your body will be more sensitive than usual, and this includes its reactions to changes in heat. So don’t overdo it, start slow, and work within your limits.
      All the best,
      Tallis

  8. Gudden says

    Hi Tallis, I need your help, I am 20 year old , And I have completed 24 days water fast on my own for my neck arthritis , and my neck get better now .I only sipped water nearly 4 liters everyday during my fast. I slowly started the process of refeeding , I started with papaya and in first seven days I only consumed papaya, sweet lime , tomatoes and cucumber . I followed all the necessary rules related to refeeding and fasting I have only ate some cooked food and flaxseeds from day 8 but I am going through chronic constipation , I only had a bowl movement on day 3 of refeeding but that was normal and after that I don’t have the next bowl movement yet it’s already my day 9 of refeeding it’s been six days since I haven’t gone to toilet. It’s really scaring me , What do you think I should do now? should I use a lexative or salt water flush would work ? I don’t want to take enema . Please guide me through it , it’s making me really tensed. I couldn’t slept last night because of this and one more thing I don’t feel much discomfort in my abdomen even yet. please, I beg you to leave a reply for this.

    • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

      Hi Gudden,

      The first thing to know is: no-one ever died from digestive issues after a fast, so there shouldn’t be a big issue here. You DO have to be very careful in the first few days after an extended fast in order to avoid refeeding syndrome, but it sounds like you’ve done fine in that respect. It’s perfectly normal to have a bowel movement 3 days after an extended fast, and the thing to remember is that after such a long time without food the body now wants to extract every last molecule of nutrition from the food that you’re eating. This often means that, at first, bowel movements will be few and far between – and also because you’re (correctly) not eating a full volume of food.

      We’ve not been working together, so without knowing exactly what you’ve been eating (as well as your previous dietary history) I can’t properly advise you. What I can say is that an enema or salt water flush is usually unnecessarily invasive after a fast, and I’ve never had to advise a client to do one. A laxative or salt water flush addresses the symptom but not the cause of the constipation, so is really just a temporary solution. It may be as simple that you need to eat more volume, or that you’ve been eating the wrong foods (although this doesn’t sound likely in your case). In the worst case, a laxative or a salt water flush won’t kill you either, though! If you decide to use a laxative, then choose a natural herbal remedy and not a chemical based formula. You’ll get through this one way or another!

      All the best,
      Tallis

  9. Sean says

    Have you tried using electrolyte or snake juice instead of plain water. What kind of water do you drink? Do you drink teas. What about killing parasites, have you ever combined these water fasts with parasite killing herbs etc?

    • Tallis Barker Ph.D. says

      Hi Sean,
      I’m not a real fan of electrolytes in most cases. In short, they make you feel good but reduce the degree of cleansing. I’ve seen this time and again among my clients.
      Any kind of water which doesn’t kill you in everyday life won’t kill you during a fast either, but obviously it’s best to go for something cleaner, such as filtered, spring or distilled.
      Yes, you can combine water fasts with herbs to accelerate the demise of parasites. A salt water flush at the beginning of the fast can also help.
      All the best,
      Tallis

  10. Marilynn Valenzuela says

    Thank you Tallis for the very reasonable resonant responses 👍🏽
    (no need to post this comment unless you want to)

  11. Marilynn Valenzuela says

    Thanks for the video! A couple of questions… would you recommend interspersing dry fasting days into an extended water fast? And second question, what do you think about doing enemas during water fasting?

    • Tallis Barker Ph.D. says

      Hi Marilynn,

      Good questions. Dry fasting can definitely increase the cleansing power of a water fast. Inserting a 24-hour period should be totally safe if the water fast is going smoothly. For anything longer than that, I’d recommend working with an expert.

      As far as enemas go, there are people who argue you should never do one because it’s invasive. There are also those who say you should do one every day in order to support cleansing. I’d take a middle road here and involve them if you start experiencing persistent detox symptoms.

      Hope this helps,
      Tallis

      • Evelyne says

        Hi Tallis,
        I am on day 4 of my very first waterfast and hope to go to day 7.
        Being remote at the moment and not having enema equipment or laxatives I retreated to doing a vitamin C flush with ascorbic acid buffered with bicarb. After 11 hours (2g every hour) I had some flush motion but not much and still feel not empty.
        I worry to reabsorb the toxins I am just hoping to cleans out. What do you think of the c flush, maybe doing it again in two days?
        Some people advice on taking also bentonite to bind the toxins, not having this either would charcoal do the same trick?
        Thank you so much if you find the time to help me with this question!
        Kind regards,
        Evelyne

        • Tallis Barker, D.Phil. says

          Hi Evelyne,
          The fundamental question is WHY you did the Vitamin C flush and WHY you feel you should have done an enema. Were there concrete symptoms which would have been relieved by an enema? If not, there’s no need to assault your body with such an invasive procedure. Nine times out of ten it’s best just to let your body to get on with things. After hundreds of thousands of years of fasting, the human body knows what to do without any fancy equipment. In fact, it’s usually when we try to control things because we THINK we know best, that we run into trouble…
          There IS a time and a place for an enema (I would never recommend anything besides plain water during a water fast), but your body should be the one to let you know about this – not your mind!
          Hope this helps,
          Tallis

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.