Intermitted fasting and 3 day water fasts are two popular dieting methods that are gaining traction in recent years, as dieters look to shed excess pounds and improve their overall health. Both fasting strategies have their advantages and drawbacks, and understanding their differences can help you choose the fasting method that’s right for you.

The basic principle behind intermitted fasting is to limit caloric intake to specific time windows within a given day. There are many variations of intermitted fasting, but they share one thing in common—they all involve alternating periods of eating and not eating. The most popular version of this diet strategy is the 16/8 method, in which dieters eat in an 8-hour window (say, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and fast for the remaining 16 hours. They are also allowed to drink zero calories drinks such as black coffee, tea, and water in this fasting window.

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In contrast, the 3-day water fast can range from a 24-hour to 72-hour period, during which dieters consume nothing but water. There’s no specified window for food or other drink consumption, as the whole period is devoted to fasting.

Both methods of fasting come with a range of physiological effects, some of which are beneficial and some of which can be detrimental if undertaken without proper preparation and monitoring. Here’s a closer look at the health-related differences between intermitted fasting and 3-day water fasts:

Intermittent Fasting :

Intermittent fasting has been linked to a number of potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, reduced inflammation, enhanced metabolism, and enhanced cognitive performance.

When it comes to weight loss benefits, research suggest that intermitted fasting may lead to a reduction in body fat and overall body weight. However, research suggests that, while intermitted fasting can produce modest weight loss in the short-term, it may not be as effective as continuous calorie restriction.

Intermittent fasting has also been linked higher levels of the hormones Growth Hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which help to regulate metabolism and cell growth, and can lead to increased muscle growth.

Intermittent fasting also appears to boost mental clarity and focus, which helps to inhibit unhealthy cravings, and promotes cognitive flexibility and creativity.

3-day Water Fast :

The three-day water fast can provide a range of health benefits, such as improved organ function and improved immune system performance. The major challenge with this longer-duration fast is the difficulty of maintaining it and avoiding complications, as there’s very little in the way of caloric or nutrient intake during the entire period.

Another key difference is the benefits of a 3-day water fast. Unlike with intermitted fasting, where you may experience a modest amount of weight loss but can still intake other calories, a 3-day water fast can be beneficial in terms of promoting dramatic weight loss.

Overall, the 3-day water fast also has the potential to improve many other aspects of health, such as improving blood sugar levels, decreasing serum lipid levels, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing inflammation. Moreover, it can also help to reset circadian rhythms and improve sleep quality.

Ultimately, both intermitted fasting and 3-day water fasts can be great strategies to promote overall health and well-being. It is important to understand the potential risks and rewards of each dieting method before beginning either one, and to consider consulting with a health care professional for advice.