Fasting for 7 Days: Here's What Will Happen

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/14/2024

7-Day Fasting Effects: Health Benefits and Body Impact

Comprehending the implications of a 7-day abstention on your body can revolutionize health, nutrition, and slimming goals.

Fasting, whether intermittent fasting, water fasting, partial fasting, or juice fasting, has been linked to numerous health benefits, including boosting human growth hormone levels.

Discover what happens to your body during a seven-day fast.

Learn how to correctly undertake a 7-day fast, focusing on essential aspects such as exercise routines and maintaining correct electrolyte balance.

Debunk some misconceptions surrounding insulin's role during fasting and discuss why protein consumption might outweigh carbohydrates for maximum benefit from your fast.

The Impact of a 7-Day Fast on Your Body

Fasting for seven days can have significant effects on your body. The impacts are far-reaching and diverse, from weight loss to changes in muscle mass and energy levels. Let's delve into these aspects.

Initial Water Loss During Fasting

When you fast, your body initially loses water weight. Carbohydrates stored in the liver release water when used for energy.

According to research, glycogen holds around three grams of water per gram of glycogen. Substantial amounts of water are excreted as you burn through it during fasting.

Woman with pooch belly

Potential Fat Loss While Fasting

After initial water loss comes potential fat loss, as our bodies deplete their carbohydrate stores during a fast, they start burning fat for fuel - this process is known as ketosis.

Concerns About Muscle Shrinkage

A common concern about extended periods of fasting like a 7-day fast is muscle shrinkage or catabolism - where the body starts breaking down muscles for energy once it runs out of fats to burn.

However, research shows that human growth hormone (HGH) levels increase during prolonged fasting, which may protect against muscle protein breakdown.

Nevertheless, it's important not to overdo exercise on an extended fast, as excessive physical activity might lead to more muscle breakdown than necessary.

How to Fast Correctly for Seven Days

Before commencing a seven-day fast, it is essential to ensure you are adequately informed and prepared. A seven-day fast is no small undertaking, and there are several factors you need to consider before diving in.

Importance of Exercise During Fasting

You might think fasting means taking a break from everything, including exercise. However, maintaining an appropriate level of physical activity during your fast can enhance the benefits you experience.

Fasted training, or exercising while fasting, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and increase fat oxidation rates.

That being said, moderation is key here. High-intensity workouts could lead to excessive fatigue or muscle loss during prolonged periods without food intake.

Opt for light activities such as walking or yoga, which help maintain muscle mass without excessively draining energy reserves.

Role of Electrolytes When Fasting

The importance of electrolytes cannot be overstated when embarking on a week-long fast. These minerals - sodium, potassium, and magnesium - are crucial in various bodily functions like nerve function and fluid balance.

Your body loses electrolytes through sweat during exercise and even more so when fasting due to increased water consumption and frequent urination.

Replenishing these lost electrolytes by consuming mineral-rich foods before starting your fast or using supplements if necessary throughout the fast.

The Significance Of Sea Salt Intake

A surprising ally in your fasting journey? Sea salt. Its only use is not flavor enhancement; sea salt provides vital trace minerals that support hydration levels - essential since dehydration risks increase while fasting due to its diuretic effect (increased urine production).

  • Sodium: Essential for maintaining fluid balance within cells.

  • Potassium: Helps regulate heart function & blood pressure.

  • Magnesium: Supports over 300 enzymatic reactions within our bodies, including protein synthesis & energy metabolism.

  • Zinc: Vital for immune system functionality & wound healing process. Dr. Berg presents some easy ways to safely incorporate sea salt into their diet without risking high sodium intake associated with table salts commonly used at home.

Remember: Preparation is essential when planning any extended dietary change such as this one-week-long fasting regimen we're discussing today.

Insulin's Role During Fasting Period

Fasting can mess with insulin levels, which regulate blood sugar and glucose absorption. Carb-loading before fasting isn't necessary and may even counteract the benefits of fasting.

Protein consumption is a better alternative as it preserves muscle mass, curbs hunger, and has minimal effect on blood sugar.

Plus, high-quality sources offer other vital nutrients. Consuming more protein may be better for weight management than diets high in carbs.

Misconceptions about Carb-Loading

Carb-loading before fasting isn't as beneficial as many believe. Consuming too many carbs can result in an insulin surge, which may hinder any potential advantages of fasting by causing more fat to be stored.

Sources of creatine

Benefits of Protein Consumption Over Carbohydrates

Protein consumption is a more effective alternative to carb-loading before fasting. It preserves muscle mass, curbs hunger, and has minimal effect on blood sugar. High-quality sources also offer other vital nutrients.

  • Better Muscle Preservation: Proteins provide amino acids, the building blocks required for muscle maintenance and growth.

  • Satiety: Proteins make you feel fuller longer than carbohydrates, helping curb hunger pangs during your fast.

  • Glycemic Control: Proteins have minimal effect on blood sugar, making them ideal for pre-fast meals, especially if you're diabetic or prediabetic.

  • Nutrient Density: High-quality sources like lean meats, fish, and eggs offer other vital nutrients such as vitamins B12 & D and iron & zinc - all critical components supporting overall health while abstaining from food intake.

Protein vs Carbs for Weight Management

Higher-protein diets may improve body composition through changes in energy metabolism and substrate oxidation, aiding weight management efforts better than high-carb diets.

Boost Your Immune System with Fasting

Fasting for a week may be difficult, yet it can also enhance your immune system. To prepare, eat a nutrient-rich diet. Vitamins and minerals can help boost your immunity during the fast.

B Vitamins for Good Health

B vitamins are essential for energy production, DNA repair, and healthy skin cells. Nutritional yeast provides a range of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folate, essential for energy production, DNA repair, and healthy skin cells.

Zinc: The Immune System's Ally

Zinc is vital for optimal immune function. It fights off invading bacteria and viruses. Incorporate zinc-rich foods or supplements into your diet before fasting.

Alkalize with Green Powder Drinks

Green powder drinks can help balance acidity in the body. Spirulina is packed with protein and antioxidants. Moringa has anti-inflammatory benefits. Kale is nutrient-dense. Ashwagandha reduces stress levels. Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory effects.


A 7-day fast can make you lose water weight and potentially burn fat, but don't forget to exercise, take electrolytes, and consume sea salt too fast correctly.

Insulin plays a crucial role during fasting, so, forget carb-loading and focus on protein consumption pre-fast instead.

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