How a 2 Week Water Fast Can Improve Your Concentration and Focus
If you’re familiar with fasting, you already know that it offers a host of benefits ranging from improved weight management to mental clarity. However, there is also a variation of it called extended water fasting which can potentially improve your focus and concentration.
By fasting for a longer period like 2 weeks, the body naturally enters into the ketosis state. Depriving the body of glucose (dietary carbs) forces it to produce and utilize ketone bodies instead. And when your brain runs on ketones, you feel more focused, energized, and motivated. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below are the other cognitive benefits of doing a 2 week water fast.
1. Enhance stress response
Fasting puts your body in a mildly stressed state, naturally making it stronger than it was before. It stimulates the production of new neurons that promote cognitive health, protecting it against brain-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
2. Achieve self-enlightenment
Most people who do extended 2 week water fast do it to re-evaluate their relationship with food. By spending your time on anything else but food, you become more aware of the things around you and feel appreciative of it. When you have a lighter body with ketones in full force, you’re also able to think more clearly.
3. Improve willpower
Let’s get real. Fasting is not easy. It doesn’t just affect physical performance but also social interactions. Imagine having to sit with your friends and family as they eat while you’re there on your fifth day of drinking nothing but water.
It takes a lot of willpower to go without days of not eating. Most people check into fasting centers to stay on track but for the practical, doing it with the guidance of a friend or health professional is often enough.
How to Do a 2 Week Water Fast Properly
For the period that you’re fasting, you only consume water and nothing else. It’s normal to feel crazy emotional highs and lows in the first few days. Most people will start with short-term fasts (intermittent fasting) prior to doing an extended water fast.
Make sure to do your own research on prolonged water fasts. Read up on other people’s experiences so you have an idea of what to expect. If possible, have a close friend or family member supervise your fast.
After you have done the extended water fast, you can slowly reintroduce foods into your body. Bone broth is a good start. You can also eat pureed soups, avocados, and some vegetables. Eat small portions slowly. Avoid carbs and sugary drinks as this will put you out of the ketogenic state.
It’s recommended to maintain a ketogenic diet from here on. This helps the body to stay in ketosis rather than fasting frequently to achieve that state. You may also want to consider looking into intermittent fasting. It offers the same benefits as prolonged water fasting but with less risk.
Avoid fasting too often. Don’t get hooked into it in the pursuit of getting that mental high. Do your research, find out the duration that works best for you, and speak with your physician before undergoing any kind of extended fast.
An extended two week water fast is a very useful tool for enhancing your cognitive abilities but it’s not the only option out there. If you are serious about improving your work productivity, doing an extended water fast is a quick way to get into ketosis. But what you do after that to keep enjoying those benefits (to maintain ketosis with ketogenic diet or not), is ultimately up to you.