Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Should I Try a 72-Hour Fast?

72 hour fast

Should I Try a 72-Hour Fast?

72 hour fast

Fasting has gained significant attention in recent years as a powerful tool for health and wellness. Among the various fasting methods, the 72-hour fast stands out for its potential benefits and challenges. A 72-hour fast involves abstaining from all food and caloric beverages for three consecutive days, allowing your body to undergo a deep state of autophagy and cellular repair.


This extended fasting window can lead to numerous health benefits, such as improved mental clarity, enhanced metabolism, and better immune function. However, it is not without its drawbacks.  Let’s take a closer look into the pros and cons of a 72-hour fast, providing you with practical tips and guidance on how to safely implement this fasting protocol into your lifestyle.


Whether you’re a seasoned faster or new to the concept, understanding the full spectrum of what a 72-hour fast entails can help you make an informed decision about whether this approach is right for you.


What Is Fasting?



Fasting is a practice that involves voluntarily abstaining from food and sometimes drinking for a set period. It’s a powerful tool that can aid in metabolic health, promote autophagy, and support overall wellness. When paired with a carnivore diet, fasting can amplify these benefits, providing a focused approach to healing and optimizing the body. A carnivore diet, centered on nutrient-dense animal products, complements fasting by ensuring the body is well-nourished, reducing cravings, and making it easier to adhere to fasting protocols. Together, they offer a synergistic path to achieving optimal health.


What Is a 72-Hour Fast?


carnivore diet fasting cell regeneration


A 72-hour fast involves abstaining from all food and caloric beverages for three consecutive days. During this period, only water, herbal teas, and black coffee are typically allowed. This extended fast aims to promote autophagy, the body’s natural process of cleaning out damaged cells, and may improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and enhance mental clarity.


A 72-hour fast also provides a reset for the digestive system, potentially leading to improved gut health. While it offers significant benefits, it is important to approach it with proper preparation and possibly under medical supervision, especially for beginners or those with health conditions.


What Are the Benefits of 72-Hour Fasting?


carnivore diet benefits of fasting


A 72-hour fast, extending over three full days without food, offers a range of significant health benefits. One of the primary advantages is autophagy, the body’s natural process of cleaning up and recycling damaged cells. This contributes to cellular repair and longevity. By the three-day mark of a fast, the body has begun a substantial clean-up of cells, enhancing overall cellular function and health.


Additionally, a 72-hour fast leads to a significant reduction in insulin levels and an increase in insulin sensitivity. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with insulin resistance or those looking to improve their metabolic health. The reduction in insulin also contributes to fat burning and weight loss, as the body begins to utilize fat stores for energy.


Another key benefit is the enhancement of the immune system. During a prolonged fast, the body breaks down old immune cells and generates new ones, rejuvenating the immune system and potentially contributing to better overall immune function. Moreover, fasting for this duration can lead to a sense of increased energy and mental clarity, though this can vary from person to person. Some individuals report feeling a sense of overall well-being and improved concentration as their body adapts to fasting.


Who Should Try a 72-Hour Fast?


72 hour fast considerations


Extended fasting, such as a 72-hour fast, should be approached with caution and ideally under medical supervision, especially for those new to fasting or with pre-existing health conditions. The initial days of the fast may involve some discomfort, such as hunger pangs or a temporary decrease in energy, but these usually subside as the fast progresses.


A 72-hour fast is ideal for individuals looking to deepen the health benefits gained from shorter fasts. Suitable candidates include those aiming to enhance autophagy, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote cellular repair. However, it’s not recommended for underweight individuals, those with a history of eating disorders, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or anyone with certain health conditions. Before attempting a 72-hour fast, it’s crucial to have experience with shorter fasts and gradually increase fasting duration. Proper hydration and preparation are essential to manage potential discomfort and maximize benefits.


What’s the Difference Between Extended Fasts and Intermittent Fasting?

carnivore diet fasting weight loss


A 72-hour fast and intermittent fasting (IF) differ primarily in duration and impact. A 72-hour fast involves abstaining from all food for three consecutive days, allowing only water, herbal teas, and black coffee. This extended fasting period promotes deep autophagy, significant insulin sensitivity improvement, and substantial metabolic and immune system benefits.


Alternately, intermittent fasting alternates between periods of eating and fasting within a shorter time frame, such as 16:8 (16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating) or 5:2 (five days normal eating, two days reduced calorie intake). IF is more sustainable long-term, offers moderate benefits such as improved metabolic health and weight management, and is generally easier to integrate into daily life.


While a 72-hour fast provides more intense health benefits, it requires more caution and preparation, making it less suitable for everyone compared to the flexibility and gradual benefits of intermittent fasting.


How 72-Hour Fasts and the Carnivore Diet Work Together


carnivore diet fasting


The carnivore diet and 72-hour fasts work synergistically to optimize health and wellness. The carnivore diet, which consists exclusively of animal products, provides the body with essential nutrients, proteins, and healthy fats, ensuring a stable energy supply and reducing inflammation. This nutrient-dense approach makes transitioning into a fast smoother, as the body is already accustomed to relying on fat for energy.


During a 72-hour fast, the body enters a state of autophagy, where it cleans out damaged cells and regenerates new ones, enhancing cellular repair and longevity. The fast also significantly improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation. Because the carnivore diet stabilizes blood sugar levels and minimizes cravings, it helps individuals maintain the fast more comfortably and effectively.


Combining the carnivore diet with 72-hour fasts can lead to accelerated weight loss, improved metabolic health, and enhanced mental clarity. The diet’s simplicity and focus on high-quality animal products ensure that the body is well-nourished before the fast, reducing the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Together, these practices support a comprehensive approach to health, leveraging the benefits of both dietary restriction and nutrient-rich eating to promote overall wellness and healing.


How to Do a 72-Hour Fast


how to do 72 hour fasting


A 72-hour fast can be a powerful tool for enhancing health and wellness. Before starting, it’s essential to prepare your body by gradually reducing food intake and increasing water consumption. During the fast, stay hydrated and avoid strenuous activities. Fasting triggers autophagy, a process that helps recycle damaged cells, which begins to activate around the 48 to 72-hour mark.


how to break 32 hour fast


To break the fast, start with one small meal of muscle meat. Wait 30 minutes before having a larger meal. It’s best to not break an extended fast with dairy or eggs. Remember to listen to your body and monitor how you feel throughout the process.


How to Choose the Best Fasting Window for You

Choosing your fasting window depends on your lifestyle, health goals, and personal preferences. Start by selecting a period that aligns with your daily routine, ensuring it doesn’t interfere with work or social activities. Popular fasting windows include the 16:8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window, or the 18:6 method for a more extended fasting period. Pay attention to your body’s natural hunger cues and energy levels. Experiment with different windows to find what works best for you, adjusting as needed based on your experiences and how your body responds.


Closing Thoughts On 72-Hour Fasts

Fasting involves voluntarily abstaining from food for a set period, promoting metabolic health, autophagy, and overall wellness. Paired with a carnivore diet, it enhances these benefits by ensuring the body is well-nourished, reducing cravings, and making fasting easier. A 72-hour fast abstains from food for three days, promoting autophagy, improving insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, and enhancing mental clarity. Proper preparation and hydration are key. Choosing a fasting window depends on your lifestyle, goals, and preferences, with common methods including 16:8 or 18:6, allowing flexibility to find what works best for your body.


Combining 72-hour fasts with a carnivore diet provides a synergistic approach to optimal health. This powerful duo supports cellular repair, reduces inflammation, and improves metabolic health. The nutrient-dense carnivore diet stabilizes energy levels, making it easier to maintain a fast and enhancing the overall benefits. By experimenting with different fasting windows and listening to your body, you can find a sustainable routine that works best for you, leading to improved wellness and vitality. Together, these practices offer a comprehensive path to achieving and maintaining peak health.


Work With Our Trusted Carnivore Diet Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners

The Nutrition with Judy practice is honored to be a trusted carnivore diet practitioner support serving clients from around the globe. We’re passionate about helping our clients achieve root-cause healing in order to lead the best quality of life possible that’s nearly symptom-free. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized fasting support for achieving your wellness goals. We welcome you to explore our free resources and are always available to support you through personalized protocols. Our Symptom Burden Assessment (SBA) is the perfect starting point for discovering your root cause and is required to work with our team— you can learn more in-depth about this powerful tool here.

Start your root-cause healing journey today and contact us any time with any questions or concerns.


DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational purposes only. While we are board-certified in holistic nutrition and are nutritional therapy practitioners, we are not providing medical advice. Whenever you start a new diet or protocol, always consult with your trusted practitioner first.

Nutrition with Judy

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