Fast Series Part 4: Eight Steps to a Successful Water Fast

The Brothers Green team regularly practice fasting and thrive from the nutrients that come from consuming the range of The Brothers Green raw hemp foods leading up to the fast.

The 8 Stages of a 72 Hour Water Fast

  1. 48-36 Hours Before the Fast - Prepare Your Body with Hemp Seed Oil
  2. 12 Hours Fasting - Enter the Metabolic State
  3. 18 Hours Fasting - Switch to Fat-Burning Mode
  4. 24 Hours Fasting - Autophagy
  5. 48 Hours Fasting - Increase Growth Hormone Levels
  6. 54 Hours Fasting - Insulin Levels Drop to Lowest Point
  7. 72 Hours Fasting - Generation of New Immune Cells
  8. After the Water Fast - The ‘Refeed’ with Hemp Seeds
How to Begin A Water Fast - The Brothers Green


    Stage 1 - How To Begin a Water Fast

    What you eat before the fast can set up the next few days for a greater chance of success. The 48 - 36 hours before the fast are important to prepare the body and mind. Beginning to implement a 16 hour fast for the day or two before will give your body time to adjust and then cut down the intake of energy intensive food to process. By eating light, wholefood meals (fruits and vegetables) and not consuming any processed foods you will allow your body to better capitalise on the benefits of the fast and make the most of the experience for autophagy and cell renewal.

    Hemp Oil

    Hemp Seed Oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, low in carbs, perfect to enter a ketogenic state. In the 2-3 days leading up to your fast, increase your usual 1 TBSP daily serving to 3 TBSP a day. The Brothers Green Hemp Seed Oil is perfect because it's cold-pressed, unprocessed, Omega-3 rich healthy oil.

    The Water Fast Itself

    Stage 2 - 12 Hours Fasting

    By 12 hours fasting you’ve entered the metabolic state called ketosis (Anton et al., Obesity 2018). This is when your body starts to break down stored energy and starts to burn fat. 

    Stage 3 - 18 Hours Fasting

    By 18 hours you’ve switched to fat-burning mode and are generating significant ketones (Anton et al., Obesity 2018).

    Stage 4 - 24 Hours Fasting

    Within 24 hours your cells are increasingly recycling old components and breaking down misfolded proteins linked to alzheimers and other diseases (Alirezaei et al., Autophagy 2010). This is the process called autophagy which we need to begin immune system regeneration.

    Stage 5 - 48 Hours Fasting

    By 48 hours fasting without any/ very few calories, carbs or protein, your growth hormone level has increased up to five times higher than when you started your fast (Hartman et al.,1992).

    Stage 6 - 54 Hours Fasting

    By 54 hours your insulin has dropped to its lowest level point since you started fasting and your body is becoming increasingly insulin-sensitive (Klein et al., 1993). This is where those with type 2 diabetes (insulin insensitivity) begin to see the body naturally re-sensitise to insulin. 

    Stage 7 - 72 Hours Fasting

    By 72 hours water fasting your body is breaking down old immune cells and generating new ones (Cheng et al., 2014).

    Benefits of Water Fasting - The Brothers Green

    Maximising the Fasting Benefits

    Stage 8 - After the Water Fast - The 'Refeed'

    What happens after a water fast - the ‘refeed’ - is one of the most important parts of the fast as this is how your body will regenerate your system. After multiple days without any food your digestive system needs something simple and easy to process. The best food to break a fast is light fruit such as watermelon or a smoothie is the best way to start. This is giving your system a chance to get used to food again before beginning on solid foods. Usually waiting 2-3 hours after your fruit or smoothie is enough time before reintroducing solid food. Although it can be tempting to get stuck into an indulging feed, you won’t regret giving your body time to readjust. This ensures you don’t upset the system and can get back to your normal routine. Your first feed will taste amazing!

    I find that my appetite is never as strong as before the fast, the fast can reset our idea of hunger. This gives our mind the understanding that just because our stomach is empty, it does not mean our bodies need more food. It can make it a lot easier to introduce an intermittent fasting regime or healthier diet as it resets your hunger and taste buds.

    Hemp Oil & Hemp Seeds

    The Brothers Green Hemp Seed Oil & Hemp Hearts are the ideal food for the transition back into eating. They are light, versatile and easy on the gut. The high polyunsaturated fats and low carbohydrates profile will keep your body in ketosis and prolong the benefits of your fast. 

    Stages of Fasting- The Brothers Green

    Brad enjoying the 'refeed' at Gre3n Superfood after his 72-hour fast.

    Fasting While Working & Working Out While Fasting

    When Brendon and I did our water fast we aimed to fast for 72 hours. Consuming nothing but water, tea and black coffee for three days. We had our last meal on Monday evening and then we didn’t eat again until Thursday evening. During this time we also:

    • Worked three full days
    • Went to the gym three times
    • Walked up the Rapaki Track at Otautahi’s Port Hills
    • Attended a Bikram Yoga session at Flow Hot Yoga Christchurch
    • Ran around Hagley Park, Otautahi’s largest park

    All while not eating. This is not exactly necessary, but we wanted to highlight the fact that we do not always need to eat to operate. Our body stores energy (yes, that’s what fat is) for us to use in these times, however, we never have access to this stored energy because we keep topping up our fuel tank with food.

    As a matter of fact, one of the most surprising outcomes of the fast is how much more focused you are, and how much work you can get done when you’re not having to prepare and consume a meal three times a day. Your body is the most complicated and intelligent machine that we have ever discovered. You’re not going to fall over and die if you don’t eat for 12 hours - I’m not sure how we would have made it this far otherwise. Especially when we have so much energy stored around our body.

    My favourite part… it’s so simple! Just drink water and don’t eat… I dare ya!!

    Our 3 Water Fasting Tips

    1. Share the Experience and Results

    Practice with a friend, group or partner. This means you have someone to share the experience with and they can keep you on track. It is always easier knowing that someone else is going through the same experience and you will both be able to share the benefits.

    2. Keep Your Schedule Free

    Don’t plan anything too strenuous or physically difficult. Enjoy the last 24 – 48 hours of the fast at home (weekends, days off, quarantine etc.) and try not to plan any social engagements around a meal. Instead you could go for a walk or have a cup of tea. 

    3. Keep Your Mind Busy

    Although you don’t want to be doing anything involving food, it is a great time to read, study, do some mindfulness or complete those tedious jobs that you have been putting off. You will see that you will have a lot more time in your day, so planning to get some of these activities and jobs done will pass the time quicker.

    4. Use Hemp in Transition Periods

    Before & after the fast are the key times for getting the most benefits. Food with high fats and low carbs are perfect. Drink hemp seed oil and eat hemp seeds! Click here to explore The Brothers Green product range.


    Click here to see our newly released  downloadable PDF Water Fasting e-Guide. Our specific manifesto for our three month protocol for introducing your body gradually to a 24hr, 48hr & 72hr water fast.

    Read Fast Series Part 5: 'Reversing the Aging Process Through Fasting' by clicking here.


    • Great info on the stages, just at the end of a 78 hour fast longest I’ve done yet.I work on site as a civil engineering carpenter so quite a physical job, really surprised how easily I’ve done it.I’ve had more energy than I do when I’m eating regularly.When I’m not fasting I’ve been on a strict keto diet since January.So I’ve felt strong anyway but as I say really surprised how great I feel could definitely go longer.

      Kevin Barrett
    • I just did a two day fast. I tried to go for three but got nauseous on the third day and stopped about six hours into the day. However, reading this article and a few others actually helped me stay with it. Knowing the benefits in stages was very helpful. So thank you. I will be trying again soon.

      Tiffany Rogers
    • Hello, hello, love this article. Tomorrow morning I’ll be completing my 79 hours fast. Definitely going to look into the products you sell. Do you have a distribution in the UK? Thanks!

      Ester W.
    • prolong water fast 72 hrs how many times in a month ?

      mujeeb ahmed
    • Hello brother I found your information on the physiology of fasting very interesting. I am in a partial state of ketosis, eating mainly fruits vegetables and nuts at the end of the day. I have begun my 3 day fast today. I’m afraid but determined to make it, especially with the information I’ve acquired about what stages the body enters as the fasting progresses.


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