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.


    • Hello everyone, I’m currently on the day 4 of my 7 days water fast. I felt amazing the last 3 day compare to I’m feeling today
      I feel tired and I’m experiencing a mid headache I don’t know if it’s normal. This is actually my third time going on a water fast and I always feel good when I fast,This is actually my first fast while working out so I don’t understand why I’m feeling this way this time
      Is it normal?

    • Starting a 3 day fast tomorrow. Will come back and report after that.

      How do I feel? Determined. Excited. Anxious. Can I do this? One Day At A Time

      Lesley Agams
    • Hi all, woken up on day 8 of my fast and supposed to finish today but considering carrying on. I’m 31 and this is my third fast, but the last two I didn’t exercise. I love the feeling of clarity and the energy I get when I’m in the fast, it’s amazing. I’m on the lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper fast so I do suppose the maple syrup helps with my energy but I’m bouncing off the walls at times! This has been my favourite fast so far and this time I’ve been exercising too which could maybe be why?! I started gently but then realised I could really go for it and still feel great – I guess it’s figuring out what your body is willing / wanting to let you do. I seem so refreshed and awake and in such a great mood after I’ve done exercise on this fast. My favourite part of fasting is the effects it has on my energy & mood. Not all the time! If I forget to hydrate that can change, but in general I’ve been leaping out of bed every morning, bouncing around the house and just generally feeling so light and happy and free! I wish this feeling was accessible all the time, perhaps because I keep thinking of all the cells regenerating and the body working all its magic it does feel kind of amazing and exciting to watch your body do it’s primal thing.

      Thanks for the page, it’s really motivating!


    • Great to see more and more folks are doing fasting to stay healthy! I’m 69 yrs young and have quite a few ‘fasts’ under my belt. Presently on day 5 of my 7 day bi-annual fast. January and June. Intermittent fasting the rest of the time.
      Great to see more folks staying healthy thru fasting. Good luck to all !!

    • Hi Fasting Community out there…
      So I’ve been intermittent fasting for some years now and do 8-16. A couple of days a week I also do minimum calorie fast of no more than 500 calories. I lost 10kg in 3 months like this after a slack period and felt good. The only thing I hate is counting calories, time consuming and tedious, so I’ve been thinking for a while now it would be easier to just not eat for 24 hours and just drink water. Well amazingly THREE DAYS LATER and I’m still going strong YAY. I highly encourage anybody to give it a try. I know I could do another day and I’m fast breaks in the evening (in 20 minutes actually :o) and I have no intention of refeeding tonight. Instead I’m going to concentrate on refeeding as of mid morning tomorrow following all The Brothers Green’s guidelines. I’m actually already looking forward to my next one so I can prepare 3 days in advance. I FEEL AMAZING and I hope you will too.


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