Blog Diets Fasting The 60 Hour Fast: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Need to Know

The 60 Hour Fast: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Need to Know

Fasting has been researched for its potential benefits to achieve metabolic health, more efficient weight loss, and better overall well-being (23). Studies show that engaging in periodic fasting can signal various biological pathways that contribute to improved mental sharpness and decreased inflammation (8).

You can choose to fast for a vast range of durations, from short daily windows like 16 hours to extended periods of 48 hours or beyond. Of course, the longer you sustain the fast, the more benefits you might unlock, such as enhanced autophagy and ketosis.

But, should you fast for 60 hours? Is it a magical key to health optimization, or is it an extreme measure with diminishing returns?

Here’s what you need to know to navigate the complexities of a 60-hour fast.

What Does a 60-Hour Fast Do For You?

The potential benefits from a 60-hour fast range from improved insulin sensitivity and weight loss to lowered blood pressure levels and potentially, reduced inflammation. Here’s a closer look at some of the potential benefits:

Weight Loss

When you fast for such an extended period, your body starts to tap into its stored energy sources, primarily fat, to keep functioning. Initially, your body relies on glycogen reserves found in the liver for energy. However, these reserves are limited and typically get depleted within the first 24 to 48 hours of fasting.

Once the glycogen is out of the picture, your body shifts gears into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This is when your liver begins to convert fatty acids into ketone bodies, a kind of alternative fuel source for your body, especially your brain (21). 

That’s not all. Fasting for 60 hours also reduces insulin levels significantly (11)

When insulin levels drop, fat burning can increase because insulin is the hormone responsible for storing fat. Similarly, the decreased levels of insulin make it easier for your body to access and burn these fat stores.

Lower insulin levels, combined with the increased production of norepinephrine during the fast, boost your metabolism, further enhancing fat loss (18).

This metabolic switch not only helps in shedding pounds but also plays a role in improving metabolic health (10), making you less susceptible to weight gain in the future.

See also
Intermittent Fasting for Men Over 50: Benefits, Possible Risks, and 10 Tips to Boost the Advantages

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How Much Weight Can I Lose on a 60-Hour Fast?

The amount of weight you can lose on a 60-hour fast depends on various factors, including your initial weight and body composition.

On average, you may lose about 1-2 pounds per day during the fast. However, this is not a sustainable or healthy way to lose weight long-term, and any lost weight may be regained once you resume your regular eating habits – unless you make healthier lifestyle choices.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity refers to your body’s ability to respond to insulin and regulate blood sugar levels (1).

When you fast, your body goes through a period of profound insulin sensitivity because it is not receiving any external sources of glucose from food. This forces your body to become more efficient at using its stored glucose reserves and start burning fat for fuel instead.

Studies show that engaging in intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity and potentially reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (15).

Learn more about the benefits and downsides of intermittent fasting in our previous post – 20-hour Intermittent Fasting


Autophagy is the natural mechanism that helps cells get rid of damaged or potentially harmful components and replace them with new ones (2)

Fasting for 60 hours causes levels of growth regulator protein, Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and insulin to drop significantly, which can trigger this cellular recycling process (14)

In addition to removing dysfunctional proteins and damaged components, autophagy also stimulates the production of new mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells responsible for generating energy. It is believed that this process may play a role in preventing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (19)

Mental Clarity

Another potential benefit of a 60-hour fast is improved cognitive function. When your body enters ketosis, your brain starts using ketones for energy instead of glucose, which may result in increased mental clarity and focus (22). Some people report feeling more alert and having better concentration during extended fasts.

See also
How To Break A Fast The Right Way: A Comprehensive Guide

Moreover, fasting also triggers the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that helps support the growth and survival of nerve cells (16). BDNF has been linked to improved memory, learning, and overall cognitive function (5).

60 hour fast  

Immunity and Inflammation

Fasting for extended periods has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies suggest that fasting can decrease the production of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) (6) (17).

By reducing inflammation, fasting may help support a healthy immune system and protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (8).

Read more: Why Stop Eating Oatmeal – A Breakfast Revolution

Is a 60 Hour Fast Worth It?

While there are potential benefits to fasting for 60 hours, it’s crucial to understand the potential drawbacks as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind:


Extended fasting can sometimes lead to dehydration (13), so it’s essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other non-caloric drinks during the fast. However, over-drinking water can also lead to electrolyte imbalances (5), so it’s essential to listen to your body and not force yourself to drink if you’re not thirsty.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Another 60-hour fast danger lies in the risk of nutrient deficiencies if the fast is not adequately planned (13). It’s crucial to ensure that you’re getting enough essential vitamins and minerals during the fast, either through supplements or a well-balanced meal after breaking the fast.

Digestive Issues

Some people may experience digestive discomfort and bloating after breaking an extended fast (20). It’s essential to ease back into eating slowly and choose easy-to-digest foods, such as soups, cooked vegetables, or lean protein sources.

Constipation is a potential issue during fasting (20), so it’s important to stay hydrated, consume enough fiber-rich foods, and consider taking probiotics to support a healthy gut.

Not Suitable for Everyone

Lastly, fasting for 60 hours is not suitable for everyone. The following groups of people should not engage in prolonged fasting without consulting a doctor first:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Individuals with a history of disordered eating
  • People with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease
  • Anyone taking medications that require regular food intake
  • Children and adolescents
  • Insomniacs, or anyone who struggles with sleep
  • Those who are physically active at high-intensity levels regularly
  • Beginners to fasting or those with a history of failed fasting attempts.
See also
The 30-Day Fasting Challenge Explained: How to Kickstart Your Journey The Right Way

If you fall under any of these categories, it’s essential to speak with your healthcare provider before attempting an extended fast.

While fasting during your period is totally acceptable, it can be rather challenging due to hormonal fluctuation. Our previous blog: Fasting While on Period further explores this topic. 

Disrupting Daily Routine

Fasting for 60 hours can disrupt your daily routine, especially if you’re used to eating at certain times. It may also cause feelings of fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating, making it challenging to go about your daily activities. It’s important to listen to your body and rest if needed.

Potential Weight Regain

Due to the restrictive nature of prolonged fasting, there is a risk of regaining any lost weight once the fast is over (9). Research on the long-term effects of extended fasting is still limited, and it’s essential to make sustainable lifestyle changes to maintain any weight loss (25).

60 hour fast  

What Is The Longest I Can Safely Fast?

For most people, a 2-3 day fast is a safe and effective way to reap the benefits of fasting. However, some people may choose to fast for longer periods, up to 5 or even 7 days. It’s important to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional before attempting extended fasts.

When choosing between a 48 vs 60 hours fast or a 60-hour fast vs 72, it’s essential to consider individual health goals and tolerance levels.

Furthermore, most benefits of fasting can also be achieved through shorter fasting periods, such as intermittent fasting or alternate-day fasting (3) (12). These methods may be more manageable and sustainable for some individuals.

If you are interested in trying out a longer fast, check out our previous blog – 72-Hour Fast: Benefits And Dangers Of A Long Water Fast.

How Often Should You Do a 60-Hour Fast?

Fasting for 60 hours, once a week or every other week, may be a good frequency for most people. However, it’s important to listen to your body and not force yourself into fasting if you’re not feeling well or have other health concerns. A 60-hour fast for women and men should be carefully planned to reap the most benefits from it.

See also
Is Vegan Intermittent Fasting the Right Choice for You?

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How Do You End a 60-Hour Fast?

You should end a 60-hour fast gently; breaking the fast too quickly can cause digestive discomfort because your body has been in a resting state. Here are some tips for breaking the fast gradually:

Start with a Nutritious Broth

Immediately after fasting, it’s recommended to start with a nutrient-dense bone broth or vegetable broth. These will provide your body with essential nutrients while also being easy to digest.

Bone broth can be a good choice because it is rich in minerals, amino acids, and collagen, which help support gut health and joint function (4).

Vegetable broth shouldn’t be overlooked either, as it contains vitamins and minerals that can help replenish your body’s nutrient stores. However, it’s essential to ensure that the broth doesn’t contain any added sugar or unhealthy ingredients.

Avoid Heavy, Processed Foods

After breaking your fast with broth, it’s best to avoid heavy and processed foods. Instead, opt for easily digestible, whole foods such as cooked vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

It’s advisable to introduce new or challenging foods gradually and pay attention to how your body reacts to them.

Keep Portions Small

After an extended fast, your stomach may have shrunk, and you may feel full faster than usual. It’s important to listen to your body and eat until you feel satisfied but not overly full.

Here are some portion-control tips that may be helpful:

  • Use a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more than you are.
  • Chew slowly and thoroughly to give your body enough time to signal when it’s full.
  • Stop eating when you feel 80% full, as this is the point where your brain will receive signals that you have had enough food.
  • If you’re still hungry after a small meal, wait 20 minutes before deciding to eat more. Often, the feeling of fullness will catch up with you.
  •  Avoid snacking and grazing after a fast; instead, stick to regular mealtimes.
See also
Fasting Detox: Foods And Drinks To Detoxify Your Body Safely

Eat Nutritious Meals

You want to ensure that you’re consuming nutritious meals after breaking your fast, especially if the fast was for an extended period. Focus on incorporating a variety of whole foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Consider Nutrient-Rich Supplements

If you’re concerned about not getting enough nutrients after a long fast, you may want to consider taking supplements such as probiotics, multivitamins, or omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your routine.

Ensure You’re Meeting Your Hydration Needs

Fasting can dehydrate your body, so it’s crucial to replenish your fluid intake after a long fast. Aim to drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich beverages such as coconut water or bone broth.

Consume Enough Calories

Note that there is a distinct difference between fasting vs starving and one is not to be confused for the other. 

It’s essential to make sure you’re consuming enough calories after an extended fast, especially if weight loss is not your goal. Your body needs energy and nutrients to function correctly, and depriving yourself of calories can lead to negative health consequences (24).

Consult with a healthcare professional or use an online calorie calculator to determine your appropriate calorie needs based on factors like age, gender, and activity level.

Read more: Green Tea Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and Side Effects

60 hour fast  


  • Is Fasting for 72 Hours Safe?

Fasting for 72 hours is safe if you are in good health and have consulted with a healthcare professional beforehand. You must also have gradually built up to this length of fasting and have a plan for breaking the fast safely.

  • Is a 100 Hour Fast Safe?

A 100 hour fast is extreme and not recommended for most individuals. Unless under medical supervision, it’s not recommended to fast for this length of time as it can have negative effects on your health and well-being. 

  • How Much Weight Will I Lose On a 72 Hour Fast?

You may lose a significant amount of weight during a 72 hour fast due to water weight and calorie restriction. Definitive research on how much weight individuals can lose during a 72 hour fast is limited, but an estimate based on calorie restriction would be around 1-2 pounds per day.

The Bottom Line

A 60-hour fast can have various potential benefits such as weight loss, improved mental clarity, autophagy, and reduced inflammation. However, it’s essential to approach an extended fast with caution and ensure that you’re taking care of your body’s needs during and after the fast. As always, you should consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on any significant dietary changes or prolonged fasting.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Assessing Insulin Sensitivity and Resistance in Humans (2021,
  2. Autophagy: A Key Regulator of Homeostasis and Disease: An Overview of Molecular Mechanisms and Modulators (2022,
  3. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting: a narrative review (2023,
  4. Bone Broth: Health Benefits, Nutrients, & Side Effects (2023,
  5. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Key Molecule for Memory in the Healthy and the Pathological Brain (2019,
  6. Dawn-to-dusk dry fasting decreases circulating inflammatory cytokines in subjects with increased body mass index (2024,
  7. Electrolyte Imbalance (2022,
  8. Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications (2014,
  9. Fasting can help you lose weight, but you might gain it back quickly (2023,
  10. Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying Health Benefits of Fasting (2018,
  11. Glycogen shortage during fasting triggers liver–brain–adipose neurocircuitry to facilitate fat utilization (2013,
  12. Health Effects of Alternate-Day Fasting in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2020,
  13. Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review (2015,
  14. Intermittent and periodic fasting, longevity and disease (2022,
  15. Intermittent fasting: is there a role in the treatment of diabetes? A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians (2021,
  16. Intermittent fasting and cognitive performance – Targeting BDNF as potential strategy to optimise brain health (2022,
  17. Intermittent fasting and immunomodulatory effects: A systematic review (2023,
  18. Intermittent Fasting Promotes Fat Loss With Lean Mass Retention, Increased Hypothalamic Norepinephrine Content, and Increased Neuropeptide Y Gene Expression in Diet-Induced Obese Male Mice (2015,
  19. Mitochondria, autophagy and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases: New insights into a complex interplay (2015,
  20. Physiological and Psychological Effects of Medically Supervised Fasting in Young Female Adults: An Observational Study (2023,
  21. Physiology, Fasting (2023,
  22. The Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Brain and Cognitive Function (2021,
  23. Traditional and Medical Applications of Fasting (2022,
  24. Unintended consequences of dieting: How restrictive eating habits can harm your health (2023,
  25. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2004,
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