The Monk Fast is a variation of alternate-day fasting that involves drinking only water for 36 hours once per week.
Its lack of complicated rules or restrictions makes it popular among dieters seeking an easy way to lose weight and improve their health.
However, it has also been criticized for being extreme, unhealthy, and unsustainable.
This article takes a closer look at the Monk Fast and whether it’s safe and effective for weight loss.
The Monk Fast is a fasting regimen that claims to increase weight loss and enhance performance.
It was originally developed by WeFast, an online community that provides tips, tricks, and advice for those practicing intermittent fasting.
The Monk Fast involves drinking only water and other calorie-free drinks like black coffee or tea for 36 hours once per week.
Although the time required to enter ketosis may vary slightly by individual, it typically happens 12–36 hours after eating any carbs.
According to its creators, the Monk Fast may also be beneficial for extending longevity, reducing cancer cell growth, and boosting immunity.
The Monk Fast is a fasting regimen developed by WeFast. It’s purported to increase weight loss and improve several aspects of health.
The Monk Fast requires you to abstain from food for 36 hours and consume only water and other calorie-free beverages, such as tea or coffee.
Although you can choose when you fast, the Monk Fast creators recommend starting your fast on Monday after dinner and finishing with breakfast on Wednesday morning.
You should be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the fast to stay hydrated.
Nootropics are also permitted. These are a type of supplement intended to improve focus and brain function.
Before breaking your fast, you should drink some water and choose a light, easily digestible meal.
It’s also recommended to repeat the fast once per week to boost the long-term benefits.
Optionally, WeFast offers free access to an online community through Facebook or Slack, which you can join to connect with others following the Monk Fast.
The Monk Fast involves fasting for 36 hours once per week. Water, coffee, tea, and nootropics are encouraged during the fasting period.
Although there’s no research on the Monk Fast specifically, similar intermittent fasting regimens have been shown to increase weight loss.
In fact, one review of 27 studies concluded that intermittent fasting could be as effective as calorie restriction for weight loss (
Another review found that practicing whole-day fasting decreased body weight by up to 9% and led to significant reductions in body fat over 12–24 weeks (
Fasting also decreases overall calorie consumption by reducing your food intake, which may be beneficial for weight loss (
Keep in mind that it’s important to follow a healthy, well-rounded diet on the days you eat to maximize your results.
Intermittent fasting regimens may increase weight loss and fat loss while preserving lean body mass.
The Monk Fast may also be associated with several other health benefits.
Though research in humans is limited, some animal studies have found that fasting may have anti-aging effects and extend longevity.
In fact, several promising studies have found that fasting could increase the lifespan of fruit flies, rats, and roundworms (
This process is also believed to protect against a range of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease (
That said, more human studies are needed.
Improves heart health
Some studies have found that fasting may promote heart health.
This may be due to the increased production of a specific hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which plays a role in regulating blood pressure levels (
Enhances blood sugar control
Promising research suggests that fasting could help improve blood sugar control.
For example, one study in 1,246 people with type 2 diabetes found that practicing intermittent fasting for 1 month led to significant improvements in blood sugar levels (
Another review evaluated the effects of four fasting regimens and found that all resulted in short-term improvements in blood sugar levels after 12–24 weeks (
Some studies have found that fasting may have anti-aging effects and improve blood sugar management and heart health.
Compared with other intermittent fasting types with shorter fasting windows like the 16/8 method or the 5:2 diet, the Monk Fast may be difficult for many to follow.
Additionally, it may increase the risk of dehydration, as a large portion of your regular daily fluid intake comes from food (
Although more research in humans is needed, some animal studies suggest that fasting may affect women differently than it affects men, as well as harm fertility and reproductive health (
Furthermore, the Monk Fast is not recommended for those with a history of disordered eating, as it could trigger unhealthy habits.
Finally, people who have other underlying health conditions like diabetes, in addition to those taking medications, should talk with their healthcare provider before starting the Monk Fast.
The Monk Fast may cause adverse side effects and harm reproductive health in women. Those with underlying health conditions or a history of disordered eating should talk with their healthcare provider before trying the Monk Fast.
The Monk Fast is a fasting regimen that involves consuming only non-calorie beverages for 36 hours once per week.
Although no research has investigated the Monk Fast specifically, intermittent fasting has been shown to increase weight loss. It may also offer other health benefits, including improved heart health and blood sugar management.
However, the Monk Fast has been associated with several adverse side effects and may not be suitable for everyone.
What’s more, other fasting forms, such as 16/8 fasting, may offer the same set of health benefits but be less restrictive and easier to follow.