Monk Fast: How To Follow, Benefits, Risks, And More

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

There are many different types of fasting, each with its own set of rules and regulations. One of the more popular fasting methods is the Monk Fast, also known as the Daniel Fast.

This type of fast is based on the biblical story of Daniel, who refused to eat the king’s food and instead ate only vegetables and water for 10 days.

The Monk Fast is a similar concept, where you eat only fruits, vegetables, and water for 10 days. This type of fast is said to improve your overall health and well-being.

It is also a significant way to detox your body and cleanse your system. If you are considering doing a Monk Fast, here is everything you need to know!

All about monk fast

The Monk Fast is a traditional Buddhist practice involving eating only one meal daily. This practice is usually done during the day and the monk fasts from sunrise to sunset.

The fast is a way for the monk to purify their body and mind, and it is also a way to show compassion for all sentient beings. A strict 36-hour fasting period for those on this diet is required weekly.

The Monk Fast could be a difficult practice to maintain, but it is a valuable experience for those who do it. The fast teaches patience, discipline, and how to live in the present moment.

It is also a way to connect with others who are fasting, as there is a significant sense of camaraderie among those undertaking the same practice.

Potential Benefits Of Doing Monk Fast

The following are the potential benefits of doing a monk fast:

  1. Helps with Weight Loss

    The Monk Fast is a weight loss program. This system is based on the belief that by eating less food, the body will burn more fat.

    There are a few different ways to go about the Monk Fast, but the most common method is to eat only one meal per day.

    This meal is typically a light soup or porridge and is consumed early in the day. Then, for the rest of the day, only water is consumed. 

    The Monk Fast is a bit more extreme than other weight loss programs which are available, but it could be effective if followed correctly.

  2. Boosts Longevity

    Monk fasting works by inducing a stress response in the body, which triggers several beneficial changes.

    For example, monk fasting has helped to increase levels of a hormone called BDNF, which helps to protect against brain damage and improve cognitive function.

    Additionally, fasting has been shown to increase levels of a compound called autophagy, which helps to clean up damaged cells and prevent the onset of disease.

  3. Lowered Risk Of Diabetes

    People who followed a monk fast for 30 days had significantly lower levels of a key diabetes marker called HbA1c.

    HbA1c is a measure of average blood sugar levels over time, and high levels are a major risk factor for diabetes.

    Monk fasting improved other health markers, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

  4. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease

    There are a few ways that monk fasting could help to reduce the risk of heart disease. First, when we do a monk fast, our body can rest and repair itself.

    This may help to reduce the amount of stress on our hearts. Also, the foods consumed during monk fasting may help in purifying the blood.

    Additionally, the monk fast was found to be especially effective in reducing LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” type of cholesterol that could clog arteries and lead to heart disease.

  5. Improves Mental Health

    Monk fasting could help to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

    It helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and higher levels of the hormone oxytocin, which is known to promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

Risks Of Monk Fast

There are several risks associated with monk fasting, particularly for extended periods. These risks include:

  1. Dehydration

    Dehydration could occur when someone does a monk fast for a prolonged period and does not consume enough fluids.

    When the body does not have enough water, it cannot function properly.

    The cells in the body become dehydrated, which may lead to a variety of health problems. headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, and even fainting.

  2. Malnutrition

    Under severe conditions, such as fasting, the body may not be able to get all the nutrients it needs from food.

    Malnutrition is a significant condition that could result in a variety of health issues, and this could lead to it. Monk fast may cause malnutrition. 

    This is because monk fasting could cause the body to break down muscle tissue for energy, which could lead to a loss of muscle mass and a decrease in the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

  3. Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a potentially dangerous condition that could occur when people fast, especially if they do so for extended periods.

    It is related to the body’s use of stored glycogen during periods of fasting.

    Glucose is created through the breakdown of glycogen and is used as an energy source. When glycogen stores are depleted, blood sugar levels could drop, causing hypoglycemia.

  4. Hypotension

    Low blood pressure is a sign of the disorder known as hypotension. While Monk fasting is not a direct cause of hypotension, it could indirectly lead to this condition.

    When you fast, your body experiences several changes. One of these changes is a decrease in the production of hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine.

    These hormones help to regulate blood pressure, so a decrease in their production could lead to low blood pressure.

    Additionally, fasting may also cause dehydration, which could further contribute to hypotension.

  5. Electrolyte Imbalances

    People who do monk fast often have low levels of potassium and magnesium, which could cause several problems, including muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and even seizures.

    In extreme cases, electrolyte imbalance could even be fatal.

  6. Organ Damage

    When the body is deprived of food and water for an extended period, the organs could become damaged. Serious health issues including organ failure could result from this.

While fasting could have some benefits, it is important to be aware of the risks before undertaking any type of fasting. If you have any medical concerns, it is always best to speak with a doctor before fasting.

Final Remark

In conclusion, it appears that the benefits of the Monk Fast diet outweigh the risks. This diet could help to improve cardiovascular health, promote weight loss, and decrease inflammation.

While there are some potential risks associated with this diet, such as an increased risk of dehydration, these could be mitigated by drinking plenty of fluids and monitoring one’s electrolyte levels.

Overall, the Monk Fast diet is a safe and effective way to improve one’s health.