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3 Unique 60-Hour Fast Benefits

by Jennifer Sweenie
Last Updated: January 29, 2024

The human body is designed to survive a period of fasting much longer than we’ve been led to believe. In general, the longer the fast, the greater the benefits you’ll experience. In this post we reveal three unique 60-hour fast benefits. This is two and a half days without food. As you’ll learn from this article, the benefits of a 60-hour fast are similar to a 48-hour fast, just up a notch. And many of the benefits experienced from a full three days (72 hours) of fasting, can be achieved with a 60-hour fast.

Do the 60-hour fast benefits outweigh your desire to eat?
Do our three 60-hour fast benefits outweigh your desire to eat?

There is no one definition for a fasting schedule. Intermittent fasting is the shortest and involves adding blocks of time-restricted eating to your daily schedule. But some people like to add a prolonged calorie deficit to their intermittent fasting plan with whole-day fasting, alternate-day fasting, a 48-hour fast, or prolonged fasting of three days and beyond.

Even short amounts of fasting and calorie deprivation for a designated part of the day can be beneficial for certain health issues. Early time-restricted feeding has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and other important health markers associated with metabolic syndrome, such as blood pressure and weight.

Before we explore the unique 60-hour fast benefits and its possible downsides, let’s first review what a 60-hour fast entails. 

What Is a 60-Hour Fast?

A 60-hour fast is exactly that—you fast for two and a half days. The fast begins at the end of your last meal, and for a true fast, you will maintain zero energy intake for the full 60 hours. Two and a half days is a long-term fasting state and may be overwhelming for beginners. But for those who have completed a 48-hour fast successfully, adding an extra 12 hours to the fasting window comes with some additional potential health benefits, as we’ll discuss next. 

3 Unique 60-Hour Fast Benefits

Some of the most coveted health benefits and physiological changes associated with fasting are usually just getting started at the 48-hour mark. Staying in an energy deficit for just a little while longer allows your body to reap more benefits. Here’s three 60-hour fast benefits you may experience once you reach two and a half days without food:

  1. Increased Opportunity for Ketosis

    Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health explains that all healthy people following a standard eating pattern will experience a mild state of ketosis while they sleep overnight. When you extend that fasting to two and a half days, your body has a much longer period of time to burn through its glycogen stores and begin accessing its fat stores for energy. After a 60-hour fast, your body is well on its way to becoming a fat-burning machine.

    This 60-hour fast benefit, in particular, is appealing to those fasting for weight loss efforts and seeking maximum weight loss and fat loss. A study published in Clinical Nutrition in December, 2023 found that fat oxidation rapidly increases during a 60-hour fast. However, it’s of note that a review published in the journal Nutrition Reviews in 2023 found that it takes five to 20 days of fasting to experience weight loss of two to ten percent of a person’s weight.

  2. Growth Hormone Rises

    After 48 hours of fasting, growth hormone begins to rise. The amount of growth hormone at 48 hours of fasting is five times the amount seen at the 24-hour mark. In other words, it’s just getting started at the two day mark. Extending your fast by another half day can increase the benefits associated with having higher levels of the hormone. Human growth hormone is responsible for bone and cartilage growth in adolescence but begins to decrease in middle age. The hormone maintains organs and tissues throughout the body and is also believed to be involved in the aging process, immune system function, and mental well-being.

  3. Hunger and Energy Levels Start to Improve

    When you continue to fast beyond 48 hours, you may notice that your hunger dissipates. In addition, your fatigue may diminish, and you may feel a boost in energy. People tend to see improvements in these two factors during a 60-hour fasting period and even more so with a 72-hour fast.

Potential Side Effects of a 60-Hour Fast

Many of the possible side effects of refraining from eating food for two and a half days are not much different than when you undergo a 24-hour or 48-hour fast, and they include:

More Room for Dehydration

To avoid the unwanted side effects associated with dehydration during a two and a half day water fast, a good rule of thumb is to consume two to three liters of water a day.

Headaches and Dizziness

Many people experience headaches when fasting. This can be due to anything from caffeine withdrawal to an insufficient amount of electrolytes to a drop in blood sugar or simply dehydration. The longer you fast for, the more likely it is you will develop a headache.

You May Feel Irritable

Some people are extra irritable during the first couple of days of a fast. This can be due a drop in blood sugar levels, or you may just feel hangry. When your blood sugar drops and you experience hypoglycemia, so can your mood.

You May Need to Clear Your Calendar 

Many people like to save a 60-hour water fast for the weekend so they have time to rest and be comfortable at home. It may be prudent to clear your social calendar as well. Fasting requires a little white knuckling and willpower, and being around others who are imbibing in food and drink will make it that much harder to adhere to your fast. 


There are several 60-hour fast benefits unique to surpassing the 48-hour mark. A fast can be motivating and a catalyst for a lifestyle change and modifying your eating habits. However, the longer you choose to go without eating, the greater the risk of possible complications and the need for supervision from a healthcare professional. Some people are not suited for fasting, so it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider before undergoing a 60-hour fast. Whether or not it is safe for you to fast depends on several factors, including your current health status and if you have any underlying health conditions or chronic conditions. 

If you’re curious about trying a 60-hour fast, a myPrimalCoach is always at the ready to help you reach your health goals. Whether you want to reach a healthy weight, achieve a healthier body, or just improve your overall health, a coach can help get you there. 

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