The Monk Fast: 36 Hours to Reset Your Body (But Read This First)

The 36-hour fast, also known as the “Monk Fast,” represents an advanced form of IF with a significantly extended fasting window.

This protocol typically involves abstaining from all food for 36 consecutive hours and consuming only water and calorie-free beverages.

While this extended fast may seem daunting, its popularity stems from potential benefits like:

  • Enhanced weight loss
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Cellular repair and regeneration

What is a 36-Hour Fast?

A 36-hour fast, is a time-restricted eating (TRE) protocol within the broader category of intermittent fasting (IF).

It involves completely abstaining from any caloric intake for a continuous period of 36 hours.

It’s important to clarify that this does not constitute a dry fast.

Water and other calorie-free beverages, such as unsweetened tea or black coffee, are permitted during the fast to maintain hydration.

The goal is to trigger metabolic shifts and potential health benefits by significantly limiting calorie intake for an extended period.

How to Do a 36-Hour Fast?

While the 36-hour fast can be tempting, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and ensure it aligns with your individual needs.

Here’s how to approach it cautiously:

1. Gradual Preparation:

  • Start Small: Don’t jump straight into 36 hours. Begin with shorter fasting windows like 12:12 or 16:8 to allow your body to adapt gradually. This helps manage potential side effects and increases your chances of success.
  • Consult Your Doctor: Especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions, consulting a healthcare professional is vital before attempting this extended fast. They can assess your suitability and offer guidance based on your individual situation.

2. Planning and Support:

  • Schedule Your Fast: Choose a timeframe that aligns with your lifestyle and minimizes disruptions. Consider starting after dinner to capitalize on sleep during the initial hunger pangs.
  • Track Your Progress: Utilize a fasting app or journal to monitor your fasting duration and consume calorie-free beverages. Keeping track can help manage hunger and provide a sense of accomplishment.
  • Build a Support System: Inform close family and friends about your fast and seek their support. Having someone to check in with and offer encouragement can significantly increase your motivation.

3. Additional Tips:

  • Plan your meals: Prepare healthy options for your refeeding window, focusing on whole foods and balanced nutrition.
  • Stay active: Light exercise like walking or yoga is permissible during the fast, but avoid strenuous activities.
  • Distraction is key: Keep your mind occupied with activities like reading, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones to minimize hunger pangs.

Health Benefits of the 36-Hour Fast

While further research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of the 36-hour fast, several potential benefits have sparked interest:

1. Weight Loss:

  • Reduced Calorie Intake: By abstaining from food for 36 hours, the fast naturally leads to a significant calorie deficit, potentially promoting weight loss.
  • Increased Fat Burning: During extended fasting, your body depletes its readily available glucose stores and enters ketosis. In this state, it starts burning fat for fuel, potentially accelerating fat loss compared to regular eating patterns.

2. Extended Lifespan:

  • Cellular Repair: Studies suggest that intermittent fasting may activate autophagy, a cellular cleansing process that removes damaged cells and promotes regeneration. This process is linked to potential lifespan extension in animal studies.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Research indicates that fasting may lower chronic inflammation, a key contributor to age-related diseases and potentially reduced lifespan.

3. Lower Risk of Cancer:

  • Reduced Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1): Fasting potentially lowers IGF-1 levels, a hormone linked to cancer cell proliferation. This suggests a potential role in cancer prevention, although more research is needed.
  • Antioxidant Effects: Studies suggest that fasting may increase antioxidant activity, protecting cells from damage that can contribute to cancer development.

4. Boosted Immunity:

  • Enhanced Immune Response: Research indicates that fasting may temporarily stimulate the immune system, potentially increasing its ability to fight infections and diseases.
  • Reduced Inflammation: As mentioned earlier, reduced inflammation from fasting may also indirectly benefit the immune system by creating a less hospitable environment for pathogens.

It’s important to note that these benefits are primarily based on pre-clinical and observational studies.

More robust and long-term human trials are needed to confirm and understand the mechanisms behind these potential benefits.

Monk Fast Schedule and Guidelines

The 36-hour Monk Fast involves completely abstaining from food for a continuous period, with only water and calorie-free beverages allowed.

Here’s a breakdown of the common schedule and guidelines:

1. Typical Schedule:

  • Start: Begin your fast after dinner on Monday evening (or your chosen day) and continue until breakfast on Wednesday morning (approximately 36 hours). This schedule allows for sleep during the initial hunger pangs and avoids disrupting work or social activities too much.
  • End: Break your fast gradually with a small, easily digestible meal rich in nutrients.

2. Allowed Beverages:

  • Water: Essential for hydration and electrolyte balance. Drink plenty throughout the fast.
  • Unsweetened Tea: Black tea, green tea, or herbal teas without added sugar or sweeteners are acceptable.
  • Black Coffee: Plain black coffee without milk, cream, or sugar is allowed.

3. Frequency:

While proponents often suggest incorporating the Monk Fast into your routine once a week, starting with shorter fasting windows like 16:8 or 20:4 is highly recommended before attempting such an extended fast.

This allows your body to adapt gradually and reduces the risk of side effects.

Additionally, consult a healthcare professional before undertaking any fasting regimen, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.

What to Eat After the 36-Hour Fast?

best time to start a 36 hour fast

After successfully navigating the 36-hour Monk Fast, it’s vital to ease your digestive system back into eating with care.

Here’s how to break your fast the right way and maximize the potential benefits:

1. Start Gentle:

  • Small portions: Avoid overloading your stomach. Opt for several small meals throughout the day rather than one large one.
  • Easily digestible: Choose foods that are gentle on your digestive system, such as:

2. Nutrient-Dense Choices:

  • Balanced Meals: Aim for meals that incorporate all food groups – protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This ensures you’re replenishing essential nutrients lost during the fast.
  • Whole Foods: Focus on unprocessed, whole foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Examples include:
  • Hydration: Continue drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your body’s recovery.

Who Should Avoid the 36-Hour Fast?

While the 36-hour fast, or Monk Fast, may seem like a tempting approach to weight management or potential health benefits, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not suitable for everyone.

Here are some key groups who should avoid this extended fasting protocol:

1. Fasting Beginners:

  • This fast is considered advanced and demands significant adaptation from your body.
  • If you’re new to fasting, it’s highly advisable to start with shorter fasting windows (e.g., 12:12, 16:8) and gradually increase the duration.
  • Jumping straight into 36 hours can lead to unpleasant side effects and discourage you from further exploration of fasting.

2. Individuals with Medical Conditions:

Consult your healthcare professional before attempting the 36-hour fast, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes: Fasting can significantly affect blood sugar levels, posing risks for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
  • Heart disease: Extended fasting can put additional stress on the cardiovascular system.
  • Kidney disease: Fasting can strain the kidneys, especially if hydration isn’t optimal.
  • Eating disorders: Fasting can trigger unhealthy behaviors in individuals with a history of eating disorders.
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding: Fasting can deprive the developing fetus or breastfed infant of essential nutrients.

3. Other Considerations:

  • Children and teenagers: Their growing bodies require consistent nutrient intake, and fasting can hinder healthy development.
  • People with weakened immune systems: Fasting can further weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infections.
  • Individuals on certain medications: Fasting may interact with medications, potentially impacting their effectiveness or safety.

36 Hour fast Results.

Common Concerns and FAQs.

Can I drink liquids during the fast?

Yes, you can drink liquids during a 36-hour fast. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the fasting period. Water, herbal teas, black coffee, and unsweetened beverages are generally acceptable. Nonetheless, be cautious about adding additives that may break the fast, such as sugar or creamer in coffee.

Is it safe for everyone to attempt a 36-hour fast?

A 36-hour fast, often referred to as a Monk Fast, isn’t for everyone. It’s an advanced fasting method best suited for those with prior fasting experience. It’s not advised for underweight individuals, those with physically demanding jobs, or people with thyroid issues. Additionally, those with a history of eating disorders should steer clear of this type of fasting. Always seek advice from a healthcare professional before embarking on any new diet or fasting routine.

What if I feel lightheaded or dizzy during the fast?

Experiencing dizziness or a light-headed feeling during a 36-hour fast can be quite normal, particularly for beginners. It’s essential to stay well-hydrated and supplement with salt to prevent these feelings.. If you start feeling extremely weak, sick, or excessively dizzy, it might be a sign of low blood sugar. In such situations, it’s recommended to stop fasting right away and seek medical advice. While mild symptoms can occur during fasting, severe or debilitating symptoms are not normal and suggest that you should discontinue fasting.

How often can I incorporate 36-hour fasting into my routine?

Adopting a 36-hour fast into your lifestyle is a personal choice, influenced by your health, objectives, and comfort level. Some choose to fast once a week, some every two weeks, or some once a month. It’s crucial to pay attention to your body’s signals and modify the fasting schedule or length if necessary. Recent studies suggest that a 36-hour fast may offer benefits such as potential weight loss and a reduction in IGF-1 levels, which could help prevent the formation of fatty tissue.


The Monk Fast presents an advanced form of intermittent fasting with potential benefits like weight loss, improved metabolic health, and even cellular repair.

However, it’s crucial to approach this extended fast with caution and acknowledge its limitations:

Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any fasting regimen, especially extended protocols, to ensure it aligns with your individual needs and health conditions.


Hi there, I'm Pranay, a fitness enthusiast who loves working out regularly and staying in shape. I'm passionate about health and fitness, and I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to stay active and healthy.

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