Additionally, research published in the journal BMC Complementary Medicine Therapies states that the most common adverse events from water fasting include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, endocrine problems like diabetes or thyroid issues, or musculoskeletal problems like arthritis. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Samantha Berkowitz, a registered dietician and founder of telehealth service SammiB Nutrition LLC, also warned that prolonged fasting like Okung’s method is similar to fad diets, which can hinder a person’s relationship with food and possibly lead to disordered eating after the fast is completed. “The promotion of weight loss of 100 pounds in 40 days is just not feasible for everyone or something that should be set as a goal,” Berkowitz — a nutritionist who works with patients with a disordered relationship with “food and movement” — told The Charlotte Observer.
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While there are concerns about water-only fasting, Okung recognized in his social media post that his methods aren’t feasible for everyone. Experts suggest that those considering any forms of fasting speak to their healthcare providers and be closely monitored during the fast. “Fasting isn’t for everyone, I get that. But for me, it was a life-changer,” Okung said on Twitter. “My journey hasn’t been just about shedding pounds; it’s also been about shedding old habits and old ways of thinking. Fasting opened a door to a healthier, happier me. It gave me control back.”