Fasting has existed as long as life on earth. It is practiced by most animals depending on their state and used to be a daily regimen of us humans, but when the agricultural revolution started about 10.000 BC, our health slowly started to detriment.
Fast forward to the era of refrigerators, processed foods and alarming obesity rates, somehow people think its dangerous to skip a meal! The irony here is just glowing in its presence.
Our bodies developed from starting the morning early, by going out to hunt and gather. Most commonly we had a snack during lunchtime while gathering consisting of a handful of berries, nuts or mushrooms along the way until we later would indulge in a large family feast from the capture of the hunters.
When the first agricultural revolution started, we became stationary, ate a less diverse diet and from here, you have a strong argument that we slowly started our downfall…
– “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”
– “You should eat 4-6 times a day”
– “Eat every 2 hours to lose weight”…
Does this make any sense in a world where the obesity rate of children & elder, diabetes, chronic & cardiovascular disease and tooth decay is rapidly increasing?!
– The term “breakfast” was invented by cereal companies that successfully created a need on the market for their product – Supply & Demand at its finest.
– Diabetes stems from overly stimulated glucose levels in your system caused by too much consumption of processed sugary foods too often.
– Losing weight is certainly no rocket science – eat LESS, lose weight. 1+1=2 not -3
We overeat and over-consume in general because of lack of other stimulation, period.
I decided to start my water fast on Thursday, so I had my last meal around lunch time, which was finished around 14.00 / 2.00 PM. I had a relatively large meal consisting of a 400 gram steak together with a salad and boiled vegetables.
During the following 168 hours, I consumed NOTHING else but water. No coffee, no tee, no supplements or anything else – water only. I drank about 3 liter water per day, not measured or systematically, just when thirst or hunger was present.
My first meal again would be on Thursday 1 week after at 14.00 / 2.00 PM.
I planned my fast so that the first few and toughest days would be during the weekend. Usually the first 2-3 days is tough, the second or third day its normal to feel tired and get a light headache throughout the day. As the days go on it gets easier and easier. Its also difficult in the beginning to allocate activities to all your spare time you suddenly gained from not cooking/planning food.
First two days I’m pretty stationary and need to rest for a half to full hour a few times during the day. At the third and the rest of the days you will feel energized, I make sure to be active, get some light to moderate exercise done, stretching and go for walks.
In addition to the general activity I also take cold showers post exercise, which has many other health benefits which will be covered in another post.
How does it feel?
Thursday evening is fine, had a big meal at lunch which lasts energy wise until bed time.
Friday mid day I have less energy but overall good. I start feeling empty in my stomach towards the evening. Im also not pleased with the fact that i can’t enjoy a nice dinner with a drink after the weeks work. This is a obvious habit pattern.
Saturday I have a slight headache throughout the day, I make sure to rest a few times during the day and not engage in any heavy activity. Going for a walk in the city, realizing that much activity is spent around eating or drinking something, suddenly a lot of time is available, but how should we spend it? Hunger comes and goes but is cured by drinking a big glass of water with ice.
Sunday, relaxed day. Going for a walk outside in nature, takes your mind off food and beverage. The unsatisfying feeling of not having the evening meal to look forward to is being more accepted and I’m coming more into the fasted state. Im consuming about 3 liters of water per day, carrying a 50cl bottle with me.
Monday wake up way before alarm, having less need for sleep. The sleeping quality increases dramatically together with the fact that I don’t need to go to the bathroom during the night or straight away in the morning like usual. The waves of hunger is much less frequent and less strong. Working is no problem, even did a training session.
Tuesday again waking up fully rested and energized an hour before alarm clock 5.00 AM. Slept like a baby, with very calm dreams and jump out of bed with ease. Im completely submerged in the fasting and have no problem focusing on tasks or being around food or smells. Your sense of smell will dramatically improve when you’re fasting. I perform a bit longer and heavier training session together with a cold shower in the morning.
Wednesday is delightful, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, I feel very energized and my mind is at ease and clear. It feels like I’ve had 2 strong coffees but without the side-effects you get from caffeine. I do a high intensity training session, go for a long brisk walk and ride my bicycle for about 10km. Go to bed at 22.00 / 10.00 PM and fall asleep almost instantly. A smile on my face all day and all tasks feels easy to do.
Thursday only a few hours left, I get up early feeling great, light, clear and fresh. My body feels healed and restored in a way. I have energy to build a small house and feeling very happy and clear minded. No stress, no clutter, just in a calm and balanced state. Im not even sure i feel like eating at all. In the last days i haven’t had any significant hunger feeling whatsoever, I can go on for a few days more without any problems and almost feel resistant to break my fast.
Breaking the fast
This has to be done carefully. You can’t just gorge down a pizza with some coke and finish off with a bag of chips. Your stomach needs to be slowly waken up.
At 15.00 / 3.00 PM I decide to break my fast, and I do so with a small portion of lacto-fermented vegetables consisting of a bowl of sauerkraut and a plate with a mix of carrots, celery and garlic, all of which are fermented and homemade.
The reasoning for this choice is simple, I want to make sure to build up a strong base of probiotic environment in my gut. This lacto-bacteria do wonders for your health and make sure to fight disease, inflammation and viral infections. The fermented vegetables are very easy to digest and gives your digestive system a smooth and warm wake up.
I want to make one thing very clear, the sole purpose of this fast is ONLY for its health benefits! Im not using this as a means to lose weight since I don’t consider myself overweight.. Although, this IS an Excellent way to lose weight, that is considered a Macro-level benefit
Ive done a health checkup before this fast and will also perform another checkup at the end my fast, to see possible changes and/or benefits on a Micro-level.
Fasting is the only action that has been proven to prolong your life! Which supplements does not – in fact, most of them harm you.
A few of the benefits:
- Supports blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance
- Increases and restores health by fighting inflammation
- Enhances heart health through improving blood pressure and triglycerides
- Increase brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders
- Rapidly aids weight loss and speeds up metabolism
- Fights chronic and cardiovascular disease by reducing abdominal fat
- Increase growth hormone secretion
- Delays aging and extend longevity
- Supports cancel prevention through starvation of tumor cells
- Reduces risk for diabetes
- Cleanses and resets your body from toxic waste
- Improves sleep rhythm
- Helps you achieve a healthier relationship with food
… to name a few of them.
Now, getting rid of extra weight is fun for most people, at least for those who have some extra to spare. It is important to know that your body takes energy from 3 different sources in a very specific sequence:
First: Glucose. Second: Stored fat. Third: Muscle tissue
Many people will have you believe that if you fast, your body will eat your muscle. This is only true if you basically don’t have any fat on your body at all. Which clearly is not the case for most of us.
Important note: this method to lose weight is completely safe for the majority of us, unless you have some very specific diagnose, then check with your doctor. If you decide to use this method, it is of course VERY important to NOT go back to your habits you had before starting this. You should subscribe to a clean and healthy varied diet with less frequent meals and smaller portions!
Starting weight on Thursday morning and finish weight 1 week later Thursday morning:
You will get a feeling of being re-energized. From the third day and forward you will feel light, strong and clear minded. You have a completely new perspective on your relationship with food.
Fat percentage start: 16%
Fat percentage end: 12%
Overall weight loss: 6 kg
Health test: all measurements showed a positive overall improvement.
Sleep: dramatically improved, much less total hours required including falling into sleep.
Mental state: higher focus and solid mood state, a somewhat euphoric feeling which started on day 5 and has stayed since.
Besides the numbers and everything else listed above, YOU will feel absolutely excellent the last couple days of the fast, thats a guarantee!
Energy, clear headed, lighter and better mood, better sleep, better functioning organs, strong and revitalized – these are words that come in to my mind when asked about putting words on the feelings occurring.
Keys to succeeding
To be able to successfully perform a fast, whether it be 24 hours, 2 days, 3 days, 7 days or longer, is to:
- Accept your choice and remind yourself of discipline
- Stay busy! Work, do things you like, be outside and away from the kitchen
- Analyze any strange feeling you might get on a distance
- Drink water every time you get hungry, preferably with ice
- Ride the hunger out, let your body educate you that hunger is not a solid state
- Don’t sit in front of the TV which is filled with food and snacks commercials
- Remind yourself that it WILL get easier after the first days
- Try avoiding social gatherings which are mainly based on food and beverage
- Ask your partner for help
This is an exceptional investment in yourself, theres nothing more beneficial to your longevity and overall health as fasting. Start low and slow, begin with a 24-hour fast and work your way up. Listen to your body and do not be afraid – Everyone can and should do this!