I’ve been talking to a friend online that fasts a couple days a week. He has been fasting a couple days a week for weeks on end now. It’s fantastic that he can control his mind enough to do it. I knew someone back in 1986 that fasted for a day, two days at a time. I thought it was a ridiculous notion. Of course I’ve never wanted to lose weight either. Today I find myself in a different situation. I’m going to lose another maybe up to 20 pounds. I’m 168 now, and I could lose another 20 to get down to what I was when I was running triathlons and doing a lot of bike racing. I need to get there because at 47 years old, I’m feeling like – it’s now or never. Get yourself in gear and go for it. I’m still strong. Still healthy as far as I know. It’s time to push and see what I can do.
This article will show you what you might expect for your first 24+ hour fast. Again, I have never done anything like this, so if you haven’t either – your experience may be similar. Or not. Who knows. Take it for what it’s worth – one data point – and then experiment on your own and see what happens during your first fast.
So, it’s 11:30 am. and I’m considering my first fast ever. Already I feel a headache coming on, but I have some tylenol here that probably won’t count as food if I have to take them. I have had a cup of coffee already… and now I have a tea bag in my cup. I’m sure I can get through lunch, but there’s 12 more hours to go after that. At midnight I’m sure I’ll be wolfing down plates full of fruit.
Will be an interesting experiment anyway. I’ll do it and record the results here.
11:30 am. update – I’m thinking a lot about food, but not really that hungry. My head feels a headache coming on. I don’t want to see food on the computer or in my house. I’ve locked myself in the upstairs bedroom. I’m anticipating wicked cravings at some point. I want to do this fast because I want to show my body that my mind is boss. Just like when I run hard, bike hard, climb insane numbers of steps, I want to show the body who is boss… it’s the mind. That’s why I’ll win the fight today. The body is a pawn in the game. Its needs are not urgent, they come secondary to what the mind tells it. It will learn that in a new way today.
I feel a lot of energy. Feels like nervous energy. I feel very awake. The mind is clear – easy to think. It’s a nice feeling. I have noticed that when I don’t eat dinner, I get this feeling at night. I love it.
4:30 pm. update – When I stand up I’m a bit dizzy. I don’t have a headache. I have had 1 cup of coffee about 8 am. One tea at noon. Just made another coffee. I never put anything in my coffee or tea – it’s plain, so no calories. No food. The coffee seems to have extra flavor. It doesn’t, it’s just my perception has changed a bit. Cool. Odd. This is uncharted territory for me. I’ve never gone 19.5 hours without food before. It’s cool to be in this place today and knowing I’ll get through it. I don’t think I could exercise today, and wouldn’t try for this the first fast, but, in the future maybe I’d get more confident about it. I’m considering what I can do tomorrow as far as food intake and exercise. I wonder how I’ll feel. Maybe exercise in the evening to make sure I’ve eaten enough and got it circulating enough. Maybe there’s nothing to worry about? As I said, uncharted territory. I’m exceptionally glad I decided to do this today. Not sure why it took 47 years to try fasting. Just never seemed like a realistic idea I’d gain anything from. Today I see that it is a mental boost, as well as a physical benefit – burning fat all day.
7:00 pm. update – We just returned from the park. I wasn’t hungry the entire two hours we were there. Then I walk into our home and grandma had just cooked something that smelled just like veal parmisan! It smelled DELICIOUS. However, I have now locked myself in the upstairs bedroom again so I cannot smell anything else they’re making for dinner. Only 5 hours to go, and it seems easy now. Heart rate at 45 bpm after climbing the steps and sitting down here at the computer. Stomach gurgled a bit. No flatulence today at all. That’s also breaking new ground, so to speak. Head is clear, no headache. Will probably have a tea, some water, and see if I can sleep around 10 pm. tonight to make it easy. If not, I’ll stay up until midnight and then eat something then. Maybe some fruit. Ideally I’ll sleep and wake up tomorrow morning after 34 hours straight without food – and then maybe I’ll even feel like going some more to stretch it out and make a real record of this. Who knows if I’ll ever feel like attempting it again. Might as well make it good – right?
8:30 pm. update – I spoke with my cousin on chat and he told me about the time he made it over 3 days without eating anything. He said Ghandi wrote about it helping people make decisions because thinking clears up quite a bit. I agree. My mind feels sharper. My thinking is always clear, as a result of meditation. Fasting has helped the mind come to a newfound sharpness I might say. I don’t feel sleepy, slow, dull, or lifeless. The mind feels sharp and ready to do whatever I choose. Very cool feeling.
I read a story this morning about a girl that survived falling down a well. She wasn’t found for 7 days. A seven day forced fast. Wow. I think there’s some mechanism that kicks in after a day or so that makes it quite a bit easier than what one would imagine. You know people that go on hunger strikes say that they aren’t even hungry after a while. I think I can see that happening to some degree already with just 1 day of fasting. The hunger pangs never get stronger than a certain level. It’s all dealing with the mind, not the stomach and body yearning for food. At least not yet anyway. Let’s see what happens.
10:30 pm. update – Everything still good. The mind is alert and yet, I think I’m going to sleep to make it a lot easier. Will see if I wake up tonight hungry or not. Will update again soon.
8:30 am. update – I purposefully woke up late (8 am.) to help me prolong this. I just made a cup of coffee and had one sip. Today I feel a bit weak. Will see what happens with the coffee and whether it helps me put off the idea of ending the fast at 9 am. That would be 36 hours of not eating. I’ll consider that a win for sure. Actually at midnight this morning I would have “won”. Now if I wanted to go another 12 hours – I could hit 2 full days, 48 hours. Sleep went well last night. Woke up at 4 am. for a bit, then back to sleep from 5 to 8 am. I didn’t feel like eating at 4, so the hunger isn’t constant.
So, will see what happens around 9 am. There’s a good chance I’ll eat the dragon fruit grandma brought up to me last night at 10:30 pm. that is still sitting here on my desk. I’ll maybe draw up a plan for eating today that will allow me to eat some food, and yet maintain a very low calorie intake with respect to the exercise I’ll be doing later today. If I’m going to exercise, I’ve got to start eating this morning, to think I’ll have enough energy to run tonight.
9:00 am. update – I’ll eat in 7 minutes. I really want to exercise today – a run around the park. I figure if I eat 1000 calories today, run for an hour, I’ll still be in a caloric deficit of 1,250 calories for the day. That will be almost like fasting the entire day – which gives me a 1,500 calorie deficit. 🙂
I strongly advise fasting at some point in your life. The knowledge that you can do it if you want, is empowering. The experience helps you to learn about what happens when there is no fuel coming into the body. Guess what? You have plenty in the form of saved fat and sugars.
Give fasting a shot!