Paul’s 3 day fast

I’ve written a review of my 3 day fast from last weekend – it’s long, but I hope it’s interesting/of use to someone out there!!! 🙂

Context:
* I’ve been looking at my health & fitness over the last few months and this is an extension of that.
*Research suggests numerous health and immune system benefits from fasting.
*Recent research has also suggested that Glucose may feed some Cancer growths. The body runs out of Glucose at around 16 hours without food so a 24 hour fast may well be beneficial for starving some Cancers. With both of my parents dying from Cancer it seems logical for me to explore this.

Preparation:
*Having done approx 10 one day fasts I feel ready to up the ante.
*Extensive research into planning, executing, and breaking a 3 day fast. Also, side effects and things to expect to happen while fasting.
*I decided on Monday to start my fast on Thursday at 6.30pm, giving myself time to mentally prepare.

Day 1 (Thurs/Fri):
*My last meal at 6pm is low carb in preparation – no point loading the Glucose when you’re going to be depleting it anyway!!!
*Water in the evening
*Breakfast: water 🙂 A pinch of Sea Salt added to all water from now on, to replace salts lost through sweating throughout the day.
*Around the 16 hour mark (10.30am) there’s a feeling of slight queasiness as the Glucose runs out and the Ketones start to kick in – stored fat that’s now being burnt for energy.
*Working on laptop as normal during the day, relaxing evening – no real difference than a normal day.

Day 2 (Sat):
*Wake with a clear head even though I didn’t sleep well (not related to the fast) – normally if I don’t sleep well I have a headache in the morning.
*11am Went for a walk into Lincoln (approx 10 minutes each way normally) to buy new trainers. Leaden legs -walking approx half the speed of normal. A slowness to my thought processes, crossing the road takes more thought and I have to stop at small side roads to make sure it’s safe to cross – not normal.
*At the shop I find conversation slower and harder to engage in – though polite my instincts are dulled.
*Walking home is ok if somewhat more leisurely than normal. I don’t trust myself to ‘jump’ the crossing lights as normal and wait for the Green Man.
*Reading in the afternoon is shorter and harder to maintain. TV is easy, but unfulfilling and I jump from reading to TV to Internet and back again unproductively.
*No real hunger pangs, food seems to be everywhere in the house!!! Knowing I’m not eating until tomorrow night it’s easy to ignore.

Day 3 (Sun):
*Slow start – I don’t read which is unusual.
*Having the experience of walking yesterday I want to see how I manage it today – bath first I think. It’s relaxing, but when I get out I’m slow to dress and go downstairs – I need a drink – the bath seems to have dehydrated me.
*Similar walk as yesterday in length. I feel almost drunk, legs leaden and thinking slow. After 5 minutes I decide I’ll try to push through it and man up. I increase my pace (still slower than normal), but after a further 5 minutes I recognise I’ve slowed down without realising. I pick up the pace.
*On the return walk I realise my head is down and I’m not looking at anyone as I normally would – it’s an effort to hold my head up. I call in a shop for Broccoli, can’t see it so look again, I don’t trust myself like normal so check a third time – they’ve run out!!!
*I pick up the pace, but have to concentrate to maintain it, else I slow down unconsciously.
*I continue my walk and think about being mugged – I’d hardly be able to defend myself let alone chase anyone – as a 6 foot 3 inch male the thought is completely new to me and somewhat unnerving.
*Leisurely afternoon, unproductive. Potter around, little energy to do anything very productive – watch TV and relax.

Breaking the fast:
*4.30pm 70 Hours in and it’s time to prepare for eating in 2 hours time – tablespoon of Lemon juice in hot water. I seem to perk up instantly. No more energy, but more cognitive.
*5.30pm Start cooking a broth – fry Onion, Carrot, Celery, Mushroom & Bacon. Add water and simmer for an hour. This is the longest hour in the history of man!!! Knowing I’m gonna eat, but not for an hour is hard. Prepare small fruit salad – half an apple and half a banana, 4 grapes and half a small tin of orange segments plus small pot of live yoghurt.
*6.30pm strain the broth to just have the liquid. I have the dessert – very small meal for me, but I feel full!!!
*If you try to eat too much too soon apparently you get constipation and that’s not a plan! Also, vegetarian for 2 days till my system’s back to normal and able to eat meat.
*8.30pm Small meal 2: Medium salad plus mixed nuts.
*10.30pm Small meal 3: Half a small sweet potato and half a tin of baked beans. Hot Chocolate – the thing I’ve probably missed the most 🙂
*Sunday 10.45pm I feel good, legs still a little weak, but feeling completely back to normal apart from that.
*Monday Small vegetarian meals – all good back to normal already. I work as normal Monday evening.

Results:
*The lack of food was easier than I’d expected to handle – I think due to the mental preparation and planning.
*My urine stayed the same colour all the time – must be getting rid of toxins from somewhere!!!
*The first day was the same as a 1 day fast – easy enough, days 2 and 3 were easy enough, but unproductive and the depleted mental capacity was a new learning experience for me.
*Breaking the fast (eating) was relatively easy as I’d d planned and knew what to do and when – using other people’s experience and researching properly is really important.

Conclusion:
*I’ll definitely do this again – probably quarterly. Though there’s a good chance I’ll never know if it’s helping physically or not it seems a good way to be healthier.
*I couldn’t do this and work or expect to produce anything of quality so I’d have to do it over a quiet weekend again.
*Everyone needs a break!!! If I look at it as a relaxing weekend then it’s all good 🙂
*Fasting, for some, is seen as a mental, physical AND spiritual experience. How people with Fibromyalgia and other medical problems cope with a lack of energy and cognitive reasoning is the biggest thing I’ve taken from this. For me the empathy for other people I’ve gain from doing this has been enormous.
*I’m now 48 … is this what I have to look forward to in the future? Decreased mobility and mental functionality? It seems like maybe I should be doing more to prepare for the future.

Final thoughts:
*That feeling where you say “I ‘need’ a bag of crisps to get me through to teatime” now seems a complete nonsense after going 72 hours without food!!! This can only be a good thing to help with healthy eating.
*I’ve been looking in my health and fitness over the last few months, I think I’m going to be upping that even more.
*To be out of my comfort zone is character building – I’d recommend it to everyone!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me if you’d like more info or to discuss.