Updated: Dec 22, 2020
The Video is at the End of the Blog Post. Enjoy!
Hello! I am Martin, and I wanted to describe my experience with a 3 day fast. 72 hours, 3 days fast that extended into 84 hours only because I didn't want to eat at night when the time expired. I started Sunday night, which I recommend, and it works for me because it's the start of the week, and for me, it is more empowering and I am ready to hit the week strong. It was around 8:30 pm Sunday night that I had finished my last dinner and 72 hours later would be Wednesday at 8:30 pm. Again, I didn't want to happily feast only fall asleep shortly after, so I pushed it till the morning for an extra 12 hours.
I solely had water, 2 cups of coffee in the morning, more water at night, and a decaf tea around 8 pm, which was all I consumed each day for the entirety of the fast. Early mornings, I make Ashely and myself two glasses of water with half a lemon squeezed juice and 2 tablespoons of Braggs apple cider vinegar. I was worried if that would break my fast and in my research, it said, "acids like lemon juice and vinegar (in small amounts) have such low levels of sugars, calories, and macronutrients, they shouldn't trigger the release of insulin. We also take our vitamins and I skipped those during my three days of the fast.
First Meal after Fast
As you will see in the video, I wanted to document my experience and take my first green shake with you watching me end my fast.
If you're doing this alone and your significant other isn't into it that is okay too. My girlfriend thought I was crazy going into a full 3 days and asked me to begin in baby steps, start with 24 hours, and later 36 hours, and build up to it. I just did it. Committed to it and I stay true to my word and went for it.
I explain the benefits and a little bit about different types of everyday fast you can do. Like 16:8 fasting plan is an eating schedule in which you fast for 16 hours each day and eat during an eight-hour window. Figure out your daily routines and schedule a time frame that works for your lifestyle. I vaguely brought to light our circadian rhythm, a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats on each rotation of the Earth roughly every 24 hours.
The takeaways are explained in the video on the benefits and on why I did this for three days and beyond. Aside, from the rapid 2-4 pounds of weight loss, which all come back quickly if you go right back to your routine. I was really fascinated by the research that it dramatically improves stem cells' ability to regenerate. Also, induces an altered metabolic state that optimizes neuron bioenergetics, plasticity, and resilience in a way that may counteract a broad array of neurological disorders. Fascinating information and honestly I felt pressure in my brain and I took it as if my synapses were huddling up with my hippocampus and making a game plan to tempt me back into normality. My mind was doing anything it could just go back to the conventional habits it already knows, feed your system. My mantra, "Let thyself heal!"
You'll learn how much sugar will break the fast? Or my cold turkey approach. There was a "5o calorie" rule related to inducing the insulin, do your research, I just went for only water, coffee, apple cider vinegar, and tea. Zero calories, at least the minimal amount from the coffee and tea, so I wouldn't induce any release of insulin.
I talk about accountability partners. It helps to have others participating so they can hold you accountable on certain days you just want to give in. My buddy, Gab, was in California and we would talk and text to discuss our progress daily on all the ups and downs.
A big factor, if not the main factor, is strengthening your mindset and learning to resist all temptation. Your mind will mess with you and all your unconscious habits, in your daily workplace or home, will come to the surface. I found myself making a coffee and then reaching for the cabinet to get a handful of walnuts or checking out the scene to see what to snack on. I will often just open the fridge and scold myself to stay on point and close the damn fridge and get to work. Have a schedule and keep yourself busy because temptation and your mind will negotiate and rationalize you to just say screw it and eat those leftovers. You deserve it! You, da man, eat that muffin, I hungry, get in my belly. That inner fat-bastard in me no longer has that control over me so I just kept systematically moving forward.
Now, on setting your goals for this fast I am in the middle of reading Atomic Habits by author James Clear and he had a timely explanation on goals and systems. He said, "Goals are about the goals you want to achieve, systems are about the processes that lead to those results." So incrementally set up systems for each day on scheduling your work schedule, workouts, sleep times, and be kind to your significant other as your hunger pains grow impatient. You will get hangry.
Day one, I was ready. I quickly saw my consistency in reaching for a snack or almost tossing some extra fruit in my mouth while I made coffee, I resisted of course. At the time I would eat lunch my automatic responses would kick in and start telling me to go eat. I would drink a lot more water than I normally do to keep my stomach full. The taste of the coffee helped too and gave my taste buds some variety. We did an aggressive workout that day with a 3-mile run and a rubberband full-body circuit doing bicep curls, shoulder press, push-ups, and some leg exercises.
Hard times of the fast are when my girlfriend would cook herself dinner. She was cute because she'd say "I'm sorry, I'm trying not to make it smell so good". Pretty funny, but it was making my salivary glands start to water in my mouth. I prevailed.
Day 2, I woke up at 6:30 am and did my morning routine where I walk to the beach, pray, meditate for 20 minutes and do a long walk while I listen to an audiobook. I felt good and sharp with slight pressure in my head. In my imagination, I pictured my neural networks rewiring and healing, lucky me, I think! After work, around 5 pm, I took a short nap that day and just went for a leisure walk around 7 pm. Ashley's cooking, again, was even harder that night, and watching her eat was even more entertaining to my will power, but I, again, prevailed. If you don't have the willpower to see someone eating in front of you go for a walk or go occupy with some distraction. I was okay with my girl eating because I had my systems in place.
On day 3, I did my morning routine and still had that slight pressure in my head. I was a little short-tempered that day and easily irritated over dumb things I would talk about with Ashley in our morning conversations. I found myself more forgetful and I couldn't remember things as timely as I usually do. Dinner scents were coming strong again but it was one more night. Ashley heard my stomach rumbling and grumbling but I had full control. We watched a show and I was excited about tomorrow coming and finally having my first meal.
As far as sleep goes, I don't really have a problem sleeping. Helps to sleep with someone you love. I did have more vivid dreams than usual but overall the sleep was good.
My accountability partner and I, both discussed what was going to be our first meal? My buddy, Gab, had his all ready to go with a fresh orange he got from his garden, a green smoothie, one egg with pickled purple onions, cabbage, chipotle aioli, and spices. I wanted to transition smoothly with something nutrient-dense so I opted for a green shake too. My green goodness had spinach, celery, blueberries, banana, maca powder, chia seeds, goji berries blended with water, and a couple of ice cubes to give it that cold thick ice cream smoothie texture. You'll see my first sip in the video and discuss or even witness any surges of energy or not?
Overall, this was my second attempt, my last one was in October, and I think I will continue to do this every couple of months, quarterly. The overall process isn't fun and throws you off your mental routine but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. The first two days I felt good and my mind was sharp, by late day three, not so clear. I definitely demanded more willpower to stay motivated and control my urges and hunger. Again, if at any point you feel faint or some reaction of numbness or your body is literally shutting down do what your body needs and break the fast. I didn't feel any of that, other than the pressure in my head, and that pain was not hurting in any way. I am no doctor or nutritionist and if you have any preexisting conditions please consult your local physician.
Enjoy the process, learn about yourself, recognize your unconscious habits that arise in your daily routines, and train and strengthen your mindset. Research various nutritionists, doctors, successful, certified fitness trainers showing real natural results on YouTube and search for keywords on your preferred search engine.
Let us know how your experience was?
Some other recommended links:
The Complete Guide to Fasting on Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast with Dr. Janson Fung
The Powerful Health Benefits Of Fasting - with Ben Greenfield
Best Fasting Length for Fat Loss vs Other Benefits (16 hrs vs 24 hrs) with Thomas DeLauer
Hope you got some value out of my experience with my 84 hours fast.
Remember I am not a doctor or nutritionist I am just learning all about myself and researching daily and taking action to learn from my own results. Those links above should give you a great starting point.