Is water fasting healthy or dangerous? Are there any benefits? That means I went cold turkey on food and only consumed water for 3 days. Read this article to find out my water fasting tips.
DAY 0 (21:55)
My last meal of the day were pancakes with plum jam, a banana and a cup of milk with a scoop of protein powder.
My next meal will be on Sunday night.
[07:00 AM Muay Thai private training]
When I decided to do this fast, I wanted to be completely alone and not train for the entire duration. I will definitely not train, but I will coach and today I have 4 sessions (ended up with 3 since one client canceled). Tomorrow and the day after I will not be coaching any sessions since it is the weekend.
I would have preferred not to be with my family during the fast so I could rest whenever I feel tired, but that would be hard to achieve so I will spend that time together with them.
There are several reasons why I chose to fast for 3 days. I’ve already fasted for 24 hours many many times before, and I also trained very hard during each one of these short fasts. I did some crazy conditioning exercises and even MMA sparring, and it was never a problem. I did feel a little bit dizzy and light headed nearing the 24-hour mark, but I attribute that to training on such an empty stomach. On the other hand, the training actually helped me since it took my mind off the hunger, but later it took its toll of course.
A 24-hour fast without training would probably be easier. We will see at the end of the day.
Why 3 days?
I’ve been reading articles and watching videos on fasting, and each and every one of them claimed that it’s a very healthy thing to do.
Every religious practice around the world has fasting in it as a tool to become more introspective and get closer to God. Which is not why I’m doing this. If some kind of introspection occurs, great, I would love that.
But I’m mostly doing this to see if I can go through with this. I think I can, and this is a great opportunity to test my mental toughness. And I’m also doing it because it’s healthy (believe it or not).
There are a lot of benefits from not eating which is crazy because we have been told by the food and farmaceutical industries that we are not good enough as we are, and that we must take this or that drug to be healthy, to eat this or that food…etc.
On the other hand, starving (fasting) is one of the simplest things to do. You just stop eating. I’m not going to stop drinking water and that is why it’s called the water fast.
Your body uses a lot of energy for digestion, and it’s good to make it rest for a couple of days.
Recently I watched Tim Shieff on London Real. He did a 35-day water fast which is incredible. A lot of other people did 3 days so I thought why not fast for three days? It’s not going to hurt me.
If you’re sick, pregnant, breastfeeding, if you donated blood recently, under stress or are unsure whether this is a good idea, please consult your physician before starting a fast.
If you are healthy – go for it.
I thought about doing bloodwork before and after, and I presume it would be much better after, but I wanted to concentrate more on the subjective experience of fasting.
The only measurement I did was to weigh myself on my home scale which is probably inaccurate, and I’m expecting to lose a lot of weight because I have fast metabolism.
Twenty four hours have gone by and I feel good. Better than before when I fasted for a day and trained hard which is what I expected. The lack of training made it easier. I’m hungry, but I don’t feel as dizzy as before when I trained during the fast.
More than a day and a half has gone by and today I feel a little bit dizzier and light headed. Especially when I got up in the morning. I didn’t get a good night sleep because my kid was waking up a lot, but that’s ok and now I feel a bit better. I try to lie down as much as possible.
I wanted to share two interesting things about fasting.
The first one concerns the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. When he went to Egypt to study in a secret esoteric school of mysticism, he was denied entry. He was told that he would only be admitted if he goes through a 40-day fast with some breathing exercises. At first, he didn’t want to do it saying that he “has come for knowledge, not discipline”. After a while, he accepted and did what was requested of him. He felt like a different man when he entered this school and later when he came back to Greece, he also required a 40-day fast of anyone who wanted to join his school.
Another thing I wanted to share is my opinion on why we sometimes stop eating when we’re sick. There are two schools of thought on how to behave when you’re sick. One says that you should eat so you’ll have enough energy to combat the disease.
I’m not so sure about that because sometimes our we lose all appetite when we’re sick. I believe this is a natural defense mechanism because digestion takes a lot of energy from the body, and you need to make it rest so you can heal. Animals also stop eating from time to time when they’re sick, so they can get better.
A lot of o science has been done on fasting, and there seem to be a lot of benefits. I saw on Rob Stuart’s YouTube channel that he has cured eczema on his face mostly with fasting and with some other procedures like detoxification with juices. He credits water fasting as the main reason he was able to do that.
14:00 PM (Family lunch – my mother’s 68th birthday)
We’re at my mother’s place celebrating her 68th birthday. While the family will be enjoying sarma (minced meat in a cabbage roll), mashed potatoes, chicken wings, and a few more goodies, it’s a glass of water for me. 🙂
I have successfully gone through the second day of the fast, and now there are 13 hours left. I still feel a little bit weak, but it’s better than yesterday. I guess my body is going into ketosis and I’m starting to feel better. I had one fear which I cannot prove is warranted. That is that my body will take longer to get into ketosis, which means switching from glucose/glycogen fuel when it consumes all of it, to ketones. I had this fear because I have more glycogen reserves that a normal person because of all the training that I’ve done. But, there is no science behind this claim nor can I prove it, so don’t take it seriously. It’s just a thought.
I’m still hungry (I’d eat an ox in a heartbeat) but it is manageable. One of the things that I think is very important is how you view things psychologically. I’m hungry, I see food, I think about eating it, but at no point of this fast did I seriously consider breaking it before the 3-day mark. A decision must be made and you have to be really strict with yourself. This kind of mindset extends to everything. Training especially.
For example, if running is on your schedule today, and you don’t feel like it, run anyway. No matter what. Of course, if you’re injured or sick, then it’s a little bit different and I’ve discussed this in one of my videos and in my ebook on mental training which is not available at the time of writing this article, because I will be reworking it.
Yes, I have done it! I haven’t had anything to eat for 3 days. I just drank water and that’s it. Now I’m going to eat what my family ate at my mother’s birthday lunch and I’m looking forward to it.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
A 3-day fast is not something that I would probably repeat again. Maybe if I get sick or get so fat that I need to take drastic measures, but I don’t believe it (me being so fat) will ever happen. What I will maybe do is an occasional 24-hour fast or intermittent fasting (16:8 – 16 hrs fasting period followed by an 8-hour eating window) which I think is very good. I think that a 3-day fast is good too, and I’m very happy that I’ve done it, but I will not repeat it again. The second day was the worse and I felt the sickest then. They call it the “keto flu” because your body is switching from carbohydrates to ketones.
The third day was better and I felt sick too but not as much. The hunger never went away and I’m not sure if I went into ketosis or not (allegedly, when you enter ketosis you are no longer hungry). I probably did or I did to some extent.
What I also did was avoid talking to people in close quarters because of the stench you develop from not eating that is coming from the stomach. So I didn’t want to come too close to people.
When you think about fasting, consider a few things. Do you really need it and is your diet healthy enough (most people’s diets, including mine, is not)?
Anybody who is healthy can do a three day fast if they put their mind to it. It’s tough mentally because I went to lunches, fed my kids every day and I felt tired and drained. It’s not easy but it is doable.
I lost about 4 kilograms if my inaccurate home scale is to be believed. I went from 85.2 kg to 81.1 kg.
Intermittent fasting is another way to go. That can be done in many ways. You could stop eating just for 24 hours once per week. Or you could not eat for 16 hours and eat only in the remaining 8-hour window (16-8). There are more ways to do this, but these two are the most popular.
When I intermittently fasted in the past, I noticed that I was losing weight due to my fast metabolism, so I stopped doing it. For me personally, the best way to eat for performance purposes is to have many small meals per day. But when you’re living a normal life or you don’t train as much, you can do intermittent fasting. It will also depend on your genetics and body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph). This is something that you have to take into account because we don’t all processed food the same and we don’t have the same metabolism. I encourage you to experiment.
I had a nutritionist way back when, and she had me on multiple meals per day, every 2-3 hours. It worked like a charm, I had an abundance of energy and performed very well. But it was not really convenient to count calories and eat so frequently.
This doesn’t mean that intermittent fasting is bad. I believe it is great and many people have incorporated it successfully. George St-Pierre swears by intermittent fasting and has said that it is the best diet plan he has ever had. I believe he is on 16:8 regimen.
What about you?
Are you interested in trying a 3-day fast?
How about a one day fast or some variation of intermittent fasting?
Let me know in the youtube comments.