What Am I Allowed To Eat Or Drink While Fasting
This question isnt as stupid as it seems. Even on a water fast, Dr. Fung says you can consume more than just water. And I highly recommend doing so to make the experience more pleasurable.
- Not allowed: Diet Coke or Coke Zero or any other zero-calorie crap like that.
- Allowed: Water flavored with coffee, tea, lime, any fruit infusion you can dream up, some apple cider vinegar, or sea salts bone broth multivitamins.
- An easier alternative? Possibly. See Is there an easier alternative? under Understanding and Fighting Hunger, below.
Dr. Fung doesnt mention it in his book, but whats helped me stay hydratedwhich is super important but difficult to do while fastingis adding zero or very-low-calorie electrolyte powders to my water.
The first time I fasted for a prolonged period, I didnt add electrolytes and felt light-headed and woozy whenever I made sudden movements. When I added electrolytes to my diet in future fasts, those sensations disappeared.
Theres no brand in particular that Id recommend over any other. ticks all the boxes, gets great reviews, and only costs around 30 cents a serving. Alternatively, go to your local pharmacy and pick out whatever looks good to you.
What If Others Around You Are Eating
The problem is that although you may be this courageous fasting warrior whos willing to go hungry for several days in a row, the people around you dont want to hear anything about it. I mean, if the average person cant even skip their breakfast or morning coffee, then we shouldnt even mention to them not eating for 3-5 days.
Its true that social pressures and environmental temptations can make a novice faster break very easily. They go to the mall -> they smell fresh doughnuts -> they get the cravings -> they instantly give into the temptation and break their fast. Afterward, theyll get a sugar crash that makes them feel exhausted and theyll start loathing themselves
How do you deal with other people cooking food around you and eating right in front of your eyes?
This is purely a matter of willpower and awareness.
- First, you have to realize that the reason you get the cravings to eat something are purely due to you being exposed to that particular sensory stimulation .
- Secondly, once youve recognized that youve been mind tricked into craving for food, then you have the opportunity to manifest your willpower. The key is to start associating more pleasure with staying indomitable and to associate pain with giving in. This way youll feel better about yourself if you do manage to hold your discipline.
Day Fourthings Getting Beautiful
By day four you should be nearing the 100 hour mark of fasting. This is a significant milestone both in terms of the psychological achievement as well as the physiological state.
A ketogenic state is often characterized by blood ketone readings of 0.5 mMols and above. The optimal range is between 0.5-3.0 mMols. Starvation ketosis begins after 3.0 mMols and ketoacidosis occurs at 7-12 mMols.
Ketoacidosis is generally unachievable with eating a standard ketogenic diet. Usually, it happens in people with severe alcohol poisoning or diabetes. While fasting, you shouldnt go beyond starvation ketosis either because of your body downregulating its own ketone production.
Higher amounts of ketones arent indicative of better metabolic health or more fat burning. In fact, people whove keto-adapted for a long time tend to show lower amounts of ketones in the blood because their body is using them for energy rather than keeping them in the blood.
When I did my first 3 day fast, my blood sugar was at 64 mg/dl, which is termed as hypoglycemic, but my ketones were in the normal range at about 0.9 mMol range. This prevented me from passing out or falling into a coma because I was utilizing those ketones very well.
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How Do You Water Fast
There are no hard and fast rules for a water fast, mostly because there isnt enough research to establish safety guidelines.
There’s not a lot of published science about it, says Varady. In the research studies that exist on water fasting, study participants are closely and constantly monitored by medical professionals during the fast and then watched and guided as they are re-introduced to regular food.
The fasts range from two to 41 days with an average of around seven days. In some versions of the fast, participants are allowed a small amount of liquified food, like fruit juice and vegetable soup, each day.
As part of their treatment, study participants might also be given complimentary care, like enemas to clear their guts since the fast blows up their usual poop schedule. Sometimes they stay at a spa and are encouraged to get massages. In other words, these guys arent usually at home toughing it out alone, and this isnt something the average guy should be trying by himself, either.
The Fasting Stress Support Pack
To try to simplify things, I have created 2 unique fasting support packs. The Fasting Stress Support pack includes the Organic Multi-Mushroom, Organic Ashwagandha and Brain Calm Magnesium. This is great for those who are new to fasting and individuals who struggle with high cortisol and hypoglycemia when they fast.
The recommendations for this are to take 1 cap of the Organic Multi Mushroom in the morning and mid-day in water and 1 cap of the Organic Ashwagandha in the mid-day and 1 cap in the evening to improve daytime energy and quality sleep at night.
The Brain Calm magnesium capsules should be taken with these other supplements with 1 cap in the morning, 1 at mid-day and 1 in the evening to support smooth energy and mental clarity during the day and good sleep at night on the fast. As an added bonus, the magnesium will also help with bowel motility.
We priced this pack out in order to provide over 15% savings off of the regular retail rate.
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Will I Look Any Different After My Fast
Yeah, youll look hungry.
But really, even though you wont burn that much fatas explained in the previous questionyou will notice some visual differences. Most notably, your stomach will deflate. It might even cave in like it did for me on my first three-day fast. But once you put some food back in you, itll reinflate.
Ive also noticed that my skin gets nice and clear as long as I stay hydrated.
Whats Next Fasting As A Routine Tool
The experience during and after the fast has been so positive that Im planning to do this on a once per month or once per quarter basis. Which one I go with will depend on how my body responds.
As more research comes out on the specifics of Fast Mimicking Diets Ill also want to test that out, to see if the same benefits can be achieved with less discomfort.
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Day Water Fast Resources And Information
I did a lot of reading and listening to podcasts before I fasted. Here are some great resources which you should work your way through before attempting your own water fast:
- The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore
- The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo
Videos / Podcasts
A Need For Electrolytes
Its important to stay hydrated on a prolonged fast. For one, drinking water and unsweetened teas will keep you feeling more satiated while you are in a calorie deficit. However, its very important, especially as you will likely increase your fluid intake while fasting, that you also consume electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium and potassium in order to avoid overhydration and electrolyte imbalances. Insulin also affects renal sodium handling, such that your body sheds sodium when your insulin levels drop as they will on a prolonged fast. This helps explain why high insulin levels are associated with hypertension and why blood pressure lowers during intermittent fasting.
You can address your electrolyte needs while fasting by drinking teas with some pink salt added and taking potassium and magnesium supplements a daily multivitamin may also work if it contains these electrolytes. Also look for packets of electrolytes designed for hikers and runners for example, and water that contain electrolytes .
Guidelines for recommended electrolyte consumption for adults over the age of 18:
- Potassium: 1000 to 3,500 mg per day
*Sodium needs may be a bit higher for individuals on a keto diet or prolonged fast, when low insulin levels cause sodium to be flushed from the system. You may want to increase your sodium intake to closer to 5000 mg per day. Speak to your physician about this if you have hypertension.
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Cons Of Water Fasting
While there may be some health advantages of fasting with water, there are also significant risks and drawbacks.
To achieve many, if not all, of the purported health benefits of a water fast, there are often safer, healthier approaches. For example, you might try reducing your sodium or alcohol intake as part of a healthy diet instead.
Is Water Fasting Safe
Unless you are part of a research study carefully designed and monitored by medical professionals, no.
I would say it’s not a safe choicedefinitely notfor people to do on their own, says Varady.
If you wanted to try just drinking water for one day, which is also known as zero-calorie alternate day fasting, thats a possibility, says Varady. But she doesnt recommend multiple-day water fasts.
I would say it’s not a safe choicedefinitely notfor people to do on their own.
One reason: Although you might lose weight on a water fast, you probably will shed more than fat. Water fasting will likely result in lean muscle wasting, or muscle mass loss that occurs when you dont take in protein, she says.
To compensate, your body starts to break down muscles. You might develop other nutrient deficiencies as well. Again, if you are part of a study where someone checks your blood work regularly for signs of nutrient deficiencies, maybe you could catch these things before they become dangerous. On your own, you could end up in trouble.
Another problem: I’d be worried about eating disorder propensity, says Varady. That seems a little worrisome for me, if you’re not eating, it might change your psychology around food if you haven’t eaten anything for 30 days.
And its not just the fast thats potentially dangerousits the period of time when the fast is over and youre ready to eat everything in sight.
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How To Perform Water Fasting
Water fasting is performed by determining if you are a candidate for the process, completing a pre-fast medical evaluation, preparing your body for the fast, creating an environment conducive to the fast, incorporating key behavioral changes during the fast, deciding when to end the fast, and restoring the body in a post-fast period. Whether done intermittently or for a prolonged time, water fasting requires a dietetic protocol that is ideally guided by clinicians to ensure safety and efficacy.
These are the steps to do before carrying out a water fast.
Step 1: Determine if you are a candidate for water fasting
Although water fasting can be attempted by everyone, some notable exceptions exist. According to a study by Dr. Alda Attinà and Dr. Claudia Leggeri from the School of Specialization in Food Sciences in Rome, the following patients should not attempt water fasting.
Step 2: Complete a pre-fast medical evaluation
A pre-fasting medical evaluation should be completed. This should include a comprehensive evaluation of an individuals health as well as an analysis of any prescribed medication, such as steroids, contraceptives, antihypertensives, or anticonvulsants, which may be influenced by caloric restrictions.
Step 3: Prepare your body for the fast
Step 4: Create an environment conducive to a water fast
Step 5: Incorporate key behavioral changes during the fast
During the fast, water can be drunk ad libitum, meaning as much or as often as desired or necessary.
Fasting Is Better Than Caloric Restriction Diets
Caloric restriction on a non-ketogenic diet with plenty of carbohydrates also prevents you from establishing ketosis and reaping the benefits of a fat burning metabolism. Youll burn a little bit of fat but because your body is so used to glucose, itll also compensate for that deficit by converting some of your muscle tissue and vital organs into glucose through gluconeogenesis.
Gluconeogenesis occurs only if your body isnt in ketosis and it cant cover its energy demands with fat and ketones. This happens because the metabolism hasnt adapted to using your fat stores.
Therefore, the key to a healthy and successful fast is to establish ketosis as soon as possible and to prevent your body from entering into a semi-starved state.
It also means that if youre trying to lose weight, then it would be better to avoid all calories and do strict fasting until youre lean rather than follow a calorically restricted diet that keeps you malnourished for several months.
With fasting, you can get into ketosis with a few days and youll trigger the other benefits that can increase your longevity whereas with restricting your food intake will downregulate your metabolic rate and thyroid. This makes you moody and lowers your energy levels to the point of complete exhaustion.
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Refeeding After 5 Day Water Fast
Below is my journal documenting my refeeding after a 5 day water fast. You can find a complete version in my water fasting dary shared on this blog. Here, Im sharing some excerpts to help you get an idea of what to eat once you break your prolonged water fast.
Refeeding Day 1
My simple veggie broth is ready: its beautiful and smells great! Im too excited to eat, so Im trying to calm down.
At 12:20 am, I finished eating. I ate five spoons of my broth and was full. I pooped: it was a small healthy piece. I did my nighttime hygiene routine again. And I went to sleep tired because eating was a lot of work and I immediately felt dizzy after the five spoons of broth.
I woke up at 6:20 am, no alarms. I went to eat but this time, I poured the same broth in a cup and drank it slowly. It was 1/2 of a coffee mug. I got a little headache right away. My heart began pounding, and I was almost out of breath at first, which normalized within a few minutes.
Its 7 am, and I just finished drinking my soup. I have no headache, I can breathe, my heart is still pounding a little bit, and Im excited to gently re-introduce food into my life.
Im going to do my morning hygiene and then sleep some more. Then, Ill eat some more but Ill add more puréed veggies to my broth. This time I added from that broth I made the following boiled veggies: 1/8 of a bell pepper, one mushroom, 1/6 of a white potato, and two pieces of asparagus. I added fresh garlic to that.
Refeeding Day 2
What do I mean?
How Long It Should Last
Typically, water fasts can vary if youre following more of an intermittent fasting routine. Generally, extended fasts without medical supervision are not recommended especially if you have any preexisting conditions.
Additionally, you probably shouldnt water fast for a long period more than once or twice per month. Water fasting too often can deprive your body of vital nutrients that it can only get from food.
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How Long Can A Person Survive On Water
Can you live on nothing but water for five days? Yes, you can. But its not going to be pretty. Your energy level will plummet and your body will start feeling like crap after a few days fat stores are spent and the water fast turns into ketosis. Its called hitting the wall because you experience intense hunger pangs , weakness, dizziness, nausea, headaches and more that make it feel like youre about to hit a brick wall if you dont eat something soon .
The Fasting Transformation Book
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I could not be happier with the content in this book that you can review here. It is by far the best book on fasting the world has ever seen and I have read them all! It is now, my great honor to present this to you and I am deeply appreciative of your support!
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Don’t Exercise For Weight Loss
It’s widely known that exercise and weight loss go hand in hand, right?
So why not do some light exercise to boost your water fasting results, especially if you start feeling that “energy high” after a couple of days?
The problem is, research has shown that if you exercise during a water fast you will destroy your lean body mass at an alarmingly accelerated pace!
And this is true, even if you “only” do light/moderate exercise.
You can find more details in my guide on water fasting ketosis, or more precisely in the part that talks about the consequences of exercising in ketotis).
The bottom line is, you don’t need to lie in bed all day while you’re doing a water fast.
Just do your best to avoid any activities that raise your heart rate, make you start breathing heavily, or require a lot of energy to perform
So things like heavy work, weight lifting, or basically any kind of sports.
And while this wasn’t exactly a tip that can boost your water fasting results, it’s even more important you understand what you’re NOT supposed to do.
Let’s move on to taking a look at what science has to say about how much lean body mass you can lose during water fasting.