Deep Into AFast
I’m writing this little article to document how I am feeling on my 4th day of water fasting. I have been having one cup of black coffee in the morning, and a second cup of black coffee or plain green tea in the afternoon. Other than that only water with approximately a teaspoon of pink Himalayan sea salt. This is my 5th fast over 72 hours this year and like almost anything they are getting better with time, patience, practice, and refinement.
Going without food is a little tricky the first 16–48 hours. I find that waves of hunger come and go and when they first come they tend to be strong, over time they weaken, and then they eventually disappear. By the 60 hour mark yesterday, I was feeling really good. Today as I write this I’m at the 82 hour mark and the feeling is simply euphoria. Clarity of thought, high energy, low inflammation, and overall weight loss of 10 lbs. My abs, which are usually a blurry 4 pack are no becoming the desired six pack.
I have been training everyday. So far I have done some combination of sauna, gymnastics, resistance training, stretching, eldoa, and jiu jitsu (both drilling and sparring). The intensity has been moderate, well under 80% and I can’t say it has had any negative effects on performance. I haven’t been doing any type of intense interval training and I don’t think I will until the hour before I break the fast.
How long will I fast? I don’t know. I left it up to how I feel. I made it a point that if I drop below 149 lbs I will immediately cease it. I started at 170 lbs and I’m currently at 160 lbs. I keto adapted 4 days before by doing my standard intermittent fasting of 10 hours eating / 14 hours fasting for 4 days, while keeping the carbs under 50 grams each day. This made the transition into the fully fasted state a little bit easier. However I was substantially overeating in the months leading up to this fast.
I got myself to peak fatness by overeating and keeping training intensity very low for almost 3 months. To say I was being lazy though would be a lie. I still walked around 5 miles per day, did my daily exercises and fitness training, and kept teaching and training jiu jitsu 4–6 days per week. I kept my 10 hour eating window and every other week or so still did a 24–36 hour fast. That is probably why I couldn’t get over 172 lbs and 14% bodyfat. Also when I overeat it tends to be the highest quality foods and just too many carbs and dessert. A standard no limit eating day will be something like this.
Meal 1: Organic Coffee with Grass Fed Heavy Cream (app. 1 tbsp)
Meal 2: 5 Free Range Eggs fried in Butter
Organic Salad (Arugula, Avocado, Olives, Almonds, Onion, Tomatoes, Olive Oil)
Meal 3: 16 oz Grass Fed Ribeye Steak
Large Roasted Sweet Potato
Steamed Broccoli with Grass Fed Butter
Full Bar of 100% Organic Dark Chocolate with Half Jar of Almond Butter 1 tbsp Honey
This works out to be between 5,000 and 6,000 calories per day. The food is top quality but the portions have no restriction and I don’t have many issues with energy or digestion. However the state of clarity that comes about when I’m deep into a fast makes me question the whole idea of food and energy.
When fasting I undoubtedly perform better in almost every category except peak performance in high intensity physical endeavors. Even while sparring I feel I have better reactions and decisions without trying to do better. Previously I felt a bit weak while sparring, but this time around I feel pretty damn good. Granted I am only rolling 15–20 minutes at a time and nobody I’m training with is at my level of skill.
Today I’m doing a gymnastics and resistance workout, along with an intense sauna session. I will spar again tomorrow which will be my 5th day with no food and I’m curious to see how I feel. I’m making no declarations about how long I’m going to go onward with this, but I will definitely stop if I drop below 149. At the rate I’m dropping weight I can’t see myself lasting any longer than 14 days.
I will write again after I finish up and then one more time in the weeks afterward. I plan to give a real effort to the one meal a day eating style and see how that goes in terms of health, fitness, and performance. This is all in the pursuit of finding the best way to maximize health and enjoyment of life. I know the tendency is to believe fasting must be super difficult but I can assure you that if you can just push past 72 hours with no food, you will experience a pretty unique state. If you think about it for a minute, it makes a lot of sense. We are a society of overfed food addicts. We evolved by feasting and fasting, and imagine the emphasis is on the latter.
If you are interested in giving it a go I suggest you prepare for it by keto adapting and making sure you don’t puss out and give up because you have an important meeting or whatever. I haven’t skipped a beat in my routine this week and will not use my fast as an excuse. No luxury spa or anything. Just no food and plenty of clean mineral water and sea salt. It is very simple and accessible to anyone. The fatter you are the longer you can go. If you are skeptical read one of Dr Jason Fung’s books on fasting and read up on Angus Barbeiri. The man fasted for 380 some odd days and lost over 270 lbs. If you aren’t interested no worries, but you are missing out on the easiest way around to improve health, fitness, and eventually performance.