My First 36+ Hour Intermittent Fast
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I have a confession to make. This post was going to be named "My First Multi-Day Fast", but thinking things over during the time when I was 24-36 hours in, I decided to end the fast this morning, and do intermittent fasting for at least a week before diving into a 4+ day fast. You see, I sometimes have a tendency to just dive into something new and in the process I sometimes expect too much out of myself.
I have previously fasted two other times and blogged about it, but it was just for 24 hours at a time, and the last time was almost 7 years ago. I'd like to think that I've grown and matured a lot since then 🙂
I've been considering extended fasting for a while. Recently watching a documentary called The Science of fasting on Amazon, I became really inspired. The documentary details fasting research and findings in Russia, Germany, France, and the U.S. It's a really good documentary, and I highly recommend it.
Another helpful resource I recommend is The Complete Guide to Fasting. This book provides pretty much everything you need to know to get started with intermittent fasting or extended fasting.
After researching and reading, I had decided to proceed with a fast of at least 4 days. From what I've read, fasting becomes easier on day three or four, because the appetite usually recedes around this time. My plan was to fast for at least 4 days, see how I felt, and maybe continue to 7 days.
Below, I detail my experience...
I planned on making dinner on Thursday, November 12th my last meal for 96 hours. Both Wednesday and Thursday night, my dinner consisted of only brown rice and broccoli. I thought that was reasonably healthy, which would hopefully help with my fast. I finished my dinner Thursday night at 6:02 PM.
Friday morning, as we headed out for our morning walk I joked with my wife, saying "This fasting thing is easy! I'm hardly hungry, and I feel great!" As the day wore on, it was actually pretty easy. But that would change after I went to bed.
In The Complete Guide to Fasting, the authors go into great detail about what "fasting fluids" are acceptable. The book stated that black coffee, whether decaf or not can help with hunger pangs. After giving it some thought, at around 6:00 PM Friday evening, I decided to try a cup of black coffee. Just coffee, a couple shakes of sea salt, and a couple shakes of cinnamon. I used my favorite decaffeinated coffee, Don Pablo Decaf Swiss Water Process Colombian. Swiss water processed decaf tastes like the real thing! Anyway, I've never been a black coffee drinker, and despite the cinnamon, I was only able to drink half of a small mug, dumping the rest. It's not that the hunger was unbearable. I think my craving was more psychological than anything else, and I guess I was a little apprehensive about the long 72 hours remaining. In the end, the coffee did nothing for me, and may have actually made things worse. Next fast, I won't be having coffee.
I went to bed around 9:15 PM. I did not sleep well at all. Shortly after going to bed I began to feel my pulse in my stomach and abdomen. It felt very similar to when I've eaten way too much for Thanksgiving dinner, only it persisted all night long. I'm normally an early riser, and by the time 4:20 AM rolled around, I had had enough, I could no longer tolerate remaining in bed.
I was really not feeling too well when I first got up, and that's when I decided that instead of pushing myself too hard, I would proceed to do intermittent fasting for the next week or two. From what I've learned in my research, fasting gets easier the more you do it. So, I'm hoping to do an extended fast either the end of this week, or the next.
My fast was pretty easy for the first 24 hours, but from 24-36 it became a lot more challenging. I broke my fast with around 39 hours in, at about 9:00 AM this morning. My choice of food to break the fast was almonds. I was surprised, when after eating about 10 almonds I felt very satisfied. However, I became hungry again pretty quickly, and at around 10 AM, I had a bowl of quinoa cooked with a handful of blueberries, and topped with a sliced banana and plain, unsweetened soy milk.
My starting weight, Friday morning was 140.6 LB. In hindsight, maybe I should have weighed myself Thursday night, after dinner. My weight this morning at around 6:00 AM was 138.6 LB.
In my next post, I'll detail my reasons for fasting. I'll also be posting with more details of my experiences on my intermittent fasting days as I go along.
How about you? What are your experiences with fasting? Have you ever fasted before, do you want to? Do you think people that fast are crazy?!
Please comment below, I'd love to hear from you!
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Last Updated: October 14, 2017
Thank you for your post. I’m doing my first 36 hour fast. I’m fairly healthy and I exercise outside every morning. I am only doing water with a squeeze of lemon. So far so good but definitely mind over matter!
Thanks for the comment. I agree, your mindset is the majority of what makes or breaks you 🙂 How did it end up going for you?
Thanks for the post. Yesterday I started my first 36hr Fasting. After 24 hours in I’m going pretty strong. Lots of black coffee and water!