I’ve just completed 14 days of fasting. Water only, no food.
I’m on the home straight, 7 days to go.
My earlier post : 21 Day Water Fast – Why I’m doing it explains my thinking.
I need to state – I’m not a doctor – so I’m not advocating this, merely sharing my experiences and my thinking. Everybody is different and you need to do your own research and get your own medical advice.
To be honest Day 1 was no problem – I’d previously skipped food for a day, so that didn’t faze me…but as I’m spending this period at home..I did miss the routine of arranging & eating food.
You start to realise how much of your day is consumed by the food process and how much our social lives are intertwined with everything to do with food.
I spent much of the day – as I’ve done most days, in bed, relaxing as much as I could.
This was the last day my bowels operated normally, apart from minor encore performances on days 4 & 5.
Surprisingly, I didn’t feel any hunger – in fact I haven’t felt hunger at any time in the past 14 days…..
Also I’ve had no caffeine withdrawal symptoms at all. I drink a fair bit of coffee, so I was expecting that to be one of my biggest challenges early on.
During the day I had a slight ache on my forehead that passed after a short time.
( I’ve had similar from time to time since…nothing serious. And it quickly goes).
Later on , I could feel my kidneys. There was no pain, just an awareness. My urine dipsticks confirmed that ketosis had started.
I wasn’t really expecting that until day 3.
My main challenge was restlessness / boredom….I felt that I was missing the routine associated with food and drinking coffee. Not the food or the caffeine but the routine.
I’d describe it a bit like I imagine a recent non-smoker.
Beyond the nicotine withdrawals and the taste…they surely miss the “ceremony” attached to smoking. Leaving the building, the process of lighting up, the hand movements of taking a draw, the deep discussions with fellow smokers.
Days 3 to 8
Each day throughout I progressively got used to not eating.
Again – I wasn’t missing the actual food, just everything associated with it.
Beyond, resting & sleeping, I spent the time reading about food and health, as one of my objectives is to end this with some clear guidelines, rules & protocols for myself.
On a few occasions I socialised briefly with friends – and I wasn’t distressed whilst they ate or drank.
I went for small walks daily but fair to say I felt somewhat weak and much beyond that was enough to tire me out. But that’s ok – the main objective of this is to rest and recover.
Days 9 to 14
I was in the zone.
Both my head and my body had settled in to the “new normal”.
Day 10 I felt that there was some minor mucus in my nose which was expelled and my bowels issued a tiny last hurrah.
Daily water in (avge) : 2.8 (target 3.0)
Daily urine out (avge) : 2.2
Weight Loss :
> Starting weight 86.6 kg
> End Day 14 76.6 kg
> Total loss 10 kg
(First 4 days averaged loss 1.225 kg after that it settled down to an average of .51kg per day)
Blood Pressure :
> Start 163/111 pulse 89 (3 day average)
> Day 14 145/99 pulse 98 (3 day average)
Note : Still way too high…but a significant improvement.
Key Conclusions to date
For me – to date, this has been more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge.
I’ve felt no hunger (or cravings) and suffered no major physical problems.
Certainly I’ve been weak and have taken the opportunity to rest up.
I haven’t missed alcohol at all – so I’m likely not an alcoholic.
I didn’t have any caffeine withdrawal symptoms at all – and that surprised me.
I was hoping that no caffeine might result in a significant reduction in my pulse – but no sign of that to date.
It’s very clear that I haven’t been drinking enough water – so that’s one of the big opportunities for improvement that is clear.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that my ideal weight is probably lower than I used to think.
My peak weight ever was about 94kg – maybe 7 years ago.
At that time I thought that an appropriate target weight for me was 86kg…..I now believe that it’s much lower – more like 79kg….
That’s unless I change my body composition (i.e. more muscle) which is one of my objectives and then it might be higher.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about food. In particular around healthy food produced in sustainable systems and I intend to form my own food rules (not to mention alcohol rules!)
(I intend to synthesise my observations and thoughts from all of the many books I’ve read about food in an upcoming article).
To date – I haven’t had any “spiritual awakenings” and that’s probably my fault – my mind has been too busy with reading, minor socialising and a bit of work.
To achieve a “spiritual awakening” I’m thinking that I might need to go on a no internet, no books retreat in the future. Maybe I’ll pitch my tent in a secluded bush setting and just sit quietly for 4 days or so.
Apart from whatever good stuff is happening to my body the biggest benefit to come of this is the demonstration to myself of the power of my own willpower.
If I can do this….there’s probably lots of other challenging things that I can achieve.
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
I’m on the home straight now…..who knows what the final 7 days might reveal ?
Stay tuned for further reports.