7 Day Fast – My Experience (Part 1)
My fasting experience to date:
This attempt will be my 3rd fast. Besides using intermittent fasting on a daily basis, my first fast was a 72 hour fast. Inspired by the powerful results of the fast, I decided just over a month ago, to give a 96 hour fast a try. Regrettably, I didn’t record this experience in a blog, but those of you who follow me on social media will have read my tweet updates! By day 3 the extreme euphoria I felt was incredible. I had never felt more alive and had more energy running through my veins than I knew what to do with! I felt invincible, like I could run a marathon in record breaking time. Even my thinking seemed way quicker than ever before: almost like my words couldn’t keep up with my brain. It’s so difficult to try and put into words and describe this euphoric feeling. If only I knew how to bottle that feeling, the world would be a much calmer, happier and productive place filled with very content and healthy human beings. I’d also be extremely rich!
The purpose of the fast:
Enthused by my previous experience, I have decided to attempt a 7 day fast. The purpose of this fast is to reset my immune system. The previous 96 hour fast I did seriously boosted my immunity, so much so that I’m one of the small fortunate few who hasn’t come down with any of the nasty bugs doing the rounds at his time of year. And that’s despite having two small children who’ve been transporting germs back and forth from nursery on a daily basis!
Having just had minor surgery, I’m also aware that fasting can assist with the healing process and anything that can help me heal is a bonus! It’s only been 2 days since the surgery took place and although my blood sugar and ketones are well into ketogenic levels and have been consistently, even immediately after the surgery took place, I’m struggling with my short term memory. I keep forgetting what I’m doing and there’s even been instances when I can’t even recall doing something altogether. This is very unlike me as i’m usually very focused and have great mental clarity because of ketosis. I can only put it down to the general anesthetic and am hoping that this fast will reset my brain function and I will regain my mental clarity as a result of doing so.
The autophagy benefits of fasting also really captivate me and the thought of purging my body of broken down or potentially harmful cells is something that I find really appealing. A week long investment of mild discomfort is a small price to pay if it can help prevent certain types of cancers and neurological disorders later on in life. As a woman fast approaching 35, I’m also aware of the anti ageing properties surrounding fasting due to the cell regeneration process that takes place during extended fasting periods. Anything that may potentially slow down my wrinkling and ageing is worth a try in my eyes!
Knowing when to stop:
Everyone who knows me well, knows that I’m a very determined individual who pushes herself to the limit. Quitting is not a usual option for me but in the case of fasting I have accepted that I must be realistic, despite my usual dig deep and tough it out approach. I must listen to my body and any signals that it gives me, for the sake of my own health and wellbeing. The fast as it stands today, as I write this first blog entry, is an attempt at a 7 day fast. If after 5 days my body tells me it’s had enough, I will bow out gracefully and refuel. Keeping an open mind and knowing when to stop is an important part of the process and being in tune with your body plays a vital role in this.
With the initial plan of drinking a large glass of water containing ¼ teaspoon of salt each morning I aim to complete this 7 day fast purely with water. If however, the hunger pangs really start to kick in around day 2 I will allow myself a mug of black coffee. In my eyes, anything that assists you in keeping to the fast as much as possible is ok as long as it’s not ‘food’. Black coffee and bone broth are both options available to assist with the process in my opinion. I fully understand that anything other than water will need to be processed by the enzymes in your stomach and therefore it’s not technically a ‘water fast’ but you should still get very similar therapeutic benefits from the fast regardless. Being mentally prepared for such a situation allows you to have a premeditated remedy should such an instance arise during the fast. Adopting this approach may prevent you from breaking the fast suddenly and falling short of your goal. Preparation is key!
After the fast:
The aim of this blog is to not only give you a detailed and honest account of my fasting experience. I also want to share with you what happens to my body during the days that follow the breaking of the 7 day fast: the good, the bad and potentially the ugly (particularly if I break my fast with eggs – don’t worry, I won’t be doing this!) The plan is to break this down into 3 parts. This is part 1, (the before bit). Part 2 will be the fast itself and Part 3 will be the detail about what happens after the fast has been broken.
I will be monitoring my bloods closely throughout the fast and share with you my blood glucose and ketone readings both during the fast and after the fast has ended. I’ll also detail what happens physiologically and psychologically in terms of body weight, mental clarity, focus, energy and the impact that resuming my usual ketogenic lifestyle brings. I hope that this will be a useful insight into the world of fasting that it may inspire you to begin your own fasting journey.