April 27, 2020

Five Days Of Fasting (Quarantine Challenge #4)

published by Bren

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Note: This post won’t go into the science or benefits of fasting, it is just a diary of this particular fast as one of my challenges during Covid 19. If you’re interested in more details on how to fast, I wrote a very extensive guide during a previous fast which you can find here.

Prep day:

Morning weight: 60kg

The day before starting a fast is pretty important. Most people have never gone five days without food in their life, so simply jumping straight in will be definitely be a shock to your body and will make the fast especially hard (probably why almost everyone quits during their first one).

Prep days are a way to reduce calories gradually and ease your body into the fast. It’s also a chance to remove the “heavy” foods from your diet so waste is easier to clear during the fasting days. That usually means high water and high fibre foods.

As I’ve been fasting regularly for a few years now I no longer need really long prep periods, for this fast, I decided one day would be enough.

The day consisted almost entirely of fruits, water and bone broth. Nothing much else to report, just an easy day really!

Prep Day summary:

Bone broth: 1 cup
Fruits: Prunes, dates, feijoas, pineapple, mandarins, blueberries, pears.
Water: Maybe a litre or so


Day 1:

Morning weight: 59kg

Day 1 was actually tougher than it’s been in the pat. Usually I breeze through Day 1s.

Hunger was not torturous but I could feel it pretty heavily. Tried to do some writing, didn’t really get any done though. Instead, I spent some time sitting in the sun and reading and that felt fine.

During the day I also started on my fasting regime, which includes a few different products.

The first one is pomegranate juice. I use pomegranate juice because it’s known to be a good against parasite cleanser. A fast is one of the best times to do a parasite cleanse, especially for someone like me who travels regularly. It also tastes pretty good!

The second product I use is a herbal intestinal cleanse. It contains standard anti-parasite herbs like wormwood, green walnut and clove.

The third product I use is an electrolyte mixture called Ultima Replenisher. It’s the sports drink I used during all my marathon and Ironman training. Amazing stuff and perfect for a fast as its sugar free and zero calorie. I recommend it to everyone (raspberry flavour is the best!).

Late in the afternoon I fell asleep and slept a good four hours. Then did another eight hours at night. Lots of sleep is usually a good sign early in a fast. But other than just feeling hungry, pretty quiet day.

Day 1 Summary:

Bone broth: 1 cup
Ultima replenisher: ~1L
Pomegranate juice: ~400ml
Intestinal cleanse: 3x10ml


Day 2:

Morning weight 58.8kg

Woke up around 5am, then fell asleep again and woke up around 1pm. Woke up feeling pretty dizzy, but no headache. I few gulps of Ultima and I was feeling back to normal. Saw some fruit in the kitchen and was super close to cheating (“it’s only day two…I can just start again”) but resisted.

Not really hungry during the day, just tired. I tried to drink more, but wasn’t that thirsty either. Just got a lot of rest.

I also like to keep drinking a little bone broth during these first days. It has some calories but won’t break your fast, and it makes the transition into fasting mode just a tad easier.

Day 2 Summary:

Ultima Replenisher: ~1.2L
Pomegranate Juice: 300ml
Intestinal cleanse: 3x10ml
Bone broth: 1 cup


Day 3:

Morning weight: 58.6kg

On Day 3 I did my first salt water flush. This is a cleansing technique that was popularised by “The Master Cleanse” which is one of those fasting books/courses. This involves taking 2-3 teaspoons of sea salt, mixing it into a litre of warm water and then drinking it as fast as possible.

The reason this works is because salt water is a laxative. If you ever do this, make sure you don’t go too far from the toilet, because when that water decides to come out it comes fast and heavy and without a lot of warning.

Weirdly I got a huge headache while I was drinking it, which didn’t happen the last few times I’ve done it. I couldn’t even finish the full litre and only got to about 800ml because I knew if I took one more mouthful I would vomit. Still it worked a charm and I was on the toilet 30 minutes later giving my colon a good flush (and then again an hour later and again an hour after that). It’s not the most pleasant process, but it definitely works!

Even on Day 3, I wasn’t have die-off symptoms which is usually when they show up (big headaches and fatigue from toxins starving in your gut). Even without that though, I was still was feeling kind of weak walking around, but not sick or sleepy.

I did find myself craving lots of different foods during the day. Mostly bread, and steak, and a hot soup. Also had some trouble getting to sleep that night – was lying in bed at 2am wide awake. I’ve experienced that hyper-alertness anyway during previous fasts, so wasn’t concerned.

Day 3 summary:

Ultima Replenisher: 1.5L
Pomegranate juice: 100ml
Intestinal cleanse: 2x15ml
Salt water flush: 800ml


Day 4:

Morning weight: 58.1kg

Had some die-off symptoms finally in the morning, but mild ones. As soon as I got out of bed, dizziness kicked in and a slight headache and hunger pangs. Nothing major and went away pretty quickly by the afternoon.

Wasn’t clear headed enough to do much work, just spent the day playing video games and watching TV. Pretty uneventful.

Day 4 summary:

Ultima: ~1.5L
Intestinal cleanse: 3x15ml


Day 5:

Morning weight: 57.1kg

Final day! Pretty easy day to be honest. Of course I was hungry but knowing that it’s just one day left made any cravings easy to dismiss. Technically I was allowed to eat at 10pm, but decided to give my system some extra rest and push until the next morning.

Did a second salt water flush that day. Again I couldn’t finish the whole litre and only managed 800ml. Still worked a charm, though hardly any waste came out this time, just water.

Got to sleep around 2am, but found it hard to fall asleep – my stomach was grumbling pretty hard and I was just thinking of all the food I wanted to eat the next day. Not a good sign to have such strong cravings on Day 5, but it wasn’t too bad. Still wasn’t asleep by 5am, just lying in bed wide awake and staring at the ceiling.

This mega “awakeness” is explained by some people as a survival response. Since you haven’t eaten so long, your body thinks you can’t find any food and puts you into hyper-alert mode so you can go out and hunt/gather. It’s the reason so many people find themselves super productive during fasts. If it hadn’t been so cold, I probably would have gotten myself out of bed and worked too. But we’re getting onto autumn now in New Zealand, and the nights are a bit nippy 😀

Day 5 Summary:

Ultima: 1.5L
Intestinal cleanse: 3x10ml
Salt water flush: 800ml


Day 6:

Morning weight: 57.1kg

Didn’t lose any weight overnight! Kind of odd.

One reason might be because I didn’t sleep well. Only got about 2 hours at most. Still I was lying in bed for 8-10 hours awake, so felt rested enough to get up and eat.

The day you break fast is the best feeling ever. I always like to lie in bed for a while, thinking about all the things I can eat, and just enjoying the last few moments of my system being empty.

The first thing I ate was some fruit (a feijoa) and then I got working on a hot soup for the day – tomatoes with carrots, garlic and onions.

Also the key ingredient of the day was prunes, as they are a mild laxative if you eat enough of them which helps to get your bowels moving again.

Pretty relaxed day as you can imagine, just watching some TV and enjoying eating again.

Things I ate during the day were a pot of soup, some bread (not really recommended, but I was craving it), a packet of prunes, a mandarin, a feijoa, some mandarins. Still no meat/eggs or heavier foods like rice or oats (usually those need to wait another 2 or 3 days).

Day 6 summary:

Pomegranate Juice: 100ml
Pot of tomato soup
Plate of steamed veges
3 slices of bread
~15 prunes
1 box blueberries
1 mandarin
1 feijoa


Some final thoughts

Pretty simple fast this year, not too long (in 2019 I did 11 days, in 2018 did 10 days). Very few die-off symptoms this time, which I could attribute to intermittent fasting for the last 6 months, and also another 5 day fast I did mid-last year, and also a really clean diet for marathon and Ironman prep. That required almost zero junk food and processed carbs, so my system was probably cleaner than usual this year.

Still, 5 days kind of dragged on. Normally at the end of a fast I find myself extending it for one or two days because I’m feeling so pumped, but this time I didn’t even think about it! I was ready to end on Day 3 😂. It’s not really the new/exciting thing anymore, but of course it’s still very beneficial so I just tried to get through it quietly and painlessly. Wasn’t difficult, just a bit boring.

Anyway, that’s another reasonably productive week down during this quarantine season. Haven’t decided what the next challenge will be, but will have something soon 🙂

B

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