I convinced some friends to fast for three days. I'm sharing my notes with you here, not that anyone is interested in not eating. My opinion is everyone should fast. Anyone that wants to live a richer life both physically and mentally. When I push my limits, my limits are extended. Level up, heres a log of my latest 3 day fast.
I wrote about intermittent fasting here
Motivation: Autophagy, ketones, insulin sensitivity, mental toughness, pissing myself off.
Foods allowed: Non-sweetened tea, Black coffee, Salt
Day one: Log
Last meal 7:30 p.m.: Shrimp (cooked in lard, butter and garlic), steak, a massive salad, macadamia nuts, a few beers, 1 tablespoon of Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon of MCT oil, vitamin K2/D3
Upon waking (5:30 a.m.):
· Heart Rate Variability: 86 (click here for info on this idea)
· Heart Beats Per Minute: 49
· Hunger: none
· Subjective feeling: Motivated/game face
Breakfast: Black coffee (2 cups)
Fitness (6:30 a.m. public gym): 15 minutes sauna, 15 minutes sub anaerobic threshold jogging (149 beats per minute)
· For beginners I do not necessarily recommend exercise. I am well “fat-adapted” and can perform just fine without food.
· By training within my aerobic threshold (sub 149 heartbeats per minute) I get my energy from fat, and spare stored glycogen (carb/sugar/glucose) I think this type of training might boost total fat burning throughout the fast.
Weight (after training): 178lb
Mid-Morning: Americano (espresso/warm water, 2 cups)
Fitness (12:00 p.m. Garage): kettlebell and steel mace functional training (average heartrate – 120 - using polar H7 Bluetooth chest strap heartrate monitor)
· Again, this was a sub anaerobic (glycogen/carb/sugar) burning exercise. While fasting it is important to not exceed aerobic threshold.
Afternoon: 1 cup black tea
Blood Glucose (24 hours fasted): 67 mg/dl
Watched baby boy all day, visited Scott, ran errands, cleaned house/garage…very productive.
Subjective feelings: Strong, minimal intermittent feelings of hunger. Positive mind frame.
When attempting a fast, avoid thoughts of hunger, or the thought of fasting altogether by staying busy. Have an objective for the day. A “To-Do” list to keep occupied. Do not brood over not eating. When hunger strikes, ask yourself if its hunger or some negative emotion…anxious, stressed, lonely, angry? We tend to use food to sooth ourselves and distract from our anxieties. Instead of avoiding some mental anguish with eating, face the fear/anxiety head on. Uncover it. Work through it. Notice your “relationship” with food. Hunger may also be simply lifestyle patterns and habits.
Plan accordingly- Don’t be like me and go shopping the day before you begin a 3 day fast. Eat the perishables before so they don’t go bad. I had to prep some food and throw it in the freezer for later this week as not to waste it.
Day 2 notes
5:00 a.m. (awake)
· Heart rate variability – 71 (15 point drop from yesterday)
· Heart beats per minute – 58 (9 point increase from yesterday)
· Hunger – minimal
· Subjective feeling – Pretty crappy/tired
Poor sleep, was up with crying baby. Felt hungover. HRV and heart rate data show stressed nervous system...Cause: lack of food or sleep
Physically freezing as I get out of bed. Wore a sweatshirt to work, unusual. Normal attire in this weather is shorts and shirt. Thermoregulation tanked with calorie restriction. Body conserving energy
Breakfast – Coffee (2 cups black)
Blood Glucose @ 36 hours fasted (7:30 a.m.) – 87 increased
· Stress response may have triggered cortisol secretion, cortisol can elevate blood glucose? pretty normal fluctuations.
Fitness (9:30 a.m.)– chose not to train movement with low HRV/feeling crappy, did 30 minute sauna/reading/body scrub/cold shower. HR maxed at 153. Felt dizzy – more coffee
Weight – 173 (lost 5 lbs in 24 hours)
Post sauna Blood Glucose – 92 – something not right. Urine - Dark! Resembles diluted coffee. Realized I hadnt pee'd in a while. Im facking dehydrated. Immediately drank a bottle of salt water.
10:45 a.m. – feeling better, drank more salt water
11:00 a.m. – Drank mineral water (Perrier)
11:15 a.m. – Feeling 100%
12:00 p.m. – urine almost clear – great focus, working, studying, mentally sharp, positive. This is more like it.
7:30 p.m. blood glucose - 73
Rest of the day was solid. Hunger minimal. Cravings came but were easily ignored with shifting perspective. Consciously accepting I would not be eating, then shifting focus on productivity immediately. It’s all in my head…hunger that is. Hunger games.
Looks like dehydration was fucking up my program. Too much coffee and not enough water. Lost minerals and H20 in sauna. Keep water and salt intake very high tomorrow.
Mental toughness – prepared chicken stew for tomorrow’s fast break. Handling food pissed me off. An opportunity to refocus. Hunger plays mind games. Fasting trains mental resolve. I will draw on this in other challenges outside of fasting…sleeping in, addiction, laziness etc…
Side note – Fasting with friends is a bonus. Sharing results, strategy and subjective feeling with comrades is powerful motivation. This is war baby…Body VS Mind
48 hours down, 24 to go- will be testing for ketones tomorrow.
Day 3 notes
4:30 a.m. (awake)
· Heart rate variability – 64 (dropped another 7 points!)
· Heart beats per minute – 54
· Hunger – none
· Subjective feeling – feel very fatigued- tired
Only 6 hours of sleep. Body feeling stressed. Mental fog. Very cold.
5:00 a.m. Breakfast – Coffee (2 cups black), salt water
· @ 60 hours fasted (7:30 a.m.) – 60 mg/dl
· @ 63 hours fasted (10:30 a.m.) – 79 mg/dl
· @ 66 hours fasted (1:30 p.m.) – 55 mg/dl
Mid-day – Strong feelings of hunger at work. Feelings of agitation, anxiety, stress. Dismissed when I focus on work.
Afternoon – House smells like chicken pot roast. Intense hunger, anxiety, fatigue. Focusing on tasks Doesn’t fix negative feelings. After smoking weed/drinking gynostema tea, negative feelings subsided.
Sun bathed, meditation, short nap in backyard…Back to myself. Ready to get my fitness on.
Senses are heightened. Sense of smell and hearing seems upregulated, noticing wind in trees and dogs barking the next street over. I am present. I am feeling the cognitive boost of fasting for sure. Euphoric.
3:00 p.m. - Fitness – 68 hours fasted - feeling strong, high energy.
Ingested 10 grams amino acid complex in very salty water (celtic sea salt)
· Pre-training Blood Glucose - 54 mg/dl – would be considered hypoglycemic
· Pre-training blood Ketones – 3.3 mmol/dl “optimal ketosis”
· 20 minutes sauna
· Deadlift – warm up; 245 pounds [5 sets of 5 reps] easy
· Superset light squat
· Post workout blood glucose – 81 mg/dl
· Post workout Blood Ketones – 2.2 mmol/dl
Good, fun training session with friends.
5:00 p.m. Fast Break
· Organic Chicken pot roast – whole chicken, potatoes, leeks, onion, ginger, garlic, carrot, cabbage, Liquids: water, 4 fresh squeezed oranges, apple cider vinegar, Spices: cayenne pepper, fenugreek, turmeric, cardamom. CROCK POT
· Organic vegetable sauté – garlic, onion, asparagus, mushroom cooked in lard
· Organic salad – olive oil
· Homemade pork rinds (chicharones)
· Desert bowl – chocolate, macadamia nuts, blueberries, coconut butter, MCT oil, heavy whipping cream, cinnamon.
Ate way too much food. Stomach hurts badly. Totally worth it. Going for seconds…
Began falling asleep while eating. Early bedtime.
Day 4 (post fast notes)
Slept 11 hours waking up once to feel the baby.
6:00 a.m. – Revitalized
Heart rate variability - 73 "recovered"
Feelings of happiness and calmness. Confident. Accomplished.
Empowering and cleansing experience. Physically and mentally leveled up. HADOOKEN!!!!!
If the zombie apocalypse began now, I’d be cracking undead skulls like an alpha male.
No food, Lack of sleep, Heat exposure, Cold exposure, challenging work, lifting heavy ass things…Good to go.
I have more appreciation for food. Americans stuff their faces constantly, we have a fear of uncomfortable feelings. Were soft…physically and mentally.
SHOULD YOU FAST?
Are you interested in anti-aging?
Immune cell regrowth?
Brain cell growth? etc etc etc…
Those are great reasons to fast. But the reward is the mental game boost. Hard to explain through writing. I feel more in control of my decisions. Mental toughness improved.
They say nothing good comes from comfort zones, and large part of mine was made of food. Yours probably is too.
Things I would do differently
Drink less coffee and more caffeine free Gynostemma tea. (spring dragon brand)
Get more sleep
Use weed for hunger and agitation
Drink more water, some of it with salt.
PS...tested my HRV 2 days post fast and it was the highest reading I've ever had in over a year of testing. The question is "does fasting improve our adaptation to stress?" pretty cool.