3 Days of Intermittent Fasting
One of the most obvious things thought in your first fast is how much you think about food.
Not only that, but you also realize how much time you spend engaging with food — whether buying, preparing, or eating it, the average time spent could be between 2 and 4 hours per day.
The following is entirely anecdotal and as I’m not a health professional it’s strongly advised you do your own research before commencing a fast.
Today is my third day of fasting. During the first day I inadvertently began following one of the protocols outlined by Mario Deal in his guide, Intermittent Fasting: The Definitive Guide. Although already vaguely aware that there were health benefits to fasting it was something that I had never actively experienced.
The guide is outstanding and does a very good job at explaining the biological processes involved and what happens to your body while fasting plus it provides several protocols to follow.
Like Mario, I’m a bit of an experimenter, and even though I don’t know a lot about fasting, I decided to approach this with a do first, ask questions later mentality.
What I’m doing may not be advisable and to some an outlandish, ridiculous or even irresponsible venture…
There are, however, good reasons why I’m able to do this, and do it with a degree of ‘safety’. First, I have a very controllable environment, with the ability to set my own working hours which allows close monitoring of myself in a largely stress free environment. Secondly, I’ve been developing my self discipline and have been exploring uncomfortable experiences in an effort to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The way I’m approaching this may not be advisable and to some an outlandish, ridiculous or even irresponsible venture, but I’m a frontier man, and am comfortable dwelling in such realities. So grab that stick and let’s start walking.
This journey began when it was proposed that the next day should involve a fast. I hadn’t been thinking so, but entertainment of the idea, the fact that our Internet had been unexpectedly disconnected, and my resolve to design a lifestyle that is conducive to breaking out of homeostasis, why not. Although alarming, the state of the internet and it’s disconnectedness is a story for another day, save to say I was living like a cave man and it was only a matter of time before I adopted the hunter/gatherer mindset.
Consisted mainly of thinking about food and researching what I had got myself into, leading to the discovery of Mario’s guide. With this new map in hand I started to plot when I might find my next meal.
It became obvious that such a simple task was not so simple after all, and that the guide really was a complete guide, and that my knowing what it was that I was doing was important.
The last meal I had eaten was around 9 PM the night before, so by 5 PM I had been in fast for approximately 20 hours, I ate. It had been a good fast. I hadn’t died and was also surprised at how I had felt throughout it.
Yes you feel hungry, at least on the first day, but aside from that another curious thing of note occurred.
For the past week I had been on the verge of coming down with a common cold, and after reading a study that claimed fasting rejuvenates your immune system, my attitude toward fasting was one that sought it’s health benefits. Bearing this in mind I can honestly say that I feel better in a fast that out of it. After eating I feel as if I’m on the verge of contracting that cold again.
After the first meal at 5 PM, Day 1 concluded with second meal at around 8 PM.
You think less about food. This could just be me but I found it unproductive to do so and spent most of the day writing this article. If my initial approximations are correct, I’m spending close to 4 hours per day engaging with food. This is by far my biggest realization and upon it’s awareness you feel almost as if a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders.
Through this latest experiment of fasting I can really see why this practice has been used in the past to improve health, not to mention the increased mental clarity I feel I have while fasting.
Not only that, but the 1–2 meals I eat between 4 PM and 8 PM actually mean a lot more, which naturally makes me more mindful of what it is I’m eating. The habit of snacking throughout the day is no longer an option and any urge to eat junk food is overridden by the importance of what you’re eating, replaced by a natural attraction to the most nutritious meals you can find.
Fasting through the day has something of a magic roll-over effect, often found when building good habits. Over the past month I’ve been developing a morning routine, which, although quite hard at first, has had incredible benefits not just for my health but also for other, non related, areas of my life.
Through this latest experiment of fasting I can really see why this practice has been used in the past to improve health, not to mention the increased mental clarity I feel I have while fasting. My attention has increased and I’m able to write more consistently.
Is where you find me. I fasted for a further 20 hours on Day 2, having 1 meal at 5 PM and another at 7 PM. There’s almost a natural rhythm to fasting, or at least that’s how I feel, and although I was unaware of it at first I’ve adopted Mario’s fast for 20 hours, eat during 4 protocol.
I feel great and I feel like I could keep going indefinitely but there are some structures I want to put in place before I make it part of my everyday.
Firstly, I don’t have a consistent training routine and as I currently weigh around 70 KG it’s not like I need to lose any weight. This is why I think a routine involving at least 3 days of weight training is advisable, in order to build and maintain muscle mass.
Secondly, my diet, even though relatively healthy is not particularly optimized for this practice. I’ve also been researching and incorporating a lot of nuts and seeds into my diet and the inclusion of them while fasting could be seen as an improvement — I know, it’s not true fasting, but could form the basis for a revised Alternate Day technique.
If you’re still reading, thanks. I really appreciate it and hope you got something out of it — even if it’s just the motivation to do some more research for yourself.
My intake throughout the experiment, although liquid based, has not strictly included water, and is as follows:
- Day 1: water (3L) + 1 multivitamin
- Day 2: water (3L) |1 multivitamin |2 black tea’s |2 peppermint tea + 1 Honey ACV tea (a bedtime drink I took from Tim Ferris, which actually helps regulates insulin levels)
- Day 3: water (3L) 1 multivitamin |1 coffee + 1 black tea |1 Honey ACV tea + 4 pieces of dark chocolate (this probably voids my third day, but I honestly didn’t even think about the this until I had eaten it haha)
Yes, I like drinking tea — in fact I’ve replaced much of my coffee intake with tea. The water I’m drinking is bought and 100% guaranteed to be completely free of chlorine, bacteria, fluoride, sodium — which is (side note) something I think everyone should pay more attention to and spend time researching.
The biggest take-away for me has been the overwhelming realization that fasting isn’t as big of a deal as is made out, with regards to being difficult or dangerous. Now, I’m a bit strange, so what I find ‘normal’ may not necessarily be — but after this experience I actually feel as though fasting is more of a normal thing to do than not. And if I’m honest it’s actually taking some restraint not to continue doing it — I feel that great.
For now though, I’m going to continue improving my diet and focus on developing a consistent training routine. There’s so much to learn and so much of your life to live. It really is a beautiful time to be alive and I would encourage anyone who’s thinking of doing something to just DO IT!