Water fast is when you don’t eat any food for certain period of time. I didn’t tell anyone I’m doing this experiment, because I planned to do it for 10-14 days. People usually go crazy when you tell them you left home without breakfast, BUT 2 WEEKS OF WATER FAST?? I think I wasn’t ready for the argument! Also don’t get me wrong, my brain was also actively trying to stop me from doing it 😀
OK to summarise quickly no food means just this – no food, people asked me if I ate fruit, juices, tea or vegetables. Nope, no food is no food. Water fast gives your digestive system a break and then allows your body to eat you alive, from the inside, but don’t worry it does not hurt. Neither you are hungry. Just bored and cold, perhaps also a bit more creative that usual. Eating alive sounds drastic but because there is just zero calories water coming in the energy has to come from somewhere else. Just like in ‘The Belko Experiment’ movie, the old and ill people (here: body cells) die first. Of course there is a limit of bad cells that your body can utilise, so I wasn’t going to push it too far, original plan was max 2 weeks, but as you see I lasted 8 days. If you are reading this to lose weight, then I’m not recommending this approach. Sorry 😀 I lost 5 kg in 8 days (and Mr B lost 10 kg in 8 days as he is bigger) which was nice and some will say this is mainly water, but I saw myself in the mirror, I really shrunk a lot and it wasn’t water. Here are the points you need to know:
WATER FAST ISSUES – in regards to weight loss
- Consistency – the problem is that 8 days of water fast means additional 8 days of limited food and then you need to continue with gradual introduction of small variety of food. Just like babies, start with liquid, mashed food, no salt, solid food that’s easy to digest, boring, low fat, non allergic etc. Of course you will lose weight but are you prepared for this kind of commitment? Have you ever lasted minimum 2 weeks strict on any diet? Because not being strict with coming back to normal eating may be very – very – very dangerous to your health. Imagine you gave a greasy salty steak, ice cream and chocolate cake to a 12 months old baby.
- Change of habit – 8 days fast in not enough time to change a habit of eating junk food to eating healthy. That’s why for weight loss it’s better to gradually change a habit of doing better choices. Many people say water fast will make you put all weight back on (and more) but not because you fasted, but because you didn’t have enough time to learn how to eat right. And your old habits will always bring you to the starting point. Guess what kind of cravings your brain comes up with!! 😉 As I said, you are not hungry, I will explain how is that even possible later, but you have lots of time to think about the food, for example what you will eat when you eventually start to eat.
- Nutrition education – most people who need to lose weight have no idea what healthy eating means. Being on a longer term balanced diet gives you time to learn what is best for your body, how to cook your favourite food in a healthier way and which food should be eaten in moderation. Water fast teaches you nothing (hey, of course apart from training your will power AF), you already know how not to eat and drink water 😉
WHY DID I DO IT THEN – if not for the weight loss?
Generally to detox, to allow my body to fix itself (even seen animals stop eating when they are ill? ever wondered why you lose appetite when you are ill? sometimes even smell or taste sense? ). I tried 1 course of 3 antibiotics at the same time to get rid of bacteria in my stomach, and bacteria lived happily ever after (until the fast) but the gut became destroyed and very sensitive to most of food. I was just fed up with not being able to solve this problem, so this is how this idea came around. Other thing I wanted to fix was my under-active thyroid. Your body finds something it needs to fix around 7-9th day, you may get fever and feel really unwell, after day or two you get back to normal. Then next, more serious ‘fix’ comes around 16th day, that’s what doctors experienced in this area say.
Picture break, but keep reading!
HOW DID I PREPARE FOR THE WATER FAST?
You should eat clean for 2 weeks before the fast and avoid meat and some other stuff like for example sugar, caffeine or alcohol, which I didn’t do. It makes first few days easier as otherwise you may feel quite ill, but luckily I didn’t. Last year I did intermittent fasting for a month and in a way this prepared me for what was coming (IF is when you eat during 8 hour window during the day and then not eat for 16 hours). I also did low carb and ketogenic diets in the past during which I went through the ‘low carb flu’ (so bad I couldn’t turn in bed for days), probably thanks to this I didn’t have any flu this time. People normally fast naturally during the night when digestive system gets break from eating and drinking. It starts preparing for detox and then you break the process as soon as you eat. This is why some people get headache which stops as soon as they eat something, the headache means body started the detox process. Imagine at this point you carry on with not eating, the headache may last 2-4 days even, depending on how much toxins you like to consume 🙂
SO… HOW DID I SURVIVE 8 DAYS WITHOUT FOOD?
People would always say but you will starve to death, people didn’t have food during the war etc and they died. And the problem is that people during the war had small amounts of food, never having a chance to switch to internal feeding mode. It only happens when you don’t eat anything (alternative is vegetable diet, not done it, but there are certain vegetables you can eat and diet lasts longer, approx 3-6 weeks and then coming back to normal eating another 3-6 weeks). The max someone survived with no food was around 40 days, but generally body has to be in a good state to be able to have that kind of resources. Also if someone is quite ill their body may not be strong enough to cope with this kind of shock. So did I feel hungry? First day is pretty much OK but 2nd is a challenge, especially being at work. On 3-4th day you stop feeling hungry as fat cells fill your stomach to protect the stomach lining. I felt weird not having food in my stomach, but at the same time I felt full. And the fullness lasted until the 8th day. As mentioned before surviving 8 days without food was OK but I just felt bored, all day usually revolves around food, shopping, going out, meeting friends for lunch etc but for 8 days … NADA 🙂 In my first 2 days I went to the gym and did some cardio, but with days I felt weaker and weaker. Also I felt so cold, I have never experienced anything like that. It was probably worse than not eating. The only thing that helped was hot bath and hot drinking water. Not even warm clothes or the sun. I remember I went for a walk in winter faux fur parka and sat on the bench, in the sun, with the hood on. And yes everyone around me was without jackets. It was hot English March.
What your body can do to help you find food. I already said that at the beginning it makes you smell sense better. But Mr B needs glasses to read/drive etc. His sight actually temporarily improved in first days, I’m guessing to help him find food lol. We tested the sign that is across the road, he normally can’t read it and after 1 day he saw it clearly. So your body can see well but it chooses not to? Why your body decides to go back to shitty sight, I am not yet sure 😀
In a separate post I will explain what happened on each day of the water fast. Day by day diary.
Ps. Interesting fact … on the pics I actually started 4th day of dry fast, can you guess what that is? From the watch you can see it was around 9 AM but super hot already, but this is story for another time.