This post is not going to be one with tons of scientific information regarding water fasts and why they’re good for you.
Here are some resources that outline the health benefits to fasting and extended fasting for anyone who is interested/curious about it
Longer Fasting Regimens
7 Benefits of Fasting
Guides to Fasting (Multiple Resources)
my fasting history
My health journey is one that I’ve been on for about 1 year now and I have had such amazing success over the past year and I owe that success to intermittent fasting/OMAD and Keto.
I’ve posted about Keto on here before but I haven’t fully spoken about my experience with intermittent fasting and OMAD.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of OMAD before, it stands for One Meal a Day. Basically, a 23 hour fast with a 1 hour eating window.
This may seem extreme to a lot of people who have heard that three meals with snacks in between is the best way to eat all their lives, but OMAD is such an enjoyable and surprisingly easy fast to get used to.
Personally, I never have been someone who enjoys eating breakfast. I like to sleep in as long as possible and I’m typically running out of the door to get to work on time. Before I began my health journey, I would do just that and then pull through a Tim Hortons drive through for breakfast because I felt like I was supposed to eat at least something in the morning. This lead to me eating 1. incredibly unhealthy meals in the morning and 2. eating unnecessary calories.
I learnt about intermittent fasting around the same time I learnt about keto, and I started slow with a simple 16:8. 16:8 is when you fast for 16 hours and eat for a window of 8. Typically 12-8.
This was the easiest first step for me because I was already not interested in eating breakfast, so I got to skip one meal every day and avoid those unnecessary calories.
After I got used to 16:8 I transitioned into OMAD.
OMAD is literally my favourite way to eat when I work during the week. I don’t have to pack lunch for work and when I get home I can have a filling dinner that will last me until the next day. I go to bed satisfied and am physically unable to eat more than the calorie deficit I have set up for myself.
I typically take weekends off from OMAD because when you’re home all day it is pretty difficult to prevent yourself from thinking about food, so I will typically do 16:8 on weekends.
This all changed when Covid-19 hit.
my first extended fast
Since I have been off work and socially distancing in my home, it has been extremely hard to continue with my OMAD dieting. Instead of OMAD I have stuck with 16:8 which has been fine, but I haven’t been seeing the same results I did previously, plus I just don’t feel as great as I did when I was fasting for a longer period of time.
Recently I stumbled across extended fasting whilst perusing Reddit and I was totally consumed with all the research and information shared by individuals who take part in extended fasts and the health benefits as well as weight loss they’ve achieved when doing them.
I started my first fast on Monday May 18th at 11pm and ended it on Thursday May 21 at 7:12pm. This totalled 68 hours and 12 minutes of fasting which is about 4 hours short of 3 days.
This fast was definitely harder than OMAD, especially since I hadn’t done it in over two months, but it was also just as satisfying and refreshing.
Day 1 was definitely the worst of the three days. This was the day I felt the most of my hunger pains. It was a grind to get through it until I was able to go to bed. It’s recommended to drink loads of water when fasting so that’s what I did and it felt great. I was staying extremely hydrated and the water helped to alleviate a lot of the hunger I was feeling.
Day 2 was a lot easier than day 1. I started drinking some salt water on this day as well as took my magnesium supplement to ensure I was getting the electrolytes I needed. I didn’t have potassium yet so I wasn’t able to take that as well, but that is something that I’ve already purchased to take during my next fast.
Drank a lot of water this day too, but felt a lot less hungry. The challenge I faced on this day was just thinking about food and how good a sandwich from Popeye’s would be lol.
Day 3 was by far the easiest day out of them all. I still felt hunger pains throughout the day but they were fleeting and went away easily with sips of water.
I was planning on continuing my fast for longer but I decided against it because I wanted to be able to ease myself into extended fasting without overdoing it.
I decided to end my fast this night with a bit of stew that my fiancé made, which was just light enough to ensure I didn’t overstuff myself with super carb heavy foods after not eating for a couple days.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my extended fast. I definitely plan on doing more in the future, and now that I’m going back to work I plan on maybe implementing alternative day fast’s into my schedule.
I think that there is a lot of controversy surrounding fasting, but I definitely recommend doing your own research regarding it, whether you’re interested in doing it or not. It’s good to be informed, also who knows, maybe you’ll implement some sort of fasting into your diet after learning the science and research that backs it.