Today, I've decided that I am going to do a fast. A few years ago, I watched Michael Moseley's BBC documentary, "Eat, Fast and Live Longer". In that, he goes on a 3-day fast, with dramatic results in terms of reducing health risks.
For me, I'm not sure exactly how long I will be fasting for. I think I need to make a start on this journey and see where it takes me. I will definitely be aiming to go to a minimum of three days. I've read quite a bit about water fasting and I've also been looking at keto fasting - initial fasting and then moving to intermittent fasting. I am planning to tailor my fast to what I think is going to be right for me. Obviously as I move forward on my journey, I can adjust and adapt to make sure I'm not doing something wrong.
So my plan is to start tonight, once I've had my last calorie intake. I will be drinking:
- Water - sparkling and still (filtered)
- Apple Cider Vinegar - 3 teaspoons in water in the morning
- Green tea - max. 3 cups a day, but preferably 2
- Coffee - black and only first thing in the morning
- Teaspoon of marmite in hot water at lunch and at dinner
- Supplements: multivitamin, Rise and Kado, hair and nail tablet
I've roughly (and probably) over-estimated my daily calorie intake on the above at roughly 50 cals.
I'm hoping despite the marmite 'soups' and the supplements, I should get my body into ketosis within 1-3 days. From there, we'll see how long I can go. I've heard that days 3-5 can be pretty mentally tough, with a lot of exhaustion, and then the hunger disappears and your energy levels should start to increase. There's even the possibility that you'll get highs and feelings of euphoria, once the brain starts to function from the ketos.
Once you've used up the glycogen stores in your body and move into ketosis a detoxification process begins. The toxins that are stored in the fat cells start to be released, as the fat is broken down for energy. Another affect of prolonged fasting, is that the body looks for other resources to break down for energy and it focuses on breaking down the damaged, older immune cells. This gives your immune system a reboot essentially. In addition to this, by fasting you give your whole body a chance to focus on repairing and healing, as your body isn't simply focused on food processing. There's obviously the added benefit of rebooting your relationship with food and allowing your gut to reset itself.
Anyhow, the reason I've not decided how long I will go, is because fasting is not a simple one size fits all. You need to listen to your body to know when to stop. I know I need to try to aim for over 5 days. I am hoping at that point the hunger will have disappeared. And from that point, people can go different numbers of days. I mentioned that you need to listen to your body, as you know your fast should end, when you re-experience the hunger pangs again and genuinely believe you can't and shouldn't go further . That's theoretically when your fast should come to an end. We'll see how I get on. I would like to get to 10 days, but I'm open to this being shorter or longer depending on how I feel.