Sunday, April 4, 2010

Water fasting

Here are my experiences with 3 days (more precisely 81 hours) of water fasting. I have been thinking about effects of abstaining from food for some time, but busy work schedule so far didn't allow me to actually try it out. Happily this Easter I had four free days, so I decided to try water fasting, which basically means that you only drink water and do not eat at all.

Here are my Twitter records in chronological order, translated from Latvian:

April 1, 2am (0h): Last meal (and drink) at party

April 2, 3pm (13h): As I have eaten non-stop for 32 years, I'll make a break to see that will happen. Next meal on Monday morning. Weight 88.9kg

April 2, 3pm (13h): I'm not interested in religious or detoxification aspects of water fasting, more curious about physiological and psychological effects.

April 2, 7pm (17h): No hunger so far, probably because ate a lot of cookies in party yesterday. Bought water made in Lithuania.

April 2, 10pm (20h): No desire to eat so far, only slight tiredness and little bit hard to concentrate. It seems I'm filled with energy.

April 3, 2am (24h): 24h without eating, I have gained 1kg of weight (probably because of Lithuanian water) :D The most interesting part will start tomorrow..

April 3, 8am (30h): still no hunger. Have I been eating just for habit so far?

April 3, 12pm (34h): my stomach makes some noises and I have slight desire to chew something (e.g. to eat apple), otherwise no special effects

April 3, 5pm (39h): finally I've started to fantasize how good it would be to eat pica :)

April 3, 6pm (40h): but first thoughts are about sweets and coffee. Life without stimulants seems little bit boring.

April 3, 9pm (43h): apathy, feeling sleepy

April 4, 2am (48h): some kind of unpleasant feeling and difficulty to fall asleep, but it's not really hunger. All hope for tomorrow..

April 4, 1pm (59h): finally long awaited effects of abstaining from food - total weakness and fantasies about waffles, sushi, yogurt and other food before falling asleep.

April 4, 1pm (59h): Theoretically I should now be in gluconeogenesis phase ( It seems I won't get to ketosis.

April 4, 4pm (62h): "total weakness" was a little bit over-exaggeration, "slight tiredness" would be more appropriate. And I want to feel hunger so I can eat to repletion tomorrow.

April 4, 10pm (68h): to not eat is simply boring, no other special effects after 3 days.

April 5, 2am (72h): sleeping and dreaming about various tasty foods.

April 5, 11am (81h): Finish. No significant feeling of hunger experienced, only slight tiredness and -2 kg. Drinking tea, later - bananas, yogurt, porridge.

Conclusions and observations:
* It was much easier than I expected
* No significant feeling of hunger (only before sleep)
* Almost no physiological effects (only slight tension in abdominal muscles and sometimes soreness in the mouth)
* Slight tiredness (mainly in mornings)
* Mental capabilities almost not affected (little bit harder to concentrate)
* Difficult to fall asleep (but it has always been problem for me)
* Lost 2kg (but I suspect it's mainly emptying of digestive tract, not real loss of fat), 88.9kg => 86.9kg
* Approx. 6-7 liters of water consumed
* Diminished sexual drive :)
* General feeling of boredom
* No elevation of mood or special feeling of well-being (probably it is associated with ketosis, but I didn't get so far)
* Probably marathon training gave some advantage (more efficient use of glycogen)
* Not much physical activity during last 2 days (only sleeping, sitting, little bit walking), therefore less need for energy

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