Young Professionals: Extended Fast (72 Hours) – Why You Should Do One

empty plate with fork and knife

On the Internet I see some people are fasting for 30 days or more. That sounds ridiculous…and dangerous?

Recently I completed a mere 3 day fast (actually 69 hours) and it was NOT easy. I had been thinking for months about completing an extended fast of my own. After multiple weekends in a row of sipping mojitos in Barcelona and bar hopping in Nashville (highly recommend the tractor booze cruise with friends), my body and soul needed to rejuvenate.

What better way to recharge than with an extended fast? There are several benefits to starving yourself:

  • Weight Loss

Even though we are quickly approaching bulking season, I could stand to shed a few pounds. My belly fat has been especially annoying to get rid of and so anything that shrinks that – I am cool with.

  • Autophagy

Why is autophagy pronounced like this?

Anyways, during the extended fast a process called autophagy removes waste from weak cells and tissues in my body. As someone interested in longevity, this is a welcomed benefit!

  • Increased Will-Power

Most importantly, I wanted to level up my self-determination and will power. I wanted to prove to myself that I could set a goal and achieve it. I wanted to show myself I could exercise my power to say No, both to food and my social life.

Mostly everything I do in life is geared towards me being a well-balanced, healthy individual. I desire a healthy relationship with my food and eating. The past few months I have spent inordinate amounts of time thinking about food: what I’m going to eat, when I’m going to eat, when my cheat meal will be. I was tired of it!

I was sold. For a few months I have been following 18/6 intermittent fasting regime – where I only eat during 6-hour window, usually from 12 PM to 6 PM. It couldn’t be that hard to just extend my fast to a… 72/0 regime, right?

I was going to begin my fast on Thursday evening and not eat again until Sunday night, meaning I would suffer through an entire College Football Saturday without a beer or slice of pizza. This is the one and only welcomed Sunday where I know Chick Fila will be closed. Hallelujah!

Anyways, I was pumped up (and nervous) to begin my fast. Here is a breakdown of my thoughts and feelings from Thursday – Sunday:

Day 0 – Thursday

  •  5:00 PM:

I prepared my final meal before my fast: a low carb salad with chicken, broccoli and walnuts. AKA the only thing left in my kitchen.

  • 10:00 PM:

Fucking nervous about my fast – 4 hours in!

Day 1 – Friday

  • 10:00 AM:

Oh no! I woke up feeling hungry.

After meditating, journaling, I am out the door for a 4 hour walk through Central Park to help me transition to ketosis faster.

  • 3:00 PM:

I listened to a Joe Rogan vs. Neil Degrass Tyson podcast on my walk – both are extremely enlightened individuals and kept me entertained.

Central Park is a monster. I can’t help but get twisted and turned and lost. I walked around 8 miles and the route I took is pretty hilarious. I thought I walked up and down the whole park, but just did a giant circle….twice.

central park

Overall, I’m feeling energized and great. Most importantly I’m not hungry.

  • 5:20 PM:

Almost 24 hours in – Wow! I’ve been taking KetoForce throughout the day to help my body easily transition to ketones as I burn through my glycogen stores. I don’t feel hungry at all.

I’m here to slay the hunger demon that’s been haunting me and become more disciplined!

  • 11:00 PM:

I felt hungry until I drank more KetoForce and had a tea w/ a scoop of coconut oil. My fingertips are tingling – what is this?

I’m headed to bed feeling confident that I can complete this journey and will attempt to sleep in as late as possible.

Day 2 – Saturday

  • 11:20 AM:

I slept in! I peed and realized I was extremely dehydrated.

So far, the mornings have been the easiest and I don’t feel any hunger. I am also definitely in ketosis based on my keto sticks.

  • 12:20 PM:

Insanely deep meditation, probably the deepest state I’ve ever reached while meditating – hands down.

Grabbed an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (don’t @ me). Also, I subconsciously have been rocking a beard – seems appropriate while fasting.

  • 1:00 PM:

Holy moly, I can feel the caffeine pulsing throughout my body. Powerful.

Also, my body parts fall asleep so quickly while just lounging.

  • 3:36 PM:

I feel fantastic and not hungry at all. Music sounds phenomenal and my mind is clear. I’m finding work easy to accomplish.

  • 5:50 PM:

My fingertips are so tingly and my arms keep falling asleep – such an odd sensation.

I am now 48 hours in! I am starting to daydream about breaking my fast: halal or pizza? Hmm…

  • 10:30 PM:

The nights are by far the worst with food cravings, perhaps because I am bored?

I pulled up pictures of mozzarella sticks and pasta – fuck I’m hungry! Stay strong.

Day 3 – Sunday

  • 11:30 AM:

Slept in as late as possible.

The one day I couldn’t make it all the way through my 20 minutes of meditation! Just couldn’t do it.

I don’t feel hungry, but I’m anxious to eat (I subconsciously decided on pizza over halal).

Last night was especially hard to sleep because I was so dang caught up on food!

  • 12:30 PM:

I got another iced coffee from Dunkin. It’s a beautiful day out and so I decided to go for a walk.

Ironically, I found myself in front of the grocery store and I went ahead and shopped for the upcoming week.

I wish I had gone for more walks during my fast – mental note for next time!

  • 4:00 PM:

I ended my fast! I made it exactly 69 hours – very pleased.

A funny thing happened, I ate a slice of pizza + around 5 mozzarella sticks. Within 5 minutes – maybe less – I ran to the bathroom. I’ll spare you the details.

IMG_20180930_150212

What a way to end my fast!

Products I Used to Help:

I consumed exogenous ketones 2 – 3 times a day to help my body transition to ketosis. The product I used was KetoForce by a company called KetoSports. It works like a charm, but tastes like rocket fuel so beware.

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I also drank Titanium Tea – a mixture of black/green tea with a tablespoon of coconut oil. This helped the hunger go away, especially during the nights! I should add that during the evening, the tea I drank was decaffeinated.

I also drank plenty of water and that’s it!

Takeaways:

 I believe fasting helped build my mental toughness and willpower. I could feel it in my workouts the next week that I was more focused and more willing to push myself further.

My body weight also dropped and has stayed down, without losing any strength in the gym. I lost around 6 pounds in 3 days and have been able to keep the weight off for a few weeks now.

The biggest recommendation I have is to go on several walks throughout the day. This is something I didn’t do and I wish I did. I went for a massive walk on Friday and then didn’t really go outside much after that – which is a shame! I will make sure to head this advice next time.

Another recommendation I have is to unplug from social media. For someone like me who likes going out, it can be tough to see what my friends are doing and have FOMO.

Overall, it was a difficult, but rewarding experience. I believe that an extended fast is worthwhile once every quarter of the year, especially if I feel like my social life has been getting out of hand (which is easy here in NYC). I highly recommend trying if you have been thinking about it.

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