- Weight: 163.8 down from 168 yesterday. (I had been eating a ton of melons and other water-rich foods right before the fast so this is not fat loss.
- BP: 142/82 (up 10 points from yesterday)
- Temperature: 99.6 (up 3 points from yesterday)
- Spiritual and emotional transformation
- Freedom from processed foods healing microbiome
- Fast for at least 3 weeks
- Weight loss
- Health: Get rid of sinus allergies and inflammation
- Reduce inflammation in specific chronic areas, neck, knee, lower back injury
I am feeling a little tired. The first few days are always the hardest in my experience.
The reason for a longer fast is so you don’t go through the misery of the first few days, and the lean muscle loss without reaping the health benefits that only come with ketosis and other changes after week one.
My plan is to do this well once more for therapeutic reasons and then not do any more long fasts. I will continue intermittent fasting with healthy eating.
I usually have trouble sleeping for more than 5 hours and have very lively imaginative dreams and mental activity even when not in REM. Last night was about the same.
A distinct bitter taste in the back of my mouth. Had to brush my teeth and use a tongue scraper several times yesterday and again this morning. This is also something I experience with every fast.
I didn’t do a lot yesterday as I was off work. Just had to go over to one of the houses I manage for an Airbnb and drop things off.
I did some computer graphics for my freelance portfolio, meditated for an hour read about nutrition, watched Dr. Greger’s latest live lecture on Nutrition Facts, all about his new book How Not to Diet.
I watched some Amazon Prime videos. I notice more and more how I cannot tolerate most of what is on. I end up flipping through and fast-forwarding to see what the plotline is. My goal is to fast from this stuff, just stop putting in crap.
The whole point of this level of human existence is to have problems that are very challenging and frustrating and painful and overcome those things in the end. This is clear from watching the movies and media of this culture. People are very addicted to problems and conflict. They don’t focus on what it feels like to just be content and happy.
The only things I really like watching are things with amazing production value; like Mrs. Maisel because of the costumes and the attention to details of the era. Also, I love really good animation, because I know what goes into creating 2D and 3D environments and characters and animating them.
Dr. Greger has done a bunch of research on fasting that I have to wade through. There is a two-hour audio presentation I bought that he is starting to break down into free videos.
Unlike a lot of the plant-based doctors he does not emphasize the positive aspects of fasting as much and speaks about the dangers uncovered in western research.
I think the general ignorance of proper nutrition pre fast and post fast has a lot to do with people’s bad outcomes in these many studies.
Many people didn’t keep the weight off after prolonged fasts and just gained it all back in a year or two but this is only because they didn’t have the orientation of making a major life change mentally, spiritually and physically.
Also when a society is fearful of fasting and is generally disconnected from the body and from nature fasting isn’t going to work as well as it does in cultures where it is seen as a positive thing.
Attitudes about fasting
I watch a lot of YouTube videos created by other fasters and it is interesting to see the range of attitudes.
People who are familiar with the concept of fasting as a part of life and the spiritual aspects of fasting, and have prepped with a healthy diet, have a much different expectations and attitudes toward the fast.
There is much less fear and much more focus on healing and better outcomes with the more spiritual outlook in general. Focus on putting positive input, meditation, rest, being in nature etc during the fast.
Then there are the people who are only fasting for weight loss and have no cultural references for fasting through the ages.
The weight loss fasters may have seen some of the scientific benefits but this is not a spiritual journey at all. These people have often not prepared for the fast by eating a whole foods diet.
Or they may have done a week of some kind of apple cider vinegar, or cabbage soup, or mono-potato fad diet etc right before hand. But it seems to be a more superficial understanding for some.
Afterwards they break the fast in dangerous ways or go back to eating the standard American diet within a few days.
And then there is every combination in between. There are people who are doing short fasts because they are on the keto diet or they are doing intermittent fasting.
There are people who have been fasting for years and worked their way up to a longer fast and there are people who are doing their first fast without any preparation having just finished a McDonalds meal or something just as atrocious.
Should you exercise while fasting?
Many people continue to work full time and exercise during a long fast. At True North Fasting Center they recommend resting as much as possible to avoid losing too much muscle mass and to facilitate healing.
I think this is ideal to be as inactive as possible so the body can take full advantage of the rest to heal. But not everyone has the luxury of resting for 2 to 6 weeks while they fast.
I have read an account of a Russian woman who did a 9-day dry fast while working full time. She kept a lot of the weight off. But this seems overly taxing to the body and counter productive.
I have to work today for a few hours for my BNB job resetting rooms, changing beds, vacuuming etc., but most days I only have an hour or two of physical work and then I will be working on my freelance business on the computer, meditating or resting. I want to try to get out into nature as much as possible for slow strolls and do a little gardening.
But my goal is to rest as much as possible. I have a lot of past trauma to heal. I think much of the physical issues come from mental and emotional stress that has been piling up over the years.
So I intend to meditate and journal as much as possible. I am working on my autobiography so that will be one of my main projects this month.
Exercise is fine when intermittent fasting but not for long fasts
Fasts of under 24 hours, or daily intermittent fasting windows where you give yourself a shorter eating window to rest and recover without eating are great.
But that is a whole different animal than the longer fast of 3 days or longer. You can carry on your life normally and do not need to rest more than usual with intermittent fasting.
The first week or two of a longer fast are the hardest on the body. You are using up some of your muscle mass.
The real healing begins when you enter full ketosis, and old lumps and bumps and tumors are eaten away and all the waste is taken care of (autophagy). That is why I am hoping to last at least 3 weeks this time if not 4 weeks. I don’t want to tear down my muscle for only a tiny benefit.
My goal is to have this be my last long fast because long fasts are so stressful for the body. That is also their beauty. By putting the body into a stressful condition I am forcing it to get rid of waste products and optimize its function.
Should you do long fasts regularly?
ButI don’t think this is something you want to do once or twice year. If you are living a healthy life, eating a healthy diet and resting your digestion with intermittent fasting, one long fast should be enough.
After this fast I plan to go back to a short eating window every day with a daily dry fast from about 4 or 5 pm until around 10 am the next morning to rest the body. My goal is to eat a whole foods diet that maintains optimal health.
For weight loss you actually lose very little fat and use more lean muscle mass the first week. The real fat loss does not begin until later in the fast.
So according to dr. Greger’s findings from combing through the studies, it is actually more efficient to eat a calorie dilute whole foods high fiber plant diet to lose the most fat as opposed to muscle mass.
I have done that and lost 40 pounds, 30 of which I kept off for more than a year. So I am confident that after the fast I will continue to eat even better and improve my health.
Incorporating dry fasting into a long water fast
I am going to do the next 48 hours dry. I have had a shower and a sip of water this am but I will go dry or what is known as “hard absolute fasting: to drive ketosis to begin a bit earlier in the fast so I can reduce the transition time, reduce muscle waste and reap more benifits from fasting.
My lower back hurts a little so I might do some yoga today to get the fluids moving in the body.
After watching Dr. Gregor’s scary videos on fasting I am thinking of adding some liquid minerals, especially magnesium, a pinch of hymalian pink salt C and b vitamins to my water when I go back to drinking.
Why I am documenting my fast
I am documenting the fast because there is so still so little research on fasting and a lot of it is done with the medical system’s bias toward fear of fasting.
Often they are not even asking the right questions or using positive behaviors during the fasts and this can lead to detrimental outcomes.
But this is the problem with so much of our medical research. It is one sided, has specific expectations and does not take a holistic approach to the human being.
Should you take colonics or enimas or supplements during a long water fast?
A lot of people swear by enemas and colonics during a fast. But Dr. Fuhrman and other plant-based doctors have found that people actually do better if you just let the body do its own thing. After the fast enemas might be beneficial. I have done plain and coffee enema protocols in the past but not while fasting.
Also there is a lot of talk about heavy metal detoxification as things come to the surface and back out of toxic fat tissues and into circulation.
I am not sure it is a good idea to take these chelating agents while you are fasting. Again you want to get everything out of the way and let the body do what it does.
People who take honey in their water, or lemon and apple cider vinegar or other powdered super food concoctions in a longer fast are probably just getting in the way of reaching the ketosis state and getting the full benefits of the fast.
In extremely long fasts with obese people who need to lose 200 pounds or more, vitamins and minerals are key to survival because these people are often so depleted to begin with and are fasting for months at a time.
Chelation to bind and remove toxins is probably a very good idea soon after the fast ends but besides electrolytes and possible water-soluble vitamins, most experts don’t think you should tamper with the power of the fasting body to get the job done.
Read more of my fasting journal:
- Fasting Journal day 1 Thoughts on why I am fasting
- Fasting journal day 2 First day of dry fasting
- Fasting Journal day 3 Second day of dry fasting
- Fasting Journal day 4: Third day of dry fasting and finally in full ketosis
- Fasting Journal day 5: Breaking a 3-day dry fast
- Fasting Journal day 6: Thoughts on conscious eating
- Fasting Journal day 7: Fasting is only the beginning of great health
- Fasting Journal day 8: Thoughts on rebound weight gain after the fast
Disclaimer: Do not fast if you have issues with a weak heart, medical conditions, or are on medications, and be sure you have supervision if you plan to go on a long fast. I am not a medical professional. This is my personal fasting journal. Please consult a medical professional before you fast.