I began dabbling in intermittent fasting the summer of 2019, and implemented it regularly by the fall of 2019 because it made me feel so much better.
I work with several clients who implement extended fasts of several days on a regular basis for weight loss and healing. While I am not overweight, I've been wanting to try an extended fast for quite some time for the health benefits. Prior to last weekend, my longest fast to date was 24 hours, which I implement on a weekly basis.
I decided to try fasting from Maundy Thursday evening through Easter Sunday lunch, for a total of 65 hours. I was a little nervous about it, but ultimately knew I could finish. Once I set my mind on something I am pretty stubborn about following through!
I finished dinner by 6:30 that night. We grilled hamburgers, which I eat wrapped in lettuce, organic boiled potatoes with butter, and a big salad with a variety of vegetables and shredded Parmesan. My dressing was a full-oil vinaigrette. Water to drink. I was plenty full that night! I very rarely eat after dinner, so that was not a problem.
I got up and went for a long nature hike, about 4 miles. I didn't want to do any activity that was too intense as I knew I wouldn't be eating for 2 more days. I usually run on the weekends, but chose not to this weekend.
Mornings are never much of a problem with me for fasting, but I did struggle from 2-7 with feeling hungry. I never felt unwell or that I couldn't go any longer, I was just hungry as usual. I kept busy working on my books and playing games with family. I struggled more with the mental aspect on Friday knowing I still couldn't eat for a long time. If the weather would have been nicer, the time would have passed quicker outside! I remember just wanting to go to bed so I could fast while asleep.
I did drink a diet soda that afternoon, which is very rare. I drank a lot of water and black unsweetened tea. At dinnertime I drank about 6 ounces of pickle juice, I couldn't believe how good it tasted! I craved the sodium. I made sure there were no color additives in it. I read for an hour and went to sleep by 10:30 or so. I slept fine and woke about 6:30.
Man, I was hungry, not gonna lie. I went on another 3-mile nature hike to clear my head and focus. Again, I never felt like I was unwell or I wouldn't make the 65 hours. The mental aspect of Saturday was better because I knew I could eat the next day. I had morning tea and lots of water. The biggest struggle was from 2-7 again, and being around family who were eating and drinking all day! I kept busy with work and watching movies. I drank more pickle juice around 6pm for the sodium, it didn't taste quite as good as it did Friday. I wanted FOOD! My daughter and I did our grocery shopping and errands that night to keep my mind occupied.
I could NOT fall asleep Saturday night, I knew to expect this. I laid awake until almost 2 am. That was one of the toughest things about the fast, because I just wanted to sleep so I could wake up and eat shortly thereafter.
Yay, I could eat in a few hours! I was awake by 6:15 so only slept 4 hours. I got up and started making Easter brunch. My kids found their Easter baskets and we listened to virtual church. At 11:30 I was at the 65-hour mark and could break my fast! Eating a small amount when breaking a long fast can be easier on your digestive system that has been resting for so long. I ate a small bowl of nuts and a few cheese curds a half hour before eating our big Easter meal. We ate our meal of ham, boiled potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and green beans, egg bake, raw veggies and strawberry jello salad about 12:30.
While I was dishing up my food I knew I had to get to the bathroom NOW.
Again, I knew to expect digestive distress, but I was not expecting quite what I experienced. I ran back and forth to the bathroom all afternoon. I did not feel unwell or crampy, that stuff just needed to GET OUT. I won't go into more detail, but I think I my extended fast served as the ULTIMATE CLEANSE! Hooray for me! I am fairly certain I have struggled with Candida overgrowth for a long time, and hopefully some of that has died off.
I felt great on Sunday. I only needed to eat that one meal mid-day as I was VERY full after I ate that big meal. I had a few raw veggies with dip and a fruit bar for dinner. I admit I also ate 3 lemon bars Sunday. Man, were they delicious.
I am pretty small, and I still lost 5 pounds in the time I fasted. I know some was water weight that goes with sodium loss, but I know some was belly fat too. I have kept most of it off. My main focus was not weight, but I am fine with saying bye bye to extra fat! I fasted for the experience, and also for the cleanse.
Back to daily fasting of 18-20 hours. Piece of cake! It was so great getting up and knowing I could eat that day. I fasted 19 hours. Fasting in the morning seemed like nothing at all! Still some digestive distress, but feel well.
It is now Thursday, a week after I started my fast, and my digestion is still not quite back to normal. Things are still cleaning out, which is fine by me...
Today I went for my first run since before my long fast. I usually run at least twice a week, but took some time off to let my body deal with the fasting stressor. Because I hadn't run in a while and it was cold, I planned to do a short 3 miles, but once I started, I felt so well with so much energy I decided to do 5 instead. It was a great run!
I'll do it again
I plan to do extended fasts about quarterly. 48-50 hours seems more doable for me so I'll stick with that for my next extended fast. When next Easter rolls around, I'll do another 65-72 hours. The clean out was too good!