I’ve Been Fasting For 3 Days. Here’s What I’ve Learned (and Why I Did It)
This week, we have a very special episode. Why is it special? Well, because as I write and record this, I am in hour 60 of a 72 hour fast.
You may remember that in the past, we've spoken with a number of experts who advocate various types of fasting. We've spoken with Brad Pilon, an advocate of intermittent fasting. We've spoken with Jimmy Moore, a proponent of ketogenetic diets and longer-term fasting. And, more recently, we've spoken with Elaina Love, who teaches people how to complete 3-7 day “cleanses” that are very closely aligned with fasting principles.
For years, I've wanted to try out a 3 to 7 day fast, but my schedule – and a good bit of fear – haven't permitted it. Recently, however, I was able to set aside the time (and have the proper supervision in the form of a live-in partner) to really try this out… and the results have been surprising, to say the least.
In this episode, I want to talk through some of the things I've been experiencing and thinking about, explain the reasoning behind this fast, and share with you what has been one of the more interesting and reaffirming biohacking experiences I've ever had.
Rather than script this entire episode out, I've outlined some bullet points, and want to speak directly and improvise. This is partly to save time, but also to demonstrate the kind of mental clarity that I've been able to maintain during this fast.
So, let's dive in?
In this episode, we discuss:
- Why am I fasting? What are the benefits I'm expecting to see?
- For the experience!
- Kill precancerous cells
- Re-set insulin sensitivity
- Improve immunity
- Increase muscle mass
- Improve will-power
- Develop the ability to fast if needed
- Reduce body fat?
- Ultimately, I was sold on it by all the findings in Tools of Titans
- What type of fast am I doing? How long? Am I really eating NOTHING?!
- No food at all
- Water with salt and green tea
- Took some of Elaina Love's Reconstructive Enzymes after day 1
- What's it like? Is it hard?
- Much easier than I thought
- People often say that it gets easier after day 3
- The nights are much harder than the days!
- Boredom is also a major factor
- The hardest part isn't actually hunger – it's “missing food” – I'll explain
- What happened to your body during all of this?
- After 13 hours, my blood sugar was still at 103 from a high carb meal!
- At 36 hours, things evened out nicely: 90 blood glucose, and an impressive 1.1mmol ketones
- By 60 hours, though, things started getting a bit more serious: 58 blood glucose and a shocking 3.5mmol ketones
- Through it all, I've had the energy to walk, work, and even be intimate – though admittedly, I wasn't as enthusiastic as usual
- What surprising realizations have you had? What have you learned?
- The biggest realization I've had has just been about my relationship with food
- The second realization I've had is that I truly am what Gretchen Rubin calls an “Obliger”
- Another interesting realization? My will power seems to be much higher while fasting
- I've also realized that it's a myth that food passes through your body in 8 hours… gross!
- Lastly, I've realized how much water comes from food
- So, how do you feel right now?
- To be honest, I feel awesome, considering my blood sugar level
- I'm incredibly focused and motivated, and have the willpower to push through tasks I've been putting off
- This is likely what Jimmy Moore was talking about!
- At this point, it's very clear to me that I could continue for another 3-5 days – but I really don't want to
- Will I do this again?
- At about 50 hours, I would've said “no way” – but looking at the benefits… it's highly likely
- Many experts recommend fasting 2-3 times a year – some do it once a month
- If I consider the benefits – namely the insulin sensitivity and anti-cancerous activity – it might be worth it
- Next time, however, I'll try to do it in situations where I'm busier – and there's less tasty food around me
- Should YOU do this?
- Of course, that's something you should discuss with your doctor
- However, if you are looking to gain some more control over your body, push your limits, etc – then probably
- So long as you are smart about it, and have some basic supervision, a moderate (3-7 day) fast is perfectly safe for most people
- I'd recommend starting with 12 hours, working up to 24, and once you've got that down, try 72
- One of the best resources I've found on this was in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss – though I didn't consume like he did
So, those are my thoughts on my 3-day fast. I hope you guys have enjoyed this episode.
I'd love to hear in the comments… will you try this out? Why or why not?
Alright, I'm off to keep myself busy for a few more hours before devouring pretty much everything in the fridge. Bye!