I needed a hard reset.
So, after a lot of reading and thinking, I decided to do a seven day water fast.
Sort of. By sort of, I mean that I didn’t give up my caffeine. If I do this again, I think I’ll wean myself off caffeine for a few weeks before the fast, but as it was, I was not confident that I could deal with removing both food and caffeine at the same time. Thankfully, in my research, it was mentioned that black coffee and tea were permissible. It technically isn’t a true water fast, but near enough that the results would likely be the same. So, coffee and tea it was; but only in the morning. I drank water the rest of the time.
Since I’m experimenting here, I figured I’d keep a running journal of the experience. So here it is in full. My attempt at a seven day water fast(ish).
Last Meal: Burger and fries at 3:30pm (thank you, The Works), Saturday Jan 1.
Break Fast: Bone broth and bread at 4:30pm, Saturday Jan 7.
Sunday, 2 Jan, Day 1: Hunger pangs are quite pronounced, starting around midday. Drank water to try and quell them some. It was largely ineffective, but not entirely. Felt cold the whole day, except in the morning, when I could have my coffee. The hot shower in the evening felt fan-frickin-tastic, though.
Monday, 3 Jan, Day 2: This is supposed to be the worst day. And it was. Holy hell hunger pangs can be quite painful. Mind you, they did die down when I hit the times outside my usual eating hours. Water did not help, though I did try to keep up with drinking a lot of water, since I wasn’t getting any from my food at this point.
Tuesday, 4 Jan, Day 3: The hunger pangs disappeared into background noise by day 3. It was no more pressing than the period between breakfast and lunch. Water helped a lot in controlling them. I started to feel a little off and remembered that I needed electrolytes, and so ate a pinch of salt. That fixed it, but gave me a cramp in my left calf that lasted the whole day. Other than that, there was nothing remarkable to note.
Wednesday, 5 Jan, Day 4: This is usually the day that the brain fog and fatigue start to lift. That was not my experience. Mind you, I didn’t really feel any increased brain fog and fatigue. It generally stayed at the level it usually is. Fasting doesn’t cure depression and its symptoms, evidentially. Interestingly, there wasn’t any change in my general mood. The things that usually annoyed me still annoyed me, and not by any greater measure.
Thursday, 6 Jan, Day 5: Nothing really changed. Everything is more or less the same as before. I did find that I was more tired in the evening, and absolutely had to get to bed by 10:30. Also, I began to feel funny again, so went with another pinch of salt. That fixed it within the hour. I got a little bitter that I was denied the clearer mind and increased energy that so many of the case studies promised.
Friday, 7 Jan, Day 6: No alcohol with my Friday night live stream, as I usually do. Man, that was sad. Had green tea instead. It’s less fun. The hunger pangs started to get intense again around the middle of the afternoon, but died down with increased water intake. Very tired after my stream, so I went right to bed.
Saturday, 8 Jan, Day 7: I fucking made it. Broke the fast in the evening at 4:30pm with bone broth with onion and garlic and a piece of bread. My stomach took the reintroduction of food very well, so I followed that up half an hour later with smoked salmon and cream cheese on rice cakes. I gave my stomach another hour to see how it would do, and there were no weird things happening, so I went ahead and had a full dinner - rib steak with parsnips and buttered peas, and a small glass of red wine. It was lovely.
Sunday, 9 Jan: Returned to my regular eating pattern, which this week includes a lot of salmon, apparently. Breakfast was smoked salmon and cream cheese on rice cakes, a nectarine and yogurt, and coffee and milk. Lunch was pan-seared salmon with buttered peas (and holy hell did I do a good job with the salmon) and a small glass of wine. Dinner was salmon and cream cheese again. The smoked salmon was open and I really needed to finish it. That’s alright, I rather like salmon, smoked or otherwise.
The results: I didn’t bother to weigh myself or measure myself. This was not a weight loss thing, so if you came hoping for reporting on that front, I’m sorry. I just wanted a reset on my troubled tummy. So far, so good. The aches and weirdness that prompted me to do this seemed to have been resolved. This morning, after the posting of the blog, I’m introducing tougher to digest foods (oats, nuts etc), so we’ll see how it goes, but I reckon it’ll all be good.
I’m a still a little bitter that the clear mind and increased energy didn’t really happen for me, but the nonsense going on with an abused digestive system seems to have been fixed, so all up, I think it was a success. Would I do it again?
Well, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, so perhaps I shall make it a yearly thing, depending on what’s going on with my tummy. Perhaps next time I’ll get that clarity and energy (psht).