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redhead
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60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby redhead on 25 Apr 2013, 14:36

60 hour/ two day water fasts

So as many of you on here know, I water fast for 36-40 hours twice a week.

I find 36 hours with no food much easier than trying to count calories and have a small meal during a fast day. In fact, I find it so easy I intend to do it for the rest of my life, albeit reduced to one day a week when I reach my target weight. I have experienced wonderful benefits which I bang on about quite a lot all over this board.

I've also done two 60 hours fasts before - last meal on Sunday night and nothing except water right through until Wednesday morning. The first time I did it was almost by accident. I have a crazy job and I just didn't get time to eat on the day after my normal fast. I didn't feel hungry when I got home, so decided not to eat and see how I got on. I like to experiment with things like that. The smallest change can give the greatest satisfaction. My husband and I take pretty unusual holidays to see wildlife and unexplored places and I like to keep an eye out for new things to try. This week I'm trying an alcohol-free week. I never want to be stuck in my ways, but I'm no radical either.

Now, the next morning, at the 60 hour mark, I felt rubbish - really pretty awful - weak, sickly and nauseous. I also felt I had 'true hunger', a sort of deep down need for fuel, and so ate a banana. Bananas are my food of choice for breaking a fast - full of energy and easy to digest. And boy, it tasted like the most delicious, gourmet banana ever. Like a banana you'd pay 50 quid for instead of 50p. To be honest, the fast was worth it for the taste of that banana alone!

So I tried it again a couple of weeks later. I had no intention of doing any more than 60 hours, but I've experienced a great sense of wellbeing following 36 hour fasts and I wondered if a slightly longer fast would boost that further. Many people suggest a long water fast is ideal to kick start health benefits and detoxify. I'm also doing 5:2 for weight loss and a wee bump along that road would do no harm I reckoned.

After the second 60 hour fast, I felt ok on the Wednesday morning, but not great and again I had a breakfast of fruit and a little toast. I never normally eat breakfast so my 60 hour fast should really be 65 hours until midday. But I felt I had to eat first thing or I just wouldn't have enough energy for the day ahead.

After reading MGMs inspirational thread on her long water fast, I decided to try another 60 hour fast. After all, the 36 hour water fasts were fairly tough at first but became easy after a few gos. I wasn't looking to boost weight loss as looking at my stats, I didn't actually lose more weight when I did the previous 60 hour fasts - and I did my normal Thursday fast as well so it was really 4:3 water fasting. I lost a pound each of those weeks. Although I notice I did lose 3 pounds on the week following each of the 60 hour fasts, but they might just have just been extra stressful weeks at work so I wouldn't necessarily link causality to the 4:3 week.

But I wanted to try the 60 hour fast again. Maybe I was subconsciously motivated by not losing anything last week (I stated at 10s 7), but it really hadn't bothered me so I doubt it. And as I decided to do Tuesday and Wednesday this week, it would only be 5:2, not 4:3. I prefer to fast Monday to Thursday and have a 'normal' weekend. I suppose I really just wanted to see if I could do it again and if it got easier. I love the sense of control and the adventure of it.

So I fasted Tuesday and yesterday this week. Now, I have no problems whatsoever not eating for that length of time. After 3 months of fasting twice a week I completely understand my hunger. I can cook for others, watch them eat, smell bacon and all the rest without the slightest difficulty. I experience no side effects and I have no medical conditions (and have had an MoT to confirm that). I just get into the mindset that I'm not eating that day and I just, well, don't eat. Simple.

This 60 hour fast was absolutely the easiest, as I didn't even have to think about it during the two days. I was in meetings with biscuits and pastries and sandwiches and never gave any a second glance. By yesterday evening I was thinking - I could do this for a third, or even fourth day it's so easy. I went to bed and slept as soundly as ever.

However, this morning when I woke up I felt weak - I mean really pathetically weak. I wasn't hungry in the traditional sense of craving some kind of food but I was weak. I had to sit down between showering and drying my hair! Not good - I'm 36 for goodness sake and reasonably active. So I decided b*gger this and ate a banana and some toast and sat down to do my emails. Felt 100% better within 20 minutes.

Maybe I'm a wimp and I should have ploughed on with it. But I'm not much of a masochist and when I weighed myself this morning I was down 3 pounds from last Friday (10s7 down to 10s4) so sure you can't be bad to that! Just 6/7 pounds to go to my target weight so only a month or two of doing two water fasts a week should have it licked and I'll move on to maintenance.

So I have concluded that 60 hour fasting is not for me. As the two 36-40 hour water fasts each week are perfectly sustainable, giving me weight loss and lots of other benefits, I reckon I'll stick to that and think myself lucky!

This is not to say that I'm cautioning against longer water fasts for others - Michael Mosley proved the benefits of a four day fast and lots of people have had huge success, especially MGM who remains an inspiration. I think everyone should try a water fast - even if its only for a short few hours just to see what it's like to be in control rather than the food advertisers for once. The key is to listen to your own body carefully. I did and it told me 60 hours was plenty and to reach for a banana.

There's really nothing to fear from water fasting if you are in good health except your own reluctance. My main fear with fasting is that I might start to take the benefits for granted! Hence the keenness to blog here and shout about my success on the Board.

I think Michael Mosley should be so proud. Ok he didn't invent fasting, but he brought it into the mainstream. If he had advocated water fasting straight off the block, I don't think 5:2 would have taken off. Promoting 5:2 with 25% calories on fast days seems reasonable, works for a hell of a lot of people and has given a few more, like me, a stepping stone to water fasting.

So I conclude that fasting - in all its wonderful variations - is liberating, insightful and beneficial. Long live fasting!

redhead x

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Comments

Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby Bssh on 25 Apr 2013, 20:14

Lovely post overall but what stood out the most for me was this: "I just get into the mindset that I'm not eating that day and I just, well, don't eat. Simple." Amen to that!
6 stones lost. Now maintaining.
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Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby Suchard007 on 25 Apr 2013, 20:23

really interesting post redhead. What with all the stuff going on at the moment with the 36hour fast all kicked off by Wildmissus, this makes interesting and inspiring reading - thank you.
There is nothing wrong with the situation, just my attitude towards it!
I don't eat Mondays or Thursdays
My method: 5:2 Liquid only 16:8 on non-fast days
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Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby Malteserr on 25 Apr 2013, 20:46

Thank you for sharing your experience redhead
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Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby redhead on 25 Apr 2013, 23:00

Thanks all!
redhead
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Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby Emerald17 on 30 Apr 2013, 12:49

Hah figured it out.
You have to view the blog from the "view blog" in your details to be able to leave a comment ( i think)
Anyway as I mentioned on the forum. Thanks for posting about your experience, you write really well and I always enjoy reading your posts. You bring a lot to the forum, fair play to you girl!
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Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby Tdstephens60 on 10 May 2013, 23:31

Very interesting post to read, I'm sure that has helped quite a few people, me included, so thank you for sharing your story with us.
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Re: 60 hour/ two day water fasts

Permanent Linkby njk2125 on 25 Aug 2013, 11:29

Thank you for sharing your experience with water fasting, It is something I have considered trying in the future, I'm currently on the 5:2. I think like you said it is about listening to your body and learning when you truley need the food. Since starting the 5:2 i find that I don't really need breakfast anyday so I'm going with that for the time being to see what the results are. I hope I will find that one fast day I might not fancy my evening meal and then I will try the more extended fast.
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