A 5 Day water fast, words that said out loud get some interesting responses, but deserve a little explanation. I decided to do a 5 day water fast after a lot of research and some experimenting with intermittent fasting. My first introduction to the water fast was in the documentary, The Science of Fasting. This documentary details the benefits of fasting and how it affects the aging process. I started looking for more information and discovered the use of intermittent fasting to maintain body weight and/or lose weight. What I found most fascinating though, was that by fasting you give your body a break from insulin production and in a world where more and more people are pre-diabetic or have full blown diabetes 2, this is good to know.
For several months before I did the 5 day fast, I was intermittent fasting. What that means is I gave myself a full 16 hour window free of eating. If I stopped eating by 8:00 pm at night, then the next day I wouldn’t eat until noon. I did this three to four times a week. The week before my 5 day fast, I did a 24 hour fast by finishing eating by 6:00 pm one night and not eating again till 6:00 pm the next. Each time the process got easier, until I knew I was ready to go for 5 days.
I decided to do my 5 day water fast while my husband was on a work trip. This way I had no temptations by watching him eat. All food was placed out of sight. My work week ahead was light and knew it was the perfect time.
Sunday night I had dinner with my husband and that was my last meal for 5 full days. Monday, my husband left on his journey and I wrote for a few hours. I did my regular exercise routine. I drank lots of water and any time I felt hunger pains I drank more. That evening, I watched a series on Netflix and went to bed early. Though some people report sleeping poorly, I slept as usual.
Tuesday, I woke up and felt fine, but by noon, my head was in a complete fog. I mean truly hazy crazy fog! My body was shifting from burning glycogen to burning fat. That’s a good sign, but a little strange feeling. I made it through the day basically laying on the couch and watching movies. (I don’t have television, and if you do, I would recommend not watching anything with commercials to avoid those high fat, junk food cravings that might hit you.) A little bit of a weak feeling that day, but just drank lots of water to stay ahead of the game.
Wednesday my body felt slower, but my head was clear again and I was able to work for awhile. My exercise routine went well and I also did some office clean up chores. Approaching the half-way point, I thought for sure at this point I could make it to the end. Though I had moments of hunger, I staved it off with more water.
Thursday was much the same. More water. More movies. More water. Slow moving.
Friday arrived and I was so happy knowing I was almost finished. My mind was clear. My joints weren’t aching. My face and skin looked bright. I stayed busy through the day and at 7:00 pm I broke the fast. I cut an avocado in half, salted it and ate the whole thing. I ate slow and savored every bite. Nothing had ever tasted that good. I also had a cup of decaf coffee. I was finished.
Saturday morning I had an Americano, my go to morning drink and enjoyed it immensely. During the week, the hardest thing for me was not having that morning coffee or hot tea during the day, so I ran water through old grounds and made a very weak cup of coffee each morning. I also made green tea by putting just a few leaves in the bottom of a cup and letting them steep. The flavor in the hot water was tasty. I also made a lentil soup Saturday morning and ate about 11:00 am. After that, I went back to my normal plant based diet.
A 5 day water fast was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but well worth the effort. If you decide to do this, first, do your homework. Research and read all you can about fasting. If you are taking any medications, then you must talk to your doctor about fasting. If your doctor is against it, I’d suggest searching out a doctor who understands and believes in fasting. There are few contraindications for fasting, but some people definitely need monitoring.
Consider this, our ancestors often went for days without food. Their bodies didn’t burn muscle, their bodies burned fat stores. That’s why our bodies put on fat, to provide us energy in lean times. I lost 12 pounds total and gained back 6. This was a possibility I understood, and was prepared for the gaining back. I’ve managed to keep off that extra weight. I continue to intermittent fast and will do another 5 day fast at the beginning of 2019.
Fasting has been a great solution for me and my lifestyle. I never have to be hardcore about fasting days, I can shift them to fit whatever my schedule that week. Combined with a plant based diet, I feel I can manage my weight and stay healthy. I’m currently taking no prescribed medicines and the supplements I take are: Chlorella, Turmeric with black pepper, vitamin D, Vegan DHA, and B12.
Have you tried fasting? How is it working for you? I hope you’ll share in the comments below and share this post with your friends and family.