Now I'm sure if you read the title of this blog the first few thoughts that crossed your mind were as follows "I could NEVER do that." "Fasting for that long CANNOT be good for you." "I can barely make it 2 hours without eating let alone 72?!!!" "This guy is a grade A looney toon." Let me answer these marvelous thoughts in order. 1. You ABSOLUTELY could do it. 2. It is 100% safe + very effective. 3. I used to feel the SAME WAY. 4. Yes, indeed THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
My fast began on Sunday 10/7 at 7:30 pm and lasted until Wednesday 10/10 at 8:30 pm. This encompassed 73 hours of fasting before I broke it with some Ngxia Red, Kombucha and some 85% cacao dark chocolate. Now before I get to any of my takeaways let's answer why I did this.
1. Natural detox and reset of the body.
2. Mental/spiritual clarity.
3. Mental challenge/accomplishing a difficult task.
4. Gain new understanding of my body.
5. Increase sense of gratitude.
Now another reason you may partake is to lose weight which I certainly did, but it was not a goal and it was not muscle just fat.
Here's ze deets of the fast in case you are considering this for yourself!
1. No calories of any sort for 72 hours.
2. Water + nothing else is allowed for the 72 hours. (herbal tea is optional but make sure it does not have fruit components!)
3. Do not push yourself too far physically over the 72 hours.
4. Inform friends/family so they are not accidentally tempting you to break the fast.
5. HAVE FUN!! Your body is going to say THANK YOU when the 72 hours are up.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE....MY TOP FOUR TAKEAWAYS FROM A 72 HOUR WATA FAST!!
First and foremost...what an absolute privilege it is to be able to freely choose to not eat for 72 hours. Not everyone is as fortunate to make this conscious decision or open up their refrigerator (if they have one) and choose from an assortment of foods. Over the course of the 72 hours I existed in a state of gratitude almost the entire time. You forget how easy it is to take for granted the ability to have access to ALL sorts of food whenever you so choose to eat day or night. Healthy or not you still have the opportunity for a warm meal to grace your table daily. I know it seems cliché to sit and say be grateful for the food in front of you but that simple shift will truly make all the difference. You will appreciate the burnt toast, mom's home cooking or the lack luster cooking of your significant other quite a bit more when you realize it's a blessing to have any sort of food in front of you. BE GRATEFUL MY FRIENDS!! :)
OUR BODIES ARE INCREDIBLE
We truly don't realize or forget how capable our bodies are in adapting to various circumstances. To think that our body can adapt to a lack of food is quite remarkable in itself BUT to see my body thrive for three days with ZERO calories was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I felt clear, focused, energized, extremely happy and CLEAN for the three days of the fast. Your body feels CLEAN from the inside out it's fantastic. The first day is definitely the most difficult in terms of feeling hungry towards the 24 hour mark and wanting to cave to breaking the fast. However, day two and three your hunger levels are not even noticeable and your energy, clarity, focus is THROUGH THE ROOF. I felt giddy on day two and three due to this increased energy and cognitive functioning. It actually made me NOT want to eat...I felt THAT GOOD. Now I will say that I have been intermittent fasting for over year along with 24 hours fasts under my belt, however your body is just as capable as mine at tackling a 72 hour fast AND WILL FEEL AMAZING DURING IT.
HUNGER IS MORE MENTAL THAN PHYSICAL
You realize over the course of the three days that a majority of the eating that takes place on a daily basis is mindless snacking or eating due to boredom. It's not that your body is ACTUALLY hungry you're just confusing boredom for hunger. OR...if you aren't snacking due to boredom you very well could just be dehydrated which is easily mistaken by the body as hunger. Next time you go to snack or eat ask yourself this question "am I really hungry or am I just bored or dehydrated?" Chances are a nice cold glass of water and keeping yourself busy will show that in fact you were bored, dehydrated or BOTH. OR YOU CONFUSE YOUR BODY INTO FEELINGS OF HUNGER BY STARING AT FOODIE CONTENT AND SHOWS ALL DAY. "What the mind believes, the body perceives." Put that little rectangle down and ask yoself "AM I ACTUALLY HUNGRY?" Don't give me the generic "BUT I'M ALWAYS HUNGRY." remark because the simple fact is you're not ALWAYS hungry. MIND OVER MATTER MY FRIEND. :)
YOUR BODY WANTS WHOLE FOODS
You come to understand the natural cycles of your body and the cravings you have for various foods. However, cravings dissipate greatly over the three days. When you do finally decide to break the fast your body wants THE GOOD STUFF. No not pizza, burgers, tacos, ice cream or any other sweet/savory delectable you may be thinking of. Your body wants fruits/veggies, lean protein, healthy fats and all the micronutrients (vitamins + minerals) you could possibly think of. After not taking in any nutrients for 72 hours your body is ready to soak up all ze goods from the food. You realize that all along your body was not TRULY craving the pizza, burger, taco, ice cream, etc. but it earnestly asks for a diet consistent of whole foods. Now with that being said it is IMPORTANT to enjoy food with the 80/20 rule. 80% whole foods and 20% fun stuff. Life is short so ENJOY food intuitively meaning ask your body what it truly wants in that moment.
There ya have it people! My top four takeaways from my 72 hour fast. I suggest starting with a 24 hour fast first before moving into a 72 hour one but hey "go big or go home." If you have any more questions about fasting for 72 hours or fasting in general please reach out and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions/discuss my experiences. NEXT UP FOR ME...THE 7 DAY MASTER CLEANSE FAST. DUN. DUN. DUN.