Wow!! I did my first 48 hour water fast this past weekend and it was life-changing in a good way!
I have been doing intermittent fasting for the past year, mostly just skipping breakfast and about once a month skipping lunch as well. Recently I did a 36-hour fast with great success and then a 24-hour fast 2 days later.
This week I did 48 hours. I wanted to do 72 but my family wanted me to pick them up at the airport so I broke my fast the night before.
I can already feel a huge improvement in my nerve sensation and circulation. I had to cut back on thyroid meds because my energy is through the roof and I couldn’t sleep (3 days after the fast). Now 5 days after the fast still feeling amazing energy.
My family is still in town so I’ll do another 36-hour fast this week after they leave, and then I plan to start doing 3 day fasts every weekend that is free. I’ll start Thursday night 7 pm and fast until Sunday 7 pm and then just do smoothies and blended soups for an additional day.
Some cautions for anything thinking of trying this: START SLOW. I only skipped breakfast for the first year. I then gradually did more. Also please do lots of research online especially regarding refeeding and muscle wasting. Apparently it’s not recommended for anyone with a BMI of 20 or less. You also need to at least supplement with sea salts or other electrolytes. And know what symptoms to watch out for to stop fasting and know how to introduce food back in. You should also talk to your doctor about health risks and your medication, and check out you tube /google for all the “fasting almost killed me” stories so you will recognize any danger signs (i.e., dark urine, vomiting, fainting etc).
Since I am Celiac and already have B1, B6 and B12 deficiencies (self-diagnosed) as well as electrolytes, this posed a special challenge. I drank mineral water and took 2 jigsaw electrolyte supplements in water, also 2 teaspoons of Natural Calm Magnesium in water AND about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt PER DAY. I still had low B1 and electrolytes after the fast. I had a few Atkins shakes after the fast which really helped – they have lots of electrolytes. I could tell my B1 was low because I get this weird pouch by my eye above the tear duct when B1 is low. When not fasting I normally take 50-100 mcg of B1 per day.
In addition to B vitamins and electrolytes, if you are Celiac be super careful about “re-feeding.” I keep reading that you can just have a snack like some nuts or an apple and then eat normally an hour later once the blood gets back to your digestive system. Um……NO. That’s true for 24 hours or less. In future I will only eat watermelon, smoothies or soup I have run through a blender the first 24 hours after a water fast.
I could barely get down 4 spoonfuls of soup at first. Then I waited 15 minutes, had some more, waited 30 minutes and had a Quest bar and some pistachio nuts. MISTAKE – tummy cramps. I was good the next day but had 1 more Quest bar each for breakfast & lunch and then for dinner a bunless burger, a few sips of vanilla shake and about 1/3 order of fries. I think just the burger would have been ok but I should have chewed more and eaten much more slowly. I was SO FULL. Like Thanksgiving dinner full. I kept it down though. At lunch I had also eaten watermelon and more veggie soup which I tolerated just fine (bone broth, zucchini and onion puréed in blender).
Next morning after the burger I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Luckily I can work at home but I just wanted to lie down, I had a bunch of calls I had to do on the computer and felt super sick. The Atkins shakes and more jigsaw /natural calm and EZ Melts Multivitamin and B1 helped. I was fine by lunch.
So lesson learned about re-feeding. Go slow!!!! But now I feel AMAZING. I’ve had chronic fatigue for a few years but now I have so much energy!!!
I will continue to be super careful but am excited to pursue this further!
UPDATE: I decided to be conservative and stick with 36 hour fasts only for a few more weeks maybe 2-3x per week. Then I’ll try a 48 to 72-ish hour fast again. I think that therapeutically the longer fast shows better results than the shorter fasts though.