Our Experience with a 24-Hour Fast

Do you think you could go foodless for 24 hours? I’m not talking about stranded on an island, life or death situation. Could you willingly decide not to eat for 24 hours and get through the temptations? This is a thought that I have been playing around with for quite some time now.

Numerous podcasts and articles have alluded to the benefits of fasting. I loosely practice intermittent fasting and have noticed substantial increases in energy levels and focus as a result. I truly believe that our bodies are not designed to constantly be bombarded with food. They are meant to eat sporadically, when food is available (think Paleolithic peeps).

Last weekend, I decided to put my thoughts into action and see how a 24 hour fast would effect me. Below is an account of how the fast progressed:

alarm clock lying on multicolored surface

Saturday

5:30 pm: This was the last supper. In full anticipation of missing food for 24 hours I ate my absolute favorite, sweet potato fries, and plenty of them. I also had a grass fed burger with sriracha yogurt and a nice, big salad. This was it, no food for 24 hours.

Saturday night: I tried to stay up as late as possible in the hopes that I would sleep in later on Sunday, thus reducing the amount of time spent consciously thinking about how hungry I am. I barely made it to 11:00 pm, but hey, at least I tried.

potatoes cutting board wooden cooking

Sunday

7:00 am: So much for sleeping in, the dog is in the bed and I am wide awake. Of course I woke up extremely hungry but this was alleviated with a warm mug of lemon water. I decided to take it easy and just lay on the couch and read. I hung out until about 9:15 am and I can honestly say I was not hungry at all.

9:30 am: Time to get busy and zone out. I decided to do a deep clean of the house, which was much needed. Physically I felt fine, although I was a little out of it mentally. Once I got rolling with the cleaning I hardly noticed the mental aspect. I continued my deep clean with a massive purge of my closet and crawl space. This kept my mind of the food and it felt extremely good to get rid of stuff that I do not use at all.

11:00 am: I decided, regretfully, to make bone broth. It has now been in the slow cooker since 5:00 pm last night and the smells are all sorts of amazing. This is causing me to start thinking about food and my stomach is starting to get a little suspicious.

woman holding ketchup and mustard bottles

2:30 pm: With the house cleaned and purged, I got a little adventurous and went out gallivanting. There were a few stores I needed to run to and thought this would be a good time. Boy was I wrong. About five minutes into my drive I had a massive headache. It felt like someone was driving an icepick between my eyes. I thought this could be a situation for caffeine so one small, black decaf later my headache dissipated. Although I was no longer getting stabbed with an ice pick, I did have some pretty serious brain fog and wasn’t thinking all that clearly.

3:00 pm: The hunger is real. I’m pretty sure I am hallucinating at this point because all I see is restaurants and foods stores. My sweet tooth has been much more timid in the last few years but it is back with vengeance right now. The gig is up, my body knows I am fasting and it is screaming at me to go eat. I try to mentally go to my happy place and am able to get the cravings down, but I am certainly not firing on all cylinders. I feel like a zombie and decide that my couch is the best place for me at this time.

4:30 pm: Alright, this is it. One more hour and I can eat again. This should be easy, right? Wrong! The last hour was significantly harder than the previous 23. Despite putting on an amazing movie (Gangs of New York) and being super comfortable on the couch, my body was in full fledged food mode. Maybe its because I subconsciously know that I will be eating in an hour and my body is getting ready for it, or maybe I’ve just reached my breaking point. All I know is that I am hungry!

5:30 pm: I made it! In fact, I made it to 5:31. 24 hours and 1 minute later I ate the most delicious slice of cucumber I’ve ever had. It was crunchy, refreshing, and everything I ever wanted. This, of course, was not all that I was going to eat after 24 hours of fasting. I had a nice, healthy meal of baked salmon with a salad and some freshly made bone broth. The most surprising point of my day came after eating dinner. I thought I would be tempted to eat endless amounts of food but after this simple meal I was completely stuffed and satisfied!

6:00pm: Despite eating my meal I still don’t feel fantastic. I definitely feel drastically better and have much more energy, but I am still a little out of it.

man in red crew neck sweatshirt photography

Monday

8:00 am: This is when the fasting experts claim that I will feel the greatest results of the fast. I am supposed to have great energy and feel like a new person. I do feel mentally clear and have great energy, but I wouldn’t call it life changing. I cannot say if I feel the way I do because of the fast or because I was able to spend a day relaxing. Either way, I am counting the experience as a win!

Quick notes on the fast:

  • Pick a time where you have little to do.
  • Stay busy but don’t over do it.
  • If you meal prep on Sundays and are fasting on a Sunday, I highly suggest meal prepping Saturday or Monday so that you don’t have to torture yourself with all the wonderful meals that you will be consuming later in the week.
  • I took Elaina Love’s Reconstructive enzymes. I would have to try fasting without them to say what the results were. All I know is that I felt pretty gassy and bloated all day and my bowels were irregular. Could have been the enzymes, could have just been my body getting rid of the trash, could have been both.
bubbles chemistry close up colorConclusion:

I think fasting is an extremely powerful tool. I feel the majority of the benefits take place on the inside and are difficult to measure. At the very least, fasting shows you that you can survive without food for a lot longer than you think. This can be useful in times when healthy food options are not available to you. The more you practice fasting the easier it becomes to go longer periods without food. I would definitely try this again and would potentially push for a 36 hour fast next time.

What helps you during a fast? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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