So I recently completed my first 24-hour fast.
Here’s how it went down –
I finished my last meal at 6:45 p.m. on 2/11/15. It was a large dinner, so I decided not to eat anything the rest of the night. I was planning on fasting in the morning until lunch, which is part of an Intermittent Fasting plan that I do every once and a while.
The day before this I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast at work, where he mentioned doing a 7-Day Distilled Water Fast. I found that to be pretty incredible. So he planted a seed in my mind for me to try something to test my discipline and improve myself.
At about 10 a.m., I realized that I still wasn’t very hungry. I had my daily checklist next to me – which is a new habit I’ve been working on – and I wrote down “Fast until Dinner”. It was settled then.
I got off work at 4:30 pm. and went to the gym on a pretty empty stomach for a light workout and some time in the Sauna.
By 6:30 p.m., I was finally cooking up some Bacon and Eggs, with Sweet Potatoes and a Salad. That’s how you “break a fast”.
- I didn’t stick to a total fast. I created my own version. When I do Intermittent Fasting, I usually have a Bulletproof Coffee (Grass Fed Butter and Coconut Oil), which can help put your body in fat-burning mode. On this day I had a coffee with about a tablespoon of Coconut Oil in it. I also ate 1 serving of vegetables (a few carrots and broccoli) with Olive Oil over it. Again, went with good fats. I also allowed myself to have 5 Almonds in the afternoon. I had a Green Tea as well.
- In the afternoon, I felt amazing. My energy levels never went down. The only time it affected me was my workout, which was obviously much more of a struggle. I had incredible focus throughout the day and my mind was extremely clear. I felt pure…and at times, euphoric. I couldn’t have been happier with those results.
- I’m not going to say I wasn’t tempted. Going down to my work lobby where everyone was eating may not have been the best move. However, breaking away from my normal routine was probably the most difficult part. But honestly, I had very little food cravings. The afternoon was also not too difficult.
- I’d attribute the lack of food cravings throughout the day to having no sugar or carbohydrates. This process once again re-affirmed my stance that having sugar or bad carbs in the morning will lead to unhealthy cravings. I try to stick to slow-carbs, protein, or good fats. This process helps differentiate food cravings and the feelings of actual hunger.
- I lost ~4 lbs during the 24 hours.
- A note from a week later – I am still down about 3 lbs without adjusting my diet. Also, the sugar cravings – and food cravings in general – are noticeably lacking. I’d guess this is related to the fast cleaning out my gut, which is my best guess to being the culprit of the cravings.
If you’re interested in trying this, I’d check out Mark’s Daily Apple for more info on Fasting. There is a lot of good stuff from him.
I will definitely be doing this again.
This is a new type of series I am starting. I am always testing different things in my life and I figured I would share them with you. You can follow my progress/updates/results on the Experiments page above.
Below are a few things I am implementing into my routine.
- Doing intermittent fasting 1 day a week. For me, this involves not eating anything after 9:00 p.m. and nothing before 12:00 p.m. the following day. This is a 15 hour fast. All I can consume is water and coffee. The one exception is I can use my home-made coffee creamer, which contains good fats like MCT Oil to help my body get into a state of ketosis (fat burning mode). I have done this in the past without much trouble and with positive results. I plan to bump this up to 2 days a week. Fasting is one of the topics that 2013 taught me about. This is for health benefits and to test the effects on my mood, energy, and weight.
- I am applying the same fasting principles to the vitamins and supplements I take. So 1 day a week I will go without any pills. This is to make sure that my body does not become dependent on these. I’ve never really heard of anyone recommending this, but I have a feeling there is something to it. I haven’t done much research about supplement cycling so I am starting here. This may get more detailed…especially if I get a micronutrient test in the near future.
- Plan my morning the night before. I will pick out which clothes I am wearing the next day, my breakfast and lunch, and have my vitamins/supplements ready, and basically turn my first 10-20 minutes into a routine. Everything I do during this period will be planned out the night before. The purpose of this is to eliminate any unnecessary decisions at the very beginning of my day. I want to have a clear mind so I can focus on what I want to and set the tone for the day.
In order to stay on top of the fasting and supplements restriction, I have set reminders on my iPhone Calendar. I will be fasting on Tuesday and not taking supplements on Wednesday. I may adjust this accordingly.
These habits above should not only improve my well-being, but will exercise my very under-utilized “discipline muscle”.
Just sitting down thinking about the things I have changed my mind on in 2013…
- Fats – For the longest time I grew up thinking fats were bad. I knew there were such things as good fats, but I was misinformed. Now I consume good fats like crazy – eggs, butter, avocados, almonds, coconut oil, mct oil, olive oil, bacon, animal fats – and I love them. Oh did I tell you that you can lose weight, increase focus, and increase energy with these.
- Salt – Again, for the longest time I thought of salt as bad – and some is (like iodized or table salt). However, I realized that we have all been tricked by marketers when it comes to salt. Too much is still not good, but some each day can bring some good benefits. So I bought some pink Himalayan salt recently and throw it on my eggs every day. I am starting to add this salt to even more things with the amounts of minerals and health benefits associated with it.
- My Workout Routine – I used to go with machines and dumbbells for the longest time. Now I am starting to believe in natural movements, stretching, and making use of kettlebells and continuing with the dumbbells. I am also looking to get back into yoga again. I’m trying to really balance myself out.
- Fasting – I tried some intermittent fasting this year with some good results. I only tried it for about 2 months (doing it maybe 2 days a week). I usually fasted from around 8 p.m. until 12 p.m. the next day. Nothing crazy. Could still have coffee and water. I had some good results and it also helped with my discipline.
- Drugs – Ohhhh prescription medicine…you slow killers. The complications involved with taking these pills are endless. If you have a minor sickness, I think it is better to fight through though natural measures than pop a pill. This goes for hangovers, minor colds, and stuff like that. As for these “necessary” pills for older people like blood pressure medication, maybe that person needs it. Or maybe not. It’s better to remove the cause than fix the problem. Doctor’s won’t tell you that though. You know why? No money for anyone. All that being said, I still try some supplements to work towards better performance and well-being. I do like the aspect of self-experimentation.
- My time – The older I get, the more I value my time. Instead of going out every weekend night until 3, I am beginning to evaluate the effects on my next day. Of course this happens at times, but at least these thoughts are conscious. I enjoy feeling good in the morning and waking up early. I like being productive and getting that morning workout in after a cup of coffee. Remember, time is your most valuable resource.
- My attention – This goes along with the above. I have began thinking of things in terms of what provides me the most benefits (and we’re not talking immediate gratification). Should I watch this show again or should I take the time and knock out 30 pages of this book? Should I continue to work mindlessly or take a 10 minute nap to recharge? These are the questions I am beginning to consciously ask myself.
- Conceiving Ideas – I have noticed recently that calming my mind is the best way to get original ideas. I knew this, but never took action. In 2013, I continued practicing meditation and taking a little time to relax each day. Ideas began to come – with these ideas being more purposeful that the rational ideas you get when your mind is a little strained.
- Podcasts – 2013 was the year I became obsessed with podcasts. A few of the podcasts I follow have been extremely influential and eye-opening – Joe Rogan, Joey Diaz, Aubrey Marcus – to name a few. The podcast platform brings us closer to the truth than anything else out there. There’s too much bullshit on tv, radio, and even many of these blogs.
- Investments – Being in your mid 20’s, many people will tell you to start your retirement plan right away. This isn’t bad advice, as I started a ROTH IRA and contribute some monthly. The only problem is this money is no longer liquid and inflation may eat it up. I would rather have more money now and spend it on something else: Investing in myself. The younger you are the better the time to start. Invest in your learning, in your side project, or in your health. This is truly money well spent.
- My faith – I have been tweaking my faith for a while now. Growing up Catholic, you go to church and follow the words in the bible. I just don’t like the fear aspect. Actually, I hate fear. I want to focus on getting in touch with my true self and help others. I’m mixing the best pieces of everything in order to better myself. Love>Fear is the direction I am moving right now.
- Blogging – So yeah, now I have this blog. Enjoy!