Multi-day fasts are done by people all over the world for health or religious reasons. Paul Bragg, of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar did a yearly week long fast for health benefits. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has, for forty years, performed a yearly 9 day based on his religion's protocols. (The last time he visited the US, he was doing this fast and drank only water during a dinner with President Obama.)
Fast Club's own Tommy M., has been doing an annual 5 day fast for almost 30 years. While Fast Club doesn't advocate for longer than 36 hour fasts one day a week, I've been intrigued by longer fasts, and asked him to share his experience for our benefit. Here it is:
My 5 Day Fast
My annual fast is upon me. I have been doing a fast once a year for almost 30 years now. They vary from 3 to 9 days with most of them 5 day (Sun-Sat).
Each year while somewhat predictable, each is different due to life happen stances. One year a friend of mine invited me for a light bicycle ride which turned into a queens to oyster bay run and back. Being in my 20’s I could do it but only with a cheat of a Gatorade or I might have passed out.
I did not take any vitals on Sunday or wear my Microsoft band but this is how this year turned out subjectively.
Day 1: Piece of Cake. Well not really just water and very diluted tea. (Prasanth I know that is illegal but…. ;)
Day 2: Woke up a little achy and I was a little slower than normal.
On my usual fast energy would build on day 2 and peak with tons of energy on Day 3.
Day 3: This time I was dragging a little in the morning and felt a little faint at night. That plus the feedback I “received” was that I was cranky so I cheated with a lozenge candy and went to sleep early. I considered calling it a day with 3…
Day 4: However I slept well and woke up with a lot of energy so I pushed on. Day went well.
Day 5: Slept well deep dreaming in the morning time period. I woke up before 6 (not my normal time) with tons of energy. (This was very different from my normal fasting.) I really feel like going a 6th day but I have too much going on with the family and will call it a day on Saturday.
Day 6: Huevos Rancheros for breakfast: 4 eggs, little water, little cheese (I know not the best but tastes oh so good), half a jar of Salsa. MmmmMmmmGood.
Estimate Start Weight:185-6
End Weight: 177.6
I expect to put back on a couple pounds as my intestines fill back up, hopefully we stay in the 170’s.
All in all a good effort, I am beyond the hunger pains and challenges come from boredom or cooking for others. It is easy to pick while cooking or making plate for others. I caught myself almost putting food in my mouth on a couple occasions but did not.
All in all totally worth the effort. If anyone decides to do one I am happy to provide support. Who’s in?
Tommy, thanks so much for sharing. It's great to hear about your experience. Maybe someday you'll actually convince me to give it a try.
Everyone else - Happy Fasting!