I was already doing intermittent fasting, but wanted to try to fast over a number of days, and after our trip to Tuscany I decided it was the right moment to bring my fasting to the next level, and so, last week Wednesday, I started a 3 day fast, and finished it, exactly 72 hours and 2 minutes later on Saturday evening at 18:47.
Why did I do it, and how did it go? To paraphrase some people: “Why on earth did you do this? I would never be able to stop eating for 3 days!”
I did it for a couple of reasons.
First of all, I saw it, as a way to test how my body reacts when I move my fasting up a notch, secondly, I am pretty results driven and like the little challenge now and then, and wanted to find out if I could not eat for 3 days, and thirdly, I wanted to improve my overall health.
It is my goal to leave a legacy to my family, in other words, I want to provide for my children and my wife, and this also means that I need to, and definitely want to, age well.
I haven’t had a mid life crisis, but that doesn’t mean I don’t spend time thinking about my age and my mortality. And here is a potentially moodkilling fact:
“When you are over 40, cancer is one of the four types of diseases that will kill you with 80% certainty.”
(Ferriss, Timothy. Tools of Titans (p. 24). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition)
In case you are wondering, the other 3, if you are not a smoker, are: cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease.
Careful, big rant incoming!
Though the medical sector is investing heavily in cancer research, and making big strides, there is evidence that they are developing strategies to treat cancer as a chronic disease rather than developing cures for cancers, hereby burdening society financially.
Did you know that their main treatment, chemotherapy, is a carcinogen? In other words… they load you up with a cancer causing product, that kills the cancer cells, but at the same time destroys your immunity, poisons the rest of your body and can lead to so-called, secondary cancers. It makes me think about the antidepressants… the side effects of some of those products can cause homicide, suicide … Little note, see how I call them products, and not medicines?
The ‘cancer industry’ is a 100 billion dollar industry and it keeps growing every year by roughly 10%, compared to the rest of the economy, which grows, globally between 3-4%. 100 billion dollar equals the economies of Slovakia and Puerto Rico, and the US States New Mexico and Mississipi. If you were a shareholder of a cancer imperium, would you be motivated to find a cure, or to keep on milking the cow? Even if you as a shareholder also have a 40% chance to develop cancer and suffer later in life? (For more detailed forecast numbers you can go and take a look at this link).
It might sounds strange, but the best way to disrupt the cancer industry, is to avoid getting cancer…. So we all need to work more on prevention to age well.
Besides meditation, reiki, Bowen therapy and breathing exercises, I decided a few years ago I needed to start paying even more attention to what I eat and drink. And rather than following a diet, I wanted to change the way I looked at how I was consuming food. After reading up, I decided to start intermittent fasting. That was back in January 2018. Basically, I don’t eat till noon, and then I can eat till 8 in the evening.
What fasting method did I use?
Then, back in December 2018, I bought Tim Ferris’ book Tools of Titans. Tim is a lifehacker and author, and in this book he collected tools of world-class performers in health, money and wisdom. The part that stuck with me the most was the one with Dominic D’Agostino (@Dominicdagosti2, ketonutrion.org). Dominic is an associate professor in the department of molecular pharmacology and physiology a the Universithy of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. When Tim introduces him in the book, he ends with
“He has also deadlifted 500 pounds for 10 reps after a 7-day fast.”
And that grabbed my attention… I wanted to know more!
His chapter covers both information around the ketogenic diet and fasting, and what further blew my mind, was the scientific evidence around health benefits of both topics. For example, there is growing evidence that a 3-day fast can effectively reboot your immune system via stem cell-based regeneration, and I decided to try it out by following the method that Tim Ferriss’ describes in his book. By the way, he aims to do a monthly 3-day fast.
Basically the purpose is to get in ketosis as soon as possible, in order to avoid muscle wasting. You do this buy taking 300 – 400 calories of exogenous fat as well as trace amounts of amino acid for every day you fast. I used MCT oil containing C8 and C10 fats, and BCAAs (the amino acids). You see a picture of the brands of the MCT oil and BCAAs I have used here below:
How did it go?
So how did I go on with my fasting? I started on Wednesday evening, finishing my light, carbless, dinner at 18:45. I knew I would be fine till noon, due to my intermittent fasting. I used the day to catch up with my team, as I just came back of Tuscany, doing brisk walks while having our one-to-ones. I followed Tim’s advice on walking briskly for 3-4 hours to deplete the stored glycogen in your muscles and liver, and I hit 20k steps and about 12 kilometer.
All this to get in ketosis and start burning body fat. Eventually I spent my entire day drinking water, and I consumed at least 4 liters of water, spiced up with lemon, ginger and salt, compared to a normal day where I drink 1.5 – 2 liters.
I didn’t sleep well though that first night, and I think it had something to do on taking my vitamin C way too late, as I drank a cocktail with some BCAAs, magnesium and vitamin C.
Despite my lack of sleep, I was very alert the second day, and felt really fresh. The end of the second day, I checked with a ketostrip if I was in ketosis. And yes, it showed I had ketones in the urine. I realise ketostrips are less reliable than bloodmeters, but I only had those strips work with. I was very surprised I didn’t feel hungry at all, though I did miss the nice dinner and glass of wine after a workweek. I cheated a bit though: I ate 3 olives (which are calorie negative foods).
Just as the first day, I drank more than 4 liters of water.
The third day was for me the hardest day, and I was really counting the hours until I could eat. Though I did feel weaker than the previous 2 days, I didn’t feel hungry. It is interesting to note, that seeing my wife eating was ok, though the smell coming out of the kitchen when she was cooking, was much harder to bear.
Late afternoon, I was getting a bit cranky though, and when it was 18:47, I broke my fast with a bit of Italian fennel sausage, bananabread with olive oil and black olives, to get my stomach used to food again. Despite the small size of the portion, I felt stuffed, and it felt like all my blood was flowing to my stomach, making me terribly sleepy. But it wasn’t time yet to go sleeping, since we booked in a chinese restaurant for dinner.
Later at the restaurant I ordered the gorgeous jasmine tea and kampher smoked duck, but couldn’t even finish it all. It was incredible to notice that only after a few days, my stomach seemed to have decreased in size!
At the end of the fasting, I had lost over 4.2kg, of which I regained relatively quick 1 kilogram, but losing weight wasn’t really the objective so it is a nice extra. I did notice I had backpain at the end as well, which can be an indication your muscles are breaking down during fasting, though I didn’t really feel weaker when I was at the gym.
A week after the fasting, I feel really good.
Will I do it again? Definitely. Next time though, I will make sure I have a blood meter, and I plan to stay in ketosis for a while to burn my body fat and see the impact it has on my strength. I would also start on Tuesday evening, so I can break my fast then with a light dinner when the weekend starts. Mind you, other people would definitely prefer fasting in the weekend, so it really depends.
And who knows, I might later look at a 5 day fast
Thanks for reading, and I hope I inspired you to take a look at a healthier you!
As always, keep on jumping the waves of disruption!