I’ve decided to take the plunge and begin my quest to go an entire week without eating a single morsel of food. That’s my goal right now to see how I feel doing something like this that I’ve never experienced before. The last time I ate was with a group of low-carbers in Baltimore, Maryland late on Sunday afternoon and I’m going to see if I can make it to at least late Sunday afternoon on Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011…perhaps even longer. This fasting experiment has been a long time in the making and I’ve tried to psyche myself up to doing it in earnest. And now it’s here. LET’S DO IT!
In February 2011, I asked the simple question “Have You Tried An Extended One-Week Fasting Period To Boost Your Health?” Up until this time the longest I’ve ever gone without food is one day. I couldn’t even imagine what I would have felt like when I was over 400 pounds and severely carbohydrate-addicted not too long ago if I didn’t have food for more than a few hours. But here I am attempting to do it for a MINIMUM of 168 hours. Have I completely lost my mind? Maybe. Maybe not. My interest in doing something like this was especially piqued after I interviewed Dr. Thomas Seyfried on my podcast in November 2009 who said a one-week fast can be used as a means for preventing cancer primarily and it’s taken me this long to work up the gumption to actually do it. So here we are.
I plan on sharing my daily thoughts and experiences on my low-carb menus blog all this week since there won’t be any food to list there. You will see my exercise schedule continue as usual with my volleyball, yoga, Pilates, and refereeing youth soccer. I think it’s important to keep up the normal routine as much as possible and I’ll closely monitor how I’m feeling and doing with this. Last night I played two hours of competitive volleyball and did remarkably well despite the fact I hadn’t eaten in over a day. Today I have yoga, I’ll take Wednesday off from exercise, Thursday I have Pilates AND another night of volleyball, I’ll take Friday off from exercise, Saturday I’ll referee for three hours, and Sunday I’ll take off. If at any point I feel dizzy or weak or anything else, then I’ll stop the activity immediately. I know my body pretty well now and wouldn’t put it in jeopardy.
As for food, before I return back to eating again from going without food, I have a plan for progressing. If the desire to eat becomes just too strong for me to withstand, then I’ll first begin by consuming a tablespoon of coconut oil. If that doesn’t work then I’ll add in a protein shake. Finally, if that doesn’t work, I’ll return to eating. But the goal is for me to remain 100% free of consuming any food for a week and sticking only with non-caloric liquids. My wife Christine thinks I’m insane (yeah honey, just a little), but I feel like I need to do this to see how my body will respond.
Here’s my first video update after Day 1:
So, what do I expect from this wild and crazy one-week fasting experiment? Actually, I’m wide open to learning whatever I can through this process. I have no preconceived ideas about what’s gonna happen because this is unchartered territory for me. As I’m typing this post, I’ve already surpassed the longest I’ve personally gone without food–EVER! And surprisingly, I feel fantastic. The fact I’m not so severely dependent on sugar and carbohydrates anymore makes this easier for a low-carber to do. I’m surviving on the food of our ancestors now as this geeky T-shirt from The Nutrition & Metabolism Society shows (I’m wearing the shirt in the video above). That’s the ketone bodies that are created when you are in a fasted state or when you restrict carbohydrates below 50g daily to be in a ketogenic state.
I learned a lot about the positive role of ketones at the conference in Baltimore, Maryland this past weekend (a report on the conference coming soon!) and this fasting experience will help me get refocused on those benefits for myself. I encourage you to follow my fasting journey this week and watch my video updates to see how I’m doing. If you feel like this is something you want to do, then please venture slowly before diving into something like this. It’s certainly not something you do flippantly without careful consideration of your own body. You do what’s right for you at all times to be as healthy as you can possibly be. What do you think about my one-week (or longer!) fasting goal? Would you try something like this for whatever reason?