[AMA] I've Water-Fasted for 30 Days, AMA

Hey guys,

Recently saw this threaddiscussing water-fasting, and noticed a few other users mentioning they'd completed 30+ day fasts. There seemed to be a bit of interest in the results/changes/consequences for someone going zero-calories for extended periods of time. Figured I'd open a forum topic if anyone was interested in some more information.

From my experience, I started the 30 days at 96.1kg and reached 79.1kg on day 30. Using the data from a body composition scan at both the start and end of the fast, I discovered I lost around 60% fat and 40% muscle - which ended up much more than I was expecting. I also checked in with my GP regularly, and took blood tests before and after the fast for safety's sake.

If there's any questions, ask away!

closed Comments

  • +5 votes

    Where can I get some mask and hand sanitiser now?

    • +9 votes

      Use fish sauce as hand sanitiser and nobody will come close enough to you to spread germs - you won't even need a mask.

  • +3 votes

    How much of that weight did you gain back afterwards and over what time period

    Did you ever feel sick during the 30 days

    What was the purpose of undergoing the fast and would you recommend it

    • +4 votes

      Weight gain afterwards was something I had to manage quite carefully… immediately after the fast and for around 6 months afterwards, it was incredibly easy to pack on the pounds. I did end up gaining all the weight back after around 6 months, and definitely came out with less muscle mass than when I started - not something I'd recommend for weight-loss or physical wellbeing at all.

      I didn't so much feel sick, but around day 20 I felt a lot more fatigued, and just wanted to rest all the time.

      I started it because I'd read about others who'd completed one, and thought I'd challenge myself and document the results. Partly to give myself a challenge and test my willpower, and partly to see if any of the health benefits some people insist fasting brings were actually true.

      • +1 vote

        So did you notice any health benefits?

        •  

          Not that I really noticed, to be honest. I felt a little more clear-headed for around the first week, but otherwise felt completely fine - aside from being more fatigued. Main benefit afterwards was that a real small amount of food left me feeling satisfied, which saved me a lot of money!

  • +1 vote

    did you work out or do any exercise during your fast?

    what effects did it have on your everyday life?

    • +2 votes

      I did minimal exercise - a couple of pushups/situps here and there, but nothing strenuous. In hindsight, I could have done more bodyweight exercise to keep my muscles active - might have helped me retain a little more muscle mass.

      The biggest effect on my life was actually barely needing to sit down on the toilet - I only did this 3 times in a month, and when I started eating again it was definitely more painful than I remember to pass waste… Other than that, I just enjoyed the smell of food so much and I felt my sense of smell was stronger, although that could have been my stomach speaking. I often cooked something for my housemate just to smell the food - it was tempting to eat, but the smell was enough for me.

  •  

    Ive only ever managed 100 hour water fasts. I could never get over the hump and would cave.

    What was your refeeding schedule and diet like after that long? Did you stop at a certain weight/time frame or did you experience true hunger and know it was time etc?

    • +1 vote

      That hump is the worst part - around the 100 hour mark the hunger slowly starts to decrease, but it's a real struggle. Refeeding for me was mostly soups and broths - I tried to ease myself into lower-calorie vegetables and fruits before getting back to more carb and meat based meals. I should have been stricter with my refeeding, I only took a week to return back to normal food which was definitely not long enough.

  • +3 votes

    Thanks OP, I always like to hear from people who actually try things as opposed to just criticising them. :)
    I've done other stuff but never a water fast, not sure it would benefit me personally but might be worth doing for a couple of days for reasons of cleansing.

    •  

      No worries! I didn't look too much into the cleansing side of things, I didn't feel markedly better at all - but the one benefit I find is that after even small fasts, I come out of them needing much less food to feel satisfied. If I keep that smaller-portion habit going, I don't have any issues with over-eating for a long while after.

    •  

      Yeah why don't people just try cyanide instead of saying it's bad for your health? Some people…

  •  

    How was each day? I can imagine the first few weren't fun. Were you extremely hungry on the first day and had to push through it?

    Why didn't you start with a 7 day fast instead of going straight to 30 days? And why 30 days?

    Was there a reason you wanted to try it? Weight loss? If so, do you think this is a viable option for losing weight or is the traditional eat less work more better?

    • +1 vote

      First few were really bad, I found that my hunger would get really bad over a 2-3 hour period, and then the pangs would drop off before returning a few hours after, kind of like waves. The first day was actually the worst… The night before I had some drinks with friends, so Day 1 was full of both hunger AND hangover… would not recommend.

      I came at it trying to see how the human body would cope with zero calories, and what exactly would happen to someone who tried - I couldn't find any records of body scans/medical results for anyone else who'd attempted 30 days, so I figured why not find out myself? 30 days was more of a self-imposed limit - I considered trying 40 but my body felt like it was just tipping over into concerning territory by the time 30 days arrived.

      My reason for trying was just to see how my body would react - I did try to document the process through videos/notes and I might throw together a video about it sometime, but I didn't do it for weight-loss reasons.

      Whether I'd recommend it for weight loss? Almost always no. Going without food or vigorous exercise for so long absolutely KILLS your metabolism, and as soon as you start eating again your body will be squirreling away every spare calorie it can grab. Unless someone is prepared to eat very little and ease their way back into normal food, absolutely not worth it. Someone could theoretically try this say, 30 days before their wedding, but the weight will almost definitely be back soon and with a vengeance.

  •  

    Have you tried dry fasting ?

  • +1 vote

    What are some other things you have done?

  •  

    Did the water-fast make you appreciate water even more?

    What is your opinion on water-fasting after you have done this 30 days?

    • +1 vote

      Oh definitely - I found it interesting that as my sense of taste became more sensitive, I could taste the difference between average water and real clean water. Chewing ice was something I also tried for a day or two, before it bruised the roof of my mouth and hurt real badly.

      I have no issues with smaller fasts, and to some degree larger fasts done properly. I think it's good to challenge yourself and knowing that I can last days without food definitely helps me put off the cravings for any late night snacks - but for health reasons? Perhaps a week or less if anything, I did feel more alert for the first week or so.

  •  

    Did you see any improvements in your blood tests? Any changes in mood, e.g. more irratibility?

    • +1 vote

      I'll try and dig out my specific results - but not that I can remember off the top of my head. I definitely didn't see anything too drastic - but I'll get back to you on that one.

      Mood changes - I was quite hangry for the first few days, but after I became used to the feeling I felt a little more clear-headed and alert for about a week or two, before returning to feeling more normal towards the end. I did also start to feel really exhausted and tired towards the very end, even after really good sleep.

  • +5 votes

    Awesome work, ive never pushed to 30 days extended fast's as i felt no need as i was seeing consistant weight loss with what i was doing.
    I did for 3 and a half months do 48 hour fast's consecutively eating a single meal every 48 hours or two days, im now doing OMAD
    I dropped from 114kg down to 89.5kg, i feel better now than ever before in my life.

    •  

      Cheers mate, well done on your progress too! You must have some killer self-control, I found the first 48 hours the worst part for me so for someone to do that again and again is super impressive. It really does make you feel better when you get yourself used to eating less regular meals - sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to put away so much food when I was eating way too much… I'm sure you'd be noticing the financial impact too, besides helping weight loss, buying much less food definitely saved me hundreds of dollars and still does now that I'm not eating as much - it's like being paid to be healthier!

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