Last Friday I shared with you My First Time: A 24 Hour Fast!!! (Part 1) which talked about the benefits of a 24 hour fast and how my buddy and I decided to do a 24 hour fast together. Today I am going to share with you my experience, what I learned, and if I would do it again. The best way to explain my experience is to simply provide a timeline of what I did and how I felt. No, I won’t discuss every hour of the fast, as is wasn’t significant enough, but there are some parts of the fast that really stood out. I started the fast on Thursday September 5th and ended it on Friday September 6th:
I had my first meal of the day after completing my normal 16 hour fast overnight. Since I knew I was starting my 24 hour fast after lunch, I did my best to fill up on as many decent calories I could get in. Here is what I had:
- 2 bananas
- 1 apple
- 5 scrambled eggs with cheese
- 1 bowl of sliced tomatoes with mayo
- 1 cup of mixed nuts
- 1 small protein bar
- 1 large glass of sweet tea and water mix
- 1 cup of coffee with sugar free creamer
Woah…that was a lot of food, but I was preparing for a 24 hour fast and I wanted to make sure I had enough calories to sustain me. I felt pretty full after eating all this and I felt rushed as I was trying to get it all in before 2:30pm, which was the agreed upon time with my buddy to start the fast. I sucked down the last sip of coffee about 2:29pm.
The fast begins. Let’s do this!!!
My first hunger pain hits. During the week, I typically eat a late dinner around 8:30pm so I wasn’t surprised. I had read about Ghrelin, aka the “hunger hormone”, which is the hormone produced in the gut. It travels through your blood stream and tells your brain to become hungry and look for food. Ghrelin typically kicks into gear when your stomach is empty and around your typical meal times. Ghrelin is responsible for those hunger pains that we all know too well. I was able to fight the hunger pains off. I fought the pains for about 20 minutes and they went away.
I was able to fall asleep without any hunger pains and felt pretty confident going into the night of rest. This seems easier than I thought!!!
Okay, so I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy. I woke up from a dream where I was in Las Vegas at a buffet. All the food looked horrible with the exception of this one dessert cake made of chocolate and topped with peanut butter. Oh, my favorite combination. But it got weird. When I picked up a slice of cake, all this green glitter, which I hadn’t seen at first, fell off the cake. I asked the lady working there what the dessert was and she responded “slime cake.” Despite its name, I tried it anyway and it tasted horrible. I instantly woke up and had this horrible taste in my mouth, like the taste I experienced in my dream. I got up and grabbed some water. At this point I was not really hungry, just a little weirded out by the dream.
I woke up my normal time and wasn’t really hungry. I came downstairs, got a cup of ice water to sit down and begin workday.
Began to feel a little hungry, but nothing different than I typically experience. I started my 16 hour fast last night at 9:30pm and can feel some little hunger pains now at 8:25am. This is the way I feel every weekday of my 16/8 fast, so this wasn’t too surprising.
I had a cup of black coffee. I am not really a fan of coffee without creamer, but it was necessary for the fast and I survived. The coffee was actually pretty good considering there wasn’t any creamer in it. I didn’t feel hungry when I drank the coffee, but shortly after I felt a little hunger, but nothing really bad.
My stomach is making noises. I was really feeling hungry, but it only lasted about 5 minutes and then I was fine again…no hunger pains…hmph.
Okay, really feeling hungry now. I typically have my first meal of the day around 1:45pm, so I was not really surprised. Good ole Ghrelin has kicked in and is telling me it is time to eat, but I fought it off. The hunger pains went away after about 15 minutes.
I finally broke my fast. I was with my buddy that day, for work purposes, so we were able to break our fast together. When asked where we should eat, I was kinda in the mood for some diner food. Like some chicken wings and a burger, so we went to a local diner in Rehobeth, DE. I decided I wanted to eat a bunch of food to make sure I was able to get enough calories in to make up for what I had lost, so I went at it pretty hard. This is what I ate:
- 2 glasses of mixed sweet and unsweet tea
- 6 BBQ wings
- 1 cup of cream of crab
- 1 Texas Cheeseburger with homemade chips
- 1 small portion of rice pudding
- 1 large Starbucks Pumpkin spiced latte
When I was done eating, I was overly full, felt like crap, and just wanted to take a nap.
Went to work out at the gym with my buddy. During the workout, I felt like crap. I was burping and had this crappy feeling in my stomach. I finished the workout but felt kinda crappy the whole time. My buddy, who ate a similar lunch to me, said he felt the same way.
I really enjoyed the 24 hour fast. I didn’t find the hunger pains that I experienced to be any real problem. They typically came and went within like 5-15 minutes and then I wouldn’t feel hungry anymore. My buddy and I both agreed that we were not very smart when we broke our fast. We should have had a decent, healthy meal, of a reasonable size. Having greasy diner food, and lots of it, only resulted in a crappy feeling and a crappy workout.
Overall, it was a good experience and one that I am going to try to do at the beginning of every month. The benefits of the fast are definitely worth it compared to the little bit of hunger pains I felt. Like anything else, most benefits will be seen over a consistent time performing any positive act. So, I plan to continue these 24 hour fasts once a month for the foreseeable future, in addition to my 16/8 fasts each weekday. I would highly recommend you give it a try, but first be sure to follow up with your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet.
Don’t let a 24 hour fast intimidate you. If your doctor says you can medically do it, then the 5and2Guy says you can definitely do it!!! Good luck!!!