Fasting: Day 1

This is Day 1 of my 21-day fast in Feb ’11. If you’re new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all articles on fasting: The Fasting Series.

Fasting Experiment

Hi everyone! Today is the end of day 1 of my fasting experiment and everything’s going very well! :D First of all, a quick update on the stats for those who are interested:

  • Starting Weight: 144.4lbs / 65.5kg
  • Today’s Weight: 141.1lbs / 64kg (-3.3lbs / -1.5kg)
  • Water consumption: 4.3 liters (drank throughout the day)
  • Body Temp: 35.9 C / 96.62 F

If you haven’t, read my original fasting article to get the full background on fasting itself and what I’m doing. I’ve significantly updated the article today with new information on fasting and details of my experiment.

Overall Review

Today went extremely well – better than I thought it would be actually! I did not feel any real hunger sensations throughout the day, so it was really easy to go through the day without food. If every day is like today, the 21-day fast is going to be really easy. :D I’m really excited about what’s up next. We’ll see!

Mental Preparation

One thing that really helped was immersing myself with materials on fasting. I watched a lot of videos by experienced fasters on Youtube today. Some of them fasted for 21 days, one fasted for 30 days. It was interesting listening to their daily accounts throughout their fasting journey. I feel like I have a very strong idea of what to expect over the next 20 days (granted, everyone’s experience will be different), and because of this knowledge I’m prepared to handle whatever comes up.

What’s interesting is a lot of the initial resistance is mental, because as I’ve mentioned in the original fasting post, unless you’re emaciated/thin or have some severe illness, your body has a lot of fat reserves (complete with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals) that can last you at least 40 days without food. When your body switches from ketosis (burning from fat reserves) to burning from muscles/fat, it’ll alert you from not having any thoughts of eating to a sudden intense urge for food. This isn’t the feeling we’ve been conditioned to associate with hunger – it isn’t emptiness of stomach, nor stomach growls, nor thinking that you need to eat, nor gastric pain (by the way, abdominal pain stems from deeper issues, so if you get it you should get it checked). Real hunger is felt from the throat (not stomach nor head). Suffice to say most of us never get to experience this in our lives in our food-heavy culture today, where we eat based on external factors or conditioning.

Generally I stayed away from seeing/hearing about food, and also kept out of the kitchen when my mom was cooking in the evening. I think that really helps. If you’re fasting, you might find it helpful to keep yourself away from anything that triggers the thought of eating.

Detox – Waiting for it to happen

At this point it’s still Day 1, so my body is probably still burning glucose and possibly the glycogen (in liver and muscles) for energy. It’s only in Days 4-5 when ketosis kicks in, and this is supposedly the hard part, because that’s when the detox symptoms will start surfacing (removal of toxins from the fat cells). We’ll see how it goes. I’m listening to my body throughout this whole process and will let it guide me on what to do / what not to do.

One way to tell when you’re detoxing is to see the color of your tongue. If it’s white, that means your body is trying to purge out toxins in your body. When one enters ketosis, the white coating on the tongue will get thicker and thicker as the body purges out more and more toxins. At one point when the purging is almost done, the tongue will become clear (like pink). In one fasting video I saw, the person mentioned that the coating on tongue switched from really thick and white to suddenly clearing up (at this point she had fasted for a while).

Body Temperature

My body temp is 35.9 C. I didn’t take my temperature yesterday before I started, though my temperature hovered around 36.5-37.0 C before I think? Normal body temperature ranges from 33.2–38.2 °C, so it’s well within the range. I think my body temperature is slightly lower now since my body isn’t actively digesting food and I’ve been largely sedentary throughout the day.

Weight Loss

My weight at the end of the day is 64kg, so that’s a 1.5kg drop from yesterday (65.5kg). I know some of you are probably interested in fasting for weight loss purposes, so I’m going to track my weight throughout this journey too.

Of course, it’s important that you totally change your relationship with food and revamp to a 100% healthy diet after your fast. Otherwise, whatever weight you lose during the fast will simply be regained after that.

Water Consumption

In total, I drank 4.3 liters of water today, which might seem a lot but my consumption but it really feels normal to me. I’m not intentionally stuffing myself with water or anything like that. Once again, I’m just listening to my body. Whenever my lips/mouth feels drier, I’ll take a sip from my mug. To make things easy I’ve placed 2 mugs and 1 water bottle on my desk (400ml capacity each), so it makes drinking water easy. :sweat:

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the process (even if you’re not fasting actually, as I mentioned in 21DHL Day 1) as water is the main medium your body uses to remove toxins.

Fitness

As I had mentioned in the original post, I’m not intending to do any exercise during this period. At most I’ll go for light strolls, that’s about it. Since the body gets glycogen from muscles during the third stage (before ketosis), it doesn’t make sense to build muscles during this period (just to get them burned away later).

Other Preparation

I’ve had quite a lot of time to plan for my fast today, even right down to how I’m going to break my fast at the end. I’ve also created an excel file with my daily measurements. At the end of the fast I’ll be able to do a graph plot (mainly of my weight) so all of you can see the fluctuations/changes throughout the 21 days.

Otherwise there’s really nothing else to report. I’ve been getting some work done, prepared ahead of my next coaching session, and generally enjoying the second day of CNY. :dance: Overall I’m just taking things easy and seeing how things go along.

Stay tuned for tomorrow

That’s about it from me now! Stay tuned for Day 2′s update tomorrow. Many hugs to all of you! :hug: Feel free to join us in the forums where several members are joining in the fasting trial too.

Update: Day 2 is up!

This is Day 1 of my 21-day fast in Feb ’11. If you’re new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all articles on fasting: The Fasting Series.

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  • Rob Love

    Great read, I was just wondering if you were using distilled water or regular filtered water?

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thanks Rob! My water source was water from the tap that had been boiled and cooled. (I don’t know what you would call this — distilled water?).

      • Rob Love

        I think that’s just purified water, the videos on youtube of making distilled are painfully slow processes lol that is great to know though, that means you got benefit without strictly using distilled water and that’s exactly what I needed to hear!

        seeing as you’re nice enough to respond in decent time, mind if I ask your opinion on someone who is only 130 pounds and 6′ 1″ doing a 21 day fast? My original plan was 14 days for healing of the gut, but this awesome series of articles you have really sold me on 21.

        • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

          I’m not a medical expert nor a fasting expert but I don’t really see any difference between using distilled or purified water for the fast. If there is documented evidence about the pros of one over the other it’d be interesting to read it, but otherwise I really wouldn’t bother. Whatever benefits X type of water could give over Y type would probably be marginal, and I’d assume that the majority of benefits that you can get from the experience would be from (1) embarking on the fast and (2) successful completion of it. As long as it’s plain water as opposed to coffee or tea (I knew someone who fasted with black coffee and his excuse was that it was okay since coffee has zero calories), I think you’re good to go.

          As for your body weight/height, unfortunately I’m not able to give specific advice in this area since I’m not a medical/fasting expert, but it does sound like you’re quite light for your height (seems like you may even be underweight?). I’d recommend to calculate the amount of weight you can “afford” to lose until you hit a dangerous threshold (starvation mode), and see how many days of fast that translate to. Another option, probably better suited for you, is to consider a juice fast — where you’ll still be ingesting calories but you get to “detox” your system/body still.

  • Ree

    I’ve also started the challenge and I am excited about it! My starting weight is 145 pounds. I’ll continuously post as the days go by. :)