Fasting: Days 20-21

This is the update for Days 20-21 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.

Meditation at the beach

Here are the stats for Days 20-21:

  Day 20 Day 21
Today’s Weight 124.8lbs / 56.6kg 124.1lbs / 56.3kg
Diff vs. Yesterday -0.4lbs / -0.2kg -0.7lbs / -0.3kg
Total Difference -19.6lbs / -8.9kg -20.3lbs / -9.2kg
Water consumption 0.9 liters 0.8 liters
Body Temp 36.2 C / 97.4 F 36.3 C / 97.7 F

Overall Review

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but we’ve finally come to the end of my 21-day fast. 😀 Tomorrow morning at 10am, I’ll be breaking the fast. But before that, more on my detox in the past 2 days.

Physical Detox

My detox in the past 2 days has been manageable. On Day 20 morning, about 1am, there was a point when my mouth started generating a lot of saliva that was sweet-tasting. I went to the sink to spit them out, after which my mouth would generate more of it and I continued spitting it out. All this while I felt like I might vomit. True enough, after a couple of minutes, my body began to try to vomit, but there was nothing since my stomach was empty. This happened twice before it stopped. While I had felt nauseous for a large part of my fast, this is the first time my body physically tried to vomit during the fast.

After this I sent an email to Loren, asking him if this was a sign of true hunger (I didn’t feel any urge to eat though). He assured me that it was very normal and not a sign of true hunger (once again, every average person has reserves that can last at least 6-8 weeks, with heavier people having more reserves), and that the most important thing was not to suppress any vomiting if it happened again. I was relieved after getting his reply, so I went back to rest. The vomiting didn’t return after that.

For the rest of Day 20, I alternated between having slight headaches to stomach aches. I also continued to have flu-like symptoms and had a fair bit of phlegm. I focused on resting for the bulk of the day.

Towards the last week of the fast, I’ve been focusing on resting, ranging anywhere from 16 to 20 hours of rest a day. Firstly, I’ve observed throughout the 21-days that my body’s natural inclination during the fast is to stay at rest, with my eyes closed. (I mentioned in detail in Day 5) While I normally enjoy moving about, the opposite is true during the fast. My mobility is slowed down by at least 50%, and most physical actions would leave me quite tired. Secondly, while I can be up and about doing daily stuff, I do not feel that this helps me get the maximum benefits of the fast. In theory I’m might be fasting, but if I’m using precious energy for daily activities, this energy isn’t being used for internal healing. I rather go through the 21-day fast and get the best out of it, than do a half-baked job with half-baked results. Loren has also shared the same advice in the fasting interview. (See answers to Q3, Q7 and Q13)

On Day 21 (today), the headaches and stomach aches were gone. I woke up with a stuffy nose and stuffy head though, most probably from the flu. These cleared up toward the end of the day. Right now as I’m typing this, I actually feel closest to normal than I’ve ever felt throughout the whole ketosis-process of the fast. It’s almost as if my body knows that I’m now at the end of the fast and it’s getting ready for that. I still have a little bit of phlegm, but it’s pretty minor. I gather the detox will keep going on as long as I let it, so 21 days is a good time to stop the fast and start anew.

Water Consumption

My water consumption for the past 2 days was slightly lower because I rested most of the time. For example, I woke up at about 3+pm today. I continue to drink based on thirst, so I’m not trying to hold off on drinking. My lips have been somewhat dry the past 2 days (they weren’t dry throughout the fast), so that’s a sign I should drink more. I’ll continue to drink where I can. Since I’m already breaking the fast tomorrow with juicy watermelon, I gather water intake isn’t going to be an issue anymore.

Breaking the Fast

I consulted Loren on how to best break the fast. Previously I had shared that I was going to break the fast with juices, so I sought a second opinion from Loren. Turns out that he actually recommends breaking the fast with fruit and not juice because the digestion of the fruit helps even out the absorption of the sugar into the blood. I’ve posted his detailed reply in the fasting interview, right down to quantity and frequency of consumption, so check that out (see Q15).

I’ll be following Loren’s advice and have asked my mom to bring home lots of watermelon. Since my mom runs a fruit stall, the raw fruit aspect of my diet has never been a problem. Right now my fridge is packed with 2 small boxes of watermelon. 😀 I’ll start first with 2 oz of watermelon (will be weighing with my mini-kitchen scale) at 10am, and will continue that every 2 hours till 6pm.

I don’t foresee any rejection by my body, based on how well the fast has went. But you’ll never know. I’ll post a post-fast update after the first day.

Looking Forward to Post Fast

I’m pretty excited about life post-fast. The first being that I’ve not eaten anything for 21 days, so it’s nice to get started on healthy eating after this. The second being that I can finally get on with regular, daily life, with planning, doing, being in action mode, kicking off the next big idea, etc. I can also start meeting up with my friends again, with whom I’ve rescheduled my appointments with in the last week because I was physically too tired/unwell to go out and meet them.

I’m planning to write a post-fast review of my main benefits and experiences in the 21 days (without repeating what I’ve already written in the logs), so stay tuned for that. This will take a few days as I’ve a workshop this coming Sat which I’ve to work on first.

Like I’ve continuously mentioned, how you break the fast and your lifestyle and habits post fast is as important, if not more important, than what you do during the fast. Because of that, I’ll log my post-fast journey as well, though not in the same frequency. I’ll probably have a weekly log for my post-fast journey, for 3 weeks after the fast, then decide later on if there’s a need to continue journaling it. The objective is to maintain the benefits I got during the fast, such as the weight loss, the improved complexion, a renewed relationship with food, among others. I haven’t been at my current weight (56.3kg / 124.1lbs) since I was 16-17, so it’ll be interesting to see how the weight aspect goes.

Right now I’m creating a guideline on what to eat on different days of the week, so I have variety in my meals. I notice that variety has always been important for me to keep up with any diet, so this meal plan will be helpful. The plan will also have a caloric and nutritional aspect so I know that I’m meeting my daily energy needs (about 1600 calories).

UpdatePost-Fast Day 1 update is up!

This is the update for Days 20-21 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.

Image: Meditating at beach