Always remember: people do not die of old age they die of disease or injury.
In preparing for the fast I built up to it with alternate day fasting for a week. This involved no food on one day followed by an eating window between 12 noon (as a minimum) and ending at 6:00 pm. It is always a good idea to have an eating window even if you do not plan to fast. Eight hours should be a maximum which allows your body to fully digest your food and then rest and heal within the 16 hour fast. I drank two litres of water plus black coffee per day. Black coffee only before midday. Sleep is important – more important than exercise in my view.
When I did eat I aimed for a whole food plant based approach. I am a vegetarian anyway and eat no flesh (you should try to avoid completely fish, seafood, meat, fish and fowl and their derivatives). Remember you must check labels on processed or packaged food as many contain derivatives. Occasionally I will eat eggs (free range organic) and dairy – cheese or ice cream. Eggs, cheese and ice cream are an indulgence that allow me to continue, in the main on an alternate day fast routine interspersed with longer term fast like this one. Of course I feel a little guilty when I succumb. Others may have a sweet tooth and indulge in donuts, flapjacks or whatever. As long as you do this occaionally and in the main are full on healthy just do it. But always aim to achive 100% whole food plant based (wfpb) and an every other day fasting routine (eod fasting). Tea (white or green with no milk) is okay. Black coffee (from whole beans ground yourself) is okay. Avoid soft drinks completely. Fruit juice and vegetable juice should be avoided unless you make your own. But remember the whole food is always better than the juice.
Today I ate nothing. I drank 2 litres of water. I drank black coffee in the morning. Today was okay apart from slight anxiety and a minor headache as well as a tightness in the abdomen. This is normal for me. Although restless at night I slept for 7 hours 33 minutes. My average heart rate came in at 57 bpm, so slightly elevated by about 10% above the non fasting nights. Deep sleep lasted an hour in total – again slightly down on a non fasting night but only woke for 10 minutes and had a heart rate dip of 20% for 67% of the time. A heart rate dip is the difference between your day time average resting heart rate and your sleeping heart rate. You need about one and a half hours deep sleep, a 20% heart rate dip and a waking heart rate in the low 50s. You need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. It is fundamental to your health, wellbeing and psychological health that this happens. You cannot allow anything to get in the way of this or it will adversely effect your health. The idea propagated by the mainstream media that sleep is an option is a deliberate lie and should be ignored. Drinking lots of coffee, energy drinks, or worse taking stimulants like cocaine, amphetamine and dexedrine will make you borderline psychotic. If you do this longterm you will become psychotic, anxious and bad tempered and this can lead to criminal behaviour – mainly violence. It will definitely effect your relationships with loved ones and work colleagues.
I did one and a half hours of Ashtanga yoga (primary series) 10 minutes of pranayama, 15 minutes of yoga nidra (sleep yoga – more on this on other posts) 10 minutes deep meditation and 5 minutes relaxation at the end. I did 45 minutes of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I spent 30 minutes on ab-crunches and 15 minutes doing “Shaolin Abs”. I worked chest, triceps and shoulders during resistance work. I use bands but weights or any other resistance is okay. I walked 9.7 miles in 20,604 steps over 3.14 hours. I had a calorific deficit of 2604. My starting weight was 12 stone 3.4 pounds. I spent 3 hours 20 minutes on exercise. My weight the following day was 12 stone 0.2 pounds. Drinking a lot of water and being active for six and a half hours helped me through the anxiety, headache and abdominal discomfort. Intense exercise and fasting are not incompatible but you need to be mindful of your ability and health limitations. The fast, meditation and sleep are more important than activity. You will lose weight and self heal (autophagy – more elsewhere) even if you do no exercise or a minimal amount so do not worry if you cannot do much. Ketosis kicks in after two or three days of fasting, more on this in the coming days. I had a bit of a headache and had some anxiety but managed this with elevated emotions, exercise and meditation, and again – more on this later.