My Experience Doing A 7 Day Water Fast
Hi, this is my experience doing my first ever 7-day water fast. I have previously done intermittent fasting for just over a year now starting with 16 hours of fasting, progressing to 20-hour fasts and then OMAD (23-hour fast). The longest duration for a water fast I have gone for is just under 48 hours without food and just water. I have been regularly doing IF each day from anywhere between 18–22-hour fasts so I did have some experience going into this. This is my experience.
This day was fairly straight forward for me as it was just like any other day. The only difference was when I came home from work I couldn’t eat which was a bit crap as I’m used to eating straight after work after a 22 hour fast. Being hungry at this time wasn’t a good feeling especially when there’s food at home to eat. A good thing to do is keep far away from the kitchen otherwise seeing food would just lead me to break my fast and start eating. But, the day was a success and day 1 was complete. I read some things about water fasting beforehand such as having pink Himalayan salt so your electrolyte levels don’t get depleted. I bought 1KG of the stuff on Amazon and tried to have it regularly but saltwater isn’t nice so this isn’t something I kept up with. I did also order electrolyte tablets off Amazon as well for around £7 which is said to do the same thing though I am not sure if they actually worked or not as I have no way of comparing.
Day 2 was similar to day 1 with the feeling of hunger increasing. My body was now depleted of any food and I had my last shit at the end of the day. I was starting to enter ketosis which I measured using keto strips which you pee on to see how many ketones you are producing (I think). I was already halfway there which did pump me up. Work was always tough around lunchtime when I would usually get a snack to eat. A good tip is to constantly be drinking water. I noticed a lot of times when my throat is dry I tend to feel hungrier. Water is your friend throughout the water fast. Don’t forget to drink regularly!
The dreaded third day. Now I was entering uncharted territory. I had gone close to 3 days but never even got past day 2 before staring this. I had read beforehand that usually day 3 is the hardest as your hunger levels are highest but the rest of the days after are meant to be easier. Now, this was a bit different for me. Day 3 wasn’t as hard as I had read online. I was still working and felt similar today 2. Maybe I was a bit hungrier but never did I feel like I could not continue or that I was dying if I didn’t eat. Also, I was in full ketosis for the first time ever. THE STICK WAS PURPLE! I was actually so happy and quite proud of myself. Work was getting easier to cope with but when I came home that was always the hardest part. I was so used to eating after coming home from work so this felt like torture for me.
This is where it got harder for me. I stupidly kept doing HIIT on the treadmill as I kept going to the gym regularly and I started to feel it as there was no food to get my energy from so my body was now using my fat storage as energy to keep me going. I thought my body could cope as I would easily be able to go through my 12-minute treadmill routine without feeling like I was going to be sick but, this would just drain me of any energy. Added to this was work where I have to walk around a lot having to walk around anywhere between 10,000–20,000 steps. At this point, I just wanted to be in bed but I managed to get through it without dying. Yay.
The halfway point and the 2nd day at work walking around. At this point, I felt like I had enough. The good part was that 4 hours into the day I was into triple digits. I made the 100-hour mark, a success in itself to come this far. This day I did not go to the gym which was probably a wise decision. This didn’t make work any easier. Though I did not feel much hunger, the energy that was promised could not be found. I felt constantly drained. This was amplified with work constantly walking for 7 hours. I was starting to feel it now. Knees felt weak (my arms weren’t heavy and I didn’t have moms spaghetti) but, this was by far my hardest day yet. However, I managed to make it. 120 hours down and what I thought it would be another 120 to go. Work was over and back to the day job, no more constant walking. I thought the hardest days were down. *SPOILER ALERT* I was wrong.
Throughout the water fast I never really felt hungry after the first sort of day or two. Yes, I wanted food but, I never felt like I was starved of it. I felt fine. It was the lack of energy that was slowing me down from wanting to do anything at all. Well, day 6 came around and I really started to feel hungry now. Again, like the dumbass I am, I continued doing HIIT at the gym though my energy levels did seem to be normal again, just now my hunger had arrived and food was constantly on my mind. I was just thinking about what food I will eat, what days I will it eat them and this was not the best idea. It just made me hungrier. But, again I managed to make it through. I thought I was going to do it. I could almost taste the food at the end of the finish line after day 10. 4 more days I thought. I was down to double digits for hours remaining on my 10-day water fast.
The end. That was it, day 7. Lack of energy but, not being hungry was maintainable. Hunger but, having energy was also maintainable. Now, hunger + lack of energy now that is a deadly combination. That is what happened on day 7. I felt done. I could not think of anything but food and physically and psychologically I was finished. Eating was the only thing on my mind and I felt like I was going to pass out if I didn’t so, I broke my water fast 7 days in. I had written out all the healthy stuff I would break my fast with but in the end, I just loaded on a lot of carbs and ate as much as I could. I was a bit pissed off I was close to finishing but in the end, I was proud of myself for being able to go this far. I know it’s possible and in the future, I hope to be able to go the full 10 days.
Throughout these 7 days of water fasting, I did learn how my body copes without food. I never really felt like I was going to die because I did not eat though those last 2 days were difficult and it was definitely more of a psychological barrier that I couldn’t get over. My problem was I started thinking about the food I was missing out on eating. I began thinking in my head all the good food I was going to eat after this and this probably was not the best thing to do. Also, doing HIIT was not a good idea at all. My body was okay around after 3 days but, I realise I should have taken it easier and maybe skipped the gym altogether. Overall, I am happy being able to go this far and I have learned a lot about how my body can cope without food. I would not recommend this to anyone who has not researched this thoroughly and has done different forms of fasting for long periods. I had previous experience with fasting whether for religious purposes or doing intermittent fasting. Learn about what your body can cope with first and if you feel like you can’t do it then finish the fast and it. *I would not encourage anyone to a water fast for any duration as I am not a doctor or have any expertise about the human body*, I am just a guy who likes to do this sort of stuff. Hope you enjoyed reading :)
Note: Oh yeah, if you were interested in the weight loss I lost 4.2kg within those 7 days.
11/12 and I know I am publishing this in December but it’s hard with a full-time job with not much time and feeling tired all the time. I had planned this story since I finished my fast but never really got around to writing it and don’t think my writing has improved throughout this year but I think that is something I realise that I need to improve on. Perhaps planning out what I am going to write in each paragraph and giving it a beginning, middle and end would be a good start but, the goal was just to write 12 stories this year no matter how good or shit they were and I am close to doing that now so I could not give a fuck at this moment but hopefully future Naim will. I am counting on you future Naim.