I stop eating for 3 days, I made it, and it was quite difficult.
In this article, I will talk about my personal experience with a 3-day water fast, also some tips for those who suffered (or suffering) some difficulties during a water fast.
Briefly, water fast refers to drink only water within a certain amount of time, not eat any food nor take any other nutrients. It was practised in ancient tribal society, and still well-applied in the animal world. According to some research, there are many health benefits to it, such as losing weight, improving mental strength, healing chronic diseases, boosting the immune system etc.
When you don't take any nutrition from food, the body will recycle its energy and the cells will use the autophagy to get rid of the damaged formations. In the process, the body is "eating itself" to regenerated (Read More). Here I will not explain much about the science behind it. I am not a medical professional, and this is my personal experience. I will link some online source by the end of this article.
My motivation to do this is quite clear: I want to detox my body to heal my skin. Recently I got some allergy and skin rashes that disturbs quite much. I went to the doctor, and she prescribed me some creams, and it didn't stop my outbreaks spreading. The creams couldn't tap to the bottom of the problem, and the cause of the rashes is still unknown. I think that maybe I am allergic to wheat or some food, or there are some conflicts happens in my immune system, or my body needs to detox (I am a healthy veggie in general, but sometimes I eat many convenient processed food). Since I am willing to try anything to heal, I decide to try 3-day water fast.
Day 0: In the whole day, I ate as usual. I had a plate of vegetable cooked in coconut milk, a piece of vegan steak and an apple. Finish dinner around 8:00 PM and didn't eat anything after. Day 1: In the morning, I skipped my routine, just got a glass of water, and I was functional as usual. The hunger started to kick in around 2:00 PM. I went for a walk for 30 mins and felt a bit tired. Then I went back home to have a nap on the sofa. Afterwards, I did some painting and set up the camera to record the video. I felt a bit weak but still managed to do everything. Around 6:00 PM, I started to feel dizzy and frustrated. Not only my boyfriend's delicious cooking triggered me, but I also began to fight against my human instinct - hunger. I fall asleep early on Day 1. However, during the night, I had severe nausea, and I kept getting up to throw up. It was a long, painful night, I threw up five times, and some green liquid came out from my empty stomach(bile?), I couldn't even digest water, and I felt an intense headache. After some time, I fall asleep again. Day 2: In the morning, my stomach was fine, although the headache is still there. The whole day I felt lazy and weak. My mind was slowing down, and I noticed more of the sound around me. Spending a lot of time on the sofa, I started to search for some content about nausea during water fast, and found out that it is normal to throw up - it happens on a lot of people. In my case, it might also relate to the low blood sugar (I have this since childhood). Some people suggest to put some salt in the water in the morning to ease the low blood sugar, I didn't try it because I want to stick to the water fast principle - only water. The whole day my stomach was okay, and I didn't throw up again. Whenever I felt too weak, I just go to bed. In the dinner time, my boyfriend cooked an amazing dinner again, and it triggered my hunger even more. I fall asleep with the smell of onion in olive oil and constantly imagine the various, delicious food from different parts of the world. (I notice that I have a lot of mental attachment to food). Day 2 was basically sleeping and resting, apart from that, my main activities are: Meditation for 20 mins gentle yoga 10 mins Drawing practice 1h I was so weak to have the motivation to do anything, if I was not sleeping, I probably just lying on the sofa watching some online content.
I felt good waking up in the morning, I did some kundalini yoga and breath practice for around 30 mins. Felt less hungry and able to edit my last video.
In the afternoon, that terrible nausea came back again. I was so dizzy, and I had a low blood sugar symptom again. By the end of the day, I drank some coconut water to break the fast. The moment when I took some sips, it made me energetic directly... 3 days is not long enough to forget the beauty of flavour, I felt that energy from the nutrition immediately and I was so much more sensitive to the taste.
Until the end of day 3, I drank about 200ml coconut water and felt great.
Day 4: refeeding On day 4, I started the refeeding process by drinking beet juice. The whole day I felt as usual, functional, energetic. Although I still felt hungry. What did I eat: Breakfast: 250 ml beet juice Lunch: 250 ml carrot juice Snack: 150ml green juice (mix mango, cucumber, avocado and spinach) 100ml celery juice 100ml yogurt + half banana Dinner: 100g green beans mix potato soup 150ml vegetable broth It's a whole day of juice and very digestive vegetables.
The day after, I felt entirely recovered. I ate less quantity, only half of the portion that I usually eat is enough for me at the moment.
So, let's come back to the purpose of my water fast - heal the skin. Did it really help with healing? In the 3 days, my skin rashes got better than before, the rashes dried out and became less itchy. Not sure if it's directly related to water fast, but that may help. Three days is not long enough to conclude that it works, but it didn't do anything bad to my skin for sure. Here are some questions that I searched during the fast, and I want to give you my opinions.
Do you feel hungry, and how do you corporate with it?
Yes, I felt hungry a lot. As I mentioned before, it was difficult. I think about food all the time, and it is not an easy task. I think the best way is to corporate is to drink some water and go to take a rest, or switch the focus to meditation and breath.
How much water do you drink?
I drink around 2 litres of water each day, not so much more than usual. It should adjust to your activity level and body weight.
What to do if you feel nausea during a water fast?
Nausea is normal, I had it, and a lot of people also had it. But if it continually happens and feels unbearable, maybe you should break it because your body or mind is not ready.
What to eat after water fast?
I had juice for the day and vegetable soup for the night—no junk/processed food.
How do you know you won't die from hunger:
The human can survive in starvation for a long period of time, as longs as the body fat reserves are substantial enough and as long as supplemented with vitamins, minerals and water. In 1973, there was a 27 years old male weighted 207kg did a water fast for 382 days and weighed only 82kg in the end (Read more).
This example is a bit extreme, but there are also some fit people Vlog on their 35 days of water fast that looks perfectly healthy. I think it differs from case to case. If you don't have much body fat or have low blood sugar issue, the long-term is probably not suitable for you. I know that three days without food won't make a big difference to me, but I probably won't go for something more than 10 days without more water fast practices. Also, there should be a clear motivation to help you keep going: why do you stop eating?
In this experience, water fast is beneficial to my goal because it helps a bit with healing my skin. I didn't have any significant change throughout the fast - it's not long enough to make a big impact. But I think I will do it again once in a while to give my body a break. 3 days is not that long, it's good to focus on the goal and give it a try.
World’s largest Fasting Study (2020) | Buchinger Wilhelmi
'Self-Eating Cell' Research Wins Nobel in Medicine
HOW TO BREAK A FAST: Best Results & Worst Mistakes (Refeed Syndrome)
Why fasting bolsters brain power: Mark Mattson at TEDxJohnsHopkinsUniversity