Diary of an Extended Fast – 72hrs completed

72 hours! I did it! Here’s how I felt over the final 24hrs of my fast. This was uncharted fasting territory for me and I was really curious to see how I would feel.

Thursday 4 June 2020 : 1540 – Only just beyond 48hrs and my tummy is gurgling and rumbling like crazy. I like to think these are the noises it makes as it’s eating sored body fat!! In all serious by this time, my body is using stored fat as fuel as all food and stored glycogen will be gone.

I had a little Sea Salt and a mug of warm water which helps. I also have sparkling water, it’s totally psychological but I find it easier to do a longer fast when I drink sparkling water rather than still.

Thursday 4 June 2020 : 1830 – My brain is now asking me “where is the food?!” My body however isn’t hungry, I feel very focused and like I have more energy than usual. But my brain is still thinking about food – cheese and chocolate buttons to be precise! What a combination!!!!

Thursday 4 June 2020 : 1900-2215 – My brain did quiet down and I was completely fine for this part of the evening. I felt a little bit emotional as I got ready for bed, almost like I wanted to burst into tears. I didn’t though. I had magnesium an hour before bed and slept really well again.

Friday 5 June 2020: very, very early – there are some baby birds in a nest not far from my bedroom window and this morning their chirping jolted me out of sleep. I actually love hearing them when I wake up but I definitely wasn’t ready to be awake this early!

Friday 5 June 2020: 0730 – With a pounding headache I got up, had some water and a shower and feel much better. Once I’m doing things I feel more energised again.

Friday 5 June 2020 : 1145 – Back from a trip to Sainsbury’s to get some shopping. I felt great on the way there, chatting to my friend on the phone as I walked. Walking back with my shopping however my muscles felt a bit weak. I realised I may have been slightly dehydrated as I only had a coffee and a glass of water since I woke up.

Friday 5 June 2020 : 1330 – Feeling properly hydrated and 100% fine again.

Friday 5 June 2020 : 1500 – 72hrs completed! I have reached the end of my fast! Or have I…? Read on…

Overall I found this fast much easier than I expected I would. I’ve mostly felt completely fine. I’ve felt my focus has been sharper and I’ve had more than enough energy. Hydration is definitely key though. I love knowing that my body has had a break from digestion and the opportunity to do it’s housework and that I’m reducing inflammation and improving the health of my gut and brain. (see here for more information on these processes).

As I mentioned in the first instalment of this fasting diary (see here), Friday has become known as Food Free Friday so, again on a psychological level, my body doesn’t expect food on a Friday. With this thought I’m going to continue on with my fast. If I feel ravenously hungry I will eat later this evening, if not I will break fast tomorrow morning. The main reason for doing this is so that I start back into my regular fasting pattern, but as I say this will depend on how I feel as this afternoon/evening goes on.

How to break your fast (this is really important after an extended fast)

If you search around online you will find all sorts of conflicting advice on what to do to break your fast (to be honest you’ll find lots of conflicting advice about the benefits of fasting too – this is something you have to decide on for yourself. For me, I’m 100% convinced of the benefits and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend intermittent fasting to clients).

So when looking at what to eat when breaking an extended fasts, I looked at lots of recommendations and compiled a short list of things that most appeared on almost all the articles and videos I read/watched.

Most important: do not break your fast with carbs or sugar – it will spike your insulin too much.

Break your fast with: fish or chicken or other lean protein source, you can have it on its own or with some vegetables; bone broth (great for gut health too and a very gentle way to wake up you digestive system), for women you may want to add some seaweed or shellfish for an iodine boost.

One hour after breaking fast: have something that stabilises cortisol and insulin; black coffee with a sprinkling of cinnamon, some sea salt, or a magnesium supplement.

After this you can prepare and eat a meal. I would still recommend going easy on heavy food and carbs – especially if you’re not close to a bathroom!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series detailing my first long fast. If you feel inspired to try it, please remember not to jump straight into an extended fast. Ease into it, let your body get used to it.

If you feel you’d like some support please do message me to request a coaching appointment or to join my upcoming Introduction to Intermittent Fasting Webinar which will take place on Friday 19 June

Morag Ferguson

Author Morag Ferguson

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