Welcome to my third fast, beautiful people!
Continued my research on fasting.
Went back to my regular foods and meals, and don’t see another “Warrior Fast” adaptation* in my future.
Increased my intake of water and Himalayan salt, and added drops of lime juice.
Incorporated MCT oil** at the end of my fast.
Altered my approach to this fast due to lifestyle.
Water intake: I believe that I became dehydrated during my Week #2 fast and may have also depleted electrolytes — both unhealthy states of affairs and to be avoided in future. This time I added drops of lime juice and increased the amount of Himalayan salt added to water, for electrolytes.***
MCT oil: I ended my fast with MCT oil powder because it feels like a more gentle re-introduction to food.
Lifestyle considerations: I had a dinner to attend one evening where I couldn’t opt out of eating. This dictated how many hours I could fast, so I planned around it.
This week comprised three fasts: OMAD + 30 hours + variation on 16:8. Only one fast was planned: 30 hours.
How did they go down, Charlie Brown?
Before the planning stages for this week, I experienced an incidental OMAD (One Meal a Day fast). It wasn’t intentional, I just wasn’t hungry.
I ended my second fast (Week #2 is here) with breakfast.
Without trying, I didn’t eat until breakfast the next day. I simply wasn’t hungry.
I wasn’t planning to fast that day, so I had a small coffee in the morning with MCT oil powder. (Discovered that I love MCT oil powder.)
If I hadn’t made a note of the incident I probably would have forgotten, which is striking and worth investigating. Maybe my system is becoming accustomed to operating on less food?
It’s categorized OMAD and not a fast because of the coffee and MCT oil; without them it would have been a 24-hour fast.
I had planned a 24-hour fast and it ended up being a 30-hour fast.
My last meal before this fast was breakfast. I drank more water through the day, and should drink even more next time. Here are updates, starting at 10 hours into the fast:
- Added magnesium citrate powder^ to my water, to help prevent dehydration/electrolyte depletion.
- I cooked dinner but didn’t eat, and it was easy because I wasn’t hungry.
- Feeling a bit hungry, but not enough to eat. May be anticipatory hunger due to preparing dinner. Will wait.
- No time to think about the fast, which is good and bad. Good = fast is easier because my attention is elsewhere. Bad = I’m not fully present in my body’s experience, not as in tune, so not noticing physiological effects. Since my purpose for fasting is self-mastery, I’m interested in the effects.
- More water+salt+lime^^.
- Tried lemon but it was too jolting, so opted for lime which turned out to be a much better choice.
- Interesting that the difference between lemon and lime is significant during a fast.
- Stomach grumbling a bit, feeling hungry but it’s mild. I’ll wait.
- Throat is a bit sore. Feels like vocal strain, not illness. (Even though I didn’t strain my voice.)
- Must be dehydration; will drink more.
- More water+salt+lime.
- Feeling hungry, could eat. Having more water+salt+lime instead.
- Feeling ok.
- Eyesight is sharper again. (This happened during previous fasts.)
- Sore throat diminishing. Water must be helping.
- Still feeling ok, still a bit hungry.
- Having hot water + MCT oil powder + pinch salt.
- Fast broken because of MCT oil.
One hour later
- Meal of lean protein, small portion, nothing else.
- Prepared food slowly, purposely.
- Food feels like communion. (Experienced this after previous fasts as well.)
Two hours later
- Had another small portion of protein. Prefer this slow re-introduction of food.
Three hours later
- Feeling distracted by hunger, but not for more protein.
- Don’t want to have anything filling because of upcoming dinner.
- Sugar levels may be too low.
- So, had a spoon of honey.
- Feeling better.
16:8 FAST (variation 17.5:6.5)
The next day I ended up doing a variation of the 16:8 fast, which was 17.5:6.5, or 17.5-hour window without food, and 6.5-hour window with food.
This fast was unplanned and nothing noteworthy happened until the 16-hour point, which is interesting. Am I adapting to fasting?
- Feeling a bit hungry, could eat, but can wait, so I’ll wait.
- Had water+salt+lime.
- Preparing drink feels purposeful.
- Simple ingredients I would have considered incidental are now the focus.
- Ended fast with MCT oil powder + matcha tea.
- Then, had small portion of lean protein.
- Shortly after, had a spoon of honey.
- Then, a few crackers (with legume ingredients, not refined flour).
CONCLUSION: WEEK #3
What did you notice?
Food felt like communion, and did after previous fasts as well. I’m gaining more insight into religious/spiritual rites involving food.
During my first fast (Week #1) post-fast food caused sensory overload (felt amazing!), and it was only a regular meal.
Since then, I’ve ended my fasts with a small portion of lean protein, or lean protein with zinc. Nothing else.
This time, I incorporated MCT oil as a transition from fasting to food. (I ended my fast with MCT oil first, then lean protein.) Feels like the best approach.
My overall approach to food is more intentional, and slower.
I don’t want much by way of condiments during regular meals. The taste of food is more pronounced, and condiments are mostly a distraction and unnecessary.
Throat became a bit sore part-way into the fast, and felt like vocal strain, not illness. (Even though I didn’t strain my voice.) This happened during Week #2 fast and I didn’t mention it because I wasn’t sure it was related to the fast. Now I believe it’s due to dehydration.
I’m feeling more energized and more alert. I’d read about this and it seemed counterintuitive so I was skeptical, but it’s true. It’s not a dramatic change, but it’s noticeable and consistent.
I’ve wanted to exercise (also counterintuitive), so have been keeping it light, usually walks and this week incorporated some moderate resistance exercise.
What will you do next time?
Expect dehydration and pay attention throughout. Also, make modifications to my water intake to ensure I maintain health (i.e., hydration and electrolytes).
I’ll continue to end my fasts with MCT oil first, as it’s a more gentle re-introduction to food.
I’ll continue with light exercise and moderate resistance training.
I’ll continue to let my body’s natural rhythms and hunger levels dictate my meals, outside of planned fasts. There may be more incidental fasts, or the two unplanned fasts this week may have been a one-time calibration.
While my purpose is still self-mastery I’ll expect lifestyle interference. Sometimes I’ll be able to prioritize fasting and plan the rest of my life around it, and other times my approach to fasting will have to be flexible. In order to be sustainable, fasting needs to fit my lifestyle.
*For more information, see Week #2.
**MCT oil powder: Medium Chain Triglycerides is made from coconut and is generally used for energy. An alternative is regular coconut oil, although the effects may be less pronounced.
***The pinch of Himalayan salt I was previously adding is not enough. I’m probably still not adding enough, but I can only handle so much salt water taste.
^No additives or sugars.
^^Hydration was: hot water + Himalayan salt + drops of lime juice. Also referred to as: water+salt+lime.