Fasting is NOT for everyone, but here are a few key things I learnt from my first few 36 hour fasts.
- Hunger is not the feeling you think it is
- You are most likely thirsty
- Your body is an incredible thing and it will prioritise what it needs to do
I had only ever really participated in fasted cardio before this personal experiment. Without getting technical, that's basically just running on an empty stomach - a swift 10k the minute you wake up, I found this quite beneficial but to be honest eat quite late in the morning, after exercise anyway so it was relatively easy for me, however, the thought of a 36 hour fast was horrific!
A 36 hour fast means eating dinner quite early one evening, then eating nothing at all for the next day and eating as late as possible the next morning. It seems simple enough but here are a few things that helped me along the journey.
Black tea/coffee/fruit teas and water are all allowed, so whenever I felt hungry, hangry or even had a grumble in my stomach I would drink one of these. It always stopped me thinking about food.
I exercised! We spend a lot of our bodies energy digesting food, so if there is no food to digest we have more energy to do other things. I found a gentle jog and a game of tennis helped make the day pass quicker and managed to stave away a craving. Also - sometimes I struggle to fit a run in around meals, so I had no excuse of a full stomach.
Always have food nearby. It's a mindset thing! I never tell myself I can't have anything, because the makes me want it even more. So tell yourself. You can eat whenever you want! But you are strong and you have told yourself your not eating food today, so you DO NOT need it. You are only letting yourself down if you reach for it. And think about how good it will taste tomorrow when there is no guilt on your shoulders about eating it!
I promise it's not as bad as it seems, but as i said before, fasting is NOT for everyone. For every good benefit of fasting, someone will have something negative one to combat it with, but trust your body and see how it feels. Your not going to die, we all have 10's of thousands of calories stored in our bodies so not eating for 1 day overall will just keep our body guessing.
I don't fast all the time because I do genuinely enjoy food, but I like to fast once every 3 months, just to keep my body guessing and keep my body re-learning what hunger actually is.
Let me know if any of my tips helped?