I did a 24-hour water fast (allowing myself black coffee as well) between Sunday and Monday just gone.
Having read some interesting things about the effects of fasting on mice, where calorie restriction lead to a longer life span as well as healthier and younger-looking mice, I wanted to give it a try.
Humans aren’t mice, of course, but the research is very interesting. And who’s to say some of that can’t apply to humans as well? My guess is that those scientists, like Dr Valter Longo, will eventually be able to tell us more about it.
Anyhow, I ended up buying The Longevity Diet, by abovementioned Dr Longo. I haven’t read through it yet. But so far so good.
I know I eat too much. And so does probably 90% of people in the western world. There are lots of online articles on how portion sizes have grown over the past few decades.
For example: a plain bagel in 1993 weighed 70 g; in 2013 it had increased in mass to 86 g. A 160-gram chicken pie in -93 had gained a whopping 80 grams by 2013. Just saying.(https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3343129/Take-portion-sizes-1950s-beat-obesity-say-scientists-warn-portions-20-years-ballooned.html)
Anyway, back to my fast. I must say, it was nowhere near as bad as you might think. For one, I planned it so that I’d do it on a day where I knew I’d be really busy at work.
I also made sure to start the fast in the evening — I ate my last meal around 5.30 p.m. on Sunday — so by the time I woke up Monday morning, I’d slept through the first half of it!
I had a cup of black coffee (nothing in it) and a glass or two of water first thing. I take a bottle with me to work; that way I keep sipping it throughout the day.
I had about three black coffees and loads more water at work. I can honestly say that it wasn’t unbearable at all; it was actually OK.
The thing about hunger — and I’ve heard others say this too — is that it comes in waves; it’s not a constant. Thank goodness. So, in that 8-hour working day, I think I had about 3 or 4 ‘waves’. Each one lasting maybe 10-15 minutes. That’s it. Really.
My weakest point of the day was when my work mates asked if I wanted a shortbread biscuit or two with my coffee. Or a chocolate digestive. I managed to resist but not without experiencing a few minutes of seriously wanting that bloody biscuit.
But that was it. The rest of the afternoon pretty much sailed by. Being busy really helped. And I felt strangely energised all day, no dips at all. No headache either.
Tucking into dinner 24 hours after starting my fast, I felt as if I’d achieved something. That definitely gave my confidence a much-needed boost.
And I also felt as if I’d done my body a favour by giving it a break from constant eating and snacking.
I’ll definitely do it again next week. In fact, it’s already pencilled into my diary.