The 24 Hour Fast
Sometimes we need to take a break from eating. Think about that for a second, would ya. There is so much marketing telling us to keep stuffing our faces. Do we really need 100 calorie snacks in between our meals? When you’re bored or not doing anything, how often do you unconsciously go get something to eat? It might surprise you if you decide to do a 24 hour fast.
Taking Steps to the 24 Hour Fast
I’ve been applying a form of intermittent fasting to my nutrition approach for a while now and I’ve been quite happy with it. The approach I’ve been applying is the leangains style of fasting for 16 hours and having an eating window of 8 hours. This approach works well with my overnight work schedule.
Now that I’ve taken the baby steps of building up to easily fasting for 16 hours, I decided that I would attempt a full 24 hour fast. There are additional benefits to the body when approaching the 24 hour fast mark. If you want to learn about these amazing benefits to the body, I recommend reading an eBook by Brad Pilon titled Eat Stop Eat.
Some people can dive head first into a 24 hour fast 2x a week. These people are troopers! I opted to build up to doing my first full day fast. I’m now going to plan out how I might do it twice a week.
How Did the Fast Go?
When you try intermittent fasting, you instantly realize how often you actually want to keep eating. I didn’t realize how often I wanted to keep feeding myself over a day. The worst days are the days in which you are not busy. The more busy, the less you will think about the fact that you are fasting.
I keep myself busy during my fast by drinking a crack load of water. This was no different on my full 24 hour fast, which actually lasted 26 hours (more on this soon). Drinking water helps to ensure my stomach is full and I am not going to mistaken my thirst for hunger. It plays a 3rd role in that we need to be drinking a lot of water each day anyways!
I didn’t feel too hungry for the most of my fast because I had a big meal prior to starting it. Had I only had a few grapes, fasting on a couple of grapes probably would have been a bit more difficult. One of the ways that I have found to help with appetite is to have black coffee or green tea and a little bit of Ephedrine. Some of you might gasp at the sound of Ephedrine, but I am not over doing this supplement. A couple of these little things really help to suppress my appetite. I’m mainly taking with a black coffee upon waking up. I’m currently looking into other forms of appetite suppressant within a month if I am still keeping my overall caloric intake in such a strong deficit too.
Overall the 26 hours that I actually fasted was not that difficult and I only had one short meltdown. Wait, what?
My 24 Hour Fast Meltdown
Entirely my fault, I had a meltdown at the end of my fast.
As I mentioned earlier, my 24 hour fast actually turned into a 26 hour fast. This happened because I wanted to end my fast with a workout. I got to World Gym London later than anticipated and had an awesome workout! I was quite surprised to have such a good workout after not eating for 24 hours. By the time I got home and had my food on my plate, the fast was 26 hours.
Once I got home was wen the meltdown occurred: I couldn’t find the rice cooker scoop cup.
Yup. I wanted some white rice but I needed to cook it. I was fine with this but the little scoop cup that measures rice for the rice cooker was no where to be found. I started to empty cabinets out and smashing the doors. I was in a fasted rage! I eventually gave up and put some sweet potatoes in the microwave.
At that 26 hour mark, it was like everything that is normally annoying suddenly became worth killing over. The rice measuring cup was just symbolic of many frustrations that are under my skin these days. I’m glad that Marika, my wife, took shelter in our bedroom while my temper tantrum had to go down. Thankfully she didn’t film it with her iPhone to post online. That’s probably something I would have done! LOL
Breaking My Fast
I broke my fast with a nice little feast.
- 10 oz of cooked chicken breast
- 200 g of sweet potato with cinnamon
- Assorted cooked peppers (red, yellow, green)
- A pile of broccoli
About an hour later I finished off with:
- Scoop of chocolate casein protein powder
- 1.5 tbsp of natural peanut butter
This total caloric intake for my Monday was only 800-ish calories. You might think that sounds crazy but it allows me to add calories I didn’t eat to each other day of the week or make them up on one other day. Had I not worked out, I probably would been able to get away with eating even less that day.
Was it worth it?
Intermittent fasting is totally worth the experience. There are a bunch of ways to go about fasting and I plan to stick to the 16/8 option for the most part. Over the next month, I am going to attempt one 24 hour fast each week. It’s a pretty short experiment to see if I can close my waist measurement in on 31 inches.
I’m closing in on 34 inches right now. As it goes down, I increase my daily caloric intake.
Following the 16/8 method or the Eat Stop Eat method is definitely a great way to build the way you eat around a lifestyle. It’s helped me to eat freely at social events and still see improvements in my body composition over time. It’s another tool that you can use for managing your weight. Of course, if you still eat way too many calories, you’ll probably gain weight.
I’m curious if you’ve tried intermittent fasting? Share your thoughts in the comments! If you haven’t tried any forms of fasting but you’re curious about it’s benefits, go right to the best source of information: Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. You might never eat breakfast again!