Keto-Diastix measurement about ten minutes before I broke the fast. Starting on the morning of the fourth day, this is where my ketone level stayed — a little above moderate.
When I first started the fast,
my only goal was to go longer than three days because I have read in
several places that it takes three days for your body to switch to the
different fuel source (ketones), and if you have enough fat on your
body, you have plenty of fuel, so you don't feel so hungry. I was
skeptical about this because on the three day fasts, I got progressively
hungrier every day.
On the second day I didn't feel so
good. I think I needed water, because when I drank extra water I felt
better. On the second day I also started smelling like acetone and could
taste it in my mouth.
I had some minor muscle cramping
on the first three days, especially when I was dehydrated. I conducted
this fast during a hot spell. On the one hand, this was a good thing
because I usually feel cold when I fast. This time, while people around
me were very hot, I was feeling comfortably cool. My joints ached a
little. I felt low on energy, but when I moved around I felt fine. I
just didn't feel like moving around.
During the first
three days, being around food was a kind of mild torture. Even seeing
pictures of food on Facebook and television got my stomach rumbling. I
ended up avoiding FB and TV. For me, I found it is better not to think
I also don't like to do much physically
when I'm fasting. I have energy if I need it, but it makes me feel a
little wiped out afterwards, so I prefer to just read and write and talk
and watch movies during the fast. I stay busy, but avoid too much
physical work. On this fast, I napped once a day and sometimes twice. I
tend to sleep very well when I'm fasting.
I discovered that I was definitely less
hungry on the fourth and fifth days. I was feeling so good, late on
the fourth day I tried some exercise. I had been lying and sitting so
much, I felt the need to be move around a bit. I did some yoga and it
felt really good. I felt good afterwards too. Then I did some easy
lunges without weights, but I almost instantly felt tired and weak and
it didn't feel good to continue, so I stopped. The next morning I still
didn't feel good. I was going to drink some juice (I had tomato juice
and pomegranate juice in the fridge in case I needed it) but I thought
I'd try water first. I drank three glasses of water and laid down for
awhile to see if that would do it, and it did. I felt better. I didn't
need the juice.
The fourth day was so easy, I decided
to go six days, but I got called into work, so I broke my fast. I don't
feel very energetic on a water-only fast, although my mind is crystal
clear — in fact, my mind feels sharper than usual. But I need energy at
work, so I broke the fast.
Forty-five minutes after I
broke the fast with some watermelon, I jotted down this note: "I felt
instantly better when I ate. But I would estimate that I only feel 20
percent better than I already felt. It's not that big of a difference." I
was already feeling pretty good. But I thought it was worth noting,
because it was surprising. You would think you'd feel a lot better after eating.
interesting thing: The day after the fast ended, my blood pressure was
96 over 63. That's the lowest it's ever been. It is normally around 120
Also, for several days after the fast, my mind felt clearer and my energy level was higher than usual.
Overall, I was encouraged to go for longer fasts because it was so easy after the third day.
Adam Khan is the author of Self-Reliance, Translated and Principles For Personal Growth. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.