Friday 25th September 2020
Start fast at 4:30pm
I ate a big bowl of porridge with kiwi, blueberries and seeds as my last meal.
I feel so motivated to do this fast but I also really enjoy eating.
I usually have a small snack at around 6:30pm to get me through to 12:00 the next day (I usually intermittent fast – have been doing it for almost 2 years). It’s 6:30pm now and I’m hungry. I’m already aware of the food adverts on the TV.
Going to bed will sort it out.
Saturday 26th September 2020
I kept myself busy today by working in the morning, I had a work presentation and 11km walk with a friend in the afternoon.
My instinct after the (very important) work presentation was that I would reward myself with a delicious dinner – celebrating the mini wins – and then I remembered……
After my walk my friend gave me freshly picked vegetables from her garden – tomatoes, green beans and bright yellow squash – I came home and gave them straight to my mum. It was really hard to not eat a green bean.
I felt a little light-headed on the walk but figured it was my body running low on glycogen.
I’ve already started thinking about my first meal back – a huge platter of fresh fruit and homemade soup. It is going to be glorious!
I went to bed with really cold hands and feet and have been cold most of the day.
Sunday 27th September 2020
Last night’s sleep was glorious – even if I did go to sleep with really cold hands and feet.
I woke up hungrier than usual but it was easy to ignore it as I am used to not eating until 12pm.
I can definitely feel my body is different. My head feels a little light headed with a small fuzzy feeling but I am determined to stay busy today – clean the house, writing my journal, doing some yoga (I might start my 30 days of yoga challenge), reading and a walk around the village.
Sunday is usually my treat day – eating whatever I want and rewarding myself for a week of hard work – it will be challenging not to do that today – but it’s just one Sunday.
I kept myself busy by doing a massive clean of the kitchen. Also did a little work to keep me occupied.
I cooked mum a massive roast lunch – chicken and roasted veg with gravy – I enjoyed the process of cooking. Usually, I snack on the raw veg as I cut it, there was an instinct to pick it up and eat it (especially the fresh homegrown veg from my friend’s garden).
Cooking that meal wasn’t as hard as I would have imagined – it would have been nice to eat it but it wasn’t torture. It was nice to see my mum enjoy it and it’s only 5 days until I can eat something like that again soon.
By the evening I was knackered, my energy was really low and I felt very peculiar. I told myself this was the breakthrough feeling of entering ketosis.
I went to bed at 8:15pm and got over 9 hours sleep – it helps takes my mind off being hungry.
Monday 28th September 2020
I got 9 hours sleep but the second half was quite light – I woke up at 2:30am with huge hunger pangs!
Today I entered into ketosis (I used the ketone sticks) which was a huge morale boost – knowing I am now burning fat for energy gives me hope I will get some more energy soon.
I’ve lost 2kg of body weight so far – 5% body fat since the start (although I think the start measurements was inaccurate) and maintained my muscle mass. My BMR has stayed the same which is great.
I didn’t do my 10km run this morning as didn’t think it was a good idea running through the dark along trails (with no phone) in case something happened. I’m a little disappointed as wanted to continue training but I’ll go for a walk and do some yoga later.
Box breathing this morning was really lovely. It was quite hard at the start as I felt a little breathless, but when I settled into it, it helped relieve some of the discomfort in my tummy.
I had a long, warm bath to warm me up and overall am feeling much better.
It was another productive day work-wise and although I am feeling low on energy I am pleased with my mood and disposition. My mum is being really supportive of what I am doing (although I think she thinks I am a little mad).
By 6pm my energy levels and motivation were very low so ended up on the sofa watching TV and fell asleep by 8:15pm.
Today was hard! I felt sad when my mum was eating lunch, really sad. I wondered why I was doing this to myself and it was the first time I thought about quitting.
Friday is not long away and this is such a big investment in my future health.
Tuesday 29th September 2020
My sleep last night was ok – the first half was great, the second half was so light. I was wide awake at 4:45am. I think my body is going into survival mode.
I woke with a little headache but I think that’s because I only drank 3 litres of water yesterday instead of 4.
My body feels achy but I think that has a lot to do with not doing my usual exercise and mobility.
I did a 45 minute yoga class and loved it. I felt good and it took my mind off the discomfort of not eating. It really set me up for the day.
I have lost almost 3kg of bodyweight since the start – although I am definitely not doing it for that! I am fully in ketosis which means my body is burning fat to keep me going. I now know that my body is going into autophagy (cell repair) which makes me feel good and that is what keeps me motivated! Getting rid of all the dysfunctional cells in my body to provide me with a healthier future.
I am going to keep myself occupied and hydrated today to keep my mind away from food. There are several little jobs around the house that need doing.
I find tasks that are about an hour (a walk, deep cleaning one room, tidying the garage, a call with a friend, 60 minutes movement or reading) – it really helps the day pass.
I defrosted the freezer, cleared the spare room, moved a chest of drawers, dismantled the sofa bed (including all my work) – I’m not sure how I did all of that but I took it slow and felt ok. I was asleep on the sofa by 8pm though 😆
I looked longingly at my mum’s lunch today – I couldn’t take my eyes off it and my mouth filled with saliva. Friday is going to be so goooooooooood!!!!!!!!
Wednesday 30th September 2020
Instead of getting up at 5am, I stayed in bed for 45 minutes longer, making to most of the warm and rest. I figured it’s another 45 minutes closer to the end 😂
I was overcome by feelings of appreciation and gratitude today, realising that many people in the world, not just abroad but also here in the UK, live in this state of intense hunger on a daily basis. It reminds me I am only doing it for 7 days and it’s my choice. I get the choice to reset and repair my cells.
2.5 more days! I’m almost there. I’m breaking it down into mornings and evenings – tackle one chuck at a time rather than the whole lot otherwise it becomes overwhelming.
I have another busy day planned to keep me occupied – that is the key – don’t dwell on the feeling of wanting to eat – just stayed occupied!
Then tomorrow is the penultimate day so I think I can do it.
I have lost 3.8kg of bodyweight so far, 4.8% body fat and very little muscle which I am really pleased about! I would really like to do some strength yoga today to keep my muscles stimulated.
Mum and I went to Ikea today to get new bedroom furniture – it was all part of the plan to stay busy and distracted. The plan went well! Lots of heavy boxes being moved about. Then got home and dismantled the sofa bed and carried it down the stairs.
It was a big day and although I was tired at the end of the day, I didn’t feel any different from usual.
I made lunch for mum earlier in the day (mackerel salad, bread roll and butter) and I felt alright about it. It wasn’t as hard as I would have imagined – fascinating.
Thursday 1st October 2020
That was a great sleep! I was up at 5am feeling like normal with my usual amount of energy.
I did my morning routine and a 30 minute hip opening yoga session which was quite powerful.
Apparently today I go in to a protein conservation phase where my body produces more growth hormone to maintain my muscle mass – so I did 10 press up to test it and I did 10 no problem – incredible!
It’s so lovely to know my body is functioning exactly as it should do/would have done in the wild.
I’m feeling spritely and focused and not as hungry as I have felt the last few days.
Another busy day, clearing the spare room, working and getting mum’s house organised. And FEELING GOOD!
I had a lemon and lime hot water today which tasted like heaven. For some reason I am not enjoying herbal tea, my tastebuds have changed – they taste like dust.
Also, my tongue is a weird white-ish colour and I have a weird taste in my mouth – perhaps it’s something to do with the ketones?
Sidenote: I started my period today. I’m quite surprised that happened given the circumstances but am pleased that my body is still functioning well.
Friday 2nd October 2020
The first thing I thought about when I woke up was it’s Eating Day!
My first meal back is at 4:30pm.
I felt as good as I did yesterday – sharp, alert, energised and happy.
It was a busy morning working, then I collected mum from work to do some jobs in town and then…….. we went food shopping!
First to the market where we bought 2 BIG shopping bags of fruit and veg (£30), then off to Morrisons where we weaved in and out of each aisle looking at all the food. We spent £81!!!!! OMG! That’s a total of £110 on food for 2 people for one weekend – that’s obscene. I felt guilty at first then thought it’s worth the celebration – I am really proud of myself for completing this challenge.
I started preparing food at 3:30pm ready to eat at 4:30pm, but various things happened (needed to take my after measurement and pictures, prepare a YouTube thumbnail – you should have seen me on the floor surrounded by food and my 74 your old mum balancing on a kitchen chair with my camera getting ‘the right’ shot 😂)
We ended up eating at 6pm, one and a half hours over schedule – it was almost torture and I started to get a bit edgy.
I was nervous about the first bite….. I felt as though I could have continued the fast, I almost didn’t feel hungry. I delayed a little – would it taste and feel as good as I wanted it to?
We had a fruit plater with cantaloupe melon, kiwi, nectarine and apple, homemade butternut squash soup and fancy sough dough bread.
My first bite was a slice of melon. The noise of my teeth through the fruit and the sensation of the first bite was incredible. Then the taste hit my tastebuds and it was beyond my expectations. I got goosebumps all over my body. My mouth felt like it was actually going to burst. My body was tingly from head to toe – pure ecstasy!
Then some kiwi which was almost overwhelming. The first spoon of salty soup was unbelievable! I never could have imagined that eating could feel like this. It (almost) made the last 7 days worth it for that moment. WOW!
After a few bits fo fruit and half a bowl of soup I had to take a rest because my tummy felt a little sore. But it didn’t take me long to get back to it.
A bite a toasted bread with butter on – full body goosebumps again!
I thought I would eat so much more than I did, but I couldn’t because of the mild pain in my tummy.
I felt hungry but didn’t have that desire to eat.
Going to bed was bliss – warm, happy, satisfied and really really proud of myself.
Thank you mum for supporting me in this challenge xxxx
The day after
Saturday 3rd October 2020
I woke up still feeling hungry but not a great desire to eat because of that feeling I had in my stomach last night – although I do usually intermittent fast and eat at 12pm, I will continue doing that.
I’m straight out of ketosis, not even a trace of ketones, because of last night’s meal – how fascinating that the body can change so quickly.
I feel hungry throughout the day but not as much desire to eat as I used to have. It seems the fast has reset my body and hunger…. for the time being.
2 days after
Sunday 4th October 2020
I added 2.5 kg to my body weight in just 2 days – that’s 50% of what I lost in 7 days!
I went for a run this morning and felt great. The fast has really reset my body and mind – I feel the zest I had when I was in my twenties – it helps that my body and jawline looks (almost) like it did when I was in my twenties so my self esteem is high. I didn’t do it for that but there’s nothing like some added benefits 😜
My stomach has shrunk and I still cannot eat as much as I used to.
It’s occurred to me that I may have been a comfort or boredom eater in the past. I was clearly eating slightly too much as I was finding it difficult to maintain my body composition. I’m hoping I can maintain my smaller appetite and ability to be ok with feeling a little hungry. It used to be my default to have a break from work and get a snack – kind of like a reward, I think it was actually procrastinating.
I didn’t do the fast for weight loss but I will say I am very pleased being closer to 60kg. It’s where I look and feel nice but still maintain my feminine shape.
Mentally I feel sharp – I suppose it helps I haven’t had a phone for almost 2 weeks so had no distractions and able to really focus. It’s interesting though, as soon as I have started eating I do not feel that clarity as to when I was fully fasted – I think when I’m fasted I can really feel the epinephrine and ketones. Perhaps it’s a placebo or my imagination, but either way that clarity is really incredible!
Another interesting thing is that my cravings for sugar has almost disappeared – I’m just wanting to eat fresh vegetables and fruit and eggs. If I eat something sweet it feels nice, but not as nice as it used to and I can’t eat as much as it makes me feel queasy. I hope that sticks – I may have to be disciplined and strict with myself.
I wouldn’t look forward to doing a 7 day fast again but am considering doing it once every few years. That almost feels ridiculous to say but if I can get a few years of reset from one 7 day fast then I am happy with that.
I am also encouraged to do my one-day fasts again (I used that every Wednesday) and know that I’m ok when I’m hungry. I’ve wanted to do them again for years but couldn’t face how hungry they made me.
I’m really amazed at how I can feel a HUGE reset in my mind and body and that made the discomfort of the 7 days worth it.
A reminder to myself if I ever do it again:
– The first 2 days are the worst for hunger. Day 3 and 4 are the worst for low energy and feeling peculiar. Day 5 and 6 are awesome for the breakthrough and energy rush.
– Take it easy when you do your refeed and do not spend £110 on food 😂
– You never get more hungry than being hungry. In fact, you grow more accustomed to it and it becomes normal.
– Continue doing bodyweight exercise (squats, glute bridge, press-ups) to maintain muscle mass, motivation and endorphins.
– Daily 2 mile walks were great for mental clarity.
– Keep yourself busy with jobs – ideally away from the computer.
– Get lots of sleep.
– Do it in a safe, comfortable and warm environment. Day 1-3 were very cold where my body temperature really dropped.
– Have someone around for company and support and ensure they fully respect why you are doing the fast to ensure you stick to the plan.
The suspected stomach ulcer I thought I had for a few months before the fast seems to have gone. After every meal, I would get a pain in my stomach and constantly burp for about 30-60 minutes after my meal. I read that the stomach acid from digesting the food potentially irritated the ulcer causing burping. I no longer have that pain and there’s no burping. I figured with no stomach acid the ulcer could heal. I think that has happened. Really magic!
7 days after
Friday 9th October 2020
I have eaten SO MUCH this week! I CANNOT satisfy my hunger and almost felt guilty with the amount I was eating – it felt as though it might undo the good I did during my fast. But after taking my body measurements – my weight is still 1.4kg lighter, I have less body fat (4.8% less) and more muscle mass (1.7kg more!)
I am delighted with these results! It just goes to prove the feast and famine approach / the cheat day, that fasting really does affect the body composition.
After one week of eating a lot, I would like to return to intermittent fasting with a possible 24 hours fast once per week to maintain my results.
I wish I knew the condition of my cells – if they actually repaired themselves – that would be difficult to find out (and expensive I expect!) but the science is there and I am pleased I did it.
I remain hungry ALL THE TIME!
3 weeks after
Friday 23rd October 2020
My appetite has finally returned back to normal. I no longer constantly hungry like I was and intermittent fasting is easier than it has been the last few weeks.
4 weeks after
I’ve found intermittent fasting difficult since doing the 7 day fast – I’m not sure if the two are related……
Maybe it’s because I’m working in my mum’s kitchen surrounded by delicious food.
Perhaps it’s because I’m waking at 5am now which is one hour earlier than usual.
Maybe it’s a combination of everything into one.
I’m back to my original weight and body composition now. I do have a little more muscle mass but perhaps that’s related to doing strength yoga most days.
I did hope to keep my body fat down but that didn’t happen. I felt as though my body craves to be at this composition naturally and anything lower is quite hard work and takes a fair bit of discipline, which I find quite tricky as I am disciplined in so many other areas of my life.
I think this is the reason that doing a fast for weight/fat loss is a poor decision because without that discipline on a continuous basis, the body will return to its normal stats.
I am more mindful of my portion sizes now though and feel at ease when hungry. I don’t just look in the cupboards searching for my next snack. I suppose it’s an ongoing process……
6 weeks after
I’ve returned to intermittently fasting and found my usual rhythm again with no issues.
Intermittent fasting and (multi) day fasts are difficult to do together, it means there is a lot of hunger in my life. I haven’t done a full day fast yet but after 6 weeks am starting to feel ok with the idea.
Sugar cravings have completely gone which is fantastic! My meals are full of vegetables and fruit and very little processed sugar.
After editing my 7 Day Fast video and seeing the benefits and how I felt, it allowed me to remember exactly why I did it. I will definitely do it again in the future, but am thinking it would be nice to do on a retreat …… in the sunshine and some yoga ☀️ 🧘🏼♀️
6 months after
I wonder if the fast has had a positive affect on my relationship with food?
Although I have eaten a healthy and wholesome diet all my life, there has always been big sugar cravings lurking in the background. I’d eat well in the week and then have a big binge at the weekend thinking it was ‘a treat’ when in fact it that treat wouldn’t make me feel any better after. So I started asking myself why I did it.
For the last 6 months I have consistently eaten less processed food and sugary carbs than I ever have. And…. I also don’t miss or crave them. Myabe it’s to do with the fast. Perhaps it’s to do with my understanding of dopamine having educated myself on this hormone since sending my phone to Australia, or maybe it’s because I feel so content right now – the best I have felt in all my adult life. I explect it’s a combination of all three.
Whatever the reason, my weight is now 1.5-2kg lower than this time last year, most of that being a reduction in body fat. FYI: I did not do the fast to change my body composition, however it’s much trickier to keep a 38 year old in shape compared a younger version.
I realise my previous sugar and carb binges were a mild emotional eating thing. I definitely believe the 7 day fast has helped me get to where I am now; I am ok being hungry – intermittent fasting is manageable. Being hungry at night before bed is totally ok. When I eat before bed it negatively affects my sleep, causing me to sleep lightly and giving me vivid dreams that wake me up. I now weigh up eating to get rid of the hunger pangs vs getting a good nights sleep. The sleep often wins.
Would I do a 7 day fast again? Yes but in a retreat-style environment with yoga, breath work, meditation etc
I’d do a 3 day fast in my ‘normal’ life and would consider one within the next few months to reset my system as still amazed that the stomach ulcer thing never came back!