I Did Not Eat For Four Days. Here's What Happened.

Pizza Anyone? 

Ever since I was a kid, I saw my mom fast every Monday. She would skip one of the meals while stating that she had done so to gift that meal to the heavens. Hinduism, the default religion for majority of Nepalese, has embedded the state of being in an empty stomach into the culture for thousands of years. Upvaas, as it's called in Sanskrit, has been practiced once of week, twice every month (Akadashi) or depending on festivities, has been done for days or weeks. Religion claims that by doing so, you cleanse your body, letting it to heal and letting your state be among the gods. That's what the word Upvaas literally translates to in the first place. 

Science agrees. Letting your body starve induces mild stress that increases growth hormones, starves possible cancer cells, provides much needed rest to our metabolic system and encourages new neurons to grow in our brain. This all while forcing your brain to run on ketone bodies which is sourced out from fat storage. 

This is not me talking.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick, PhD is a biochemist and scientist who specializes in studying life extension and has done extensive and exhaustive studies on that field. Her Q&A on Tim Ferriss Show is a must listen. Changes the way you think about food, fasting, stress and mild heat/cold stress exposure to the body for improving health and longevity. Her discussion on circadian rhythm and eating is also very useful. 

The podcast can be directly downloaded [HERE]. She also talks about time restricted feeding, which I apply on a day to day basis. 

Her website [HERE]. Tim Ferris's introduction on her [HERE]

The way I see it, our society is structured in such a way that we are consciously and sub-consciously brainwashed to eat at every moment. I noticed this more when I was not eating and all the flashy billboards and restaurant signs and adverts did not help my cause of staying away from food. You have to understand that this makes sense from a business perspective. As someone who worked at a restaurant, I wanted customers to eat more, drink more because they would end up paying more. Multinational companies hire psychologists to help them understand human behavioral psychology so that they can do the same. So I don't blame anyone. 

In other words, we are eating out of habit, not because we need to but because we want to. 

The Four Day Fast
This fasting is a continuation of my incremental fasting technique that I have applied since last year. You can read my 3-day fast post [HERE]. 

Experiment Constraints:
Water + 30 minute evening run everyday. No meditation to ensure it's all about the fast. Had 2-3 cups of green tea in the whole process plus placed a pinch of salt here and there to get some of those minerals in.

Day 1
Morning Log
So I have decided to do a 4-day fast. I did try doing that in Nepal but it was impossible with moms and dads and thousands of cousins constantly trying to feed you. I don't really have an answer to what triggered me to do it now, but I thought I might give it a real go this time.

Afternoon Log
No hunger. Been drinking a constant stream of water whenever I think of anything close to food. Rest of the day is too busy to think anything else.

Evening Log
Having done a single day (24 hrs) fast multiple times over this year, I don't have any food cravings or any particular hunger that's hard to bear. Right now, exactly a day without eating, I feel light on the head, as if some mysterious, ghastly mist has taken over. That's probably the closest way I can describe the feeling. Or like smoking a bit of weed, where you aren't stoned but not clear headed either.

Also did a thirty minute run around the neighborhood to use glycogen storage so that the body can move into a process called gluconeogenisis to start breaking fat and use that to maintain blood sugar.

No thank you

Day 2
Morning Log
The first thing I do after waking up is to hit the bathroom for number 2. No need this time. As for other things that come along with such fasting, I am having mild headache, food cravings, leg bumps, you name it. Not sure the lethargy is due to waking up multiple times during sleep. Drank water with a pinch of salt to get some of that lost minerals from the run the previous night.

Afternoon Log
So far so good. Frequent trips outside to the bathroom as I squeeze out hunger by water. Feel a bit cloudy and heavy on the top portion of the head with eyes a bit droozy. Definitely feeling uncomfortable. Besides that, no particular cravings for pizza, burgers, momos or french fries.

Evening Log
Went out for a run again. Really could feel every part of muscles for some reason. Could not accelerate at the speed I wanted to. Came back, took the coldest shower, drank water mixed with a pinch of salt to rehydrate. At this time, I was seriously considering giving up. Just wanted a plain old, slightly heated gouda-salami sandwich with a bit of sriracha sauce.

I had nearly, nearly given up.

Also things that I craved for:
Buff Mo:Mo (Nepalese dumplings)
Samgyabsal (Korean BBQ)
Ramyan (Korean noodles) with added spice
Aanda Chiura (Flattened crispy rice flakes with scrambled eggs)
Cheese. A lot of cheese. There were all a grab away.

Sat down, watched Germany go down by two goals to South Korea. My younger self would have cried to sleep. Not now. Went to sleep feeling "meh."

Momo Snooze

Day 3
Morning Log
Lethargy. Best described as lethargy, yes. That soon went of the window the moment I took a cold shower. It's probably the best thing ever, even better than a cup of coffee. Every time I feel sleepy, I should hit the shower cold, very cold. Drank water, prepared for work and left without even thinking about food.

At this moment, I feel my brain is clear, refreshed and ready to work. I should be in Ketosis at this stage as 1) depleted glycogen storage in liver by constant running and walking 2) amino acids stored in muscles used for muscle repair not as an energy source for the body 3) the only thing that should keep me going is energy from fat which change into "glucose" (ketones) after they undergo a process of gluconeogenisis.

I have not drank or consumed MCT oils with C8 or any exogenous ketones as supplements. Nor have I have measured it.

Afternoon Log
Passed on an opportunity have frozen jello which looked pretty darn tasty. Said no and promptly gave it to a friend. No particular feeling of hunger or tiredness or drowsiness or even  mood swings you would associate with low blood sugar. Which could only mean that the way the body maintains blood sugar level is through the breakdown of fat. Ketosis should have kicked in by now. No way to tell though without measuring.

A lot people state that they can think clearly and what I think they mean is that it isn't cloudy or hazy on the brain anymore. I do definitely feel more at a present state than yesterday.

Evening Log
Went for a shorter run. Came back and tortured myself with a ton of "how to cook chickpeas" videos. It does not help improving your DIY cooking skills during fasting. Nope. Went to bed without much fuss.


Day 4
Morning Log
Final day.

Bit of cold shower to wake me up completely. Water and salt in and ready to go to work. Mornings are particularly easy to get by with no background thoughts of food. Feel pretty good actually.

Afternoon Log
High on energy. Nobody second guessed that I was on my fourth day of fasting. People probably expect to see drowsiness/tiredness but just the reverse. I could extend for five days, however, medical supervision is required going over 100 hrs without eating. I will be breaking my fast tonight with a nice bit of fat juicy medium rare steak, so feeling pretty darn excited.

Evening Log
Broke fast with Japanese medium rare steak which was actually cooked medium. Swallowed it down with cold beer. Then went on to eat a Jhol Mo:Mo at the local Nepalese restaurant. At a time when even broccoli would have tasted gourmet, this meal was sensory overload. Getting some burgers tomorrow.

I prefer medium rare but this will do. 
[CREDITS] All photos from pixabay [HERE]

Possible. Very possible to survive only on water. But if I ever do a five day fast, I will make sure to do it under medical supervision. Over 100 hrs of fasting could lead to complications, if not done correctly. 


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