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My First Fast

I’ve decided to try fasting for 24 hours.  We had a delicious dinner of broccoli quiche, baked sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.  A little while later, we had a dessert of homemade cream puffs.  Colleen is an awesome cook!  Finished up with dessert at about 7:15pm.

It’s now 2:06pm, almost 19 hours since I last ate.  It’s actually been pretty easy.

I decided to fast as an exercise in discipline, to prove to myself that I could do it.  I tried maybe two other times in my life, once in my twenties, and once in my thirties.  I’m now forty years old, and will turn 41 later this month.  Those other two times did not turn out too well, I ended up breaking the fast in less than 24 hours.  My original intent this time was "24 hours", but the more I thought about it today, that just wouldn’t make sense to me to break my fast 24 hours from when I started because I would be breaking the fast at 7:15pm.  Seems to make more sense to break my fast tomorrow morning.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I weighed in at 136lbs.  My first thought was how can I have the fat around my midsection, and only weigh 136lbs?  Yes, I know, I’m already skinny to begin with you’re thinking.  Twenty-two years ago as a senior in high school, I weighed 125 lbs.  So, I figure I’ve got about 15lbs of fat on me.  But the fast wasn’t about weight or fat loss, I’m not really concerned about that.  I have this feeling that doing a fast once a week may be beneficial for my health.  So, I set out to see what I could find on the net regarding 24 hour fasting, and weekly 24 hour fasting…

"Retune The Body With A Partial Fast" on NPR’s site has some interesting quotes, such as:

"You re-tune the body, suppress insulin secretion, reduce the taste for sugar, so sugar becomes something you’re less fond of taking,"

"Mattson thinks partial fasting has numerous benefits, from improving glucose regulation, which can protect against diabetes, to also lowering blood pressure. Some animal studies have also shown that partial fasting has very beneficial effects on the brain, protecting against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke."

"Partial fasting may even extend lifespan because eating less sends a message to the cells of the body that they should conserve and use energy more efficiently."

"The 5 Benefits Of Fasting — For Your Mind, Soul, And Body" A really good, quick read that lists two practical benefits and three more spiritual benefits, definitely worth the read!

"The World’s Most Effective Diet", In this article, probably the best one I found, the author states:

"Fasting does, in fact, improve your taste bud sensitivity to sweet and salty flavors, according to a 2004 study in BMC Neuroscience."

" In practice, an empty gut brings a sense of peace, as if I’m on vacation. This calm, along with the promise of health, has kept me fasting beyond the year I initially committed to."

4/5/2010 6:46pm
I’m about 23-1/2 hours into it, and I feel pretty spacy.  I feel drowsy without feeling sleepy, if that makes any sense.

Went to bed last night @ around 9:30.  I awoke at 2:55am starving and nauseated.  Tried to go back to sleep with little luck, got up @ 5:30am, still nauseous.  Drank half a glass of water, defecated (diarrhea), weighed myself (132#),  then showered.  At 6:55 I broke my fast with a banana broken up in a bowl and poured orange juice over it.  Delicious!  Noticed a little soreness (very little) on the back of my tongue & throat.

Later at about 8:50am, I had a piece of toast with butter & a sliced hard-boiled egg on it, also a small glass of OJ and bowl of oatmeal.  Don’t know if it was the OJ, or the salt I put on the egg, but the back of my tongue & throat hurt so much, I had to really force myself to finish the toast.  The OJ seemed to make it worse, so I got half a small cup of soy milk, and dumped 3/4 of my orange juice down the drain.

I experienced a similar reaction a month-and-a-half or so ago, when I had lunch @ a sub place, when I drank cherry lemonade.  I only had about 3-4 drinks of the flavored lemonade, and I could hardly eat.  Maybe the 34+ hour fast somehow made my mouth overly sensitive to the acid in the orange juice?  The salt on the egg probably just made things worse.

I may begin fasting once a week for a while and see how it goes…at the moment I’m undecided.  If I do, I’ll post updates.

I would love to hear from anyone out there who has fasted, please comment below!

Last Updated: November 18, 2010

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