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I Starved for 24 Hours: What Happened and What Surprised Me?

Never say never. Life is pretty ironic and it usually places you in a situation, where you get to experience what you deny.

The other day, I shared another post about fasting, where I shared with you the 3 best protocols, their pros and cons. I wrote about the 24 hours fast, but everything I knew, was just on theory. Writing about it, I was quite skeptical and I didn’t think that I would try something like this. I didn’t suggest that a couple hours later, I was gonna get home. I was gonna prepare some salmon, stewed zucchini and carrots, I will have a delicious meal and suddenly I was about to decide that I won’t eat anything – for the next 24 hours.

I can’t describe it, but I really love testing different things when it comes to nutrition. Sometimes it seems weird ad crazy, but I love knowing and knowledge comes with experience.

What made me try 24 hours fasting?

The desire to challenge myself and broaden my knowledge based on experience. I intend on digging deeper into fasting and I wanted to share not just plane theory, but facts, backed up by personal experience.

What it turned out to be?

It turned out that  24 hours fasting is not hard. If somebody has told me that I could go without food for 24 hours and that during the whole time I would feel energetic, I would have laughed at him. I used to be the kind of person, who is really nice, besides the moments when – I am sleeping and somebody wakes me up or when I am hungry and somebody bothers me.

Now I will describe you in details how my 24 hours fast went:

10:30 (Thursday)

I trained with weights. I has a pretty tough workout and it was during a fasted state. I haven’t eaten since 6 p.m. on the previous day (Wednesday).

After the workout I broke the fast, by eating a bigger meal than I would usually eat. I have previously decided that I will go 24 hours without food and I knew that is a good idea to eat well.

What did I eat?

I ate about 200 grams salmon, stewed broccoli and zucchini with coconut butter, ¼ avocado, olives and 100 grams curds. I ate 30 grams raw almonds; 400 grams homemade yogurt with about 10 grams cinnamon and 4 strawberries.

I didn’t feel bloated, neither I felt like I’ve overeaten. After all it was my first meal after a 16 hours fast, a workout and I intended on fasting for the next 24 hours.

3 p.m.

I had an espresso and a cup of tea. I didn’t feel a need to eat.

5-6 p.m.

A walk in the park.

7 p.m.

I had another cup of tea.

10 p.m.

I felt a little bit hungry and for a moment I was doubting if I am gonna be able to fall asleep.  During that time I started feeling extremely cold and I felt some discomfort from being that cold. I drank another cup of tea and I read a book. I fell asleep around 11 p.m.

During the whole day I drank about 2.5 l. water.

I didn’t wake up during the night.

Friday

06:00a.m.

I woke up without an alarm. I didn’t feel hungry. I was surprised that I didn’t need to eat. I had a cup of coffee and two cups of water.

The only problem was that I was freezing.

09:00a.m.

I had two doses of BCAA (I wouldn’t say I needed them, but I took them because of my workout).

Pre workout I felt amazing and I felt as if I could go another day without food.

I went to the stadium and I did some sprints. My workout, together with the warm up, lasted for 45 minutes.

I did:

20 sec sprint: 20 sec rest

10 sec sprint: 10sec rest

I repeated it 9 times

9 minutes altogether.

10:00a.m.

I started feeling tired. I didn’t feel hungry, but I felt the way you feel when you don’t sleep all night and you get up at 5 a.m. (I will explain what was the reaon behind this exhaustion).

12:30 p.m.

I broke the fast

I ate – 150 grams salmon, stewed broccoli and zucchini with coconut butter, olives, ¼ avocado, 100 gram homemade yogurt with cinnamon.

What is my opinion about the 24 hour fast?

As I mentioned, 24 hours fasting is not that much and it is completely achievable, without the need of a strong will. Tell you the truth it was a piece of cake(gluten free ;))

I think that most people, find it hard to fast for 24 hours (especially women), because they do not eat enough on a daily basis. If you eat just 200 grams yogurt, it is completely normal to experience the next 24 hours of fasting as the pure hell.

I think that the fact I am fat adapted, helped me a lot. When you are calorie restricted, yet fat adapted, the body turns to its own source of fat as the main source of energy.

It would be even easier for somebody who is keto adapted.

I think that I would practice 24 hours fast, once or twice a month.

The interesting thing is that there wasn’t a single time when I experienced a severe hunger. I’d even go further and say that I get hungrier, when I eat a couple times a day, then when I don’t eat for 24 hours, straight.

I noticed that there was a moment when I experienced a state of euphoria. I was kind of happy and excited beyond acceptable.

Fasting didn’t interrupt my sleep. This was my main concern.

I think that it is easier to go 24 hour without food, if the fating begins in the morning, instead of in the evening.

Workouts and 24 hours fasting

I trained during the 24 hours fast, but I think that it was a stupid act. I think that a heavy workout, as the one I had, I not suitable with this state of fasting. I think that the physical activity, appropriate for this fating protocol is a walk I the park or some easier yoga practice.

I think that I felt bad after the workout, because the stress got too much for my body. If I haven’t worked out, I would have gone without food way beyond 26 hours (that’s how long I fasted). I ate, not because I felt hungry, but because I didn’t feel good, and I had other things to do. I wanted to feel energetic and be productive at them.

I think that this fasting protocol is appropriate for periodic practice. It is not appropriate for heavy workout days, but more likely for a rest day.

I understood that a person could exist with way less food, yet this depends on the goals and our daily lifestyle. Scarce food is not appropriate for athletes or people who perform heavy physical activity.

What I liked the most about the 24 hours fast?

What I liked the most is that I realized that a person can do everything, when he focuses his mind towards achieving a particular goal. How when you consciously choose something, you do not need an external motivation or a strong will to achieve it.

I would practice 24 hours fasting, once or twice a month, with the mere goal to cultivate my mind. In my opinion this is the best part about fasting- realizing how the ability to focus and direct your mind, gives you strength to achieve everything you want. I liked it how for 24 hours, food – the main source of emotions in our contemporary life, wasn’t present in my thoughts.

I even cooked a dinner for Ivaylo and even though I haven’t eaten for more than 10 hours, the pork breast and salad didn’t wake up my desire to eat. I just accepted the fact that I am doing it because I want to, not because I am depriving myself.

After the fasting, I didn’t feel the need to eat the whole world, nor I feasted. I was pretty patient and I prepared my brunch with love. The interesting fact was that I didn’t experience any stomach ache. Usually, if I don’t eat and I experience hunger, then I have a meal, I feel a strong stomach ache. Now, as I mentioned, I didn’t experience severe hunger, nor I felt discomfort after I broke the fat.

24 hours fasting was a great experience. I would do it again. I think that people around me won’t be happy with this. For some of them, it is really strange to undertake experiment like this – voluntary. Still, I love experiments and while some people love bungee jumping, I feel tremendous pleasure researching the human body and the way it reacts.

If you decide to try 24 hour fasting, it is important to engage your mind with other activities. Activities that bring you pleasure. If you focus on how you are not gonna eat, your mind will panic and you will have a hard time dealing with it. If you engage with other activities, everything will be much easier and more pleasant.

But still, the best part about a 24 hour fat is cultivating your mind.

How did I feel after the 24 hours fast?

Today (Saturday) I rode my bike for 55km. in the mountain. I feel great. I had 3 eggs with cheese, olives, tomato and cucumbers for breakfast. I didn’t eat during the bike ride and I had a pork steak and a cob salad and a handful of cherries.

Ines Subashka
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Ines Subashka

Certified Personal Trainer at Inspired Fit Strong
Ines Subashka
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