water for lunch 3 day fast what to expect
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It Was the Shit That Convinced Me

Ridiculous as this may sound, what motivated me to try a 3 day fast was hearing about the shit.

I had yet learn how extended fasting would help me live longer and healthier (see Resources below), so I’d never even considered not eating for longer than 24 hours. It was a story my sister’s boyfriend told me about his own experience that made me eager to try.

He told me that at some point towards the end of his 3 day fast, he went to the toilet and all sorts of crazy shit (literally) came out. It was kind of like cleaning out your garage for the first time in 30 years, he said.

My garage could use some cleaning. I was sold.

So with my girlfriend Kim away traveling and thus unable to nag me about how I was starving myself or tempt me with delicious food, I decided to give a 3 day fast a go.

Man was it a mind-blowing experience!

Photo of lemon, salt, tea, coffee
Some of the essentials that helped me get through my 3 day fast: Lemon, coffee, salt, green and mint tea.

3 Day Fast, Day 0

The Last Meal

To celebrate (mourn?), I made a delicious and humongous Sunday night dinner, capped off with some Toblerone and a cocktail to celebrate. Then I began my 3 day fast. No more cooking, dishes, or chewing for 72 hours. Just water, tea, lemon, and black coffee.

I went to sleep feeling like a marathoner about to start his first race.

empty bowl and coffee for breakfast on a 3 day fast
My daily breakfast during my 3 day fast. Coffee and air.

3 Day Fast, Day 1

Setting Off on a Voyage of Self-Discovery

My first day was kind of like that of an early explorer setting out in search of the New World. I wasn’t entering new territory—I’d done 24 hour fasts before—but this time it felt different. This time I wasn’t turning back. I felt anxious and nervous.

Monday morning started as usual with my regular routine of heavy lifting at the gym (and a new personal best!) followed by a bunch of online computer work.

Then things got unusual.

Something’s Missing

Normally I’d have a big early afternoon meal, but this time… nothing. Just black coffee.

What felt stranger than not eating was not having my ritual midday lunch break. Rather than catch up on sports and social media while slurping down a smoothie and some eggs, I just kept on working. Who’d have thought fasting could lead to more productivity!?

Surprise!

My girlfriend Kim, who was supposed to be away until Wednesday, surprised me by coming home early. And since I hadn’t told her of my 3 day fast plan, she had brought some fresh salmon for dinner. Damn.

Surprisingly though, even as I watched and smelled her cook and eat her delicious-looking meal with envy, I didn’t feel hungry. I felt good.

empty lunch plate and glass of water 3 day fast
My daily lunch during my 3 day fast. Water and air. Sometimes tea too.

3 Day Fast, Day 2

Uncharted Territory

What a weird feeling it is to wake up after a day of zero calories for the first time in my life. I could joke that I literally felt empty inside, but it didn’t. I felt great. My sleep tracking app even said my sleep quality was 100%.

Feeling Electric

From the morning of day 2 to the end of my 3 day fast, my mind felt electric. As if I was high on Adderall,  I hadn’t felt more focused in ages.

This, I found out afterward when I read some books on the physiology of fasting, is entirely to be expected. My brain was running on cleaner fuel than it was used to and my entire body was benefitting from hormonal boosts.

I worked all morning in a hyper-focused zone. Then when my eyes started to twitch from too much staring at a screen, I walked to the nearby beach to unwind. I tried meditating for 20 minutes and… holy hell! I swear to God at a certain point I felt high. Amazing.

The First Negative Experience

Unlike on Day 1, I definitely didn’t make any personal bests in my Day 2 workout. I felt like I did the day I tried working out after taking the bus from Lima to Huaraz in Peru (an elevation gain of 3000 meters or 10,000 feet).

My body felt strong, but it didn’t have the endurance it normally did. After one or two lifts my strength evaporated, and at times I was lightheaded to the point of dizziness.

I was glad to have gotten some exercise, but it was certainly the first negative effect I felt on my 3 day fast.

An Unusual Day

Again, not having my ritual meal brakes for lunch and dinner was a trip. Honestly, I missed the ritual even more than the food itself. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was like double daylight saving time: normally I’m ready for bed at around 11 p.m, but this time I was ready by 9. My brain wouldn’t stop buzzing, though, so I ended up reading in bed for hours.

Oh yeah, and most importantly (and disappointingly): no shit. No number 2 at all on day 2 of my 3 day fast.

wine glass with empty plate 3 day fast
Feel free to use different glasses to spice up your “meal”

3 Day Fast, Day 3

What the Hell?

Normally I wake up around 7:15 a.m. Today? At 5 a.m I was up and ready to go. My sleep tracking ring told me I had 90% sleep quality.

I still wasn’t hungry and mind felt sharp. So too did my hearing and sense of smell, which felt strangely super-powered. My body, though, felt lethargic.

The weirdest feeling though? My mouth.

My mouth was like the factory of a company that had just gone bankrupt. It’s all spic and span and ready to go, but empty. My breath felt strangely fresh and empty and my jaw tight from lack of use. Indeed, the night before I wondered to myself, “Do I actually need to brush and floss?”

Caving In

Do you remember how weird your teeth felt after getting your braces off? Or your arm or leg when the doctor removed your cast?

That’s how my stomach felt the last morning of my 3 day fast. It had deflated overnight and felt completely foreign to me. I couldn’t stop touching it with my hand. Normally I can do that stupid trick of sticking out my belly like I’m pregnant, but I couldn’t anymore.

It didn’t hurt or anything. It just felt tighter than normal, in a good way.

Pushing the Limit

Feeling mentally sharp but physically lethargic, I nonetheless went to the gym to see just how much juice my body had left.

Answer: Only a few drops.

I managed about 80% of what I do when nourished. Strangely, I even felt sick to my stomach. When I shot some hoops after to cool down, I could barely make a free throw.

My weight, which normally hovers around 197 lbs, was down to 189.

dessert and tea no milk on 3 day fast
Dessert and tea during my 3 day fast. Not much to look forward to.

The End

That afternoon I still wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t help but daydream from time to time about my upcoming evening meal. I had grand visions of a gluttonous feast where I’d recover all the calories I’d missed out on at once.

Those visions were not realized. I ate half as much as I thought I would and the food didn’t even taste any better.

Immediately after eating, I had my first bowel movement since Day 1. Excitedly I went to the toilet. But it wasn’t a “garage cleaning” of crazy shit like I hoped. Just a couple tiny turds.

Despite the anticlimactic end, my 3 day fast was overall a mind-blowing experience that I will definitely be doing again. Maybe even longer next time!

How to Make Your Own Fast Easier

If you want to try yourself, I highly recommend you go into it a little better prepared than I did.

These three things might help:

1. Fasting FAQ

Chris looking sad at empty plate
Learn about fasting faster with Water Fasting Tips from a Guy Who Learned the Hard Way.

Simple tips on fasting for answers to common questions like:

  • What am I allowed to eat and drink while fasting?
  • How much muscle / fat will I lose?
  • What can I do to feel less hungry?

Since I’m no doctor, all the medical info comes not from me but Dr. Jason Fung’s book (below). I just made it as concise and easy-to-understand (no medical jargon) as possible.

2. Fast-inating Book

The Complete Guide to Fasting, by Jason Fung

I wish I had read this book before I did this fast.

Not only does Fung explain exactly how and why fasting works, he provides helpful tips to make fasting easier. For example, he writes that if I had had some bone broth I might not have felt so light headed.

I followed this advice on subsequent multiple-day fasts and found it made all the difference.

Of all the podcasts, diet books, and articles I read about fasting, this one was by far the clearest, most compelling, and most helpful. I’ve told all my friends and family who think fasting is crazy but want to lose weight and be healthier to read it. And, though I don’t know you, I bet you’ll find it valuable too.

3. Hydration Helpers

I later learned that dehydration was a big reason I got so lightheaded during my first ever 3-day fast.

Fasting purists will lose their sh*t (if they have any left; their bowels are probably empty by now from fasting so long), but I now throw in a few supplements to stay hydrated:

  • Electrolytes. Zero calorie powders like highly-rated one on Amazon seem to help with the dizziness.
  • Bone broth. I make some before I fast and have a cup as a treat. A reader on my fasting tips post recommended miso soup as a vegetarian alternative.
  • Sea salt and lemon. I have a huge glass of water with a bit of both first thing in the morning.

Want Some Unconventional Ideas?

We’ll give you one exclusive unconventional idea a month…
…if you give us your email.

Happy Fasting!

“Good luck” isn’t the right thing to say, since there’s no luck involved in not eating. I should probably say, “All the best!”

A three day fast really is all the best for your health. It’s definitely daunting for first-timers, but it’s worth it in the long run and you won’t regret it. Hopefully, this post will help you prepare mentally and understand what to expect.

If you have any questions or have different experiences on your own fast, please share with all of us in the comments. 

And, once again, all the best!


Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use special links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we'd recommend anyway. It costs you nothing, so we’d be crazy not to.

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92 comments

    1. Awesome. Hopefully it’s as fast-inating of an experience as mine was (or just super easy). If you’re up for it, I’d be keen to hear how it goes for you, and help with any questions if you have any along the way.

  1. I’m no DAY 3 now.. had a wiered bowel movement with some strange things in there so I headed over to google and ended up on this page 🙂

    My day 3 will be tonight but I will only breakfast tomorrow morning/midday so basically giving it about 84 hours in total

    1. Fantastic! This has got to be one of the few family-friendly posts online where people can un-self-consciously share about their weird bowel movements, haha. Way to go (and congrats on the strange shit)!

  2. I swear humans confuse me. Its a fast. Why would you include black coffee (a stimulant full of harsh histamine-producing chemicals and caffeine that will just increase inflammation, artificially stimulates the brain and tenses up the nervous system, and lets not get into what black coffee does to the stomach due to acidity and the gut as well… ) during a fast? Why would you have a “heavy workout” during your fast? Sorry to slam your comments with this, which you can feel free to delete after you read it, but seriously – why? Fasting is supposed to be zero food intake of any kind. Whoever decided tea and coffee were okay doesn’t know the data about why fasting causes a massive reduction of inflammation that allows the body to heal itself. The gut to get a break from agitants, and the brain to get a break from stimulants. 3 day fasts should include only water. Nothing else. And no, you’re not supposed to go beast mode at the gym. Again, this is supposed to be a healing process for your body. Not a tearing down process. The ENTIRE POINT is to remove your body from its normal routine and give it a chance to regenerate organs, muscles, nerves, and brain.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Bob… Bob Barker! If you are the real Bob Barker from The Price is Right you’ve made every minute I’ve spent on this blog worth it. And that’d explain how you’ve stayed so spry into you advanced years: Fasting!

      And you don’t just fast, you’re obviously hardcore about it. Good for you.

      You may be entirely right that you can get maximum benefits from only consuming water while you fast. And I suppose the regenerative ideal would be to put in an IV, never leave your bed, and hibernate for a few days (or more). But for most of us, that’s not realistic. Better a fast that people can live with and want to repeat periodically than a fast that most will suffer doing, fail at, and never try again. That’s why Dr. Fung allows for coffee and other non-water items, and why Dr. Victor Longo, whose entire career and research is dedicated to promoting longevity through fasting, has promoted a fasting mimicking diet, which his studies have found has close to the same benefits as pure water fasting but is much easier to comply with.

      Don’t be sorry for “slamming” my post. I really appreciate it and the readers should read it. Thanks for sharing your input!

        1. That’s a good, and tough, question Janet! According to this study (of mice), autophagy started kicking in after fasting 24 hours and activity increased 48 hours in, so a multi-day fast is more effective. This varies on your blood glucose and glycogen levels when you start your fast. Check out this post on siimland.com for more detail.

          1. Actually autophagy starts to kick in the moment your gut is done digesting and the food passed into your intestine (usually 1-2hrs post meal but could be up to 4-6, depending on the food consumed) and increases up to its maximum rate (300%) 22 hrs post start (so roughly 24 hrs post meal your body’s autophagy is at its maximum, making 3 day fasts clock in about 60hrs worth of intense maximum cleanup inside the body)
            Now I know u may know of autophagy and how it works but if you understand how it actually appears in a 4D model on the microscopic level, your mind will literally be blown. I’m currently 40 hours into a 3day fast which should extend to 80+, and what Mr Barker said is a little false, but not entirely.
            You want to sip some coffee before the workout, but not too much, and combine it with as many compatible herbs as possible. My friend and I started a business selling teas and concoctions of this kind, but we literally have no right to patent as it’s just herbs and yada-Yada if we do it’ll cause us legal troubles later down the line. But one of our “Aliksirs” is made with coffee, real matcha (not this fake green tea bs they sell u), and a bunch of other trade secret ingredients whose list u Get access to if u purchase them, and you can drink it for fasting (all our Aliksirs are made to be drank for individuals who fast as we ourselves are always fasting) and it impressively improves your overall feeling and focus, as well as giving you the boost you may need to max out that rep, even if you haven’t consumed food in the last 48 hours.

          2. Thanks Tony for chiming in. Maybe I’ll have to give your Aliksir products a try next fast. Where do you get this info on autophagy from? And what’s a 4D model? I certainly don’t want my mind to be literally blown, but if it’s that cool I’d be keen to see it.

      1. Cool read bro!!! But then comes the smartest human ever… Bob…. And Bob is going to let us know he is the real expert…. gosh what a life sucker.

        Well Chris its crazy how we need to defend our opinions/experience/beliefs unnecessarily when guys like Bob come to trash and bash things. Things we truly feel are beneficial to the masses. I totally related and understood the point, the whys and whats of your article. You are speaking loud and clear to 99.9% of us.

        I recently dealt with the same type of hater for a biz idea I was trying to market. This dude came outta no where!!! Guys like this really try to steal your thunder… its sad and demotivating. Ive got your back! Mpre about Bob:
        Bob is the guy that nobody wants to be around in the real world cause he is gonna suck the life out of you. Keep being real with us Chris, even if you are just trying to sell a book… Joke!

        Anyways back to things that matter… Ive done 24hours+ fasts before, and could have gone longer but I just got bored of not eating… I like coffee and maybe I will sneak something else… Cover your eyes Bob… maybe a sprinkle of sugar!?!?

        Im almost on day 2 currently, I got a bucket of water next to pot in case I need a flush assist when the big one comes

        1. Haha, thanks Mr. Bob’s An Anus. I actually appreciated Bob’s “constructive criticism” because this isn’t a Barney episode and it’s through sharing differing opinions that we learn. But I most certainly appreciated your comment more. Funny, motivating, and helpful. Good luck when the big one comes!

      2. Wow Chris what a nice reply to somebody knocking your opinion, definitely a great approach to a different idea that somebody has about fasting. I have done multiple water fasts (3-4 days once or twice a month for the past year or so) and I follow a very similar approach to your fast with black coffee, tea, and electrolytes (salted water) and I have great results. I do see where somebody might think that consuming anything other than “water” would not be true to a fast, but let’s not forget that both tea and water are infused water essentially.

        Great article and happy fasting!

      3. Its definitely doable if your not weak minded. Most people would only fail at it if their not serious or aware of how fasting actually works and what it does for the body. I am on day 2. I can assure you this is not easy, pleasant, or painless. I am sacrificing in order to regenerate my cellular structure. Its important to give real information and not semi-factual information based on your personal limitations. All you did was starve yourself for 3 days. There were literally no health benefits to what you did. I hope no one else takes this advice.

        1. Michael GJ coming in hot!!! Could it be that your strict water fast has you a tad grumpy? I’m always happy to hear others’ conflicting opinions, so thanks anyways. To lend you statements some more credibility could you share the basis on which you say “There were literally no health benefits to what you did”?

      4. Here here, I started my 3 day fast without reading anything, I read as I went along, on day 2 I read I can drink black coffee so I made one and it was the best coffee I ever had, I really enjoyed it and it’s helping me through, on day 3 now feeling good this morning X

        1. Awesome to here Yioula. Thanks for sharing. If your coffee tasted so good, get excited for how good your first bite of food will be after your fast! I enjoy the feeling of fasting, but nothing’s better than that first bite.

      5. Thanks so much for your very helpful article. I have done several 24 hours fast but today I have started an extended fast: I am aiming to stay on it for 5 days. I will follow your tips and I am looking forward to this great new experience! 🙂

    2. You’re definitely right. Just tepid water, less work and no hard exercise. Drinking coffee and tea and lemon is ridiculous.
      In case of weakness, just a teaspoon of honey dissolved in water is allowed per day.

      1. There’s no reason I know of not to other than if it gives you munchies it might make it harder to fast. You’ll probably need to drink even more water too if weed dehydrates you like it does for me.

    1. Based on my experience, I’d agree. The first day of your fast is probably no problem but, after that, I agree that people should limit themselves to walking. Exercise-a-holics like me who feel bad or lazy when they don’t exercise can consider fasting to be their exercise. It’s very likely that those days of fasting are even better for their bodies than the workouts they’re missing.

  3. Great article, I plan to start my 1st 3day this Sunday. Question: how often is it safe to do a 3dsy fast? I plan to do more research but curious.

    1. Did some research, looks like once a quarter is what is recommended. My problem is if I see it works well for me I’ll want to do it more often.

      1. If you read The Obesity Code, you’ll see he gets some of his patients to do extended fasts over and over again so, depending on your health situation, that may not be too crazy. But you’re probably right that it would not be the best idea to go overboard without doctor supervision.

    2. I’m no doctor, so don’t blame me if you die, but if you’re not pregnant, on medication, or unhealthily skinny there’s not too much risk behind a 3 day fast. Well maybe be careful if you work with heavy machinery too, in case you don’t stay hydrated and get lightheaded. But if you’re totally healthy you’re designed to not eat without any issue, so you should be fine. And if start feeling bad there’s an easy cure: Eat!

  4. Thanks for the blog post Chris. My mom told me about Dr. Fung and his book “The Complete Guide to Fasting” a couple of weeks ago. I also have tried a few 24 hour fasts and swear that I notice slight changes to consciousness near the end that I’m eager to see through for longer durations. This morning I decided to do a 3 day fast. I have been worried about going to sleep on an empty stomach so it was interesting to read about your reports about sleeping. Since doing 24 hour fasts I would say that the re-introduction of food has had the affect of making immediately sleepy. Thus, I hypothesised that having no food and being in a hyper focused state would prevent me from reaching a deep sleep. Good to hear that was not the case for you!

    1. For me sleeping hasn’t ever been an issue when fasting, but for others your intuition is 100% on point, Dale. Their mind’s on overdrive and they have a harder than usual time falling asleep. If that happens to you I’d recommend you take extra care with your nighttime routine—avoid screens and bright lights in the evening, read a book, and take a hot shower before bed. All the best with your prolonged fast and thanks for the comment.

    2. I think our bodies are in such a state of shock, in case there really wasnt amy food, we would have the energy and sharp senses to go hunt for some. Then after a couple days it switches to reserves as we prepare to die of starvation. Like my phone switches to low batt mode… useless!

      Im on day 2 and cannot sleep at the moment and my gf hates me fasting. She left a small portion of rice on the table. Like so small it probably will not have any affect… But Im not gonna let her win tonight!!

      1. Yeah I think your theory’s on point TJ. Well kinda. It’s more than “a couple days” before your body goes into low batt mode (funny analogy, btw!). We’ve got lots of fat on us and when fasting we only burn about half a pound a day, so we can go A LONG time without dying. So we may be like smartphones, but our fat acts like a gigantic portable battery we can only access when fasting.

  5. Great post! Thank you for sharing your experience. I also do 36 hours 72 hours and did one time 10 days fasting. I can’t tell how awesome fasting is for me.
    It helped with my chocolate and caffeine addiction.
    I agree with the nothing but water comment. That is the way to get the main benefits from fasting. But I so relate with the Coffee part. It’s the hardest to give up. I started with 24 hours first then next time 36 and gradually increased every week and now I just drink coffeee for pleasure not because my body need it and I enjoy its taste more than before.

    1. That’s a really interesting perspective, Dawn! I’ve never heard of anyone fasting to help with chocolate and coffee addiction. The more I hear from people about their experiences with fasting, the more it becomes apparent how versatile it is.

      For example, I don’t feel the effects of caffeine in coffee and only drink it for the taste of something hot that’s not water or tea. Coffee doesn’t bother my stomach, either, so I drink it when fasting. Your relationship with coffee seems to be quite different, so I totally understand why you’d want to avoid it during your fast. So I guess everyone’s gotta think of what their objectives are from fasting and play around with what works best for them.

  6. I am finishing up my 72 hours tonight! I feel great and amazingly, not hungry. I’m planning some steamed veggies and some broth tonight. Yummy? I’ve lost 6 pounds already so I love this. I also feel great!

    I’m thinking of doing this once a month now since my first experience was so good.

  7. I didn’t just have plain water, by the way. I had zero calorie flavored mineral water and coffee. Sorry, not ready to give up my coffee. 🙂

    1. Way to go Nate. Isn’t it weird how your hunger goes away? And, as a bonus, it seems to continue one well after your fast so you only feel hungry when you’re actually… hungry.
      Of the 6 pounds you lost, expect to gain back a good 5 of those. That’s water (see the fasting FAQ for more info). But even though one pound doesn’t seem like much, you’ll have improved your metabolism and hormone levels, which can lead to continued benefits moving forward.
      And yeah, as for the water/coffee, if it gets you through the fast happy and eager to do more, then it sounds good to me.

    1. Hey Sophie, I’d recommend avoiding anything with artificial sweeteners because they trick your body into thinking and acting as if it has sugar in its system. That said, if it helps you get you through your fast and you can’t fathom going a few days without chewing, go ahead.

    2. I’m a gum chewer also. From Whole30 I learned to pop a few fennel seeds in my mouth to chew. Fresh mint works too.

      1. Thanks, this is a great tip! I’m on day 2 and can’t sleep, totally revved up, but not at all hungry. I did drink some cold brew coffee but otherwise have had just water. Am only down 2 pounds but didn’t work out or do as much physical activity as usual.

  8. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m currently on day 4 of my first 5 day water fast. Reading the complete guide to fasting book. So far so good, although my hunger didn’t go away completely after first 2-3 days. It still comes and goes in waves. I do feel lighter and can do exercises easier. I am pretty cold though, most of the times. I also didn’t have any bowel movements yet. In fact, on day 1 I drank 2 tea spoons of epsom salt on water, hoping to get cleaned out before getting into the fast and nothing happend. I wonder if I’m deficient in magnesium and my body just absorbed it? I’m drinking filtered water and occasionally carbonated mineral water and had some grains of salt here and there when the hunger was strong. Now I’m worried I sabotaged my autophagy process by eating salt, as it was the main reason I was doing this fast.
    I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and taking my meds in the morning. Checking my blood pressure and blood sugar and so far so good. Hope to finish the fast tomorrow night with a low carb dinner.
    Next I’ll try 24 hr fasting a couple days a week and continue IF for the most days.

    1. Way to go Tatyana! My experience also is the hunger doesn’t go away completely, but it’s not NEARLY as bad as people whose jaws drop at the idea of fasting think, right? On your autophagy worries, obviously I’m no expert but my rationale would be that since salt is a calorie-free mineral consuming it won’t stop your body from consuming itself (the old and unneeded parts) for energy.
      Oh, by the way, it’s funny and ironic that your profile pic is you eating something that looks delicious!

      1. Yes! The hunger was not as bad, but it was definitely there. So I decided to beak the fast at the end of the 4th day as I was feeling Ike I really NEEDED to eat (not just feeling hungry). I had chicken broth I cooked with chicken wings and a little of meat and it was the best broth I ever had! I’m continuing with 16:8 IF now and it’s going pretty good. I had some stomach pain and discomfort on day 3 post fast, not sure if it’s due to spicy Mediterranean food I had on day 2 or some other issues. After all, the experience was more positive than negative for me and I plan to repeat it a few times a year. Perhaps fasting after the holidays would be beneficial and will give me an opportunity to enjoy the holiday feast guilt-free. And yeah, that was one delicious turkey leg at a renaissance fair in my profile pic lol

  9. This is not the first time I had three days and three nights fasting. The first time I did it without taking any water and I was really weak after three days. The second one I had water and taking tablets but I feel very strong after three days and three nights though I had a smelly large bowel movement on my second day.

    1. No water for 3 days? Lee, you’re crazy! That must’ve been incredibly difficult. Glad to hear the second time around “passed through” better with some water and tablets!

  10. Did you keep any of the weight off or did it all come back onnafter the fast? Nice post btw! I’ve also tried prolon and water fasting but not in the last year. I remember keeping off about a pound of weight each time

    1. Hey Alison! A general rule of thumb is you’ll burn about half a pound of fat per day of fasting. All the other weight you lose during the fast is water that’ll come back pretty much immediately. But if you fast enough and start eating healthy, you can speed up your metabolism and basically reset your base weight, which can lead to much more significant and definitive weight loss. The Obesity Code does a great job explaining how this works in a way that motivates you to focus on those long-term gains.

  11. Hilarious post, loved it. Great comments, all.

    I’m another fasting nerd and practice daily 23-hour fasts, with twice-monthly 48-hour fasts. What you said about feeling mentally superheroic–spot on. I schedule my 48-hour fasts for a tough weekend at work, and my mental acuity and mood are GREATLY enhanced during that time. So much so that I’m planning on going 72 hours this weekend, which led me to Google 3-day fasting, which brought me to your blog. Will post back if I clean out my garage, lol. My husband just did 5 days and his carport was very creatively cleaned out by day 5. He didn’t feel too hot on day 5, either, so won’t be going that long again–it stopped feeling healthy and started feeling weakening.

    I generally only lose 1/2 to 1 pound over the 48 hours. I’m a fairly lean (1), middle-aged (2) woman (3), so fat loss is a triple unicorn for me, and it’s easily gained back as I resume my one-meal-a-day normal life. If I want to keep my claws into that loss I have to work hard on portion control. I routinely work out while fasted–martial arts, yoga, running, HIITs. We’ll see how the Monday morning run goes on the morning of day 3 this weekend. I don’t anticipate any problems…she said dizzily….

    I’ve only ever done water fasting and am just now tentatively considering a dry fast component to my longer fasts. From what I’ve read, dry fasting might actually support electrolyte balance better, is a faster route to ketosis than water fasting, and burns even more fat as the body metabolizes a greater amount of fat to make water to replace what isn’t being consumed. I was thinking of doing a sort of “Ramadan-style” dry fast in the middle of my 72-hour stretch–no water from sunrise to sunset. I dunno, food for thought ha ha.

    The great thing about fasting is it’s not a prison–if it starts to really suck, just eat! It makes me chuckle when my coworkers are astounded and horrified that I’m fasting, as if I’m stuck at the bottom of a well or something. Meanwhile there’s nut mix like, right there, and Panera delivers. 😉

    1. Thanks, Leigh! This is the first I’ve heard of dry fasting being a thing (aside from traditional reasons like Ramadan). My first instinctual reaction is, “That’s crazy and can’t be healthy,” but… that’s exactly what your friends (and my friends, and everyone who fasts’ friends) say about water fasting! I’ll have to keep my mind open and look into it. Thanks for bringing it up!

      Good luck with your 3-day-er! Even though your husband had a negative experience with his 5-day fast (aside from the full garage clean), I wouldn’t completely reject that possibility if I was you. I’ve done a few 5-day fasts and, aside from missing the sensation of chewing and taste, it’s no big deal as long as you stay hydrated. And with 5-days you get the advantage of more time in the autophagy, ketogenic, metabolism-resetting phase that you may not even get at all with a 2-day fast.

      Thanks again. I, and everyone else who reads these comments too, certainly appreciate your perspective and experience.

      1. That was exactly my first reaction when my husband looked into dry fasting. But there’s research supporting the idea of a cautious dry fast.

        Regarding a 5-day fast…as an already slender person I have to wonder, where’s the line between health nut and eating disorder? Just my ballet dancer former self talking, I guess. But I think I’d be irresponsible not to keep it in mind. I tend towards extremes and could possibly give myself a real complex if I didn’t approach it mindfully.

        Just tossing that out there…there must be at least one lurker here who thinks we’re all anorexic already and fooling ourselves!

        1. Yeah, I 100% agree Leigh. Whenever something’s so good for you like fasting is, some of us get a bit too excited and go overboard. Thanks for pointing this out.

  12. I was enjoying your article while I am at a 25 of 72 hour fast. I have been intermittent fasting at 23 hours the past week and thought I’d give this a try! I am 285 lbs and figured I need a reboot. Intermittent fasting helped me immensely get my blood pressure and blood glucose under control. Thanks for the good read.

    1. Way to go Mike! Hopefully the last 47 hours went well.

      I found “mikeisretired” email address to be hilarious by the way. I’m wondering if you got it after retiring to celebrate (or tell ex-colleagues to stop bothering you about work), or if you always had it as an aspirational thing. Either way, it’s funny.

      1. Hi Chris, I changed my email after retiring from the United States Air Force with 30 years and eight days of military service and I was 49 years old. Life is good but I let things get away from me the past five years so I had to do a turn around. I gained 40 pounds while taking antidepressants, then retired and gained another 40 lb! My three-day fast ended up do a 7-Day fast because I had no complications and felt great! all my friends cannot believe I went 7 days without a single morsel of food! What an experience! I continued walking 3 miles a day and even worked out with weights three days during that seven day period. I went from 285 lbs down to 269.6! Blood glucose went from 116 to 74. Blood pressure 142 / 88 to 128 / 78. I consumed a little bit of Himalayan pink salt each morning and that was it. I am back to Keto, but want to do another 7-Day fast. Your website gave me the drive to accomplish this. Many thanks, Mike

          1. Yo yo yo Chris!!! I just wanted to give you the latest update with my fasting results: after my first 7-Day fast I took a 10-day break and then went on a 8 day fast then took a 14-day break and went on a 14-day fast!!! I am down to 248 lbs!!! I am taking a 14-day break and then doing another 10 or 14 day fast!!! Prolonged fasting has changed my life Chris and I got to thank you for me seeing your I initial website… It gave me the inspiration to keep trying this prolonged fasting and I have succeeded with awesome results. Thanks again Chris and I just thought that I would share my weight loss and detox journey with you!!!
            CHEERS, mikeisretired49. WOOT WOOT!!!

          2. Holy crap Mike, that’s amazing! So amazing that it sounds like one of those crappy Jenny Craig infomercials… except that A) it’s actually true and B) it’s 100% free (or actually saves you money).
            A 14-day fast is bonkers, by the way. Keep up the incredible progress but please don’t go so nuts I end up reading a news article about you with a headline like “Man eats himself to death by fasting.”
            All the best!

  13. Hello! I’m accidentally about 45h into a water fast, after the night of the 27th I felt very nauseous, extremely bloated and had a fever for no apparent reason.
    I have been curious about fasting for health reasons and I think this is probably the best time for my body to do it. I would say I appreciate people telling their experiences, although I also understand there may be problems with the names. I had that when I was quitting sugar. Some people call it fast when it’s just water, some call it fast when it’s nothing at all…When I was giving up sugar, I would not even eat things like stevia or honey…sometimes not even fruit for a few months; and most people do not count those as “sugar”.
    Anyway, let’s see how it goes for me. In my case I believe my body is exhausted and it wants to have some time off to cleanse all the extra food I was feeding it -while I was studying something that stressed me excessively- and also sleep a lot. I’ve been for a walk, interacted with other humans, but I feel quite tired and I’m already picturing my next meal…

    1. You saying you’re “accidentally” 45 hours into a fast made me chuckle. Thanks. But it makes, right? Our bodies naturally don’t feel hungry when they’re sick and that’s likely in part because they want time to focus on fix themselves without having to deal with whatever crap we routinely stuff into them through our mouths. Hopefully you feel better soon—whether it be from fasting or not. And maybe give fasting a go another time when you’re not sick.

      1. Thanks, Chris. Yes, it also caught me by surprise because last week I had been discussing water-fasts with a friend, and suddenly my body felt “ill”, or just wanted to get me into a fast faster than I would normally have decided to.
        I still haven’t had breakfast, just water and SUNLIGHT! That is a must for me, and I think it is very healing.

  14. Good write up Chris! Am seriously considering this now we’re in 2019. My biggest fear is being super cranky the whole time! Hangry x1000…

    1. Haha, I think people around you might even be more fearful of Hangry Mark X1000. One suggestion based on my experience is to wean yourself off of any sugar/carb addiction and try to get used to eating twice a day (no snacks) first. That way hanger is minimized. Once I’d changed my eating routine like this, fasting became easy. Best of luck to you… and to those around you!

  15. Currently 60 hours into the fast (shooting for over 100). Have done 2 fasts prior to this one and it seems to get easier each time.

    Honestly the toughest part for me isn’t being hungry, it’s just missing food and flavor. I try to change it up by drinking black coffee and green tea (both iced and hot) along with water, but there’s just so much food that looks good to me. Anything from chicken wings to popcorn to almonds or peanuts just sound phenomenal just because of the different flavors. Bone broth certainly helps though, especially after a workout!

    1. Amen, Jon! That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t know about you, but for me the newfound appreciation for food I get is an underrated benefit of fasting. There’s nothing better than those first bites after a fast.

  16. I wanted to loose weight and then God started talking to me about fasting. I weighed 82 kilos and God helped me bring it down to 62. I want to still go down to 52. Everybody wants to know the secret and I enthusiastically share, but few believe me. Fasting took away my cellulite as well. Fasting is the second best thing that has changed my life forever!!!!!!

    1. Congrats Faith! I had read and heard that when you lose weight by fasting you lose cellulite and don’t get the same stretch marks as from other methods (especially liposuction), so it’s good to hear your experience confirms it.

      Isn’t it funny how skeptical everyone who hasn’t fasted is about it, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces? I guess seeing isn’t believing and only trying it themselves will convince them.

  17. Going to try a 3 day fast next week…! It’s my first and I’m nervous! Hoping it will be a jump start to a low carb lifestyle and “diet” that will help me lose about 20 pounds. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

    1. Awesome, Laura! Enjoy your three day vacation from cooking, grocery shopping, and chewing. I too still get nervous before every fast, but, as you can read in some other comments here, often people end up on such a roll that they go longer than previously planned. So be excited too! Hopefully it goes well for you, gets you rolling towards your goals, and we’ll hear back from you soon.

      1. Hi Chris – so, I’m happy to report that my 3 day water fast was a huge success!!! Day 1 was easy peasy (shockingly!). More mind over matter than anything else, for me… felt great; lots of energy- all good. Day 2 was a little tougher. Woke with a funky headache, but had a cup of hot tea (with nothing in it!) and that went away. By the 3rd day I was counting the hours until I could eat, but I stuck to it and feel great for it!!

        2 questions for you. Thinking about making a one day fast part of my weekly plan – thoughts? Also, what about intermittent fasting (8 on/12 off)… how do you feel about that?

        THANK YOU for this forum! 🙂

        1. Congrats Laura! I’m happy to hear you made it through your first extended fast pretty smoothly. My experience on the last day is always the same no longer how long I fast: I start looking forward to that first bite. It’s almost like if you want to do a 3 day fast you should somehow fool yourself into mentally prepare yourself for a 5-dayer then suprise yourself by cutting it short at 3 days. All of a sudden, three days would seem easy and too short.
          On your questions: Yeah, pretty much every week I too do a one-day (or actually more like 36 hour fast). I do it mostly to keep my hunger hormones from getting into a routine and because I feel “cleaner” for it. And as for intermittent fasting, if I lived in a cabin in the woods by myself I’d probably have one big meal every day somewhere around the mid-afternoon because a) it saves time in meal prep b) it allows time to digest before I go to bed so I sleep better c) I can workout in the morning on an empty stomach, which feels best and d) it keeps me from feeling the need to snack, which happens if I get in the habit of eating 3 meals a day. Since I don’t live in the woods and live with Kim, I compromise and try to have a big lunch by myself and not so big dinner with Kim and other people most days (sometimes 1 and sometimes 0). From what I’ve understood and read, what’s important is to have minimal meals, not snack, and not eat right before sleeping. I’m not as convinced about the whole “eating window part”.

          1. I’m currently 72 hours into a five and a half day water fast. This is my fourth fast of this length in 18 months and I have found that they are getting easier each time.

            The first time I did five days and I found the last day difficult as I was looking forward so much to eating in the evening. Since then I have eaten my last meal before the fast by about 7pm. Then, as I am doing five and a half days, I go to bed for my sixth night knowing that I can break the fast in the morning. This has been easier and I’ve managed to go longer (5.5 days vs 5 days) in ketosis.

  18. I’m at 44 hours. I was Intermittent fasting pushing for 18 hours and just kept going. An integrative doctor friend of mine told me a story last weekend of a friend of his who had spent thousands of dollars over the last 20 years on many different therapies trying to solve knee pain. It took him six months to talk his friend into trying a long water fast. On D4 his friend contacted him and said he had less pain in his knee then he had had in 20 years.
    It’s been about 6 months that he’s been talking to me, so it must have been time!
    I did a 10 day bone broth fast in the summer of 2016, two of those days actual fasting, and it was the beginning of a life changing Transformation. I went from thinking I was going to have to retire early from pain to being pain-free. I eat a Paleo/anti-inflammatory diet. I also lost 50 pounds in about 6 months and maintained it for 2 yrs before regaining 15.

    1. Thanks for sharing Emily! Hopefully the remainder of your fast goes well and maybe even you experience some more “miraculous” benefits. Or at the very least fell better than ever and keep it up, which is what keeps me fasting regularly. Thanks again1

  19. Hi Chris and thanks for the great post.
    I just finished a 3 day fast. The night of day 2 was the hardest (probably the transition into autophagy) whilst most went well with the slight up and downs. Broke the fast with 2 apples and a handful of dates.I did have some coffee at the beginning but mostly just water. We are on rainwater so that’s what I drink, fresh off the roof. Will definitely do it again, feel clearer and more energetic.

    1. Hi John – Rainwater fresh off the roof eh? Maybe the roof adds some extra minerals to help make the fast go even easier for you! Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to share your own experience. I’m glad it went well for you.

  20. So I’m a 44 year old male and was at my heaviest last year 210lbs 5′ 10″ which is pretty bloated. My blood pressure has been out of control like around 210/120 and I ended up in the emergency room with no real symptoms but people were telling me I needed to go. So they prescribed medications and monitored me overnight and my blood pressure normalized on Linsinipril to 130/80. This sucks, now they were telling me I would probably be on these pills the rest of my life which gave me every side effect in the book. I did some research on water fasting and found studies that said water fasting does great with out of control blood pressure. I did 3 48 hour water fasts using only distilled water and a pinch of salt. I stopped taking my blood pressure medication during these fasts and found the fasts would keep my blood pressure around 150/95 and when I started eating poorly again it would slowly creep back up. So, I decided to do a 6 day water fast and it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Blood pressure is no longer an issue as it is now 115/75 and hasn’t gone back up after 3 months of eating although I’ve cut out most bad food and mostly eat a vegetarian diet and limit sugar. Great work!!

    1. Wow Jeramy, your story is way more impressive and inspiring than my silly little account. Thanks for sharing it and congrats on the all the progress you made!

  21. Black coffee and plain tea are fine, as are herb teas.I drink water with fresh mint leaves in it. The most benefit takes place after 48hrs. when you’ve used up your glycogen and you start burning toxic fats. Meals and or diet leading up to the 3 day fast can make or break the fast. Eat light, and you want to start out with your system as empty as possible. I have trouble believing people when they say‘ it wasn’t that bad’ Good luck, I failed my first time, but have completed it many times since.

    1. How about future fasts, Cheech? I honestly don’t find it to be that hard anymore now to go up to 5 days. The only real challenges are the social aspect of skipping meals with Kim and others and staying hydrated.

      Thanks for the concise and helpful input in your comment!

  22. I’m into a 31 hours of my current fast it is the second time I’ve tried fasting.

    Last year I started with a 7-day water fast and survived. Got to where I saw no weight loss with water fasting and went to a 3-day dry fast and it worked well – about 5 pounds weight loss per day. I went from around 330 to about 301 during about a 6 week period with multiple 24 hour dry fasts.

    Seemed to work well and I went from barely making it up a flight of stairs to being a lot healthier overall.

    So now I’m 50. I hit 341 pounds over the year and still feel pretty well from the last year’s fasting routine.

    So now I’m doing it again. I weighed in at 29 hours into my fast and was already down to 333.2 pounds.

    So that’s pretty good. Last year I started off with Adkins/Keto first and had no ill effects aside from a mild headache which cleared up on its own.

    This time I have a stronger headache which has yet to clear up. I caved and took one baby aspirin dry a little while ago.

    Otherwise I’m 3 minutes till my 31st hour into this fast.

    I studied this a bit and am prepared to begin the snake diet’s juice by Cole Robison when I ready to rehydrate.

    Presently, I am feeling quite well and not thirsty nor hungry but of course I “could” eat – if I wanted to break my fast.

    The headache is the only matter at present.

    I weigh in after each ruination which is typically about 3-4 or more hours apart. Which is a little longer than usual but I push myself to wait a bit longer too.

    I also have the benefit of sleeping it off which I do as much as possible.

    I’m actually following the advice of an old book written about a man who lived a longer than average life know as Piomingo.

    He advocated not eating and other matters.

    So it seems he attributed his long life and that of his community to their lack of eating habits and abundance of fresh sources of things other than traditional food.

    Lots of nuts, some fruits, and berries with various herbs or else roots.

    Anyway I’m not focusing on that for now just the fasting.

    I watch videos or read blogs and other posts to stay motivated.

    On cleaning oneself out – I found water to me the mystical miracle solution. However, I drank one 16 oz per 25 pounds and it literally cleaned out everything – to the water level.

    Never seen anything like it.

    Just my experience if you want to cleanse entirely.

    Thanks for the inspiration

    Darby Weaver

  23. As of July 8th at 5:30am weigh-in, I am now at 332.2 pounds at 37.5 hours into my fast. So about 5.4 pounds so far and about 9 pounds less than my max weight of 341 pounds before my “prep” time of just eating less food.

    Headache is still present but almost gone now.

    In any event by 4pm today I will complete 48 hours. Sleeping in till 8am. My physical activity is minimal during my fast. As I said I am 50 years old and this will be my second 3 day dry fast if I don’t stop for any reason.

    Thanks

    Darby Weaver

  24. Darby Weaver:

    July 8th, 9:00 am weigh in. I weigh in based on bio breaks. So as of my 41st hour I presently weigh 331.2 pounds, so that’s about 6 pounds in less than 2 days so far with no physical activity and a lot of sleep to pass the time.

    Back to work so can’t sleep it off but work passes the time just the same.

    Not thirsty or any signs of hunger, whatsoever. My mouth has water and is not dry at all.

    I’m energetic and not lethargic either.

    I make it a point to go upstairs for bio breaks so I use the stairs more during this time.

    That’s it so far. Last year this sort of dry fast resulted in about 5 pounds per day of weight loss for the three days and was the most weight loss I’d ever experienced in one sprint.

    I am curious as to other people’s experiences as some here report about 1/2 pound per day loss.

    I am heavier than I should be and have more to lose than most and perhaps that is why the weight is being lost faster or else it is just initial weight loss and will subside to about what others are seeing as reported in this article and it’s feedback.

    In any event, it seems like a worthy place to log the loss – I keep a journal like I did last year when I did this so I can record my progress or lack the thereof.

    Thanks

    Darby Weaver

    1. Hi Darby. Thanks for sharing all your personal insights and experiences from your fasts, which certainly will motivate others just as you say you get motivated by them.

      On your weight loss point, you’ll certainly lose more than half a pound a day, but that’s water weight you’ll gain back after. In terms of actual fat loss, you’ll only burn as much as your metabolism needs, which is on average half a pound (3,500 calories) a day. If you exercise a lot while fasting or have an extra active metabolism (which is unlikely, since if you did you wouldn’t gain weight as easily) you might burn a bit more than half a pound of fat a day, but not much.

      All the best.

  25. Dont understand the bone broth idea. Bone broth has amino acids in it therefore calories and insulin response. Black coffee has caffeine in it so will give an insulin response too. You need to go full on for it to be called a full fast.

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