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48 Hours Without Food

November 30, 2012

no food intermittent fastingI just finished my first ever 48 hour fast. I have been doing intermittent fasting to improve my health for a long time, but this is the first time I have attempted such a long fast. I do a short 15 to 16 hour fast 4 or 5 times a week and a longer 24 to 30 hour fast every week or two, but never longer than 30 hours.

My Experience

The first 15 hours were a breeze, I do a 15 hour fast almost every day so my body is very used to it. It wasn’t until around 3 pm on the first day that I started to feel kind of hungry. It wasn’t a big problem except that my stomach started growling while I was in meeting which is pretty embarrassing. When doing extended fasting I rarely actually get hungry, I get more of an empty feeling and a longing to eat. I don’t physically need to eat I just mentally want to eat.

By five o’clock I was really starting to have the empty feeling. Luckily I got out of work and headed to the gym. Nothing like working out to distract myself from not eating. After I finished my hunger and desire to eat had disappeared. Surprisingly the night was really easy. I didn’t think about food at all, instead I just did research, read websites and wrote articles. I had a little trouble falling asleep but it wasn’t that bad.

Day 2 was a little harder. I felt the empty feeling the whole day from like 10 am on. Around 2 pm on I started thinking about food A LOT. I was planning out all the food I wanted to eat when I broke my fast. I now feel much closer to Ghandi. A  48 hour fast was tough enough, I can’t imagine what it would be like to fast for 21 days like Ghandi did.

The Meal

Finally at 8 o’clock last night I had my first meal in 48 hours. I decided to eat ham, brussels sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, macadamia nuts, some healthy corn chips(no soy or vegetable oil), guacamole and a baked artichoke. I have never had artichoke before. I don’t know if I did a bad job of cooking it or if I just don’t like artichoke but I was not a fan.

While I was cooking dinner I still didn’t feel hungry, it wasn’t until I started to eat that I felt extremely hungry. I probably ate at least 1500 calories in my dinner, which I don’t think is a bad thing given I hadn’t eaten in 2 days. After dinner I gave myself a treat of some dark chocolate and a glass of wine. All in all it was not a bad experience. It gave me a bigger appreciation of food and the fact that I have regular access to healthy food whenever I want it.

Why Such a Long Fast?

One reason I decided to fast so long was to make up for all the cheating I did over Thanksgiving. I gained a few pounds and was unhappy with how I was feeling. The other main reason was because I wanted to see if I could do it. I love to push my limits to see what I am capable of. I enjoy experimenting with my body so I can improve my health. I also like the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a difficult challenge. I also wanted to get all of the awesome health benefits of fasting.

Here are some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting other than fat loss:

  1. Increased HGH
  2. Lower ghrelin and and triglycerides
  3. Getting into ketosis faster
  4. Reduced inflammation
  5. Lower insulin level and better insulin sensitivity
  6. Fasting makes you more resistant to cancer and chemotherapy and even allows your body to metabolize tumors

Have you ever tried fasting? What is the longest that you ever fasted for?

  1. 48 hours- wow!
    I fast for 15-18 hours almost every day (eat dinner at 5pm, then eat again the next day around 10am). I do find that I feel hungry when I wake up but water takes care of that feeling, so I am guessing that maybe I am just dehydrated. If I go about 20 hours, I get grumpy (!), so as long as this keeps working, I’ll stick to the shorter time.

  2. Way to go!

    It’s nice to read about someone else’s experience with a 48 hour fast. I’ve done several of them so let me offer a little insight. The first is the hardest. In fact, it’s the only one that is actually difficult. All the rest are a breeze. Once you’ve flipped that mental switch it’s just a matter of programming. It’s good to build up to longer and longer fasting periods, but by the time your knocking on the door of 48 hours it’s all a mind game. Make the decision then forget about it — you’ll get by on autopilot just fine. Next up . . . 72 hours.


    • Thanks for the advice. I know I could do a 72 hour fast but weight lifting is my highest priority right now so a 72 hour fast would interrupt that. Given I don’t have cancer I don’t see any benefit of a longer fast. I do plan on continuing to do 24 to 36 hour fasts every week or two. I will just be sure to do the fasts on my rest days.

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