Could you go without food for 3 days? It might sound crazy, but I bet you could – and I wanna share with you how it went for me.
So if you’ve been following our Instagram (@mayo_bros_calosthenics) you may have seen that I recently completed my longest fast yet: 85 hours. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about why I did it and I wanted to share my insights with you in case you ever decide to try something similar. The real reasons that I did the fast were because I wanted a system reset and I also love pushing my mental and physical boundaries. Here’s what I gained from my recent 85 hour fast:
- I entered a very relaxed mental state, which made me feel slightly buzzed and high. I can only describe it as an ‘elevated’ state. It was extremely meditative.
- For 2 days following the fast I had a kind of afterglow, which made me feel extremely happy and grateful.
- My energy was through the freaking roof, especially between hour 45 and 55.
- Cognitive function felt higher than normal.
- After 72 hour my cells began to regenerate (I couldn’t feel that of course, but the research shows this to be the case).
- Taste buds got supercharged and food now tastes heavenly.
- Self-discipline increased a ton and I unlocked a new level of personal control.
- I burned fat for energy and came out feeling and looking super healthy.
In the past I’ve done countless 24 hour fasts, about five 48 hours fasts, one 56 hour fast and one 72 hour fast. The last time I attempted a 72 hour fast I tapped out at hour 56 and this was really interesting to me. I wanted to know why I couldn’t do it. I knew that I was physically able to do it; I mean if it were a life or death situation I would have certainly managed. But I felt ill and very light headed, so I quit. This was because I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for the fast.
This time would be different though. This time I was ready for the discomfort, but it didn’t come. Instead it was replaced by feelings of extreme euphoria and crystal clear thinking. My brain became a beautiful mixture of calm, logical thoughts. I was in the mindset of not wanting to waste any energy because I knew I definitely didn’t have a surplus. This made me hyper-productive and highly reasonable. I felt like a different person. The negative talk in my brain virtually disappeared. I felt like I went into survival mode and nothing mattered except the present moment. This led to some very profound meditation sessions. I also felt like I had more empathy and better conversations with friends and family.
It’s really crazy how much food can change your day-to-day experience. Most people will never experience the benefits and insights that a prolonged fast can provide because they simply refuse to believe that they can do it.
“I HAVE to eat every 4 or 5 hours or I just CAN’T function.”
I’ve heard this so many times before and I call bullshit. You can do it; you’d just rather not. Maybe because you like food a lot, or it’s inconvenient, or you don’t want to deal with some minor hunger pangs. Whatever the excuse, you know you’re capable of doing a prolonged fast, but you’re choosing not to.
If you’re a reasonably healthy person there is pretty much nothing that can go wrong if you do a prolonged fast. Humans have adapted to go for long stretches without food. That’s why we have stored body fat. We are not designed to eat every 4 or 5 hours and if you’re doing this you are missing out on some great benefits.
So why not try fasting? When you think about it, it’s the easiest thing ever. Just do exactly what you already do on a daily basis minus the eating part. You’ll be shocked at how much time this frees up. Start with a 12 hour fast and slowly work your way up to 24. As an entrepreneur, fasting has become a vital asset to me because it constantly trains me to deal with difficult situations in a stoic way. Running your own business is obviously hard and that’s why practicing things like fasting, meditation and cold exposure are so beneficial. The more you can practice self-discipline in your life the more freedom you can have because you will know for a fact that you are capable of enduring tough circumstances.
Here are my 4 main tips for getting through a prolonged fast:
- Plan it well based on your schedule and let friends and family know what you’re doing and why.
- Drink way more water than usual (sparkling water helps a lot for suppressing your appetite) and add some iodized salt to it from time to time.
- Black tea and coffee are your best friends. Use for energy and as a sleep aid.
- Don’t stop exercising just because you’re fasting. You want to go to bed tired and extend your sleep time if possible. If you’re having trouble sleeping go for a walk and then try sleeping with some calming music or a nature soundtrack.
Please, if you have any health concerns or previous/ current unhealthy relationships with food, consult a health care provider before embarking on any prolonged fasts.