Over this past New Year I did the longest fast I’d ever done.
5 days with no solid food. Just some green juices and teas.
My previous best, from many years back, was 3 days. Here my specific aim was to get to the point where hunger ceased. This typically happens around the fourth day and was my experience as well.
Ketosis kicked in and I was good to go.
But that wasn’t the only part of this challenge. I decided to go on a long hike. A four to five mile hike up to some old growth redwoods.
The uphill parts were tough!
Not going to lie and say it was easy. It was not. I had to take breaks after the hill climbs. But I persisted and made my way to where I set out to go.
We talk mostly about strength and fitness here. In this day and age, the gym is one of the best places you can challenge yourself. Not just to work hard, anyone can do that. But to set and achieve goals. To transform yourself…both inside and out.
And it is not the only way.
I feel that fasting is one of those things that more people ought to engage in.
You can look at it for the health benefits. The stopping of digestion so that energy can go elsewhere. The huge increases to growth hormone (see more in Upgrade Your Growth Hormone), induction of autophagy to eat up damaged and cancerous cells, the most natural way to enter into ketosis, your alternative metabolic pathway that too few people have access to.
If shedding a few pounds is your goal, then make fasting an intimate friend.
You can look at it for the mental benefits. If you want mental toughness, forget working out, just go without food in our society.
And then there are the spiritual benefits. There’s a reason fasting is included in some form in all of the major religions.
Indeed, I was out in nature doing this faster hike to tap more into the spirit that lives there. A vision quest if you will.
If the thought of going 24 hours without food scares you, that’s all the more reason that you need to do it.
Then, just like progressive training, you can build upon that further and further.
Next time I’ll be going for a week or more.
And it’s not about the big events either. This makes it so that your body becomes more adaptable. Don’t have time to eat breakfast? No big deal. Traveling and only have access to crappy food quality? Just fast instead.
It’s about greater living by choice.