During the first lockdown, we decided, my brother and I, to fast for one week. We both went back to our mom’s home for some time since it’s bigger than our apartments, and it was better to be together rather than alone.
We did not have any particular reasons that motivated us to do this fast. It was a challenge that we set for ourselves, and doing it collectively would make it easier. It was great that my brother took the challenge with me because I had many issues with this first experience.
As I said, I had trouble with my first fast. It must be noted that the fast that we decided to do wasn’t the easiest one. We drank only vegetable broth for a whole week. The broth wasn’t salty and had very little taste, and it's this lack of flavor that was the hardest for me, and that almost made me crack.
It’s fair to say that my first experience wasn’t great. On the other hand, my brother had way fewer issues or was able to contain his discontent and support me during the last days.
We discussed my issue with the lack of taste of the broth, and my mother told me about a Swiss brand of juice that offers a week-long fasting kit. This kit is proposed by Biotta and is called the “Wellness Week”
I wanted to retry the experience for quite some time. Since it didn’t go well for the first time, I tried to rechallenge myself and see how I could handle a juice-based fast. There was no health motivation behind it. It’s been mostly a mental challenge for me.
Besides challenging myself, I noticed that I had been eating larger quantities of food for quite some time. I thought that a fast would help me enjoy the food I eat more and will help me reduce the amount I ingest. Moreover, I started training more intensively for quite some time now, and I wanted to see how my body would look with less weight. Maybe the increase of the food I eat is tied to the rise of exercise I do, and there was nothing to worry about, but I decided to take the challenge anyway.
Before going any further, I want to emphasize that I am not a doctor, and I am not encouraging anyone to fast. I want to share my experience. If you wish to replicate the experiment, do so with caution and stop it if things go wrong. If in doubt, consult your doctor for professional advice.
How it went
Before starting the fast, Biotta recommends making one preparation day. The goal is to eat less and to make the body understand that something is going to happen. They say in their book that it helps transition from normal to fast.
Nothing particular this morning. It was an ordinary day but with one less meal. I had to cheat a bit to eat what was left in my fridge since I didn’t want to waste fresh produce.
The day went well. I started the day as usual by doing some sport, showering, and going to the office. I had a slight feeling of hunger, not a desire to eat. I just thought it would be nice to have a little something to eat. I went back home in the evening, wrote a bit, watched a TV Show without feeling any hunger.
Tuesday started like Monday. I did some sport, showered but stayed at home instead of going to the office. I woke up feeling a bit light-headed and had to take a slower start. Since I had many things to do at work, I didn’t have the time to think about eating or being hungry. I took a 30-minute pause at noon to relax and enjoy some juice before returning to work.
Biotta recommends that people take a bath on the 2nd and 4th day of the fast, and I promptly followed the instruction. I took a bath in the evening and slept right after. No sign of painful hunger, only a sense of lightness.
The same routine as the two previous days, sport and shower. I stood up a bit too quickly in the morning and felt dizzy. Note taken for the next days. I worked at a coworker's place that Wednesday and still didn’t feel any hunger. The juices and the large amount of water and tea I drink help a lot.
I have the same feeling as the other days, some sense of lightness. It’s not like being light-headed, it’s more a feeling of weighing less (mentally), and it’s pretty pleasing. It’s a state of mind where problems are less important and where I’m more grateful.
Thursdays are the second day of the week where I go to the office to work. I didn’t exercise since I wanted to avoid injuries at the end of the fast. Most of the day went pretty smoothly, but I had to sit down at some point since I didn’t feel well. I stood up too quickly and was dizzy. That’s my fault. Since I didn’t feel hunger, I forgot that I was fasting and acted as usual where I shouldn’t.
I came home late, and I didn’t want to take a bath as recommended. Instead, I drank some tea, wrote, and went to bed early. I wanted to rest since I started to see some effect of the lack of food. I noticed that I was getting weaker while still not feeling much hunger.
Last day of the week and the fast. I worked from home, and, as the other days, I felt light. As I said before, I started to feel weaker and saw the effect of the weight loss on my body. I also started to have some pain in the jaw. I don’t know if that’s because I missed chewing or eating solid food, but it was pretty unpleasant. The day went by, and I took some time to relax and prepare for the weekend in the evening.
The fast is now finished, and I can start eating again. Biotta recommends eating some rye crackers and an apple. I followed the instruction, and it felt great to eat again! I didn’t miss tasting food since the juices are delicious, but it was great to eat again. The evening meal was a bit more consistent. I had some veggies and rice before going to bed.
It’s been a few weeks since my fast since I wanted to take some time to reflect on the experience and see how the return to normal would go.
Many things can be discussed about this experience. Firstly, I want to say that it was an easy week. I didn’t feel much hunger, and the juices helped to go through the week. Except once on Thursday, where I had to sit because I didn’t feel well, I had no issue with the lack of food. Most of my week looked like I would have typically done, and I had no problems walking or doing my sports.
It was also a peaceful experience for me. I didn’t have to worry about cooking or doing some shopping. Everything was prepared for me, and coming home, relaxing, and having a pleasant evening is rare and welcome. It was great to spend the evening doing things I would not have done usually or not as mindfully. I like to cook and don’t mind spending time in the kitchen, but those five days of holidays were great and also motivated me to try new things to cook.
In one week of fasting, I went from 79.9 to 76.5 kg, losing 3.4 kilos. It was great to see me with those kilos chopped off my waist. Losing weight was not an objective of the fast since I regained most of my weight. However, it’s a unique way to see yourself in a shape you wouldn’t be able to normally. I have trained five times a week for about a year now and still have some belly. It’s not an issue for me, and I’m pretty happy with my current body. However, it was nice to see myself weighing 76 kilos, and it motivated me to keep going.
Having done other fasts in the past was definitively advantage, in my opinion. My body must have been trained to those periods where I don’t eat. I was surprised at how easy it was to stop eating and only drink juices. It almost felt like I could do this for a longer time to see how far I could push my limits. However, I think that being safe is more important than beating records and deciding against them. I’m intrigued to see what my next fast will be like (if there is any) to see if that’s something that gets easier with time.
I have to say. This experience was quite positive. I didn’t feel hunger most of the time, and drinking the juices helped me keep my sanity. I didn’t expect the fast to be challenging since it wasn’t my first one, but I didn’t think it would be easy either.
Fasting is a good way to test yourself. It is scarce for me to feel hungry in my everyday life. Sometimes I say I’m hungry when I’m craving food, without actually being hungry. Going without food for a week puts things into perspective and touches on something in our human genes. I didn’t miss the tastes, partly because of the juice but chewing and cooking.
Everyone is affected by fasting differently. I would encourage people to consider doing a fast while being mindful of what is going on in their bodies and not putting themselves at risk. I would be curious to hear your experiences with fasting and how you lived at this particular moment.