When I write this, half the world is in lockdown because of the corona virus and I decided to use this time of social distancing for a little food-experiment: a 7-day water fast. This means, last week, I didn’t eat anything for a week and only drank water (and some tea without sugar).
I have been without food a couple of times before like on a survival course in the UK in 2003 (3 days) and during a 90 km trek in the Netherlands in 2009 (2 days), but seven days would be a new record.
How did it go?
My life went pretty much the same as normal, except for not eating food and living in semi-quarantine conditions because of the corona crisis.
I was mainly doing computer work at home during the week and I still did some sports. I did a 1-hour race bike session (1st day), a 30-minute run (3rd day) – somewhat slower than normal – and the other days I walked around town for about 45 min. in the evenings.
In general, I regularly felt somewhat weak and not so good, but it was manageable. On the other hand, there were also moments I felt completely normal, even at day 7, which surprised me somewhat.
Fortunately, hunger feelings were never truly extreme and later in the week even became somewhat less than in the beginning of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I still really missed food, but it could have been worse I guess. Sometimes I felt a bit colder than normal and had to put on an extra layer of clothing.
Halfway the week I was really starting to look forward to the moment I could eat again, counting the days and hours left.
At the end of my fast, I weighed myself again and it turned out I had lost a whopping 5.5 kg.
As expected, eating again on the 7th day felt pretty special. I had dinner at my parents’ place and the first bites of the meal that my mother had prepared (meat, rice, cauliflower) tasted great.
I started eating slow though because I could feel my stomach reacting a bit, and I only ate one small plate. Later in the evening, I ate quite a bit more including a yoghurt-fruit smoothie, potato chips and chocolate milk.
Another thing I had to be a bit careful about was standing up because each time I did, my vision would turn black for a few seconds.
The next day, everything basically felt normal again. Stomach was fine, no problems standing up, and I ate everything I felt like. Yeah food! I also felt pretty cheerful.
All in all, it was a tough week, maybe more mentally than physically, but if you’re really motivated, or quite crazy, it’s doable 🙂
Fasting period: 23-29 March 2020 Duration : 7 days Caloric input : 0 kcal Weight loss : 5.5 kg
Update 5 April 2020
After the fast I started eating normal again, and after one week, I had gained 4 kg! So only 1.5 kg weight loss remained.
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