FASTING For Your Health (Tips How I Did It)

tips to fasting

I never thought I would try this, but I did a few days ago. Fasting. Not eating for a day, 24 hours.

You know what? When you put your mind to it, will power, it’s not that bad!

There were a few tricks that I used which made it a lot easier! I’ll give you my tips below.

But first, WHY did I do it? Actually, both Mrs.J and I fasted the same day…

WHY Fasting is Good For You

I’m no expert on this. But, there’s one glaring obvious reason why fasting can be good for you:

Lose Weight Fast!

My motivation for trying fasting for 24 hours was to see if I could do it without too much of a problem. If it worked (and it did), then I will continue to do it regularly for awhile. Why? Because I could do myself some good to lose a few pounds. And this is going to help with that!

I’m 6′ 2″ and have slipped to 220 lbs. Whoops. While I don’t consider myself to be ‘fat’ – given that I’m 6’2″ and carry my weight fairly evenly – I definitely want to trim down to ~200.

As we all age, (and you’ll find out if you’re not there yet), it takes a lot more ‘work’ to burn off those calories. We’re all different, but I noticed it about the time when I reached 50 ‘ish. As I settled into my 50’s it became apparent that it’s going to take more work and adjustments with my eating habits to keep that scale from going up and up.

It’s so easy to eat a delicious high-calorie meal (fill in the blank). But the thing is this… about 3,500 calories is ~equivalent to ~1 pound. You can eat that pretty quick in a given day (or more). But to exercise that off, is an incredible comparative effort!

I’m not saying that exercising isn’t good. But I am saying that a few minutes of delicious eating can only be compensated by rigorous and shockingly lots of caloric ‘burn’ time at working out. It’s ridiculous.

I’m a fairly active guy. But, those pounds can sure creep up. It’s good to exercise. To workout. To be active. There are lots of ways to do this. However, fasting for a day will blast away those calories – because you’re not eating them! Your body will get those calories it needs from your “insulation” instead!

Tips To Fasting

There are surely more tips to fasting. But this is how I got through it.

Coffee. Water. Chicken broth. Celery. Jello.

I drink my coffee black. Zero calories (plus I like it that way). So I had my usual morning coffee, which consists of nearly two 8-ounce cups.

Water has no calories. I drank more water than I normally do throughout the day. It helped fill the stomach (and provides for a better ‘flush’ the system too).

The chicken broth only had 10 calories in 8 ounces. For lunch I heated up a glass of the broth and sipped it. It was actually quite good! A great tip for fasting is broth.

Amazingly, I was not hungry most of the afternoon! I kept busy with my projects and didn’t start feeling hungry until later in the afternoon.

For dinner, I had sugar-free jello. There were only 10 calories in it! Mrs.J and I split one box of jello. Eat it slow. Savor it.

After the jello, I waited awhile. Still hungry (but not ‘starving’). I ate two celery sticks. Basically no calories. It worked! I made it through the day. Sure, I went to bed a bit hungry. But it wasn’t terrible.

(The Day After)

Here’s a surprising side effect of fasting. I thought that I would be famished the next morning. I was prepared for it, and had told myself I wouldn’t “make up for the fact” that I didn’t eat anything of substance the day before ;)

HOWEVER, I wasn’t hungry! Even at lunch time, I was hardly aware of being hungry. What?!

I did make a tuna sandwich. But you know what? After eating that sandwich I felt like I ate too much!

As the day progressed I still was not hungry at all. Then by dinner time I was only a bit hungry. Ate a light dinner.

So, that tells me that something happens to your body after fasting, such that you’re not terribly hungry the next day! Medically, I don’t know how that worked. But that’s a bonus if you’re looking to shed some calorie/weight.

The Takeaway

Okay, so I revealed some personal information about myself. But I was so surprised that I wanted to share the results.

Preparedness is also about your body. Your health. Being fit.

While I do feel that I’m physically fit, I want to shed some excess baggage. I discovered that fasting wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. It does take some will power. But it works. It also has an apparent side effect of diminishing one’s appetite the next day. A bonus.

Fasting will help put you in the mindset to be more aware of the calories that you’re eating. And how easy it is to consume thousands of calories that you don’t need – while how much comparative difficulty in burning it off.

I believe there are other health benefits too. I didn’t look those up because I’m doing it to boost my weight loss goal.

I’ll be doing this once a week for awhile. I might even try it twice during a week (maybe…).

Have any of you tried this?

Continue reading: Good Old Fashioned Physical Labor For Better Health

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24 Comments

  1. – I was doing it three times a week; after I hit a weight loss of ten pounds, nothing was happening. I spoke with a physician I work with, who happens to be an advocate of this type of dieting. I felt I should have some medical advice, as I am now a Type 2 (NIDDM) diabetic. On his advice, I went from 24 hours 3 times a week to one 36-hour fast once a week. I am now down 14 pounds after starting this diet 2 months ago. I have an appointment with my primary care doc in about 2 weeks, so I will see how my A1c test goes.
    – Papa S.

  2. I am glad this experiment worked well for you and your wife Ken.

    It sounds like your experiment was a success. This worked for you partially because you have a supportive spouse and are working through this together. I am hoping that others on this site are lucky enough to have spouse or family support in their efforts at a healthy lifestyle.

    The only cautionary note I have is for the diabetics out there that must go to greater effort to maintain a steady blood sugar level. I am not a Certified Diabetes Educator though I am still working as a nurse.

    Along that note, I preach the party-line of small or moderate portions of food eaten throughout the 24 hr day with a carb-rich snack nearby to grab in case the blood sugar drops into uncomfortable range. Most adult diabetics are already in this habit so I will stop preaching to the choir.

    One unusual aspect as a nurse is the fact I also cook so my method of losing weight through diet is through portion-control. The measuring device I use is my hands. It goes as follows:

    Serving of lean cooked protein should be about the size of the palm of your hand. Any bigger than that is too much. Any smaller than that may not be enough. I was lucky enough that my wife purchased a food scale and you may find that a palm sized portion of cooked meat will be in the general vicinity of 6 oz to 8 oz. What you do with that portion of protein from there is up to you. ( fajitas, chili, spaghetti sauce etc.)

    For cooking of carbs like rice, pasta or beans, I use a measuring cup in order to cook. Once cooked, I serve portions that are either a handful or double handful. ( using cupped hands.). This allows one to eyeball portion size and you will get better at this faster and with practice. For nutrient dense foods like refried beans cooked in lard, I stick with a single handful or less. For less dense foods like rice or pasta ( before sauce is added) I will use the double handful measure as my standard serving size.

    For sanitation, I do not touch the food. I have several bowls in my cabinet that are pre-measured ( using dried beans and clean hands) as a guideline.

    Vegetables are considered almost a freebie though the biggest violator I see out there is how much Ranch Dressing, Gravy or sauce is dolloped on the vegetables. Be mindful of this fact and order your salads with dressing on the side.

    I love fried food but I recognize the fact that it is bad for me and should not become a daily habit. I cook in olive oil and I tend to saute a lot of my food. Going out to eat fried seafood is one of my favorite once-a-month activities on days off in town. It scares me to think of children being raised to eat nothing but chicken-tenders and tater-tots. ( yet, I also realize it is tough to raise children and teach them to not be finicky eaters.)

    These are the methods I use in my own kitchen with one last reminder to look up some of the saying our grandparents used to say: ” Eat breakfast- look on it as fuel to start your day. Eat lunch like a prince, eat dinner like a pauper.” There is a lot of wisdom in that statement and it was around when I was a young man. sometimes I wonder if people have forgotten these sayings these days.

  3. If they could invent a way to shut down the taste buds, temporarily, say a few weeks at a time, no one would be fat. If you cannot taste your food, you do not wish to eat it…no matter what food is offered to you. When all food is tasteless, one eats only to keep from getting dizzy, makes quick work of it…choosing liquids over solids..and texture over everything.

    I know radiation will shut down one’s taste buds, and allow them to return in time. I lost 56 pounds in about two months, because I lost the sense of taste due to radiation effects. I know having no taste works as the very best diet one can get…will power does not figure into it…one will simply stop eating unless one is forced to do so.

    Now, if I can just figure out how to chemically shut down taste….without hazard…I could solve the entire overweight problem of the U.S..

    1. Shrink your stomach and keep the trigger foods out of the house. After 2 to 3 weeks the cravings end and you will start to crave healthier foods. Family members,”the fat ones” will try to sabotage your diet, so beware of this phenomenon. Nothing taste as good as being thin and healthy.

      1. Wolfgar,
        I was advised by a nutritionist at a weight loss center.. to combat carb cravings..in 3 days. Increase vitamin B complex w/ B 12 sublingual to double the usual for 3 days only and cut carbs to less than 50 daily. Goal to be 30 for first 3 days.. this has worked for me for about 25 years post intestinal surgery. Is one of the pieces of information I have used for all thsoe years.
        Those doing and doing intermittent fast and having problems with wild blood sugar swings often benefit from holding carbs constant for the entire week.It is much easier to fast when those in the house are doing the same thing. I don’t routinely fast, but DH does and those days I DO eat much lighter.

    2. lisonopril will shut down taste buds…in about a year for some people, is used for blood pressure.

      1. – Been on lisinopril for over a year now; never touched my sense of taste.
        – Papa S.

        1. Affected my DB that way.. does not everyone… but Can be a side effect.He said everything tasted like hot water unless he put loads of salt on it. now on a different drug and low sodium…

        2. Papa Smurf,

          Doc put me on lisinopril after by-pass surgery. Developed a persistent cough. Took me off and put me on losartan, cough went away. Wasn’t on it long enough to know if it affected my sense of taste.

        3. Didn’t bother my taste buds either. maybe it has to do with the dose size. I do 10’s one time a day

  4. Fasting is good for the body and good for the soul. Our church family will hold a 24 hour fast (for those old enough and healthy enough to do so) and give the money we would have spent on food as an offering, which is passed on to those in need in our congregation. Fasting with a purpose to help others gets us thru the hunger and headaches.

  5. If you need to lose weight, then eat 2 eggs in the morning, a lean hamburger patty and salad with vinegar for lunch and another patty, salad, low cal cottage cheese for dinner. Fish and chicken can also replace the patty. Don’t cheat and you will see the weight burn off. At minimum, go for a walk or better yet a hike every day for 45 minutes to an hour. I’m in my 60’s and have kept my excess weight off by doing this. It really works, but not if you cheat.

  6. The human body is designed for periodic shortages. It responds to fasting with digestive and metabolic changes that help it use stored fat instead of relying on constant inputs. Rather like going to the store-room rather than the store…

    Long term fasting forces the body into a famine mode in which it uses muscle for energy, stores everything it gets and keeps the fat in storage.

    When I decided I needed to lose weight I cut portions to 1/4 of my norm for a week, then jumped back up to 3/4. Essentially tricking my mind into seeing the smaller portion as “normal” because I tend toward large portion sizes.

  7. I would not exactly call it fasting but I’ve lost 5 pounds in the past 6 days. Climbing down from my boat on its trailer and the ladder slipped. I guess I got off lucky as if you have to break a hip best to do it as a hairline fracture to the acetabulum (the socket in the pelvis that the femoral head fits into). No surgery but no weight bearing on crutches for the next 6 to 12 weeks. Easy to fast when you’re not up and moving as not much to stimulate the appetite. Bugging out on foot is off of the table for now.

    Did I mention in the past that the time to get crutches is before you need them? Mine have been sitting in the closet for a couple of years just waiting for the proper occasion. A lot more expensive in the drug store or ER than in the thrift store. Get them in all needed sizes for you and yours. I’m sure there will be you tube videos on how to adjust them and use them. As a caveat, never lean on the armpit pads, you can do permanent nerve damage.

    1. me,

      Good idea about the crutches. I have had so many problems with my left foot, that I now have one pair of crutches, two orthopedic left-foot boots, two orthopedic left-foot shoes, and a cane in my preps. The reason for the duplicates is that the first boot was not comfortable and so when I broke my left leg, they gave me a new one. Then when I had surgery on my foot two months ago, my orthopedic shoe was not long enough to cover my foot with the pins sticking out the end of the toes. The pins came out a week ago, but my foot is still so swollen that I can’t get a shoe on, so I am still using the orthopedic shoe. I am keeping them all.

      I couldn’t bug out on foot right now either. We are in the same boat.

      1. DaisyK– sorry to hear about your foot/surgery struggles. I wonder if something like Comfrey would help “Early colonists brought the plant with them when they settled in the new land. Comfrey was once commonly called Knitbone because of its amazing ability to heal broken bones and “knit” them back together again. The botanical name, Symphytum, means “to unite.” .”

      2. Keep it elevated as much as possible. Might consider getting a boot for the other leg also as a just in case. Not as good as a well applied cast but beats the heck out of an ace wrap if you should break it!

  8. Take a look at the Master Cleanse or Lemonade diet as some call it. Originally by Stanley Burroughs. Some might say it’s unhealthy, but from personal experience I went a month of doing this. It is a cleanse but has the benefit of weight loss as well. It simply consists of Fresh lemons, spring water, Cayenne pepper, and Grade B Maple Syrup. No food, just drinking the lemonade. All the nutrients your body requires was in this mix. I did this for 31 days and ended up losing 38 Lbs, as well as felt more energetic, and overall healthier. Do your research, but I find that doing this once or twice a year has helped me to feel better. This also assumes that you’re willing to change your diet a bit, but again, it is up to your personal thought process. As always, do your own research.

    DT

  9. Wow, it seems many of us have attempts fasts in the past year….and many of us are having lots of ooops moments with our body!

    I found that I am not as hungry when I drink enough water and stay active working. So most of the time, I am good because we are very active. I don’t watch TV so I am not constantly bombarded with food ads.

    And I also saw the benefit of fasting for a day but that was discovered accidentally when I was just too busy to stop to eat one day. I prefer tea rather than coffee when fasting. And I stay away from sugar although a dab of honey is okay for me. We have jello in the house (I buy it from the Amish in bulk for s huge savings over packaged jello), but I always feel guilty eating it due to the sugar, but my spouse loves it. We don’t eat anything “sugar free” due to the replacement chemicals. That being said, I still manage to have a lot of stuff in the house that is not so good for me. Most of the time I can resist, but then when I am sitting around, usually reading, I slip and think this one little thing is okay.

    So in our house just in the past month, I managed to smash a finger bruising it badly, then dislocated a thumb and sprained a wrist, which is still trying to heal. My poor spouse is still limping from a swollen, red and hot knee. He finally went to doc but they are not doing much that has helped him. Boy, I don’t remember this many injuries in so short a time, but I know we are quite busy in our life and have activities that make us more likely to get injured. It is the healing time that allows me to notice the food monitoring that our household needs to practice.

  10. I did the Gluten-Free Diet. I was loosing a pound a week without trying. I went from 181lbs to 164lbs in a few months. I even had 1 or 2 cheat days a week(pizza is my weekness).

  11. I think what is described here is more of a cleansing diet rather than a total fast, which can be dangerous. A cleansing diet is something that comes naturally when you are sick and your body will crave foods that will flush your system. You can incorporate it into your lifestyle by either setting aside one day a week, or month, of consuming only liquid broth and juices and fruit. A juicer is popular with people on such diets. “Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead” is a very excellent video I recommend about how “Morbidly obese Joe Cross endeavors to drink only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in an effort to lose weight, reboot his health, and inspire others along the way.”

  12. I was fasting this sommer whole month, every day, 18 or 19 hours per day without food or water at all and working on construction job.
    Food isn’t problem, but water is,
    especially In hot days.
    Early morning meal was somthing light, cookies in milk, some dates and banana, but for dinner eat whatever u want 🍖😃
    First day or second is little bit hard, but after that its easy.
    Mind and body are than programmed and ready for fasting.
    P.S. (it was rlgs fast)

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