I successfully completed my 5 Day Water Fast, the overall averages for the week were:
5 Day Average – 0 Calories
– 2.6 L Water / Day
– 23 000 steps / Day
My body surprised me yet again with how resourceful it was. I already updated with you with how the first 3 days went>>>. On Day 4 I woke up hunger free and with great energy, I felt amazing. However, with this energy in hand I went a bit crazy that day covering 30 000 steps (21km+) with much of it from running with clients in sessions and a samba rehearsal. The result was that on day 5 I was super flat and it was a real struggle. I battled through it and overall it was a great experience.
The main question I get is how much weight/fat did I lose? The results of which were disappointing in comparison to the effort put in. In five days of zero calories I lost the same amount of fat as I would normally lose in a typical 7 day dieting week. I lost 7mm of body fat in 5 days.
What this means is that if I did the same protocol for 4 weeks I would have lost the same amount as my normal dieting approach achieves in 5 weeks. It is of course impossible to not eat anything for four weeks while fairly easy to do my normal methods. My body weight changes were similarly subdued. I lost 2kg by the end of the five days. However just three days after the end of the fast I was back to my starting weight of 81 KG.
This all points to the controlled speed of fat loss. Various studies have shown that your body will only give up fat at certain (controlled) speed. This means you cannot cheat the process and your goal should be set on realistically knowing how long it takes you to get to it and then focusing efforts on how can you stay on the plan for this whole duration, Most people take the opposite approach and instead try to cheat, hurry and sneak their way to their goals by following hard core short term plans.
This is compounded by using the weighing scales over body fat for charting progress, You can seriously manipulate your weight through changing hydration, like the guy who lost 12 Kg in 24 hours>>> Boxers regularly do this before a fight where most come in 5 kg heavier the day after the weigh in for the actual fight.
What Does This Mean For Me?
The main take away from this would be that eating low to no calories is not the most effective way to lose fat. If your body is controlling the speed of fat loss any changes to lose weight should be focused on how to stick to a plan longer term over a short term hard core approach. The aim should be to lose fat while eating as much food as possible (yet not too much so that you do not lose fat).
There are definitely merits to fasting. It teaches you to reevaluate portion and frequency of eating. It resets the body from periods of poor eating etc. I definitely noticed some health improvements but I feel it was comprised because I moved too much. If thinking of doing any of the many versions of juice and other fasts it can be beneficial but only if you view it as a first step on a longer term plan of action.
I wouldn’t advise trying a full 5 day water fast at home as there are numerous health issues that can arise. I am fairly battle hardened in doing these experiments from doing Ramadan and the alternative day fasting method and from cutting for fitness model shows.
I am off to Portugal for a few days…. will update you when I am back!