As the final days of April approached, like every year, I set my mind to make May a month of health and fitness, in preparation for the upcoming first month of summer. I wanted to see results fast though, to give me the motivation to keep up with whatever new diet and workout that I would choose to do. In an attempt to see results fast, I decided to fast. The only thing that I consumed in this seven-day period was water. Here's my one-week fasting story: The difficulty, the odd results, and if I lost the weight.
The difficulty: I've tried doing two, even three-day fasts at a time for as long as I could remember and always failed. I wanted this time to be different, I was motivated. I was also stressing about finals, which were in actuality a good distraction to get thoughts about food out of my head. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have decided to fast during finals week, since your brain needs fuel and all. I don't think it severely impacted my studies, though (TBA).
The first couple of days were the hardest. I wasn't genuinely hungry, I just wanted to eat. Once day three arrived, though, things got easier. Sometimes I did feel weak, dizzy and out of breath, but that's to be expected. The most difficult time of the week was at nights, before bed. For me personally, I hate going to sleep if I'm not completely full (which is really bad since studies say you shouldn't eat less than three hours before bed) so I struggled. Although, once I got to sleep, it was fine. I would wake up the next morning with no trace of hunger.
The unexpected results: If you don't eat for a period of time, your body enters ketosis. Due to my seven-day fast, I'm sure I did enter ketosis. With a quick Google search, I realized I did have some symptoms that correlate to one being in ketosis, such as appetite suppression and increased focus and energy. Although, I noticed some other odd events. The corner of my lips were suddenly chapped bad and hurting. I was not sure if this was relevant to my suppression of food, so I did a quick Google search and found out that low-carb intake (in my case, no carb intake) could lead to chapped lips. Correlation does not mean causation, but I nevertheless thought it was interesting.
I also had weird cravings. Despite not being truly hungry any of the seven-days, I did crave certain foods. Usually, I'm a sweet tooth junkie, craving chocolate or ice cream. During my fast, I craved steamed vegetables (specifically broccoli) almost every day. I am a vegetarian and love my vegetables, but I've never had a craving such as strong as the one I did during my fast.
Did I lose weight?: Yes. At the time of this fast, I was in my college dorm, though, and didn't have access to a scale. In a short week, I did notice surprising results. A pair of shorts I had worn a week previous to the fast, which usually fit me perfectly, were falling off of me. When I looked in the mirror, I noticed my hips and thighs seemed significantly smaller and stomach looked much flatter. Keeping in mind, I am not one who thinks they lose weight when they don't. Many times, family members and friends would tell me (during my high school fad-diet days) that I appeared to have lost weight, and I would deny it because I couldn't see it. Although, with this fast, there was definitely a difference.
The last day of the fast is when I was moving out of my dorm and going home for the summer. Upon seeing my mom, she said I had appeared to "tone up" and my grandma went as far as to say it looked like I had lost twenty pounds. Although I definitely did lose weight (what I believe to be ten to fifteen pounds in that week period), I'm certain at least five-ten pounds was water weight. It has been five days since my fast ended, and I can still see the same differences in my body, along with my shorts being loose still.
Fasts are known as inefficient and "the easy way out," but I believe they can be of great help to the body and mind, in moderation, of course. Not only did this fast help me lose weight fast for a kick start on my May diet in preparation for summer, but it allowed me to realize I can function for a week (even finals week) with nothing but water, and even feel more energy during it.