You Might Say Fasting Is Taking The Easy Way Out But I Fasted For A Week And It Helped My Body And Mind
Summer is right around the corner, and we're all willing to do anything to get that summer body.
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.