Fasting One Two Three
Here’s my experience with fasting one two three. What do I mean by fasting one two three? One day, two day, and three day fasts. I just completed the three types within the last month so my assessment is pretty fresh in my mind about what I experienced. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to expound on all the benefits of fasting, but I will say that I personally had a good experience with fasting without any of the bad side effects that I’ve read about.
A few years ago I tried fasting for the first time in my life. I started with intermittent fasting, which in my case was a 16/8 fast. And I did lose weight. With the 16/8 fast you fast for 16 hours and then eat your meals in a 8 hour window of time. In my case I usually had my first meal around 2 PM in the afternoon, and my last meal before 8PM. Most of the time I would have that last meal around 6PM. My first meal was usually 2 soft boiled eggs and a half a grape fruit, or just oatmeal with honey. My evening meal would normally be chicken, beef, or fish, /broccoli, zucchini, or carrots/a salad/and a starch like potatoes, rice, spaghetti. or ramen.
INTRODUCTION TO OMAD
Somewhere along the way I heard about OMAD, One Meal A Day, from guys on the internet who were in great shape. Athletes. Gym and weight training guys. In good shape like I used to be when I was younger. The reason they followed OMAD usually centered around the simplicity of eating all your daily caloric needs in one meal, reducing meal prep time from three meals down to one. And helping to release your natural human growth hormone. Seemed to be working for them, so I tried it. You can read about my first try with OMAD here. Wasn’t too bad, but I never tried it again until recently.
Over the years I’ve pretty much stuck with the 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule, but wasn’t as strict about what I would eat. The calories started adding up. Ice cream would make an entrance from time to time. Same with pies and cookies and the occasional glass of beer or wine. Do you know what wine has in it besides alcohol? Calories . A whole bunch. So, long story short, despite doing intermittent fasting, I was growing a belly again. Not good.
Reintroducing myself to OMAD
So I returned my attention to the success I had with OMAD a few years back, and earlier this year. But in each of those cases it was a one and done sort of thing, just to see if I could do OMAD. And I could, pretty easily. At the same time I started to do a google search for information about the benefits of OMAD as a regular meal schedule to follow.
One of my worries was about whether I would get hungry. Two guys I found on the internet acted tough and would say “So you’re hungry? So what? Being hungry is good for you.” Maybe, but not very inspiring or motivational. Kind of like hunger bullies. Then there was this little wirey muscular and chiseled guy someplace in Africa saying. “People ask me how they can look like me. And I say “Stop eating! Stop eating! Stop eating!!!” For some reason his delivery cracked me up. But his message got through to me. I eat too much.
I then checked out some doctors on YouTube that talk a lot about the merits of good nutrition and fasting. A few of those benefits are losing belly fat, losing weight, triggering human growth hormone, increasing testosterone, and triggering autophagy, where your system devours or destroys your junk cells, helping your personal digestive and cardiovascular system to reset. Sounds good to me. So I started to follow an OMAD eating schedule to see how long I could go without needing to revert back to two meals a day. Or three.
OMAD for 22 days
I started my OMAD schedule when I was 219 lbs on the July 5th , and by July 9th, just 4 days later, I was already 215. By the end of the next week on July 18 I was down to 211 where I stayed until the beginning of the next week when I seemed to get stuck at 209. And that’s what I weighed on July 27 when I started to really test my limits. A 3 day fast. But before I tell you about that I’ll tell you about my extended experience with OMAD
My experience with the OMAD schedule wasn’t bad. The first two days were the toughest, but by the third day my body was acclimated to eating only one meal a day. I don’t starve when I eat. I eat what I would consider a pretty good meal, but I don’t overeat. But even saying that, my caloric intake is about half of what is suggested for a guy my size and weight, or relative to my BMI, body mass index. It’s because of that caloric deficit that I ‘ve lost inches around my gut, and lost weight. I feel great. The OMAD schedule might not be for everyone, but it’s been working just fine for me.
Three day fast. Can I do it?
Based on my success with OMAD I thought I’d take the next step and do a three day fast. The first day went well. No problems, and no great need to eat. Same with the second day. No problems, no hunger pains, no headaches, no nothing. And I kept my mind and self busy with writing reports for work. That brings me to a benefit with both the OMAD and three day fast. I don’t get tired as often, I don’t feel a need to take a nap as often. In fact, not at all. My personal energy to get things done is elevated and consistent. No peaks and valleys. That is a very big change for me.
The third day of the three day fast went as well as the first two. So much so that I considered extending the fast another two days. By the start of the second day of the fast I was 206. By the start of the 3rd day of the fast I was 203. I think that’s where I’ll be on the morning after the fast since I broke my fast with a cup of bone broth, followed by a nice salmon with tapenade and ramen dinner about an hour later.
Here is a mouthwatering photo of a delicious salmon dinner. Enjoy!
What about the two day fast?
But wait! There’s more. The title of this musing is Fasting One Two Three. Where’s the two day fast? I’m glad you asked. Mathematically, chronologically, and sequentially I had already completed a two day fast one day before I started the third day of my three day fast. See how that works out? But there’s still more. After I had completed the the three day fast I reverted back to a two meal a day 16/8 schedule and followed that for three days. I had gained a pound to 204 on the scale. I was feeling fine, but I also thought that I wanted to try another three day fast. I didn’t follow through and changed that plan to a two day fast. By the end of the two days I was 201 pounds.
Doing a fast is a bit of a mind over matter thing and an acclimation thing. I would never have attempted to do an OMAD fast without having done 16/8 intermittent fasting for a while first and being acclimated to how my body responded to that meal schedule. Once I had been successfully practicing OMAD for over 3 weeks my mind and body were acclimated to not needing to eat all day long. I wasn’t starving, at all. So graduating to a three day fast proved to be no big deal. Very doable, and with great mind and body benefits.
Another thing I learned is to take supplements to replace the electrolytes your body may be losing during a fast. At first you’ll be losing a lot of water weight, and with that water, electrolytes that help your cells, muscles, and organs to operate in a healthy manner. Electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and sodium. Talk to your doctor about this if you are considering fasting. I’m not a doctor or a healthcare professional. I’m just some guy that is experiencing good results and benefits from fasting.
I also learned to focus on what I was eating when I was eating. Being intentional and mindful about every bite of food. Kind of being in the moment, because it was the only meal I was having for the day, so I wanted to enjoy it and appreciate it. Did I have any wine? Or beer, or cake and cookies? During my OMAD days, yes. Sometimes. But rarely. Being mindful about my meals made me mindful about what I was putting into my body. I found I was most likely to have a glass of wine with supper while on the road in a restaurant. One glass of wine, or one glass of beer. I mostly drink diet tea. It’s my drink of choice.
I think I’ll switch between the 16//8 and OMAD on a weekly basis. If I do 16/8 my first meal will be very light. But if I’m not hungry by the middle of the day I’m doing OMAD. From my recent experience that might be what I opt for more often.