If you recall, I started this fast (you can find the details including the complete zero calorie day here & here) as both an experiment and as a quiet time to reset after 4 months of marathon training. Here are my thoughts on the final result:
- I did find myself able to meditate each day with little trouble, but of course that had little to do with fasting and more to do with just being ready to settle down. I'm hopeful the habit has been seeded.
- I went on two short runs, one gym workout and had one indoor cycle training ride on Zwift during the 5 days with little trouble. I did note that on the easy run on the morning following my zero calorie day my heart rate was elevated but I had little trouble with the actual run. I do not believe an athlete in training should fast, in my opinion it would be detrimental to adequate recovery.
- I lost a total of 5 pounds. Remember I didn't do this as a diet, but I know people will be pursuing fasting as a weight loss method. I lost 7 pounds in the first 3 days. 3 pounds on day one (grains, fruit, veg), 2 pounds on day two (fruit and veg) and 2 pounds on the complete fast day. Day four and five I gained back one pound each day despite eating no more than I did on day one or two. This is a clear illustration of the typical rebound effect people experience after calorie restriction. In my opinion, severe calorie restriction is a misguided method of losing weight. It is unsustainable and places people on the cycle of losing and gaining.
Upon reflection I feel that, for me, a whole foods plant based diet is more effective at maintaining health than a restrictive plant based diet with a fasting cycle. I've never had any trouble losing my initial weight (55 pounds) or keeping that weight off eating regular whole plant foods according to hunger. The stress of intermittent fasting does not appeal to my active lifestyle, nor my personal taste. Your mileage may vary. My personal philosophy is to eat a large breakfast, a healthy lunch according to hunger and a light dinner. I typically snack on fruit between meals. When I eat a small meal to end my day and allow 3 hours before bed on an empty stomach (aside from water and herbal tea) I sleep better and wake feeling energetic. When I snack at night I tend to sleep poorly and wake feeling sluggish. Your breakfast is a natural break of the fast (get it?) that should occur overnight.
This morning I returned back to my regular eating pattern. I also went on my longest run since the marathon (21km) and felt fantastic. I enjoy occasional days that are fruitarian based, especially in hot weather, but fasting isn't for me. No video from me today, but if you're considering a fast then this very recent video by "Mic the Vegan" does an excellent job of explaining the pros and cons of intermittent fasting (of various methods) and I'd encourage you to watch it before making your decision. Finally I'll say one more time, if you're diabetic, of poor health, pregnant, nursing or an athlete in training I do not believe fasting is a good idea.