It’s fasting time!

My husband and I both started a fast last night.

He’s going to try for two days, as he’s never fasted before.

I’m planning to do four days. We started Sunday night, and I’ll go through until Thursday night, when we’re out to dinner just the two of us.

After that, the week gets a bit crazy, with my workplace Christmas lunch on the 2nd, and a family celebration on the 3rd.

So doing a short fast of a couple of days makes sense right now.

I view any fast less than a week as a short fast. I’m pretty experienced doing fasting these days, and in some ways I really enjoy it. I love the mental clarity it brings, and I always feel good afterwards.

Fasting is really best viewed as a deep clean for your body and brain.

These days I know enough to take some metamucil on day one, so I don’t get constipated, which fasting seems to do to me.

I also make sure I drink plenty of water, as part of the cleansing process.

As I get older, I’m starting to take much better care of my body. I’m exercising regularly (gym 5+ times a week, plus walks), and not eating so much rubbish. I’d say my diet is about 90% on point, with lots of veggies and proper meat (unprocessed). I feel more comfortable in my skin, and my body is generally in reasonable shape.

My husband isn’t so sure about the fasting, but he’s said he’ll give it a try. I think it might be easier if we do this together.


Q and A: The results of fasting

I’ve had a few questions about fasting recently, and how it affects me. So here’s a bit of a Question and Answer session 😸

I’m not a doctor, so all I can really comment on is how I feel when I fast, and the effects it has on me.

Physical benefits: I feel more alert mentally, and have lots more energy. My eczema disappears, as do my allergies (I’m an allergic sort of person) after about day 2. I just feel better and clearer-headed.

Weight loss: I generally lose about a pound a day when I fast, and I tend to keep about half of that off long-term (I’m much lighter than I was a couple of years ago when I started to improve my health).

Losing junk food addiction: I also find that any longer than about 3 days of fasting and junk food loses its appeal. Over the last two years of smaller fasts I’ve gone from eating junk probably 3-4 times a week to very seldom. And I feel better for it!

Why longer fasts?: I find fasts of a few days at a time much easier than the intermittent fasting that is all the rage right now. I tried intermittent fasting, and it always felt like I was deprived. I never got into the swing of it. I also never experienced the spiritual / emotional / mental benefits with intermittent fasting that I do with longer fasts.

Secrets to fasting: Drinking lots of water and tea helps. I think a lot of what we imagine to be hunger is actually thirst. Also, keeping busy makes things easier, especially for the first 48 hours (which are the hardest). I go for walks and also cleaning the house seems to be a thing I do when I fast.

Will I keep fasting?: Absolutely. I still want to do a much longer fast. My goal is 40 Days. I’m a long way short of that!

Other fasting experimentation: I’ve just started a new semi-fast. I’ll have a smoothie a day (1 cup blueberries, 1 cup milk, scoop of collagen and a scoop of whey) and Metamucil when I need it, as getting constipated seems to be a problem with me for the first couple of days of a fast at least. I’ll blog as I go and report back 😃

Would I recommend fasting: Yes, but be aware that I’m not a doctor and what works for me may not work for you. But I find the benefits are far stronger than any other health interventions I’ve tried.

Semi fasting

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting with fasting.

I love the way fasting makes me feel: I’m more alert, I lose weight, and any brain fog disappears. I feel healthy, and my mood stabilizes. I feel calm and positive when I fast.

However, there are some big downsides.

My kids worry when I fast. My daughter in particular doesn’t understand it. All she sees is Mum not eating, and she gets scared I might be sick.

There’s also the social aspect. It’s hard to go out for lunch with friends and not eat. Or to bake with my kids and not even try what they make.

So I’m going to try semi-fasting from today.

Total calories per day: less than 500, and ideally zero. Water and black / green tea only. Food to consist only of soups and smoothies.

I’ll track how I go 😃


I’ve decided I’m going to do a long fast.

I’ve done several shorter fasts before (five days or less) and I think I’m ready to tackle something bigger.

So tonight will be my last meal for a while – a piece of salmon, and some vegetables. Then I’ll start proper fasting tomorrow.

I’ve decided to document how I feel as I progress through the fast. I’m aiming for 40 days, but will see how I go. I’m a bit scared, to be honest – it’s a huge undertaking, and I think I’ll be stretched to my limits.

Whether I make it for that long or not, I intend that the next 40 days will be days of reflection, prayer and meditation, and light exercise to help me focus on my spirituality and on caring for my body properly.

Fasting for Easter

I’m starting a fast this evening, through until Easter morning and possibly beyond.

I’ve done fasting successfully before. The longest I have gone was just shy of five days, and even then I ended it not because I was desperate for food, but I just felt like I’d done enough.

If you’ve ever done a fast before, you’ll know what I mean.

So I’m going to eat today, breakfast and lunch (I don’t normally do breakfast) and then fast this evening onwards.

Why? Because I feel great when I fast, and also because I need to focus on something other than food for a bit. Fasting will give me the time and energy to do that.

I’ll also be doing a lot of prayer and meditation. I’m not a religious person at all, but this is one area of the OA program I’ve been weak in. I’ve done my readings, and I’m exercising more, but I stuck at prayer and meditation. A fast should give me time to focus on that.

I’m doing quite well at OA. I’m losing weight, and my relationship with food has improved incredibly. I still make plenty of mistakes, but I’m sticking with it, and it’s working for me.

So yes, this fast. It’ll be a challenge, as fasting always is. But I’m also looking forward to it.

Ideally I’d like to extend the fast for a month, or even 40 days, but I’ll start with my Easter fast, and see how I go.

I’ll check in here at the blog as I go through this. Wish me well 😃

Fitness, food and fasting

My weight is coming down nicely, and I’m starting to feel way better since fine-tuning my food plan.

This is what I do:

  • Low carb / no carb diet. I eat foods such as steak, salmon, eggs, roast chicken (from the supermarket), rabbit (we grow our own) with lots of salad and green leafy vegetables. I try to keep everything as simple as possible, and cook my meat in butter.
  • Intermittent fasting. I alternate days of fasting through to lunch and fasting through to dinner. So my week looks like Monday fast to dinner, Tuesday fast until lunch, Wednesday fast until dinner and so on. This means I eat 3 meals every 2 days.
  • Blood glucose monitoring. I’m currently wearing a Freestyle libre blood glucose monitor. I find the instant feedback enlightening and encouraging.
  • Fitness. My regime is just walking – I try to get in an hour a day.
  • Podcasts / videos. I listen to OA podcasts and watch videos by Dr Sten Ekberg as often as I can. The reinforcement of my food plan and the success of others motivates me.

I’m feeling better too, since I started eating really well. The low carb diet really helps keep my appetite under control, and the food tastes better anyway.

Lockdown is ending…sorta…

It’s Tuesday 7 September today. We got told, via the Podium of Truth that lockdown ends midnight tonight.

I’ll be working from home for another day and not going back to the office when everyone else does as I have three kids, and school doesn’t go back until Thursday.

I’ll be glad to get back to OA – my first meeting back will be on Saturday. I’ve needed the support and I haven’t had that. Zoom meetings are all very well, but they’re not the same as face to face meetings.

I’ve also decided to start fasting again. I’ll start with going breakfast and lunch free tomorrow, and take things from there. But I’m thinking about doing a full 7 Day water fast. I like the way fasting makes me feel, and I’m looking forward to it.

Apart from that, I’ve started daily walks. I’m actually just about to leave for my walk now. I figure I can go for a lunch hour walk every day and that will help me skip lunches. So from Thursday, when I’m back in the office, I’ll use my lunch hour to walk instead of eat. That should help.

I’m also going to ask for a Sponsor at OA when I get back. Hopefully someone will help me. I think so – they’re a lovely bunch of women.

So that’s where I’m at. Fasting, walking and working towards finding a Sponsor.

I’m starting to feel Hope 😃

Tools for fasting success: What you need

Losing weight and becoming healthier isn’t about buying expensive plans or special food.

It’s not about fancy gym memberships costing tens of thousands of dollars a year either.

I know this. I’ve tried these methods, and none of them worked.

To lose weight, you need to fast regularly. This will burn off the sugar in your system, then lower your overall calorie intake over the long term.

The good thing is, you don’t need many tools to fast successfully.

Tools for fasting successfully

Scales: You need a reliable scale – or a pair of tight-fitting jeans to measure your loss by. I prefer the “jeans method” myself!

Water bottle: You also need a decent sized water bottle to keep at your workplace and carry around with you. Drinking plenty of water is the key to successful fasting – it helps physically as well as emotionally, because you feel like you’re having something, even though you’re not.

Teas: I find a selection of lovely, high quality teas helps me work through difficult periods of a fast, especially for the times of the day when the rest of the family is eating and I’m not. I curl up in a ball on the sofa, and sip my tea, and I feel like I’m enjoying a treat and some solitude, rather than depriving myself.

Keeping busy: Keeping yourself busy is critical to a successful fast. I usually start my fasts on a Sunday night, so I’m fasting on work days, and am busy. The hardest times are weekends or times when I don’t have a lot to do, and food starts taking over my brain.

A notebook: You may find a little notebook useful. I write down how I’m feeling, how I’m coping, and even a ridiculous list of “all the food I want to eat right now” when times are tough on a fast. Weirdly enough, when I actually write down the foods I’m craving, the cravings go away. Maybe it’s because I usually crave junk food, but when you actually think about junk food deeply, you realise it doesn’t actually taste that good!

Waterfasting forum: The waterfasting forum s a great support network for people who are fasting. Keeping in touch with like-minded individuals who are going through the same things you are going through can really help a lot. There’s a link on this page. It’s free, and very worthwhile.

Metamucil: While technically a “cheat”, it you feel like you desperately need something in your stomach, a teaspoon of metamucil in some water can really help you feel full. It can also help if you find yourself constipated, which can happen to some people when they fast.

Diary: Everyone fasts differently. I tend to fast from most Sunday nights, continuing through the week until I stop, usually lasting anywhere between 3 and 5 days. That works for me. Others find alternate day fasting works better. Do what works for you. But keeping a diary of when you fast and for how long is invaluable in tracking your progress, what works and what doesn’t and why. Add comments on how you felt, what made you stop if you stopped earlier than expected, and how you’re feeling at various points during the fast.

Happy fasting!

Fasting is a high-level sport

Have you ever pursued a sport to a high level? I have. I was a long-distance runner for a while in my youth, then a competitive rower, and far more recently I did bodybuilding and weightlifting.

Sportspeople deal with pain all the time. It’s part of the deal. Any weightlifter or bodybuilder can tell you how much it hurts to get up a set of stairs after a good, hard leg day! It can be agony (ever wondered why weightlifters don’t like houses with stairs?) Yet in some weird way, you look forward to the pain, and even enjoy it, because you know that it is a part of achieving your goal.

Likewise, runners and rowers and all kinds of competitive sportspeople go through pain too in pursuit of their goals. Even a good long walk can leave you aching the next day. We know this is good for us, we enjoy it, it’s part of the whole package, we accept that, and we feel great as a result. Discomfort is part of the deal, but the rewards are overwhelming.

Fasting is similar. It can be a challenge and at times it can be uncomfortable. The most difficult part is the work that goes on between your ears – getting your brain on right, planning how you’ll deal with challenges, seeing the road ahead of you and knowing you have the resolve to get the job done.


Just like a long race, or a heavy set of squats, I believe fasting is easier when you work up to it. I started with part-day fasts – skipping breakfast, then delaying lunch more and more until I could skip it altogether. Then I missed one day of food, then two, and so on. If we started our new running hobby by attempting a marathon, we’d probably fail. By starting with smaller goals, we achieve success and that encourages us to strive for more and achieve larger goals if we choose to.


Yet, just like a marathon or lifting weights, this is not a competition against anyone else except yourself. Fasting is about self-mastery, not competition against someone else’s body or weight or age or ability. Your goal should always be to find your own personal best, not to topple or discredit someone else’s achievement.

So think of yourself as an athlete, in the fast lane. Fasting is a powerful tool – perhaps the most powerful health tool we have available. It would be a shame to refuse it, simply because we’re afraid to try.

Do you need to be religious to fast?

No, although a lot of religious people do fast.

I’m not religious, nor do I come from a religious family. I attended Sunday school when I was a child, then went on to sing in a Cathedral choir for a number of years. My children attend a Catholic school.

So while I say I’m “not religious” on the one hand, I’d say that I’m also quite comfortable and familiar with religion. A lot of people around the world are probably quite similar to me – in that grey area that lists ourselves as “not religious”, yet skirting the sides of the religious community in so many ways.

Fasting is something we see across the world in a lot of the major religions. It’s part of Lent for the Christian world, Buddhists are known to fast regularly, and Jewish people have their days of fasting and feasting. Its been said that fasting is the one thing that most of the major world religions agree on!

However, just because a practice is common in certain religions doesn’t mean you have to be religious to benefit from that practice. If it works, use it! If you want to reconnect with your religious roots, fine, but don’t feel like you have to.

As for me, I didn’t think at first that my fasting had anything to do with my religion, or lack of it. But as I delve more into fasting, and become more proficient at it, I find my mind becoming calmer, and I become happier and more content. I can’t say that I’m feeling the need to go back to church just yet, but I am feeling more at peace with myself. Perhaps you might call it more spiritual (but without the hippie overtones!).

Do what works for you. But don’t think that fasting has to be anything other than a dietary practice for health benefits. What you choose to make of it is entirely up to you. There are no rules. Just be happy, learn more about yourself, and enjoy the journey.

Enjoy the journey…

Short fasts are HARDER. Here’s why.

Let’s be honest: Fasting can be HARD. Especially the shorter fasts.

HUH? Did I just say the shorter fasts are more difficult?

Shorter fasts – and fasts where you get to eat, say, 500 calories on alternate days – are much, much harder than longer fasts where you eat nothing at all for a few days.

Let me explain why, because this absolutely makes sense when you think about it.


Our bodies are adapted beautifully for fasting. We evolved as hunter-gatherers, our main source of calories was animal foods through hunting, and we’d often goes days or sometimes weeks without much to eat.

Also, our food was seasonal. As anyone who has ever grown a fruit tree would know, nature often provides food in gluts. You either have no peaches or enough peaches for the entire neighbourhood! You either had enough wild buffalo meat to stuff yourself and your tribe, or the buffalo were nowhere in sight. That’s how nature works.

Before modern farming (10,000 year old farming techniques are “modern” to our hunter-gatherer bodies, remember!), our bodies were beautifully adapted to all this by putting on fat when we ate to the point of stuffing ourselves, then living off our fat in lean times in between successful hunting.

Women were – and are – able to store fat even more efficiently than men, because we needed to be able to carry children, give birth and feed them. It all makes sense.

Except now we don’t fast any more, because food is so ridiculously plentiful now that obesity is more common than underweight in the world.

I’m not saying this is bad or good, but it’s the way things are now. If we want to lose weight, it makes sense to return to old patterns of eating and to tap into the eat-fast cycles that our bodies are well adapted to.


Shorter fasts are more difficult because they’re not true fasts. Our bodies keep expecting food, our insulin and ghrelin levels never truly level out, and our bodies never fully move into a fasted state. They’re kept in a limbo – not quite fasted, not quite fed – with the result that hunger is more difficult to manage and the benefits of true fasting never emerge.


Several “alternate day fasting” programs allow up to 500 calories of food on the “fasting” days, as evidence seems to suggest that those 500 calories do not interfere with weight loss.

Maybe, but I speak from experience that when I tried one of these programs, on the 500 calorie days all I could think about was food. I was hungry all the time. I spent the whole day fantasising about what I might eat, and obsessing about those 500 calories. It wasn’t pleasant.

Eventually – a couple of weeks into the program – I slid off it. With no weight loss to speak of.

Now there seems to be evidence coming out that suggests that people on these programs end up much hungrier than if they ate zero calories on their fasting days. I’d agree with that. I think you’re better off fasting properly, and eating nothing on fast days. It’s much easier.


Not as hard as you’d think. I’ve found on 3-4 day fasts that the hardest day is day 1, about mid-afternoon. My body hasn’t yet realised I’m fasting, and I’m starting to get hungry because I’ve missed lunch.

At this point, I drink a fair amount of water – at least a litre (four cups) – over an hour or so, and sometimes more. It gives me something to do, and fills me up. It also seems to trick my body into thinking I’ve eaten.

In the end, the only way to figure out what you find hard is to try different lengths of fasts, and see what works for you.