My First 48-Hour Fast

❗️ tl;dr

  1. Prolonged fasting of 24 hours or longer - when done correctly - has enormous benefits for our health
  2. Top 3 benefits are: (1) Anti-aging effects, (2) Increased mental capabilities, and (3) Weight loss
  3. Although there are guidelines to follow, it’s not a one-size approach. Adjustments need to be made and consistency is key!

💪🏻 Benefits I experienced

  1. Mental clarity 22 hours into fasting
  2. Shoulder pain decreased dramatically (injury from a few months back)
  3. The meal I used to break my fast satiated my hunger pretty quickly (and it was a relatively small meal, nowhere close to a full day’s worth of food), meaning my calories are now naturally restricted

What happened?

Two things triggered me to seriously consider incorporating some sort of fasting routine into my lifestyle:

  1. The book “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris. In the “Health” section, many experts Tim interviewed mentioned the benefits of having regular fasts and how they incorporated some sort of fasting into their daily life
  2. My friend Shiva: a friend of mine and Product Manager at Google. He has practiced regular fasting for the past 5 years (as of 2022) and he is in top physical shape (he claims his health mainly comes from (1) Bodybuilding and (2) Fasting)

How did I prepare?

  • I did a lot of research (see “Additional resources” section below) prior to committing to a 48-hour fast. It seems that a 48-hour fast was the best option for me as it would “reset” my body and prepare me for weekly prolonged fasts moving forward
  • Although I could have worked up to a prolonged 48-hour fast (e.g. three 16-hour fasts), I opted to go for it immediately because (1) It served as a “Reset,” (2) A lot of benefits seem to exponentially increase after a 24 hour fast (but plateaus after 72 hours), and (3) A lot of the videos I watched claimed 48-hours to be the sweet spot and beginners are able to go right into it

How did it go?

  • To give a bit of context: I decided to fast from 6PM Sunday (taking my last bite of food at 6PM) to 6PM Tuesday (taking my first bite of food at 6PM). I’ll be referring to Monday as “Day 1” and Tuesday as “Day 2”

Day 1 up until 4PM:

  • I was a bit over-caffeinated since I had 2 large cups of coffee + 3 cups of green tea. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem but since I had all of this on an empty stomach I felt a bit jittery and not the top of my game
  • I was also hungry but interesting the hunger wasn’t bad at all. It was very easy to control and I didn’t crave any food (I think partially thanks to the fact that I prepared myself mentally for this 48 hour fast in the weeks leading up to this)

Day 1 at 5PM (after a workout):

After doing a light workout (70% of my usual sets and weight), my mind felt extremely clear and focused, and I felt extremely energetic
  • Scientifically, ketones are supposed to kick in 16 hours after you start fasting (and you feel super energetic, clear-minded etc.) And the reason this came at the 22-23 hour mark for me seems to be because the last bite of food doesn’t equate a fasted state. So I think the 16 hour starts the minute you actually go into a fasted state (digestion takes a few hours)

Day 1 at night:

  • Didn’t sleep very well. But this is to be expected

Day 2:

  • Although I didn’t get great sleep, I still felt great all day. I only had 1 cup of coffee and sipped on green tea until 3PM
  • I pushed myself to relax (lower my cortisol levels) in preparation for breaking my fast at 6PM
  • I didn’t feel too good breaking my fast with bone broth + red meat (I didn’t know you shouldn’t have red meat when breaking a fast) but after using the bathroom (sorry if that’s TMI) I felt much better
  • As I’m writing this article (at 8:55PM), I feel alert and energetic. It’s as if I just had a cup of coffee, this is a pretty new experience for me

What did you do?

(this is NOT medical advice, I HIGHLY recommend you do your own research first)

  • Prior to starting my fast on Sunday 6PM, I had a low carb, low fat meal
  • During my fast, I had coffee, green tea, salt water
  • I worked out at 70% capacity on Day 1, and did a 20 minute brisk walk + bike ride on Day 2
  • I broke my fast with pho soup (didn’t have the noodles because I learned you shouldn’t break a fast with carbs, with the exception of GI Carbs) and some beef (which turned out to be incorrect because you should ideally break a fast with lean white meat like lean chicken or fish)


Adjustments I’m going to make for next time:

  1. The 1 day prior to starting a fast I’m going to only consume 1 cup of coffee and then sip on green tea for the rest of the day (this is apparently beneficial to your digestive tract)
  2. I should take these supplements: Magnesium Glycinate (300mg per day), 2 teaspoons of salt for every day I fast, Alkaline water to combat acid reflux, Potassium (I need to figure out how much)
  3. Next time I break a fast, I’m going to eat: Rice cakes, Seaweed, and lean white meat
  4. I’m going to try weekly 36-hour fasts since that’s works better for my current lifestyle

Additional resources