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Important Lessons Learned from My First 3-Day Fast

Over the past several posts we have introduced the concept of fasting and different ways to fast, researched the scientific benefits of a 3-day fast, gave tips on how to prepare for a fast, and then shared my experience and video journal of a first-time, 3-day anti-aging fast. This post will summarize key lessons learned from my first 3-day fast and provide some final tips before you begin a fast of your own.

UPDATE: 4-Weeks Following My Fast

Water is important!

My first lesson learned has to be a reflection of what the 3-day fast changed in me as a person. What eating habits, hunger, weight, or other effects are lasting? Here are a few personal observations:

  1. Skipping a meal is okay! Prior to the fast my schedule revolved around mealtimes. It still does now, but I am more tolerant of skipping a meal or eating a bit later than scheduled.
  2. Water is important! I have always believed in drinking water first thing in the morning, but the 3-day fast made me realize how much water is in the food we eat. I am currently developing a new habit based on drinking half of my body weight in ounces of water every day.
  3. Eating habits effect your weight more than exercise. If you want to lose weight, changing what you eat will have a much larger effect than lots of exercise. More on weight later.

What Went Well in My 3-Day Fast

One thing I really expected from my fast was to have my willpower and resolve challenged. Frankly, I expected it to be hard to skip meals and that my days would be consumed by overwhelming hunger. To my surprise, I was not uncomfortably hungry even once during my 3-day fast. I believe this was due to how I prepared for the fast and the fact that I allowed coffee, tea, and MCT oil versus a strict water fast.

It is hard to tell if the fast provided me any of the scientific benefits I expected, including resetting my immune system, killing pre-cancerous cells, and delaying aging. The visible improvements to my skin after fasting for just a few days were positive, though not long-lasting.

Several Years Weight Graph - Lessons Learned 3-Day Fast

The weight-loss benefits of the 3-day fast will be important to many people. The below chart shows how my weight has changed over the past several years (as recorded by a $15 Bluetooth smart scale).

My weight has fluctuated (due to noise) at around an average of 170 pounds. When I first bought the scale and focused on my weight it dropped from 172 to 168. Then the COVID-19 pandemic began and, like many in the Personal Kaizen community, my weight increased to an average of about 171 pounds.

10 Week Weight Graph - Lessons Learned 3-Day Fast

Here is a more detailed view of how my weight changed during the fast and in the 4 weeks following the fast. I don’t think I need to label the dates of the 3-day fast! My weight began dropping a few days prior to the fast simply from cutting down on carbohydrates.

What is exciting is that my weight quickly jumped back up once I began eating again but then settled out at about three pounds lower than my average weight prior to the fast. I exercised during the fast and didn’t really lose any muscle mass – I think what I lost was all fat!

What I Will Change for My Next 3-Day Fast

My first 3-day fast was successful on multiple levels. My prep went well and I still have leftovers of all of the products. I had very few negative effects during the fast. With the lessons learned from my 3-day fast, here are the few items I will change next time:

  1. Drink more water: I will probably get and use a one-liter water bottle so it is easier to make sure I drink enough.
  2. Shorten prep: I started my first 3-day fast a day early since I was already nearly in ketosis after two days of cutting back my carbohydrates. I can probably prep for just one day next time.
  3. Use MCT oil earlier: The MCT oil seemed to help me get into ketosis more quickly. I will begin adding MCT oil to my coffee a day before the fast begins and continue during the fast. While this is cheating on the fast, I believe it increases the anti-aging benefits.

How Often Should I Schedule a 3-Day Fast?

Next Fast Scheduled for May 2022

I researched how long the benefits of a 3-day, anti-aging fast last and when it is beneficial to repeat the fast. A few of the benefits are worth repeating at least on a quarterly basis. That means I will plan on another fast sometime in May of 2022. Come back to this page in the future for an update on the results and lessons learned of my second 3-day anti-aging fast. We suggest you subscribe to receive the update in your inbox.

If any of our readers have tried a 3-day fast, or fasts of other lengths, please share your results and lessons learned in the comments below.

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