After researching the scientific benefits of a 3-day fast, I decided the benefits were worth the potential discomfort of starving myself for a few days. But I had lots of questions first. Was this safe? When would I start? How would I maximize the benefits and minimize the pain? This post shares how I went about preparing for a 3-day anti-aging fast.
Is a 3-Day Fast Safe?
Don’t fast for more than 24 hours without first consulting a doctor, and be especially cautious if any of the following is true about you:
- You are younger than 25 or older than 65
- You are currently sick, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant
- You have a chronic illness, heart condition, or regularly take medication
I decided not to consulate with a doctor before starting my fast since I had none of the risk factors above and knew that nothing was preventing me from ending the fast early if needed.
Scheduling a 3-Day Anti-Aging Fast
I wanted the timing of my fast to not conflict with my normal work and family responsibilities. If you can convince a partner to fast along with you that will likely make the fast easier. I knew that I would be doing the 3-day fast on my own while working with clients and having my family go about their normal schedules and meals.
My recommended day to begin a fast is after an early dinner on a Thursday evening. If you can finish your low-carb meal by 6 PM, then your next meal can be a family dinner on Sunday. This also means that your Friday workday will be early on in your fast. I ended up beginning my fast after dinner on a Wednesday night – learn why by reading on.
I also suggest you adjust your meals for 24-48 hours before the fast and 12-24 hours after the fast. Since the goal of the fat is to delete the carbohydrates in our bodies and burn ketones for energy, your meals just prior to the fast and just after the fast should be low in carbohydrates and high in fats.
Maximizing the Benefits of a 3-Day Fast
Since I was going to go without eating for 72 hours after skipping breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I wanted to be sure to obtain the anti-aging benefits. This meant depleting the glycogen in my body quickly so my body could burn ketones for energy instead.
Others who have participated in a 3-day fast have had negative outcomes that I wanted to avoid. These negative outcomes included:
- Back pain from not moving enough
- Headaches caused by dehydration
- Headaches from caffeine withdrawal
- Muscle loss
- General weakness and lethargy
I was willing to make a few additional adjustments to a strict 3-day fast if I could obtain the benefits without experiencing the discomforts. Here are the ways I adjusted my 3-day anti-aging fast:
- I ate low-carb, high-fat meals for the 48 hours prior to beginning my fast such that I began the fast in a low-level of ketosis.
- I focused on walking or riding a bike several times each day of the fast and did my normal weight training routines to prevent muscle loss.
- I drank my normal levels of coffee (or tea, but not other caffeinated drinks with sugar) to avoid any caffeine withdrawal headaches. Both coffee and tea are approved to drink while on a fast.
- I “cheated” on my fast by consuming a tablespoon of MCT oil with my coffee. The MCT oil helped me get into ketosis faster and remain there.
- I drank lots of water (but probably still not enough) while occasionally adding sodium and mineral supplements.
I had great success in my fast by making the adjustments above. Our next posts will share the results of my 3-day anti-aging fast and lessons learned.
Products to Buy Before a 3-Day Fast
If you want to maximize the benefits of your 3-day fast there are a few products I recommend you purchase. This video will share the details:
Here are the products shared in the video. The total cost of all these products is about $40 – and I still have enough left over for another 4 to 5 fasts in the future. You will probably pay for this by not eating dinner on the first night of the fast!
- Ketone Test Strips – $6 for 150 strips
- Premium MCT Oil – $17 for 16 ounces
- Trace Mineral Electrolyte Supplement – $14 for 8 ounces
- Trader Joe’s Lightly Smoked Sardines in Olive Oil – $1.69 per 4.25-ounce tin (buy 3-4, at least)
Our next post will share the results of my first-ever 3-day anti-aging fast. I’ll explain how I used the products above and share a video journal sharing my mental and physical states during the 72-hours without food.