28 Day Fast for a 50 Year Old Newbie

(Mike) #1

I have been researching water fasting for about 3 weeks now, looking through internet articles, blogs, podcasts (very little out there on podcasts - someone should start one!), books, etc.

I am a 50 year-old white male, 251lbs, 6’-1” tall. I go to the gym 5 times per week and hit the weights. I don’t do cardio much at all, most of what I do is upper body/leg workouts. I alternate the body part I am working out and these workouts last about 1 hour each day.

I decided to start a 28 day fast last week Wednesday. Unfortunately, I had to stop 2 1/2 days into it for family reasons.

In that time I tested on my Keto using strip and didn’t get to ketosis yet. However, I learned some things (like I think I had an issue with drinking too much caffeinated coffee for too many year…) as I had headaches for about a full 1 1/2 days of the fast.

I have a doctor appointment scheduled for this coming Monday morning at 8am. I plan to start my 28 day fast on Sunday morning (the day before.). I want my doctor to give me my yearly exam (I am 50 so it is covered by my insurance) and do bloodwork.

I will document my fast if that is helpful to anyone in the forum.

Also, I could use some input from those here who have gone through an extended fast. QUESTION: Is the bloodwork that I can do on my own (without the use of a doctor’s office) sufficient to do a long-term fast safely?

Looking foward to seeing what a fast can do for me.


Congratulations on the adventure!

If you are using monitoring to determine if your body has excess ketones, keep in mind the AM measurements will generally be significantly lower than PM measurements.

Water and Salt are your friends, use it to help keep your mind and body clear.

(Mike) #3


(Mike) #4

Well …finished my 21 day fast. Here are the daily write-ups:

Fasting experience

1/14/18 - day 1
Weight: 251.4
Morning glucose: 95
Morning- no hunger.
Evening: Glucose: 79
Bit of a headache around 6pm. I have been making sure that my water intake is sufficient. Had some pink salt.

Blood pressure:

1/15/18 - day 2
Weight: 247.5
Morning glucose: 100
Morning- no hunger.
Evening: Glucose: 110
Evening: ketones 5 mg/dL
headache was gone. I have been making sure that my water intake is sufficient.

I sure wanted food today. No, I wasn’t hungry at all. Food (at a restaurant) can have an inviting ambiance. I was really looking for the ambiance. The thought of going out to eat appealed to me. Rather than do that, I went to Starbucks and bought a water. I got the ambiance without the food!

Stomach started growling for a bit at 6:30 pm tonight. Not sure why.

My tongue turned a bit white today.

I am at a loss as to whether those who are fasting should do any fitness. I did a bit of weight lifting.

Blood pressure:

1/16/18 - day 3
Weight: 244.7
Morning glucose: 86
2am ketones: 15 mg/dL
Morning- no hunger, though stomach was growling. Burping a few times too in the morning.

Did some weight lifting today. Down a bit on energy but not too much.

Dreams: lots of dreams last night. I went to sleep about 8:30 and slept really well. But, I woke up at 1:30am unable to get back to sleep. I spend the next hour reading on my Kindle app. After I went back to sleep, I found myself turning a bit in the bed , and had a dream after each one after about 2am. One dream had a bear going into a car that I drove passed and I decided to shoo him away by taking the Cadillac I was driving and swinging it at him.
Evening: Glucose: 85
Evening Ketones: 80 mg/dL!!
Blood pressure:

1/17/18 - day 4
Weight: 242.0
Morning glucose: 78
ketones: ??
Morning ring finger : tight
Morning- no hunger but my stomach was growling.
12:37pm glucose: 67
I went to bed at 9:30 pm and got up at 7:30am but was pretty tired. I had a wonderful sleep, not turning much at all. If I had any dreams I don’t remember them. Bad weather allowed me to go back to bed since I didn’t have to get up to go to work until late morning. Starting today, as a precaution, I will slowly get out of bed and sit on the end. This will assure I won’t get up to fast. They say dizziness can come about when fasting because of getting up to quickly.
I did not have much energy this morning… just wanted to sleep.

I regained strength throughout the day. I bought some Electrolyte water and that seemed to help. I also learned to breath deeply, exhale slowly, and slow down a bit.
— no fast moves.

I felt fine at my office today. Having things to do a my desk kept my mind off of my fast. While I am not at all hungry I do think of food. Food smells don’t bother me. My wife ate at the dinner table while I sat next to her and logged this evening’s glucose score. No problem for me.
Blood pressure:
Evening: Glucose: 75

1/18/18 - day 5
Weight: 240.7
Morning glucose: 60
Ketones: highest level!!
I didn’t sleep very well last night. Maybe because I was cold. Slept better after I added another blanket.
Woke drained this morning but once I got some water in me I felt better. I bought some electrolyte water and it was either that or the fact that I was more awake. Found a good deal on a gallon of electrolyte water at Walmart $0.80 from Gerber foods. Savings??
My stomach continues to gurgle, not sure why. It hasn’t seen food for days now. Maybe it’s just the water making its way around?

Blood pressure - up today. Maybe because I have had some Himalayan salt to offset the fact that I am not getting salt from diet?
Evening glucose: 65

I bought some Dear Park Sparkling Mandarin Orange drink. It was a welcome treat over unfavored water.

Today a cookbook arrived. I bought it for my wife and I. My hope is that once I am finished with my 21 day fast, I will still be in Ketosis and then I can slide into Keto meals, continuing to lose weight even after I start eating again.
Blood pressure:

1/19/18 - day 6
Weight: 238.5
Morning glucose:77
Ketones: highest level!!
I had a rough sleep last night, but it may have had little to do with the fast. This week the outside temps are unseasonably cold for us. My bed is directly under the air duct. One of the “side effects” of water fasting is that you feel colder than normal. I kept going from cold to to warm to cold last night. I think I was cold when the air was blowing on me and too warm when it wasn’t. This kept waking me up.

I was tired this morning and a bit weak until I took some water. I seem to perk up a few hours after I wake up and am better throughout the day.

Went to bed at 8:30pm tonight… that is unusual for me. I usually go to bed at 10:30 at the earliest. Eating nothing means I have more time in my day to get things done. It also refocused your attentions. I don’t need to be racing here and there in my day. I can slow down. I find myself relaxing more.
Evening glucose: 74
Blood pressure:

1/20/18 - day 7
Weight: 237.2
Morning glucose: 65
Morning- no hunger.
Evening: glucose: highest!
I had a bowel movement today. That was a bit of a shock, actually! Unfortunately it didn’t change my weight at all…bummer! Had 1 uncrushed granule of pink salt this morning to be sure my salt is safe.

I move to two different locations last night in the house to sleep. My back was hurting a bit, likely caused by my sleeping so long. I finally woke this morning at 6:45am. Counting the time awake (which was probably an hour), I got over 9 hours of sleep. You would think that I would have woken refreshed and ready to run a marathon… but I woke the same as all of the other later days of the fast… a bit weak. It takes about 1-2 hours for my body to bring up the strength level for the day. But I am not complaining.

The end of this day marks my 7 day fast point. It was at about 6pm 7 days ago that I ate my last bit of food.

My Week’s Review: My plan was for a 21 day fast. I am 1/3 the way through! It actually went by fairly quick.

My biggest hurdle was one in my mind. I read that fasts if greater length than 3 days should be supervised by a physician. So, on the day after my fast started, I went to my doctor and got a physical (with blood-work) and told him I would be water fasting. He didn’t look at all shocked. He then said that they have an excellent weight loss program at his office. As I recall, that program is one that utilizes medication. It also costs over $1000 for the month. I didn’t reply other than to say, “ok.” I was wrestling with whether I should fast for 21 days if I didn’t have doctor supervision. I gave in and just decided I would do it. I don’t think my 1 visit to the doctor constitutes a “supervised” fast, but I found no one in my area that does it. So, I am supervising myself.

How did I supervise myself? Every day of the week during this fast I took my weight immediately after using the restroom, but not before I checked my ketone level. After showering I checked my glucose level. I drank at least 3 liters of water every day. I also visited a local pharmacy that has a blood-pressure machine. This machine sends my daily info to a website where I can log in and view my readings. Around 5-6 pm each day I took another glucose reading.

Evening glucose: 68

Blood pressure:

1/21/18 - day 8
Weight: 235.7
Morning glucose: 69

I went to bed last night at about 8:30 and fell asleep. I got woken up by a text to my phone and, since my mind is more focused, had a really hard time getting back to sleep. This caused me to be weak during the day. I was much rejuvenated after I took a two hour nap, so much so that my wife even noticed the greater amount of energy I had and a better spirit.

My tongue is more coated today that past days. I noticed that I needed to drink more water since my mouth was dryer than it has been.

I noticed this morning that I had some pimples on my face. Since I usually associate pimples with bad food choices ( I.e. an over abundance of sweets), I was at a loss as to why after 8 days these appeared. I read that this is a sign one sign that the body is cleansing itself. The other major sign, of course, is the white tongue.

Evening: glucose: 65

1/22/18 - day 9
Weight: 234.4
Morning glucose: 66
Not much to tell today though I had another bowel movement. What’s with that? I was weak all day today even though I slept well last night. I got just over 8 hours of sleep. I have been taking little pieces of Himalayan salt a few times a day. As an electrolyte I am hoping it will give me energy… not sure it has.

I looked on the internet for reasons for the weakness. Many places indicate that while the body is getting rid of toxins the faster will be weak. I have no idea if that is true unless I continue fasting after all my toxins are gone… not sure I will be doing that.

Today is the first day I considered breaking my fast. Though I am not at all hungry, I wanted to eat. I thought about the fact that I am almost half way through my initial 21 days… so I might as well finish. If I lose a pound per day, that will take me to about 220, or a loss of 31 lbs. I have not weighed that amount in many years! I keep reminding myself that this fast hasn’t been too bad.

I have the benefit of having a desk job. Sure, I move around throughout the day, but I am not on my feed all day. I would not recommend a long-term water fast for people who have to stand for long periods of time or who’s job is physically exerting.

I took extra salt this evening. I also had a hot cup of orange, decaf tea.

Evening glucose: 79

1/23/18 - day 10
Weight: 234.4
Morning glucose: 61

I have no idea how I went through my day yesterday and lost no weight.?? Maybe tomorrow will show better results.

I have started to use ingestible peppermint essential oil for my breath, when necessary. It seems to work well and I don’t think it has caused me any problems. I don’t use much because it is very potent.

I went to sleep last night at 9pm and slept very soundly until just after 3am. I laid in bed for about an hour then got up and got ready for the office. I had more energy today than most of these latter days of the fast. Was it because I took an extra amount of salt last night? Was it the tea I had a few hour before bed?

I am wondering if the extra salt led to my not losing any weight. Did I lose weight and have water retention from the salt (which evened out my weight?) I will stay off the salt tomorrow and see what happens.

Evening glucose: 72

1/24/18 - day 11
Weight: 232.2
Morning glucose: 67
I felt good today, not quite as good as yesterday. My tongue is still white and I have noticed that my mouth and throat get dry easily. As a result, I think I am probably drinking more water than prior days. This started yesterday.

Evening glucose: 68

1/25/18 - day 12
Weight: 232.2
Morning glucose: 65

People who don’t know I am fasting are beginning to notice my weight loss. A Co-worker mentioned it to me.

I started to think that possibly I was low on electrolytes. I have read if the increased energy that fasting can give, but I have yet to experience that. So I headed to Walmart to see if I could find potassium tablets. The recommended daily amount is 4700mg. Unfortunately, most tablets are less than 100mg! Yikes! At that rate, I’m going to need 47 of those pills per day! I drove to a local health food store. There I found a powder that contained 448mg per 1/4 tsp. The directions stated not to exceed 2 servings per day. I used it twice today and I think it worked well. In fact, I got in about 45 minutes of gym time under it! I will start using it when I get up each day and at mid-day and see how I feel. While the directions state that it should be taken with food, I just mix it with about 1 cup of water, hold my breath and down it, then follow with lots of water to get rid if the slightly salty taste.

I refrained from any salt intake today since it is obvious that it causes me to retain water (about a pound per day of use.) We will see what happen on the scale tomorrow morning.

Evening glucose: 71

1/26/18 - day 13
Weight: 230.8
Morning glucose: 77
Today I am really excited. I am so close to being in the 220s! I have not been the the 20s for many years.

Having no salt yesterday meant that I dropped my weight again. It may be that I was overzealous in the amount of salt I took. At a later date I may try a very small amount to see if that has any negative weight consequences.

My morning glucose level is up from the numbers at the later portion of this fast. I am wondering if the potassium has anything to do with it. I did get about 8 hours of sleep last night… maybe that did it.

My dress shirt kept coming I ticked today. I have already tightened my belt 1 notch and there are no other notches available.

Today I had no problems to speak of. Living without eating is my new norm for a while. I am not hungry, even though my stomach growls now and then. Maybe it’s the water I drink… it sure isn’t the food!

As a “staple” I continue to drink the electrolyte water that I get in gallon jugs from Walmart ($1 each.) I buy 1 gallon for each day I keep a few gallons in my refrigerator at work and a few at home. I started to buy some flavored sparkling water, making sure there are only 3 ingredients: water, co2, and natural flavors. I don’t think I ever would have bought this before (it’s not very flavorful) but when you haven eaten in almost 2 weeks it’s actually a treat!

I gat a card in the mail today from my doctor. One day after my fast began, I went in for a physical that included some blood work. I called the doctor’s office and learned that my bad cholesterol was up and my good down. They were ready to call in a prescription but I stopped them, saying that I would be getting blood work done again in 2 weeks and after those results come back we can see what things look like. I read online that cholesterol readings tend to elevate during a fast because the body is stirring up stores of undesirable materials and expelling them into the circulation to eliminate them from the body. After the fast they should lower below what they were before the fast.

Evening glucose: 67

1/27/18 - day 14
Weight: 229.5
Morning glucose: 68
Felt a bit weak on the morning so I took my 1/4 tsp of potassium citrate with water. That helped a great deal. I then headed to the gym for some cardio. I want to find out if it will contribute to greater daily weight loss.

In the evening I had a bowel movement. Can’t understand that! But, from what I have read from others who have posted on water-fast blogs, this is not unusual.

1/28/18 - day 15
Weight: 228.8
Morning glucose: 75

Today was not much different than other later days of the fast. I wasn’t dizzy at all, my energy was sufficient, and still no one at my office has figured out that I am fasting,

1/29/18 - day 16
Weight: 228
Morning glucose: 64

I felt tired today, even though I had a good, long sleep, probably about 8 hours long. My tongue is still a white/yellow color. My thought gets easily dry during my sleep. This morning I woke with a bit of red eyes and dry mouth. I am wondering if I didn’t get enough water before going to bed.

Today my saliva was a bit foamy. I have no idea what that was about, one blog poster said it had to do with the body continuing to remove toxins as I read questions on blogs and people’s answers I realize that there are knowledgeable people out there is the topic of water fasting, and then there is everyone else. Toxin removal seems to be everyone’s reason for everything uncertain. So, I am still not sure why my saliva was foamy. I think it might just be not enough water.

My weight loss has slowed down. I lost less that 1 pound yesterday. This is normal from what I have read.

I took some Himalayan salt before going to bed. I wanted to see if it would give me more strength. It will probably give me some water gain too.

Evening glucose: 64

1/30/18 - day 17
Weight: 226.6
Morning glucose: 60

Evening glucose: 65

1/31/18 - day 18
Weight: 226
Morning glucose: 59

I think this mornings was the lowest glucose reading I have had the entire time I have been fasting. It went up throughout the day so Zo was not concerned.

I slept well last night, going to bed at 10:30pm and waking at 6 am.

I have to say that I am ready soon to finish my fast. While still not hungry, I am ready to eat food again! Looking forward to eating 2-3 meals per day. I will cease the fast when I get to 30lbs lost. My plan is to get on a Keto diet to continue to lower my weight, though it will not be as quick or easy as I have experienced with water fasting .

My mind was foggy today. I had a difficult time counting out cash money. Had to do it three times to get it right and there were only 20s and 10s.

Evening glucose: 69

2/1/18 - day 19
Weight: 225.3
Morning glucose: 65

I had a great sleep last night! I went to bed at 10:30pm and got up with my alarm. I feel rested and ready for the day!

My mouth was dry after I woke up… it almost hurt. So I took plenty of water. I don’t know why this is a problem during my later days of fasting. I am drinking all the time.

Evening glucose: 69

2/2/18 - day 20
Weight: 225
Morning glucose: 68

Had plenty of salt last night… that’s likely why my weight didn’t go down much.

Evening glucose: 67

2/3/18 - day 21
Weight: 224
Morning glucose: 78

Ate watermelon at 1:30pm

Glucose 15 after: 70
45 min after: 98
60 min after: 84

(Mike) #5

How much salt is recommended? And I assume something link pink Himalayan is preferred?

(Raj Seth) #6

Pink Himalayan salt is marketing hype IMHO. I do use itl. But for my extended fast I’m using regular iodized table salt and Morton’s lite salt. That way I have sodium, potassium and iodine.

(Renee) #7

What happened next? Did you make it to 220lbs? What did you start eating? How much did you eat at the beginning? Are you eating keto meals only?

(Mike) #8

Yes, I made it to 222 lbs (30lbs exactly) after 21 days of water-only fasting (and salt.). It was a great experience. I am now eating Keto, mostly one meal per day and doing very well!

I foolishly followed some online advice to eat watermellon in small increments the first few days … then add apples. The problem is that I went from eating nothing to eating carbs!

The next time I fast for an extended length of time I will break my fast with a few nuts … some sour kraut, etc …

(Renee) #9

Very cool. So with eating only keto, have you continued to lose weight? How did you decided to go for 21 days?

Nuts are a good idea. Macadamia nuts, keto’s best friend :smile:

I’ve been stalling a bit on keto, and just watched Science of Fasting on Amazon Prime. Now I’m excited about it and what to try it myself.

(Devon Lantry) #10

Agreed. Mineral content in pink salt is pretty negligable, and you miss out on the free government iodine…

(Mike) #11

Renee, I gained a bit after the fast. This is entirely normal. In fact, with other fasts for weight loss I have come to the conclusion that I should shoot for about 6 pounds lower than I intent to stay so that when I bounce back after eating I will be about right. :slight_smile:

(Adrienne P.) #12

this was fascinating to read. thanks for sharing.

(Mike) #13

You are welcome!


Hey! Congrats on the journey. I’m curious, why were your blood pressure readings deleted? I reset my blood sugar by water fasting for 2 weeks but my blood pressure didn’t reset, so I’m going to try it for a longer period this time and see what happens. I also have the pink salt and wondered how it might help/hinder my progress.

(Douglas Reinhart) #15

Thank you for sharing!
I am also 50 years old now and 6’1"
I dont work out but I am quite active between my job and recreational activities.
I am 99% vegan with the exception of the occasional cookie that has butter in it.
I am a recovering sugar freak.
Quit alcohol 10 years ago but never really lost my paunch. I have hovered inthe 183-190 lb range since kicking tje booze. When i was drinking i was over 200 lbs and bloated to tje max.
I am a recreational eater in that I rarely allowed myself to get hungry with real hunger pains.
Last year for 6 weeks I tried IF and I was always quite hungry and ended up overeating during the 8 hour window.
I didnt lose any weight after 6 weeks and stopped the IF.
So today right now , I am on my 4th day of a water fast and it is going pretty good. This is my very first water fast. The hunger pangs seemed the worst on the first day. I did have a slight headache with throbbing the first day. I work on my feet in the deli at a very busy supermarket.
Today I went snowboarding ,including a 30 minute uphill hike with my board.
I plan on snowboarding again tomorrow as well.
The next day I hope to snowboard in the morning and then go to work.
I am use to this schedule of both riding almost everyday in the daytime and working 5 or 6 nights a week .
Its not new to me but doing all that while fasting is new to me.
I will take it one day at a time and listen to my body.
The idea of Water only fasting has lurked in the back of my mind for some time and then all of a sudden 4 days ago I just decided to Just Do It.
And by that I mean I just wanted to see if I could go a whole day.
Then I added a day and so on .
I have been reading alot of info and about experiences of different people on fasting from different corners of the web.
Today I read that it CAN take up to 7-10 days to get into ketosis.
I believe that is my situation just because my breath doesnt smell as far as I can tell.
At the start of my fast I probly weighed 185 -190 lbs. Not very scientific I know. Thats about what I weigh usually. In the last 10 years, i never weighed less than 183 lbs. Its weird how Inever weighed less than that .( I have NOT been in the 170 range since i was in high school in the 80’s)
Since I started fasting I still have not been on a scale believe it or not.
I am just glad that I have proven to myself that I have enough will power to go a full day without eating.
I did notice improved mental clarity by day 2 so that was inspiring for sure.
I dont own a scale but i will probably get one.
Sorry about the long ramble.

(MyLove MyLife) #16

Amazing, Thank You for sharing your experience :slight_smile: Good to see the details of the fast.

(Douglas Reinhart) #17

To add to my comment above.
My body type is what would call skinny fat.
Overall i dont look too outta shape but if i try i can stick out my belly way too far.
I was surprised ti read that if youare 6’1" you can weigh as little as 148lbs and still have a healthy BMI.
I would like to see what I look like at 175 lbs or less.
Maybe get down to the 160 range.
Btw I also noticed that I get cold easier sometimes but not all the time.
Today I was snowboarding in 20° F weather and i felt fine.

(Doug) #18

Pretty darn good, Doug. It takes some people a while to work up to 4 days or more of fasting. And resisting the effects of working in the deli - kudos.

I think that fasting, per se (aside from considerations like already having been eating ketogenically), will put most of us in ketosis by the 2nd day(?), since we’re switching over to burning fat. High insulin resistance will effect this, so I don’t claim it for everybody, necessarily, but it sounds like your energy level is okay so I bet you’re burning fat fairly well.

I’ve fasted over 20 times, three to ten days each time, and it’s really rare that I notice my breath - just a handful of occurrences. The fat-burning I take for granted.

Good luck.

(Douglas Reinhart) #19

Thanks alot for the Kudos, Doug.
The first day of my fast, I absentmindedly taste tested a tiny bite(could fit on a teaspoon) of some sweet poundcake that I had never tried before. Totally forgot I was on a fast… After i ate it I was like: oh no!
But since then the only thing I have ingested besides plain tap water, was a couple glasses of water which i added some iodized salt packets and a couple glasses of water with lemon juice from a squeeze bottle. The lemon juice has an added ingredient of : potassium metasulfite.
Did a little research on alkaline ionized water but it seems like that could be a fad. What do you think, Doug?
Working in the deli preparing yummy looking salads was actually not even tempting.
I have been quite surprised about that.
I believe the immediate short term success I have had ,along with the mental clarity have given me plenty of reason to carry on one day at a time.
Thanks for the feedback!

(Douglas Reinhart) #20

Oh, I totally forgot that each morning I had two cups of black coffee.