Day 8, need some advice


I started my fast 8 days ago and for the most part it has been going pretty well. Taking in a lot of water, salt, and ketoade when needed but nothing else. Two days ago I hit a bit of a wall though, started feeling really week and lightheaded, very low energy and achy beyond belief (especially my lower back). I took some Tylenol and a some vitamins which help short-term but things return to normal not long after. The last 2 days have been pretty rough, mostly due to the back pain but I’ve powered through. Looking for some advice before I break the fast as I’m really trying for 10 days (just an arbitrary goal TBH). 32 years old, no health problems, 5’10" tall, 200lbs, BP 120/70, HR 65, Fasting glucose during fast 55-60, ketones since day 3 about 5.9 mmol.

Anything I can/should try before throwing in the towel?

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


At this point, I’d break the fast. Your body is essentially telling you to do so.

8 days is impressive!


Thanks Brian, I’m a stubborn Irishman but I need to be realistic. Hopefully next time around the aches and pains subside and I can go longer if I want. My guess as to what happened: back aches from toxins/sitting too much at work, poor sleep due to back aches, feel crappy during the day due to poor sleep. Just a theory. But I do know it all started within the same few hour period so there is some sort of correlation.

(Tim W) #4

When my wife and I are doing a long term fast she’ll ask me something like “since the paver guy is coming over to work on the yard, and you are going to help him, do you really think you should keep fasting if you are going to be doing all that physical labor?”

What she’s really asking me is, would you consider breaking your fast so I can break mine too?

We’ve both pushed through some really shitty days while fasting, low energy, headaches, days when every minute of the day was spent thinking “I can’t do this any longer, but I’ll wait another hour” or “WTF am I doing this?” or “if I break fast now, how will I feel if I don’t hit my target?”.

We’ve found that staying lightly active (cleaning out the shed, the closet, cleaning the house, browsing at home depot), getting plenty of sodium and other electrolytes and ensuring to spend some time reading/watching a movie that’s distracting help us get through the rough days.

We’ve also found there is a sleep cycle when fasting, a few days of only a few hours of sleep, waking up with a pounding heart beat (though it and BP is in the normal range) followed by a night of a solid eight hours, followed by a few more nights of rough sleep. Those rough sleep nights are the toughest and usually make the days the hardest.

So, I’ll ask you, what do you want the forums to tell you, to give you “permission” to break the fast? Only you can do that, you know yourself, you know if you are really hurting or just looking for a “way out”.

I don’t say this to be ornery, just to say that you know yourself. If you don’t make it to 10 days, there’s always time in the future to re-attack. Just be sure to learn any lessons you can from experience and, I highly suggest that before you start your next fast, you sit down and write why you are fasting, how long you are fasting and a few reminders such as “this will suck some days” and “don’t be surprised if you feel like shit”, things of that nature, they help on a psychological level.

Also, consider adding in a little fat, maybe having some bone broth, doing some small change like that, give it half a day and see how you feel. I did that my last 10 day fat (bone broth/HWC/coconut oil) and I felt guilty because the fast was the easiest I had done, I was so used to feeling like shit for a good period of the time, adding those in made it almost effortless (I know, it wasn’t a “TRUE” fast, for all you fasting police out there…).

Either way, you’ve done an amazing job making it to eight days, well done!


I really appreciate the response. I was not looking of permission as I really want to go ten days, I was more interested in similar experiences as you described. The shitty sleep followed by racing heart, etc is something that is easier to stomach when I know it’s “normal”. Fasting gives me an overall calm but when I’m fasting it’s pretty easy to notice little things my body is doing and over analyze. I was trying to be strict but if a little fat and bone broth keeps me going that’s totally worth it. I’m doing it for the low insulin levels more than the “detox” so a couple calories here and there are fine with me if it helps me get through. Thanks again.

(Tim W) #6

You are welcome.

If you are open to the addition of bone broth and a little fat, it can make all the difference in the world, that or some HWC in your morning Joe, wait a few hours/half a day and re-asses how you feel (just be near a bathroom the first time you consume ANYTHING other than water/black coffee etc. :wink:

When my wife was struggling at one point during a long fast (she got behind on sodium) I advised her to have some broth with a little butter and sodium, she did and waited another 24 hours, she continued to feel like hell so she broke fast, ate two days, and then went another 12, you have to do what works for you.

(Tim W) #7

How are you making out? Did you decide to break fast?

No shame either way!


I’ve had 3 cups of bone broth over the last day or so, a couple with some butter. Also, a few macadamias. That definitely helps, especially in the short term. Overall I know I could power through another day but I’m still debating. My head fog is at about a 8/10, slept fairly poorly again, and without Tylenol I’d be in agony because of my lower back. I’ll see how today shakes out as I’d love to go another day but I have to be realistic. If I could lounge around the house instead of working all day I think this would be a different experience entirely, but sadly that’s not the case. I will say though, this has been an awesome experience overall.

(Tim W) #9

Sounds like it’s still a tough slog. The thought of just chilling out is a double edged sword, it allows one to keep energy expenditure low but, in my experience, results in fixating on the fast. I enjoy staying moderately active (busy work like spreadsheets, writing, message board posts keep me distracted…).

Good on you for your perseverance, you are (most likely) going to feel GREAT a few days into the re-feed.

Take Care.


I’ve read quite a bit on the subject but curious what your thoughts are on how to break the fast? For the shorter 4-5 day fasts I’ve usually done a few nuts and maybe olives, then a little later a salad or something. Never had an issue but since this one is longer I figured I’d ask.

(Tim W) #11


Thank you!

(Tim W) #13

You are welcome!


This happened to me the first time I did an extended fast, on the start of day 5 my lower back started hurting like a mother, and on day 6 it completely locked and I decided to stop the fast. After I stopped it took me about 4 days to recover and be pain free again, no one could explain the reason for this pain.

The month after that I did several short 2 and 1 day fasts, to test the waters, and exercise the fasting muscle as they say. And then I did a 7 day, and there was no back pain at all. I just wanted to share that something similar happened to me, scared the crap out of me that time, couldn’t find a reason for it, but it didn’t happen again the next time (at least for me). So my advice would be to stop, let your body recover, then try again … but all i got is some anecdotal experience, so take it or leave it really :blush:


That’s almost my experience to a T. Yep the back thing is a mystery. I did read somewhere people were blaming toxins being released by the intestines interfering with the spinal cord. To me that seems a little iffy but it’s the best I’ve heard.

I decided to break my fast today, after 4 days of feeling like hammered shit I figured it was time. And the difference between 9 days and 10 isn’t a lot in the grand scheme.

Another source of some of my symptoms seemed to be just getting sick. Now that I’ve broken the fast I can see that I am coming down with some type of cold. While fasting everything gets blamed on the fast of course.

I’ll get back on the horse in a few weeks. Despite all my “issues” it was still a very positive experience overall.

(Tim W) #16

Good job of listening to your body!

Your experience reminds me of my first few fasts, at one point I had a pain in my lower abdomen, it would come and go, then go away as I fed. I got checked out for a hernia and it was negative so I just kept calm and fasted on. It went away, never to return after a few months of 3/5/7 day fasts.

Enjoy the re-feed, capture any lessons learned (should have used more sodium, don’t take XXX on an empty stomach, drink YYY when famished, that sort of thing) and prepare to kick some body fat ass in the future!

Nice job Rian! You join a very small club, how many do you think it could be (folks who purposely go 9 days without eating…)? Has to be less than a couple 10 thousand or so? I know in my personal circle of several hundred people (work/family/neighbors/acquaintances) I know two, my wife and I. So, let’s say 2/200 = 1%, I wonder if that scales for the US population? Either way, welcome to the club and excellent job!


Thanks for the kind words, I’m enjoying the refeed now and looking forward to my next fast. It’s nice to have a good support network of people who have done this before and know what to expect.

(Tim W) #18

You bet!

Let me ask you was the re-feed as good as you anticipated?

I often feel dissapointed after a fast, I have food dreams and think about what I’m going to eat for days, and then, I start eating and I think… it’s food… yes, it tastes good but… it’s only food. I think that’s a powerful lesson from this kind of thing, it’s fuel for our body, not a treat. That’s one of the dangerous things about the SAD these days, every meal has to be a tasty, delicious (sweet…) treat! It’s not just food, it’s pleasure, and fun, and rewarding! Sometimes, it’s just supposed to be nutrition for your body and it’s not always a good time (though there is a time and place for that). I often eat sardines, don’t really like em, have to eat em with other things, but the nutrition is worth it, I grin and bear it and eventually will get used to them, kind of like drinking keto aid.

But, I digress, enjoy the meals!


My reefed went well in terms of things settling well and giving me a boost. I bit my tongue and cheek so there was definitely some relearning there lol. As for being blown away by flavors…nothing has done that so far as I’ve kept if fairly simple. When I broke my fast and even a few times on the days leading up to the end I had some bone broth with butter, that is still by far the most delicious thing I’ve consumed recently.

One thing I noticed after this fast, and even after past water/juice fasts is there is a serious palate reset. Healthy foods taste better, junk food tastes gross, and overall cravings go way down. The last couple nights I’ve had that “crack slaw” everyone was talking about. It’s pretty bland and simple but it does the trick. Before keto it would have been a very unfulfilling meal, lately it’s a healthy meal that doesn’t take much effort so I’m content.

Tonight I’m having steak as I want to feast over the weekend and start another 5 day fast likely Monday. We’ll see how much easier the next one is.