Prolonged fasting 72 hours?


(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #1

So I got some issues with bad joints and some inflammation I need to work to improve. Been reading a lot about prolonged fasting and how it affects the body. And then I came to think of the various fasting retreats I’ve seen while traveling in Europe. They do hard core versions up to 14 and 21 days, and been doing so for more then a few hundred years. I am not going to fast that long.

It seems that most of the benefits from fasting can be had even in just 72 hours. Fat loss, stem cell stimulate, cell rejuvenation and autophagy.

First week of august I am entering a program for weight loss. It is a 6 week “fat camp”. With focus on exercise. Several sessions a day. Three most days and 2 during weekends. I am looking forward to that, but I am also scared. Scared because I know I get joint pain when I move too much. But I also know they are making individual plans for each person. So that we start out with as low intensity as need be, and gradually moves on during the 6 week course.

I can’t walk and talk at the same time today, as I gasp for air after just a minute of walking. So it can only get better from here :smiley:

To help myself I am thinking of doing whatever I can do to get ready for fat camp. So I am considering doing two 72 hours fast over the next 5 weeks. I know it might seem crazy but I need for my body to work at its best so I don’t need to sit at the bench with pain rather then actually participate and do 3 work out sessions a day. I am thinking if I start this weekend with a 72 hour fast it is in fact a month to the next 72 hour fast.

1: Will I be able to get any reduced inflammation or less joint pain by doing the 72 hours fast twice over next 5 weeks?
2: Will I somehow mess up the keto life by doing 2 x 72 hrs fast during the next 5 weeks?
3: Lastly I am thinking that the mental aspect is a good thing too, being able to manage two 72 hours fasting periods over the next 5 weeks should help me trust my mental power more so that I can pick up myself when I start feeling tired, exhausted and just wanna quit. Because I know I will feel that during the 6 weeks.

What do the great people here think? Should I go all in for two 72 hours fasting periods during the next 5 weeks?

(Carl Keller) #2

Eating LCHF reduces inflammation in our bodies, especially if we are eating mostly single item whole foods. I suffered from a bad back where I had varying degrees of pain almost every single day but since I stopped eating inflammatory foods, the pain is minimal and most days I forget I even have a bad back.

Among other things, fasting improves insulin resistance (hyperinsulinemia to be specific) and has been a normal part of human evolution for over a million years. Used along with feasting, fasting can help get your hormones behaving how they are supposed to. You can try 24 hour or even 48 hour fasts before you work your way up to a 72 hour but it will be much easier if you give your body time to learn how to use fat for fuel. Doing so might make cravings and hunger less intense and fasting more endurable.

Dr. Jason Fung has seen great success in encouraging his patients to fast even without the aid of being in ketosis. He does warn about patterns of restriction and recommends switching things up so that his patients don’t risk slowing their metabolism.

There’s definitely an empowering quality to being able to complete a fast.

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #3

Thanks for taking the time to give me such great answers, CarlK.
I feel so motivated and laser focused I think I just aim for a 72 hour fast this weekend, then if I stop short either at 24 hrs or 48 hrs I won’t go into self hate mode, I will just accept the way the fasting ends, now matter the hours. Fasting is new to me, and any fast is a win. Mentally.

I never felt this way before, never actually had a thought and a feeling I could actually succeed in losing weight and become healthier. Back in my mind mind I always had fear of failing, doubts and a nagging voice telling me I would fail. And so I did fail. Over and over. Every diet. This ain’t even a diet it is life changing behavior altering, changing the way I think, live and take care of myself, my body and my health. It is for life. Not for 8 or 12 weeks. And it feels great.

For some reason that “loosing battle feeling” is not the case this time. I can honestly say I do firmly believe I will be able to succeed with my new goals, live healthier, eat healthier, loose weight and get in shape and be able to exercise. Because of this feeling and I think I need to follow up and feed these success receptors in my brain - because I must learn to cultivate the sensation of winning. Because that is how I feel these day, like I am winning. Winning a battle I have lost for years. And I think the fasting will give me more of that success feeling and good brain chemicals to still keep me motivated and laser focus for the coming months.

I don’t know if the fasting will give a huge benefit in terms of less pain and inflammation because, lets be honest. It is a very short period of time until I go into “fat camp”. But at least I will have the success of fasting with me, knowing to myself that I can push much further then I previous believed I could. And if I am really lucky I will have less pain too.

This forum is a great place to be, learning so much and adapting to keto life while spending time here on the forum really helps me keeping my focus at the tasks at hand rather then getting cravings or starting to obsess over the things I now have removed out of my cabinets and fridge. Really happy there are so many people in the know so that even newbies like me get insightful answers and even even real life experiences from other users.

(Jane) #4

Will you be able to eat keto at your “fat camp”? Or will it be low fat, fruit and whole grains? (typical dietician fare).

How long have you been keto? The longer, the easier it is to do extended fasts.

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #5

2 and a half week on Keto now, closing in on the third week. It doesn’t matter if the fasting will be hard right now. Because I seldom had this level of dedication before, and I am as motivated as a schoolboy shooting for honor roll, and eager to do whatever I can do to better my life, health and maximizing the effect of the camp. And I will also be more kind to myself, the right way from now on. Not beat myself up and seek comfort in food. If I don’t manage 72 hrs this weekend, maybe I can do 48 hrs or at least 24. It is a start and I will accept whatever outcome the fast has, and be proud of it no matter if I reach the target of 72 hours or end up staying fewer hours in fast.

I guess no keto without a fight at camp, talk about us fatties being set in our ways. Them dieticians are no better in us in that regard. They can be so indoctrinated.

If anything else fail I guess I play the “picky eater” card and just go for salads and whatever protein source I can score, and use my own “dressing” containing great fat, like olive oil, and coconut oil, and I can easily add an avocado to each meal - keep a stack in my room. If need be I then cook eggs in the water heater in my room, have a can of tuna or a can of mackerel and drink more fatty coffee with coconut oil and mct. Maybe I drop by the supermarket every now and then and get some grilled chicken, grilled pork belly or grilled pork chops.

No way I am returning to carbs. I am not having cravings anymore, and don’t binge eat. And it has been years since I was without cravings and binge eating. Binge eating have happen to me several times a week until I started keto, and now its not an issue anymore. I refuse to go back to carbs.

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #6

Truth be told, when I booked this camp in january, and until I started keto I used to get thoughts about how I could continue the bad eating pattern while at camp. And I would kind of follow that train of thoughts and imagine what junk-food and snacks would be easiest to “smuggle” into my room without anyone noticing me binging out. I guess I kind of gave myself a safety valve because I was unsure and worried I wouldn’t hack it, that the training would be too much for me or that I would be so tired all I could do in the evening was to binge eat sweets and junks.

That focus has shifted, and now focus is to stay on keto. Stacking protein and fatty oil rather then sweets and unhealthy treats.

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #7

Ok so with the first fast closing in at noon tomorrow I felt extra hungry today. I had my fatty coffee at lunchtime, at dinner I had 150 gr of bacon, half a chicken, 1 large avocado with salt and pepper and about half a box of sour cream the fatty one. So far normal day. But only a few hours later I started to get more hungry. I had 3 hard boiled eggs in the fridge, and ate them with bacon-cheese, a couple of slices of bacon and the rest of the sour cream along with another avocado. This is probably the most I’ve eaten since I started keto.

I brewed some de caf coffee and had a large fatty coffee with extra ghee, coconut fat, and heavy cream. Finally feel full and happy.

Tomorrow I have a fatty coffee with a tea spoon of condensed milk (unsweetened) heavy cream, coconut oil, ghee and mct 10 oil. No mct 8 tomorrow. I work from home tomorrow so it will be an experiment to see if I can handle all that fat in my coffee or not. Btw, if I can handle that much fat now, I will mix up an oily dressing on monday. I haven’t really come up with a recipe yet. The base will be olive oil, and I thinking about adding in a fair amount of mct 10 oil, and a shot of mct 8. Not sure about what herbs and spices I will use. Chili is given. IF the blend turns out well I will start to use that oily dressing on everything I eat. Both on meat, fish, eggs, avocado and green salad. I think I have been getting too low on fat intake the last few days and that is why I felt hungry today and tonight. Or maybe it is pre fasting jitters and anxiety? Anyway. More fat is like only good for me so hopefully that oil turns our great.

After the big fatty coffee at lunch tomorrow, fast starts. If target is reached I will have nothing but water and probably a good amount of plain black coffee for 72 hours, countdown from noon tomorrow. If I crack sooner, that is OK. I really feel I got satiated today and I also have my lunch coffee with extra fat tomorrow so the first 24 hours, I predict will go rather easy. Hopefully I can take back some sleep this weekend because I had a couple of long nights this week, and I still got at least an hour of work before I can go to bed. If I can sleep more that should help with the fast as well.

Saturday I am actually planning to take a walk during the day. I never walk. Or more correctly I never used to walk. I drove everywhere. And parked as close to the door as possible. But Saturday I plan on walking. I don’t have any planned route or length for the walk. I will just stroll along in a moderate slow tempo, so slow that I can talk while walking and when I fell I am done I will walk back home. Most likely I will need to take a rest or two, due to low endurance and heavy weight. But that is fine too. It is a start on something new. And it is OK to start really slow and walk only for as long as I feel I can manage.

If Saturday goes well, and I am still fasting on Sunday, I will do a Sunday stroll as well. Just as slow and just as easy. The walks will get me outdoor, it will take my mind of eating and hopefully be somewhat enjoying. The last part I am not too sure about. As I am so heavy that moving is a bit of a pain. Actual physical pain.

Any tips how to break the fast?

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #8

So this is it - my first 72 hours fast i starting now. Just finished my extra fatty coffee. Delicious.
Had a great nights sleep even if I stayed up too long because I kept reading various threads here on the forum. But hey, it helps with motivation to read about other that has turned their life around. So thats ok.

I am feeling a little excited tbh. Almost like just before an oral exam even when you know you are well prepared, That’s how I feel now. Excited but motivated to hang on for the full 72 hours.

I feel confident I will manage to first 24 hours without much stress. I will post an 24 hours update and share how things are going, if and how bad hunger got and try to describe what it feels like not to eat for 24 hours. And hopefully I will make another update on Sunday and a final post on Monday.

Wish me luck :slight_smile:

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #9

Ok, so first 12 hours done. Going to turn in and go to bed now. I’ll post an update at 24 hrs mark. So far no hunger to speak of. Just shifted my thoughts and it went away. Lets see in 12 more hours.

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #10

First 24 hours down. Feeling a little hungry in small waves. Shifting mental focus or distracting myself seems to make the hunger fade away. A quick sudoku or drinking water is enough. Feeling confident I will be Ok at least the next 12 hours. I’ll update at 36 hours mark. Now I am going for walk. It will be “slow and short”, but something to do to take my mind of food and eating.

Btw, one negative thing last night. I’ve had some terrible itches last night and this morning. Felt like if you had a swim in salt water without a chance to rinse off properly. Most of my upper body was itchy. I took first one cold shower but it came back within ten minutes so I took one more cold shower and stayed in cold water a little longer the second time, then did a quick mindfullness to relax and I felt asleep. Seems okay now. Stressed maybe?

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #11

Some people experience itching on some fasts. I never head of anyone having that with <24 hrs in. I experienced itching recently that started with a fast and it went on for a couple of weeks. Some single hives and some non-hive itching. It was tolerable and I just endured.

I could be wrong, but fat soluble toxins do get released when we burn body fat. I’m assuming that it what it is from. But it can be stress for you as well.

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #12

I’ve been maybe too excited/nervous about this fast. So that’s why I thought it could be stress related. I know that if I get too stressed at work ie making a deadline the skin in my face dries up, and flakes up. Dry and itchy. Then I must apply cream I got from the doctor. She told me the root cause to the skin breakout was too high stress level internally, and said the cream was just to ease things during breakout and only less stress would make it go away permanently.

I am fine in less stressfull situations and those tight deadlines luckily only happens now and then, few times a year. But thats why I thought of stress, thinking my reaction to not eating for 3 days was causing me more stress then the tight deadlines does :smiley:

OK so that actually sounds good, maybe I am not so addicted to eating, meals and constantly feeding my body and soul (feelings more likely as I often eat to better the way I feel) as I thought. Thanks for commenting, you made me feel much better. :slight_smile: :sunny:

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #13

Walking is highly overrated. Done about an hour of walking. Didn’t make me feel good at all. :frowning:

All I felt was warm, out of breath and with a slight pain from my knees, hips and lower back. I didn’t remember to grab my sunglasses so I walked around in a really slow peace, with a slight limp and squinting my eyes and getting absolute zero satisfaction. The only thing I got was a feeling of self-consciousness when I met other people or passed other people. I imagined they where thinking something like “look at that fat, squinting idiot. He can barely move he so fat”. I know I know, its in my mind but that does not make it true. But thats how it feels and now I remember why I stopped walking in the first place. Because I don’t enjoy moving around in public.

If I am still on the clock tomorrow at noon I will find a more secluded area to do the walking, even if that means driving to a remote secluded area first to make the walk. And hey, at least I have the comfort of air-conditioned ride home after the walk.


@idunno… WOW! You’re rockin this!!! You’ve certainly jumped in with both feet! I so admire your sense of determination and willingness to try fasting so early on.
I’ve done a bit of fasting myself, and if it might help encourage you on this journey, I will tell you how great the body feels afterwards. I’ve had knee, hip, lower back issues for ages. 5 knee operations, years of chiropractic help, exercise regimens, etc… When I fasted for the first time, there was an incredible reduction in the pain and inflammation everywhere. Never felt that before. When I started Keto in late March, it took a little getting used to. But, I got so addicted to feeling to good, it was easy to stay on track. I work in retail - 30-40 hours a week, and now run circles around the “kids” that are in their early 20’s. I’m 52 next week, btw.
There is this freedom you begin to experience after fasting, and realizing that you’ll be just fine without eating every single meal. I eat only when I get hungry now. Might be 10 hours, might take 20-30 hours. I ignore the clock on the wall, and listen to the growls of my stomach.
You might want to consider adding some salt and no-salt to your water - while fasting, so you’re electrolytes don’t get out of whack. It helps a ton.
Best wishes to you, my friend. You’re doing great!!!

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #15

Thanks for the kind words, that helps a lot. I’'ve been feeling great since I started keto, and actually doing something good for myself, well I guess it somehow boosted moral or my ego maybe? When I came home from the walk I didn’t feel good, I was tired from the walking, and tired of feeling ashamed of myself, the way I look and that way I move. Your post really ment a lot to me, and your timing couldn’t been better. I read it just when I needed it most. Thank you. :yum:

I it inspires me to read that others are doing fasting as well, and that the fasting is improving your life and your health. That stuff reinforces the idea that I too can get better. So far just about 27 hours into a 72 hours fast I don’t feel elevated in any ways, I feel pretty normal, no highs but just as important I don’t feel low either (except from the walking part). The not feeling low part is very surprising to me. I was kind of expecting yearnings, like when you gotta leave your brand spanking new love for a few days. Those days away feel like months and you can’t stop thinking of your love now matter what you should be focusing on. Thats what I expected. :blush:

I was sure thoughts about food, what to eat and how much should fill up all my RAM and make my mind sluggish and me feeling sorry for myself. But so far, it does not feel much different from when I do eat. Except that I do feel a little hungry now and then. But hungry only in short bursts, and the hunger feeling does not drag me down or impact my mood.And those bursts are so easy to overcome. Shifting focus for a few minutes and its all gone. Imagine that.

How long do you fast? And how often?

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #16

Closing in on 39 hours now. Spirit is high, a little hungry on and off, but as earlier as soon as I distract myself I don’t feel hungry. Makes me think it is more about routines then actual hunger. For years I’ve been eating religiously every three four hours, not always food but I’ve eaten something. I had a meal, if no dessert I got cravings within an hour or two and fed that craving. A pie, cookie, danish og chips. Then within short time a few hours a new big meal. So maybe I am actually feeling the change of habits more then actual hunger?

I am turning in now, a few lines at 48 hours.

(Susan) #17

You will have moments during the 72 hours you are working on, where you have temporary hunger; the 2Keto Dudes suggest in a podcast I listened to yesterday, that you eat a bit of Pink Himalyan salt every couple of hours, to stop any hunger from happening.

This replaces Electrolytes your body is missing (that is making you think you are hungry) so I suggest trying that. It seems to be a very effective thing to do during fasting =).

They started this forum; and that link will show you all the different podcasts you can listen too, about different Keto topics!

(Keto life n' a little hippie ) #18

Cool. I will listen to those podcasts for sure. Great resource. :slight_smile:
I haven’t been able to pull away from the forum yet, even though I said good night an hour ago. So much to read and so much to learn here. And such lovely people that hang here.

(Susan) #19

Yes, I agree. I was on Keto since February, basically “winging it” from things I read online and watching youtube videos, etc. I was so happy when I discovered this amazing forum. I have learned so much, and have been doing Keto the right way since (I am probably still making some errors… but well doing the best I can for me atm at least!) hehe. I figure as long as I am getting results and trying to follow everything, that I am doing okay!


I have issues with inflammation and joint pain too.
I was hopeful that weight loss would take care of it but for me, I have one knee that has bad osteoarthritis (got caught up in an armed robbery 20 years ago in the post office) and there is no ligament left, so I have to have surgery if I wish to address that particular joint’s inflammation and pain. Keto didn’t touch it.

I wouldn’t be able to do exercise several times a day…I am doing two sessions a week at 85% of my capacity, attempting to build muscle, still trying to avoid knee replacement. :slight_smile: I focus a lot on the recovery time between exercise sessions and I started my exercise awhile ago with two hydrotherapy sessions of exercise a week. As far as I know that is recommended frequency for those with joint pain where I am.
I don’t know why you would be limiting yourself to two fasts before August…it isn’t a difficult thing to do unless you are on medications for diabetes. I found it much easier than measuring micros to be honest. I started with bone broth fasting and led into water fasts.

I think the psychological barrier and fear is sometimes more difficull to manage than the reality.

Got me into a healthy weight range and my GP now tells me I am healthy (which shocks the heck out of her).

I tested myelf recently with a carb challenge and I was immediately into the diabetic blood glucose range again for 4 days. So, for me with underlying metabolic issues, keto diet hasn’t healed that yet, but I live in hope. Nor has weight loss healed my knees.

I do hope you do well with your program. But don’t be afraid of fasting. Keto keeps me healthy now…but it was supervised fasting that helped me lose weight and I did some very long fasts (supervised) and stayed very, very well on them. Felt a lot better fasting than eating, in fact, not too long ago.

Main thing is don’t injure yourself further fitting other people’s demands and expectations, pace yourself and don’t give up. You can do it if I could! :smile: