Unplanned fasting easier than planned fasting?


I have seen some posts about unplanned fasting but not a dedicated thread. I am about 22 hours into an unplanned fast. Water and some pink salt only. I’m feeling quiet good.

Woke up today and took the dog for a relaxed 5k run and just didn’t feel hungry. Skipped breakfast. Got mildly hungry before lunch, but that passed. Had some meetings that kept me busy. Dinner time and still feeling good. So I’m gonna go until tomorrow and just see how I’m doing.

I have done some planned fasts and IFs and didn’t work as well for me for some reason.

Just curious if others here approach fasting this way and are looking for support.

“The Sirloin Unplanned Fast” thread.

(Crippie) #2

I have experienced this same thing. I have tried a few fasts planned out and they are a struggle, but there there are days where I get to a point and realize I had not eaten the past day and feel fine, and then continue it on. I have found once I realize it and then concisely try to extend it, I get back into some of the difficulty of planned fasts, probably because now I am thinking about it and realize it. It is odd though!

(Becky) #3

Yes! This just happened to me and it was so easy to fast for 48 hours! I am all in for unplanned fasting! Yeah! A side benefit was there was no urge to eat more prior to the fast.

(Jane ) #4

I notice this as well…my best fasts (10 day and a 5 day) were spontaneous and I just went with it. But when I try a 5:2 type style it is way harder when I know there will be 2 days where I don’t eat.

(Linda Culbreth) #5

I think it is mentally easier to just do it spur of the moment instead of thinking about “Oh, no! I won’t be eating for _____ beginning _____days from now.!”


38+ hours in Update: Apparently I needed this fast as I am quite certain I had knocked myself out of ketosis. I lost a lot of water weight late in the day yesterday and through the night. got up to go a number of times

Also can just tell by how I feel. Anyhow, I did my usual 5k run/walk this morning and felt a little fuzzy but not too bad. I debated about breaking the fast with some eggs and sausage but that passed as I was getting ready for work so I just went to work.

So far this is a water and pink salt only fast. I don’t drink coffee or tea so that sucks for me I guess. Feeling decent now but more like a mild version of when yo first go Keto - so clearly I needed this. Going to watch my macros more closely.

depending on how I feel I might skip lunch but kind of thinking I will eat dinner tonight. I have never been able to fast more than a couple of days.

(Linda Culbreth) #7



so I gave out on the last fast at about 42 hours. Started another fast yesterday (Tuesday 8:15AM EST). That puts me at about 31 hours now. Last thing I ate was bacon! I’m feeling quite good today on only water and pink salt. If I make it through tonight that should make 48 hours pretty easy then take it from there.


49 hours in. I have to say last evening and over night was a little rough. Just had a strong headache from late afternoon until this morning. Still did my 5k run/walk today. Was going to eat, but now feeling better so keeping on. Might eat later today - not sure yet.

(Brian) #10

I’m at about 36 hours as I type this. Wasn’t planned. Just didn’t feel hungry. So I didn’t eat. Felt a couple of twinges at times, got a drink of water, and the twinges went away. Feeling fine. Not tired, not weak, not grumpy, feeling pretty good. Don’t know how long I’ll go, I’ll go 'till I feel like eating something. It may be at around 48 hours, it may not be. Don’t know, don’t care.

Wouldn’t have expected to do this but it’s happening. And I’m fine with that. :slight_smile:

(Khara) #11

I didn’t join the September Zornfast because I forgot about it and didn’t realize how far into September we already are. I saw the post at the end of the first day and felt I shouldn’t even join late as I hadn’t prepped enough. I’d eaten very little the days before due to low appetite. I’ve read that it’s good to really feed and eat a bit more prior to an extended fast. At this point my low appetite has continued all the way through the Zornfast period and I’m thinking I should’ve just done it. The past couple days I’ve struggled to get my normal two meals in. That’s fine, I can do OMAD, but then even my one meal is ridiculously small. Just not hungry. I think I’ve missed some opportunities to fast because I keep thinking I’ll be hungry so I eat a bit but then it ends up being so little. I’m a bit irked by this. I feel like I’m giving my body bad information. Some of what I’ve read here indicates that few calories is worse than no calories as with few calories our body will go into starvation mode but for some reason it doesn’t with no calories. At this point I’m planning to fast tomorrow to see if I can get through this weirdness. So this is sort of a planned unplanned fast. This is contrary to my plans all along to begin a longer fast with a lot of food the day prior. But, I feel like my body is almost telling me to fast. I’m hoping that a short extended fast (24 hrs?) will bring back my normal appetite so I don’t have so many of these hypocaloric days all in a row. This would be my first extended if I make it through. Otherwise I’m regularly intermittent 16/8 or so. I don’t take supplements as I try to get everything from food so I’m slightly worried about that but I do take extra salt in my coffee. Unfortunately the only broth I have is Better Than Bouillon which tastes phenomenal but it has 1g each of carbs and protein in it. Not ideal but I plan to have this if I’m headachey. Hopefully this doesn’t remove the benefits of the fast. I need to find a better store bought broth. Are you other unplanned fasters doing anything (or needing to do anything) for electrolytes?

(Brian) #12

Went off of my unplanned fast this morning and had a nice breakfast.

I started off after a light supper on Friday evening and just decided that I wasn’t hungry on Saturday morning. Got a few worried looks by my wife by about Sunday afternoon. She didn’t fast with me but ate very sparingly.

I felt fine the whole time. I wasn’t tired or weak or suffering with feeling bad in any way. Even walked around a flea market (outdoor, with hills) with my wife on Sunday morning. No problem, actually, easier than I thought it might be. (Then again, I’m getting close to the equivalent of a case of water that I’m NOT carrying around with me everywhere I go that I had been just a few months ago.)

About 2:00am this morning, I woke up and decided that I felt hungry again and that I would eat breakfast. I can’t describe it exactly, but it was as though my body told me it was time to eat again, so when I got up, I did.

Worked out to about 60 hours, basically 2-1/2 days. It wasn’t hard. I wasn’t “tempted” and in anguish because I wanted to eat something. Really, I just listened to my body which was telling me, “I’m fine, I don’t need to eat right now.”

Will I fast again? Probably. It’s not unusual for me to do IF, having my coffee in the morning and eating one meal a day, supper with my wife. It hardly even feels like “fasting” when I do that. I probably will have other times when I’ll feel like I want to take a break from eating and will deal with it then. I don’t plan to set a schedule for it, just go with it.

I know people say not to let the scale out of the closet, but I did. I was 256 pounds on Friday and was 252 pounds this morning. I will probably put back a pound or two but I doubt all of it. It’s getting quite close to my second goal of 245 pounds. (Started at 285, first goal was 262, third is 245. Haven’t figured out where it goes from 245. Ultimate goal is 195, at least until I get close to that and see how I feel. I’ve left that as a “will adjust when I get there, if I need to.” Probably should set at least one in between, maybe at about 220, we’ll see.

Figured I’d chime in about my short fast. Only advice I’d offer is listen to your body and go with it. Don’t torture yourself. If you’re so starving that you’re physically miserable, maybe you’re not ready for what you’re trying to do. Take small victories, even if it’s only 16 hours, and savor what you can do well. Maybe build on that.


(Todd Allen) #13

Prior to going keto skipping a meal was rare and usually quite unpleasant. Now I often feel best during spontaneous fasts. For me much of the magic of keto is how accessible fasting has become. Instead of being scary skipping meals is rewarding when it happens. It doesn’t always come easy but I’m developing new habits to not start eating at the first hint of hunger. And I find that if I do take a bite it often brings hunger on more strongly and ignoring the first signs of hunger often make it pass.

(Brian) #14

You’re right, Todd. The whole mindset changes.

A few months back, I was very consumed with where I would get the food that I needed, or how to grow all of the food I need to live on. But I am finding two things that kinda put the anxiousness on hold.

No.1, we just don’t eat nearly as much food as we used to. The quantity has gone way, way down. We just don’t. We have a refrigerator full of food and a freezer that’s packed to the top and it seems to take forever for us to even make a dent anymore. What used to be one meal is now two or three.

And no.2, we just don’t eat as often as we used to. We used to be three meal a day types, every day, and fairly large meals. Just doesn’t seem to work that way anymore. We eat one decent sized meal a day, usually supper, and sometimes have a small to medium sized breakfast, or, if we’re not very hungry, no breakfast at all save our coffee. And we’re fine with that. And now, we even take days off from eating anything at all. Way out of our typical pattern, at least in the past.

Those two things have kinda turned our food world on it’s head. We’re still adjusting. But that’s OK. :slight_smile:

(VLC.MD) #15

I Keto’d for 3.5 weeks and then fell into a week long fast. I found it easy.
I just had chicken broth for electrolytes.

I didn’t plan it … I just got busy and decided to keep going.


If you fall off the Keto wagon for a few days, is a water/salt fast the quickest way to get back into Ketosis if you can handle it?


Not eating anything is always the fastest (albeit not the most comfortable) way to get into ketosis.

(Tim W) #18

Yep, As 4dml confirmed, fasting will get you back into ketosis anywhere from 24 to 72 hours in, depending on your variables.

Another way to get right back into ketosis, go out and do some HIIT, I’m talking 95% effort, the good news is that you don’t have to go long. This is a tough protocol that should only be used by those whose health can support it of course. I’ve found that going out and doing a mile warm up run, followed by sprints at 99% effort, say 20 seconds followed by 45 second jogs, maybe 5-8 reps, and a mile cool down jog and I’ll be back into keto by dinner. Just to be sure, I might do 10-12 sets of 10 air squats as well.

As far at the OP, I find that planning out my fasts gives me boundaries and helps increase compliance. I’ve only stopped a fast once, it was supposed to be a 3 day but it was a high stress time, I realized that the high stress on top of the fasting was too much, that’s the only time I’ve ever “broken fast” before planned. For me, having a set time frame allows me to stop looking for “reasons to break” and has greatly increased my threshold of what I consider uncomfortable and what I am willing to endure.

Best of luck to you in the future. I will agree that if you don’t feel like eating, no reason to force it!