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“40 days and 40 nights water fast challenge” achieved and completed.

“40 days and 40 nights water fast challenge” achieved and completed.

 

On day 33 of my 40 days and 40-nights water fast challenge… I was flying to Cairo with Giovanna, my 14-year-old daughter.

For some reason, I went through a period of two to three days of severe insomnia … and the night before I left to travel to Cairo, I did not sleep … basically, I was awake for 40+ hours straight.
I could not sleep.

Since I travel often, I am “Platinum” Emirates frequent flyer, so I am allowed to go to the First Class lounge, even if I am not flying First class … and the First class lounge in Dubai is truly 5 star everything.  The food – the wine – everything in the Dubai lounge is amazing.

At 5am on the drive to the airport,  after being wide awake for nearly 2 days straight, I decided I was going to stop my water fast challenge, and enjoy the First class lounge then ideally sleep on the flight, and have a successful trip to Cairo with my daughter and the business meetings I had scheduled.

… within a few minutes of my mental decision to stop my fast, I received a WhatsApp message from a close friend in America who I told “it looks like I failed to achieve my 40 day fast again…” and this friend teased me, and told me how terrible I looked … and he told me “eat!!!.”

At the same time, within seconds of each other, I got a WhatsApp from Matt MacDonald, a close friend of mine who lives in Abu Dhabi, but unlike the other friend, Matt is an endurance athlete and a RAW vegan … and he is incredibly fit.

I told both these friends, seconds apart that I failed again to reach 40 days … because I was going to stop when I got to the First class lounge at the airport.

My American buddy teased me even harder and told me how I looked so bad that people will think I am dying of cancer…and we chuckled over his comments.  He really chased and encouraged me to stop my fast because he felt I looked terrible.

But — the other friend, Matt told me:  “you are only 7 days away from reaching an amazing milestone, 40 days and 40 nights water fast is something exceptional very few people can achieve …” 

Then he said – “my suggestion is to take 2 hours break and think about it, pray, meditate, and refocus … and then decide if you stop or not.  You have come so far … try not to stop now.”

The car arrived at the airport, and Giovanna and I quickly and efficiently checked-in and were in the First class lounge within 15 minutes or so of receiving these texts …

Literally, as I was walking into the lounge, fantasizing about the food and the great wine they serve, I got another teasing text from my friend in America … and he said, “man you look awful … have you eaten yet????”

… and then I got another text nearly at the same time from Matt again telling me: “you can do this.  Go to the end!”

As I read this very positive, supportive text …something clicked.   I decided instantly — I would go to the end of my challenge.

The power of positive thinking – the power of the mind.  No exaggeration — My hunger immediately disappeared and I got back my focus.

And I never had any hunger or desire to break the fast for those last 8 days.

…………………………………………………..

In 2017, one of my goals was to achieve a 40 day and 40-night water fast.

I fasted 4 times over 2017 — 35, 20, 22, and 14 days over the year.  (I fasted every 3 months)

I failed the two times I tried to do 40 days and stopped at day 35 and day 22.

In 2017, Naseba had its best year since 2010 with business increasing 157% compared to 016….and I wanted to do a long fast to “thank God” and “spiritually” appreciate everything in my life…so I decided that I would do a 40 day and 40-night water fast challenge from the beginning of Jan. 018, but this time, no matter how hungry I got, I would not stop until I achieved the end.

I reiterate – I wanted to show my appreciation to God, at the same time improve my focus.

Coincidentally, My church in Dubai, “Gatekeeper’s” (www.gatekeepers.tv) the Church leader, Pastor Ben Richard encouraged and launched a “21 day fast” for the 1,000+ members of the church from the beginning of 2018 – the “fast” depended on the person doing it.  Some people gave up TV or junk food, meat, or social media – it didn’t have to be a strict “water fast” like I decided to do.

Example, Sophie’s “21 days fast“… she gave up sugar, carbohydrates and wine – and did a strict vegan diet for 21 days.  She lost 20 lbs / 9 kilos over the 21 days.

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I like “water fasting” very much … and for the past 3 years, each year, I have fasted 3-4 times over each year.

My last meal was a great dinner on January 7th — a big, enjoyable meal with great food and lots of wine with Sam, a close friend at a “fine dining” restaurant in Dubai ….

My fast was from Jan 8th – Feb 17th.

(The facial shots below: the before shot, where I am smirking is immediately after that great dinner and several glasses of wine and the “after” is right before a great bottle of wine!)

I find water fasting very mental.

The times I have wanted to water fast … and was focused on the water fast – I achieved my goal and the fast went easy.

But the couple times I half-heartedly “fasted” .. the fast did not go well, and I would end up struggling over the 20 days.

This time I planned and organized myself to ensure the best chance of success.

I purposefully gained an extra 6-10lbs … because I wanted to ensure that towards the end of the fast, I would have enough fat stores on my body …
When I tried to do 40 days last year, and ultimately stopped at day 35, I was much thinner before I started.

This time I was 209 lbs (95 kilos) when I began vs 191 lbs (87 kilos) when I began the fast last year.

Also, I decided to keep training throughout this fast – last years 35-day water fast I did ZERO physical activity, and during that fast, I never felt the same “fasting high” that I normally do.

3 years ago, I ran my fastest marathon ever on day 30 of a 30-day water fast.  I ran throughout that 30-day water fast and felt great the entire time … so I decided to go back to exercising when I am water fasting.  It works better for me.

I have a rowing machine and my cycling turbo at home … Over the 40 days / 40 nights … I trained on average 6 days a week for at least 2 hours in total per day (some weeks I trained 7 days a week)
I would row 45-60 minutes on the rowing machine (depending on the day) with a fairly high heart rate average, and then I would walk with Sophie for at least 1 hour … on a few occasions, we walked considerably longer.

Interesting to note:  I rowed 30 minutes on day 40 and walked 90 minutes at a good pace …
I had planned and wanted to row an hour on day 40, but mentally, I failed because I felt tired – and also my plane had arrived 2 hours late, so I didn’t get enough sleep, maybe 3 hours … but I still did a 30-minute row with a 132 bpm/avg and then immediately walked 90 minutes on the 40th day of my water fast.

The last days of the fast — In Cairo, I walked more than 15+ km a day and felt great throughout.  On that trip, each night, I walked at least 90-120 minutes … and felt amazing.

To be honest, during this fast, I felt so good throughout the day .. that rowing for up to an hour every day became almost an addiction – I was addicted to that “high” I would feel after the cardio from the row.

On the few days out of the 40, where I did not row, I would still feel good … but I didn’t have that same great feeling, that  “HIGH” I felt on the days I rowed.

Incredible how great I would feel … even while in Nairobi on day 38 and 39, I didn’t have a rowing machine at the hotel, but I walked, jogged for 90 minutes on the treadmill twice a day … at high pace just to get my heart rate up to 135+ avg … and I felt great.

For me – I have learned from experience that when I water fast, I must also exercise to ensure I feel great.

I had issues with insomnia, as I often have when I get into later stages of longer water fasts.  I guess my body does not need the same amount of sleep since my body doesn’t exert as much energy working to digest, and my organs are rested, etc.

I would fall asleep very easily, but I would wake up 3 hours later … wide awake and I would/could not go back to sleep.

I tried everything – from going to sleep later; drinking less water…reading, etc. but nothing seemed to help.

Day 31, 32, 33 I slept maybe 8 hours in total over the 3 days… it was terrible.  BUT, I didn’t feel too bad … esp. when I rowed.  A couple times, I rowed from 2 am – 3 am in the morning and then would take a shower, shave and get ready for work … it would be 3:45 am and I was ready … I would sit around until Sophie woke up at 5 am to do our walk.

Luckily, we have a big house in Dubai, so I would go downstairs and sleep in the guest room which became my room over the last 20+ days, so not to disturb Sophie.

I should mention after the 3 day period of crazy insomnia that I slept GREAT the last week of the fast … I especially slept great in Cairo – the beds at the Four Seasons Giza must be magical.

With all that said…

Water fasting is NOT difficult.

But if you tell yourself over and over how hard it is, for sure you will fail.  I have seen people tell their social media group how they are going to fast … then they seem to update only the negatives about the fast, and how hard it is, etc.

From my experience – water fasting is very easy – MUCH EASIER than people think.

The process is simple:  Day 1 is exciting, new and easy … day 2 is more difficult … day 3 is the hardest… day 4 is a challenge, but by now you are used to it ….
From day five your hunger will be gone.

If you want to try water fasting, I think you must read about fasting so you understand what to expect.

Organize yourself so you have water easily available – and at the same time, make sure you are not tempted to eat by going out to dinners with your family or friends too soon into your fast.

Ensure you are around supportive people – DO NOT listen to all the negativity … fasting is healthy and has been around for thousands and thousands of years – do not listen to all the negativity you will surely face.

Set a proper goal to go after … if you have never tried water fasting, I strongly suggest you do not try to go for 40 days right away and pick an easier goal to achieve.

21 days is an iconic length of a fast and a great achievement.

You will lose a lot of weight – but “fasting” is NOT a diet scheme … and I DO NOT water fast to lose weight.

I like to water fast for the focus is forces me to have – for spiritual reasons, and also during a water fast I detox; I feel so good … and love that incredible “fasting high” … and the feeling of energy non stop all day long that fasting is easy for me … and I like to do fasts every 3-4 months.

This 40 day fast … I did for the focus it forced me to have — for the challenge, and as mentioned above also for spiritual reasons.

I drank less water this time than on any of my other fasts.

This time I drank about 3 liters of water a day – Aquafina or Evian and a Perrier or two throughout the day.

I took NO supplements – NO vitamins – NO medicines – NO juices — NOTHING but water.

I am so obsessive with my water fast that I do NOT use or add even a lemon slice in my water … I have only water.

To be clear — Even when I am not fasting, I don’t take any medicine, supplements nor vitamins.  I rarely drink juice, even freshly squeezed because of I don’t like the sugar from the juice.

The main issue you will face if you want to try “water fasting” is the negativity from people around you.

Most people will completely assume without knowing anything about “water fasting … that living on just water for 40 days is not healthy — but in fact, “water fasting” has been proven for centuries to be very healthy.  (please see all the links I have included below for more information – including numerous reports on the effectiveness of water fasting and cancer)

Once you start … after 5 days your hunger will be completely gone.

I could easily go to a restaurant with my family or friends and sit with them as they ate … and I was not tempted at all.

The main negative for me is boredom.  Also, another issue is that “fasting” is not social.

Although I would go out with Sophie and my girls … and sometimes with friends, sitting around drinking water while everyone ate and drank wasn’t much fun and surely, I didn’t bring much excitement to any of the social meals or functions I attended while on this fast.

I bet most people who break the water fast .. or fail is NOT because they get hungry … its because you get bored and when you are bored, you end of thinking about eating.

Thus, I wonder if its true hunger or just boredom that gets most people to fail a water fast?

If you want to fast, I suggest you read all about water fasting … watch YouTube videos and learn as much as you can, so you know what to expect.

(although from my experience, and in my humble opinion — too many of the YouTube videos are of people moaning and complaining about how hard it is to water fast…and how difficult it is, moaning…and moaning…and moaning about how hard it is and how they want to eat, etc  I guess people think its look funny or cool if their “fast” seems more difficult)

… but (again, I reiterate) the truth is… after 5 days water fasting is NOT difficult at all)

On this 40 day 40 nights water fast I lost 42 lbs / 20 kilos

I got measured on day 41 and my body fat % came down from 16.9% to 11.8%  (last year, on day 36 of my 35-day water fast, my body fat % was well under 10%.  I guess I had more muscle mass last year than I do now.

In 2017, I focused exclusively on rowing and did no resistance weight training at all.  I assume I lost muscle volume during the year for lack of resistance weight training … not because my body burned muscle during my fast (your body only burns fat stores, unless all your fat gets burned)

I have very little fat on my stomach, even less than I did when my body fat % was under 10% last year, thus I was very surprised my body fat % was still so high.

Although I do not want to get muscular … I will soon get back into serious weight training with a focus on my core to get further prepared for my big row across the Atlantic.

My blood sugar level on day 41 was normal and all other markers were in the “very healthy” category.

Resting heart rate on day one was 44 bpm and on day 41 it was 47 bpm (It went up a bit, but I am curious if maybe I wasn’t rested fully before my heart rate was taken)
This morning my resting heart rate was 44 bpm.

I went to another doctor yesterday (my historic Doctor) for my annual physical … (he doesn’t understand my fast and or why I like to do them) but he told me: “your blood work is “perfect” and your vitals are as healthy, even more healthy than most teenagers.”

Why do I seem to have an obsession with pain?

Several people have asked me why do I put my body through pain and challenges, whether physical endurance challenges that I like to do … or monotonous physical painful challenges where I will force my body to endure several hours of pain, just to see if I can finish a challenge, and of course my water fasts.

Why do I do this?

I guess it is similar to why I like to travel and adventure, and experience as much as possible … it’s about experiencing life to its fullest. 

Also, I enjoy being very lean and nimble.  I am 47 years old.  I am an old man … but I DO NOT want to be fat and out of shape or big and muscular.

I want to be lean, focused and driven.

Endurance, physical/mental challenges help keep me driven and at the same force me to focus.

Probably similar to why I feel so much better after a hard cardio training session than I do after a long night sleep … I need to get my heart going.

Soon I will begin a 30-day challenge … that will focus on my core and strength … I want to try doing 90 minutes of rowing, 100 push ups a day for 30 days, plus other physical other core strength activities … every day over a 30-day consecutive period.

I share this on the blog because now there will be no turning back.

…but, I have to make it happen.

………………………………………………………………………

For more Information on water fasting:

Dr. Alan Goldhamer: in my opinion the truest expert when it comes to water fasting.
I highly recommend you google his name, watch his videos and look into his fasting clinic in northern California (links below)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSH4vBBSDmg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_grRFH5oRDQ&t=1562s

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684131/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815756/

MUST READ:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21088487

http://www.healthpromoting.com

the best book I have read on water fasting:

https://www.amazon.com/Science-Fasting-Sunbathing-Hygienic-System-ebook/dp/B005M77ZX6

https://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3408

 

 

 

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73 thoughts on ““40 days and 40 nights water fast challenge” achieved and completed.

  1. Hello scott.

    Your achievement is motivating and confirming; resulting from this, I bought and read the book.

    However, after countless failed attempts at fasting (of which I merely made it to 3 days) I still do not understand how you, or any one manages it through the first 5 days, of which I am sure the fast becomes effortless.

    How do you manage to make it through the first 4 – 5 days? What do you do? What does your day look like? Mental ‘tricks’? Staying busy? Planning out every single day?

    Thank you, Akilah.

    • Cathy Esteves

      Scott, wow great! Well done! I’ll be on my 14th day tomorrow. I did not plan to fast that long. Aiming at 21 days now, dreaming 40 as this is the ultimate spiritual fast. Though if true hunger kicks in, I’ll eat. By the way, thank you for sharing the episode at the airport. Support and love are tremendous. Focus and determination gold. I’m always greateful when a friend picks me up and help me to refocus. Last note, 47 is not old. I’m 49, and feel life starts afresh again and again.

      Akilah, before fasting I had been on a keto diet for 3 months. The body was already fuelled on fat. This tremendously helped, I never experience the hunger pang. Hoping this helps. Best wishes for your successfull coming fast!

      • if you are on your 14th day, then it’s easy now … no more hunger and I assume you have the fasting “high” and energy all the time. only a week left. it’s not the hunger that distracts me when I fast because I don’t get hungry at all … its the boredom. but focusing on the achievement at the end, the goal i.e. your 21 days or my month of May makes it worth the boredom. keep making it happen.

  2. Woman of God

    Hi
    Congratulations on completing your fast.I’m searching for a fasting partner.It’s easier if you have someone to help out with accountability ..To God be the glory , I’ve completed many 5 day dry fast and one 7 day.Also completed some water & liquid fast..I love fasting..It brings my flesh under subjection..

    • thanks. I am on day 8 of the month of may fast. I am doing a water fast for the entire month of May.

  3. Nino Capozzoli

    Thank you for the link to the Herbert Shelton book. About 2.5 months ago I read a book by Dr. Jason Fung called The Obesity Key, about diabetes, diet, and intermittent fasting which got me pretty excited to start fasting. I did a day, then two and three. Since the beginning of March 2018 I have lost almost 30 lbs and have found quite a bit of clarity in this life change. This morning I began my first attempt at a 39 day fast. I search online for reading material about fasting but there seems to be so much misinformation – and then this morning I came upon your blog and feel like it was perfect timing, reading about someone who has gone through the 40 days and is still healthy, feeling great on the other side. My main reason for trying an extended day fast is that I have had a tough time breaking what seems like a pretty serious addiction to snacking and sugar, and from some of what I have read food cravings seem to lessen as a whole the more that you fast. What has your experience been?

    • i fully agree … so much misinformation on fasting. i dont do intermittent, but only water fasting. i am not sure what type of fasting you do. the key is the first 5 days of a water fast. mentally, if you are prepared, the 5 days go by quickly, and you control your cravings. after 3-5 days, your hunger is gone completely. i can easily go out with friends and sit with them as they eat lunch or dinner when i am fasting. i suggest you try water fasting, not just intermittent. fasting is surely very healthy. i never get sick, ever. and i do a water fast every 4 months or so. i am on day 16 of a water fast … i am fasting the entire month of May. why? spiritual reasons, and also it helps me focus and i feel so good when i fast .. its a fasting high that i get and great all day long. key is being focused, and wanting to achieve so much that you dont even think about your hunger. also, surround yourself with people who support you, and stay away from negativity. keep me posted

      • Nino Capozzoli

        I am on day 10 now – not feeling hungry at all but mentally it has been somewhat tough to maintain. I guess food continues to have a pretty strong pull even if it’s all in your mind. My BP continues to stay down, the only issue is that my pulse has quickened – my resting heart rate has gone from about 90 (my normal) to 120 this morning. It has been at around 115 since I started the water fast. I originally gave myself black coffee in the AM but have weaned myself off of that, and I’m just a little concerned about the elevated heart rate. I may try to push up my next doctors visit in two weeks to see about that. Otherwise things have been good, 10 days is 5 days better than I have ever fasted before.

        • i am on day 23 of a water fast, and i am training 2 hours a day. i noticed my heart rate is considerably higher than normal. i assume this is normal because i am into a fast and also training a lot … my resting heart rate is normally around 43/44 maybe lower, but now its in the 60s. i am not worried.
          instead of going to some fat doctor who is just going to tell you negative things about water fasting … or prescribe you medicine, maybe research and esp. look at Dr. Goldhammer. to me, he is the leading expert in fasting.
          dont worry about your elevated heart rate. i posted 3 long blogs about 30,35, and 40 day water fasts … i discuss the higher heart rate in the 35 day one.
          do what you feel is best … but i suggest you not waste money going to a dr. esp if you live in america and its going to cost an arm and a leg.
          Dr Goldhammer has many youtube videos. I have never communicated with him, but to me he is the leading expert in water fasting.

  4. Mary Wilkerson

    Hi
    I am so encouraged and uplifted spiritually by your blog.
    I believe God lead me here. By his grace l have been on many fasts Some juice fasts for 40 days for spiritual reasons only but never 40 days on water only. Recently the Lord led me to go on 40 days water only fast staring 05/06/18 for spiritual cleansing from iniquity. I am now on day 11. I have no hunger pains, headaches etc. I stay focused on reading my Bible and listening to the word of God. I just ask for your prayers. The Lord once shared with me that each day you fast an evil spirit leaves you but we must repent for us and on behalf of past generations. After the 40 day fast my husband and l did without asking. God increased our business income 300%. We focused on God forgiveness, repentance, worship. It is useless to fast for money, houses etc. Fast for what Jesus Christ gave his life to do in all of us. Get rid of the root iniquity ( same nature in Satan or devil), transgressions, and sins. People have told us after fasting that we looked like we had some disease. We laugh out loudly at devils. We are winning this fight through the mighty power our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit. He has given us freedom and choice.
    Thank you. May God continue to shower his blessings upon you & family

    • thanks for your message. enjoy the fast … now its easy for you because your hunger should be all gone. i am on day 16 … i want to fast the entire month of may. to appreciate my life, but also fasting helps me focus. i get a fasting “high” .. and feel great all day long.
      keep me posted. all the best, God bless!

  5. Scott, have you ever experienced ‘true hunger’ before? (what is it like?) it is mentioned in Shelton’s book. And, dont you feel nausea, weak, and tired? or does the exercise remedy this?

    thanks.

    • I am on day 17 of a water fast (i want to fast the entire month of may) …

      this fast, i have not done as much exercise as i normally do, and i dont feel as great – so for me exercising while fasting is important, and i feel so much better when i do.
      as for the true hunger … i guess i felt this when i did a 35 day fast last year. i had wanted to do 40 days … but around day 33, i became very hungry and ultimately, on day 34/35 i had to leave the office and go home and get in bed i was very tired. But .. i didnt exercise at all during that fast.
      my 40 day fast earlier this year … i got hungry around day 36, but mentally, i was much more focused and felt better, i think because of all the exercise i was doing. On that fast, on day 36, 37, 38 i walked 15+ miles a day. I rowed on a rowing machine nearly every day too 45 or 60 minutes depending on the day.

      from my experience, fasting is very mental. if i am focused and into the fast … and want to do it, i can easily do it and i dont think about eating or food. However, if i only half heartedly do the fast, and am not completely into it, i think about food and the fast doesnt go as well.

      as for feeling weak — on the contrary, i get a “high” when i fast. i feel so good, all day long that fasting for me is very easy because i want to feel that same “high” and energy level i get while fasting.

  6. Awesome job. I’m wanting to start a fast for spiritual reasons, and also to shed this excess weight and detox. Question- when you break a fast, how do you proceed? Do you follow the recommendations to avoid “refeeding syndrome”, or do you just simply eat? After reading your positive experience with exercise (which is always touted to be avoided during long fasts), I wonder if “refeeding syndrome” is also exaggerated.

    • i just did a 23 day waater fast. i wanted to go the entire month of may, but stopped because i am training for a big endurance race, and was burning too many calories … and although i felt great all day long, i didnt have the same energy during my training … so i stopped. I regret stopping, and wish i had just pushed onward.
      with that said … I normally go to a 5 star restaurant when i break my fast, and i eat whatever i want. I once broke a 30 day water fast immediately after running my best/fastest full marathon of my life … and i broke with a big bag of peanut M & Ms. one of my best memories of breaking a fast. I broke my 23 day fast this week at Nobu.
      now i am focused on a fruitarian, vegan diet/life style. Personally, i have to train when i fast in order to feel the great fasting high that you get … if i dont train, i dont feel as great. As for breaking the fast … i dont follow the protocol. keep me posted.

    • Lisa, enjoy the experience and remember to protect yourself from all the negativity you will face, even from good friends … esp. in america.
      Fasting is very very healthy, so do not listen to the people around you tell you that you look bad or sick. After 5 days your hunger will be gone and you will feel amazing. make it happen

  7. I’m so happy to have found this blog! I’m about to embark on my first 40 day water only fast and have been mostly running into negativity. Your blog reminded me of why I’m doing it in the first place. I will read it again and again throughout to help remind me of why I started. Thank you for the motivation !

    • if you have never fasted before, you might want to shoot for 21 days … and experience fasting first. 21 days is still very good length and an iconic number of days to fast. be prepared, esp. if you live in america to get a lot of negative feedback and little support from people around you.
      fasting is very healthy. fasting is proving to fight cancer. after 5 days, you will feel great. if you do this … my suggestion is that you not be like most people, and talk constantly about how hard it is to fast (fasting is very easy – if you really want to do it) too many youtubing people moan and focus on negatives of fasting …
      i did a water fast for 23 days in May. I am doing a 21 day water fast now. (day 2)
      if you have never tried to water fast before — make sure you read a lot about it (read the links in the fasting blogs i posted with the links below)
      if this is your first fast — start with 21 days (my suggestion) …. experience 21 days and then in a month go after 40 days. Or shoot for 21 days … and if all is going well (which it should) then keep fasting to 30-35 or 40 days.
      hardest part is the fasting is not social, and you will get bored. when you get bored … stay strong and dont go into the kitchen!

  8. Olamide Banjoko

    Thanks for your encouragement, pls is possible to 6am to 6am fasting for year and then break with fruit everyday?

    • if you fast from 6-6 and then have fruit … its great, but its not fasting. a water fast is having only water 24 hours a day for the amount of days you fast.

  9. Scott. Very interesting to read.
    I was introduced to fasting last year and agree with your findings.
    Boredom is a big factor for me. No need to decide, shop, prepare, cook, or clean up – it is amazing how much bandwidth food takes up.
    Came to your blog as am about to restart a fast and was researching more about fasting and exercise.
    Last water fast I did was 14-days and on days 10 and 14 I swam 3.6Km with absolutely no issues. In fact, I had not felt so smooth in a while. I stopped as I was getting bored.

    Some questions.
    Have you never needed to add salts to your water due to the amount of exercise you do? I found that salts – Potassium and Sodium – made my 14-day breeze though. Though I might have been ‘over-drinking’ on previous attempts.

    How do you modify water intake with exercise?

    • when i water fast, i do not take any suppliments including salt. i dont even drink water that has lemon slice in it. just my choice and style of strict water fasting. i ran a 3:43 marathon on day 30 of a water fast. i am very slow runner and that marathon time is my fastest .. and it was on day 30 of a strict water fast. when i fast now, i drink about 3 liters of water a day because when i drink more, i wake up too much because i have to pee (in the beginning, when i first started to water fast, i probably drank too much water) … i recently did a 23 day water fast …i was aiming to fast the entire month of May, but am back into serious training for a endurance race … and mentally failed and decided to stop the fast because i told myself i was tired. truth is i probably should have just drunk more water and stayed focused because after i broke the fast, i had mediocre training that wasnt intense at all …
      i am not an expert at fasting — i just like to water fast and i am certain in the health benefits. i water fast frequently. when i fast, i drink about 3 liters of water and do about 3 hours of training a day (run, cylce, swim or row) but the amount of water i drink increases depending on my energy, or lack of energy. if i feel tired, i drink water and get my energy back.

  10. Hi, thank you for this inspiring article. It is wonderful to find someone who successfully completes a long fast without – well, whining! Haha. Also I am happy to hear about it being possible to exercise during. I am starting a 40 day water fast. I have done 8 days before, but unfortunately had to stop there, as I was still living with my mum who got distressed over it and thought I was getting anorexic. I also struggled with very low energy and shaking hands, though now I realise it was probably due to drinking black coffee! I have a question about exercise. I am training for a marathon and I was so happy to hear you were able to run a fast marathon on day 30. How much running did you do while you were fasting? Did you do speed workouts at high intensities or just gentle distance? How far did you run? Thank you for your help!

    • i suggest you go after a 21 day fast and not 40. also, i strongly suggest you take a week or two to get ready for it and eat more than usual. if you are already very thin, you will burn all your fat stores and you will have less energy. i discussed this in the 35 day water fast blog. i started that fast too thin. when i achieved the 40 days, i prepared and gained weight. it seemed to work. 21 days is a great iconic achievement and will serve you well. Do a few 20-30 day fasts before you jump to 40.
      On the 30 day fast — I ran at least one hour 6 days a week (3 days on one day off) with every friday being a challenge day where I ran up to 3 hours. That fast was probably my all-time best and favorite fast because i felt great all day every day … and even on the marathon, i felt great. i recovered great too.
      all the other fasts i have done have been in part motivated to feel that same amazing “high” that i did. the 40 day i felt good, but none have felt as great as i did on the 30 day. (maybe it was all the running i did) 35 day i did zero exercise and didnt feel as great as normal. i recenrly did 23 day water fast in May and trained up to 4 hours a day for 6 days a week and felt great. go for 21 days. learn more about fasting before you go after the 40 — is my suggestion.

    • when i run while fasting it depends on my work out. if i have intervals, i run intensively even while fasting … on the 30 day fast i ran with my daughters boy friend every day so he and i ran hard, and i never wanted to lose to him so would push it. but to be honest, a couple times i walked in the middle of a tough run …
      on the 23 day fast this part May, i trained a lot and the fast went well .. i was aiming for the enitre month, but i had a business trip where a client took me for dinner at an expensive restaurant and i broke the fast because i didnt want to come across rude

  11. hi Scott,
    I find your article encouraging and would like you to be a mentor to me in my first 40 days water fasting journey. my whatsapp number is 233244856505

    • thanks but i am not a fasting mentor. my strong suggestion is that if you have never fasted before, do not go after a 40 day. start with 14-21 days.
      read about fasting. after 5 days it is easy and your hunger will go. keep me posted

  12. Rachel Hillhouse

    Hi Scott, I’ve done a 40 day water fast 2 years ago during the summer when my mom was dying of cancer. I was 40 lbs. overweight at the time. She passed away, but I was able to handle it better than expected because of God preparing me during my time of fasting. I have fasted off and on since then. I did a 21 day fast and became animeic. I have not exercised during fasting until just recently. I feel great when I do, but deal with some weakness. I have noticed that I am building up endurance and am able to go longer and do more. I’m debating on doing a 21 day fast, but hesitate, because I’m the leader of my run group at church. I run to keep in shape and weight loss. How can I do a long fast and still run? I’m 30 lbs. overweight. Do our bodies have that capability to exert ourselves without replenishing it without food and not have negative effects? I want to fast and run, but don’t want to in danger my health.

    • again … i am not an expert. i am on day 21 of a water fast and i am getting ready to go for a 90 minute run. for me, its very mental. if i tell myself i am tired and weak, i have a terrible run and feel weak .. but if i go out and run in a positive mood, i can run for 2-3 hours on a fast. on day 14 of this fast, i met one of the senior pastors of my church for breakfast … but before i met him, i did a 2 hour row at the gym on the rowing machine. 2 hour row non stop is tough for some people, but again … i think its tough because we tell ourselves its tough.
      i am very lean and dont have much body fat. if you are overweight … my strong suggestion is use your next fast to work on getting yourself back in shape, lose the weight and as you fast JUST WALK do not run. being overwieght will hurt your knees. when in fact, walking 1-2 hours a day you will see the weight fall off you, and you will feel better. try and get yourself in a routine, get your weight down and then get into running. but …. since you seem to enjoy running, even over weight .. then your next fast, stop thinking that you are tired, and focus on feeling good and you will see that you will feel great on your run. now i am off for a 90 minute run.

      • Thank you for answering. I’ve been learning a lot about the power of our mind. Thank you for bringing that up. I’m learning what I think and say is what I believe and what I believe is what empowers me.

  13. I am on day 10 of a water fast and I am losing about a pound a day. I want to continue for a while and am feeling very good. But I don’t want to continue to lose a pound a day. I can’t really understand why I am losing a pound a day…. Isn’t a pound 3500 calories? I am not exercising except some very small walks to and from work, store, etc. (less than 1 mile per day). So how am I losing 3500 calories per day? I Understand the first few days it was water weight, so I expected that. Is there some point when your metabolism slows down and you stop losing so much weight? I would have thought it would slow to 1/2 pound a day? Thanks,

    • I am not an expert … but I normally lose 1 kg a day (about 2 lbs) a day for a period and then it stables out where you don’t lose much.
      I am on day 21 of a water fast and I have been losing about a 2 lbs a day but i am training 2-3 hours a day. from what i have read and experienced, your weight will stablize but you will lose consistently about a 1 lb a day (i lose 2.2 lbs a day) … this is why for longer fasts, i always gain weight to make sure i have fat reserves for the later stages.

      • SO now I am on day 18 of 40 and I think the weight loss has slowed down a little. I really don’t want to lose 40 pounds because that would put me below my high school weight. Trusting God on this one. But I really feel great! And I’m noticing that the dark spots on my skin are fading, sense of smell is coming back, emotions have stabilized. Whoa! Not sure why I didn’t do this before lol. Thanks to all who have gone before me…..

          • So, now I am on day 26 and feeling very good. Had a few rough days about a week ago (day 20-21) with lightheadedness and feeling dizzy. I decided to take in some electrolyte water and 1/8 tsp salt, and that really helped. So now I’m supplementing with that each day. Have to listen to your body! Not trying to hurt myself here. With the electrolytes I’m feeling very good. Really reorienting my thinking about food. Still losing about 3/4 pound a day. No hunger. I even cook for other people and taste test the food and spit it out, don’t swallow. It’s not difficult at all. Also, interesting, no loose skin! My body seems to be just adjusting to this process naturally. Have two more weeks left, and am kinda going to be sad when this is over. What an experience! I’ve been journaling most days and praying a lot. Doing this for God. But what He gives back is a lot!

  14. Ricardo António Jara

    Hi Scott, what you think about put some sea salt on that water? You think maybe change something, I fast Sincé 2010 but never more than seven days, because I really feel like water not make nothing for my hydratation, I mean some days I only drink a few glasdes and other days I drink a Lot of water but never felt hydratated. My fast experience is short but I want yo Know what you think about that.

  15. I’m beginning a church planting project in 40 days. To fend off boredom I will read my Bible out loud. I intend to start running again too and start doing my army Pt regimen again as I am about 30 pounds overweight.

    I am praying for preparation of myself and those God will bring across my path so that I can reach them on a spiritual level and remove the impurities in my life.

  16. Greet! Mr.Scot and this post encourages me to do water fast for longer period this time. Anyhow I did before but after 2 days I had a severe hurt burn and I did not know how to deal with it so I cut the fast then. So did you experience a hurt burn during the fast? If yes,how you delt with?

    Thank you for sharing this thankful post.

    • i think you need to be more realistic … of course you are going to face pain and challenge, you are water fasting … and detoxing. I recently, did a 22 day water fast. i also fasted 23 days in May. i am on day 4 of another 21 day water fast i am doing with a friend of mine who has stage 4 cancer … supporting her and doing the water fast with her.
      but remember … the first week or so, if you havent fasted before, will be a big challenge. But you are not going to die. Fasting is proving to kill / cure cancer. Focus on the cool experience and adventure … try not to think about the pain. After 5 days or so … your hunger is gone, and you will start to feel good again. make it happen. keep me posted

  17. Hey!
    Have recently come across your website and so inspired by your achievements. I’m also pretty determined by nature but have definitely come across obstacles I find hard to conquer. I’ve done 3 water fasts in the past but only for 7 days at a time. In terms of re-centering, re-focusing and strengthening my spiritual connection, there’s literally nothing like it. I’m a single mum and have big projects in my work coming up and I know I need my creativity and focus to be stronger than ever, after a really challenging year this year (I think a lot of people have felt those astrological challenges this year!) I really need to draw on my inner strength and clarity so am about to do my first 21 day water fast. I just wanted to post on here, to touch base with a community who understand about the magic of water fasting. Starting tomorrow! Thanks for listening! A x

  18. Hi Scott, I am super excited to come across your website and am grateful that you share your breadth of experience with those of us just starting out. I have done intermittent fasting while on a Keto diet and didn’t experience hunger as long as I was in ketosis. Do you have any thoughts about pros/cons of starting a 21 day fast from a state of ketosis/keto lifestyle? Also, is there any place I can find information on referring in terms of the kinds of food to transition off the fast? I read you suggestions above and just want to get more information. Thank you!

    • i am very biased towards water fasting … so not the best at giving unbiased advice. my suggestion is to read as much as you can, and research and study before you do the fast. everyone has different experiences and advice. example, i have read a lot — and some fasting guru’s say not to do any exercise at all while fasting … and just lay around and sleep all day, and rest. for me – when i do this type of water fast, i feel like crap and have zero energy. from my experience, when i fast, i need to do exercise — and i have read books that encourage exercise, and also read books that discourage it.
      one thing i am confident of … is that you will not die on your water fast, so just experience and learn what works for you.

  19. Thank you for your advice! It’s working. I started a blog for my run group that I lead at my church. I’ve had a long journey to get to where I am today, so I’m just beginning. I’d appreciate any advice that you could give.

  20. Dr. Shelton said that to set a specific period for fasting is not correct, that the body itself will tell you when to end a fast, and best results come if you do not end it prematurely, but also you don’t push it beyond when the body says to eat.

  21. Very inspiring work Scott! The longest I have gone water fasting is 15 days. By the third day I felt amazing and had no hunger. Have you noticed any changes to your eye color while fasting? Mine changed from hazel to a light green. I am going to attempt a 40 day fast starting tomorrow. Thanks for the motivation!

  22. Day 40 completed. Feeling very weak and very hungry. I think my body was telling me to stop for the last few days, but I pushed on because I wanted to reach the 40 day goal. I broke the fast with a small spoonful of honey. Will take some broth later. Taking it slowly for now. Have gotten a lot of perspective, and emotional continuity and composure, among other things.

    • great achievement. good job. if you do a fasting debrief/report, please send it to me – i want to read it. your friends and family must be inspired. great job.

  23. Hi all. I’m from South Africa. Started my 40 day water fast on Monday 10 September 2018. Did cardio workouts on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Came upon this blog this morning. Was about to give up earlier. But having read all the positive reports, I have decided to soldier on. Feeling very positive now as this was indeed an amswer to my morning prayer.I’ve even decided to up my exercise routine in the new week. Anyone looking for a “fasting partner”, I’m here for you. I’m also doing this for a particular reason. More sbout that later.

  24. Hi! I came across this website, which is super inspiring. In Sweden “not eating” is taboo and also I haven’t found a single swede that actually done water fasting and written about it. I have done some water fasts before, as most 10 days. This time I want to try 40 days. I want to do this for spiritual reasons, focus on myself, my body and not stress about food etc. I will continue eating my vitamins. Also I work full time and have horses. To be honest I hate “normal” exercising (did that a lot before, ie running, walking, bicycling etc etc), but I will continue riding one of my two horses (the other one is only a baby). I will try to stay focused but unfortunately I won’t be able to tell my surrounding about this (also why I post here). So if someone wants to join me, please let me know, I start today, September 22nd :).

  25. I am inspired to start October 1st. I did 11 days in September of water and a glass of iced coffee in the a.m. Being a Mom of 3 sons and a wife- I found it so hard to cook dinner and ” all the smells”- even the noise of the fork to the plate seemed unusually loud, lol. I caved on day 11. But for reasons- I NEED the discipline and mental clarity.

    • i am fasting the entire month of october. i need the focus and consistency fasting brings me. i fasted 23 days in May, 22 days in august/sept … but i didnt achieve my goal of entire month … so aiming for October. keep me posted. make it happen.

      • Thanks for your response. I did begin on October 1st and am 4 days in. I think I’m doing well. Felt “off” yesterday ..just felt tired but feel much better in Day 4. I don’t think about food much – gets a little challenging in the evening as I have to cook dinner for my family. But I have been able to walk away from the temptation. My goal is worth much more than food. How r u doing?

        • i am on the end of day 4 too. i am not hungry and have felt ok … negative is that i was tired this morning and missed my run.
          from my experience, fasting is very mental. when i am focused and want to make it happen … i can fast without any problem. But the times i have fasted, but didnt have my head completely into it … was very difficult, esp. the beginning. For me, the 4th day is normally the toughest, but this time not a problem. I need to ensure i dont get bored because then i will think about eating. i suggest the same for you.
          keep making this happen. remember its very mental. if you tell yourself you are hungry, and or listen to your friends tell you its not good … you will fall down and fail. make it happen.

        • also – think about the positive impact you will have on many friends, friends of friends who will hear about what you achieved … your kids and husband will surely be inspired. so stay focused and go to the end. the key is NOT listening to all the negativity you will hear … fasting is surely good for us, and it’s Biblical.
          reflect on how inspiring you will be … and the impact you will have on the people around you. since you are on day 4, after a couple of days, your hunger will be gone … and then its easy. 11 days is ok … but fasting the entire month will be a cool achievement. you can do it.

  26. Thank you so very much! You have no idea ( or you probably do,lol) how inspiring and encouraging you are to me. You know, I was inspired to fast years ago because we were believing God for direction regarding our youngest sons health. I just needed to quiet the noise in my head and the opinions of others about what we should do. I was very new to fasting and only did 3 days. AMy husband and I did a 5 day juice fast. I didn’t like that one because for me I found all the sugar made me super tired. Also did a “daniel fast” and while that’s fine for some I was not focused and didn’t have much benefit from that experience. At the end of September – i desired to begin another fast.- It was the strangest thing- but being a Christian i do believe I was led into this one. I appreciate you believing in me and your positivity and encouragement. I just had an almost ” out of body or supernatural experience” today. I went to the grocery store for my family- my sweet husband offered to go but I really wanted to challenge myself. So I arrived with my list in hand – and grabbed all on my list. Upon leaving the store, all of a sudden I realized, like an epiphany, that even though I was putting food items in my basket – i was not thinking about food at all!! I left on a high as I realized- God’s grace is definitely on me during this time. Don’t get me wrong – just yesterday there are moments of feeling challenged..but like you I try to be most productive during the day taking care of my responsibilities and it keeps me focused. I find getting dressed and staying active is most beneficial! I pray you are doing well today!

    • From my experience, and i have fasted numerous times … fasting is very mental. focus on achieving and making this happen, and you dont think about hunger. i am on day 6 and i have not been hungry at all this fast – probably because i am so focused on achieving the end. the key for you, esp. since you live in America, is NOT to listen to all the negativity you will receive from people. also, think of the positive impact you will have on many people in your life … you wont even know, but your fasting and achieving the end will get people thinking and talking, and i bet will inspire someone else to get their life in a better direction. stay strong.

      as for your other question on breaking fast …I am not the best one to discuss breaking a long fast because i once broke a 30 day water fast (after i ran a full marathon on day 30) with a big bag of M&Ms which is stupid … i know, but damn did they taste good. this fast, i will break with fruitarian diet (mainly watermelon) for 4-5 days. i suggest you watch Loren Lockman on youtube. He seems to be the biggest expert on fasting.

  27. Hey Scott,

    I am planning a 21 day fast, I’ve done 8 days before. I’m on day 4 now.

    I was just wondering what you ate to come off of your 40 day fast.

    • i might be good at fasting (i am on day 20 of a month long water fast) .. but i am a fool when it comes to breaking my fasts.
      to break my 40 day and 40 night water fast (ultimately, i fasted 41 days) … i went to a french restaurant and had a great french meal, glass of champagne and several glasses of wine.
      yes … i understand that is not the way to break fasts, but it was a great meal.
      one of the times i fasted 30 days … i ran a full marathon on my 30th day. i ran 17 minutes faster than any other marathon i have done. when i finished the marathon, i broke my fast … and ate an entire large bag of M & M’s … damn, they were so good. As i type, i can still remember that momement!
      Loren Lockman is the water fasting expert. i suggest you check out his videos on youtube. he advises to eat small amount of watermelon and build up over a few days before you eat normal food.
      you are already on day 4 … dont quit. make it happen. drop us note when you get to the end.

  28. Marisela Garcia

    Very helpful! Looking into starting a 40 day fast tomorrow. I Have tried several times and failed. The longest I lasted was 7 days. Wish me luck.

    • don’t try to fast for 40 days if you have failed many times and only achieved 7 days. go for 21 days. fasting is very mental and much easier than people think. I just broke a fast 5 minutes ago … I fasted the entire month of October. You can easily do 21 days if you organize yourself, and if you really want to achieve it. keep me posted.

  29. Thank for your story Scott! This was so powerful. I’ve encountered a lot of those same issues in my previous 21 day fasts. I am now to get back in the saddle. Thank you so much for your positivity and your contribution to humanity. Blessings!!

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