By Michelle Adams CrossFit Teneo Coach and Member
I have never EVER wanted to fast. I have always been against it, based on the premise that its “bad for you” just because I didn’t think it was good for your metabolism, not because I ever had any real research data to back that up. Also, I really enjoy eating! Who wants to give up food for a day?! However, I decided to give a 24 hour fast a try because it sounded like a challenge I needed to take on because the difficulty level was so high. And I needed to change my relationship with food…
I decided to do this on a Sunday that I had packed with activities because I knew, FOR CERTAIN, that I would not be able to do this if I wasn’t super busy. Boredom is a huge factor in my (over) eating habits, and although I eat clean, I can still overdo it.
THE RULES! I will eat a snack at 10pm on Saturday night, and not eat again until 10pm Sunday, when I can have another snack before bed. I am allowed to drink water, coffee and BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids). And chew gum. But nothing else for the 24 hours!
THE PREFACE: I am so nervous about this and already questioning why I am doing this! What am I trying to prove? That I am strong enough to not eat? LOL I know what I am hoping to gain from it, which is the control I seem to have lost when it comes to food. No, I don’t eat junk all day. I just let the first sign of hunger control my every moment until I finally eat. But then it’s back to thinking about food again. So, hey let’s try NO FOOD. Seems legit…
THE CLIFF’S NOTES: Ok, let’s break this down…I survived the 24 hours without food and it truly wasn’t as bad as I expected. Granted, I was VERY BUSY the entire day! But that is why I chose to do it when I did. I would have had a much harder time if I were bored, because that’s one of the triggers for overeating or eating when we aren’t even hungry!
The morning was interesting because I slept in so I could fast forward more time without food LOL, went to the gym around 10am and stayed for a couple of hours. I worked out (did 2 decent workouts) and didn’t pass out, I actually felt AMAZING! I noticed that I had a sharper sense of things, like more in tune with what was happening around me and I’m not exactly sure why that was. Maybe it was the lack of sugar and my focus was better? I have no idea.
Once I left the gym, I had abs. No really, I had more abs than I have had for a long time LOL but that was soon overshadowed by hunger! Grumbly stomach and having to feed my kids without eating was hard! But I drank more water, water, water ALL DAY in large quantities! It really does fill your stomach and cleans you out.
It wasn’t until around 6pm that I became really hungry to the point of being overcome with the thoughts of food, so I drank my branched chain amino acids in water and guess what? I was fine again! And I only had a few hours left to go! I saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
The most notable of things that I appreciated from this day was the amount of time I feel like I gained that I was NOT thinking about food. I feel as if I spent more quality time with my kids that day and I wasn’t starving, I wasn’t cranky, or hangry. I just knew that I wasn’t going to eat for the whole day and I could move on to better enjoy whatever I was doing. It is strange to say, but I want to do it again!
SIDE NOTE: Once I could eat again, I did and then some!! My abs were gone L So maybe it’s better to do only a 16-18 hour fast where you eat at 8pm and then again around lunchtime the following day. That way it isn’t such a long stretch without food and the risk of overeating afterwards isn’t as high!