10 Day Water Fast – My Experience
Back in December 2010, I decided to do a 10 day water fast while I was visiting in Bali. I had 1 hotel room for 2 weeks (well it was more of a suite with 2 bedrooms) and I was going to spend most of the time inside anyways.
So I thought having 14 days in one place in Bali would work as I could have a few days to recover before going on to my next Destination: The Philippines.
I had done several 1 day water fasts and 3 day water fasts, both on my own, so I was not too worried. I had a friend watching me during this 10 day fast. I have read some works by Shelton on fasting myself.
I had been feeling kind of crappy and blah a little in Thailand and Singapore because I were inside a lot, doing the same thing everyday (being on the computer), I felt tired and not really hungry and I wanted to have more energy and feel better. Also my skin was getting a little crazy with hormones, the constant A/C but then humidity outside and it was dry and oily and at the same time.
I had never gone into ketosis before doing shorter fasts, so I was not sure what to expect. Friends told me I’d probably have low energy and not feel so great and probably be really bored, but I could try for a week and see how it went.
My goal was to try and get to 10 days. At 7 days I would see how I felt and then decide if I could keep going. Since I was kind of on vacation and did not really have to go anywhere or be capable of anything it seemed like a good time.
***BTW I do not recommend doing a water fast of more than 3 days on your own, unsupervised. Especially if you have to drive, work, walk very far, take care of others or have existing health conditions that could put you at risk, it’s just unwise. You can always do a series of 1 day or even 3 day fasts if you are unable to take time off to go to a fasting center for proper care.
If you do a water fast on your own your friends and family are likely to be afraid for you, worry you or talk you out of it, or even worse call an ambulance on you or take you to the hospital because they think something is wrong. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have unsupportive people around you and you are in a weakened state! That is very dangerous and they won’t know that fasting is less harmful than taking you to the hospital or putting you on medication.
During my fast I stayed inside my hotel room almost the entire time, I drank water when I was thirsty and I booked an in hotel massage once a day for the first 8 days of fasting. Partly because I wanted something to look forward to each day, and partly because I wanted to see if it would help my lymph while fasting.
So here is my fasting journal for my 10 day fast and the few days recovering after the fast.
Fasting Day One
I have no hunger. I’m feeling a good amount of energy. No light headedness. Did a few exercises and felt fine.
Did not really think of food at all. No cravings. I’m glad I mentally prepared myself that I won’t be eating for a while.
Later on in the evening I have a little headache from artificial light. I was watching some tv and on my computer. It’s pretty dark in this hotel room, so not a lot of natural light. So that’s probably why.
Fasting 36 hours
I’ve been sitting up in bed resting. My lower back a little sore. I’ve been going to bed late and sleeping in because it’s a little boring here. I have a slight sensitivity to light. Not hungry or dizzy. Slight mouth fuzziness, even though I’m still brushing my teeth twice a day. I have dry lips, probably the a/c is not helping. Itchy skin on my face.
My weight today is 130 lbs/59 kg.
Fasting 61 hours
I feel headachey, and a little weak. Not hungry though. I do feel a little out of it. I keep sleeping 9 hours a night like I usually do. I wanted to keep sleeping as long as possible because then there is less time to sit here and be awake. Resting in bed mostly. Waiting for the hours to crawl by. A little bored. My breathing is much slower I think.
I still weigh 130 lbs/ 59 kg this morning.
Fasting 65 hours
I feel much better this morning. Less of a headache. I feel a little hungry now. I have a sensation in my throat and stomach feels really empty. I remember when I fasted for 3 days before I felt like I had a vacuum in my stomach, but it doesn’t feel like that this time. I just feel like my heart is beating in my stomach, it feels stronger than in my chest and is weird.
Fasting 69 hours
I got a blood glucose meter. So I checked myself for the first time. My Blood glucose is 3.4 mmol/L. Looking it up from the chart it’s within normal ranges. I do feel a little light headed though. I make sure that I sit up and then wait a few seconds before standing up so I don’t get that black out feeling from lower blood pressure.
Fasting 84 hours
I slept another 9 hours last night. Today I feel hungover, even though I have not had any alcohol for about 3 years now. It totally reminds me of being destroyed and hungover. I’m very nauseous and dizzy. I don’t want to move it makes me feel really bad. Even typing this is making me feel sick.
I feel a little better after resting an hour and then having some water. My massage felt good, I feel much better after it and feel more myself. My ankles keep hurting though, they are throbbing like I cracked them too much. I don’t know if it’s from lying down… maybe.
Fasting 88 hours
I have a little energy and have lots of thoughts and conversing is really easy. I really don’t feel much different or like when some people say their minds are racing and so clear when they fast. Unless I’m tired I always feel like that, it’s easy to think and focus. Other than my ankles and lower back hurting a little I feel ok.
Fasting 90 hours
I feel like all the energy has been sucked out of me. I feel dizzy and weak. My ankles and my back are throbbing and it’s pretty annoying and sore. I feel an acidic feeling in my throat and drinking water makes me burp. My intestines are rumbling and I feel kind of like when I start to get cramps. I kinda feel like my ovaries and lower back ache. I feel tired like I need to nap even though I just woke up. I’m not hungry. My mouth feels a little fuzzy and sticky even though I am brushing twice a day. I feel thirsty but the water does not taste good it tastes like glass and metal. I have to make myself drink a few glasses today.
Weight: 127.8 lbs/ 58 kg
Fasting 96 hours
My throat feels all acidic still. I cannot sleep. My ankles still throbbing. Why won’t they stop? Something below my stomach is hurting really badly. It feels like it’s being ripped apart inside and it really hurts. I have never had this feeling before ever. It’s like tissue being torn away from my abdominal wall or something. It makes me want to eat just to try stop the pain. I feel like my insides are being eaten. My feet are so cold they feel like ice. Its hard to warm them up. Even under the covers of my bed they are freezing.
Fasting 108 hours
I don’t feel like I slept much. I wasn’t really tired and i just laid in bed with my eyes closed all night. I must have slept a little this morning because i had a dream. I was fighting with my mom and sister. My mom wouldn’t listen to me and she just left. I was so angry with her. I don’t really feel tired or nauseous or sick this morning. I feel ok. Not like yesterday when i felt so terrible it was hard to move from the pain. My ankles hurt a little still. No throbbing and lots of pain like yesterday. My lower back is a little sore. I wonder if it is my kidneys or something.
Weight 126.7 lbs/ 57.5 kg
Fasting Day 6
I’m going to stop counting the hours now that I’m fasting. It’s too confusing to keep track. I couldn’t sleep last night. I went to bed at 9 pm the night before and only slept until 2:30 am. Then my lower back hurt and I was restless so I read till 4 am. I tried to do a 24 hour dry fast because I was reading that it’s even more cleansing than a water fast and I hoped it would help my lower back, but only lasted 12 hours. I felt nauseous and thirsty at 8 am. I had to drink water, it took me a while to get out of bed because I felt so terrible. I went to the bathroom and then drank 3 glasses of water and went back to bed for 4 hours. Surprisingly I did not need to pee again, which is odd because I usually have to soon after drinking any water, let alone that much. Must have been the dry fast.
I got up at noon and my back was really killing me. I think I also strained it from slouching in bed and the mattress padding being way to soft, so it put my back out and I felt like my organs were hurting. I cried it hurt so bad. My tongue is white and mouth is sticky and and my throat has acid reflux. Its been there since day 4 and drives me crazy. I felt terrible so I lay in bed for another 2 hours. Then I had a massage even though i felt so nauseous I didn’t know if i could make it. Just getting up and going to the other room was hard, I felt very ill. Lying down and relaxing helped. My back felt a little better after the massage. When I sat up after it was done I felt like I had to pull it together to not be sick and I felt dizzy. I had to talk to the massage therapist for a bit and act normal. Immediately after I needed to go to bed again and lie in the dark, the artificial light made me feel terrible. My back is still killing me, I don’t know what to do. I pulled off the mattress padding and laid a little flatter on the bed so it didn’t put my back out so much. Then I decided to try my electric massager and i used that on the sore parts of my back for a while and i felt so much better. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner. Maybe my muscles are spasming. I had this stabbing feeling in my left ovary that was really hurting. A few minutes of using it and it went away. I feel much better now, but sitting in my bed with my legs out is causing me pain. So I sit in an upright chair and feel much better keeping my back supported. I use my massager though out the day, the pain comes and goes depending on my posture. Poor posture brings the pain back. My throat is driving me crazy i keep feeling like I’m going to throw up bile because its so acidic in my throat and burns. Even drinking water doesn’t help it, I just burp a little and it keep burning.
My pain is back. I’m trying to sit upright in a chair and hold myself together but it’s hard. I just want it to end. This has been the worst day, I just want to lie down in the dark, but it hurts my back. I feel really cold still too. Even covering myself head to toe and wearing wool socks I’m still cold. I get the chills a few times a day now and its hard to warm up. My feet are always freezing and I feel cold inside my body.
Fasting Day 7
I feel better today, but I was only able to sleep in 3 to 4 hour blocks so I had to keep getting up for a while and then going back to bed. Finally at 8 am (I have been getting up at noon, because I couldn’t sleep) I got up and drank some water and went outside to get about 20 minutes of sun and that made me feel better too. This a/c is nasty, but it’s so noisy outside I can’t just leave my window open to sleep. My back hurts less. I need to keep making sure it’s straight and not slouching or it hurts. I’m still not hungry, not thinking about food. I don’t get dizzy or have to worry about getting up too fast anymore, I think my body has adapted to the low blood pressure. So that was really great.
I threw up after brushing my teeth today though accidentally. My toothbrush made me gag when I brushed my tongue and I threw up all this foam and then lots of yellow bile and then there was trickles of blood in it. I’m not sure what from, maybe my throat which has had acid on it for the past few days? Right after I drank some water and felt a million times better. I feel much better than all the days before just like on day one of my fast. It’s getting easier. I will aim for 10 days now, I’m almost there.
Weight 124.3 lbs/56.4 kg
Fasting Day 8
I took the mattress padding off my bed and slept on it like that. I was sleeping on the tile floor, but it was hurting my neck and making my legs hurt. I was able to sleep for about 9 and a half hours last night. I felt good this morning, but my neck and head are killing me. I put too much strain on it probably from lying with my head to the side while getting massaged. The hotel does not have massage tables so getting massages on a bed really sucks. It makes me feel better, but my neck is just hurting me and giving me a throbbing headache at the base of my head. Ive never hurt my neck so badly before. Maybe its just me but I always seem to hurt myself from sleeping or laying down and don’t generally hurt myself any other way. I think the next 2 days will be easier. I just keep thinking of the days in 12 hour blocks and sleeping when I feel low energy. Surprisingly the only ketosis symptoms I have are a white tongue and strong smelling urine, my body does not smell at all. I had a little athletes foot on my right foot and it went away (as a kid I always got that and some warts, it’s gotten better) and my skin is getting clearer. I’m hoping in the next 2 days it clears up even more. I’ve been careful to try and not touch my face while sleeping and keep it moisturized with coconut oil so it doesn’t dry out from the a/c. My throat does not feel as acidy anymore, I hope its getting better. I have had headaches on and off today from my sore neck. Massages help it for a few hours but my head starts throbbing and feels heavy later. I had a BM today, it was small and spontaneous. I felt better after. Nothing strange. I really don’t think colonics or enemas are necessary when fasting since the body can obviously take care of itself without them.
Weight 123.2 lbs/55.9 kg
Fasting Day 9
I tried to go to bed early around 10pm and only slept for a few hours before I was woken up by noise outside of the hotel. People are always talking, banging or laughing in the middle of the night and it wakes me up. I got up at 1 am because I couldn’t sleep. I listened to some music and then watched some shows, but am still not really tired. I’m trying to have proper posture in my sleep to keep my back and neck from hurting, it just gets boring when I can’t sleep. I don’t get chills anymore in bed, I just get hot really fast, so its hard to not feel like I’m roasting inside this thick comforter. But turning the a/c on too high just dries out my lips and makes them cracked.
4 am and I’m still not tired. The hardest part about fasting is being bored and waiting for time to pass. Just a day and a half more. Not having food cravings or feeling hungry, just more thinking what I’d like to eat in the future and what I will be happy to enjoy. I want to eat slower and enjoy it more. I think having juicy fruits will be very pleasant. I went back to bed after 4 and slept for almost 8 hours. I feel much better. My neck is still sore, but not giving me a headache like yesterday. Other than that I feel pretty fine, just the rest of the day and tomorrow to go.
Weight: 122.2 lbs/55.4 kg
Fasting Day 10
I feel fine today other than my neck still being sore. I’ll have something later on today. I want to go outside today and get some sun. So we went to the beach, but it’s cloudy and super windy so we walk around instead. I feel really really thirsty. We walk around town a little. I feel ok, I just can’t walk really fast and keep needing to drink water. I think about what I want to eat. Maybe some juice. The juice bar we go to is closed because of a holiday. It seems almost every day is a holiday in Bali. Literally. We walk around to an internet cafe and get the address of a vegetarian restaurant and take a taxi there. They have a few juices, mostly strong vegetable juices with herbs or ginger, I don’t want that. I get an orange, mango, papaya, pineapple smoothie and sip on it really slowly. I don’t feel hungry or even want to gulp it down. I just chew the fiber. It takes me about half an hour to slowly sip and chew about a cup of it. My stomach is full and the pineapple made my tongue burn. Its really acidic in Bali, that was a bad idea. I give up the rest of my smoothie and I go home. A few hours later I snack on a handful of black grapes and remove the seeds. Later on I cut up a pear and chew it slowly through a movie. I still feel ok. My insides are gurgling though and it feels really weird.
At night when I try to go to sleep, I can’t. I feel like my insides are an empty water slide and the fruit juices are whooshing through back and forth and up and down every few seconds. I’ve never felt anything like it before. It continues all the way until morning. I pass out for a few hours in the morning finally.
Weight: 121 lbs/54.9 kg
After The Fast Day 1
I’m really tired. I felt like I was kept awake all night and just want to lay in bed. I have a few little pieces of watermelon and I eat it. I’m still not really hungry. We’re going to go and meet someone today and get a juice, so I get ready and we go to a different location of the same vegetarian restaurant. I order the same juice but without the pineapple this time as it is so acidic. We sit there for a while and I feel ok and I drink my smoothie. A while after drinking it though I feel really nauseas and weak. I just want to lay down and its hard to concentrate and listen while they talk. I’m thinking maybe the mango was too sweet? I didn’t feel sick from pears apples or watermelon, so we have to leave immediately and when I get home I feel much better. I lay down for a while.
Later on that night I get hungry but I don’t know what to do. I read online that some natural hygienists suggest steamed vegetables and broth as to not excite the body from fruit sugar and trigger intense hunger. I get some green beans and cauliflower and steam it. I drink the cooking water and have some vegetables and feel much better afterwards. What a relief. I actually feel better eating that then the fruit after fasting… hmm.
My mouth is still pretty dry and my tongue is white, I can’t wait for that to go away. I try to sleep but I can’t. I’m wide awake and all these noises, honking, backfiring and buzzing sounds are driving me crazy. I lay awake half the night with my eyes closed waiting to be tired. Finally I pass out just before morning.
After The Fast Day 2
I feel tired, I can’t seem to feel ok if I get up before noon. I can’t make myself fall asleep earlier and I get migraines if I wake up without enough sleep. The artificial lights hurt my eyes. I get some fresh apple juice from the hotel. Its good, but its mostly foam so it’s pretty small. I wish we had a blender or juicer! My mouth feels a little better this morning. I’m still thirsty. I still don’t like light. I had to sleep with no pillow last night and it helped my neck a bit, it was feeling strained.
This was a good learning experience for me. I learned what not to do in a few areas like:
-Don’t sit in bed all day with your feet up, it puts out your lower back!
-Don’t stay inside all the time under artificial lights, it is unnatural and gives you headaches!
-Don’t stay inside with a/c because it dries out your skin and lips and you need fresh air.
-Don’t go to bed late because it messes up your sleep schedule and is really hard to break after fasting.
-Don’t break your fast with mangoes, they are too sweet.
-Don’t sleep on really soft beds, it really strains your back.
-Don’t use really soft pillows it strains your neck.
-Don’t eat pineapple after fasting, your mouth is very sensitive and it will burn it very easily. (Shelton also noted this as well)
-Colonics, enemas and laxatives are not necessary. The body is totally capable of having bm on its own when ready and during a fast nothing is going to be sitting inside you forever poisoning you, so don’t worry about it.
Some things I learned that are ok:
– Eating steamed vegetables or vegetable cook water does not make you feel sick or bad after a fast. – This is interesting.
– Walking around a bit while fasting is fine as long as you don’t make yourself walk to fast.
-Getting sunshine and fresh air really helps!
-It’s ok to not sit in the dark day and night resting. If you do this your circadian rhythms are all messed up and you can have major problems sleeping and be very sensitive to light migraines.
Next time I fast I will take care to be in a better environment where I can go outside, get fresh air and sun and not spend all the time inside laying in bed. If I didn’t do that I would not have put my back out so badly. I even started googling it and it seemed VERY common after the first 4 or 5 days in fasters. Most people attributed it to kidney pain or toxins being released, but I SERIOUSLY doubt that. There has to be a link between lower back pain and bad posture sitting in bed all day, it puts a huge strain on it. Then if you are also sleeping on your side at night and laying that way during the day you put even MORE strain on your back from resting. So posture is very very important when you are resting for extended periods to prevent yourself from getting injured!
After the fast I decided to eat smaller meals, and chew slower and enjoy the food more. I lost over 9 lbs. It did not creep back up within a few days like a lot of people say happens in fasting. But overall I am happy with my experience. I have noticed my digestion is MUCH much better, my skin is better and my mouth seems healthier too. I don’t have any more pain in my ovaries/intestines area so it’s possible my body did some healing on that area.
I think next time I do a water fast it will be even easier because I will be better at it and know what to expect!
The not eating was probably the easiest part. I thought it would be hard because I really look forward to meals and like deciding what to buy and eat. But I mentally prepared myself. I enjoyed my last meal and said no more eating again for 10 days. You can look forward to eating delicious fruit when you’re done, and it was really easy since I wasn’t actually hungry the first 3 days. I have water fasted before and felt hungry/sick on the 3rd day but this time I didn’t.
But the boredom and waiting for time to pass was the most persistent and then hurting myself from laying and sitting on a bed all day was the worst I experienced.
I really feel like I healed some problems with my digestion and possibly my ovaries. I always had this pain in my left side that would come and go and some healers told me there was something wrong there but doctors could never find anything. Anyways it doesn’t hurt anymore so that’s good.
Also the constant a/c and darkness are killer. We need fresh air, sun and light. Artificial light makes me so headachey in prolonged periods.
I could have gone longer because I was definitely not hungry and by day 10 everything was so much better and easier. I had to stop because I needed time to refeed before we traveled. I was not hungry and had to make myself eat some fruit a few times. I think my body would have been fine eating a few pieces of fruit once a day for the first few days.
I definitely don’t think it’s wise to break a fast with sweet tropical fruit though I felt so sick and drunk off of it, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I had no problems with apples and pears and a little watermelon. So I would stay away from mangoes, pineapple and banana next time I break a fast.
I know it will be easy for me to go longer next time, given that my surroundings weren’t that great. Our hotel was on the side of a highway so it wasn’t safe to be walking around down there by myself. (No shoulders or sidewalks)
I talked to my friend who is a Doc and found a lot of interesting info why I had problems with fruit after breaking the fast.
Pancreatic function takes about 4 days to return to normal if you are eating low sugar, small amounts of food and taking it easy, if you eat too much fruit, and too much it can take 2 weeks and wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Your pancreas has basically turned off while fasting and being in a ketatonic state, you can’t just expect it will turn on because you put fruit in your mouth!
The cooked veggies made me feel fine because they were partially broken down and easy to digest and low sugar. It was easy on my pancreas. Also since you are fasting you have a low amount of enzymes available for digesting, so eating blended or cooked vegetables is much easier on the body as it takes a few days to bring them back up to your pre fast levels.