A day without food

Josh Sherman
5 min read
Health / Fitness

This past weekend I set out to do a water fast. The plan was to go from Friday evening to Sunday evening. A full 48 hours.


No real health reasons, and definitely not to see if I could lose weight. Really just wanted to see if I could.

Thing is though, I like to eat. Not in the “adult onset diabetes” sort of way, but I enjoy cooking and I enjoy great food.

So how did you prepare?

As a matter of fact, I didn’t. And that was the best part. Totally unprepared, I set out to see what it was like to go without food for a little while.

How did it all turn out?

Fairly well in my opinion.

The fast was less unbearable than I had originally anticipated. The first night was the hardest as my body is trained to consume pizza every single Friday night.

Later in the evening, before I went to bed was the hardest as I started to develop a headache. It probably didn’t help that my final “meal” were a couple of Bad Boyda’s amazing cocktails at Sumo Happy Hour.

The first evening I consumed a decent amount of water. Flat water with the occasional bit of lemon juice. I tried to drink whenever I felt hungry.

I woke up bright and early at around 8am and felt like I could sleep for a few more hours. I didn’t and opted to read for a few hours in bed. After that I got to work on some of my usual weekend projects and had some movies going in the background to keep my brain a bit more occupied.

The craziest part about that day was how much time I had acquired by not eating. By 1 or 2pm I had already accomplished a whole day’s worth of efforts. Gotta figure that breakfast takes me 15 to 45 minutes and lunch at least the same amount of time.

I take my coffee black, so I felt it was all right to have a cup of coffee that day. The rest of the time I sipped on lemon water as well as Smart Water. I opted for something with electrolytes as I was fearful that I would end up flushing my system and feeling like shit as time progressed.

I made it to 24 hour mark without much issue. No headache that day and the feeling of hunger seemed to have subsided completely by midday.

That said, since everything was going so well, a bit too well, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to cut the fast short as it was my first time.

The World’s Greatest Chili Dogs were my destiny!

Where were the wife and kid during all of this?

They happened to have been out of town for the weekend for a dance convention. Fasting was something I wanted to do without the fam around for two reasons.

First, I wasn’t sure if I was going to turn into Joe Pesci over the course of the weekend.

Second, I didn’t want my daughter to see me not eating for no good reason. Since fasting isn’t a part of our spiritual rituals, I was very fearful that it could conjure up the idea of not eating as a good thing in her brain. Ya know… eating disorders :-/

Safety first!

Speaking of safety… probably a bit late for a disclaimer, but I’m not a doctor and I didn’t consult a doctor. YMMV.

The most interesting thing about the fast was how I slept both nights. The first night I got to bed around midnight and slept very soundly. It’s fairly common for me to wake up at least once or twice in the middle of the night. Even though I woke up not feeling that rested, the sleep itself was solid.

The next night was quite the opposite. I got to bed around the same time, but not only did I wake up 3 or 4 times during the night, I had at least a few bouts of sleep paralysis to boot. I woke up later, at 10am as well.

If you’re not familiar with sleep paralysis, it’s when you are between awake and asleep and you can’t move or speak. It’s fucking terrifying the first few times it happens. The phenomenon can be accompanied with hallucinations and a feeling of somebody in the room or watching you.

This isn’t my first rodeo and I used to associate it with the spirits of my dead parents haunting the hell out of me (as I started having them around the time of their passings). Like going on a roller coaster, you become numb to the fears so I’ve become kind of a fan ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Would you do it again? Would you do it for a longer period?

Probably not. I know there is a euphoric high that can happen with longer periods of fasting but I probably won’t endeavor again. Since it’s something I’d prefer to do alone, without my family around, the duration I could fast will generally be limited anyway.

That said, I’d absolutely do it again if I knew it would incite more sleep terrors. I’m a big fan of dreamimg, the idea of parallel dimensions we are travelling to while we slumber and stuff like that.

After sleeping half the morning away, I skipped breakfast and didn’t eat until around 2pm. Reminded me of my intermittent fasting days. Based on this experience, I will probably pick up on doing intermittent fasting again.

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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