5 Days Liquid Fast - The Experience
From January 8 to 12, I went on a liquid fast. I didn't do it for health purposes, but as part of my church's prayer and fasting week. Since I'm already on the one meal a day intermittent fasting protocol (which has become second nature to me), I needed to up my fasting game. Hence, a liquid fast.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. What I'm sharing is based on my own experience.
So before I started the fast on Monday, I prepared myself physically and mentally. I consumed a high-protein and calorie-dense meal on Sunday, with added dessert (because 'why not'). I also planned the liquids I were to consume during the week and tweaked my weight-training program.
DAILY LIQUID MEALS
A post-workout shake of 333 calories
- Nitro Tech Protein (160 calories)
- 200 ml of full cream milk (124 calories)
- A tablespoon of chia seeds (49 calories)
A pre-bedtime shake of 264 calories
- Nitro Tech Nighttime Protein (140 calories)
- 200 ml of full cream milk (124 calories)
Total daily calorie intake: 597 calories (69.5g protein, 22g fat, 33.4g carbohydrate)
I guess this constitutes as a 'protein shake diet'. As you can see, I tried to at least consume 600 calories (focusing on protein) to prevent muscle catabolism. I also took my daily multivitamins and continued my non-stim fat burner dosage.
Coincidentally, it was strength week. I was training within the 4-8 rep range with heavier loads on upper body splits. Knowing cardio would hinder my attempts at preserving muscle, I reduced the length of my jump rope sessions from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.
Monday: Legs + Core + Jump Rope
Tuesday: Chest & Triceps + Core + Jump Rope
Wednesday: Back & Biceps + Core + Jump Rope
Thursday: Shoulders + Core + Jump Rope
Friday: Legs + Core
Monday: It was just like any other Monday, except... I couldn't enjoy eating solid food. I did find the two servings of protein shake filling though. I also had a bowl of peanut soup - no peanuts, just soup - for fun.
Tuesday: I actually caught a minor cold over the weekend, so my sleep wasn't the best. I was rather lethargic throughout the day and entered my weight-training session lazily. Still, I finished my training, downed one shake, force down another shake (I had lost my appetite), before heading to bed earlier than usual.
Wednesday: Going to bed earlier on Tuesday was a great decision. However, it took me longer than usual to complete my weight-training - fatigue set in quicker than usual. By the time I was done, I opted out of my jump rope and core session because I felt rather drained.
Thursday: Not fully recovered from my cold, I felt the bug kicking in again. And with low energy levels demotivating me from exercise, I decided to push my Thursday workout routine to Saturday. I also swapped out a protein shake for some solid food. Yes, I broke my fast - I really needed more calories to last me till Saturday.
Friday: Wow, talk about mental alertness! I actually felt more alive throughout the day and was able to pull off another leg day, with an added 20-minute jump rope session. And yes, it was a result of downing more calories the night before.
*Saturday: In a fasted state, I did my shoulder workout and an hour of Pilates. I unofficially broke my fast at 3pm with real food.
I survived! Will I do it again? Probably not.
As I didn't do a weigh-in prior to the fast, I actually do not know how much fat I loss. But since I wasn't doing the liquid fast for weight-loss purposes, it didn't really matter to me. I've probably regained what I've lost, when I returned to my one meal a day protocol anyway.
Overall, my liquid fast didn't affect my lifts and the loads I could carry. But, my energy levels dipped toward the end of the week - lethargy set in post-workout on Wednesday, and by Thursday I wondered why I thought working out was a good idea. Honestly, I don't think I would be able sustain my lifts if I prolonged the fasting period.
From a dietary evaluation standpoint, the fast helped me understand how satiety has been affecting the amount of food I usually consume at mealtime. I intend to make tweaks to my meals, knowing that just 2 protein shakes were able to keep me satiated.
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING A LIQUID FAST...
... I would suggest looking into intermittent fasting first. As I personally believe in long-term, sustainable methods, I wouldn't suggest shortcuts to anyone. Because, let's be honest, no quick fix lasts forever. So choose to develop a healthy lifestyle. The results might take a while to show, but they last far longer than any short-term diet plan.
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