Long term waterfast

Has anyone long -term water fasted? How long and how did you cope with not eating ?Always wanted to do it. 100+ days of lockdown definitely given me some fat for once to cannibalise. Inspired by this man
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2495…
His weight loss results alone are remarkable-
During the 382 days of the fast, the patient's weightdecreasedfrom456to180lb.Fiveyearsafter undertaking the fast, his weight remained around 196 lb.So not even any weight gain once eating resumed or damage to metabolism and does not include the health benefits.... thoughts, advice, opinions?

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Comments (76)

Jul 13, 2020 - 1:22pm

I've fasted for 24ish hours before. It's much easier to do when sitting at home versus being in an office and having to fight through the fog you get from not eating.

Idk if it is particularly useful for anything other than reducing your weekly caloric intake though.

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Jul 15, 2020 - 12:26am
CRE:

Idk if it is particularly useful for anything other than reducing your weekly caloric intake though.

There are countless benefits to intermittent fasting.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 15, 2020 - 4:45am

literally any benefit you think you're getting from intermittent fasting can be obtained with a better regulated diet. it isn't the fact that you're starving yourself for 20 hours that makes you feel great, it's that you're not consistently stuffing yourself with your high fructose syrup cola or heavy cream wet dream Frappuccinos

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Jul 15, 2020 - 5:46am

You're wrong - click on the link.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 15, 2020 - 5:59am
Blue9:

literally any benefit you think you're getting from intermittent fasting can be obtained with a better regulated diet.

IF specifically helps gut microbiota. Read the facts.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6924599/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7092480/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6460288/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861737/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5988561/

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 15, 2020 - 7:42am

know what also helps your gut? not eating like shit and not loading yourself with antibiotics. again, you're conflating correlation with causation

there is a reason you have a minority of people practicing this stuff and preaching amazing results whilst sounding like absolute quacks (ie this bloke

who talks like he's a fucking oracle doing omad)

meanwhile the majority and fittest amongst us eat well-balanced diets throughout the day. grab an athlete and get them to do IF and watch their performance tank.

Jul 15, 2020 - 7:56am
Blue9:

know what also helps your gut? not eating like shit and not loading yourself with antibiotics. again, you're conflating correlation with causation

I'm not conflating shit. You're just wrong.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 15, 2020 - 8:14am

I too can go on google and type INTERMITTENT FASTING BAD and send you a bunch of the very same pubmed links showing how it either is nothing more than placebo, achieves the same results as a normal caloric reduction or causes cortisol levels to rocket through the point of severe stress and mental anguish but what's the point. you've made your mind up, so keep on keeping on I guess

Jul 15, 2020 - 8:20am

I am close friends with someone who wrote their thesis on Intermittent Fasting at Columbia University in her masters program of nutritional science. She taught me a lot on the subject and I am well familiar with it and have used it successfully.

You're obviously not educated in this arena.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 15, 2020 - 8:24am
Blue9:

grab an athlete and get them to do IF and watch their performance tank.

I did 3 targeted 5K workouts on the treadmill last week after intermittent fasting on each day. My times were 18:02, 17:54 (5:46/mi), 17:50 (5:45/mi).

Do you even workout bro?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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  • Intern in PropTrad
Jul 15, 2020 - 4:22am

I am surprised that you say that. there has historically been some form of fasting in every culture, for good reason.

Jul 15, 2020 - 5:33pm

IF is legit, please stop with your nonsense

High insulin levels can destroy your body. And the gut does especially well when you eat a lot of fiber and resistant starch, not just when you "avoid shit".

Try reading actual journal articles and studies (like the ones conveniently provided for you) before mouthing off.

Jul 16, 2020 - 8:42am

isaiah, I trust your workout knowledge, I'm dubious that IF has benefits that are unique to the fast itself. isn't the principal benefit of IF is the autophagy it induces? if so, autophagy can also be induced by strenuous exercise. my question has always been this - does fasting have unique benefits? or, does it just have good benefits, but benefits you can get elsewhere?

Jul 13, 2020 - 1:28pm

Pretty easy once you get used to it. Kind of fun as well.

Money can purchase freedom, if you have the guts to buy it

Jul 15, 2020 - 12:25am

Just do 16:8 Intermittent fasting or 20:4. Break the fast with veggies or bone broth.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
Jul 15, 2020 - 6:46am

I did a 30 day water only fast, two 15 day water only fasts, and more 5 day water fasts than I can count. I also intermittent fasting regularly as I eat only one or two meals per day around brunch and lunch (omad-one meal a day) now. Before I was on 18:6 IF schedule. What would you like to know? I kept meticulous excel notes on my stats throughout the process and did pre and post bloodwork. Dr Alan Goldhamer has a lot of resources and talks on the subject as well. YouTube it.

  • Intern in PropTrad
Jul 15, 2020 - 6:59am

Wow that is discipline & willpower! How do you control hunger pangs, if indeed you get them? Were you lethargic or could you continue with life as normal? Anything you wish you knew before you started? Seeing that you have incorporated fasting in your lifestyle I take it you felt better for it?
I just can't get over the mindset of not eating for 15 days straight but I still want to do it for the fat loss and health benefits - I have 3kgs of pure fat to lose so I definitely have 10-15 days worth of sustenance on me to do it. Thanks!

Most Helpful
Jul 15, 2020 - 7:58am

Surprised to see the question on WSO btw. I didn't know there were my-kind-of-crazy people here.

TLDR: long-term water fasting (LTWOF) is NOT a solution for weight loss, and I no longer do them. I have had my best sustainable weight loss on OMAD / IF. I find the 16:8 / 18:6 to be too wide an eating window for weight loss. I also make sure I'm not eating too close to dinner time – so better you keep an early eating window. I know a lot of folks in the IF crowd skip breakfasts for convenience sake, and I often do this as well, but truth be told it's dinner one ought to skip for weight loss. An early / mid-day OMAD or 2meals/day work better than an IF eating window.

Resources to Google/Youtube: Dr. Jason Fung (wrote a good book on fasting), Dr. Michael Greger (wrote a good book called How Not to Diet, and also has some good YT talks about timing of eating to maximize weight loss), Dr. Alan Goldhamer of True North Center (big fasting advocate, runs a center in CA for the purpose).

The problem with LT water fasting (>3 days) is that your body drops its metabolic rate after a few days to prevent weight loss. Ironies abound. Dr. Jason Fung, whom I am sure you've also looked into, also talks/writes about this. Also from a safety standpoint you really shouldn't be doing more than 5 to 7 days of water fasts without medical supervision, depending on your fat reserves. Thirdly, from a productivity standpoint I also really struggled because I find it very difficult to work during a fast.

So let me tell you what happens from a physiological standpoint. I did body scans and bloodwork on all my fasts so I can pass you the stats. You absolutely do not lose any muscle during a fast. In fact, fasting forces your body to boost HGH so you actually gain muscle (albeit lean and ungycated muscle) during a fast. There are actors (like Hugh Jackman when training for Wolverine) who went on crazy weightlifting regimes + LTWOF in order to boost HGH and get a pumped up for the role. Your body is engineered to preserve muscle and burn fat during a fast, so it has multiple mechanisms to retain muscle and during full fast-induced ketosis, and HGH boosting is just one of the mechanisms.

What happens during a fast is:

    • First 12-15 hours > your body is burning glycogen as its normal power source, primarily from your liver. This is your normal day routine.
    • After about 12-15 hours your body switches to ketosis, and burns fat for energy. That's why intermittent fasting works. You are finally digging in to those fat reserves. That's why for me OMAD or 2meals/day works well. When I was doing an 18:6 or 16:8 I.F. the window was just too wide to make any real progress in fat burning. Your maximum fat burning is at this point.
    • The first 3 days of LTWOF is a motherfucker. This is the hardest part of the fast. I get irritable and hungry as hell. Moreover because fat is harder to burn than glycogen, your body also burns the glycogen stored in your muscles. Your muscles then deflate, and you become more lean looking. Your face becomes leaner looking. You feel exhausted and sore all over, because of the glycogen depletion in your muscles. You needn't worry though, because your HGH is boosted, so once you eventually start eating again, your muscles re-inflate and you'll actually come out with slightly higher muscle mass. I can send you Excels of what happened to my body during this phase. Fascinating stuff.
    • After day 3 the body is in full ketosis, your glycogen is pretty much all depleted, and your body shuts off the hunger and goes into a restive state. Your digestive system hibernates. This makes the rest of the fast MUCH easier. Day 3-5 or 3-7 (your mileage may vary) is actually quite easy and pleasant. You've no hanger, your thoughts are crystal clear, you only need to sleep 4 hours/night because your body is not exhausted from digestion. This is a very meditative phase. This is why many religions actually practices some fasting because it really gives your body a chance to rest, heal, and your mind a chance to relax and focus at the same time. Your body starts to heal little things. Your skin clears up and takes on a pleasant glow. I had minor scars clear up. Dry skin clears up. You'll also likely have a single big watery BM which is your system discharging what poop/food remains is in your digestive system, and is likely flushing out other pollutants. You will start losing about 1lb/day in fat. Once you do start eating eventually, your muscles reinflate, your body is healthier than when you started.

My personal experience:

    • At around day 7-10 things started to get a bit challenging. I experienced headaches from mineral deficiencies. I was still only needing to sleep 4 hrs/night and had good thinking capability, but the headaches bothered me. I was able to patch this over by drinking NoSalt – a salt substitute made of magnesium phosphate and a bit of pink Himalayan salt. This cleared all the headaches and I was able to go to 15 days. I did two 15 day fasts (they were about a year apart) and then the next year I pushed myself and did 28 days (technically not the 30 days I had aimed for).
    • I experienced mental hunger during the fast after about 10 days. This is different than physical hunger. Your digestive system is shut down already, and your body isn't producing the hunger-triggering hormones. But after about 10 days you start to really miss food in your mind. I found myself wandering around the grocery store, gazing longingly at bright fruits. You miss the idea of eating and the sweetness of fruits or the tastes of veggies and starches. But your stomach is asleep. Your mind though has this longing.
    • I found it nearly impossible to work during the fasts. Others have been able to work, and actually find it distracts them from the mental hunger.
    • In each case, my weight came back after ending the fasts. Like, to a tee. I started at X, then lost 1lb /day during the fast, and then once I started eating eventually I got precisely back to X again. It's amazing – but not the result I wanted. On OMAD or 2meal/day the weight loss is more sustainable and maintainable.
    • If you DO decide to LTWOF (I don't recommend LTWOF anymore) then start by first going to a very clean all veggie diet first for 3-5 days prior to starting. This clears your digestive system of heavier foods and pollutants. On the day of your fast's start I recommend you do a crazy exhausting HIIT workout or long-distance run. This will help burn your liver glycogen before you start fasting and shortens your window to ketosis. It makes the hunger pangs shorter. Now, as far as exiting the fast, you want to do this gently. Many fasting centers serve their clients watermelon and veggie broth for 2-3 days before weaning them back on to softer steamed veggies. This is a way to gradually get your digestive system woken up and back to eating foods.
Jul 15, 2020 - 7:51pm

Everyone has a different experience. Many people report feeling light, energetic, they felt they were able to cleanse and de-pollute themselves. Your body goes through a journey on a long-term fast, so each week is different. My experience was generally that it made me tired and lethargic, difficulty concentrating, headaches from low minerals, and suppressed mood.

At the beginning I found it meditative and peaceful, albeit with suppressed energy. Towards the latter parts of the fast the energy level was ramped way up, like I was light, ready and able to chase down prey if I needed to.

Jul 15, 2020 - 8:06am

by the way, I write this as I sit in the waiting room to see the doctor. I'm hoping he will write me a prescription for metaformin so that I can try to reverse my aging. This is unrelated to weight loss, but since you seem to be hacking your body I thought I'd mention it. Dr. David Sinclair talks about his own self-prescribing metaformin, and supplementing with NMN, NAD and Resveratrol.

EDIT: Doc refused to prescribe Metaformin. He gave me nothing. Said my stats are excellent. Looks like I'm going to have to find a rogue physician.

Jul 15, 2020 - 1:08pm

Metformin is still a thing to do among the longevity guys, but I think it's gone from hard consensus to soft consensus. The rub is that some study came out recently showing Metformin makes it really hard to add muscle after a workout. So one leading voice (Peter Attia) responded by not taking it on hard workout days, and then he cut it out completely.

My doc said no too, and I was ready to fight him on it but then that happened. Will keep monitoring.

Jul 15, 2020 - 7:55pm

Great insight DRD! I only wish you were a real doctor, because I could use a prescription. I'm not expecting medical consensus, but I do want to reverse aging (who doesn't am I right?) and I'm perfectly happy to run an N=1 medical trial on myself. I want to be on metaformin, NAD, NMN and resveritrol and see what happens. I don't understand why more of medical science and the self-hacker community isn't laser-focused on this issue. If reversing/slowing aging is possible, shouldn't we all be on this 24/7?

Jul 15, 2020 - 1:04pm

What's long term? I've done 72 hrs and I attempted a 2nd one but gave up at 48 because I had a big deadline and the fast was screwing with my focus.

I've studied it quite a bit, the health benefits are well established. I plan to do a lot more of it.

For me the only limitation is that I can't concentrate on higher level things with food on my mind. So I fast when I anticipate mindless days (ie lots of meetings, errands, or other times when I wouldn't be thinking hard anyways).

Jul 15, 2020 - 2:21pm

ive done 12 days water once and 7-days maybe 20 times. was doing OMAD for 5 years-ish.
now im about the deadlift and kefir life.
you should do some squats instead imo

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
Jul 17, 2020 - 8:27am

I dropped a ton of weight using a combination of heavy lifting 3x a week (compound lifts, kettle bells, and the occasional machine for certain accessory muscles), Cardio to round it out, and using IF and a Ketogenci diet to keep the caloric intake under control. Even with OMAD days, I was able to keep my macros in line and still maintain a caloric deficit. Heavy lifting is essential because Muscle weighs more than fat and requires more energy. It also burns more calories when resting versus fat, etc. resulting in higher resting metabolism. More Muscle means more metabolic activity to keep the body running. Weight lifting also comes with the added benefit of causing a longer response in the body than cardio does - so you end up with an elevated metabolism for longer than you would after doing cardio. On the cardio side, it's about endurance and cardiovascular health benefits you don't get from weight lifting.

Diet - that's just finding something that works. Personally, I like clean Keto (cutting out all thep rocessed shit and focusing on clean carbs for the small amount I eat in a day, as well as clean protein asd fat) because of the effects that Keto has. I've found it easier to manage macros, eat healthy, and keep myself going on Keto versus a mediteranian diet or a more traditional American diet.

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Jul 15, 2020 - 6:34pm

regularly do 20-4 with a 48 hr fast once a month. load up on pedialyte or something with sodium that is under 50 cals if you want to do longer than 24 and not feel moody/lethargic

Array
Jul 15, 2020 - 9:02pm

For me, the whole diet thing is less clear. I'm now on a whole-food-plant-based (vegan) diet, with no oil and minimal salt+sugar, but my weight-loss has stalled. There were many other benefits of going plant-based (gout went away, blood pressure dropped, etc). But from a I had good weight-loss standpoint I had better results on a meat-eating keto diet, but keto/meat caused gout and other problems. Hence I'm now playing with OMAD.

What I'm solving for is longevity not aesthetics, and research shows that a WFPB diet is the best way to maximize lifespan and later-life health, keeping serious diseases at bay.

Jul 16, 2020 - 10:48am

If you want to have any amount of muscle mass you should be eating some animal fats and proteins. You will tank your test levels otherwise.

Array
Jul 15, 2020 - 9:07pm

Strongly oppose this diet. The body needs a base amount of nutrition. If you use this method you'll have absolutely no muscle and look/feel horrible during the process.

Figure out your BMR, and eat around there + workout hard. Cut out carbs as much as possible. Done. This is a healthy and simple way of losing calories and feeling great.

Array
Jul 15, 2020 - 9:42pm

So I'll take a risk and put my stats out there. I do NOT recommend LTWOF because the body will decrease its metabolic rate to try to preserve fat, so fasting has NOT helped me lose weight. The body will also boost HGH though so it will preserve muscle as well. I have some body scans (the simple gym ones not dexa) that I did during my fasts. I've only got only data from late 2015, since I don't do LTWOF anymore, so these figures no longer apply to my current weight or state. But here you go.

This includes a 9-day fast and a 17-day fast in here, as well as an interim recovery period. You can see the way the body preserved muscle during the fast, and even regrew muscle post-fast (the affect of HGH). The deep ketosis cut into the fat for fuel during the fast. However eventually the fat came back and reseted at the set-point.

Jul 16, 2020 - 8:18am

1) This is 2015, before I dropped a bunch of weight. When I started in 2015 I was 255lbs. I'm now at 205. Still got a way to go.

2) pretty sure I said transparently that I found LTWOF not to work for weight loss and that I had better success on IF and more recently OMAD. I also said weightloss broadly was a challenge for me, and I'm exchanging notes here specifically to learn from others

3) I never claimed to be anything one way or the next. Whatever you dreamt up is your business. I'm here to exchange notes and learn from others and I def don't care what you think.

Jul 15, 2020 - 9:50pm

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