my 25-day water fast experience

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Day 24. Me & the watermelon I’d be breaking my fast on the very next day.

A window into my first extended water fast.

On the 10th of February of this year, I endeavoured on a 25-day all-water fast. For so long I have wanted to write about my experience, but there’s just so much to say on the topic, I didn’t know where to start.

Two months later and I am finally getting my thoughts down. I hope that through sharing my story, you might learn something new and be inspired to live a healthful life.

* Please note that I do not in any way advise for anyone to perform an extended fast unsupervised.
This is merely my own personal account. If you want to learn more about my experience and/or fasting, you can contact me or refer to the links at the end of this post.

water-coming-out-of-glass_zpsfvfabkedWhat is fasting?
Fasting
The abstinence from all or some kinds of food and drink

Water / Water-Only Fasting
Maintains a zero caloric intake, which means water only, nothing added to it.

Why did I water fast?
There are many different types of fasting, from dry to liquid fasting, or from juice fasting to rice fasting (interesting, I know. Something I came across during my 25-day journey). Water fasting is the simplest form of fasting that delivers the greatest level of therapeutic benefit in a short period of time.

As such, I chose to do on a water-only fast to experience the immense benefits of fasting on the physical, mental and spiritual levels. In summary, and I will expand on these later:

  1. Physical healing and rejuvenation
  2. Mental clarity and focus
  3. Spiritual peace and direction
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March 5: Day 25 & still alive.

How did I fast?
Before embarking on this journey, I did extensive research (i.e. reading texts and watching lectures online). After everything I had learned about extended water fasting, I waited earnestly for the next opportunity to do one myself. I started to prepare mentally and physically by practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) over the course of a few months, a topic I will save for another post, and spiritually through prayer.

Finally, the occasion presented itself upon my return to the Philippines, being a fresh graduate from university and virtually unemployed, it was the perfect time to set 4 weeks aside to fast. I spent a total of 25 days on water and dedicated 7 days to get back into eating (the re-feeding process).

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Week 2. Here’s mum giving me a hand with taking my BP.

Being the inquisitive little scientist I am / to ensure my safety during this process, I took blood tests before and after my fast. During my fast, I took my blood pressure, weighed and measured myself, took progress shots and video logged daily. I tracked how I was feeling and journaled often. I was monitored by my loving parents and received support from incredible friends. In this regard, I didn’t tell many people about my fast until the very end, but to those who knew, I promised to send them Snapchats frequently to ensure them I was doing okay. I consulted books and resources online (I have included the links to these at the end of this post where you can check them out) and even stumbled upon a water-fasting support group on Facebook, which was a great opportunity to connect with both experienced and novice fasters, all passionate about health and healing. With the immense support I received from the people in my life, my main source of encouragement, strength and peace came from reading scripture in the Bible through daily meditations, multiple times a day.

Pre-fast: Preparation
As a vegan, I maintained my plant-based, whole food diet. The week before starting my fast, I ate more raw fruits and vegetables (i.e. less cooked meals) and slowly reduced the size and frequency of my meals as the day drew closer.

My experience during the fast (abridged)
Days 1-3:
I had an abundance of energy due to full glycogen stores (thank you Philippines for your fine mangoes) and remained active during the day, mainly cleaning out my room and closet while listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing audiobook among other podcasts and talks online.

Days 4-5:
Started to feel the initial effects of ketosis (when the body uses fat, instead of glucose, as its primary fuel). Still had lots of energy. No physical signs of hunger. Spent most the day on my laptop reading.

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“Lunch” consisted of sunshine and reading.

Days 6-11:
I’d wake up feeling weak, but good. Blood pressure is low(er). Long, great quality sleeps (~8-10 hours). Dreams are vivid. Lower energy, feeling mellow and chill. Desire to lie down all day, not wanting to look at a screen. Feeling thoughtful and reflective. Reading and journaling more. No longer skipping up steps; walking is tiring, sitting / lying down is fine. Still no hunger. Crazy breakout on my back on day 7 (detox?).

Days 12-19:
Eyes appear brighter. Skin clearing. Feeling energised. Spent lots of time outdoors getting fresh air and sunshine. Dreams more vivid – e.g. buying groceries, looking at food but never actually eating it, haha. Vitals good, weight decreasing at a steady rate. Muscles sore (especially arms) due to daily use (e.g. holding books, using my phone).

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Day 1 vs. Day 25

Days 20-25:
Physically weak but very mentally clear. Dreams are still vivid. Feeling positive. Days feel slower. Still no hunger but desire to get back into the social world is strong.

Breaking the fast
What many people do not realise is the importance of breaking an extended fast. Once the body realises it isn’t getting any food, the digestive system goes to sleep. During this time, bacteria in the gut diminishes significantly. As such, food must be introduced in a slow and gentle manner to wake the system up and allow for digestive enzymes to repopulate.

I broke my fast on watermelon, and spent my first week eating very small, frequent meals of high-water content fruits that were hydrating and easily digestible. I used Loren Lockman’s plan as a guide:

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Week 1 Meals (clockwise): Day 1 – watermelon. Day 3 – papaya. Day 4 – mango & 5 – star apple.

  • Day 1: 2 ozs of watermelon or papaya every two hours from 10 am to 6pm. Choose one fruit for the whole day.
  • Day 2: 4 ozs of watermelon every 2.5 hours from 9am to 7pm.
  • Day 3: Depending on how you did on day 2, between 6 and 8 ozs of watermelon, papaya, cantaloupe, or other melon every 3 hours from 9 to 6.
  • Days 4-7: Increase quantity by about 4 ozs or so each day, eating 4 times between 9 and 6 (every 3 hours.)  You can add one acid meal per day starting day 4 if you feel up to it. (Celes: Acid meal means food that are acidic in nature, including meat, diary, french fries, highly acidic fruits, etc. Refer to this table on heartburn food.)
  • Day 8 and beyond: Whole, ripe organic fruits and simple green salads.  Nothing dehydrated, very little fat.

My recovery was incredibly quick. The smallest piece of watermelon had me bouncing off the walls, and because I had so much energy, I slowly got back into exercise by Day 2. I was careful about my re-feeding process and mindful when eating. I’m thankful for my smooth and enjoyable transition to eating solid food again. PS. There is nothing like your first bite of solid food after tasting nothing but water for 25 days!

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Detox symptoms that showed up 1 week into my fast. These healed up in no time. My back is now completely clear.

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Before (left) & After (right). I barely recognised myself after 25 days of nothing but water.

(Some of the) Benefits I Experienced:

  • Noticeably clearer and smoother skin
  • Brighter eyes
  • Loss in fat
  • Incredible digestion
  • Increased energy
  • Accelerated detoxification
  • Sensitivity to ‘true hunger’
  • New sense of peace
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Strengthened willpower
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Just a regular day of fasting. Soaking up some rays. sc: @kristinecrouch

Answers to Common Questions I Received:
Weren’t you hungry?
It may be hard to believe, but no. After a few days, I lost any physical sensation of hunger. By this time, I had no problem talking about food, looking at food, watching the cooking channel or having people eat around me. The desire for food, however, was still there. There were many nights that I dreamed about food, mainly fruit.

Did you exercise during your fast?
Not at all – once my body kicked into ketosis, I had very limited energy to do basic tasks from sitting up in bed to walking down the stairs. The most exercise I got was from walking up and down the stairs of my house, which I only did a maximum of 2 or 3 times because it was so taxing on my body.

How did you spend your day?
I was essentially lying down all day except for when I’d get up for water or to go to the bathroom. I spent my time reading, writing and journaling (when I had the energy), and admittedly scrolling through vegan foodie pages on Instagram. I made it a habit to watch the sunset at the end of every day and was up early enough most days to catch the sunrise. I really looked forward to this.

Did you lose a lot of weight during the fast?
I lost 20 lbs (over 9 kg) in 25 days. I lost more fat than muscle, and by the end of my fast I felt lighter and much healthier.

Final thoughts…
Any form or length of time spent fasting is indeed a challenging and gratifying feat. Not eating or drinking anything other than water for 25 days was only part of the process. What fasting provided me was the space and opportunity to heal, reflect, put into place new habits and set goals. Not only did it allow me to cleanse physically, but mentally and spiritually as well; being renewed and rejuvenated from the inside out. I’m already looking forward to my next fasting endeavour. It was honestly some of the best 25 days of my life so far.

Please feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail with any questions you might have, I would more than happy to answer them  ☺

Update: Here’s the follow-up to my fast.

References:

Comments ( 58 )
  • EJ Miranda says:

    Congrats on the fast! Changes are whoaaa

  • Melvin B. says:

    Amazing!!! You should be super proud of yourself!

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Thanks so much Melvin! That means a lot 😀 It was an incredible experience indeed. So glad I did it. Hope you’re well!

  • Ronald E says:

    Incredible stuff, good on you for sticking it out!

  • lindiwe says:

    hi everyone. i’ve done three water-fasts in the past. my first lasted seven days, second one- nine and the most recent one – October 2015, went on to 17 days, which I had planned on making to 30 days. I stopped once I experienced severe migraines and from all the research I had undertaken, it was said that as part of the deeper detox process, you’ll start to experience past illnesses- and i’d always suffered from headaches in the past.
    It was especially hard for me because, I run a household solely, and as such, the lack of rest (which is a great requirement for extended water fasting) made it impossible to continue further.

    recently I have been experiencing extreme facial and arm breakouts and I would like to cleanse my system, by way of yet another extended water-fast. I struggle from an over-eating disorder, and I often develop a discipline and control whenever I go on water fasts. i love how energised, spirutual and positive i feel when i fast. i seem to regain an appetite for healthy clean eating after i come out of the fasted state, and strangely my most idealised food cravings tend to be strawberries, steamed corn on the cob and/or a variety of roasted veggies, no seasonings necessary- my taste buds get super heightened.

    Ideally I would like to make it to 30 days this time around as I’d like to exceed the previous days with each new endeavour.

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Dear Lindiwe,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s nice to connect with like-minded people such as yourself.

      I would like to say how amazing it is that you’ve done 3 extended water-fasts in the past. I applaud you for your dedication and perseverance seeing as you run a household solely. That’s impressive. Water fasting is definitely something I would like to incorporate into my life on a regular/quarterly/annual basis.

      I’m sorry to hear about your recent breakouts. Thank you for sharing your background story. Indeed, it can be a love/hate relationship with food sometimes, and you are right about the incredible energy and positivity that arises during a fast. It truly allows for deep healing and cleansing to take place. Especially coming out of the fast with healthy food cravings – yum, strawberries and veggies! Everything tastes so much better. It makes it all worth it.

      I understand that circumstances can make fasting difficult, but I do hope that you are able to find the time you desire to do your next fast. I have faith that you will be able to achieve your goals and will pray for your healing.

      All the best ♥

  • Edwina Wong See says:

    Wow You look amazing and what a difference!! inspired! i must try this hmmmmm i wont last more than 4 days LOL congrats Kristine.

  • Sylvia T Ramos says:

    Wow! Congratulations! I’d love to read about the after-effects also. Please make a follow up post. Some things I’d like to know are if the changes were permanent and if there was a weight bounce-back.

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Sylvia, thanks a lot! Absolutely – that’s a great idea and I will surely write a follow-up post regarding my fast 🙂 I will be sure to address the topics you mentioned too. Take care!

  • Lisa says:

    Those detox symptoms you got on your back, I used to get those on my chest after I would start eating. What exactly are they?

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Lisa, thank you for your message.
      For over 10 years I took harsh medications for my hormones and skin. This was doing more damage to my body internally and not worth the externally clear skin. I believe the detox on my back was a reflection of the toxins being released from my body, especially after the many years of treating symptoms (acne) and not treating the root cause.
      Getting rid of all pharmaceutical meds & chemical products, changing my lifestyle completely (plant-based) + the deep healing of a water fast are what addressed and helped cure the issue.
      I hope this helps!

  • Chyna Brines says:

    Hi! i’ve always wanted to fast mainly to lose weight. did you gain the weight back fast or is the weight loss for the long term? and would you recommend it for weight loss?

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Chyna!
      Because I broke my fast slowly and introduced solid food gradually, I was able to maintain the weight loss and gain a healthy amount of weight back, and at a steady pace. The key here is to break the fast slowly and to continue eating mindfully. After a long period of eating, it is exciting to be eating again, but always important not to overeat! Hehe.
      Second, my main motivation for the fast was my health and spiritual awareness/growth. Weight loss here was a by-product. So, as a method for quick and effective weight loss – yes, fasting will work. But my best recommendation would be to come in with the right motivation in order for it to be meaningful and sustainable 🙂
      I hope this helps!

  • Darren says:

    Wow !! Well done Kristine, this is an amazing report, I’m really impressed. Invaluable, inspirational and well illustrated, am sure I’ll be referring to this from time to time and telling people all about you and what you’ve achieved. May the fast be with you!

  • Julie says:

    how much weight did you lose during the fast?

  • Nadia says:

    Hello Kristine,
    I am so grateful for your blog. Congratulation on your fasting journey.
    Reading you helped me a lot to deal with my 4th day of fasting.
    I started this water fast 4 days ago for spiritual reasons, like a breakthrough in my life to help me go to next level. i would like to do it for 25 days. Please can you kindly advice meÉ
    I actually go to work, so today i woke up dizzy, headache and at work i felt weak.
    But reading you helped me a lot. Thank you.Kind regards.

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Dear Nadia,
      Thank you for your message.
      I am glad to hear that my experience was able to help you through your fast! I pray and believe it was a very fulfilling experience for you.
      If you are planning to do a 25-day water fast, my best advice would be to stay at home, or anywhere, that you can rest to the full. The purpose of the fast is to heal and rejuvenate the body, so by being active and going to work, you are actually adding more strain to the body and may doing more harm than good.
      I hope this helps, and for any other questions, please feel free to drop me an e-mail! I would be more than happy to guide you through your next fast.
      All the best,
      Kristine ❀

  • Mariella Da Silva says:

    I am on day 25 right now of my water fast. I will end on day 34. I visited Queen Afua in August of this year and she recommended for me to fast a day for every year that I have been alive. So I am going by her recommendation. It has been a journey so far. I agree with you, I think the preparation that I did made the transition easier. I spent four months eating mostly raw foods during the summer and lost about 35 lbs during that portion of the journey. I have been on a health quest to rid myself of Fibroid pain. This has led me to water fasting which has been proven to remove fibroid mass during the ketosis stage. I am excited for the re-feeding process! Next Friday! Yay! But I am also taking it day by day and really trying to extract all of the spiritual jewels and the health benefits of this journey!

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Dear Mariella,
      Thank you very much for your message! What an interesting fast recommendation. So every year, you do a fast that is the same length in days as your age in years? I’m sure it was a blessed and fulfilling experience! Congratulations on a wonderful feat – all power to healing your fibroid pain! Day by day is the way to do it indeed.
      I would be interested to hear more about your experience and healing journey. It would be a great testimony to many others as well I’m sure.
      All the best! ❀

  • Vir a Itália e não comer | Dexa ser… says:

    […] sido alguns deles por motivos ativistas e tendo-se mesmo tornado famosos. Há jejuns reportados de 25, 30 ou mesmo 40 dias. A maior parte das pessoas com quem tenho falado sobre este assunto tem logo […]

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hola, sí hay muchos tipos de ayunos. También diferentes longitudes. Por supuesto, todo depende del individuo.

    • Mai anh says:

      Hi Kristine, I been doing the water fasting for 3 days already and I feel hunger, headache, n tired . I can’t really have great sleep .. i work at 11:45 pm to 8 am. I been taking smooth move in the afternoon n salt water so I can have sodium in my body. I also take Apple cider to help clean my body . Do you think I’m on the right track. I drink plenty of water as well . Thank you for inspiring me .

  • Justin says:

    Maraming salamat sa inyong tulong! Its encouraging to read other people’s fasting experiences while going through my own. Currently on day 7 water fast. God bless!

  • vince says:

    Great job! I love your journal. It really helped me as motivation when I did one of my fasts earlier this year. The biggest difficulty I had, was finding journals online. My goal is to try to get multiple water fasters posting onto more central sites. If you are interested on sharing some of your information on my site, I would love it.

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Vince! This sounds interesting. I spent a lot of time looking for resources to educate myself/guide me through my fast. Could I get more info on this? Feel free to drop me an e-mail. This is a great idea and would be delighted to be a part of it to help!

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  • Danish says:

    Hi
    I am a 25yo boy and I weigh 110kg so I am in the obese section now
    I was researching the web and stumped acrossed water fasting and testemonies of people who actually lost pounds of fat by it
    I wanted to ask if fat loss should be enough motivation for water fasting and whether I could shred excessive weight by this process

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi there,

      Thank your for your message.

      Fasting is definitely an immediate and effective way to lose body fat. However, my motivation was not weight loss, rather it was healing and spiritual awareness/growth. In this case, I had more reason to keep going and fat loss was the by-product. Of course, motivation is subjective – it all depends what would be most meaningful and sustainable for you.

      I hope this helps! All the best 🙂

  • champaignmarshallapartments.com says:

    The last time I water fasted I only made it 4 days and I sneezed while turning my head and covering my mouth and I threw my back out, so I broke the fast to add support to my core again.

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi, I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your back. Good call to build up your core strength. Always important and would help before going into a fast. I hope all is well.

  • Pat says:

    Did the skin improvements last after breaking the fast?

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Pat, my skin improvements carried out after the fast. The fast enabled me to reset my diet/lifestyle, enabling me to take hold of my skin problem and maintain the healing.

  • Jaq says:

    Wow. So inspiring Kristine! God bless you

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  • Dave Bitter says:

    I enjoy reading your articles

  • Molly says:

    I did many fasts too, and keeping a detailed blog journal of my fasts. Now I’m on day #21 aiming for 40 days (combined Dry Fast and Water Fast).
    Best of luck!

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Molly! Thanks for your message. How’s your fast going so far? Exciting stuff! I’m sure you are gaining a lot from the experience. Incredible feat – all the best!

      • Molly says:

        Hola Kristine!
        thanks, I completed 30 days and it was great, I’m thinking on doing another fast aiming for 40 days this time, but we’ll see….I’ll listen to my body.
        Thanks again for your blog! I love it!

  • Melinda says:

    Woah 🙂 Good job! I am on my 11th day of 28 day water fasting. Did you take any multivitamins or bone broth? I was recommended to take bone broth in Dr Jason Fungs/Jimmy Moores book, but I realised it stalled my weight loss. Let me know if you have better information on this than I do!

    • kristinecrouch says:

      Hi Melinda! It’s so nice to hear from you. Congratulations on your 28 day water fast! How was it? During my fast, I did not take any multi-vitamins or bone broths (especially as I am a plant-based eater). I decided to have only water as to simplify the process. 🙂

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