TWO-DAY FAST – CARYN

Fairlady - - THE HUNGER GAINS -

I'd been feel­ing quite out of sorts – tired all the time, sore bones, achy feet in the morn­ing, out-of-con­trol weight gain and gen­er­ally not feel­ing my­self. A large part of this is re­lated to menopause: I've been fight­ing the idea of go­ing on HRT for sev­eral years (for my own per­sonal rea­sons) and I was pay­ing the price.

I'd read a cou­ple of ar­ti­cles about in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing and de­cided to put my­self for­ward as a guinea pig – I had noth­ing to lose. First, I had to make sure that I didn't have to feed any­one for the next two days, so I chose my week care­fully. My fi­ancé was in Mos­sel Bay, and I packed my daugh­ter and son off for two days – I wanted my best shot at this.

DAY ONE

I woke up ready to crack this. How hard could it be? I just had to get through two days with­out eat­ing. For most of the morn­ing I was fine; I dis­tracted my­self with work and made sure I filled up on black rooi­bos. By lunchtime my tummy was rum­bling badly and I was start­ing to feel a bit dizzy, so I de­cided to take a brisk walk, think­ing it would keep my mind off my hunger pangs. I've never been a fan of junk food, but my nos­trils picked up ev­ery whiff of KFC, Wimpy and fast-food chip joint along the way – my saliva glands were on full alert and play­ing havoc with my mind.

I man­aged to avoid temp­ta­tion and got through the rest of the day okay-ish, but on the way home I was start­ing to feel very light-headed and my eye­sight was get­ting a bit fuzzy. I stopped in at a friend who hap­pened to be mak­ing ham­burg­ers – and ended up break­ing the fast by front-end load­ing sev­eral ham­burger pat­ties, washed down with more than a few glasses of rosé.

DAY TWO

The fol­low­ing day I de­cided to do a 24-hour fast – from 7pm the night be­fore, then noth­ing the whole day un­til 7pm that night. It turned out to be so easy! It re­ally is 90% psy­cho­log­i­cal – I knew I could do one whole day with no is­sues and very few side ef­fects, and the re­sults were as­tound­ing. I felt great the whole day and when it came to eat­ing my evening meal I didn't want to eat much – just what I needed.

VERDICT

For the past three months I've been fast­ing re­li­giously. I do two-day stints of 24-hour in­ter­vals ev­ery month, and I've stopped eat­ing break­fast. I eat only a small lunch: a lot of veg­eta­bles with maybe a pork chop or a piece of chicken breast, and I drink a lot of wa­ter and black rooi­bos tea.

Din­ner is pretty much the same. I'm also more ac­tive: ev­ery day I do some sort of ex­er­cise for 20 min­utes at least, and I've never been so strong – men­tally and phys­i­cally. My joint pain has com­pletely gone, I'm not ex­hausted by 4pm (in fact, I'm wide awake and fo­cused) and I have lost at least 8kg.

This ex­pe­ri­ence has been such an eye-opener. You have to find what works for you as an in­di­vid­ual, and this def­i­nitely works for me. I have never felt bet­ter.

‘By lunchtime my tummy was rum­bling badly and I was start­ing to feel a bit dizzy, so I de­cided to take a brisk walk, think­ing it would keep my mind off my hunger pangs.’

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