Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fasting Side Effects

So, it's day ten. It's been a bit shaky with my house guest staying with me all week, but I made it. I feel good. I feel safe, I know I can keep going from here and that makes me happy.

I'm going to give out some fasting information, since I've had a few requests for that sort of stuff. But if you're looking for fasting info, I have a few good posts about it somewhere in my blog. Dig it up, gals.

If you want to fast, you should try to prepare yourself for it. It isn't exactly easy. But if it were easy, everyone would be a stick. I think that if we're prepared for what our body will go through, we're more likely to stick around when things get rough. Sooo... I am going to outline every single fasting side effect/symptom I've had to cope with. Bear with me, things could get ugly. Bodily functions aren't something I usually talk about, but it's necessary for this.

There will be a couple of things that are constants during a fast. One is the lightheadedness that will come about. Standing up will pretty much always make your head spin. It usually passes quickly. It helps if you can remember to stand up slowly. I almost always forget. I have never passed out while fasting even when past the 30 day mark. Just sit down if it doesn't go away. No big deal. I actually love this side effect. It is a friendly reminder of how well I'm doing.

Another constant is bad breath and a white or yellowish tongue. It's kinda like a film that coats your tongue. Gross, but you can brush it off. Just need to scrub very thoroughly. It will come back in a few hours, just scrub it again.

Obviously hunger will be an issue, but luckily after about three or four days, it will go away. At least the physical hunger will, the psychological hunger can be incredibly intense. I find that after the first week, this dies down as well, though I've had fasts where my cravings lasted longer, but never past ten days. If you can force yourself through the first few days, it gets much easier.

Having an empty stomach all the time can create a sort of bubble in your stomach. If you done any kind of restricting, you may have already felt this. But it can cause gas, in both directions, luckily it isn't the gross sort. Odor free and quiet. Just sort of expelling the air.

If you start your fast in the healthy way, slowly reducing your calories and taking out foods, then you'll have an easier time. But if you start your fast after bingeing for a while, then you might end up with diarrhea and some slight stomach aches. I've started fasts right after bingeing a few times and it really isn't too bad. Definitely worth the weight that will just fall off.

Nausea and headaches periodically affect me during a fast. They aren't intense, but still uncomfortable. The nausea goes away quickly and has never actually caused me to throw up. Just don't let your stomach get all the way empty. Water should be your constant companion.

Speaking of water, you're going to be dehydrated. We absorb something like 60 percent of our water from food. If you aren't eating, it is impossible to not get dehydrated, no matter how much water you drink. Don't try to guzzle water. You really only need to drink around eight cups of water a day. Drinking too much and you run the risk of causing water intoxication. I find that I am thirty all the time, mostly because my throat gets dried out. But a sip is all I need. Never go anywhere without your water bottle while fasting.

Dry throat. Ugh. This is the absolute worst symptom. My throat is a bit screwed up from purging, so if you don't have that nasty habit, then hopefully it won't be such a problem during your fast. But for me, this part of fasting really sucks. My throat dries out so much it can be quite painful. And if I forget to bring me water with, it freaking sucks. Nights are also pretty bad. Eight hours of sleep means eight hours of no water. Painful to wake up to, but still bearable.

Low energy will happen. Though high energy will too. If your energy is consistently low, like too low to function, switch to juice fasting. It will make a huge difference. I always water fast, but keep juice around in case I find I really need it. Much better than eating.

Once during a fast, I was on day eleven and starting having a serious stomach ache. Serious. It hurt so bad. I was in class and had to leave. I found an empty classroom and just sat on the floor for an hour trying to make it through. Then I had to use the restroom. I'm sure most of you know about colon cleansing, well, sometimes this will happen when on a fast. Obviously if you haven't had a single calorie in eleven days, it's not a normal restroom visit. Crazy looking stuff. Gross, but being so empty is a pretty cool feeling. Once it was out of me, the stomach ache went away and I was perfectly fine. I've done many fasts that were longer than eleven days and this has only happened once. Not something to worry too much about.

Another side effect of fasting are some vivid dreams. I often wake up disoriented on a fast because my dreams feel so real I can't figure out what has and hasn't happened to me. This will happen with food dreams especially. I love this side effect.

There also comes sense of clarity. Somehow it feels as though your mind just works better on a fast. I feel peaceful, introspective. All of the anxiety that goes along with eating goes away. There is nothing like it.

I think I've covered all the things that have happened to me. But this is not an exhaustive list. Everyone's body reacts differently and you might have completely different things happen to you. Pay attention to your body and learn how to control it. Anyone can do a fast. Good luck to anyone who will be trying one. Feel free to ask any questions you have. I'll try to post more info as I make my through this fast which will hopefully be my longest yet!

One thing I love about this community is its ability to accept anyone into it's arms. I've seen all types of people blogging happily in our midsts, from the worryingly underweight to the seriously overweight and everyone in between. We have so many eating disorders represented and they are all able to find love and support here. That is something we can all be proud to be apart. So, seeing rude comments made on my blog and directed at sweet girls just trying to support me, it actually really pisses me off.

If you have chosen a path a recovery for yourself, then that's great. I totally support you. And if you want to encourage others to join you, then more power to you. But. If you think the right way to do that is by insulting those people and using hurtful language, well, you're stupid. And a bitch. We're all trying to get through life the best way we feel we can. We all deserve to be treated with respect.

That said, anyone know if there is a way to block a specific person from commenting?

Thanks for being there girls. Love you. <3


  1. Really enjoyed your blog...I am on the fifth day and I feel incredible. I have had some depression in the last couple of months.....losing my job, bills and I lost my son a few years ago and it is a constant. I chose to fast because my gall bladder was achy and I just felt the need to clean out the system. I have done one day fast before but never this extensive. My mind is clear I can hardly sleep I have so much energy and look forward to waking up in the morning. Never thot that this would be part of the process.
    I am doing unfiltered juice and water. Mostly water but when the hunger pains start or I am tempted to eat I drink the apple juice and it really helps. Kathrine

  2. thanks so much for responding to my question earlier :) these are great tips, i especially find the water one kind of interesting. i usually try to drink 3L water per day with at least a few cups of tea but most of the time i end up (*tmi warning) peeing it out a few minutes later. i know this happens because the liquid doesn't have any food to absorb into but i'm still stuck on the idea of it cleaning me out, even when its kind of not doing anything really haha.

  3. i'm pretty sure you can block followers, when you click on your followers on your dashboard, it has a section for blocked followers. we do all deserve to be treated with respect, i hope everyone's treating you with respect? and thanks for all the fasting info :) xox

  4. Thanks for your helpful fasting resources! I may begin one soon myself

  5. THank you for this, i wanted to start fasting next week and i really enjoyed reading this and it helped me a lot, it gave me a lot of motivation. You are amazing for the days and weeks you devote to fasting, i only wish i could be amazing as you. The longest i fasted for so far has been 2.5 days

  6. thanks for sharing this!!
    it will be so helpful :)

  7. Fantastic! Very inspiring. Great post- I've never fasted more than 5 days, and it was always a juice fast. I might have to try a longer water fast now! And I'm sorry somebody is harassing you. That is lame.

  8. It's really great what you're doing, encouraging others into a state of unhealth and what they think is happiness. You realise having a mental disease distorts your perdeption of things, right? It messes up your logic and rationality.

    But hell, what do I know? It's not like I've been through all that and know how hard it is to shake off. I started off simply dieting with a friend. I didn't realize that three years down the line I'd accumilate so many habits to lose weight that I'd be a mere few pounds off hospitalization. It's taken me over a year and I'm still not comfortable being what others call a "healthy" weight. I'm not even comfortable just below that. Because Ana always wants more, and the only time she'll stop demanding is when you're dead.

    I'm sorry if you find my comments offensive, but I find your posts leave me sitting at the screen in utter disbeliefe that you feel okay with actually -encouraging- others to go down that torturous path with you.

    Saying that, I know how stubborn it is and that my words mean nothing to you. I'm going to stop following you so I don't get so wound up by your posts. I just don't understand how you think it's okay to, as they say, "inspire" all these other people. Well, I guess Ana does thrive on all the attention.

  9. I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog! I never get past a few days of a fast either. My friend just had to endure an embarrassing hospital visit because she didn't respect her body's fragile state during her fast. Thank you for warning others of unsafe and embarrassing side effects!

    [Leech- she's not pushing anyone to do anything they don't want to do, so back. Off.]

  10. k for one leech = uber bitch
    (sorry im tired ands not creative atm)

    two: i find u amazing and ur little paragraph or two about the loving community thing made me smile as i realized it was true. from ur blog i feel like i know u enough that its not super awkward for me to say that i love u and hope that ur staying strong everyday

    btw u did a great job of saying the most 'awkward' side effects :P

    -happiness <3

    thnxs :D

  12. I think that what you said about a community is so refreshing. I was really depressed and started reading though some blogs and if nothing else it helps me feel not so alone in my own crazy thoughts and if you don't want to read about these kinds of things then you shouldn't be on this site...
    It's so awesome that you were able to make it so long, I've never had that kind of willpower!

  13. I've been reading through your blog and its really inspiring . I'm trying to fast at the moment . Its not really working and i keep thinking i can start tomorrow when i can't . I have a dress i want to fight in to though , so hopefully i will stick to it this time . Thanks for the adivce , its good to know whats going to happen !

  14. instead of blocking that particular person, just moderate your comments...

    the comments will only appear after your approval. Hee...

  15. Thanks so much, I passed out today in the shower on day 13, and was really scared and confused, and ate a spoonful of peanut butter. I got pretty banged up, and I felt like a failure at fasting, and some of the side effects indeed I was wondering if they were normal. But I think I can do better now, If I drink juice, so my blood sugar doesn't quite drop too low... You're an inspiration, and maybe one day I'll be as accomplished as you! (: -Miaxx <3

  16. I'm on day 7 of my fast and I'm having some side effects that were starting to worry me a little because I've never experienced them before, so thank you so much for blogging!

    I do have a question, though.. When you start to eat again, do you get really depressed? I've noticed that I do and I'm not sure if it's because I'm feeling guilty or if it is really just a shock to your body..

    But thanks again!

  17. if its your first time fasting how many days should you go?...

  18. What are somethings I can do about the bad breath issue? Day 3 for me and im getting all the filmy stuff you described but im soooo worried about my breath....i try to keep my distance from people because im afraid my breath smells as gross as my mouth feels...ive tried to use mints but on my empty stomach they make me want to vomit...a friend of mine suggested drops of lemon juice on/under my tongue every now and again...what do you do?

  19. Hi to anybody,
    I just want to say my experience in fasting in case somebody is interested. I just use to fast one day a week and it is very easy.The troubles I have the day after are the changes in my voice and a serious pain in the knees when I go down the stairs (Not when I go up). About my voice, it can be that is in connection with dry throath especially that i don't use to drink a lot. For the knees I don't know. Maybe is in connection with the muscles that they are more weak and so the weight goes on the articulations directely. Last but not least, after fast, I enjoy more the life with love and food:-)

  20. Do some of you commenters have anorexia? I'm asking because some of the comments about symptoms, why do you fast? Is it to accomplish weight loss or detox or mental clarity? A lot of the symptoms described here are usually the starting of the body cleaning out toxins and rubish including joint pain and nausea. Please if u do have anorexia please please read up on the differnt methods of fasting and typical side effects and lenthgs of time u shud fast for. If u r anorexic and not fasting correctly or not doing fast for mental clarity and unable to recognise ur bodies signal to "stop fasting now" or "drink water now" you could be killing yourself. Fasting can be an exellent cure for depression and all other illnesses mental and physical. Please know what you are doing to yourselves and please know when its time to stop and let the body heal. Its only coz I care xx

  21. You are so intelligent and a great writer, it makes me so sad that you are harming your body in this way. All of these side effects are warnings that you are in serious trouble. I really encourage you to seek help.

  22. I love ur recount, it really helps. I try to fast all the time and when i do it feels wonderful. However i have only ever made it successfully past day 1 but i always end up eating because i feel so weak or ravaneously hungry. Any adviced how to get past day 2 and stop thinking about food during the first few days. Thanks

  23. asalam ...its ramadan and fasting nt fr weightloss bt fr allag swt as a muslim its my duty to this I dont understnd why people on here thnk fasting is a weightosss programe??? tht is so out of order if yu wana lose weight do it the healthy way and excercise ... I loved yur blog sis kip up the good wrk jazakallah her xxx sam

    1. asalam the best way to fast is wth fruit first at least yu wnt feell hungry looovvvee yur blog jana xxxxx

  24. I am not pro-ana (actually I'm against unhealthiness) but I am pro-fasting and water fast regularly (I also fast in ramadan, but for another reason).

    I appreciate your post as it highlights the side effects of fasting quite well. They are scary the first time, but not dangerous. I should warn potential fasters though, if you are already underweight, do not fast, because it can damage the heart muscle.

  25. I promise you all that you will always feel a darkness when you are not nurturing your body. When you can start to love it and be grateful for it, you will be able to let your body power you to do great things in life. It is your vessel. You should treat it as gingerly as you would whatever or whomever you love most in life. Feed your body so it can work for you. You will feel amazing and that inner light inside you will burn bright. Good health brings you the vitality that truly makes you beautiful.

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  27. Obsession is a killer. When your self worth is depended on your waist size then all you become is a shallow shell. I hope you guys are sending the food you are not eating to someone who actually needs it. The ones whose body you strive to have...

  28. How many guys are on here? Lol I'm just curious. It's lonely here.

  29. Hi. Guys. I. Way. To. No. Am. I. Fat. I. Am. 130. But. I. Feel. Big. Like. So. So. Much. Love. Skinny. Love

  30. After recently experiencing a long stretch of awful depression, I gained like 100 lbs in 8 months. I'm now on medication & doing better & would like to be able to lose this weight because I feel disgusting. Does anybody know if fasting while on medications is going to effect the way the meds work??

  31. something that happens when I stop eating is going through really intense depressive episodes followed by energy highs. And like I feel ADHD, and I've been told to calm down. I just want to know if anyone else has experienced this during a fast and if anyone knows any tips to prevent the intensity of these moods?