72-Hour Water Fast: A Journey of Experience and Reflections

This week on Self Love and Sweat: THE PODCAST, we delve into the world of fasting with a focus on 72-hour water fast experience and reflections, inspired by my own journey and Dr. Mindy Pelz’s transformative book “Fast Like a Girl.” This episode isn’t just about the science of fasting; it’s a heartfelt exploration of how fasting intersects with the unique rhythms of the body.

Timestamps to help you navigate this episode:
0:00 Intro
2:46 FREE Self Love & Sweat MONTHLY Calendar
8:15 What To Expect During a 72-hour water fast
13:22 Overcoming Challenges From the Fast
17:30 Reflections Made After 72 Hours

The Benefits of Water Fast on One’s Well-being

Throughout the episode, I shared the step-by-step journey of my 72-hour water fast experience. Fasting wasn’t just about my body—it became a deeply personal journey, helping me discover things about myself and understand my well-being better. Though fasting has been practised for centuries, it’s important to acknowledge that fasting may not suit everyone, especially considering the unique physiological differences, particularly among women.

Water Fasting for Beginners: Things to Keep In Mind

There are different things we need to keep in mind when fasting- from maintaining electrolyte balance with hydration salts to MCT oil and bone broth to foster a mindful and effective fasting experience. Adopting a tailored approach to fasting is crucial, especially for women, given the intricate hormonal interplay within their bodies. Recognizing the importance of timing fasting phases with the menstrual cycle can help minimize potential disruptions to hormonal balance and optimize health outcomes.

Reflecting on the Experience of a 72-Hour Water Fast

After the 72-hour water fast, I realized the profound transformation it wrought upon my physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions. Beyond the tangible benefits such as improved metabolic health and mental clarity, fasting acted as a catalyst for personal growth, fostering moments of introspection and spiritual connection. Breaking the fast felt like it was not the end of a dietary practice but the dawn of a new chapter filled with clarity, simplicity, and profound self-awareness.

Also available on YouTube:

Full transcript episode 165

Lunden Souza: 

Welcome to Self Love and Sweat The Podcast, the place where you’ll get inspired to live your life unapologetically, embrace your perfect imperfections, break down barriers and do what sets your soul on fire. I’m your host Lunden Souza. Hey, have you grabbed your free Self Love and Sweat monthly calendar yet? This calendar is so amazing. It comes right in your inbox every single month to help you have a little nugget of wisdom, a sweaty workout, a mindset activity, just a little something, something to help keep you focused and motivated and keep that momentum towards your goals. So every day, when you get this calendar, you’ll see a link that you can click that will lead to a podcast episode or a workout or something that will be very powerful and quick to read. And then you’ll also see, on the top left corner of every single day, there’s a little check box in the calendar and what that is is that’s for your one thing. You can choose one thing every month, or it can be the same, something that you want to implement and make this something that you can easily implement, like daily meditation or getting a certain amount of steps or water, for example, and staying hydrated and even taking your supplements. This can be something if you want to get more regular doing a particular habit and routine, you can choose what that check box means. So if you want your Self Love and Sweat free monthly calendar delivered right to your inbox every month on the first of the month, go to lifelikelunden.com/calendar. Fill out the form really quickly and you will have your calendar in your inbox within a few short minutes. That’s lifelikelunden L, I, F, E, L, I, K, E, L, U, N, D, E, N dot com forward slash calendar. Go get yours for free and enjoy this episode. Welcome back to the podcast. Today I’m going to talk about my semi- recent I did it about a month and a half ago a 72 hour water fast. Now maybe you listened to the podcast I did about my 48 hour water fast, which is where I started initially and I talked a lot about yeah, my reasoning behind it, why I got interested in fasting. And at the time of recording the 48 hour water fast podcast and also at the time of doing the 48 hour water fast, I had heard of, but not yet read, the book “fast like a girl by Dr Mindy Pelz. I had watched a bunch of episodes on YouTube with her about her work in fasting, especially for women, because in scientific research in general, women are very underrepresented. In fact, a lot of the data when it comes to health and wellbeing has been done or has been the result of research that’s been done on men, and so, particularly with fasting, this was super interesting for me because I was like, okay, I’ve had, and I think I can speak for most women, I’ve had hormonal issues in the past and I really wanted to make sure that, while implementing a new protocol, I was doing it in a way that was focused on me being female and my female hormones, and not thinking that just because fasting looks a certain type of way for men doesn’t mean it’s copy paste for women. And so, yeah, initially I just kind of stumbled upon these podcast episodes with Dr. Mindy Pelts because I mentioned this in the last episode, but I’ll just quickly cover it here. I get a lot of referrals from naturopathic doctors to work with me as a life coach NLP practitioner, and one of the naturopathic doctors in particular was prescribing her patients and the clients we were working with together fasts, and I was really interested in it. Had experimented with intermittent fasting before, but never had done a 24-hour or longer fast, and I was just kind of like I want to do it too, I want to learn more about it, I want to experience it. I want to have first hand, first hand experience with it, because I think that’s important for me as a coach to when I can lean into some of the experiences and protocols that my clients are experiencing as well. I feel like being in the trenches in that sense is powerful for the coaching that I do. So after I did the 48 hour fast, after watching a lot of episodes with Dr. Mindy Pelz on YouTube and other podcasts and just kind of diving into her YouTube channel, I got her book fast like a girl. I got the audiobook. Actually it’s phenomenal. I listened to it twice so good, and because of reading it I was like, okay, I want to push my limits and go into 72 hours and do a 72 hour water fast. I made a lot of mistakes when I was doing 48 hours. I wasn’t taking hydration salts and there were just like different things that I was like, okay, I learned a lot during the 48 hours. I would love to experiment with 72 hours and so, just really quickly, I read this on the last episode, but I think it’s really powerful between 16 to 24 hours when we’re fasting. That’s when our growth hormone starts to elevate and we start to go into a phase of autophagy, which just basically means your body is cleaning itself. After 36 hours we go into belly fat burning. After 48 hours we get a dopamine system reboot and after 72 hours there is an immune system reboot. And so, after reading the book and learning a lot about fasting and also, I’ll put, I’ll say, as kind of an aside for women, you know, intermittent fasting, any style of fasting, is not always ideal throughout all phases of our cycle, throughout all times of the month, and so it was really cool for me because I was able to learn that even more dive into what Dr. Mindy calls the power phase that’s ideal for women and fasting. So I planned it ahead of time. I track my cycle using the flow app and I was like, okay, when I look at the flow app In comparison to the fat, the power phase of which would be ideal for me to fast, I chose some particular days that I was gonna do it and I marked it on my calendar and I dove in. Now the part that I’m really excited about, because in this episode I don’t really have anything to share outside of my experience and what I learned. But what I’m really excited about is I got in contact with Dr. Mindy Pelts and she gave me the email address of her assistant, who’s in charge of all the podcast bookings, and she’s agreed to be a guest on the podcast this summer, which I’m so excited about. So right now she’s not doing any podcasts at the moment. She’s writing another book which I’m so excited about. So I am kind of creating this episode as a kind of a precursor to when I get a chance to talk to her, because there were some things and some questions that I have that I think I’ll reflect on today and then be able to get answered when I get a chance to interview her for the podcast. So this was a 72 hour water fast, or let’s say, when I did the 48 hour water fast, that was completely water. Now, what I learned in reading fast like a girl is that there are some foods like MCT oil and bone broth that we can sometimes have when we are doing a water fast that actually won’t break our fast. Now, the best way to track this which I didn’t do this time around but I plan on doing the next time I fast is you can wear a continuous glucose monitor, so then you can see what foods actually break your fast and which ones can still provide nutrients and nourishment but won’t break the fasted state. So I was not wearing a continuous glucose monitor during the 72 hour water fast. However, I did include after 48 hours. I did include MCT oil in my black coffee and I did have a bone broth. So I made kind of. I just bought some organic bone broth at the store, I sipped on it, I put some salt and pepper in it as well and I guess I can’t be certain that it did not break my fast. But I decided that I wasn’t going to dissect it and pick it apart and consider it a failure just because I didn’t know. I was like okay, during these 72 hours I’m going to keep working, I’m going to be podcasting, I’m going to still be working with my clients, I’m still going to be doing some yoga and pilates and some exercise, I’m still going to be doing sauna and cold plunge, and so I wanted to have a little bit of something in my system in order to support me. So this time around in the 48 hour fast, if you listen to that episode. Maybe you remember I talked about how I only had water. I didn’t have any hydration salts. I didn’t. Yeah, she also Dr. Mindy talks about on her YouTube channel how sometimes ginger juice, pure, like with no added sugar, just juice ginger can oftentimes be cool and not break your fasted state. So the first time around I just did completely water and this time I, like I said, had LMNT hydration salts, and then after 48 hours I had MCT oil in my coffee and tea and then I also had some bone broth. Yeah, my experience 24 hours is cool. 24 hours I got that in the bag. 48 hours I start to get tired and I start to really feel cognitively slow. Between 48 hours and 72, not going to lie that shit was hard. It was really hard for me to think, to move. I just noticed everything was moving slower, even my hand gestures, and my ability to sit up straight was different. It was really challenging for me. I also noticed after the fast, after I broke my fast, that my metabolism I don’t know if these are the right words, but it felt a little sluggish, a little slow. I felt like the foods that I was eating just took a little while to digest after I had, I broke my fast, the 72 hour fast. I broke with avocado, sauerkraut and scrambled eggs and that felt great. And then I actually met a friend for lunch that day and we had Asian food. I had like this noodle stir fry and that made me feel a little bit sluggish. I think I probably could have chosen not to have maybe something as heavy, whatever right. But I’m human and I wanted to go have lunch with my friend and I just decided, okay, I’m not going to. I could have said, hey, I’m just breaking a fast, can we choose to eat here? But I was kind of like we already decided on Asian food. I really love Asian food. I’m going to have some. It was a little bit spicy and I just noticed that I was kind of tired and my stomach was a little flustered afterwards, not in a bad, uncomfortable way, but I think that was just an indication to myself that I probably could have made a better choice in terms of what I chose to break my fast, like that second meal. I probably could have been a little easier on my tummy for that. And also, 48 to 72 hours was like, yeah, challenging emotionally, challenging physically, immediately after the fast. The conclusion I kind of came to was I think that 24 to 48 hours is my sweet spot. I don’t know if it’s wise to push myself to 72 hours. I don’t know if and I’m just speaking for myself, you know naturally I run pretty low body fat. I’ve been exercising and strength training for a while. I don’t know if I have enough reserves on my body to activate some of that potent and powerful energy that sometimes people talk about after 48 hours, and so these are open questions that I want to ask Dr. Mindy about when I have her on the podcast. I’m like I wonder if, leading up to the fast, should I have eaten a little bit more? Should I have increased my calorie intake, you know, in a clean way, just a little bit, in order to have more reserve for the fast? I’m not necessarily sure. I don’t specifically know my body fat at the moment. It’s been a while since I’ve had it tested and if I was going to guess, I would say I’m around maybe 20 or a little bit less in terms of percentage of body fat, and so I, just in my mind, was kind of thinking, and I was actually talking with my coach about it. He’s more of my mindset coach and life coach. But he was like, you know, Lunden, you’re pretty small, like maybe, once you got past that 48 hour point, it wasn’t ideal for you, right, but maybe that’s how I should feel, right, like I don’t throw my shoulds and my supposed tos around lightly, but I’m open to the fact that I could be talking with Dr. Mindy and she might be like oh, actually, Lunden, that’s the good stuff. When you start to feel kind of funky, you know, that’s good. And maybe when I do a 72 hour fast again, maybe I need to do less, right, maybe I need to take a few days off and not be working and not, you know, be doing as much, to maybe let myself just be on the couch for a day to not do much of anything. Now, I wasn’t, you know, doing the most, but I was still seeing clients, I was still going for walks, I was still stretching and doing some yoga and sauna, but maybe it would have been ideal to have some time just to do nothing and just to relax. I was meditating I still I meditate regularly but I was meditating more, praying more, journaling more, definitely creating more time for introspection, but maybe it could have been ideal for me to take, you know, 24 to 48 hours of not doing as much cognitively, because I just felt a little bit kind of slow, but a similar experience that I had when I was fasting for 48 hours. I had a similar experience this time with the 72 hours and I talked about in the last podcast. It was like when you start eating and you come out of your fast. It’s such a cool experience at least in my opinion because it was almost as if I was getting downloads and information and insights and clarity. It was like as my body was taking in those nutrients and just like Loving the food and absorbing it all. I started to feel like these cognitive click, click, clicks, like little Lego pieces coming together of like, oh, this makes sense, and here’s some information about this that I’ve been thinking and praying about and here’s some new creative ideas. So I really enjoy the process of being in the fasted state, finding ways to look inward right, because when we’re not eating, we realize, oh, I spend a lot of time cooking meals or thinking about food or just the time spent sitting down and eating right. So I really enjoy the process of figuring out what to fill in my time with, which is more meditation, prayer, journaling, sauna baths, stretching, even just massaging my neck and feet with essential oils. I really enjoy that process now of being in the fasted state. You’re good, Lunden, don’t worry, you’re not going to die because you’re not eating. It’s okay that you have a few more hours of free time each day to incorporate more self love, more work in. So I really love that part. And I love the part of breaking the fast, of going from the fasted state to eating something and being really present with it, being really present with my senses, chewing the food, allowing the flavors to fill my mouth, noticing the nourishment, kind of waking up my brain and helping my brain make those new connections. Sometimes I noticed in the 72 hour fast I leaned a little bit more cold in terms of my temperature, which I totally think makes sense, especially if our blood sugar Starts to drop. But it was a nice feeling to eat and just notice my body temperature increase a little bit and, yeah, just the nourishing feeling of nourishing my body. And one of the things that came to me when I was breaking my fast, as I was having some of this, just yeah, these cognitive clicks. Let’s call them. Clarity and simplicity are two words that came to me. Now my words of the year are integrity and endurance, and those are still very powerful and potent to me. But clarity and simplicity was something that came to me. And then, when I recently did my Voice of Impact seminar in Colorado, as I was driving back from Colorado to Utah because I drove out there it was a four hour drive those words came back to me again Clarity and simplicity. How can I get even more clear in my approach to my purpose and how can I make it even more simple in terms of the way that I think about it and communicate about it? Right, maybe you’re an entrepreneur or this resonates with you where, when people ask you like, what do you do and who do you help and what’s your mission in the world, sometimes we can talk about all the things all the time, all over the place, right? And so I just thought it was really beautiful to get that message again. That was like make it simple. Make it simple for you to digest Lunden and make it simple for other people to understand. So that was kind of my learning from the 72 hour Water Fast. I highly recommend the book “Fast Like a Girl by Dr Mindy Pelz. It’s a wonderful read, super informative, and maybe you’ll be inspired to experiment with fasting as well. If you haven’t already go back and listen to the 48 hour Waterfast episode that I did, I’ll link it in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of self love and sweat the podcast. Hey, do me a favor Wherever you’re listening to this podcast, give us a review. This really helps a lot and share this with a friend. I’m only one person and with your help, we can really spread the message of self love and sweat and change more lives all around the world. I’m Lunden Souza, reminding you that you deserve a life full of passion, presence and purpose, fueled by Self Love and Sweat. This podcast is a hit spot. Austria production.