What happened, before, during and after the 20 days of the radical fasting experiment I carried on
PART 1 — FASTING for 100 Hours
In the perpetual search for a high-performance state, new learning and margins to explore, I finished a small test. It consisted of four days without eating or drinking anything other than alkaline water with PH 9.8. More than 100 hours of drinking only that type of water. Fasting for one hundred hours.
This test started from one of the components that I added to my high-performance system, a day of fasting a week. Something that had already been done in the last three weeks. However, this changed when in one of the DeRose Method practices with Ric, he advised that I try fasting once a week, but with alkaline water only. In this way, the body, the mind, and spirit would be clean and, at the same time, activate and strengthen the immune system. — Here’s more information. — I found the idea intriguing, at least try it and feel the effects. Then I thought to take it a little further and extend it for a little more than four days, to hundred-hour fast drinking only alkaline water.
A one hundred hour fast with alkaline water only
What happens when you feed yourself with alkaline water for more than 100 hours? This is something that I experienced.
- By continuously hydrating the body, you spend more time in the bathroom than in any other place. It’s true that with alkaline water, the chances of urinating multiply by three, at least.
- You inevitably have more time, as you don’t spend time on breakfast, lunch, snacking or dinner. And prepare it and serve it. The extreme ultra productivity result, all without losing concentration, skill, and ability. A proper technique for when you must take drastic measures in your work. It’s not recommended for everyone.
- I don’t remember any day in these last three years where the meditations were as intense and fluid as in these four days. I don’t know the reason why, but I do know that I have felt moments of emptiness and depth for quite a long time while meditating.
- In Yoga classes, Pilates and DeRose Method, as I explained to Ric, my performance in terms of elasticity and flexibility was the best I had seen to date. I found the relationship between the exercises and these four days because yesterday and the day before yesterday I returned to my habitual clumsiness in the activities and balance postures although I’m not very flexible.
- I went from weighing 72 kilograms to 67 kilograms, in four days. Important: This doesn’t help to lose weight, by eating the next day I was back at 70 kilograms, and I didn’t even eat loads.
The pains in my left knee that I have been dragging for almost a month disappeared. This is incomprehensible because they always appeared at kilometer number six, I ran ten as if nothing. Yesterday I ran again, and at kilometer eight I had to stop because of the pain.
After a hundred hours of fasting
Now, several days later, I find myself with more energy than before I started. Better concentration and with a higher disposition not to give in to my body. Injury and pain have reappeared. I wonder if it has to do with what I did or not.
This little test has opened the doors to what will be my next experiment as soon as the experiment ends zero excuses.
Do you want to know more about this test? Any curiosities or questions?
PART 2–20 DAY FASTING EXPERIMENT
This is an experiment that I had in mind for months, and that had me prepared and very interested in the during and after. This test consisted of not eating anything substantial for 20 days, 20 days of full fasting. The 20-day fasting experiment.
20 days of fasting, the experiment
A new step towards the extremes. A new test to strengthen and understand the mind. And a new milestone to better understand the body. An approach to greater awareness. One more stroke towards higher and pure performance. A new “hack” for ultra productivity. An experiment towards a positive alteration of lifestyle, together with its impact inside and outside of work.
Today is eight days since I started fasting. In this post, I will explain the objectives I pursue — the parameters that I am analyzing, the metrics that I monitor. Progress made and the ensuing results.
Objectives — why
I have been reading, analyzing and evaluating this for a while. These are the objectives of my 20-day fasting experiment:
More scientific reasons:
- “Calorie restriction extends quality and life expectancy and slows the chronic diseases that come with aging; it has been tested in different species in recent years. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this happens are not yet clear.” — Source: The American Journal of Medical Nutrition.
- “Fasting is a challenge for the mind. These types of challenges, whether intermittent fasting or vigorous experiences are cognitive to the brain. When the neuro-circuits are activated, the number of neurotrophic factors increases, this makes the neurons grow, as well as the formation and strengthening of synapses.”
- “Prolonged fasting improves the ability of nerve cells to repair DNA.” — Source: University of Southern California.
- “We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have incredibly positive effects on the body in the regeneration of cells in immunological systems or other powerful advantages. When you’re hungry, the system tries to reserve energy. One of the tactics to save energy is to recycle the immune cells that are not needed — especially those that could be damaged. We are proving, in humans and animals, that it is the white blood cells that decrease with fasting. When you over-feed, those globules come back.” — Source: Valter Longo.
- “Fasting is an effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and strong prevention for cancer.” — Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- “Fasting reinforces brain potential.” — Source: TEDx talk by Mark Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging.
- “Being on an empty stomach for three days could regenerate the entire immune system.” — Source: University of Southern California.
Personal reasons derived from scientific purposes, and others not acquired:
- Discover the consequences and results of a prolonged fast for 20 days.
- Improve the ability to combat risk. Excel better in situations of stress and frustration.
- Improve the production of protein in the brain (neurotrophic factors).
- Control the regeneration of damaged cells in the immune system.
- Accelerate the growth of neurons.
- Stimulate the growth of new cells.
- A better adaptation to situations and hostile environments that I can not control.
- Achieve a better preparation and response to possible diseases.
- Reach a deeper level of consciousness by submitting to more extreme experiences like this.
- Check both the reactions of my mind or body during the experiment. Especially when moving towards the meridian and the last days of the experiment.
Analyzed parameters — metrics
This is what I am analyzing in the 20-day fasting experiment:
- What am I taking? In some moments juices, in other infusions, tea, miso soup or superfoods, at least these past seven days.
- Time of intakes.
- Activity: sports, awareness (through meditation and other techniques), professional and personal well-being.
- Rest: hours of rest, quality of sleep.
- Energy levels: low, medium or high depending on how active I feel.
- Complete weekly analytics.
- Tasks/milestones completed daily.
- Daily distractions.
- Diseases or weaknesses.
- Pressure drops.
- Glucose drops.
- Unforeseen reactions.
Subsequently, once the experiment is finished. I will continue to look at parameters such as diseases and performance. I will also look at new ones, such as tolerance to food or later reactions. These are at the same time the metrics that I monitor daily through a dashboard I have created in the excel of Google Drive and that I am completing during the day.
The idea that I have for this ” 20 day fast” is to intensify the experiment as it progresses, from softer to more aggressive. I started with the first seven days that weren’t too severe. This has been my food plan:
- Probiotic, multivitamin, sea water, alkaline water, collagen, and squeezed natural lemon.
- Superfoods: maca, beta carotene, spirulina, cod liver oil, omega 3–6–9, reishi, and ginseng.
- Infusion: Hepatic, digestive and renal.
- Juice: pineapple, orange, cucumber, pumpkin, pear, apple, carrot, alkaline water, cauliflower, and broccoli.
- A capsule of activated carbon.
- Kukicha tea
- Same juice as lunch.
- Miso soup
- Infusions: the same as at breakfast.
Extra: on three occasions, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I ate a piece of pumpkin
Always accompanied by two to three liters of alkaline water.
Progress and first results of the first seven days
Here is what I would highlight in these seven days of the 20 days fast:
- The days you are away from home is a job more for the mind than anything. Succumbing in a meal with clients is easy. When you are on the plane on a trip of more than eight hours. In the guest room at the airport. With friends. However, it is also when you strengthen the will, the discipline, the mind. And when the sensation of going without eating goes quicker. Not because of hunger, but because of vice.
- My weight went from 72 kilograms to 68 in the first three days, stabilized until Saturday that then fell to 67.7 kilograms and today I woke up at 66.9 kilograms.
- Unlike the last experiment of fasting alone with alkaline water, in these seven days, I have been full of energy. Yesterday I even attended a Bikram Yoga class. I am being able to practice with normality and without any dizziness or descending of power.
- By not eating for so many days you feel a kind of emptiness that makes the day go by more slowly. It gets worse when you spend four days without eating. This is because you eliminate those moments of inflection that suppose the meals. On the other hand, well invested and worked, it assumes a turbo in ultra productivity. However, you must structure yourself well, if it not it’s easy for you to end up overwhelmed for so long to do what you want.
- About going hungry. I already have it checked with this experiment and others; the complexity frontier is in the first two or even three days. When you go from there, your mind adapts to the circumstances and your body with it. It’s like when you live in a situation of risk, uncertainty or frustration of some kind. If you live with it two or three days, you adapt and digest it to be able to get the most out of it. Instinctively.
- There comes the point where you realize that the mind wants to eat by traction or vice, not my appetite. Out of boredom, I would say. It’s like the mind takes control and calls you to eat something, just for the sake of doing something. That’s what I’ve noticed by the impulses.
The seven next intense days of the 20 days fast
Right now, seven important days are beginning. Where I move to a more extreme phase. I will leave out the juices, and I will only feed on alkaline water. The idea is to put up with this until December 17th. Although I have marked seven days first to evaluate then how I feel and to decide whether to continue on that line or change.
In seven days I will publish a state report like this one where I will show progress, as well as obstacles.
Life is an experiment
This is undoubtedly the most aggressive and extreme experiment to which I have subjected my body and mind. Let’s see what will happen in these next fourteen days that are to come. I love making my life an experiment. Undoubtedly, this and others are great tools to stay awake, sharpen the senses, instinct, conscience and improve the art of realizing things.
PART 3–15 DAYS
Today I enter the 15th day of the 20-day fast experiment. Which means that yesterday the experiment exceeded the 14-day barrier. Since the last update, upon completing the milestone of the first seven days, I can conclude that it has been an enriching, long and exciting week.
In this update as a brief report, I intend to share what I have discovered, learned and completed in this second phase of another seven days.
DAY 8DAY 9DAY 10DAY 11DAY 12DAY 13DAY 14Superdrink + legepolSuperdrinkSuperdrinkSuperdrinkSuperdrinkSuperdrinkSuperdrinkSuperfood + infusionSuperfood + infusionSuperfood + infusionSuperfood + infusionSuperfood + infusionSuperfood + infusionSuperfood + infusionSuper juiceKukicha teaBig juice + dry fruits + toastMisoKukicha teaKukicha teaKukicha teaCarrot + pumpkinPumpkinKukicha teaKukicha teaBig juiceHyper juiceVegetable proteinKukicha tea66.9kg65.5kg65kg64.8kgPumpkinMeditation + stretchPumpkinMeditation + stretch5km runMeditation + stretchTRXHyper juiceRelaxing bath67kgRelaxing bathMeditation + stretchDeRose methodMeditation + stretchMeditation + stretchHighMeditation + stretchDeRose methodLowHighHighHighshiatsuHighHigh
In this section, I detail what I’ve found in these last seven days of the 20-day fasting experiment.
- I have managed to reduce distractions considerably compared to the first seven days. From an average of sixteen disturbances a day to six a day. Just when I have been most extreme with fasting. My mind has remained more clear and focused.
- The number of tasks and objectives accomplished has also increased positively. I have gone from achieving an average of 13 milestones a day in the first phase of the experiment. At 19 a day, on average in this second phase. This makes me think that the more significant and stronger the restriction, the better the mind and bodywork. More alert, more aligned. Of course, it is also due to eliminating the stops to feed me. Although that doesn’t mean that I have worked for longer, but better, it is explained in the next point.
- The average workday has been 4:22 hours a day. In the first phase, 5:15 hours. Before starting the experiment the average daily work hours was around 6: 35h.
- The “hungry” state hadn’t appeared until last night when I was in opera. I imagine it was a “hunger” invented by my mind. I say this because being sat down for 3:45 hours, enjoying only one thing, is a frontal attack on the brain. If I had alkaline water, I don’t think I would have experienced that sensation. However, I admit, I was hungry, I wanted to eat a pizza. The question is: who tried to eat that pizza, my mind or me? Note: It didn’t happen.
- I have felt zero anxiety, attraction or frustration for food. On the other hand, I feel more cheerful, in a better mood and with more confidence. This is because neuro-chemically, fasting increases catecholamine levels such as dopamine.
- Fasting increases the number of cells in the brain, which allows the best muscle we have (or the second best) to work better.
- Prolonged fasting induces neuronal autophagy (something like “self-feeding”). A kind of recycling that cells do with the waste self-regulate loss processes and repairs themselves.
- I appreciate the smells and textures of food more. As well as the forms, it’s like being more conscious about the food. Even though I haven’t eaten yet, we will see when eating on day twenty-one.
In addition to discovering exciting facts, I have learned excellent lessons:
- Fasting, by nature, is leaving aside the essential needs to enter into higher scenarios of meaning.
- When the fast is prolonged what happens is that you are deciding not to eat — even if you are hungry. There is nothing more fundamental to survive than eating. Consequently, when you learn to control what you eat, you develop the ability to control other habits or aspects that are less fundamental and even often destructive.
- You realize when you are hungry and when you are not. Your real appetite and not when you eat for distraction, for killing time or on a whim. And that I still have not brought anything substantial to my mouth.
- With fasting, I am realizing, much quicker than the incongruities I encounter in my life and around me. Unfortunate interactions, convoluted acts of stupidity, small failures that usually go unnoticed go the wrong way, second and even third intentions. It’s like putting your cognitive system and spirit under a microscope.
Progress and results of the last seven days
I have decided to share with you the scorecard that I am working on. Where I monitor, measure and analyze the progress of the 20-day fasting experiment. You can see it and follow it daily here. So that you can draw your conclusions about results and progress. In addition to allowing me to be more transparent with you.
Some facts to highlight:
- I have made the fast harder, going from a more nutritional fast with juices, to 90% of the time just drinking alkaline water.
- I have managed to do more sport than the previous week. Short and not demanding.
- My weight has continued to fall to a historical figure, from what I can remember. 63.5 kilograms today.
- There was a down day, at dawn on the tenth day. I had a horrible time when I woke up, a feeling like no other I’ve ever had. I took juice, nuts and half a slice of rye bread toast with olive oil and the body went back to work. Also, I felt that my body needed it or I would be in real trouble. I went from very bad to very good. Since then I have not had any down moments.
- Sport is something that I have had to practice in tiny amounts as can be seen on the scorecard.
- I can adapt to anything. However, I am fortunate to be accompanied by someone who is making it very easy for me — adjusting to the experiment and me fantastically and fantastically. I can only thank you for these dislikes.
As a conclusion of learnings and discoveries of the 20-day fasting experiment. In these 14 accumulated days:
- I feel more self-control than usual and more confidence.
- I notice that my willpower has multiplied by a hundred. And I feel that it was already high, now it has exploded. Just for this, it has already been worth the experiment.
- Greater concentration and focus.
- Fasting is a mechanism that helps keep perspective on what matters most to you. Help to walk the path that you want to walk, be it the field it is.
- About the dimensions: mentally, I am in a state of about ten, anything that I want to do, I go straight to it. On a spiritual level, the meditations are more profound; the disconnection is longer. On an emotional level, I feel everything with much more impact, good and bad. On a physical level, I am in top form, although I can’t push myself that much.
There are five days of the experiment left. With work, trips and events such as the DemoDay tomorrow in Cuenca with EOI, or Stand OUT Day on Friday in Madrid. In addition to a full Saturday in Madrid, activity to activity. And well, day to day, which is not little. Let’s see how the experiment progresses. Together with 20 days in silence, the most significant thing I have tested.
PART 4 — END OF EXPERIMENT
The experiment has finished. On Saturday I arrived on the 20th day. The end of the third phase of 6 days of experimenting. The last step of the 20-day fasting experiment.
I write this post/report to discuss discoveries, learnings, complications, observations, conclusions, and limitations not only of the last and remaining six days but of the whole experiment.
Discoveries and in some cases, their most scientific association of this last part of the 20 days fasting:
- My skin is smooth and soft, zero acne. This is linked to the reduction of the cognitive stressors that fasting causes.
- The more the days went by fasting, the better I slept. I have gone from an average of 78% of the quality of sleep before starting the experiment, to an average of 91% in the last week of the experiment. This is the scientific reason.
- The average of distractions has dropped from six a day in the second phase, to 3 a day in the last period.
- The number of tasks and milestones has increased slightly in this last phase. From 19 to 20 signs on average per day.
- The average workday was 4:16 hours a day. 4:22 in the second phase of the experiment.
- As I have been going into the last phase, my appetite was practically priceless. I don’t remember a single moment where I would go hungry.
- Cognitively I have felt more lucid than ever. This is thanks to the neuroprotective advantages of fasting.
- My ability to retain learning and to remember things I forgot in hours has improved. I’ve been doing tests with books, videos, audios. I remembered the pages, the sentences, the learnings, the details even if I was doing something else at the same time, such as writing while listening to a podcast. Scientific explanation.
- I have managed to understand better the signals my body sends when I should eat. This is due to the correct regulation of hormones that the prolonged fasting causes.
This is something I learned in the last phase of the 20 days fast:
- I know I can live perfectly with only one meal a day, I can have the same energy as a person who does six meals a day. This is powerful.
- I can stay between 24 and 48 hours without being hungry at all.
- As soon as my stomach is empty, I can concentrate more and better.
- Fasting helps me live in the present. It is sturdy and beautiful. I also notice a state of “flow” that is more constant than usual.
- We eat more than we should. The body can self-feed very wisely and intelligently.
- The workouts I have done during the fast have helped me achieve a more anaerobic resistance.
Disadvantages and unexpected moments during the 20 days fasting:
- After fasting, I tolerate zero wheat. My stomach complains right away.
- Anything that is chemical and not natural doesn’t feel good at all.
- I hardly have an appetite. And I don’t feel like eating much.
- I find it hard to choose what I’m going to eat when I’m away from home. Even at home, I find it hard to swallow and not to go with juices, creams or soups.
Benefits of the 20 days of fasting:
- It is helping me to correct the eating disorder I suffered when I went out to eat with people. Or when I was starving.
- Before starting the experiment, due to physical efforts, tensions, and intense life, I had some inflammation in the kidney and intestine. After checking it, the redness has disappeared. This is thanks to the resetting of the immune system that fasting entails.
- After a blood test, blood pressure levels have improved.
- The cholesterol levels are in their optimal state according to the analytical.
- The level of sugar in my blood is the best it has ever been according to my biomedical, quite impressive he says, which helps me to be more resistant to insulin.
- How insulin levels go down tremendously, I burn fat more quickly than usual.
- After the blood test, the growth hormone levels has multiplied by three. This according to Dr. Juan Rubio, will help me burn fat faster and gain quality muscle.
- I eat more slowly than before.
- I have become more aware when choosing what I eat, even though I may be hungry or it could be a more irrational decision.
- Because of fasting, my emotions are more stable than ever.
- I do not need to write everything down as I did before. The learnings flow better. Things stay inside my mind more easily.
Progress and results of the last six days
Here is the dashboard again, this time with all the information of the 20-day fast experiment.
- I have lost a total of 8% of body fat throughout the body.
- The circumference of the hip has been reduced by 5%.
- The metabolic rate has increased by 8%, which means that I burn fats easier.
- The weight ranged between 63.5 kilograms and 64.8 kilograms.
- I have been able to practice more sport than even the second phase of the experiment.
- Zero down moments
I feel as if my smell, my listening, and even my vision have developed. It is something that I think as the days progress.
My listening skills are sharper, I listen better, and I can stop at every word that another person is saying.
My thinking is more conscious, which helps me respond more accurately and quickly. It’s like I have two more extra seconds to be able to act.
Time passes slower, I appreciate it even more.
Sounds are even sharper.
Everything seems more enhanced. The colors I see, the sounds I hear, the thoughts in my mind — the connection with my body and with the environment.
It’s like a drug but in its most natural, healthy and sustainable version.
I feel that this fasting experiment has brought a new level in my life.
The purpose of this experiment is to illustrate what happens when you don’t eat anything substantial for 20 days and feed yourself with just alkaline water, superfoods, infusions or teas, including natural juices and in some cases natural protein. Check how your mind and your body react. The state of your emotions and intellect. What happens in your spiritual dimension? It is a test towards greater awareness, a better understanding of things that you might not have considered. A way to improve the lifestyle that ultra productivity achieves. A way to deliver higher performance.
In no case do I recommend, urge or advise anyone to carry out this type of experiment, without prior work? Without care and exhaustive monitoring. When you know your body and your mind you can achieve great things. When you see that you can go further and you know (more or less) how to go there, you have to go there. If, on the other hand, you are not there yet, first work on yourself, on your inside, in excelling from within. There are different types of experiments to do so.
PART 5–18 MONTHS AFTER
In September 2016 I started to do a day of fasting a week that lasts until today, which is called intermittent fasting. I had previously performed some tests such as the 100-hour fast and the extreme macrobiotic feeding experiment. In November of the same year, I decided to experiment with a 20-day fast. A month ago, when I started The Journey in Australia, I decided to increase the intermittent weekly fasting by two days. Now, in Japan, in Osaka, after having passed through Tokyo and Kyoto, I analyze what these 17 months of intermittent fasting have meant. In addition to including more relevant information on the experiment of fasting for 100 hours, and then in 20 days.
This is how I started with intermittent fasting:
- Experiment one hundred hours fast. Introduction. Last conclusions.
- 20 days of fasting. Introduction. Findings at 14 days. Final report.
Intermittent fasting — what does it consist of?
Let’s start with the easy part. My first contact with intermittent fasting was thanks to my high-performance teacher Ricardo Soares. Who told me about its many advantages, arguing that he had practiced it for more than two years and had never fallen ill, always maintained very high energy levels. And very connected and focused, both physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Then I asked him about intermittent fasting. As Ric described it, it was tremendously simple: 24 hours drinking alkaline water and not taking anything else.
Over time and have researched, there are many forms of fasting. There are half-day fasts like Terry Crews does, nothing substantial since he gets up until 2 pm. Others like the one that Gary Vaynerchuck performs: nothing tangible, only juices and water, from 2:00 pm until he gets up the next day.
Different methods of intermittent fasting
Other forms of fasting:
- Tim Ferriss method.
- Terry Crews method + scientific verification.
- Gary Vaynerchuck method.
- Joe Rogan + Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
These are just some; you can find more examples and recommendations from specialists. Here is a resource with some experts on the subject.
How do I practice intermittent fasting
My practice is as it is described above with some improvements:
- I buy alkaline water with the highest possible PH, that is my only form of food during the intermittent fasting of a day.
- When I perform more than 24 hours of fasting, and also when I drink superfoods just when I wake up the next day. Along with pre/probiotic and multivitamin.
- If on the second day I do sports, I take vegan alkaline protein at the end of the practice.
* It is important to note that in 2008 I was already starting to do 30-minute runs when fasting.
An in-depth analysis
I have recorded this video to explain what has happened in these 18 months of intermittent fasting. Including the 100-hour fast, the 20-day fast experiment and the two-day-a-week extension that is taking place right now.
Make this story rock only if you find it worth it! Please, clap if you did find any value.
Isra Garcia = 55 clients, 44 businesses advised, 398 speakings, 3.366 posts, 24 projects, 6 books, 380 lectures, 6 companies, 16 adventures, 23 experiments, ∞ failures. So far…