Performing a 24 hour fast can be a scary thought, but with the right tips and plan, you can successfully make it through your fast. With this article, you will learn how you can make it to 24 hours without breaking your fast, and learn about the benefits of fasting.
Ever since graduating college, I’ve been looking to experiment and explore new ways to live my life to the fullest. Eating habits is one area I’ve focused on over the number of years, and in particular, experimenting with intermittent fasting has lead to some interesting results.
Typically, I’ve stuck to a pretty relaxed 16 hour fasting window and 8 hour feeding window since starting intermittent fasting, but every once in a while, I do a 24 hour fast (and once I did a 48 hour fast!)
If you have never fasted before, approaching a 24 hour fast might seem like a huge task to take on.
When I started, I barely could make it past 9 AM before I “needed” to eat. Now, after a few years of practice, I rarely eat before 9 AM.
Maybe you are curious about fasting and want to explore your relationship with food. It’s possible you are looking to lose weight and want to see if fasting is worth giving a shot.
Whatever your reason, I hope this post gives the information you want and need regarding fasting.
In this post, I will talk about the benefits of fasting, and also share with you a number of tips for you to apply if you are interested in a one day fast.
What are the Benefits of Fasting for 24 Hours?
First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Everyone’s body responds to things differently and just because I’ve had a good experience doesn’t mean you will. Please consult a real doctor if you have concerns or interest about this subject.
When you think about fasting, you probably think about people who are starving and are suffering on purpose for no reason.
With the ability to go and buy whatever you want at the supermarket or grocery store, why would you ever want or need to fast?
Believe it or not, fasting has a lot of great benefits.
Being in a fasted state can bring a lot of good, and by increasing the amount of time you spend in a fasted state, the benefits can bring some great results.
Two of the big benefits of fasting are that fasting could help you lose weight, and fasting can help with detoxification.
If you are always eating, your body does not have the ability to perform some of it’s natural functions – namely, cleaning itself and getting rid of the junk.
By fasting, you give your body space and time to heal itself.
Fasting for 24 hours is a way to tap into these benefits without having to do too much outside of your daily routine.
The benefits of fasting start happening after 12 hours, by getting 24 hours of no eating in, you can help reset your body.
Now, if you are interested in doing a 24 hour fast, the next section will go over some tips on completing your first 24 hour fast.
7 Steps and Tips for Completing Your First 24 Hour Fast
If you’ve decided to give a 24 hour fast a chance, there are a number of things to consider and think about when going through your first 24 hour fast.
Below, I’ve listed 7 tips for you to apply during your fast so you can successfully complete your fast.
- Start with a 16 hour fast a week or two before the 24 hour fast
- Eat a big meal around 4-5 PM before starting your 24 hour fast
- Use sleep to your advantage
- Drink plenty of liquids to keep you full over the two day span
- Stay busy during your one day fast
- Stay positive, listen to your body, and be strong
- Make your first meal back simple and healthy
Let’s dive into each of these tips for completing your first 24 hour fast in more detail.
1. Start with a 16 Hour Fast to Prepare for Your 24 Hour Fast
First, if you’ve never done a longer fast before, you should start with a shorter 16 hour fast. This way, you can get an understanding of how your body might respond to fasting.
There are a number of interesting feelings I experienced when I fasted for the first time, and the first time I did it, it definitely was stressful and nerve wracking.
But after doing it a few times, I now know how to cope with those thoughts and feelings.
Starting slow with a 16 hour fast will allow you to experience some of the feelings involved with fasting and will help when you give the full 24 hours a go.
2. Eat a Bigger Meal at 4-5 PM Before Starting
Once you are confident you can do a 24 hour fast, then I’d recommend eating dinner a little bit earlier and if you are nervous about the fast, make it a big meal!
I suggest an earlier dinner because the second afternoon can be very difficult, and having a 5 PM cut off versus a 7 PM cutoff can make a world of difference mentally.
Typically, I get off work at 5 PM. If I can go home and eat right away, this is a lot easier than if I have to wait until 7 or 8 PM.
3. Use Sleep to Your Advantage
Something which is overlooked when fasting is it’s a lot easier to kill time if you are sleeping.
If you eat at 5 PM the night before, go to bed at 11 PM, and wake up at 7 AM, you only have 10 hours of fasting left before hitting the 24 hour mark.
If you can, adding in a 30 minute to 1 hour nap will cut another hour off the clock.
Eating earlier and going to bed earlier can make this even easier – finishing dinner at 4 PM, and going to bed at 10 AM can lead to a short fast during the second day!
4. Drink Plenty of Liquids When Fasting
Next, make sure you are drinking a lot of water during your fast.
First, this will help with flushing your system, but also, by drinking a lot of water and other liquids, you can feel more full.
Drinking water is very important for general health, but even more important when you aren’t eating and trying to stay sane.
Other liquids you can have are black coffee and unsweetened tea.
Coffee contains proteins which suppress your appetite, and this can help with hunger pains. One thing to note though is coffee leads to elevated cortisol levels, which makes it harder to burn fat.
Green tea is another drink that you can utilize when fasting. Green tea has some caffeine, helps suppress your appetite, and in addition, drinking green tea does elevate cortisol levels.
In general, whatever you decide to drink, just make sure it doesn’t have any calories, and also that you are staying hydrated throughout the day.
5. Stay Busy During Your One Day Fast
Have you ever heard the expression, “time flies when you are having fun?”
Time does fly when you are busy and occupied with work or play. If you decide to do a 24 hour fast, it will be a lot easier if you can stay busy and occupied throughout your day.
One of my worst fasts ever came when I had nothing going on during the afternoon at work.
From hours 18 to 23, I sat at my desk and, more or less, just thought about how hungry I was and calculated how much time I had left until it was time to eat.
On the other hand, you can go a long time with not thinking about food if you are busy and actively engaging your mind and body.
Also, a lot of times I’ll eat just because I’m bored or anxious. By staying busy, you won’t get bored and feel tempted to eat.
Staying busy will help you get through your fast much easier.
6. Listen to Your Body When Doing Your 24 Hour Fast
Finally, there will be moments when you want to eat and don’t want to push through.
Staying positive, drinking water, and resting could be best here – but also, if you become shaky or actually NEED food, then it is totally okay to end your fast.
If you are someone who is sensitive to not eating and have troubles with blood sugar levels, fasting might not be for you.
For people who check with their doctors and know the potential dangers of fasting, listening to your body will be very important for completing your fast successfully.
If you get a headache (which is very common and a sign your body is flushing out toxins), drinking more water will be critical for your success.
Being self-aware is incredibly important for success in this world, and being healthy rather than fainting or becoming sick because you tried to push through is a better scenario.
7. What to Eat After Breaking Your 24 Hour Fast
After reaching 24 hours, ease into eating with some fruit or vegetables, and then once you know your body is ready, you can eat a bigger meal.
You don’t want to go too fast into eating a big meal (even if you are super hungry at this point)!
Your body was getting used to not having a lot, and it might reject your meal if you eat too fast or too much.
Best of Luck During Your 24 Hour Fast!
For the past 4-5 years, fasting has been a piece of my life and becoming a little bit healthier each and every year.
After fasting, I feel more focused and ready to tackle the next tasks in my life.
Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Whether to experiment with fasting, learn more about your relationship with food, or to help you finally complete a 24 hour fast, hopefully this article has been valuable to you.
If you want to lose weight, fasting might be beneficial for you. Since fasting reduces the number of calories you take in for that day, you will be in a caloric deficit. However, there are other factors you need to consider before truly knowing if a 24 hour fast will help keep the weight off!
I hope you have a great 24 hour fast!