My Journey Through a 5-Day Dry Fast

Hello everyone, I’m Ali, a 38-year-old married family man and father of two wonderful kids aged 9 and 13. I’d like to share my first dry fasting journey to educate and inspire others, foster a sense of community support, and reflect on my personal experience and growth. I also encourage everyone to feel free to ask questions and share their feedback and thoughts about my journey. Your input is valuable and can contribute to further discussions and insights within our community.

Before diving into my dry fasting journey, I want to mention that I dedicated a significant amount of time to researching the topic. I watched videos, read books by Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Sergei Filinov, and delved into various resources. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to Yannick Wolfe, the founder of the Dry Fasting Club, for his invaluable contributions to the field.

Background on my fasting journey

Before delving into my 5 & 1/2 day dry fasting challenge, I’d like to share some background on my fasting journey. Over the past 2 years, I’ve gained experience with water fasting and daily intermittent fasting, primarily following 18/6 and 22/2 fasting schedules. I once also did a 7-day water fast in 2022.
Starting from the beginning of 2024, I incorporated weekly 40-hour water fasts, spanning from Sunday at 8:00 PM to Tuesday at 12:00 PM. Additionally, during the month of Ramadan (from March 10th, 2024, to April 9th, 2024), I transitioned to dry fasting, practicing intermittent dry fasting with one meal a day throughout the month. Alongside fasting, I maintained a consistent routine of physical activity, morning routines such as prayer/meditation, reading, stretching/mobility exercises, and daily walking.

  1. Ramadan: Intermittent dry fasting
  • Period: March 10th, 2024, to April 9th, 2024
  • First week: 2 meals a day
  • Other weeks: 1 meal a day :
  • ±12h dry fast / day
  • Walking ±60min / day : ± 8-10k step
  • Fasted workouts: 3 Upper body & 2 Lower body + HIIT workouts per week
    My workouts consists of bodyweight calisthenics exercises (pull-ups, dips, push-ups, squats, lunges, etc.)
  1. First week after Ramadan (10/4/2024-16/4/2024):
  • During the Ramadan festival, Muslims often gather with family and friends, which inadvertently led to consuming sweets, resulting in a slight deviation from my usual dietary habits.
  • During this period, I had a deload week for my workouts, focusing solely on upper body exercises

5&1/2 Day Dry Fasting Journey:

  • April 17th, 2024 from 20 p.m. to April 23th, 2024 at 8 a.m…
  • Total of 133h dry fast
  • Walking ±90min per day: ±13-15k steps/day
  • 3 light upper workouts on Day 1, 2 & 3:
    * 4x10 pull ups @2min rest
    * 4x10 dips @2min rest
    * 4x10 australian pull-ups @2min rest
    * 4x10 push-ups @2min rest
  • Urine: I did pee everyday, but unfortunately I didn’t collected my urine.

Refeeding Protocol:

I structured my refeed protocol based on the Sergei Filonov protocol and strictly adhered to its guidelines. By making slight adaptations, such as abstaining from fruit compote and limiting fruit juice intake to avoid significant insulin and glycemic spikes. I primarily consumed bone broth, vegetable soups, steamed vegetables, and incorporated eggs and fish starting from day 5, and meat from day 7.

This was my workout plan during the refeed period:

Weight:

I measured my weight daily every morning at 8 a.m. after using the toilet.
My weight at the beginning of the fast was 78.35kg, decreased to 69kg by the end of the dry fast, and then increased to 72kg by the end of the refeed period.

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Reflections on the journey:

  • During the 5-day dry fast, I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty, I did not get the keto flu or felt the acidotic crisis and was full of energy and felt that I was able to continue with the fast after day 5. I even managed to achieve a personal milestone by performing 2 muscle-ups on the last day, something I had never been able to do before the dry fast possibly due to the surplus of fat. I got a dopamine shot that I nearly cried from happiness of achieving one of my calisthenics goals. This proves also that I didn’t lose strength after the dry fast and I mainly lost water and fat.

  • During the first 4 days of the refeed period, I noticed feeling more tired than during the dry fast, likely because my digestive system was gradually awakening. This fatigue translated into decreased energy levels during workouts. From day 5, I felt rejuvenated and energetic, as if I had been reborn. Despite this newfound vitality, I remained committed to respecting the refeed protocol and maintaining discipline in my dietary choices.

  • Important to mention is that I did not take any days off throughout this journey and was working remotely. While navigating my responsibilities as a family man and working from home, I found my emotions intensified on the first day of refeed, likely driven by my determination to strictly adhere to the protocol and avoid any missteps, also because I needed to prepare meals myself due to my wife’s illness at the time. I found my self yearning for a nature retreat during the refeeding period.

  • I did a blood and urine test on the last day of my dry fast, and all the results were good with no abnormalities. I was amazed to see that all the electrolyte levels in my blood were stable; I had expected a potassium deficiency, but that wasn’t the case. Human growth hormone also increased by 270%.
    * Before the dry fast, I underwent a blood test too, and the doctor expressed concern about my CRP level, C-reactive protein which is a sign of infection or inflammatory syndrome. The CRP level at that time was 27.5 and should have been less than 5. After the dry fast, this protein decreased in me to below 4*

  • Past injuries:

    • In 2020, I underwent hip FAI surgery, which has resulted in ongoing issues with hip mobility. However, I’ve noticed a reduction in pain and a slight mobility improvement after the dry fast probably due to his anti-inflammatory effect and also the weight loss which alleviates pressure on the joint.
    • In addition to the hip surgery I also sustained an injury to my AC joint in 2022, resulting in a knot around my rhomboids. Despite undergoing massages and other treatments, I struggled to alleviate or ensure the disappearance of this knot until after the dry fast, during which it was successfully eliminated, and it has now completely disappeared.
  • In comparing dry fasting to water fasting, I discovered that dry fasting was more manageable for me. During a 7-day water fast, I experienced constant coldness, likely due to the flushing out of fluids and electrolytes, leading to an imbalance. Unlike water fasting, dry fasting does not lower the basal metabolic rate, resulting in a sensation of warmth as the body burns fat to obtain water for hydration. Moving forward, I’ll be transitioning exclusively to daily dry fasting, incorporating intermittent schedules such as 16/8, 18/6, 22/2, OMAD, weekly 40-hour fasts, and a 72-hour fast every three or four months.

Conclusion:

My journey through dry fasting has been a profound experience, filled with challenges and rewards. By adhering to a structured routine and implementing a thoughtful refeeding protocol, I’ve gained valuable insights into the body’s resilience and adaptability during extended fasting periods. Moving forward, I’m eager to continue exploring this practice while prioritizing health and well-being.

Throughout this transformative journey, I’ve observed remarkable physical changes, including increased energy and weight loss, alongside profound shifts in mental clarity and spiritual well-being. Fasting has not only strengthened my discipline and willpower but has also deepened my connection with myself and my sense of purpose. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share these experiences with you, hoping to inspire and encourage you on your own paths to health and self-discovery. Remember, our journeys are unique, but together, we can support and uplift one another toward greater well-being. Thank you for your patience and engagement.

Kind Regards,
Ali

thanx Ali for youre story. I ame now on my 5th day from a dry fast. I dont know when i go back to the gyym. It is good to see that you starting one day 1 at refeeding :slight_smile:

Hi Koekje,

How is you’re dry fast going? Did you start the refeed or are you going to continue the dry fast?

I trained from refeed day 2, first day was total rest and just walking. During the fasti’g period I also did a couple of upper body sessions.

Do not hurry with training, be careful and listen to your body, start slowly and progress little by litle, be patient.

Good luck with the refeed period!
Kr
Ali