My amazing experience with water fasting to help depression
My amazing experience with water fasting to help depression
Wondering if fasting can help with depression and anxiety?
Food and depression, is there a link?
I have struggled with food for most of my life.
Coincidentally, I have struggled with depression & anxiety my entire life as well.
To top it all off, I am an Iraq war veteran that suffers from PTSD.
After starting my mental health journey, I have been unable, no, unwilling to block out the my poor relationship with food.
Most days I struggled to eat much of anything. I was often WAY below the normal daily caloric recommendations.
Sometimes it was on purpose while other times I just didn’t feel like eating due to my depression.
Water fasting for depression disclaimer
None of this is medical advice and should not be taken as such.
In this fasting for depression and anxiety article I will be going over.
Why I wanted to fast
Coming out of the fast
Why I wanted to try fasting for my depression
Questions I had
So recently I started coming up with a few unanswered questions.
Why do I not want to eat (a slow form of suicide? )( No joy from food? )
Is my gut messed up?
Am I addicted to sugar?
Why do I get hangry when I miss a meal?
Do I really need to eat as much as they say I do?
Am I eating the right foods?
Things I want
I want to bring joy back into the food I eat
I want to eat food that makes me feel good.
I want to control the food, not the other way around.
I want to stop using food as a punishment.
What if I wasn't listening to my body
I had this crazy thought while on one of my walks.
What if my body is telling me that I shouldn’t be eating?
What if I have been forcing my body to eat when it was trying to get me to stop?
Then I discovered fasting
Fasting for 4 days significantly decreases your risks of some of the most dangerous, but preventable food based illnesses.
Eating large amounts of protein increases your chances of getting food related related illnesses.
Did they specify what type of protein.
I am assuming animal protein which I don’t have to worry about since I have been eating plant based for over a year.
4 day fasts needs to be repeated.
Nutritious foods are more important than amount of calories taken in.
What is Autophagy?
WHAT IS KETOSIS?
I am a traveler and love to explore, but there is one place I have never wanted to go until now.
I am ready to explore myself to see where I am weak and begin to build myself up.
Can you fast while on anti depressants
I did, but you should always check with your primary care provider first.
The first day I did notice some slight withdrawal symptoms beginning, but they went away within the first day.
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Other supplements I used
Magnesium - I would recommend a powder to add to your drinking water. Make sure it does NOT contain any sugars. Stevia is ok.
Get everything you need with the genius electrolytes. ( I'll be going with this next time )
1 gallon jug of mineral water daily
Unsweetened coffees, teas and drinks. Anything that has zero calories should be drinkable, but I would recommend any of the zero calorie soft drinks. They are just horrible for you.
Daily vitamin supplement - Not really needed if you are only fasting for 1-2 days.
Day 1 of my fasting journal
Complete dissociation from food. I just turned off my switch and I didn't think about food for the rest of the day.
Surprisingly I wasn't even very hangry. This is probably due to the fact that I have not been eating much recently so I am already sort of fasting.
Sleep - If I am hungry at all normally I am unable to sleep. Surprising I was able to fall asleep fairly easily, but I did keep waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom which is normal for me.
Day 2 Fasting for depression
I woke up surprisingly refreshed and had a TON of energy which is good because at 9 am I was had to go repair a ceiling for our new neighbors.
Look at me trying to build relationships!
Beware of diarrhea
Lesson #1 - While fasting and drinking coffee, never trust a fart. This should have been obvious but I completely didn’t even consider the possibility of pooping myself.
Sleep I felt like I struggled to fall asleep due to hunger but I actually think I slept pretty well.
Day 3 Fasting for depression
It is strange not eating food for such a long period of time.
My ketosis strips are telling me that I am in deep ketosis so my body is burning even more fat for energy and autophogy should be in full effect getting rid of all the cellular waste turning that into energy,
Things I have noticed
You would think that my stress levels would be going through the roof, but it seems the opposite is happening. I am stressed by the hunger some, but I am noticing other parts of my body seem to be letting go of tension.
My muscles seem less tight.
The knots in my jaw seems to be loosening up a little.
I feel like I can see better.
I feel like I can breath deeper.
I look forward to eating, but not in a ravenous kind of way.
Colors seem more vivid.
I am in a MUCH better mood.
I feel grateful.
While I seem to be having problems falling asleep, I am wide awake then I get up.
I have also noticed that my mind has been wandering to food. ( imagine that )
The interesting thing is that my mind isn’t wandering towards bad food which is what I expected to happen.
Instead, I have been thinking of ways to liven up boring healthy veggies.
I am actually looking forward to eating vegetables again. This may be because the sugars i’ve addicted to are no longer corrupting my thoughts.
Once again it felt like I struggled to fall asleep, but woke up at 5 am feeling refreshed.
I have started to get a little bit cold even though it is nice out.
Day 4 Fasting for depression
I believe the sugars are out of my body and I am able to look at my eating habits with out the legal crack coursing through my veins.
Realizing new possibilities
Less money needed for food.
Gaining control over my food issues is possible.
I have gone through the worst of the hunger pangs. While it wasn’t an enjoyable it was at no point uncontrollable.
I have faith in my will power again.
Food is now interesting.
After the fast
I ended my 4th day by having some apple cider vinegar & organic soup followed by an organic protein shake with Spirulina and chia powder a few hours later.
The next day I continued with soft foods that were not to acidic or hot.
By the end of the day I was back to eating solid foods again with no adverse affects
Now that the fast is over I have switched to intermittent fasting.
I try not to eat until 4 PM and after that I have been eating whatever I feel like.
I feel amazing
I feel like I am in harmony with my body for once.
My hunger is pretty non exitstant until around 3 PM.
My energy is through the roof.
My day seems much more productive.
I feel lighter.
I would like to lose some weight so I am looking to give the keto diet a shot since intermittent fasting and Keto have such a good synergy together.
I would highly recommend giving fasting a shot. It has really been a profound experience. One that has changed my life for the better.
Intermittent fasting update
I have kept all the emotional benefits from the 4 day fast.
I feel more creative.
I feel like I am rebounding from stress better.
I am able to think more clearly when I get into arguments with my wife, and I am less likely to withdrawal.
If I do withdrawal I don't have the same mental block I did before. I am able to work through it and start communicating again. Not sure if that is the fasting or my therapy sessions there.
I mainly only get hungry around 3-4 PM. There may be a slight bit of hunger during the day, but it isn't that bad. I believe eventually it will go away while my body adjusts.