January Water Fast: What I ate after fasting and how much did I gain?

January Water Fast: What I ate after fasting and how much did I gain?

It’s been just about 50 hours since I ended my 12 day January Water Fast. (my fast ended on Saturday morning, right now it’s Monday morning) I’ve actually learned so much about my body and my eating habits in such a short period of time that it’s astonishing.

First of all – I sincerely love food and even more so love to cook. My kitchen is my happy place and I’m totes happy to be cooking/eating again. However, Eating 3 meals on Saturday was just way too much food.

When you complete a water fast the most important aspect to ensure you don’t regain the weight you lost, is to not return to the same eating style you had before your fast (if you weren’t eating healthily) Ray & I are eating low-carb/high-fat in order to maintain our ketogenic state (i.e. fat burning machine.

While many people say that you need to end a water fast with soft foods, we took a less traveled path of eating real food. And it was a huge success. Between Ray & I we were on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to digestion — for some it moves a little fast and some it moves a little slow (at the request of my hubby I won’t get into specifics but I’m sure you get my drift)

We didn’t feel sick or nauseated – only overfull since undoubtedly our stomaches shrunk in 12 day w/o eating – so any quantity of food would make us feel extra full. And we consciously realized that going forward we need to adjust the way we fill our plates, eating less quantity overall.

A secret to keep your portions under control is to use smaller plates – the plates in all of these pictures aren’t full size they are large salad plates.

Saturday – 25 g net carbs

9 am Breakfast: 2 Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Asparagus, Raw Butter & Sauerkraut – 3g net carbs

1 pm Lunch: cottage cheese, olives, macadamia nuts, pork rinds & fermented pickle – 7 net carbs

6 pm Ray’s Birthday Dinner: Roasted Beef Marrow Bones, Wedge Salad w/Blue Cheese Dressing, Sous Vide Ribeye Steaks, Brie Stuffed Mushrooms and Green Beans. — Since we had family over for dinner, I didn’t get pictures of everything but trust me it was amazing! — Net 9g Carbs

The classic wedge salad will always be my favorite! #wedgesalad #saladswithoutgrain #lowcarb #keto #lowcarbhighfat #primal

A photo posted by Hayley Ryczek (@healthstartsinthekitchen) on

7:00 pm Dessert: Pressure Cooker Cheese Cake w/fresh berries (I broke my own fruit rule) – Net 6g Carbs – Recipe coming to the blog soon, it was pure perfection!

Sunday – 14 g net carbs

I fasted through breakfast Sunday Morning (aka Intermittent Fasting)

2 pm Lunch:Chicken/egg salad in romaine boats, buffalo hot dog, cheddar cheese curds, olives & pork rinds – 3g net carbs

5 pm Dinner: Mushrooms, celery, cucumbers, pork rinds w/my southwestern ranch (from my Salads Without Grain eBook) and some macadamia nuts — 5g net carbs 

How much weight did we gain in the first 50 hours after our fast??

To all the nay sayers out there who proclaimed that “we’ll gain it all right back as soon as we start eating” I am still adamant that you’re totes wrong.

Of course when you go from a completely empty system to eating – you’ll undoubtedly go up on the scale. But the question is how much.

It’s the part of fasting that is probably the most stressful for me. While weightloss isn’t my singular focus, but it sure is nice and I want to maintain my progress – and hopefully lose more weight going forward.

Just for shits-and-giggles after we ate all day Saturday I got on the scale before bed, with a belly full of a day’s worth of food, my weight was +5 pounds. (I did not poop, so everything I ate was still in my system) I did this only for reference.

Sunday morning – 24 hours after our fast ended both my & Ray’s weight was +3 pounds.

Monday morning – 48 hours after our fast ended, my weight is still +3 pounds. Ray did not weigh himself today.

Since our fast ended we’ve maintained our ketogenic state while eating. And our Blood Glucose levels are identical to when fasting — ranging from 85 to 125. While it’s improved, for optimal health we are working to get our fasting BG to the 70-80s consistently.

I’ve been checking my BG after eating, (30-60-90 minutes) to see how my body is reacting to the foods I eat. Following today’s brunch my readings are 106/122/107 respectively.  (the featured image at the top of this post is today’s bunch or check it out on Instagram.

So, I’m going to go ahead and say that our first 50 hours post fast have been a huge success, just like our fast itself. We will be practicing intermittent fasting through out this week (<6 hour eating window) while eating ketogenic/low-carb & high-fat.

I’ll be posting a 1 week post fast recap on Saturday so check back for my update to see how things are progressing!

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  1. I have been doing 28 day (4 week) fasts once a year for about 10 years now. I find that fasting helps more with health issues than weight loss. I did lose 40lbs my first fast though. I have cut my fasting to 14 days this year because I’m getting up in age so I’ll be doing the intermittent fasting from now on. I did realize that I can’t eat certain foods because they make me sick, most fried foods, fast foods and sugary foods. If anyone is interested in doing long fasts I would suggest doing a vegetable juice first. One 6 Oz drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 28 days. I always used February since it has only 28 days. Good luck to all with your fasting.

  2. I have been on a water only fast since Monday after dinner (I ate dinner), so 6 days and ~18 hours. Today I weigh 3 pounds less than I did when I weighed myself Tuesday morning.

    This is highly discouraging. It’s as though my body when in a hibernation mode, conserving as many calories as possible.

    I will continue my fast another 6 days, but I certainly hope the weight loss picks up.

    1. As long as you are consuming ZERO calories and no artificial anything (ie no zero calorie sweeteners or drinks) fasting doesn’t create starvation or hibernation. Every body will react differently, I hope you can see all the other benefits of fasting that are beyond a number on the scale. Are you taking measurements as well to see if there are any other body changes? Your rate of loss will also depend on how much you have to lose and what your health status is.

    2. John the fast weight really won’t stay off completely, but it will change your biochemistry to make you more able to lose weight. Think long term.

  3. Hi i started at 194.6 lbs and I did 10 days water fasting i only lost 15 lbs. I say only because most people lose about 20. Day 4 and 5 no weight change and day nine i weighted 178.4 but day 10 i when up one pound 179.6 . Im in day 5 refeeding the first 2 days i did celery juice with 1/2 cup orange lite or carrot and collogen protein 11gm once a day. The past 3 days i have still been on low keto diet pee stick now show me 4mmol when i came out the water fasting for 3 days it was 16 mmol. But now i weight 187 what am i doing wrong. Why is my body not adapting to lose weight.

    1. Hi
      I did 10 day water/green tea fast and went from 150.2 to 135. Weight loss 15.2 lbs. I was very satisfied and that is the norm for weight loss. I did notice my first 10lbs came off in first 5 days. Slower the last 5 days. Kept getting diarrhea from day 5-10. Cleansed before I even started fasting. It’s different for everyone. Decided to stay keto based diet after. I keep my calorie intake low, log food in My Fitness Pal, and go to the gym 5 days a week. 3 days 45 mins of Run/Sprint/Walk program. Other 2 days lift and lighter cardio. Not worried about scale right now. Most I usually gain back is 5 after a week. This time on a better after program.

  4. I’m 56 years old. I never had a weight problem. I weighed 128 on my fiftieth birthday. July 4th I had a partial hysterectomy, ever since I’ve gained. I mountain bike, hike walk daily, kayak etc. I’m very active at the age of 57. Yet I am 147 lbs. I’ve tried every diet out there (literally). I’m on my fifth day of my water fast. I’m tired, but feel good. I’m now down to 136 pounds. My healthy weightshould be 128. At the rate I’m going I will be 131 lbs. at the end of this 7 day fast. I want to continue to lose. I have IBS so I want to be very careful coming off my fast, but I will focus on staying in the ketognic stage. I absolutely love your menus. Do you have abook of menus? If not, you should consider it. Your menus look awesome! Thank you for your posts.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. I just finished a 7 day water fast yesterday- my first ever longish water fast. I have been living low carb for the last 4.5 years or so and doing IF in the form of 5:2 for roughly the last 1.5 years with a few 48 hour fasts thrown in. After reading this I decided to rebel against the usual advice on breaking a water fast with juices and whatnot and went ahead and ate normal food today (eggs, chicken livers, avocado, chard) and I feel great. No problems whatsoever!

  6. Hello Hayley,
    Your post is awesome. I am ending my 10 water fast tomorrow and wanted to break it by doing the Keto diet.
    I have lost 20lbs and don’t want to gain it all back…

    Thanks for sharing your experience.


  7. Hi Hayley,
    Just came across your blog after I searched why I gained weight after my 5 day water fast. Congrats on your fast and thanks for answering so many questions.
    I have lost 6.4kgs in 5 days, but I gained 4 kgs back in three days, even though I am still in Ketosis and I have maintained my carbs to less than 20gms. I avoided most of the meats for first 2 days. I can see that my body is retaining lots of water after the fast.
    Is that normal? My goal to to shed atleast another 10Kgs. Is it advisable to do more fasts? Please advice.

    1. When we loose weight, especially in just a few days, it’s mostly fluids. Not water-weight per se but other fluids that our body holds onto. You will ALWAYS regain some weight quickly, it’s like 3 steps forward, one step back. My most recent fast (23 days) I lost 30.2 pounds and have regained 9 pounds in the month since the end of my fast.

      I’m not sure why you are avoiding meat? And would be curious of your daily diet.

  8. How many carbs do you eat a day or try to stay under?
    A friend told me to stay under 10g in order to maintain a state of ketosis.

    1. the amount of carbs each of us can consume to stay in ketosis is different from person to person. The range is from 0 carbs to 50 carbs generally. There is also degrees to ketosis – based on your desired outcome. During water fasting we are in deep therapeutic ketosis but when we eat and keep our carbs under 20g NET carbs we can easily maintain 2.0 ketosis.

  9. My daughter and I just completed a 12 day fast before Christmas. We both lost 20 pounds. We broke our fast with a 3 ounce tenderloin steak. The best thing either of us can remember eating. We had no problems eating meat and had a salad three hours later. It is amazing how hunger disappears on the longer fasts.

  10. Hello Hayley,
    Thanks for your detailed post it has really inspired me and I have decided to embark on a 7 day water fast starting tomorrow. I have done liquid fasts before but never zero calories. I am just a bit concerned about the long term effect it may have on my metabolism (so many skeptics out there but I prefer to judge by real results). I see that you have kept a majority of the weight off after your water fasts, but but do you think It’s possible to continue losing weight once you’ve finished through healthy eating or IF? It seems when people fast their weight either stabilises or comes back on and I am interested in your experience with previous fasts. Many thanks for your time and merry Xmas 😉

  11. He’ll Hayley,
    I am really glad I crossed your blog!
    Thanks for all the information you put out here.
    I am eating a very lowcarb diat in generell and do t loose the weight I put on as i had a operation last 1 1/2 years ago. I now start with my first water fast and wanted to know what kind of teas you drink? Did you also use lemon water and vegan supplements or is that necessary?

    All the love and thanks ?

  12. Hayley, hw much fish do you eat ;per week and if you do what type of fish, I like salmon pressure cooked. On your low carb diet are you staying away from rice? Been fasting since 1990 now 62 have done probably over 100 fasts and many long, but average around 10 days. My last one went from 219 to 196 back to 212 but ate not the cleanest and though I don’t eat meat I do eat salmone and eggs and cheese pizza my killer food, but going to do another fast soon and keep it cleaner this time. I am 6ft 4in for the record. I love your recipes and got the salmon and rice from you. Keep it coming. Cheers Don

    1. I eat fatty fish often and seafood in general at least 1x per week. When I eat “low carb” I stick to carbs from vegetables. I count my carbs, aiming for 20g day.

  13. Hello Hayley, I’m just going through your posts about your fasting journey. I really appreciate you sharing everything in such detail. I first learned about intermittent fasting several months ago, and I have had great success with it. I’ve done frequent 1-2 day fasts, and am currently on day 3 of my attempt at a longer fast. Fasting has had a tremendous effect on my blood sugar, but mostly in changing my relationship with food. I have much greater discipline after fasting, and I am more aware of when I am eating because I am bored. And I can’t believe how much time I have. Just wanted to say thanks for the information, it’s great to read your story.

  14. Did you continue to lose weight eating low carb or did you have to continue eating low carb to maintain your weight?

    1. In order for me to maintain my weight, I MUST eat a low carb diet. I can have an occasional high carb treat but it must be paired with several days of keto/zero carb to balance. Simply eating low carb isn’t enough for me to loose weight, hence why I started fasting <3

  15. Very helpful post. I am in the same boat where i am holding on to weight despite exercising, intemittent fasting and eating minimally. I decided to give this water fast a shot while also drinking hot herbal teas (those really help me feel calm). Today is day one of my fast and its going well so far. The Hunger pangs are not as bad as I thought they would be. I am motivated to continue. Since this is my first water fast, I am giving myself 3 – 7 days. I want to make it to 7 days but my initial goal is 3 days without food. Thanks for the post, this is really helpful because I really want to understand why i still have this weight as well as heal myself from foods that are not really good for me.

  16. I’m coming to the end of my first 7 day fast tomorrow at 10.pm. I have come from a LCHF way of eating combined with Intermittent Fasting . It is fascinating to experiance the lack of hunger when fasting. But crucial to keep well hydrated. I used raw Apple Cider Vinegar (2tbp per 500mls) as my go to fluid. I think the ACV had a positive effect to quell hunger pangs.
    Next time around I will start my fast with my last meal am rather than pm so that I can enjoy my Break-Fast earlier in the day.
    Great Blog.
    Richard (UK).

  17. Hi Hayley, currently on a 10 day water fast, i’m so encouraged by the waybyou started eating again I’ve read so many blogs that scare me into thinking i’d land up in the hospital if i had i gram of protein within 5 days of ending my fast. No stomach upset for you or hubby?

  18. Hi All, my goal is to fast 7 days, which ends today at 5pm. I have had ups and downs not being hungry, but really missing the taste of food. Today, to my surprise, its easier then before. I wonder what I should eat when. I’m thinking about cucumber and water melon – though it has so much sugar. I was surprised you didn’t go for veggies. I may try the eggs with asparagus etc. 1-2 days after

  19. I am so glad I found this!!! I break my 3 day fast tonight at 6pm. Everything I have come across says veggies and fruit but I was afraid to spike my sugar.
    I am so going to the store for some bacon asparagus to go with my eggs for dinner 🙂

    1. My 3rd day tomorrow, I feel fantastic!! This is My very first water fast since starting Keto about 2 months ago, i have alot to loose!! This was a FANTASTIC first time and I will be doing it AGAIN!! NICE seeing what everyone eats following!! Best of luck to you

  20. I followed your fasting journey and was thinking about you just the other day, wondering how fasting had affected the health concerns you are trying to correct. I’ve done 5/2 fasting but am concerned it may have messed with my hormones so I don’t think I could do an extended fast……

    1. Hey Brandy! thanks for your comment 🙂 I still feel great after fasting and it definaltey positively impacted my insulin resistance. I use intermittent fasting practically every day and do not feel it negatively impacted my hormones.

      1. Thanks Hayley for getting back to me! What kind of intermittent fasting do you practice? Do you eat all your meals within a certain time window? Like 6-8 hours?

        1. Intermittent fasting varies person to person, day to day… sometimes I only eat 1 meal a day and others I eat in a 10 hour window. But I always have a minimum of 12 hours between the last thing i eat at night and the first thing I eat the next morning.

    1. I’ve been eating low-carb keto, then removed most diary after a few days… My weight has stabilized 3 pounds higher than my lowest fasting weight, which was expected.

      1. Do you try and stay within a certain calorie range or exercise? Has the weight stayed off? I’m in the middle of an extended water fast-not sure how long I’m going to go for I will see how I feel. I have to say I’ve done alot of fasts non longer than 14 days This is the first time my tongue is not coated and feel pretty good.

        1. No, I don’t track calories or add exercise (that’s more of a calorie restriction or eat less/ move more idea which does not work) I lead an active lifestyle… I do yoga a few times a week… I intermittent fast as a part of my regular lifestyle.

      2. Hey all. First I would like to say Congrats and happy energy to all those who have completed or whose goal is to complete such an incredible opportunity of a water fast. With that said remember it is very important to ease into food a lot easier than this. In order to not obstruct the stomach and to keep the mental power that the fast has led you to its important to begin with just fresh home made veggie and fruit smoothies and high water content fruit. No meat or dairy should be consumed till the 5th day after a cleanse except low moisture high culture yogurt. Definitely not this treat meals above. When you are fully back to a normal diet (perhaps 2 wks post fast then these meals are awesome) I try to tell my patients the same. Again best of everything to everyone.

        1. Fasting is a highly individual journey. I know many many people who eat like I do following a fast. But I sincerely appreciate your comment!

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