Rremitted that eating is fundamental to nourishing one’s body and that introducing radical and disruptive changes in one’s diet should be avoided, premised also that any substantial changes to the dietary regimens one follows should be made only on the advice of a competent person (does it really need to be said? Yes), one curiosity may remain and that is: what happens if one does not eat for three days in a row?
We also specify that this article talks about not eating for 3 days in a row and not not to drink. As is well known, the human body has much more limited resistance to water deficiency or absence and can suffer very serious damage to the kidneys and internal organs even after 3 to 4 days of fluid deprivation, as well as severe headaches, lack of balance, and fainting. But that is not what we are talking about.
Let’s talk about fasting using Max Posternak, founder of Gravity Transformation, who explained in a video what happens to your body in detail when you fast it.
It might seem like a useless experiment, but it is actually interesting because it explains a lot of how our bodies work, what happens to food when it enters our bodies, how it is processed, and what it means to deprive ourselves of it. We therefore see it as an interesting approach to make people more aware, especially when so many are following DIY diets or practicing intermittent fasting, a practice that has become increasingly popular in recent years (and not harmful, mind you, as long as it is done with criterion and measure).
As always, reason and an informed approach are our best allies.
After 6-10 hours of fasting
Your body is now depleting most of the circulating glucose reserves in your blood. It is the fastest available source of energy and it is natural to resort to it. Your sense of hunger will be higher the more carbohydrate-based your diet is; after about two hours your body will begin to adapt to the change and you will feel less hungry.
After 12-16 hours of fasting
Glycogen reserves are now being depleted. Having nothing left to digest and transform (at least for the time being) you may feel cold, precisely because there is no stomach action taking place. Depleted of glycogen, your body will resort to ketone bodies, which are derived from lipids but faster utilized than these since they have a similar molecular structure to sugars. As you will understand, you are starting to use your lipid reserves.
After 16-18 hours of fasting
The process of autophagy begins, a somewhat disturbing name that actually describes a purification process operated by your body that eliminates whatever garbage it finds, whether it is damaged proteins, bacteria, or dysfunctional cells.
After 24-32 hours of fasting
(It sounds more and more like describing a spaceship that has abandoned the mother ship and wanders in space being able to rely only on its own supplies.)
We said: after 24-32 hours you have exhausted glycogen and will have to rely only on fats (or lipids). The brain, however, runs on only one type of fuel, namely glycogen. Now what? No problem for now: triglycerides are separated into glycerol and free fatty acids. The goal for now is not to have to resort to muscle tissue. If you understood something like “Eating muscle tissue (for nutrition)” you got it right. But we are not there yet!
After 32 hours of fasting
You start to visually lose weight but it’s an illusion, or rather: yes, you really are losing it only it’s largely due to the fluids you’ve lost from carbohydrate and fat depletion. In other words: you’ll get it back in no time.
After 3 days
As is well known, one can go without eating even for many days, at the expense of course of lack of energy, clouding of the mind and general well-being. What happens is that, having run out of immediately expendable energy sources, the body resorts to itself, starting to eat muscle tissue. You will also incur vitamin and mineral deficiencies and digestive problems.
We’ve repeated it to the point of exhaustion: this article is just to help you understand what happens to your body if you don’t eat and is not an invitation to do so. Why would you then?
If you want to understand it even better, a video by Pasternak explains it very well.