Chris at the mountains with his 10 day water fast

10 Day Water Fast Results and How it Solved My Health Problems

For the better part of 2018, I was struggling with some serious stomach problems. These issues have been on and off most of my life, but last year, in particular, they sidelined me from my regular activities. I soon got tired of not feeling well and decided to do something about it. After doing my research, I decided that a 10 day water fast sounded like the most promising for solving my issues.

Aside from the stomach issues, I was also sitting at 25% body fat, which, to me, is not ideal. So I wanted to use this fasting period to get down to 10% body fat. I know that sounds extreme, but I planned to monitor my blood pressure and pulse and I knew if I started to experience any negative side effects, I’d quit the fast because I didn’t want to feel any worse than I already did.

Man drinking water at the beach

This isn’t the first time I’ve done an all-water fast. I’ve done this type of fasting for about 15 years now with seven days being the longest I’ve ever fasted. Most of the time I do intermittent fasting where I don’t eat breakfast one day a week. On a few occasions, I’ve done three and five-day fasts. That being said, I’m used to doing this and I know what to expect and my body knows what to expect. My 10-day water fasting results were not a surprise to me.

Other than my stomach problems, I know myself to be in good health. If this is your first time attempting a fast, really do your research and listen to your body. If you are not in good health, a 10-day water fast may affect you differently. You also may find your body responds better to a shorter fast. This is just what worked for me, and your body is your own to make choices about. No matter what, listen to your body and monitor your vital signs. 

Chris standing at the bridge meditating

Often I see recommendations for the 10-day water fast weight loss. If you are feeling bloated, your body may be retaining water, and a 10-day water fast can help flush that water weight along with toxins your body is holding on to. Additionally, this fast can help your body naturally burn fat. 

Of course, there is no one time trick to losing weight. The 10 day water fast weight loss won’t last if you don’t continue taking care of your body. If you’ve never fasted before, you can read through my daily progress below. Just so we’re all clear, this is what I’ve experienced while on the 10-day water fast and you may experience something completely different or something similar when you try a 10-day water fast. 

Chris running hillside

What to Expect on a 10 Day Fast

Day One

Here are what to expect on a 10 day fast. For day one of my 10-day water fast, I stuck to water and went for an hour-long hike with my dog. Nothing extreme and nothing radically different from any other day during the last year, I just didn’t eat. I was hungry, but feeling good and staying positive. Staying in a good headspace is crucial during your fast. In my experience, day one is by far the easiest. You might feel hungry. If you do, just remember that your body doesn’t need fuel on the first day, it just thinks it does because you normally eat several times a day. By the end of the day, you should feel your body relax as the feelings of hunger subside. Careful, they will be back in the morning. 

Chris crossing the bridge

Day Two

This is when your body clock might start being more insistent about telling you it’s time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your body shifts from just reminding you it’s time to eat to a more insistent need for fuel. The reality is your body has already been fueled and has been storing that fuel for days just like this. All those extra carbohydrates you eat are taken in and converted to fat and then stored right around your midsection.

"Whenever I fast or start something new I’m reminded of Kanter’s Law. This states that any type of change is hardest in the middle. Beginnings are easy and endings are rewarding. The middle is where we doubt, worry and stress. Buckle down and stick with your 10 day water fast."

Chris running in the forest!

10 Day Water Fast Results

I know that the first two days of the fast will be easy, the next few days will be the hardest, and the final two days will be easy because the end is in sight. You can see how this law applies to other things like training to become a better shooter or even getting through a divorce. At first, you take it day-by-day, adjust to the new normal. When you come to the middle, you have to put in work just to get through the day. If you stick it out, you come to the end and start seeing improvements in your shooting, your mood, and your outlook on life. Your 10-day water fasting results will follow this universal pattern.

This makes me think of the comments I get when running. People tell me “you make it look so easy!” Of course, it looks easy! They just watched me run down the mountain. They missed the part where I was working hard, sweating, and struggling to get to the top. All they see is the part where I’m practically falling down the other side of the mountain with what little bit of bodily control I have left. 

My point is, never forget the struggle that leads us to our outcomes. There’s always going to be a hard part you have to push through to see results. 

Chris meditating in the forest!

If you remember from my last article, I mentioned that the middle part of change is always difficult. Well, this article covers the middle part of my fast and, as I knew it would be, it was a challenge.

Day Three

I woke up this morning and wasn’t feeling hungry and the constant headache of day two is starting to fade. All signs point to my body having gone into ketosis, which is good and expected. Three days in and I am down 10 pounds. Now, when you read that, what was your first thought? That it was just water weight I was shedding? I’ve heard several people say something like that over the years and I want to take the time to comment on it. The people who say it’s just water weight aren’t exactly wrong. The fact is, water is not supposed to be in your system. It’s counterintuitive, but if you feel like you’re retaining a little water or bloated, try drinking more water. Just like your body stores carbohydrates, it will store water if it feels you are in danger of dehydrating. The more water your drink, the less your body has to store. Another great benefit of drinking enough water is keeping your sodium levels in check. I’m not saying you can overindulge in salty foods and drink some water and all will be fine, but generally speaking, drinking enough water will help regulate your sodium level which can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Chris walking in the mountains

10 Day Fast Weight Loss

Enough biology for now, let’s get back to people making comments about 10 day fast weight loss. In my experience, every time someone has said “Oh, it’s just water weight,” to me, it’s been said negatively. It’s not just when I fast, either. It seems that no matter what we are trying to accomplish, we will always have detractors trying to pull us down for whatever reason. Don’t let them get you down! Remind yourself that you are brave and confident enough to try something new and those trying to bring you down are too afraid to go through the hard part in the middle of change.

"People are always going to try and knock you down. And when they do, you know you’re on the right path."

Day Four

Today is basically the middle of my fast and normally, it would be a struggle. It just so happens that today I was traveling for my son’s soccer tournament, so I’ve been distracted with driving and being a soccer dad, so not much time left to dwell on the fact that I’m on a water fast.

Chris Sajnog in the mountains

Day Five

I didn’t sleep at all last night. Not sure why, but I’m thinking my bodily systems are doing some resetting after four days with just water. This morning was particularly rough while making my boys breakfast. When you haven’t eaten for four days and you’re heading into day five with no food on the horizon, the last thing you want to do is make a big breakfast that you can’t eat.  

This goes for your training, too. Just because you are focused on a goal or are in the midst of training or learning something new doesn’t mean the world around you stops turning. You have to realize that all the demands on your time and attention that existed before you embarked on something new will still be there and you have to continue to make room for them. Doesn’t matter if it’s your children, your pets, your job, your family—if you want to learn something new and become proficient at it, you have to find time to put in the training.

Chris Sajnog in the forest

So yeah, this morning was hard. The boys needed to be fed and I love making them breakfast. I’m grateful I get to do that for them, but my fasting goal and cooking them breakfast are competing today and making it a challenge. One of the ways I deal with competing interests is by pre-planning as much as possible. I knew I wouldn’t be eating, but my kids would still need me to feed them. I was mentally ready for the hard moment when it arrived.

Plan for the hard moments you think you’ll encounter and it will help keep you paving your path to perfection while you train.

When I decided to start ten-day water fast, my goal was to clear up some physical issues that had been impacting my daily life for a while. I also set a goal to drop from 25% body fat to 10% by the end of the 10 days. 

Chris Sajnog in the beach

Day Six

Things are still going about how I expected them to and I’m feeling fine with the way things are progressing. Today I went to the sauna to try and expel the remaining toxins from my body. While I was sitting in the sauna, I spent some time contemplating one of my original goals for this fast: reducing my body fat to 10%. I’ve had several people express concern about this goal, citing their knowledge that 25% body fat is normal for the average American male. That’s great, but the average American male is overweight, so why would I want to be average? Most people in the United States are overweight or even obese, so the average body fat percentage of an American is going to be higher than the healthy range. That’s just the way statistics work.

I certainly wasn’t going to let this idea of the “average American male” stop me from pursuing my goal of 10% body fat, but this goes deeper than just body fat. Whatever you want to do, whatever your goals are, don’t be average. I don’t like benchmarks and standards and averages. I don’t use them when I shoot, and I don’t use them when I’m teaching others to shootIn general, people don’t work hard enough and being average just isn’t good enough. I’m not trying to be cynical, but when it comes to hard work, most people won’t put in the effort.

Chris Sajnog walking uphill

Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. Benchmarks and standards serve a purpose when they are your own. Whatever you are attempting to do or change, find your personal baseline, set your goal, and work on hitting your targets on the way to your goal. My goal was 10% body fat and once I envisioned and set that goal, I began working on my targets. Targets are what I do every day to work toward that goal. Today’s targets were the sauna, drinking water, exercising, and meditating. If I can hit those targets every day, my goal will be achieved. If I spend each day just focusing on my goal, nothing is going to happen, but if I develop a plan filled with targets, I can reach my goal.

If you do the same with your training, you’re going to see results. Set your goal, make your plan, and hit your targets every single day, or week, or however often you need to accomplish your goal. 

Day Seven

Honestly, today was rough. I had very little energy, but I knew it was coming. This was the hard part in the middle that I talked about in Part 1 of this series. I’ll push through the day and tomorrow will be easier. One day closer to my goal.

Chris Sajnog walking in a bridge

Day Eight

My energy had dipped in the last few days, but I was able to manage a short run today to get my heart rate up. When I started this fast, I was planning to go for 10 days on just water. If anything went wrong, or my vitals became unhealthy, I would stop. But so far, everything has gone well. That said, I decided to stop fasting after day 10 because of an unplanned event. It’s in a few weeks and I’ll need that time to break my fast. If you want to exit your fast correctly, it takes time. You can’t go without food for 10 days and then hit McDonalds and expect your body to be OK. Fortunately, I have a fasting coach to help me re-introduce food and exit my fast safely.

It’s important to have a coach. They are critical no matter what you want to learn. It’s really the best thing you can do for yourself. Not only do they have the experience to share, but they can be a shoulder to lean on when you’re struggling. That’s what I try to be for my members and I hope they feel my coaching is an investment in themselves. Now, my coach and I had planned for a couple more days and, while a plan is important to your success, the ability to modify the plan is just as important. Things come up and you have to adapt by adjusting your plan. Find a good coach, make a plan in consultation with your coach, and then adapt and adjust as needed and everything will work out for you.

Day Nine

Tomorrow is the last day of my fast. I wanted to continue the fast for much longer, but life had other plans. Even with the change in plans, this is the longest I’ve ever gone on a water fast, so I’m happy with it. When I started this fast, I had a hiatal hernia, which is now gone. I had borderline hypertension of 135/80 and this morning my blood pressure was 110/69, which is the lowest it’s been in a while. The best news, though, is that my colitis has cleared up in the last 10 days.

Chris Sajnog sitting in the forest

Fasting is a great way to reset your system and our bodies were built for it. They store the excess we consume as fat and, when we stop fueling our bodies, they live off the reserve we’ve accumulated. If you aren’t ready for a fast like the one I just did, I encourage you to just try intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast one day a week. Allow your body some time to adjust and calm down from the constant barrage of stuff you’re putting in it. Let it do what it’s supposed to do so you can become a warrior.

​If, like me, you believe that you are the weapon and anything you put in your hands is just a tool, then you need to make sure that that weapon is functioning properly. Proper functioning is critical to being a good shooter, athlete, father or spouse. Before I started this 10 day water fast, I didn’t have the energy to be good at any of those things; I was mentally and physically checked out. Then I started my fast and it helped me focus again. Yes, I was hungry and, yes, my energy levels were lower at times, but the results were well worth the headaches and hunger pangs. I know I’m better now than I was 10 days ago and I’m back on track to being the warrior I know I am. Until next time, keep paving your path to perfection.


Chris at the mountains with his 10 day water fast CTA

 

One Comment

  1. Great article! I’m on day 3 of my water fast. I’ve done a 7 day before so this will be my longest. Could you elaborate on the refeeding process? And how much weight you lost, and what your body fat % was at the end. Thankyou!

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