The 36 Hour Fast: My Personal Experience

The first time I heard of someone deliberately going on a 36 hour fast, I thought the idea was ludicrous. Why would someone want to deny themselves of food for an entire 36 hours? I’d previously done the 24-Hour Famine at school to raise money for starving children – and I remember it being pure hell (and lots of barley sugars. Lots and lots of barley sugars).

So why was I doing it again? Had I researched endlessly and discovered the incredible health benefits of it? Was I keen to detoxify my body and eliminate the refined sugars that I had pumped into my mouth over the weekend? (To be fair it was my nephew’s first birthday – you try saying no to all that blue icing). Well, that would probably have been the wise thing to have done. But no, I did none of my own research. The idea came because one of my favourite Instagram stars did an IG Story about how she was doing it and I just blindly followed (yes, I am quietly judging myself over this realisation). I already follow her travel tips, her wardrobe, and her beauty regime – why not her diet too?!

From the looks of Google, I’m definitely not alone in my decision to say no to the fridge for an entire 36 hours. And I’m not here to preach the positive or negatives of this type of diet – there’s enough research out there on that (but please, please do the research rather than just jump on the bandwagon like me). What I am here to do though is to talk through my personal experiences with this type of fasting so that you know a bit more of what to expect with the 36 Hour Fast. (P.S. I didn’t lose any weight on this – so if you’re just looking for a quick fix for dropping a keg or two, this probably isn’t the way to go).

36 Hour Fast

Below I talk through what exactly was going through my head (but not my mouth) during my 36 Hour Fast.


I have an early dinner to make sure I’m finished before 7pm. This means that at the end of the fasting I can jump straight into having breakfast as soon as I wake up (around 7am). I don’t go overboard with dinner (but mainly because I’m still stuffed from having too many cupcakes at the previously mentioned birthday party). Instead, I have some broccoli, pumpkin, kale, seeds, and a couple of eggs finished off with a Skinny Cow (I’m addicted to them). I finish by 7pm and get ready to let the 36 Hour Fast begin.


I wouldn’t normally have anything to eat after dinner, so this first part has been pretty easy. I just head to bed like any other typical day.


Wake up and go make myself a coffee. On the36 Hour Fast, I’m allowing myself coffee, tea, and water. Again, I normally wouldn’t have anything to eat until about 10am – so feeling totally fine at this stage.


First tiny grumble of annoyance from my belly – so I decided to go for my second coffee of the day. I’m quite crazy busy with work today, so it’s definitely providing a nice distraction. I also have a glass of water.


Okay, now is the first time that I’m really starting to want some food in the stomach. There’s still 18 hours of the 36 Hour Fast to go – which sounds like a heck of a lot of hours. I randomly decide to go for a run to help distract me. The run seems rather slow – but then I have no food energy inside to fuel me. When I get back, I’m straight into the water and then a cup of tea.


I’m starting to get the grumps. Everything is annoying me. I know I’m being irrational, but I start crying about the fact my partner hasn’t text me today. He’s at work, so let’s face it – it’s pretty normal not to receive a text… but apparently today I want a text. Clearly going a little cray over here.


The BF starts making an omelette and then eating it right beside me. I literally dissect every part of it with my eyes and just watch him eat. This is torture. My stomach is mad at me. I’m mad at me. This is a new level of hangry (although, I feel like I’m slightly more angry than hungry – and that’s saying something). I have a tea and sit quietly disappointed in my decision to undertake the fast and thinking about the delicious omelette I’m going to make myself at 7am on the dot the next morning.


The lack of food has made me extremely tired, and I decide that the best thing to do to get this over more quickly is to go to sleep. So rather than rolling my Netflix from one episode to the next, I turn it off halfway through Orange is The New Black (who am I) and crawl into bed. Just 10 hours to go.


I wake up and surprisingly don’t feel ravenous. And my grumps have seemed to quietened down thanks to sleeping the whole way through the night. It’s just an hour until I can officially eat again, so I just stay in bed flicking through Instagram.


I weigh myself out of interest sake thinking I’ve surely lost weight after having not eaten for 35.5 hours… but nothing. Not a single gram. I’m dead on the same weight as when I started. Not sure how I feel about that.


Call me crazy, but as the alarm hits 7am – I don’t rush to the kitchen pushing over anything in my path to get to the fridge. In fact, I don’t actually eat until about 7.30am as I get caught up doing some stuff on my computer. And when I do make my way to the kitchen, rather than the omelette I’d been dreaming of the night before, I have a banana and protein smoothie that fills me up just nicely until lunch time. Maybe all that fasting has shrunk my appetite? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Takeaways: While there were patches of the 36 Hour Fast I found really difficult and hard to stick to, the patches came in waves (and sleeping it off really helped!) If you’ve done the research and decided this is something you want to go ahead with – then my suggestion is to have a bottle of water nearby at all times, don’t be around any tempting food options, and warn your BF that you’re probably going to be a total b*tch for the next 36 hours.

Disclaimer: The material published on this blog is intended for general information only and is not professional/medical/legal advice. 

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