36 Hour Fasting

36 Hour Fasting

Click HERE to get the entire article as a PDF


36 Hour Fasting… A few weeks ago I experimented with 36 Hr fasting, why?, Well it wasn’t for the hunger pangs and the need to drink gallons of water to keep myself satiated. Yes, fasting may not be for everyone and it can be a bit of an eye-opener, but it is worth the effort for the many benefits you could reap from partaking in just one 36 hour fast per month, and here’s why.

It may be uncomfortable and even looked on as almost sacrilege by “eat every few hours” bodybuilders, but there is a lot to be said for the beneficial effect of 36-hour fasting on human physiology. You see, the thing is, as a species, we did not evolve in a world of plenty. Chocolate and assorted snacks were not an option for early man, far from it.
as a species, we did not evolve in a world of plenty. Chocolate and assorted snacks were not an option for early man, far from it. Click To Tweet
When you live in a cave and stand a good chance of being attacked and eaten by wolves, sabre-toothed tigers or bears every time you leave your cave, you would get as much food together as you could each outing and make as few excursions into the big dangerous outside world as possible.

In short, we evolved on a feast and famine physiology.

Click HERE to get the entire article as a PDF

So what do you get for your 36 hours of water and your own fat reserves?

Well for one, you will give your digestive system a well-earned rest.

If you read “gut” by Giulia Enders you will learn that your stomach rumbling is just your villi cleaning themselves and not, as we seem to have been taught, as a signal to eat more because we are starving.

Another big point to consider, during 36-hour fasting…

is that during the fasting period you are allowing your detox pathways to concentrate more on detoxing your existing stored bodily toxins and not just working overtime to mitigate the effects of the toxins taken in from our regular meals.
You would be surprised at the number of toxic fillers that are in pretty much everything you consume, but that is for another post.

36 Hour fasting may help prevent cancer

Just to clarify 36 Hour Fasting and Cancer
I am not saying that intermittent fasting, once a month, for 36 hours will definitely help prevent cancer.

But there is some research out there that strongly suggests that it may at least significantly help mitigate the chances of developing some certain types of cancer in later life.

36 Hour Fasting and Cell Apoptosis

It is also worth considering cell apoptosis, as this is another major benefit of conducting 36-hour fasting.

During a period of extended fasting, the body can take time to help regenerate cells and if the cell is beyond the point of useful regeneration, it will be killed and cleared safely away.
During Fasting, the body will increase the rate at which worn out or damaged cells are broken-down.

Removing these under performing or broken cells has the advantage of preventing the cells from making multiple copies of themselves with the broken DNA, which may also help to prevent the development of cancer.

As most cancers are from this type of cell over replicating to the point of damaging all surrounding cells, anything you can do to get rid of them more effectively can only be an advantage, right?
During Fasting, the body will increase the rate at which worn out or damaged cells are broken-down. Click To Tweet

As a side note, prolonged fasting has also been shown to lower levels of
IGF-1, or Insulin Growth Factor 1.

This Growth Factor is a hormone and an excessive amount of this hormone has previously been linked to rapid ageing, Tumour progression, and even certain cancer risks.

Some Protein shakes are marketed as promoting IGF-1. So do our own research on this one, as the advantage to disadvantage may be a personal choice for bodybuilders and the sports performance conscious.

Fasting has been shown to help in the development of new white blood cells.

During a period of intermittent fasting, or extended periods without food of up to 2 to 3 days, some research has actually shown that, over this period, old white blood cells will be broken down and new healthy white blood cells will be generated to help replace them.

This is one of the reasons why intermittent fasting is also closely linked to slowing ageing and extended life.

Click HERE to get the entire article as a PDF

So what’s the takeaway from my experiment with intermittent fasting?

Well, I’ve been doing this on and off now for a number of years so I have built up to 36-hour fasts.  It’s not something I’ve jumped straight into and, if you’re interested in trying this, I would recommend you don’t just jump into 36-hour fasting either.

The best way to start will probably be something like the 16:8 diet. This is where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8.

A typical example of this would be having your last meal at 8 pm and then not eating again until 12 pm the following lunchtime.

Between 12 pm lunchtime and 8 pm you would usually have two to three large to medium sized healthy meals, remembering that you are still looking at hitting your daily calorie requirement, so eat nutrient-dense foods and enjoy the meals.


The problem for new people and intermittent fasting is that there’s a perception that you will constantly be hungry. As previously stated a “Rumbly Tummy” does not constitute ravenous hunger, just make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Flush the Toxins

Drinking plenty of water will also help flush out the toxins that are being purged from your body during the fasting period. Not only your digestive system but your body as a whole is flushing toxins from fat stores that are being burnt for energy.

In Conclusion

If 36 hour fasting or fasting, in general, is not for you, then maybe try other versions of some other diet, but if you’re not looking to just simply lose weight and you’re looking for some health benefits, then certainly intermittent fasting would be something to consider, if only because it helps you get rid of the old worn out cells and regenerate new healthier ones.

I am not trying to push fasting on anybody, let’s be honest, even intermittent fasting is just calorie controlled dieting with a different name.
While some diets are slightly better than others, simply because some diets also promote nutrient density of the foods that you eat, all diets basically work because of the same principle, you managing the consumption of the calories that you take in.

Happy Fasting.

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30 thoughts on “36 Hour Fasting

  1. How many times is healthy to do 36 hours fast in a month?

    1. Hi 🙂
      From my personal experience, no more than twice a week. Make sure to drink adequate amounts of water during fasting so you don’t become dehydrated.
      Make sure to exercise and get adequate protein on your non-fasting days to maintain your muscle mass. hope that helps.

  2. Hi again Patricia, I replied via your previous question below.

  3. I started the 36/12 hour intermittent fasting for weight loss. I find the all or nothing at all approach easier for me. I can discipline myself to eat no food over 36 hours, rather than a restricted food diet that I ultimately loose will power doing. I started six days ago and have done 3 cycles of 36/12 hour fasting. Is this harmful, to keep up this type of schedule, or is there a time frame that needs to be adhered to? If I did this consistently, would this type of lifestyle be a healthy one that is okay to maintain? Are there any issues with long term affects from doing this? I am a 64 yr old female and need to lose about 70lbs. Other than a cholesterol pill, I am healthy.

    1. Hi Patricia, Thank you for your comment.
      My post on fasting is very much from personal experience and from the perspective of male physiology.
      36/12 fasting may have some issues for women and I have included some useful links below which I hope will help you in your journey.


      I wish you good health and happiness.

  4. Hi Bob, great article.
    Currently in the week I time restrict my eating to 14-16 hours fasting overnight and do a 24 hour fast at the weekend.
    All that feels good, but now once a month I’m turning one of those 24 hour fasts into a 36 hour fast.
    I’ve done it 3 times so far and every time I feel terrible the next day – cold, tired, low mood etc. Have you experienced this or have any idea what I’m doing wrong?
    For info, I’m a skinny guy that struggles to put weight on, and after my fast I am ravenous but try not to over eat.
    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Stevie. I would guess from the description of being a skinny guy that your body type is what is referred to as an Ectomorph. An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy and they have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually, ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. this body type loses fat easily and you may be cold as a result. When you fast, blood flow increases to your fat stores. Called adipose tissue blood flow, this helps to move fat to your muscles, where it can be burned as a fuel. When your blood sugar decreases, that can also make you more sensitive to feeling cold. Your body is running on less energy than usual when you fast, and since fasting can boost stress levels, it can also disrupt your sleep patterns, Try meditating or other stress-lowering activities. What are you using for your re-feed? you will often find that a post-fast meal of a light broth or soup is best to start with as this avoids overwhelming the stomach and also contains nutrients in a form that should be more easily absorbed. one tip that I have picked up is the use of good quality Pink sea salt and a multivitamin. A pinch dissolved in a glass of water helps keep your mineral levels up and the multivitamin may also help replenish anything important that is being flushed out of your system during the fast. On a final note, it would be bad practice for me not to enquire why you are fasting for so long if you struggle to put on weight? Have you consulted a GP? No diet fits all and you may be better suited to your 16:8 / 24hr fasting, which gives you a lot of the benefits of long term fasting without the downside you are experiencing. If you’re not already a member and you want ongoing support, you may want to come and join the FB group.

  5. I did two 36/12 fasts back to back and had great results, I am going to try to do this as a plan for at least 4 weeks! Thank you for posting on such a controversial topic.

  6. I started a weekly 36 hour fast a month ago, for weight loss. This information helped me decide that this will be a permanent part of my life style change, due to the health benefits.

    1. Glad you found the post useful. Good luck with your weight loss and continued healthy lifestyle.

  7. I started fasting a few years ago and was at a really good weight, I gained a lot of weight after taking medication. I’ve tried everything since, exercising constantly, lowering calories etc… but nothing worked, not even 16:8. I’ve adapted the 36:12 fasting and I feel amazing and I’ve started losing weight finally! I’m not just doing it for weightloss but the cell regeneration. I eat as natural and as low carb as possible one day, then water fast the other, mentally it’s much easier to wake up and not worry about food or what time I can eat, then eating days it’s nice to know I can treat myself.

  8. Your article was forwarded to me. I think it’s important to differentiate between women and men’s bodies and how they react to fasting. If the content of this site is geared towards men only, no worries. It just seems that most articles on this topic focus on men and don’t address fasting for women as a separate thing.

    1. You make a very valid point as fasting of any kind does affect women differently to men. This was a very generic post when I originally wrote it. Probably time for an update.

  9. Hello, Bob!
    I became an intermittent faster almost by accident. I’ve always been one of those people who was never hungry in the morning, so skipping breakfast was easy.
    In 2014 I had an accident that caused me to be housebound for almost four years. In that time I gained 134 pounds, became diabetic, anxious and depressed.
    After I healed (as much as I could), my wife divorced me and I went to Chile to teach ESL. While I lived in Chile, I had access to amazing seafood, fruits and vegetables at really low prices. I also discovered that in my new surroundings, I was happier and didn’t depend on the “food crutch” anymore. I started longer fasts, and discovered I sometimes forgot I was even fasting.
    I lost all of the weight I had gained, my diabetes and other issues disappeared, and I’ve stuck to fasting for over a year now with great results.
    Thanks for an informative and well-written article, and keep spreading the word!

    1. Hi, Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on your life change and success. I wish you all the best for your future. Bob

  10. It’s not quite true that intermittent fasting is just calorie control under a different name. While you are indeed restricting calories while fasting, you are also doing something else which simply calorie restricting doesn’t do unless you are restricting the right calories. You lower your insulin levels and rev up Your metabolism amongst other things. Simply lowering calorie intake will not do this. You will find more research on this subject interesting.

    1. Hi Sam, Thanks for your comment.
      You are correct that there is more to IF than just a calorie controlled diet.
      When I say this in the conclusion it is from the point of view that someone that is just trying to lose weight and not looking at the overall health benefits.
      “…if you’re not looking to just simply lose weight and you’re looking for some health benefits, then certainly intermittent fasting would be something to consider, if only because it helps you get rid of the old worn out cells and regenerate new healthier ones…”

  11. 28 hours into my 36 hour water fast. This is my first one and I feel good. A gallon and a half of water. Only problem is a slight headache and some muscle cramps which I contribute to a 6 mile run today. What is the longest duration can you do a water fast?

    1. Hi Darren,
      I have never personally done a water fast but the recommended safe period is 24 – 72 (without medical supervision). I would not personally recommend doing water fasting if you are running at the same time. Water lost via fasting will be temporary at best. Do you have any goal in mind that is driving the water fast?

    2. all my life i have been over weight. in 2012 i was at 405. by november of 2015 i was at 240. i watched what i ate & drank. in 2017 i had a back breakup with my GF & losing my father to Leukemia. i ended up becoming depressed. i ended up gaining lots of weight current weight is 325. 2020 is not my year. i lost my dog to cancer. covid has prevented me from being social due to certain health issues. i’m going to try this fasting & see if it helps. my goals to get under 240. wish me luck

  12. Good article! Very informative as I started my 36 hr fasting last evening. Going good so far! I I’ve been if (mostly) every day for 2 months and loving it and the changes I feel. Also followig a Keto Diet. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mel and thanks for your comment.
      Glad you found the article informative and well done with the IF.
      Good luck with the continued journey, let us know how you get on.

  13. Just the information I was looking for!!!! Thank you!

    1. Glad you found it of use. have you tried the pod cast version? if you like it, please leave a review on iTunes, very much appreciates for a new podcast.
      All the best

  14. I’m thinking of starting intermittent fasting and this article was very helpful.
    Thanks Bob!

    1. Your welcome and Thanks for stopping by to say Hi…
      Let me know how you get on and if you have any questions, just reach out and ask.

      1. I’m about 22 hours into my first 36-hour fast. I’m doing it for weight loss as well as general health benefits. Hoping to make it a weekly habit.

        Thanks for the great article!

        1. Great. Good luck and Glad you liked the article.

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