We Tried Chris Martin's Eat-Nothing-All-Day Fasting Diet ... and We're Still Hangry
What Is It: Chris Martin’s once-a-week fasting diet, which allows for water only and claims to provide a variety of mind and body benefits.
Who Tried It: Joan Yeam, PEOPLE Video Producer, @JoanYeamTV
Level of Difficulty: 9. This takes immense self-control.
Confession: I love food. I only work out to make up for my eating, and I’ve tried every fitness trend out there. Crossfit, Flywheel, Barry’s Bootcamp…all the good stuff. But the problem is – because I don’t diet, I never obtain an uber-hot physique.
Why did I volunteer for this project? I’m at that age where a woman finds herself in 400,000 weddings a year (give or take). Once it starts, it never stops. So when I heard Chris Martin takes a day off from eating once a week, I thought, this is my chance to look cool at my new job AND look amazing for wedding season!
…Not at all how this project went down.
Every time I fasted, it was like a breakup with food. I genuinely found myself going through the stages of a grief! The morning quickly brought on denial and isolation. I actively kept myself so busy and distracted I would forget I couldn’t eat or drink anything other than water.
By late afternoon the intense level of hunger hit me…and so came the phase of great sadness. I would tell those around me how hungry I was, and I even tried to convince them that I was okay for me to cheat and eat. You know like when you try to convince your friends your ex wasn’t that bad? (The bargaining phase is never a proud moment.)
After work/early evening routinely brought on agitation and anger. In this case, shall we call it hanger? This was not a good time to complain to me about your day, talk to me about food and forget asking me for any favors!
Because my fast lasted for three weeks, a lot of those around me quickly forgot I was on this project. I actually might’ve snapped at all of the closest females in my life when I was in the hanger phase and this is not something I’m proud of. To those of you who I may have offended: I’M SORRY, I WAS HANGRY!
Once I managed to get through the hanger stage relatively unscathed, I hit this calm stage of acceptance. This typically happened late night before bed. It was in this time frame I realized fasting was a part of my life now, whether I liked it or not.
Breaking the fast was always fun. I would wake up the next morning feeling lighter, healthier and I wouldn’t eat as soon as you’d think. A handful of people asked me if I would wake up at midnight just to have a snack – the answer is no. I would actually start my day slow with some coffee and typically have a piece of fruit for breakfast.
The rest of the day, however, was another story. It was like reckless make-up sex. My inhibitions were gone: I ate everything that was bad for me, and I made a lot of terrible decisions.
Chris Martin says you should break fast by eating something healthy like kale, but he usually opts for Nutella pancakes. Just like Mr. Martin, I too always went for those unhealthy options – which totally negated everything I’d worked for the day before. Fried foods, 1,000-calorie burrito bowls, chocolate… if you put it in front of me, I was all about it. I truly believed I “deserved” to eat whatever I wanted after what I’d just gone through.
All in all, I came out of the fast feeling stronger for having established such impressive self-control. I’m not a particularly religious person so I don’t give up things for Lent, and I’ve never fasted before.
Did I lose the weight I was hoping to shed for wedding season? No. I didn’t treat the days following the fast the right way for that outcome. But I do understand now why people fast and how they might gain both physically and spiritually from it.
I will not be continuing to fast once a week but for those who are brave enough to try it, good luck!