The big hunger pains dissipated by Day 2. I had teensy-weensy headaches when I awoke on Day 3-4, but they quickly disappeared after I got out of bed. I didn't feel weak or tired. I slept well, although sleep decreased from 8.5 to 7 hours over the course of the week; I kept waking around 5.
With the massive and overwhelming amount of stress I've had last week and this week, the fasting really helped me manage my anxiety: I felt calm even though I was anxious, was able to gain a foothold on reality instead of allowing fearful thoughts to carry me over the edge, and I was able to look at the situation I was dealing with more rationally. If I wasn't fasting, I believe I would have ended up in--and remained-- in a state of overreaction.
My refeed included bone broth at 11:30, followed by Greek yoghurt and probiotics in the form of Betain HCl with pepsin and gentian root. As a result, I felt no digestive discomfort, despite the fact that my GI system was in "off" mode for 5 days.
I lost 6.5 pounds, comprised of about 70% fat loss, 20% water, and 10% muscle, according to my fancy scale.
After dinner, I will start another 5-day fast, ending next Thursday. Then I will switch to 72-hour fasts for the remainder of the week and the week following. This way, I won't hit a stall and my body will become metabolically adaptable; i.e., continue fat-burning rather than hit a plateau. After these three weeks, I'll shift to varying my fasts over the next two weeks with one 72, one 42, one 24, and one 18 each week. These extended fasts give me the same benefits of a longer 3-week fast, but less challenging and easier to complete. The 5-day fasts allow me to eat twice during a 10-day period (fast 5 days, eat on Day 5, then fast another 5 and eat on Day 10). With the 72-hour fasts, I am eating every third day. When I begin a variable schedule, I'll have 3 eating days during the week. Fasting will be easier since I'll be able to eat at 1-3 times each week over the course of this 6-week plan. I'll decide on a plan for the last two weeks of this 8-week fasting regimen based on results from the previous 6 weeks; at that point I'll determine if I need to do another series of 5-day fasts, or mix it up with a 5-day followed by 72-42-24 variable fast. Although the long fast I completed last year (25 days) was extremely beneficial, that length is too stressful right now. The 5-days and variable fasts feel doable, achievable, and in the end, I feel successful!