Here’s what happened…
The Robards Method founder, Tim Robards, set a self-imposed reboot challenge to consume nothing but water and some exogenous ketones for 60 hours. We caught up with him to understand the method in his madness. Here’s what he had to say.
The first, most obvious question is… why?
“A combination of reasons… In the caveman days, we would have eaten seasonally and certainly wouldn’t have consumed a diet constantly filled with sugars and carbs. These days, we live in a world of abundance and comfort, with less chance to challenge our body with a beneficial adaptation in mind. I truly believe that it’s through the right challenge that we become stronger. I decided on a water only diet not only in an attempt to help balance out gut flora a little more, intending to strengthen my immune system but also to challenge myself mentally and strengthen my willpower.”
How did you do it?
“I had my last meal on Sunday night and didn’t eat whole food again until Wednesday morning. On Monday and Tuesday, I had water with added exogenous ketones, in an attempt to force my body into ketosis. I also sipped on bone broth at dinner time on both nights.”
How did you feel?
Day 1: “I felt pretty good! I made sure I kept busy during the day and also completed a high-intensity training session to try to deplete my glycogen stores, aiming to get into ketogenesis (running on fat for energy). I found I wasn’t hungry or lacking in energy. It felt strange going to bed without dinner though and I missed the taste and gratification of having a good meal.”
Day 2: “Today I felt a bit hazy. I functioned at work though and managed to get into an intense yoga session. I felt ok when I wasn’t around food but a real test was walking into the coffee shop to get Anna a cup of coffee! Man, I did not want to go in there… but craved it at the same time!”
So, would you do it again?
“Many cultures use fasting as a cleanser. In theory, it is suggested that doing so may;
- give the digestion some time to rest;
- eliminate some toxins naturally held in your fat stores as you tap into them;
- starve out bacteria/yeasts in your body that are dependent on sugars.
If I feel I need a good cleanse or reset from time to time, I may do it again but I’ve gone straight back to following my 7:2:1 nutritional formula and using 16:8 intermittent fasting on most days, which works well for me.”
So, what was your biggest learning?
The realization that I didn’t specifically need food for energy but craved it out of habit! I missed the flavour and gratification of food. Going on a water only diet has helped me to appreciate just how much we consume food for pleasure and gratification even though I look at much of my food as a fuel source.
Disclaimer: A water only cleanse and intermittent fasting isn’t necessarily for everyone. Always consult a primary healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare regime.