My Guided 5 Days of Fasting / Juice Cleanse (What Really Happened)

5 day juice fast and cleanse

In this article I will outline the benefits of fasting, why I chose a juice fast versus a water fast, and the effects this cleanse has already had on my body. While the goal of this 5-day juice fast wasn’t for weight loss, I will provide all analytics (including weight loss, via my bio impedance test results) on all physiological effects post fast, while providing context into my personal experiences with the detoxification process and the side effects I felt within my body. I will conclude with the positive outcomes this juice fast has already delivered to me and how I intend to utilise my new internal physiological platform.

Learn about the benefits of fasting with fasting expert Tim Altman in the below podcast:

Watch me suffer through the 5 days of fasting:

But before we go deep on analytics and physiological effects, let me paint a little picture for you…

I’ve been experimenting with fasting for a while now.

I’d say two years all up.

Listening to popular podcasts from well regarded figures, such as Tim Ferriss and David Asprey, my interest levels slowly progressed.

Two years ago I started on the bullet proof coffee in the morning.

I’d eat no later than 8pm the evening prior, and not eat until noon or 1pm the next day. This would give me a 16-17 hour fast, which is considered to be intermit fasting.

Occasionally, I’d go through to dinner time, giving me a full 24 hours.

While some may argue that a coffee with butter in it (I actually use coconut cream for my bullet proof coffee) during the fast period denies you of a true fast, I am / was addicted to coffee and found that one black coffee in the morning (and nothing else) would leave my stomach acidity levels undesirable.

For me, the purpose of these internment fast days – which I normally do at least twice a week – is to give my body a rest from digestion and help manage weight. And it’s certainly done that.

In the off season- when I’m not training for a cycling event – I would normally hover around 82 kgs. Over the past two years – since implementing the internment fasting – I hover around 80 kgs. I also find on the fasting mornings that my mental aptitude is superior when compared to the days I eat breakfast.

So, after a couple of years trialling this internment fasting, I was intrigued by the big dog. The 5-day water fast!


I’ve read and listened to many people talking about the health benefits. Including, a heightened feeling while on the 5 days (after the initial lull), and then post fast, improved energy levels, better sleep, improved concentration, better recovery from excersie…the list goes on.

With my goal to train hard for the up coming criterium season; working from a new physical platform seemed like an ideal proposition.

The Water Fast Vs Juice Fast

I like to do the extreme version of things.

For example, when I rode the length of New Zealand last year, I did that in the middle of winter.

So basically when there’s a list of one to ten (one being the hardest), I’ll go straight to number one.

The 5 day fast is considered to be the longest period someone would typically fast for general health and well-being purposes. From what I’ve learned, you would only go beyond 5 days if you have some type of serious and chronic illness.

Just drinking plain old water over the 5 days is the most extreme version of the 5 day fast. So that was my plan.

Until I met with fasting expert Tim Altman.

Water Vs Juice fast 5 days
The 5 Day Fast. Water is the most extreme version so why not go straight to that? Turns out that a 100% water fast would have been the wrong thing for me. I have over 2 kgs of muscle loss to prove it.

Tim not only treats patients with fasting programs (along with other naturopathy solutions) he’s actually been on the other side of the fence.

Tim was a keen paddler in his 20’s and started to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. However, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, it wasn’t called chronic fatigue syndrome. No one really knew what is was.

Tim battled chronic fatigue for almost 5 years, until he met a doctor who said he knew what Tim was dealing with, and was then told he had to rest.

Rest didn’t work.

Luckily, following a failed attempt to simply rest, Tim was introduced to a highly regarded Russian doctor via an old coach. Dr Vagif Soultanov was his name.

Dr Soultanov had been studying fasting since the early 1970’s via Russian research. Following a number of years of studying natural remedies for physical health and medicinal purposes he turned away from pharmaceuticals completely, only prescribing patients with natural treatments.

When Tim met Dr Soultanov in the early 90’s, he was prescribed a number of natural remedies to overcome his chronic fatigue. A major part of the program was a two week juice fast.

Tim said, after about day 7, “I had never felt so good”.

As the two weeks was coming to a close, he even asked Dr Soultanov if he could keep going. No was the answer, but a very thorough one month reintroduction to food program followed for Tim.

He got over his chronic fatigue, went and studied Naturopathy for 4 years at University, and became a practitioner himself.

The reason I explain the story is 1/ it firstly provides immense credibility to Tim and his experiences with fasting. And 2/ it exposes that even a man who suffered chronic fatigue syndrome for 5 years, wasn’t prescribed a water fast by a world renowned Russian expert.


A pure water fast is considered to be a very deep cleanse. One that is perhaps best suited for very chronic patients that need the bodies completely focus on toxicity, without any slight distraction.

A juice fast (which incorporates 2 X 350 ml veggie juices a day), gives the body some slight carbohydrate, but mainly the juices are acting as cleansing agents to assist the body with detoxification.

Carrot, beetroot and celery feature heavily across the 5 days, and they’re all juices that assist with cleaning the liver, kidneys, gall bladder and alike.

Lastly, when I think about my own personal experiences, a water fast would have left me completely depleted on days 3,4 & 5. While many claim a euphoric feeling from ketosis, I personally lost more muscle than fast. Just over 2 kgs of muscle, as I didn’t have much fat to lose.

If I was prescribed water only, how much muscle would I have lost overall? I hate to think.

So with expert opinion and a fully researched fasting program presented to me by Tim Altman, I was onboard for a 5 day juice fast, with a 10 day reintroduction to food program.

Hear from Tim Altman in the below video about why you should do a fast:

My 5- Day Juice Cleanse / Fast (what happened)

I made a big mistake on this fast.

I did it while my wife was away. For 5 days it was just me, ten small juices, seven enemas (rectal cleansing), Colloidal Silver water, herbal teas, and my two kids (five and seven-year-old girls)

While I was certainly able to look after my kids, day 3 and 4 (over a weekend) proved to be VERY tiresome. There were moments I just wanted to sit down and do nothing. But with a five and seven-year-old, that is kinda hard.

However, it wasn’t the end of the world.

For me, the first two days of this fast were centred around coffee withdrawals. I LOVE coffee. I drink two-three decent cups a day. Without it, life it bland.

But I didn’t realise how reliant I was on it.

I suffered mental fog and no ability to concentrate on days 1 and 2. I recall sitting in front of my laptop on the afternoon of day 1, literally not being able to complete one simple task.

However, physically I was pretty good on days 1 and 2. It was just the mental aptitude was shot!

I was also trying to get my head around breakfast time. I was having an enema for breakfast, nothing else. That’s right, I was pouring warm tea into my arse in the morning.

While I got used to this process as the days went on, the first couple of experiences were certainly eye opening. Pardon the pun. (I actually documented my first enema experience for anyone out there who has interest. See here)

Day 3 I felt my coffee withdrawals subside but now I was starting to detox internally.

My fasting detox symptoms

From day 3 to almost the end of day 6, I felt “classic detox” symptoms in my body:

  • Cold & flu symptoms
  • Achy legs
  • Aching lower back and abdomen.
  • Tired and irritable
  • Poor concentration

These symptoms started on day 3, subsided slightly on the morning of day 4, but then hit me HARD on the afternoon / evening of day 4.

I even tricked my kids into going to bed early on day 4 so I could get into bed at 7pm. I was so tired and achy, I just needed to sleep.

That evening I dreamt about toxins.

While I do definitely eat well, drink little alcohol, and keep active with cycling (and a little gym), clearly I has a truckload of toxins in my body.

I dreamt about my early 20’s and the party years. That coincided with a pharmaceutical I have been taking for 17 years (propecia for hair loss).

Where have these toxins come from!?

As the body spends time internally removing toxins during the 5 day fast, the blood stream becomes littered from toxicity before excretion. This explains my side effects over a number of days. Cold and flu like symptoms, achy legs and so forth.

The detoxification experience, while nasty, is a truly connecting experience with your own body.

To feel the effects of toxins being processed, released, and then even excreted – I recall one moment on day 4 urinating a dark colour and it hurting – is an experience that I’ve never felt before.

To feel your internal organs ache because of extra work they’re doing to excrete rubbish, is a feeling I’ve never felt before either.

The human body is amazing, and this was a connecting experience like no other.

While I did have a few moments – wanting to lean across to my kids leftovers post dinner time – the not eating food scenario wasn’t overly hard for me. Coffee was the hardest, then dealing with the physiological symptoms.

Hear Tim explain all the reasons for my symptoms and also go through my test results:

The Reintroduction to Food Program

5 days of no eating, you think I’d be out for a pizza and a couple of beers on day 6 right?

What about coffee! Surely, I’d be at my local café, lining up at 5:59am?


A major component to Tim’s program, based on Dr Soultanov’s Russian research, is the reintroducing to food.

In fact, Tim describes this process just as important as the fast.


reintroducing food with dill parsely coriander
I’ve never eaten so much dill, coriander, and parsley in my life. All of these herbs assist the digestive system and re stimulate the gut enzymes to effectively metabolise nutrients. It’s all about pouring the good oil back into the gut before you bring back normal lifestyle habits.

For one, your stomach shrinks significantly during the 5 days. It’s not the same mutated beast it once was. You now have a clean fuel tank ready for consumption.

In order to optimise the fuel tank before you get on with normal lifestyle habits, let’s train the stomach and digestive system properly.

Reintroducing coffee, pizza, chocolate, beer or whatever else, will only retrain your digestive system to accept those foods and potentially become dependent again. Additionally, eating and drinking lower quality materials does little to re-stimulate your digestive system to become more efficient with metabolism and discarding toxicity.

Tim actually used a very good cycling analogy to add further to this point.

Reintroducing food properly is like doing a solid block of base training.

We all know that if you put in the hard yards of base training prior to anaerobic efforts, your fitness will be a level above. You’ve conditioned your cardiovascular system before going hard.

The same applies for your digestive system. Reintroducing food properly conditions your digestive system before you start going hard i.e. eat and drink processed foods, preservatives, caffeine, and alcohol.

So what did this reintroduction to food program look like?

Well, I’m actually still in it. Day 14 right now, with one more day to go before I slowly start brining typical foods back into the diet.

Day 6, the day post fast, is a litre of veggie broth. It’s essentially brown water that you drink 4 times a day. Tim admits that this is essentially still fasting, but slightly more volume that days 1 to 5.

Day 7 is a litre of veggie juice.

Day 7 -14 is a ramp up from soups, to porridgey style meals, then to finely chopped salads. All the meals involve vegetables and herbs that stimulate the digestive system and help re-educate the stomach.

Dill, coriander, and parsley play major roles in these meals.

Additionally, there’s nothing starchy, sugary, salty, oily or anything. It’s all bland and plain. The idea being that you’re teaching your taste buds and the digestive system to operate in its simplest form. Without the need for flavouring.

At day 14, Tim has advised I can start slowly bringing some good quality food back into the regime. Things like veggie frittata, good quality breads and raw nuts (walnuts). But very small portions.

Eating some veggie frittata last night I can tell my taste buds have been renewed, which is testament to this reintroduction program.

Additionally, I was allowed to have a coffee a couple of days ago, but still haven’t had one. I have been feeling so good throughout the days that I don’t want to go back to the ups and downs I once faced. Tim says I have discovered real natural energy!

So how am I feeling now?

The Results from my 5 day fast

Let’s split this into two pieces. 1/ My Results & 2/ How I’m feeling.

The results are based on a bio impedance test which is a scientific measurement for estimating body composition. I did this test prior to the fast and following.

You can see in the graph below that I lost 5.8 kgs over the 5 day fast. I actually weighed myself during the process to, and on day 6, I got as low as 7 kgs lost, but clearly you put some weight back on pretty quickly.

bio impédance test results
My bio impedance test results, before and after the 5 day juice fast. ATM stands for Active Tissue Mass or your muscle mass. You’ll see I lost more muscle than fat!

The weight I lost was split into fat, muscle, and water. You will see that I lost mainly water, then muscle, then fat.

Tim says that everyone is different with the proposition of fat-to- muscle lost. He personally would typically lose 50/50 fat and muscle over the fasts he’s done in the past. Whereas some people will lose more fat. I just happened to lose more muscle, perhaps because I didn’t have much fat to lose to begin with.

What I noticed most profoundly though, from a weight loss perspective, was my waist line. I lost 7cms!

The most fascinating and interesting part for me, above all else, was the water loss.

Of the 3.25 kgs of water I lost, the majority of that was “extracellular water” which is a positive indicator that my body was excreting toxins from body, which is a “great sign”, according to Tim.

From a performance perspective?

Part of the test also looks at something called Phase Angle, which in its simplest form is the health and efficiency of the cells. Most peoples cells become raisin like over the years, less capable of producing energy and efficiently ridding the body of waste. Ultimately, we want these cells in our body to look like juicy grapes.

Based on this test, my cells are now over 5% more efficient, meaning every cell in my body that performance a task – energy production, waste management, mental clarity – is now operating at a 5% higher rate.

Will this make me 5% stronger on the bike? We’ll have to wait and see!

How I’m feeling.

Before I get to the amazing positives, let’s start with a few minor negative that I’ve been feeling (excluding the detox symptoms mentioned above):

  • I’ve been super cold throughout. Multiple jumpers every single day. Tim says he normally wouldn’t recommend a fast mid-winter, but I did have a timeframe!
  • I’ve started back out on the bike. Some light pedalling, and I am noticeably weaker. For example, I would normally pedal at 230 watts and now I’m working at the same rate, pedalling 200 watts. Tim says my strength will come back quickly, but right now I am noticeably weaker.
  • Doing some light training, I’ve definitely been left empty at times. Given the very thorough reintroduction to food process, I’ve got limited fuel to bang out a decent workout. So I’ve been training light, but even that’s been tough.

As I start to bring other foods into the diet and more volume, no doubt the above negatives will become a distant memory. However, I feel the positives will have lasting effects. To date, here’s how I’m feeling:

  • The last 4 nights I’ve been sleeping deeper than I ever recall. I am also recalling my dreams every single night.
  • I typically suffer from sinus problems. Especially on the right-hand side. My sinuses have never been clearer.
  • My energy levels during the day are sustained. There are no peaks and troughs and outside of some slight hunger flats (post a light workout), I feel energised all day
  • I’ve just written this 3,000 word article in two hours. Normally this would take me a full day, or I’d split this across two days. My concentration and mental aptitude has lifted to another level.

While these positives are magnificent for general well-being and living your life, the positive side effect I’m hoping for MOST won’t be evident for another few months.

The improvement in my cellular energy – so my ability to train harder, recover better and produce energy more efficiently – won’t be recognised until a really start lifting my training and racing my bike.

A separate piece on that will follow on Bike Chaser, perhaps in a few months’ time. In the interim, if you’re interested in following my progress week to week – I have a YouTube account here you can subscribe to.


Yes, I did originally do this for improved performance on the bike.

However, the way I feel now and the connecting experience I’ve had with my body – while it ridded me of toxicity – is a strong indicator that what I’ve been through has been highly beneficial for my general well-being. I feel smarter, more energised, and cleaner inside.

Everyone should do this, at least once in your life. Or, if you want to do what the expert says – once every couple of years!

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