Mike Pagan - 110 Hours Fasting

110 Hours of Insight: Unlocking the Power of Water Fasting and Ketosis

110 Hours of Insight: Unlocking the Power of Water Fasting and Ketosis


Fasting has been a cornerstone of human culture and health practices for centuries. Only recently, however, has science begun to reveal its profound impacts on both mind and body. Motivated by a deep commitment to investing in my Mental Wealth, personal endurance and health, I embarked on my fourth water fast, extending to 110 hours, going deeper into the state of Ketosis and unlocking the potential of my mind and body.

My Personal Fasting Experience: Inspired by reading about the transformative potential of fasting, I decided to undertake another water-only fast. This wasn’t my first attempt — it was my fourth four-day fast, and each time, I aim to push a little further than before – hence the 110 hours this time, which is just over 4.5 days. And, of course, all of this is completed with a focus on positively investing in my Mental Wealth and experimenting with different forms of self-care activities to discover what works well for me.

My goal has never been about weight loss; I describe any weight being dropped as the majority will go straight back on when you start eating again. It’s more from gaining a deeper understanding of my body’s capabilities, its response to extreme dietary restrictions and the potential benefits of putting your body into a state of Ketosis. I’m not mad. This has been going on for centuries; fasting is a pivotal element of many cultures and health practices, and science is now revealing its profound impacts on both mind and body. There are even TV shows that will inform the masses. Consider watching the National Geographic and Disney+ show Limitless with Chris Hemsworth; it’s well worth a few hours of your time.

Detailed Daily Experiences:

  • Day 1: Started off straightforward enough, though I faced mild headaches and an emptiness in my stomach that wasn’t quite hunger but a clear feeling of emptiness.
  • Day 2: The headache from day one built up and peaked in intensity during the morning, then receded as the day progressed. I became pretty obsessed with drinking as much water as possible so I didn’t feel hungry or empty, meaning many, many visits to the loo.
  • Day 3: Light-headedness set in by the evening, a reminder that my body was emptying out but not an overwhelming urge to eat; I wasn’t feeling HANGRY as you would expect—just a clear acknowledgement of the process at work.
  • Day 4: Boredom truly began to strike, with a constant mental narrative about whether it was time to eat, avoiding any smells of cooking and advertising on the TV. I was fighting the habitual nature of eating rather than being desperately hungry. On the final evening, in an attempt to escape this repetitive thought cycle, I spent my evening at the cinema, strategically distancing myself from any food temptations at home and those ever-present subliminal messages coming from the fridge/cupboard. (It’s not just me!)
  • 110 Hours complete: I started with some simple bread and butter, followed by a healthy green-cooked breakfast that I couldn’t finish in one sitting. Overall, I was still feeling light-headed as if I’d done a seriously intensive sporting activity that would take some recovery time.
  • In addition: I continued to exercise throughout the fast—two rounds of golf, a HIIT class, Swimming, daily press-ups and pull-ups, plus dog walks and normal working. I didn’t take the time as an excuse to become sedentary and stop doing my normal activities.

As I counted through the hours, I understandably took the time to further research the science behind what was happening inside my body, which inspired me and motivated me to complete the challenge.

The Science of Water Fasting Water fasting requires abstaining from all food and relying solely on water. This drastic reduction in caloric intake forces the body to deplete its glucose reserves and switch to burning fat for energy, a metabolic state known as Ketosis, which can be achieved as early as 24-48 hours into the fast. It’s my understanding that this is where old, poorly or weaker cells get killed off and new ones generated, but clearly, this is not a scientific description.

Benefits of Achieving Ketosis through Water Fasting:

  1. Fat Burning and Weight Loss: Rapid weight loss and body fat reduction as the body switches to fat as its primary energy source. During this fast, I dropped 9 lbs in weight—I say dropped because as soon as you eat, most of it goes back on.
  2. Improved Metabolic Health: Reducing inflammation and stabilising blood sugar levels enhance insulin sensitivity, in other words, a quality clean out of your system.
  3. Enhanced Mental Clarity and Cognitive Function: Ketones are a really effective fuel for the brain, and they improve cognitive functions as a positive side effect.
  4. Longevity and Cellular Repair: Fasting triggers autophagy (I had to look this word up), helping cells remove and recycle worn-out proteins, which, according to some experts, can potentially extend lifespan and enhance health. There is a reason in itself to experiment.

Scientific Backing Research from sources like Perfect Keto and WeFast reinforces the benefits of Ketosis induced by fasting, such as enhanced fat burning, metabolic health, and mental clarity, guiding me through the more challenging moments of the fast.

Benefits I Experienced and Personal Observations The fasting journey was introspective, reflective and filled with unique insights:

  • Mental Engagement: I wrestled with constant head chatter, which was really unhelpful at times due to its continuous interruption and distraction. As a result, time became warped, and it seemed to crawl by.
  • Physical Sensations: Approaching the end of the fast, I experienced a combination of light-headedness and instability. I had intentionally engineered this fast while not doing long drives or full mainstage performances.
  • The shivers: I felt freezing at times; the weather didn’t help, but officially, this is said to be a side effect of the body’s lowered metabolic rate.
  • Overall Feeling: Despite general fatigue, I felt a profound sense of lightness, sharp mental clarity, and high motivation – a positive boost and kick start!!
  • Reintroduction to Food: My first meal post-fast was smaller than planned due to intense stomach gurgling and near-nausea. The picture shows my meal, which I couldn’t finish.
  • 24 Hours On: I’m feeling really sharp, alert, and energised—the best I’ve felt for a long time. I also had my first open-water swim at just 10 degrees, which will have helped my mood and endorphins. Feeling Great!!!

Conclusion This journey into water fasting was more than a physical challenge; it was a transformative exploration of self-discipline and personal resilience. It has seriously impacted my understanding of how my body reacts under stress and has increased my appreciation for my body’s adaptability and resilience.

This 110-hour fast has been the best one I have done so far, with really positive outcomes for me so far. I rock – as we all do, it’s amazing how we work and how we can stretch our personal, physical and mental boundaries. Does water fasting resonate for you? Could some intermittent fasting or longer fasting work for you? Build that Mental Wealth Team around you so you can challenge and discover more about how awesome you are!!

NB: Not Suitable for Everyone: Fasting is understandably not recommended for everyone. Throughout my fast, I experienced many of the potential side effects of Ketosis; take all the necessary medical advice and support you need when considering this direction.


Mike is a Keynote speaker, coach, author of four books and a non-executive director that is a little different; his approach is not standard – he can be blunt, direct, honest and open where necessary. He is an expert in helping clients achieve positive Mental Wealth through building handpicked support networks and helping them unlock significant performance improvements.

His company provides inspirational and challenging coaches and world-class facilitators for peer support and mastermind groups and masterclasses. Mike’s niches include business professionals and elite sports people in transition; working alone and in isolation will sabotage performance and desire. We all need the right Mental Wealth Team to help us succeed.


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