We Tried Chris Martin’s Eat-Nothing-All-Day Fasting Diet … and We’re Still Hangry

02/18/2016 at 02:35 PM ET

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Showing 16 comments

Anonymous on

Fasting makes no sense. Your body is literally programmed to store everything you eat the very next time you do. The only way to break a fast and not gain weight would be to only eat 100, then 200 then 300 calories each day afterwards so your body readjusts to the starvation it thought it was experiencing. All the while, you’ll be catabolizing muscle in the process.

Drunk Elle on

Seriously? I’m really surprised People’s lawyers didn’t include a disclaimer with this recommendation of starving yourself once a week.
No fad diet or workout trend needed. It’s simple science: calories in vs. calories out. Eat less calories than you burn. No need to starve yourself. Ever. Period.

Chris Meyers on

You are a bunch of wimps I swear. I do this every single work day. Eat a little before work and absolutely nothing before dinner. And Im healthy as a horse.

Chris Meyers on

Oh and by the way, contrary to the bs, you dont starve or go crazy when you fast. Once you get used to it, your mind is about 500 times clearer and you have amazing problem solving capabilities. Probably evolutionary to enable food gathering. Regardless I am about 2 times more productive at work since I started full daytime fasting.

PCC on

Chris, you are not fasting if you are eating in the morning and then eating at dinner time, so get off your high horse.

Chris Meyers on

Actually I do actual fasts frequently as well, I can easily do full multiple days. And on most days I dont even eat anything in the morning. I think its called intermittent fasting

Anonymous on

Drunk Elle, fasting is not a fad diet. People have been fasting since Biblical times.

Annia on

Hahaha Chris Martin just stay singing please!😡

Bao on

I Suggest Some Important Weight-Loss Tips That Really Work :
1. Take your time.
– Aim to lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week. It’s safer to lose weight slowly
2. Pay attention to portion size.
3. Stay away from sugary drinks
– One less sugary drink a day can result in a 10-lb weight loss per year
– One 20-ounce sugary drink has about 250 empty calories (no nutritional value).
4. Prepare more meals at home.
– Check the labels on packaged foods, especially serving size and
calories per serving. Remember, most adults need 2,000 or fewer
calories a day
5. Choose carefully when eating out.
– Some restaurant entrees and fast-food meals have more than 1,500 calories – almost as many calories as you should have
for the whole day!
6. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
7. Feel full on fewer calories.
– Make smarter choices. For the same calories,
you can eat 8 to 10 servings of fruits and
vegetables for onefast-food taco salad.
8. Choose healthier snacks.
– Instead of candy, cookies or chips.
9. Don’t skip breakfast.
– Skipping meals can make you hungrier and more likely to overeat
10. Get moving.
– Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week,
such as brisk walking or biking.
For free or low-cost fitness activities near you, here is the source I just shared to you :
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Bert on

The reason that intermittent fasting is helpful for weight loss is that it corrects appetite. Once appetite is corrected, then attaining and maintaining an appropriate caloric balance is relatively easy and automatic, because the body does the calorie counting and provides a feeling of satiety after eating much less than is typical on a 3-meal-a-day schedule. As far as I know, the easiest variety of intermittent fasting to adapt to and maintain the appetite correction is Fast-5. It’s been around since 2005 (before the movie), it’s free to do and there’s a free PDF guide available, support groups on Facebook, etc. You have to expect some adaptation time, as you gradually extend the fasting interval, but it’s fairly painless and once you’re in the groove, every day’s the same schedule so there are no calendar issues. “Eat within five consecutive hours.” That’s it. Search “Fast-5 Diet” for the PDF guide.

Sue on

Hilarious! I’ve fasted, and continue doing the Master Cleanse at least once a year for 3 weeks!! All she says is so true and all I can do is laugh as she tells her story!

OMAD Revolution on

It doesn’t have to be this difficult, folks. My one-meal-a-day (OMAD) plan is an intermittent fasting regimen that is only really difficult the first 4 or 5 days, and then you adjust and blood-sugar levels stabilize. I dropped 174 lbs in 11 months eating one meal a day, so IF does work. And more and more people are having the same success. Go check out my YouTube channel: “OMAD Revolution”. The idea of 3 meals is a johnny-come-lately concept. People used to fast much more often, were thinner, and didn’t succumb to ravaging hunger. They fasted, just like bears cyclically in nature. Don’t believe the myths about “teaching your body to store fat.” That is nonsense. You will lose on OMAD. The problem is, in a world with way too much food, people are falling victim to bad advice such as “eat when you’re hungry,” which is just not a good idea anymore.

Drunk Elle on

@ Anonymous,
The video producer that participated was referring to it as a way to lose weight. In my opinion, if you are eating (or not eating) a certain way to lose weight, I’d consider that dieting. In biblical times, fasting wasn’t meant to lose weight.

Shamika Bohart on

What a great article! It appears you’re truly dedicated to your topic, which is a much needed change. I see a lot of authors just putting up quick junk, which is unfortunate. Thank you for bringing this information out, it’s much appreciated!

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