T Nation

Illness and Fasting?

Well I have a virus in my digestive system! Right now I’m about the 2nd most sick that I have ever been in my life. After 8 hours of vomiting I went to the emergency room. Dr. says no solid food until after Sunday.

After that I will be on a Brat diet (applesauce, soda crackers, etc.) Needless to say this isn’t going to fit well into my current lifting/diet plan. So far I’m down about 5lbs. since Thursday night. While I realize that this is a large amount to lose in 36hours I also know that it is not healthy at all. My questions are:

  1. Where is this weight loss coming from? While I would be glad if it was all fat I sincerely doubt it. It is not water because that is now a diet stable for me while ill. I really hope that I didn’t lose 5 lbs of muscle…

  2. How can I minimize muscle loss considering there are not a lot of non-dairy based, protein rich drinks that I can actually have without becoming violently ill again.

  3. Should I maybe use this as a jumpstart to a cutting program?

I am open to suggestions

You’re sick. People get sick. If you are vomiting for 8 hours straight it most likely is water you’ve lost. Don’t stesss over it, just rest and get better.


I had a bad food poisoning earlier this year. If you don’t die, it’ll go away. Don’t obsess with how much you loose now, you’d get that back anyway. What I wouldn’t do is force myself to eat more than I can handle afterwards - in my case it took a good 10 days to get back to normal eating again, after the symptoms had gone. Just wait it out and don’t try to force yourself.


I had a bad case of food poisoning a couple of years ago. My doctor admitted me to the hospital and stuck an IV in my arm. After the first night I felt fine and thought I was ready to go home. The doctor had other ideas. For the next two days I felt fine and was going out of my mind with boredom. I was released on the 3rd day and promised to go straight to bed. I went straight to the mall with my wife. After about half an hour I could barely walk. I was much sicker than I had realised.
Listen to your doctor. A week or so of no training is better than damaging your health even further.

You seem to be saying that the loss isn’t water because of all the water you’re drinking. Not only because these types of things tend to cause dehydration, but also because you’re drinking a lot of water, I believe much of what you’re losing is water. The surest way to water retention is to restrict water. Conversely drinking a lot water tends to free up water. I’d be amazed if you lost that much muscle that fast, really don’t think so.

  1. Relax. Lay down and read or watch movies. Ring a bell and have people bring you fluids. Enjoy it.

  2. Wait and see how you feel.

Alrighty, thanks for the advice guys. I just hate waiting around and feeling so helpless in the process.

My guess is that you are very carb depleted as well as dehydrated. Keep drinking the water to stay hydrated, and start with you brat diet as soon as you can tolerate it.

I had a similar illness last year and lost about 10lbs in under a week. I gained most of it back after a few days with solid food. The rest didn’t take that long to put back on.