Ellie Goulding fasts for up to 40 hours, calls it ‘safe and beneficial’

This story came out a couple of weeks ago, but I’m just seeing it now. Singer Ellie Goulding, 33, is quoted in The Mirror as saying that she goes on nearly two day fasts regularly and that she considers it “a great way to give your digestive system a break.” She does drink electrolytes, tea and coffee on her non-eating days and claims that “it helps blood sugar control, and helps fight inflammation.” The way they word this suggests that she said it on her Instagram stories, they write that “she told fans,” but it’s unclear. I doubt she gave them an exclusive interview.

Singer Ellie Goulding says she fasts for up to forty hours at a time.

[She] only has water and other drinks for almost two days, and says it reduces inflammation.

But Ellie, 33, told worried fans the extreme measures had been okayed by a doctor pal, adding: “I do it very safely by having a purposefully nutritious food day the day before and after.

“On the fast day, I drink high-grade electrolytes and a LOT of water (plus tea and coffee). Fasting is safe and beneficial unless you are diabetic or have serious health issues.

“It helps blood sugar control, and helps fight inflammation – the mother of ALL health problems.”

“I built my way up to 40-hour fasts over time (started with 12). Fasting from time to is a great way to give your digestive system a break.

[From Mirror.co.uk]

I was ready to roll my eyes at some of what she said, particularly about giving your digestive system a break, but I found an article on the Harvard health blog that lists many of the same benefits to fasting that she mentioned. However that article is about intermittent fasting, not going without food for almost two days. It seems like that’s extreme and unnecessary. When celebrities go on such extreme diets, it reinforces the idea that diets are punishing and difficult. They’re really a lifestyle adjustment and weight loss is just calories in, calories out. That can be achieved in a much more sustainable, comfortable way than not eating for a day or two. Plus, it’s so easy to undo all that when you’re super hungry. I have been so “hungry” during lockdown, my god.

Here she is exercising. How does she have energy to work out when she’s not eating for two days? It would take me two days to just recover from that.

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44 Responses to “Ellie Goulding fasts for up to 40 hours, calls it ‘safe and beneficial’”

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  1. Teresa says:

    Intermittent fasting (I do either 16:8, 18:6 or sometimes 20:4) has made my life so much better. The weight loss is one thing for sure, but I also got rid of chronic inflammation and weird unexplained pains in my joints, I have tons of energy and I have never looked better in my life. It also helped me to get rid of my sugar cravings. I am 43.
    But fasting for 40 hours seems a bit extreme.


      I’ve tried to intermittent fast before and my friends are really supportive but it feels like whenever I join plans with anyone else, even their friends, even if the plans are not strictly food-related, people end up wanting food. I just say no thank you, I’m good, but people put so much pressure on me! It’s like no one wants to eat alone. I hate how so much of socializing is built up around food and saying no to food is considered some big insult.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I was diagnosed w/a weird autoimmune disease (HADD) & had 2 knuckles replaced when basically spikes of bone grew through them. My surgeon was a rockstar & so was my OT. All is good now (surgery was in January) but in order to prevent the condition from landing in another joint I went on an anti inflammatory diet which morphed into a 22 hr daily fast. I drink water, tea or coffee & then eat what I want, in moderation, for 2 hours. It really is easy & has helped tremendously. There was an area which was exhibiting the same symptoms as my knuckles which has completely disappeared.

      Sometimes on a weekend I might cheat & go 20 hrs but I almost have to force it. I do think 40 hrs would be hard & seems a bit overkill.

    • Xpresson says:

      May I refer to you to the Nobel Prize winner for medicine for 2016 Japanese Celll Biologist Mr Yoshinory Ohsumi, he won the prestigios accolade for his research on how cells recycle and renew their content, a process called autophagy. Fasting activates autophagy, which helps slow down the aging process and has a positive impact on cell renewal. You need to fast past the 18th Hour for Autophagy to be obtained… so yes 40 hours is not extreme but surprisingly beneficial to recycle your cells to help your inmune system as well.

  2. janey says:

    there is something about this woman that I don’t like. I don’t know what it is. her face is massively different from when she first broke out, so maybe that’s it, but I feel like she’s got a bit of ‘mean girl’ about her. never met her obvs so just my personal feelings.

    I do alternate day fasting (not lately due to the bank holiday in the UK and the nice weather) and it’s great, feel really refreshed after a fast day but I do drink water, green tea, bone broth about 3pm then a 500 calorie dinner, followed by an early night. I can’t see how fasting for 40 hours straight is good.

  3. Aang says:

    Epigenetic studies show the benefit of fasting and even periods of severe calorie restriction due to environmental factors. These epigenetic benefits can even be passed on to children. It seems that if you survive a period of famine your children may have a longer
    life span. There is a famous study from Sweden about this.

  4. Kaybee says:

    Alternate day fasting is exactly what she describes. Typically 36-42 hours of “clean” fast every other day is the strict version. Some people adjust by eating 500 calories on fasting days. It highly beneficial for weight loss, autophagy and helps chronic inflammation. It is not mainstream yet, but it should be. There is data out there about medically supervised extended fasts as well, proven to help with diabetes with patients being weaned off insulin under medical supervision, cholesterol levels and blood pressure normalize over time. Please check out Dr Jason Fung on youtube.

    • Snazzy says:

      He’s the one who wrote the Obesity Code right? Too lazy to check the book on my shelf but I think it’s him. Anyway, the book talks about exactly what you’ve said here, the long term benefits of fasting, and not just IF. I just don’t have the discipline for it, but I wish I did!

      • Kaybee says:

        It’s eyeopening to say the least. I listened on audible. My hubby teases that Dr Fung is my master because I quoted from the book for weeks. He’s joined my fasting lifestyle after seeing the benefits in real time. He wants to do the extended fast for autophagy.

      • Snazzy says:

        Ya, I think I need to go through the book again and try and get some discipline and go for it. It certainly can’t do any harm (as long as I don’t break the fast with 10kg of chocolate and chips lol)

  5. Darla says:

    I don’t know about fasting, I haven’t tried it. I do know that the older I get, the less I eat the better I feel. There’s a huge correlation between what goes in my mouth and my energy levels, and really stunningly, my physical pain. I love food but eating just isn’t worth it at a certain age, at least for me this is what happened. Inflammation maybe. What a difference though.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      I very much agree with your wording-The less I eat the better I feel!
      I am 44 and I do have an inflammatory condition (Crohns disease)so food and drink intake definitely always has had a huge impact on how I feel.I would never suggest someone else should follow my eating habits as they are particular to me and I eat to feel well. I can easily fast about 36 hours at a time,it just makes me more clear headed,sleep better,less swelling and bloat.I definitely see that the older I get the less food I need to consume.
      I also strongly agree that eating some foods just isn’t worth it at this stage in my life.

  6. Belig says:

    “Forty hours” makes it sound a bit crazy, but it’s actually just one day, not two: for example, you stop eating at 8 pm on Saturday, don’t eat at all on Sunday, then start eating again on Monday at 8 am. 8 + 24 + 8 = 40.

    • Anna says:

      I think your math is off? Saturday 8pm to Sunday 8pm is 24 hours. Sunday 8pm to Monday 8am is 12 hours. That is a total of 36 hours.

  7. Lonnie tinks says:

    Fasting for long periods of time is safe as long as you have body fat. Type 2 diabetics benefit from it greatly, Dr. Jason Fung runs a medical center based on fasting as a treatment for diabetics and people with other medical conditions. It isn’t about resting your gut, it’s about the hormonal changes your body goes through while fasting versus eating.

  8. Hotsauceinmybag says:

    40 seems… extreme. My dad does 20:4, and while it’s worked remarkably well for him, I still find it to be extreme. That being said, he has struggled his whole life with his weight and he’s found a way to keep it off and continue to lose weight so I try to think about that.

    Personally, I prefer a fasted workout since it’s usually the first thing I do in the morning. Sometimes if I know I’m going to workout a few hours after waking up I will fast until the workout, sometimes thats 12 hours since the last time I’ve eaten. It all depends on the person.

  9. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    We seem to get around to this discussion once or twice a year lol. Fasting is a beautiful thing. I’m not talking anorexic fasting. We eat too much food people. In any given 24-hour period, watch how much is shoveled into pie holes. If the boys are gaming? It’s insane. My husband will be going to lunch and text me about dinner. I must be asked about food a million times a week and there’s only three of us at home now. I can’t imagine huge families. Food food food food food. So yes. Giving our bodies some reset time is a no-brainer. Each person has to do so according to their needs, conditions, etc., but here at home we take some time off food when the fridge and pantry approach restocking needs. We simply don’t restock right away and it makes us think about which meals we’d like to plan for, which new recipes we’d like to try… It’s actually kind of fun when your teen is actually helpful because they’re hungry lol.

  10. Tim Whatley says:

    Co-sign all the talk of Dr Fung – not a quack, it’s solid science. I fast too – it’s not hard or disorder-y, but a legit way to reverse some of the shit we do to our insulin and blood glucose. I do it for that and the autophagy effects.

  11. lara (the other) says:

    Intermitted fasting helped me to reduce the amount of meidication I needed to manage my autoimmune disease and to prevent sideeffects from predinisone like type two diabetis.
    Is is a completly different beast than just starving yourself for weightloss.
    It fasting is part of a healthy food and exercise regime and, especcially if you have any prior health problems, supervised by a doctor, it can definitly improve your health by lowering inflamation levels, improving insuline response and stimulating autophagie.

  12. YAS says:

    As others have pointed out, 40 hours is not that extreme – it’s just doing a version of fasting that goes an entire day without food between days where you’re eating. It’s the type of fasting that I do and while the weight loss was a plus, the increased energy has really been the best part. I’ve been doing it for almost a year and it’s the first major change in lifestyle/food that I’ve been able to stick to.

  13. JaneDoesWerk says:

    Jesus Christ, step away from your plastic surgeon, Ellie. It looks like she’s trying to have her face morphed into Scarlett Johansen’s.

    Her music is okay but I’ve never really understood why she’s such a big deal. People seem to go nuts for her and I just can’t get on board.

    • Teresa says:

      I really like some of her songs, but to be honest – she doesn’t have a voice for a live concert. I was so disappointed when I finally saw her at a festival 4 years ago. She was a bit ill that night, so maybe it was just that, but I was not impressed at all

      • JaneDoesWerk says:

        That may be it, I tend to not really listen to music of artists with reedy/wispy voices that don’t carry well live. Not surprised to hear that but very sad for you!

  14. emmy says:

    I think it depends on your personality. For some people (and bodies) it’s great. For me it’s just not feasible, I tend to undereat simply because of my work hours. I like to work out in the evening on an empty stomach and eat afterwards. So I often skip breakfast but I still usually don’t get to 16 hours. I tried earlier this year but I just couldn’t get it together for more than 4 weeks. I did notice the benefits immediately but I can achieve those with healthy diet and exercise as well. I’ve had problems with disordered eating for 20 years so I think for me, structure is good but hard rules are not. There are so many factors that contribute to a healthy gut and metabolism though and I’m sure science has barely scratched the surface. Most of us have never truly learned to listen to our bodies and fasting can be a great wake-up call.

    I can absolutely see how it would benefit people with health issues.

    • s says:

      yes. I’ve observed that even a twenty hour fast seems to be risky for picky or minimal eaters. these long fasts are good for people who do enjoy 2 or 3 real meals a day plus snacks.

  15. Onomo says:

    Genuinely curious- How do y’all have space for mental work or serious spouse or kid or friend convos when you are fasting? I tried intermittent fasting with electrolytes and supplements or whatever and I feel like it really messed me up and like I wasn’t present because I was either a) deliriously, kind of manically high or b) a fake sort of Zen calm but not really me if that makes sense. I wasn’t able to sleep deeply either. Anyway these comments are wild – I never would have guessed so many people on CB are into fasting.

    • vanessa says:

      I’m the same way! If I don’t eat regular, balance meals I have serious trouble falling asleep and staying asleep (I will wake up in the middle of the night hungry) and I can’t think straight… my brain just stops working. When I was a restaurant server I could fast all morning since I was on my feet, but then I would have trouble making quick decisions if I didn’t eat by lunch. Now that I have a demanding marketing job and have to focus at my desk, I get hungry every 3 hours. The only food routine that works for me is intuitive eating – I eat as much as I want, when I want, until I am satiated, and pay close attention to what food sounds tasty, how much I’m enjoying it, and how it makes me feel.

    • Bailie says:

      Everybody is different, what works for me is eating a nutritious breakfast, it’s the biggest meal of my day and a smaller lunch, because I have a busy day going on most of the time, so I need energy from food during the day and not at dinner time.
      I have 2-3 snacks a day, a cup of fresh blueberries, a few raw almonds, some carrots or an apple depends on the season.
      My smallest meal is at dinner time, it’s a salad with lots of fresh green veggies and one avocado, I don’t need tons of calories for sleeping.
      I can’t eat a big meal and go to sleep a few hours later.
      I always do my 15 minute deep stretching, 1/2 yoga, 15 minute rope jumping and 15 minute weight lifting after work at home.
      I have my small dinner salad, take a shower after dinner and relax before bed by reading or watching TV.
      Once a year in the summer time, I do a 4 day wellness break, the 1st day I eat only raw, cooked or steamed veggies and drink water all day, on the second day I only drink green juice/smoothy freshly squeezed, veggies from my garden, but no fruit, I add avocado for a bit of energy and lots of water, the third day only water and the 4th day back to green juice/smoothy and water. The 5th day I eat raw, cooked or steamed veggies and drink water.
      I feel great without being hungry, it works for me.

    • Eda says:

      I agree. Another day, another fad diet. This is disordered eating masked as a health protocol.

      Our tissues need a steady supply of nutrients to, you know, function. Personally, I’m not going to subject the world to myself in a hypoglycemic state just because some doctors got rich off of promoting it to the masses. It is completely ludicrous to expect to perform at a high level with zero caloric intake for hours upon hours. Also depending on the details of your job/life, probably also irresponsible. There’s no way I would perform surgery, drive my kids (or myself) somewhere, or conduct important transactions in a persistent hypoglycemic state. It is amazing to me how many people claim they feel good like this. I think there is a SIGNIFICANT placebo effect in place.

      I would be vomiting, lethargic, irritable and unproductive.

      Long term studies show no appreciable gains in weight loss relative to regular calorie restriction/exercise. As for long term relief of chronic pain, we need more studies.

      And for f*ck’s sake, our digestive systems do not “‘need a break,” nor do they need help “detoxifying”.

      It’s well-established in science that consuming fewer calories leads to longer lives in controlled animal studies. I think people may forget that that doesn’t speak to quality of life.

    • Joanna says:

      It’s crazy. Fasting = starving yourself imo. Just another “healthy” trick to maintain your weight. Smh.

  16. katharine says:

    It’s impossible to recognize anyone anymore without their photo captions. That’s all I got.

  17. Cindy says:

    I think everyone should fast like this occasionally if possible. It completely changed my perception of food. I now think of eating as a means of energy and nutrition versus indulgence. Personally, I wasn’t able to grasp this concept of food until I went without it. Not to mention the empathy you gain for those less fortunate who don’t always have access to a meal. If you’re heathy, give it a try. Your body is capable of amazing things.

  18. Awkward symphony says:

    40 is EXTREME! People fast for religious reasons or lifestyle but most are doable as they are NOT 24hrs+!!! This broad statement will encourage girls to starve themselves and possibly get bulimic

  19. romperstomper says:

    What in the world?!? This looks like a completely different person. It’s like she erased her original self.

  20. Queen LaTita says:

    I second & third everything on Dr. Fung & fasting. I just ended a 58 hour fast & I feel amazing! The energy I have, the clear mind, & thankfully no pain, no inflammation, is well worth it. When you are on Keto & are in ketosis (burning fat not carbs) going for longer periods of time is easier & more beneficial. I drink plenty of electrolytes with my water, tea, & coffee. I eat when I get hungry. As with Keto & IF. READ, do the research before you start anything, you have to understand the how & whys your body reacts to food. 58 hours is only extreme if you are just starving yourself & not drinking electrolytes, water, etc. Everything is bad for you when you don’t know how to do it right.

  21. Jaded says:

    My eating window is approximately 10:30/11:00AM to no later than 6:30PM. After that no food, just water or herbal tea. I know it’s not for everyone but it works for me. I have a biggish brunch with a small snack mid-afternoon, then a light dinner. My energy levels are great, I’m maintaining a healthy weight and never have the desire to gorge. I wouldn’t want to go 40 hours, my energy levels would totally sag, but the concept of 3 big squares a day is just not for me.

  22. Sammiches says:

    This is called a coke binge 😂

  23. Likeyoucare says:

    As a muslim
    I had been fasting for a month during ramadhan which ended last week. Unfortunately, because of RMO in my country, most of my friends and I keep gaining weight because of inactivity.

  24. Case says:

    I tried intermittent fasting probably a year ago, had good results, but eventually got away from it.

    During quarantine, I’ve realized what really works for me is a good, nutritious brunch around 10/11, lots of water and tea throughout the day, and a solid dinner around 4/5. So it works out to be an 18:6 fasting routine, and I wasn’t even trying to fast. I’ve lost around 10 pounds during all of this! I think not going out to get bagels/breakfast sandwiches/iced coffee every morning and no eating out has helped a lot too. I’ve felt really good with my new eating habits.

  25. Bluepen says:

    Lost a lot of weight and have kept it off thanks to IF. It works for a lot of people but it’s not for everyone. I notice those thin, nervy types who have super fast metabs need to eat three times a day. I feel better doing 18/6 or 20/4 around four days a week. If I put on a pound or two, I can do it seven days a week get back into my usual range. Also I used to rely on black coffee to get through the fast but I’ve given up on coffee as it stains my teeth and just drink cold green tea (in gulps and rinse my mouth right after to avoid staining) for the health benefits only. No longer need caffeine to power through my fast. Warm water is enough. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking you do; water might be enough.