Dopamine Fasting Guide: Rules, Benefits and how to Detox

Dopamine fasting

Dopamine fasting can be a great way to remove clutter from your mind and center your energies.  In a world full of stimulus, we’re constantly given spikes of dopamine throughout the day.   While this is normal to a degree, our modern era has made dopamine spikes so frequent that we’ve begun to drastically misuse an otherwise normal occurrence in our biology.

Dopamine fasting can be a fantastic method to get rid of so many addictions we have and get more control over our lives.

Much of the life of a modern human revolves around going from dopamine spike, to fall, to chasing another spike and so on.  This is exhausting and not only leaves us with less physical energy, but also reduces our vitality for life.

Common dopamine addictions

Some modern dopamine addictions include, but are not limited to:

  • porn (terrible, don’t ever motherfucking watch porn, by far the most)
  • masturbation
  • chocolate and sugar
  • dating apps (the affect of getting new matches, responses from girls)
  • social media (constantly checking, likes on posts, getting follows)
  • having a drink after a long day
  • getting the paycheck at the end of the month
  • video games (especially doing well, getting a lot of kills online, etc.)

and so on.  Is dopamine evil?  No, it’s a chemical in the brain.  It’s designed to make us feel good and is the result of us doing something our brain perceives as being pleasurable.

This isn’t a moral issue.  Let’s be clear about that.

Chasing Dopamine Rushes make you weak

If you guys beat off to porn or you look forward to a drink, this doesn’t make you bad.  But it makes you weak.  And weakness leads to a lower quality of life satisfaction.

I’m not yelling at you guys from a moral standpoint.  None of these things harm anyone.

That is, except for the most important person in your life, yourself.  Over indulging in high dopamine behaviors results in just chasing this high.  This subjects us to the law of polarity, which states we  must feel the opposite of this great positive, which is negative.   Call it karma, “what goes up must come down”, however you want to word it.

Whenever you get a dopamine spike, you’ll get a crash.  This leads to a life of more drama, heartache, and pain than necessary.

The idea isn’t to reduce your dopamine all together.  That isn’t possible as it’s part of our biology.   A literal lack of dopamine would mean you have a severe brain deficiency.  Rather the goal is to keep dopamine levels at a constant.  By being able to be calm, you can keep your dopamine level at all times.  This leads to further success, happiness, and greater control over your life.

What is Dopamine fasting?

monk mode

When I refer to “dopamine fasting” in this article, it’s not like you’re actually going without dopamine.  Instead, you’re actually “dopamine balancing”, and reducing the “dopamine spikes” you normally experience.

By dopamine fasting (or dopamine balancing), you’re learning to go without big spikes of dopamine.  This leads to greater calmness as well as greater happiness in each moment.  Because you’re not letting all of your dopamine go at once, you have more of it available at each individual point in time.

Dopamine fasting vs Dopamine Detox

Dopamine fasting and  Dopamine Detox can be used interchangeably and usually are.  However, while the dopamine fasting guidelines are similar to a dopamine detox, the two differ slightly in their approach.

A Dopamine fast implies that you’re going without increased dopamine spikes for a set period of time.  It could be 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 90 days, etc.  A lot of guys will refer to “nofap 90 days hardmode” where they don’t beat off, drink, go on social media, etc. for 90 days.  I prefer to call a period like this “Monk Mode” – however this implies that you’re using your harnessed energy for something great.

Or you can pick and choose.  Maybe you don’t watch porn for a month, but you’ll still have sex if the opportunity arises.  Or maybe you practice semen retention and remove all processed sugar like chocolate.  But the point is that there’s a fasting period where you go without a major source of dopamine spikes.  This is what makes the period a dopamine fast.

A Dopamine detox on the other hand is a reduction in the overall spikes of dopamine in a gradually period.  For example, you remove 1 dopamine spiking activity this week, then remove a 2nd the following week, and so on.

Dating apps dopamine detox example

Let’s take dating apps as another example.  Porn is much, much worse than dating apps.  That’s not even a question or close to the same realm of comparison.  But I know all of my boys on Rebellious Development aren’t watching porn so that’s out of the question.

However, dating apps can still produce a dopamine spike.  Whenever you view the app and you get new matches or responses, this gives you a spike in dopamine.  A dopamine detox, with dating apps the example, can be a reduction in how much you use the app.

A  regular guy might check the dating app 10 or 20 times a day.  While that sound excessive, you can check a dating  app 10 times within a half hour if you’re not conscious.

Reducing this to once a day, whether in the evenings, or whenever, is an example of a dopamine detox.  You still get the hit of dopamine at 9pm when you finally check the app.  however, you’re only getting this once a day, and therefore aren’t getting the spikes all throughout the hours.  This leads to a more regular / constant level of dopamine throughout your day.  Which means you’ll have more consistent energy, focus, and have higher levels of happiness.  And guess what Sherlock, you’ll actually do SO much better on the dating apps by checking it less.

A dopamine fast generally will mean you’re “going cold turkey” from dopamine enhancing activities for a set amount of time, while a detox is a more gradual process.  That being said, many people just use the terms interchangeably.  They usually mean dopamine fasting as defined here when they use dopamine fasting or dopamine detox.  People who actually do dopamine detox’s generally make it a lifestyle change and strive towards minimalism in comparison to their current life situation.

Benefits of Dopamine Fasting

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  1. Increased energy
  2. More Focus
  3. Presence / Attention in each moment
  4. Sense of Bliss (due to regular dopamine levels)
  5. Ability to remain calm and not get emotional
  6. Think more clearly about decisions, the future, and perspective on life
  7. Better sleep
  8. Less anxiety and less stress

I’m not going to breakdown each benefit of dopamine fasting like I normally do.  I think these should be self explanatory, but I also don’t want you to take my word for it.  Try dopamine fasting, or do a dopamine detox, and see what you get out of it.

Dopamine Fasting Rules and Guidelines

  1. Pick a 2-3 key items to include in your dopamine fast
  2. Commit to it for 90 days
  3. No “relapsing” or “messing up” – none of you would beat off if I was in the room with you, so don’t do it by yourself.  You never “relapse”, you decide to be weak.  Instead, decide not to be weak.  Decide to be strong.
  4. Don’t replace old dopamine spike habits with new one spike and crash habits.  Instead, read, workout, or do nothing, but don’t replace beating off for drinking, or video games.  Pick up meditation, read a book, write poetry, do something that requires some brain power but nothing crazy.  Better yet, go into Monk Mode and get focused on your purpose.

The dopamine fasting rules are simple.  Pick a few things to include in your dopamine fast.  Set a time period for the fast, such as 90 days.  Commit to it.  There’s no “oh no I beat off and relapsed” bullshit after 10 days.  If your grandma was going to die if you messed up, you wouldn’t touch your dick or whatever the vice you’re going to get rid of.

Make a committed decision

Commit to it.  That’s it.  And of course, don’t replace beating off for ice cream sundae parties or 4 hour call of duty warzone sessions.  Replace the dopamines spiking activity with meditation, reading, sudoku, learning a new skill,  or something that keeps you in a calm state.

After  the 90 days or set period of dopamine fasting, then you can look at what benefits you experienced.  From there, you can introduce limits to dopamine draining activities (like video games once a week, a drink twice a week, sex 2-3x a week, looking at dating apps once a day), as you see fit.

Recommendation for Dopamine Fasting

Implement dopamine Fasting, go back to regular life, and then do dopamine detox to remove some dopamine enhancing activities that you don’t need.  Some of the activities that spike dopamine might be needed to some degree, so doing a dopamine fast forever will be impossible for most people who live in modern society.

Is dopamine fasting the correct scientific word?   No, like I said before you’re not actually fasting from dopamine.  Instead, you’re reducing the amount of  dopamine spikes.  However saying “reduce the amount of dopamine spikes your brain encounters” is much longer and boring than saying dopamine fasting.  So while it may not be the “right term”, I don’t give a fuck.  We all know what it means.  It gets us to stop addicting behaviors that are not good for us.

So what’s the solution?

Reduce the amount of dopamine spikes.  If you’re single and have dating apps, check them once a day max. Never watch porn.  Reduce processed sugar (like chocolate, ice cream, etc.) to once or twice a week.  Have a drink once or twice a week, not everyday.  Go cold turkey at first, which is dopamine fasting, and then see what you can put into your life a little bit (dopamine detox).  This way you can still have a drink once in a while, still have some sex, still have a piece of chocolate, but all reduced.  Not needing a drink, not needing sex, not needing sweets or whatever, but having it here and there is fine.

Dopamine fasting and dopamine detox isn’t about having no dopamine spikes if we’re being realistic, but it’s just about having a lot less.  It’s about not being a slave to a dopamine spike and crash, but instead having consistent energy which you can transmute towards success or to just enjoy more bliss in each moment.

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