End of first fast

I finished my fast this morning. Total duration: five days, 17 hours. I had decided the night before when I’d end it.

AI’d call it a successful first attempt. I went longer than I expected to, and aside from some fatigue, it was relatively easy. The reduced cravings, the quieter and more focused brain, and the reduced muscle and joint pain were unexpected bonuses.

Following advice from Dr. Fung’s support board on Facebook, I started slowly. I had about 100 calories worth of pistachios at 10 am, drank plenty of water, and waited about an hour before eating more. I’ve had about 1100 calories today in total. I’d been warned about diarrhea, and I did have a couple of events, but nothing as bad as what I had near the start of the fast.

I can see that a fast this lengthy – or longer – is both possible, and will need to be spaced out. Maybe once a month. In between, shorter fasts of 18-36 hours make more sense. I’ve been grateful for the reduced cravings, particularly for sweet and carby things.

I also lost a smidge over 20 pounds – from 490.8 to 470.6. I know a lot of that will come back via water and still-digesting food, so I’m not wedded to the number. But it was still a thrill seeing 469.x for even a moment – I can’t remember when I was last that low. November? (the last I could find was back in June 2015, just after I’d started on the Vyvanse.)  The important thing is the one thing I didn’t measure: insulin levels. I have an insulin and ketone blood monitor on order, but it didn’t arrive before the fast ended. so, next time.

All in all, I’m encouraged. I think I can do this. During the feeding periods, the goal is to keep sugars and grains out of the diet. I’m not aiming for full ketosis, but I want to get fat adapted. And increase insulin sensitivity, which will lower blood sugar.

The hard part will be resisting my old standbys – protein bars, and protein shakes. Nearly all the diets I’m interested in are pushing good quality Real Food. where my geek brain loves things with product labels and ready to eatness. That will be an interesting transition.

Fasting, day 2 – scale and non-scale victories

I’m closing in on the first 48 hours of a fast, and I feel pretty good. I stayed up far too late last night, and only got five hours sleep even with no alarm, but I had 90 minutes of deep sleep, which is what I tend to get most nights.

I hadn’t weighed since the doctor earlier this week, when I was 490.8. It seems to weigh me a bit lighter than my home scale; both gave me the same weight, but I weigh undressed at home. Which is good in a way – if I can trust that both are roughly the same number, I don’t get surprised at the doctor.

This morning, I weighed 478.6. Psychologically, it’s a big boost: I haven’t seen the 470s in months. I know that’s a lot of water weight. I’m staying hydrated, so I’m okay with that.

I’m planning to get a glucose meter today. I’m prediabetic, right on the border of diabetic. But even if i weren’t, those urging a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting encourage using blood metering.  After my conversation with Vinnie it was clear I need professional help, and the professional in question is a proponent of intermittent and lengthier fasting.

I’ve noticed less pain in my joints and muscles. I have more mobility in my neck at the moment, which I hadn’t expected. I’d say my first fast has been a success so far, and not just on the scale.

Fasting

After I had lunch yesterday, I decided to try an intermittent fast as recommended in Dr. Fung’s book. I ate around 5pm, so I’m currently about 30 hours in. His approach isn’t water-only – bone broth is okay, as is a small amount of milk or cream in coffee or tea. I’ve watched a bunch of videos about water-only fasting, and results from YouTubers have been very mixed. Dr. Fung recommends only supervised fasts longer than a day and a half, but he routinely has patients doing multi-week fasts.  apparently the effectiveness compounds the longer you can go; one 450 pound man in Scotland fasted for over 380 days back in the 1970s, and finished at around 180 pounds. I don’t plan to go that hardcore, but trying longer fasts of 5-7 days could be in my future.

Around 2pm today I had some pretty nasty diarrhea, but that’s the only negative I’ve really noticed. I feel a little less pain in the joints, and I’m walking a bit easier.

Book club

I finished Dr. Fung’s The Obesity Code this evening. A good read – I’ll need to read it again, but I got the basics down.

Next on the reading list: Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes.

Obesity Code

I’m working my way in earnest through Dr. Fung’s The Obesity Code. I just reached the portion where he recommends intermittent and longer-term fasting to reduce insulin resistance.

It spurred a memory. When I moved states years ago, I remember not eating for several days. What I found interesting is how good I felt on day 4.  I mentioned it to my brother, who helped me move; he responded that it was crazy, and not healthy.  If only I knew then what I’m learning now.  I was shocked by how good I felt, how much energy I had. I certainly had enough fat stores then, as now.

I met with my doctor today. She went over my blood work. Cholesterol levels were good – under 200 total, with 87 HDL, which was deemed excellent. Blood pressure was low,93/62.  One of my drugs is a blood pressure reducer. I need to bring that up with the cardiologist. my heart rate was in the mid 80s. My A1C was 6.0, which she said was borderline diabetic. I’d had a UTI at the time; she said it was likely the excess sugar.

My doctor is all for an insulin resistance reducing approach. I forgot to bring the forms for connecting with Dr. Fung’s clinic; my intent is to give it a try on my own the next three months, and see where I am then. Apply what I’m learning.

I’ve been NSNG since I talked with Vinnie. Not 100% Vinnie-approved (I’ve had some quest bars and protein shakes) but no snack cakes, candy at work, wednesday bagels or donuts. It’s an improvement.

Tough Love

I was approached a few weeks ago about talking with Vinnie on his podcast, and it happened today. I don’t know when it will air. When I approached with a question, I was coming off a good seven days of full NSNG, but as of today I’ve been struggling for several weeks. Continue reading “Tough Love”