post fast

I ended my fast the afternoon of day 7. It was moving day at work, and I burned a lot of calories throughout the week, moving stuff from my old cube to my new and to the recycle piles,  My tank hit empty by around 3p Thursday. Honey had sent me with eggs, bacon, and other keto-friendly snacks. I added avocado mayo to make some rudimentary egg “salad” that was gloriously fatty. I drank one last soda I had in the fridge, which in hindsight I wouldn’t have done. Before I left my cube for the weekend I also ate the snack size snickers that had sat there for days. Once the sugar beat gets fed, it’s hard to stop. But I steered clear of the vending machine, and I ate heartily enough on eggs and bacon to make me full the rest of the day.

I continued to eat fat/protein on Friday, though probably too much protein. epic bars, jerky, bacon, parmesan crisps.  I intermittent fasted until after noon. Ditto on Saturday, when we went to Rasselbock biergarten and I kept it keto, eating sausage, sauerkraut and purple cabbage, and eggs. the evening I had some chili we’d had in the freezer for a few months.

I woke up today feeling horrid. I ended up going back to sleep and woke up at 8pm, feeling much better.  My system has been clearing itself out.  I decided when I woke this morning that I’d be fasting today, so I’m more than 24 hours in. my morning blood sugar wasn’t bad – 101.

I’d hit a low of 453 on Thursday (25 pounds down from start). I gained 5 when I weighed in friday, and another pound on Saturday. I didn’t weigh today. But, I did a lot of pooping today, so I’m curious to see what the scale says Monday.

My next group session is Tuesday morning.

IDM Fast #1, Day 7

The Fung Fast continues.

Weight: 453

Blood: 89 (11:30a)

I continued the day like the others, ending with a keto creamcicle (ACV, psyllium, MCT oil, water, shake well) with my evening drugs. Went to bed too late, and woke before the alarm yet again.

Had a doctor appointment at 8:30a. Got my results from last bloodwork, and good news: a1c was 5.7, barely above the prediabetic threshold. blood sugars were 100, one point above the normal range. cholesterol was 199, one point below the elevated range. good cholesterol was excellent, and the VLDL was low, so most of the “bad” cholesterol was the happy fluffy kind. All in all, I can’t complain, but there is progress yet to make. Will be happy to drop out of prediabetic range.

It’s possible I’ll end the fast today. It’s moving day at work, and I’m one of the lucky few changing floors. Honey packed me a keto-friendly lunch. My brother is coming to town this weekend, so I expect I’ll be eating at least one meal with him. I want to get off on a good foot.

This has been a good fast. It’s possible I’ll continue, but I’m taking it a day at a time. If the fatigue continues, I’ll probably have to eat.

Fasting and healing

One of the things I’ve read about the NSNG, LCHF, Keto, and fasting protocols is that it can have unexpected effects.

  • Scars fade
  • skin tags fall off
  • “healing crises” that stress the body as it completes the healing process of old injuries or illnesses. This can lead to brief – 1-5 hour – outbreaks of rashes, stuffy nose, runny nose, pain in old injury sites – that feel better than ever once the crisis passes. This is particularly true on longer fasts.
  • odd signs of detoxification (crud expelled through the skin – boils, isolated acne)
  • inflammation decreases, reducing joint and muscle pain, easing breathing, possibly eliminating sleep apnea.
  • eliminate “brain fog”
  • reduce symptoms of ADHD
  • The ‘whoosh’ – a brief plateau as fat is burned off but the fat cells are briefly filled with water, but then one day: “whoosh” and you lose a lot at once when the fat cells give up and die. I’ve had days when I’ve lost 5+ pounds just from peeing out extra water. Sometimes several in a row. Then, it slows down, then I get another one.
  • via autophagy, the body consumes not just fat, but lean mass, particularly skin.  I haven’t lost enough yet for a direct comparison to past low-weight looks, but Marie insists that the weight I’ve lost through fasting has not resulted in loose skin the way past efforts (“medical fasts” of 600+ calories a day, intense exercise) did. I’ve noticed less of a shar-pei effect on my legs this time around, which I’m happy about. Dr. Fung says he’s never had to refer anyone for skin surgery. I’m not anticipating NO loose skin, but if what I’m left with is not a health risk, I’ll be thrilled.  Those who lost a ton of weight but also did a body transformation (gained muscle mass, fat in low range)  had an amount of loose skin I could happily live with.

I’m still in the early stages, but I have seen some scars I’ve had for years start to fade. I have some pretty prominent skin tags, and some much smaller ones. I haven’t noticed any fall off yet, but I’m seeing deflation of the larger ones. I’ve had boils burst twice when going to the bathroom, on a fat pouch above my groin, spewing blood and pus tidily into the toilet. I never knew they were there until they were gone. Freaked me out the first time. Now I almost hope for them.

It all sounds too good to be true, but honestly, even with my seven day fasts I’ve experienced some amazing beneficial effects.  One of the most welcome is the reduction in cravings. I’ve been around foood and junk food all week, but I can look at it with curiosity rather than desire.  I found a Snickers bar when setting up my new desk a few days ago; it’s still there. Before I started fasting, I would have laughed at the idea that a candy bar could last more than a few minutes around me – I could buy 30 dollars or more of junk food, enough to last weeks for most people, and polish it off in a day. Now, I don’t want to. Yes, I can remember the nice taste of that first bite, but I don’t feel the need to experience it. Tempted? yes. Beyond my ability to resist? Nope. That’s a miracle.

I’m not pushing fasting as a miracle cure, though; it’s pretty scientifically based. leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol – they influence behavior. Fasting is designed to burn off excess insulin and over time reduce the default level of insulin, reducing the body’s setpoint, allowing good metabolism rather than fighting against metabolism. The damage caused by redlining the insulin production for decades will take time to heal. Fasting helps accellerate the healing. Growth hormone production, autophagy, reducing the overall amount of work the body must do, lessening the load on the heart, liver and other organs, killing off bad gut bacteria.

My church recommends a 24 hour “dry” fast every month, which is more intense than a water fast – the equivalent of a three day fast. Done faithfully, it is literally rejuvenating, producing growth hormone, giving many body systems a rest, and encouraging autophagy. may explain why so many older Mormons look an feel so young.

IDM Fast #1, Day 6

Blood Sugar (2:12p): 78 (seriously?!)

Weight: 456 lbs (high reading on scale), -22 lbs

How I feel: I get cold easier. I am easily fatigued when walking, but out-of-breathness continues to decline. Woke before alarm again. Still swelling in legs (wrapped both today) but not warm to the touch and sores scabbing over. Hunger level low, but temptations remain. Not planning my first meal yet, but preparing for doctor appointment tomorrow, if they draw blood. Last time they did so I got light headed and had to eat, but ate all the wrong things. If I must, would like to eat enough to recover, but then resume the fast.  Continue reading “IDM Fast #1, Day 6”

IDM Fast #1, Day 5

Weight: 458

Waist: 72

Blood Glucose (11:15am): 102

The fast continues. I am fat fasting – one tablespoon of MCT oil taken with my morning and evening drugs. I’ve also been adding apple cider vinegar to water before bed and right after waking. I added psyllium husk yesterday; it’s flavored, and has a tiny bit of sugar, so I may need to get another brand. Adding ACV, orange flavored fiber, and a bit of fat to the water makes for a surprisingly tasty drink.

I slept deeply but awoke several times, and my dream were odd and vivid. I felt creaky on waking, but I again woke before the alarm, and after showering felt pretty good. Still some swelling and spongy skin in the lower legs, but it’s  much reduced from last week.

The scale had me down 20 pounds from Friday. Inflammation is down; walking is easier. I did more walking than usual yesterday with cubicle decluttering and moving. Not having a fridge at my desk anymore may be a blessing – I’ll have to walk more for my water and any other perishable food I bring.

It’s a bit odd to consider that not eating for days at a time does more to make me feel normal and healthy, with more of my brain at my disposal, than does eating. But, as a caloric millionaire, it feels good to spend the wealth rather than hoard it.

Tomorrow morning is my first group session with IDM. I’m very curious.

IDM Fast #1, Day 4

Twelve hours into day four.  I woke before the alarm, not feeling that groggy. Tying my shoes is getting easier.

Had my lowest morning blood sugar reading of the fast: 98. Yesterday was 105, but at the start I was in the 120s. Good news.

Weight at 7am was 464, fourteen pounds lower than the first morning of the fast (about 12 hours in).

Mental clarity improved. Inflammation is down, particularly cardiovascular.  I was breathing hard and sweating on Friday with short walks; I’m still fatiguing quickly, but the breathing is more steady, and I’m recovering faster.  Muscles are less cramped, and the ache in my left knee is reduced.

Food cravings remain, but are not as severe. The “no, not right now” voice is holding its own.

Feeling pretty good overall.  Feeling optimistic about maintaining the fast through to Thursday. I have been having herbal tea, and have taken MCT and olive oil shots a couple of times, but I’m not relying on them. Will probably have bone broth today.

First IDM fast

So far, so good on my first fast after signing up with IDM.

My last food was Thursday at 10 pm.  Thursday was such a carb- and sugar-fueled food day, my wife said I smelled like a marshmallow at bedtime. Friday I drank a lot of water, sucked on Himalayan salt, and the only calories I consumed were shots of MCT oil and olive oil, three in all. Total for the day was maybe 400 calories, all fat.

Continue reading “First IDM fast”

Going for Broke

The passage of time between posts may make the update less surprising. My average weight has been slowly creeping back up, as have the peaks and valleys. I’ve done some intermittent fasts the last few months, but my eating has been largely haphazard, with a lot of junk food.

My weight this morning: 478. Really don’t want to see the 480s again, which I haven’t in months.

When we got back from vacation I was in the high 450s. the first couple of weeks after that I was in the 460s. this last week, the 470s. Yesterday I went bonkers at 7-11 and bought a crap-ton of junk food, and ate nearly all of it. Thousands of calories.

I have a new doctor appointment next week, and would like to show a bit of progress, so I decided last night that the next fast started then. So far I’m good – I did do a shot each of MCT and olive oil before noon – but pure fat is okay on the Fung-style fasts. My goal for today is no carbs, no protein.

I decided to sign up with the source, and enrolled in Dr. Fung’s Intensive Dietary Management long distance program. I’d been told last time I checked that they had a long waiting list, but when I had my initial consultation this week I was told they have more people on staff and can take me immediately. Today was the orientation conference call, more than six hours worth (with breaks) with Megan, the program director.  I’ll be working directly with Dr. Nadia.

Fasting is one of those topics that you can find a lot of information (and misinformation) for online.  I’ve decided to put my trust in the Fung method, which strikes me as the most medical, moderate, and personalized. His approach is flexible, and adaptable to your circumstances from week to week, month to month, even hour to hour.

I was pleased with the level of detail, which was even more nuts and bolts than Fung’s book, The Complete Guide to Fasting. she got specific about types of foods (all sugars are bad; starches are perilous; fiber is your friend; fat is your new lover).  bacon and eggs are nature’s perfect fat foods – moderate protein, lots of good fat, very little carb. get friendly with apple cider vinegar, psyllium husks, chia seeds, flax seeds, coffee grinders, soda streams, La Croix waters, bulletproof coffee and tea, and learn to make your own bone broth in bulk. (gourmet jarred broth with no preservatives or sweeteners may be okay; check the label).

Megan suggesteed that the fun start Monday, but I think I need a head start. I’ve got enough surplus calories from yesterday to burn through today without eating, and then I’ll have two weekend days to deal with the keto flu. Monday would be day 4, when the fast starts to feel fun.

I gave Megan my brief stats and she suggested I give a longer fast a try. I’ve done 7 days, so try 14 or 21 day. The clinic record is apparently 31, but a few clients want to try for 40 days (good enough for Jesus…) and I wouldn’t mind trying to get there. I’m not diabetic so I’m not on insulin, which makes a longer fast easier. my blood sugars are elevated but not insane (under 130 most of the time). Megan did mention the other-than-weight benefits of fasting; she was one of Dr. Fung’s first guinea pigs, and lost 80 pounds over six months or so.  she mentioned other illnesses she’s had, including osteoporosis that longer fasts (she’s done 14 days three times) have been helping to heal.  Human growth hormone, stem cells, autophagy may not be miracle drugs, but fasting ramps up their production to your benefit.

So, I’m feeling like I got a shot of determination. I usually respond well to regular feedback and support, at least at first. If I get six solid consistent months out of it – I paid for twelve – I imagine I’ll see some good progress, and not just on the scale. The inflammation, joint pain, brain fog, leg swelling should all see an improvement. I look forward to testing my limits.