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June 20, 2019


As you probably know, because I never shut up about it, I went 27 1/2 days on an almost pure fast, no calories. The "almost" part is there because after my doctor scared me and told me to go off the fast, due to mild dehydration, I started breaking it with some bone broth and olives on day 23.

Then I decided I was wrong to break it and continued it, though after that, I did have two cups of bone broth a day to make sure I got my electrolytes in. Two cups of bone broth together are 80 calories. I bent the fast a little, but I don't think I really broke it.

The only other calories I've had were from sugar-free Metamucil every two or three days -- apparently 20-40 calories a serving. Soluble fiber, I think, while not digestible by your own processes, gets digested by your intestinal flora into butyrane and other short-chain fatty acids, which then enter your blood stream as actual nutrition.

Anyway, so, those small number of calories aside, no calories for 23 days, then 80 calories per day for the last four days.

I've had a few bad days -- I got dehydrated last Thursday and Friday -- and I've had the occasional... GI problems, but only occasionally and pretty lightly.

But some of the days I felt, no exaggeration the best I've felt that I can remember. Some days I've had very high energy and great optimism and a feeling of well-being. (I think that depression is pretty much just low energy, and good feelings and optimism are just high energy. At least for me, it works out that simply.)

A big problem I had is that, because I'd been drinking so much, and peeing so damn much, I keep waking up in the night, sometimes twice, to pee. So my sleep wasn't great most days.

Hunger almost entirely went away on day seven or eight, so it got super-easy, barely an inconvenience past that point.

Hunger would come back occasionally, but usually only due to stimulus, like someone eating in front of me. And not very ravenously.

Most of the time I could watch recipe/cooking videos now without torturing myself.

At some point, I wanted to eat not because I was actually hungry or felt that I needed to eat, but because I was bored of not eating, if that makes sense.

Eating is a pretty major sensory stimulus -- I would say it's the most sensuous experience people routinely have, outside of sex -- and you do start to miss it.

My weight dropped from 181 to 161, from 23.5% body fat to 19.1%. Since then, I held pretty stable at 163, but the last couple of days, the scale says I gained four more pounds back.

Not sure why because I've been doing One Meal A Day (OMAD) many days, and Nearly One Mean a Day (NOMAD -- copyright me, just one main meal plus some olives or something light an hour later) most days.

Gaining four pounds in two or three days is a lot of regain, so I think that maybe that's a lot of water weight I should have regained earlier but didn't. I stopped making a point to drink lots of liquids the moment I ended the fast, so maybe I just got dehydrated post-fast, or kept the mild case of dehydration going.

I had quite a headache for four days running so maybe that's confirmation that I was dehydrated, and maybe the regain is due to my trying to drink a lot of fluids since then.

I have not yet returned to weightlifting or martial arts, because I'm very lazy. I really have to get back to that.

Overall, it was a good experience. I felt pretty good most days -- some days I felt really good. I didn't make it quite to my main goal of 28 days, and not to my extended goals of 31, 35, or 40 days, but maybe next time.

I would definitely not recommend a long fast like that to anyone; it's something you build up to, like a skill. You need to get good at fasting, and get your body accomodated it, starting with just going 16 hours without any food, then 20, then 24, then 36 (a full day, plus that night), then two days, then three days, then four, then five. Shorter fasts to just get acclimated to it, and develop the needed knowledge base (like how much salt you, personally, need to supplement per day).

Once you're up to five days you can go for seven, and then after seven, you can probably go as long as you like, but I wouldn't recommend going too far in early days.

In fact, I wouldn't suggest that anyone who hasn't been fasting for short periods of time on and off for a year ever try more than five days, because at the five day point, refeeding syndrome becomes a possibility, which could result in hospitalization or death if you shock your system with too much food too quickly.

So, I did that, and sort of can't wait to go again in August, maybe. I was knocking on the door of being actually fit, and didn't quite get there. (I had/have sort of loose and pock-marked skin in my belly, due to fat being sucked out of there.)

I'm thinking just keep to keto and intermittent fasting for a couple of months, then see if I can get to the most stubborn and oldest fat I have on my body, the stuff I've had since I was 11.

This isn't just about weight loss, though excess weight is connected to a lot of chronic conditions. It's also about my fasting glucose levels being too high -- hanging right around 100, which is considered the starting point of being "prediabetic," and wanting to drop that to about 90. (It was down in the high fifties during the fast, but then, of course it was.)

I'm still being insulin resistant and therefore very sensitive to carbohydrates. Supposedly one can, over time, reverse these conditions, or at least lessen them.

So: Tell me about YO GAINZZZ.

Oh, and also: Open thread. GAINZZZ talk is invited, but you can talk about whatever you like.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 07:30 PM

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