Extended Fasting – 4 Day Fast

(aka: I continue to experiment on me)

So this week I tried extended fasting. I did a 4 day fast. Here’s how it went weight-wise:

Day 1 weight: 228.5

Day 2 weight: 223.5

Day 3 weight: 220.5

Day 4 weight: 219.5

On day 4 I broke my fast and ate a very reasonable dinner of beef kabobs, asparagus, caprese salad, with some nuts and cheese as an early appetizer (to break my fast slowly) and a square of 85% chocolate for dessert. I expected to gain back some weight as I went off the fast and my liver re-started glycogenesis and began storing more water for it.

Day 5 weight: 219.5.

Didn’t regain. Yet.

It wasn’t impossible, I just didn’t eat after dinner Sunday until dinner on Thursday. I was promised all sorts of things about how the fasting experience would go and those were mostly lies.

  1. They say that after day 2 the hunger goes away. NO.
  2. They say that after day 2 as your brain transitions to running on ketones you get amazing mental clarity and focus. NO.
  3. They say you get tons of energy as your body starts pumping up adrenaline and growth hormone. NO.

Basically, I didn’t get any of the benefits that are promised from extended fasting, other than weight loss. And I still expect that I will gain back a bit of that.

I eagerly awaited the loss of hunger and increase in mental clarity I’ve been assured would kick in on day 3, however day 3 was the WORST hunger yet – late in the day I felt weak and shaky, and day 4 was also bad for hunger, to the point where what I’d intended to be a 5 day fast was cut short. This being my first attempt at extended fasting I didn’t really know how long I’d last, so aiming for a 5-day fast was pretty arbitrary. I will say I noticed a slight increase in mental focus – on food.

So, IDK if all those promises about hunger going away and mental clarity are just pretty lies ginned up to get people to give it a try, or if for people with normal metabolisms (mine is NOT) that actually happens, but it sure as hell didn’t happen for me.

During the fast I consumed water, coffee, tea, cider vinegar sodas (soda water plus cider vinegar and a pinch of salt), and bone broth (only on days 3 and 4 when I finally got it made…hmmm, wonder if that was actually contributing to my hunger instead of helping?)

I’m pleased with the loss, but I recognize it may have been largely water. I am not sure if I will try it again. If you are feeling the urge to come into the comments and freak out on me about fasting please go read about it first, because there is tons of literature about it and it’s not dangerous for otherwise healthy overweight people – quite the opposite. Further updates as events warrant.

(More) Stuff That Doesn’t Work

Here I am, back for another episode of “Shit That Doesn’t Work For Me.” Since I have the most recalcitrant body I am aware of (due to years of low-cal, low-fat dieting – learn from my fail!) I have more things on my list of “shit that don’t work” than anybody I know. This week’s installment: Intermittent Fasting.

Tried that, along with a low-carb diet. I tried 24-hour fasts 2-3 days a week and got no results, so I thought I’d give “eating once a day” a try, so basically for two weeks I ate once a day at dinner time. It was hard, but I managed because I thought it would work for me.

The first week I lost 6 pounds!

The second week I gained one of them back!

FML.

So we’ll just add that to the list of things that don’t work. No fucking way I’m doing that ANOTHER week only to find I’ve gained again. It’s too hard to do, to be seeing a gain already.

I’m trying something new this week. I’m not ready to talk about it, but give me a few weeks and I may be back with another installment of shit that doesn’t work. Or maybe I’ll have finally found the thing that works for me. All I know is I can’t stay where I am right now. In any case, please don’t invite me to do food-based socializing for a while, while I sort this out.

The new reality

Down half a pound this week, which is basically within the margin of error and/or negligible. So this is my new weight, I guess. After gaining 9 pounds in a week last time, I’ve basically come to a conclusion:

I don’t know shit about weight management.

The longer I’ve been working at this (and we’re up to, uh, about 15 years now?) the less I seem to know. The things that worked initially no longer work for me, and the things I used to do I can’t anymore. So I don’t bloody know.

Laurie made a point last week that is, maybe, a ray of light. She pointed out that I completely changed my way of eating, and didn’t gain anything. Which, if you factor out the weight-suppressing medicine I was on for the last four months, it’s true – my weight now and the weight I was at prior to starting (then stopping 2 weeks ago) that drug is exactly the same (maybe down half a pound). So in the end, the Obesity Code rules are at least helping me to eat in a way that I enjoy more and feels less deprived, which on its own is a good change in my life. Regardless of my body and it’s ongoing lifelong constant rebellion against my brain and what I want.

The eleven pounds I thought I had lost following the OC program were actually due to the medication I was on. That’s been quite a blow, as I thought I had found something that worked for me, finally. I had, it just wasn’t what I thought it was, and it’s something I can’t do long-term (take a drug that causes me more migraines). I don’t want to talk about weight and diet right now.

That’s a First!

Guys, I want to tell you something but I want to make sure you’re sitting down first, and also that you don’t freak out but instead just laugh like I am. I had my weekly weigh-in this morning. Are you ready?

I gained 9 pounds this week.

RIGHT?!

That’s crazy! How is that even possible? How much of Cake Mountain did I shovel into my face to make that happen?!

It’s definitely a record! In my life, I’ve never gained 9 pounds in a single week, and honestly there’s just no math that makes it a feasible result. I have changed NOTHING in how I ate this week vs the last 3 or 4 months. Nothing.Yes we had a three-day-weekend but I didn’t go on a full-scale cheesecake rebellion or anything. I didn’t do anything different.

I got off the scale and got back on again a time or two just to double-check and yes, I have indeed gained 9 pounds this week.

You know what changed? I went off a medication I’d been on for a while. That’s the only change in my life, and the reason was to reduce migraines – the medication was causing migraines that I couldn’t stop with my Rx medications for them.

You know what else? This completely vindicates the basic premise of the Obesity Code book: it’s not about calories in vs calories out, it’s about chemistry and hormones. I drastically changed my chemistry this week and my body reacted boldly and swiftly.

Wow. I have no idea what’s next. I have no idea if my body will settle back down or this is my new weight now.

Forgot to post last week!

Sorry, I forgot to get this up last week. I was down a pound last week at Wednesday morning weigh-in. This is amazing! I wasn’t dieting or trying to lose weight, I actually felt like maybe I was over-eating a little bit last week (although some of that may just be my instincts from over a decade of depriving myself on typical diet-industry programs). I considering this a normal fluctuation, btw, of maintenance. And I am delighted!

I’m trying to figure out what to call what I do now, usually I just say, “The thing,” or “the program,” or “obesity code protocol,” but a quick snappy name would be helpful. It’s close to Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) although honestly I don’t think that’s quite right either because I don’t count any of the macronutrients (carbs, fat, or protein). I just eat healthy food and no processed anything. I’m going to post later this week a more in-depth look at what I’m actually eating, so if you’re curious what the nuts and bolts of it are, that will get its own write-up in the coming days.

How Dare I?

I maintained this week. I expected a huge gain, like 4 pounds, but I was exactly the same. The reason I expected a gain is because I wasn’t counting calories and exercising to exhaustion every day, which my previous 14 years of experience had led me to believe is the only way to not gain. My new world is exciting and delightful.

I had two “cheat days” last week, because Saturday one of my best friends got married and I ate whatever I wanted, including two pieces of cake – with lots of frosting (OMG I LOVE FROSTING). But no gain.

I eat so much now that I start thinking I should cut back. One of my biggest pleasures, that was denied to me for so many years of my life, is nuts. I may have a pistachio problem. I eat pistachios like candy, piles of them. The sorts of volume that I would have trembled in fear at just 6 months ago. They, clearly, are not a problem for me following the new method. I don’t even fast much, I skip breakfast a couple of days a week and that’s about it.

What all this tells me is that if I did decide I wanted to drop some pounds it would be easy because I currently feel the opposite of deprived. I feel so satisfied, so sated, that sometimes I think maybe I’m abusing my privilege, or getting away with something naughty, by eating so deliciously. How dare I enjoy my meals and eating experience so much without gaining weight and beating myself up mentally? How dare I be so happy when there are starving dieters in America?

And yet here I sit, perfectly happy with my body, not willing to cut back to drop some pounds because I love myself just the way that I am. What the hell, seriously, HOW DARE I?

Temporary Setback – Happy Anyway

I was up a pound and a half this week. This was not a surprise, honestly I was surprised it wasn’t more, considering how I ate last week. That’s the thing about the term “cheat day.” It’s not plural! Ha!

It’s already coming back down though, as I expected, and I’m not concerned by it. *shrug* Some weeks are just more celebratory than others. Yes – that’s the word I am going with – celebratory!

I have decided to modify my “no snacks” rule, because I have been getting migraines almost every day for over two weeks recently. A couple of days ago I realized that the 7 hours between lunch and dinner are usually when those start. So I’ve started having a small snack – usually a piece of fruit and some nuts – about halfway through the afternoon stretch. No migraines the last two days. So that may be a thing I need to do to keep my head out of the migraine trap. I will continue to monitor to see if this causes my body a problem on the scale.

Regardless, my gain this week hasn’t thrown me down the depression hole, weirdly, and I can only say that the thing I noticed last week – where I don’t feel deprived so I don’t feel resentful about my life so I don’t get mad when I don’t see a loss – seems to be holding. This feels pretty amazing after over a decade of feeling resentful about my restrictions and getting pissed off about my body not doing what I want when I was trying so hard and giving up so much. Giving up sugar and flour have been easy for me. Getting back healthy fats has made it completely worth it.

Oh – one more thing. I’ve modified my workouts at bit since I became a convert of The Obesity Code. I’m not killing myself anymore. I do yoga, I go for walks, I lift a bit. But I’m not killing myself with high-intensity, hardcore, feel-like-I’m-dying workouts every day anymore because why should I? I’m getting great results without doing those things. Some days my schedule means I can’t fit in a workout and I don’t beat myself up about it now. I used to think exercise was 20% of weight management (and food/intake was 80%). I now agree with the book that exercise is about 5%, and my recent modification to my regimen seems to bear that out. Exercise is a “nice to do” for me now, not a “beat myself up & feel bad if I don’t” activity. Since I’m not planning on doing a body-building or weight-lifting contest anytime ever, this is fine for me.