(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.
- They say that after day 2 the hunger goes away. NO.
- They say that after day 2 as your brain transitions to running on ketones you get amazing mental clarity and focus. NO.
- 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.