Author Topic: 5 Day fast next week; 15 day fast started today!  (Read 4777 times)

infromsea

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Thanks for this thread. I honestly had no idea that I, a few weeks ago, had started intermittent fasting. I just thought of it as "I no longer choose to eat breakfast". I had started while on a trip in October, to save money. I'd stuff myself full at the free hotel breakfast just before they shut it down for the morning, go walk around all day, have an early dinner, then go walk around some more. Very unscientific. Thought it would be miserable, though, and it totally wasn't. So when I got home I decided to keep going. I figured out that the easiest meal for me to skip would be breakfast, so I just cut that out of my day on all weekdays. It's been painless. I used to get hunger pains from not eating if I skipped a meal, but that hasn't happened at all. I also thought that it would be rough to start my day with a bike ride (short - 2.5 miles) on an empty stomach, but that's been really easy too.

I do drink tea with a splash of half and half in it in the mornings after I get to work, but those are my only calories until about noon. And it's fueled in part by the fact that I've found myself getting thirstier, not hungrier, by skipping breakfast.

Now that you've provided some resources about the science behind all of this, I may start trying to do it "more scientifically". I've already been trying to cut out eating after a certain point to make my fasting period a bit longer.

As for what's kept me going, I do feel better overall. I have plenty of energy, haven't noticed any decrease in my work, etc. I have been a bit colder, however, especially before eating. It's weird for me because I usually run a bit hotter than most people, if my cold tolerance is any indication. And despite my mental clarity, I've been doing stuff like making more spelling mistakes when I type. They get corrected, I see them, but my fingers don't seem to want to work as well sometimes. Not sure if that will go away?

I don't see myself doing a longer fast anytime soon. This might seem like a cop-out, but I have a little one and it's easier to get her to eat (which she needs to, she's so skinny) when I eat with her. So I might go further and skip lunch a few days, but I'll definitely be eating dinner when I'm with the kiddo. Hard to say, "Eat your dinner, it's good for you," when Mommy's not eating.
Thanks for joining the discussion!

Honestly, this thread is what's keeping my wife from choking me out. I'm passionate about this subject but JUST HAVE NOT found anyone in meatspace to discuss it with. She talks it out with me but once she's got the gist of it (and she knows I've done the research on the science and trusts me) she's ready for me to provide some guidance and let her be!

I can't believe you started out by skipping breakfast, it's the most healthy meal of the day! (SNARK!)

I find it interesting how we "come to" this knowledge from different directions, there is SUCH a barrier in modern society between it and the public. I'm not getting "tinfoil hat" here but the food companies spend a lot of money to convince us their fast/prepared/packaged/high sugar food is "just what we need". I've become sooo much more sensitive to this now. I walk through wal-mart and it's clear that society is straight up screwed, you can't walk six feet without sugar this or sugar that or junk this, junk that in your face, we  have a LOT to overcome. And, I'm not talking JUST about the food section, just getting in the door and heading to get an extension cord, you'll be exposed to a large amount of stuff you should not be putting in your body except on a very rare occasion.... I don't know if we, as a society, have any chance at good health in the greater portion of the population.

Being colder while fasting is normal, it's an indication of the thermo-dynamic effect of food. I'm 5'11" and 160 pounds, around 10% body fat. When I fast, my hands and feet FREEZE. My wife has similar results except her stomach gets very warm. Your results will vary based on your morphology/genetics etc. The good thing about this occurring is that it supports the idea that the body DOES have a set weight "range" (which can be "re-set" or adjusted via long term changes in diet) that it likes to maintain. If you eat the right portion of foods (high fat, low protein, low carb) the body will simply burn the fat, simply increasing body heat for a time, rather than storing that fat as weight (insulin makes us fat, not fat or increased calories unless there is another hormonal impact that we don't take into account). I've worn gloves in my office in July, your experience is not unusual.

In my experience, the mental mistakes will diminish over time as your acclimate to the change in meal periodicity and eventually (if you go long enough) convert to ketos, that's where I've seen leaps in mental clarity and energy. The motor skill control is also normal, I think it improves over time as well. My first five day fast, I was stumbling at times on day three, nothing major, just minor reactions, that seems to improve as you "practice". We've learned to be very aware of our mental state and not do the more important part of our jobs (balance the ledger etc.) if we are having any similar responses.

I totally understand your thought process on eating dinner, diet HAS to support living and  health number one, our desired level of activity/exercise number two, everything else is subordinated to the need to eat to stay alive and (hopefully) enjoy good health. We have a teen so it's easier to have her "do as we say" not as we do.

An intermittent fast from dinner to dinner should still be beneficial. Your insulin response should improve as you go those long periods without it's release in response to intake.

Take care!



infromsea

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- You mention fasting during the holidays, how long are you going to go for? I love the stomping alcohol and sugar intake goals. In my house, we struggle with sugar. Have you read any of the many books on that subject?

The book Fat Chance by Robert Lustig* was the final nail in the sugar coffin for me.  I had started to become conscious of all the hidden sugar in our diet through the various nutrition books and documentaries I'm been reading and watching.  However, this one finally put it all together for me.  He has a few Youtube videos that highlight the topic of the book.

That an the book Wheat Belly by William Davis** are the main reference books that motivated me to modify my diet.

It was never so much about weight for me, although I was starting to develop a rubber tire which is going away as i have lowered sugar and refined carbs intake.  I was mostly concerned about preventing chronic health issues like diabetes and heart disease because of family history.  I also wanted more energy to play with my kids but work and parental responsibilities crowded out time for sports and exercise.

It's taken a little over four years to cut out coffee, alcohol, eliminate/lower processed sugar, and significantly lower bread and other refined carbs from my diet.  At first it was a matter of will power which would cause me to fall of the wagon and start back up again.  But slowly it has become a lifestyle choice and I no longer have to exercise any will power to say no to cake at birthdays or have a drink at a bar when hanging out with friends.

Just last night my kids brought me some bubble tea that I initially said no thanks too.  Then I decided to have it to see how my body would react and see if the cravings came back.  Well I went to bed with an upset stomach and feeling groggy, probably because of the insulin spike from all the sugar.  So rather than fire up my craving for sugar it now makes me completely turned off.
*https://www.amazon.com/Fat-Chance-Beating-Against-Processed/dp/0142180432
**https://www.amazon.com/Wheat-Belly-Lose-Weight-Health/dp/1609614798

Lustiq is AMAZING! I agree with you, his youtube videos are a MUST watch!

I'll check out wheat belly. I've been VERY slow to come onboard the "wheat is bad" bus. I'm fully aware that white bread is bad, simple carbs are bad, sugar will kill you but wheat, that can't be bad for you right (I know that ANY carb and even protein cause insulin to be released and too much insulin causes weight gain, even in the presence of low calories, crazy stuff!). That didn't sway me from "a slice of wheat bread is GOOD for you"... I'm slowly changing my mind.

My biggest hurdle has been the need to support my cardio habit. I love to run, it's my drug. So, if you want to run, you have to consume carbs right? I've been playing with that for a few months now. Carb up on Sat, Sun long run is EASY. No carbs on Sat, Sun long run sucks! Keep carbs low all week, Thursday three miler is BRUTAL. So, I figured I'd up the carbs to support cardio. The problem is that I was eating high(ish) protein with it. The higher carbs and protein were both resulting in an insulin response, leading to feeling like crap more often that not (I've come to terms with this over the last few weeks).

I love how you mention you've been on a four year journey, that's awesome! What an example of "slow and steady wins the race" in this day and age of "I want change NOW, give me a pill!".

I've been following a similar long-term path since 07 when I began to climb out of a life/work stress hole I dug for myself from 2005-2007. I was at 207 pounds when I moved to a new command and began my climb.

I agree that, over time, you don't need to use will power to ignore the food others are eating, I am now "that guy" that co-workers know not to offer a bagel, a cupcake, a (insert whatever they are stuffing in their faces today...). And you know what, if I come off and rude, I don't care. My health is FAR more important than my desire to fit in (comes with age/experience I guess).

As a family, we are no/low sugar until spouse does her "baking weekend" weekend after next. Experience tells me that it's gonna be ugly around here when she starts baking for gift giving (family tradition) and I start playing my "role" of "dad who sneaks through the kitchen to steal samples". Like you, I've found that our family treat of a bowl of ice cream on Sunday night results in a restless night of tossing and turning and just general lethargy the next day. I'd agree that your bubble tea response is likely due to insulin response if it contains sugar (I'm not familiar with it...).

We've trained our bodies to run on little/no glucose (sugar/carbs/protein converted to fuel) and when we "dump it in" we pay for it.

So, do you have any further rungs on your "ladder of health" to climb?




infromsea

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That an the book Wheat Belly by William Davis** are the main reference books that motivated me to modify my diet.

I just grabbed wheat belly and the wheat belly cookbook from my online library.

I've been a hypocrite.

I am fully willing to argue that "common sense" doesn't matter when it comes to meal timing (you DON'T have to eat on a set schedule, you DON'T have to have carbs within 30 minutes of a workout to keep muscle and so on...) yet I've been unwilling to allow (in my mind) for ANY truth to the idea that ALL grains could have a negative impact on SOME of us. I won't argue that anything we do to support diet and health will work for EVERYONE, we are too complex of an organism for that. That's why I love Jimmy Moore's concept of N=1, self experiment is KING!

So, I'm going to work through these with an open mind, it's just that DAMN I LOVE wheat bread/pancakes/waffles etc.

Have you been using almond/coconut flours at all? Any indication that we can "overdo" those flours/grain alternatives?

I'll report back after I burn through these (and probably before....).


Cottonswab

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19 hours into my fast and still going strong.  I am currently thinking of changing my fasting goal to a weight focused goal, rather than a time based goal. 

I have a rock climbing trip coming up on December 17, and I want to get to a target weight of 80kg (from 84kg).  So, I will probably try to maintain my fast until I weigh 80kg or less. 

infromsea

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19 hours into my fast and still going strong.  I am currently thinking of changing my fasting goal to a weight focused goal, rather than a time based goal. 
I have a rock climbing trip coming up on December 17, and I want to get to a target weight of 80kg (from 84kg).  So, I will probably try to maintain my fast until I weigh 80kg or less.

Good luck!

Be aware though, you'll likely put some weight back on post fast.

For example, I started my last five day at 165 after 5 days of eating what I wanted (thanksgiving dinner, sweets, lots of beer).

Post fast I was at 155.

Since re-feeding starting last Saturday around 1400 we've been eating Keto. This morning I weighed in at 158.

Wife saw similar results, 10 pound loss, 4 pounds replaced post fast. I'll say replaced not gained as I believe it was water/electrolyte weight that we "replaced" rather than fat stores that were "gained".

I do recommend pickle juice while fasting, I'm doing some more research on it but I think it would have kept me from cramping during my fast (I exercised over the week).


Cottonswab

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Good luck!

Be aware though, you'll likely put some weight back on post fast.

Thanks.  I do realize that I will regain / replace some water weight.  I plan on sticking with a keto diet & not splurging, after the fast is ended, to minimize weight gain.  I typically proactively consume pinches of table salt, rather than drink pickle juice to maintain my electrolyte balance.  After my a few episode of hyponatremia on a keto diet, I also bought some special magnesium, potassium, and selenium supplements that I use when I start to experience specific symptoms.

In any case, I am now 29 hours in, making this officially the longest fasting period of my life thus far!  Thanks for the inspiration and support!

infromsea

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Good luck!

Be aware though, you'll likely put some weight back on post fast.
I typically proactively consume pinches of table salt, rather than drink pickle juice to maintain my electrolyte balance.  After my a few episode of hyponatremia on a keto diet, I also bought some special magnesium, potassium, and selenium supplements that I use when I start to experience specific symptoms.

Please share details! What were the symptoms? What supplements?

While fasting, if I lost all energy or had a headache, I drank salt water and would gradually feel better/lose the headache. I went to break my fast with a pickle and thought.... why not drink the juice while fasting...

Cottonswab

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Please share details! What were the symptoms? What supplements?

While fasting, if I lost all energy or had a headache, I drank salt water and would gradually feel better/lose the headache. I went to break my fast with a pickle and thought.... why not drink the juice while fasting...

Before I started consuming salt and other mineral supplements, the symptoms were dizzyness, lightheadness, muscle cramps, and heart palpitations.  So, I did some limited research, which linked these symptoms to not only sodium deficiency, but other common mineral difficiencies (potassium, magneisum, selenium, etc.).  So, as a result, I bought potassium, magneisum, selenium supplements to address specific symptoms.  I have been taking sodium, potassium, and magnesium supplements during my current fast. 

I am now 3 days into my fast.  My hunger pangs and cortisol levels have decreased, so I think it should be relatively easy to continue the fast from here on out.  So, I am currently targeting a 5-7 day fasting duration, regardless of weight.  I want to give myself at least 4 days to recover, before my upcoming climbing trip. 

infromsea

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I've had the lightheartedness, muscle cramps and some minor dizziness when fasting.

I grabbed some magnesium and am working on potassium maybe.

I eat brazil nuts daily for the selenium, I might grab a selenium supplement for the 15 day fast.

How are you feeling? Still hanging in there?




Cottonswab

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How are you feeling? Still hanging in there?

I am feeling good, but still have less energy / power than I did before fasting.  However, each day gets better as my keto adaptation improves.  I have fasted for 6 days, surpassed my weight loss target of 4 kg, and now and plan to start re-feeding soon. 

I will try to remain in ketosis and restrict calorie intake, at least until the beginning of my climbing trip.  If my strength and power improves, I may try to maintain ketosis throughout the trip.


infromsea

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Good luck on the climb.

I just put down the book(let) The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Volek and Phinney and let me say, I am officially a keto addict...

They had some advice for the keto athlete.

1. Routinely take 1-2 grams of sodium per day in the form of two bouillon cubes (or home-made broth). (Note, some bouillion cubes contain less than 1 gram sodium so be sure to check). On days that you exercise, take one dose of broth or bouillon 30 minutes before you work out.

2. 5-10 minutes before exercise drink 1-2 cups of water. This will overcome the contraction in blood plasma volume that occurs in the first  10-15 minutes of exercise, causing sluggishness etc. (I've personally experienced this, slow starts on runs followed by a period of high performance). In addition, a keto athlete will have less water "on board" due to the diuretic nature of the diet.

I have not been doing this as I don't want to have to stop and urinate on long runs, I'm going to try it (here in a few hours as a matter of fact) and see if the water isn't "used" by the body instead of requiring a pit stop, no big deal if it does.

3. Monitor potassium, bone broth is a great source, so are berries/nuts/seeds.

4. Cramps are likely due to low magnesium, you get it from meat that isn't overly processed and dark greens. If you are cramping, try slow release magnesium supplements (be careful if you have kidney problems!! Slow release magnesium can cause further damage).

5. Pay attention to zinc. Most get enough but some suffer from a lack. Symptoms include very dry skin (wait, I have this...) and recurrent skin warts like planters warts (wait... I have LOTS of those....). Looks like I'm going to be trying out a zinc supplement soon! (be careful with zinc supplements, authors recommend no more than 30 days at a time followed by a break of 30 days to ensure it doesn't affect absorption of other trace minerals like iron and copper).

I know you are fasting but you are essentially in a ketogenic state, so these tips should apply.

Armed with this info, I am going to continue to train without carbs. I've completed training runs up to 22 miles without eating prior to or after exercise (been doing that for 8 months or so) and no carb supplementation during the run (haven't had a gel pack in FOREVER!).

That supports the main idea in this book, carb burners (sugar burners!) have access to "about" 2,000 calories of glycogen while a keto-adapted athlete at 10% body fat has access to over 40,000 calories in fat, that's a BIG difference.

For me, fasting lead me to keto, keto is awesome. I am going to train with a lowcarb/keto regiment and NOT go back to the carb-loading stages, up to and for a 30 mile run coming up mid February. I will probably run that without eating before the run (usually do long runs fasted no less than 12 hours, sometimes up to 16) and I MAY do something silly like try and run it at the end of a five day fast, I've got a lot of time to prepare for something like that.

If you had more time to adjust/become even more keto-adjusted, I bet you could do the climb fasted, if you are over 10% body fat then you have the "fuel" you'll need onboard. If we are well hydrated and electrolytes are good, we have tremendous endurance ability if are body is tuned to run on fat instead of glycogen (the brain still needs some glycogen but the liver will make 100g of it every day, no matter your carb/fat/protein intake, it will make it from materials already onboard). I would say, you know yourself and what's hard and what's not hard, don't give in at the first small discomfort but don't push safety either.

Once again, good luck.

Oh, and by the way, YOU FREAKING ROCK! Six days of fasting, holy shit that feels good doesn't it!

(STAND BY FOR SARCASM)
You are CRAZY!
You CAN'T do that!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
You HAVE to eat six times a day to manage blood sugar!
YOU CAN'T GO MORE THAN 12 hours without eating or the body will EAT all of your muscle and you'll turn into a blob and lay on the floor and DIE!!!!
You CAN NOT be alive if you  have not eaten for six days, therefore you are a robot, did you know that? That you are a robot? That or an computer algorithm, holy shit, you are a touring test aren't you!!!!!
(OK, end sarcasm)

Seriously though, is there NOTHING in life that you can not accomplish after completing something like that???

Great job!

Oh, by the way, breaking the fast. I suggest a nice spinach salad HEAVY on the fats, then leave the kitchen for an hour or so, go do something. Then, have a nice meal when you feel like it.

Stay away from sugar/carbs, consuming them could cause you to start a NASTY binge as the do NOT satiate, they only make you hungrier (this has been my experience, your results could vary of course). I've found that after all fasts more than 3 days, it's best to break them slowly and with lots of fats. (which dovetails NICELY into eating keto).

Take care!

Tim

Cottonswab

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I broke my fast with b-vitamin complex supplement, Omega-3 supplment, liver, ground beef, leafy greens, olive oil, and butter.  It seemed to work well enough.  I had a bit of a head rush and felt a little bit more lethargic, during digestion.  However, I had no real problems with re-feeding.  I don't have any means to measure ketones, but I think I have managed to remain in Ketosis after refeeding.  However, it is hard to be sure. 

Honestly, it was hard for me to notice much benefit to fasting, beyond ketosis and weight loss.  I really have no way of directly measuring the effects of autophagy, which is one of the main reasons for my fasting experiment.  I currently plan to try a schedule of fasting 5-7 days per month for the next 3 months to see how it goes, but I have no plans for longer-term fasts.

From my past keto-adaptation experience, it takes about 3 weeks of being in ketosis for my endurance to start surpassing my previous levels of endurance.  I only have 10 days of keto-adaptation time prior to my climbing trip.  Hence the reason why I may need to break out of ketosis, to maximize performance / fun.

If you are a serious athlete, I would definitely recommending benchmarking your performance during the keto adaptation period, to see how long it takes.

I also recommending trying daily intermittent fasting (i.e., 16 hour fast period / 8 hour feeding period).  I generally eat two meals from 12:00 to 20:00.  My initial impression is that daily intermittent fasting is preferable to multi-day fasting for maintaining and building muscle.  I will probably drop the multi-day fasts, once I am no longer working an office job. 

Knaak

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I started daily IF last August after reading this thread and have continued it ever since.  I break my fast at 1pm and finish my last meal by 7pm.  I didn't want to lose weight (I'm 6'0" and was already in the 150lb range), but I did want to burn some body fat.  I ended up dropping about one percentage point.  Even though it didn't make much difference on body fat, I have been sticking with it because A) I love the simplicity of not having to worry about an extra meal and B) I've been able to go several hours longer without ever feeling hungry, which is great for traveling.

Thank you to those that are posting your results and giving book/website/podcast recommendations.  I haven't given IF much thought since it has been on auto-pilot for over a year, but I'm going to look into giving longer fasting windows a try.

I recommend that you go 4 weeks without any cheat days and then slowly re-introduce foods one-at-a-time.  After I did this personally, I gained a much better understanding of how different foods were negatively impacting my health.  Since then, I have avoided all grains (including beer), as it became clear that the damage being done to my body was really not worth it.  I no longer have any desire for these types of foods and drinks.

I second this recommendation, especially with energy drinks.  I used to drink a Monster each day and never had any ill-effects.  I cut them out (along with all soda) and then a few months later I bought one just for old time's sake.  Big mistake.  About a third of the way through the can I started getting queazy, my skin got all clammy, and my heart started pounding.  I threw the rest of the can away and haven't had another one since.  The scariest part wasn't the effects it was having on me -- the scariest part was I was so used to having all that crap in my system that my body didn't have that reaction each time I drank one in the past.

Once your body is cleansed of all that junk, I bet you'll be surprised at what sort of reaction you have to it and how different it tastes to you.

infromsea

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I broke my fast with b-vitamin complex supplement, Omega-3 supplment, liver, ground beef, leafy greens, olive oil, and butter.  It seemed to work well enough.  I had a bit of a head rush and felt a little bit more lethargic, during digestion.  However, I had no real problems with re-feeding.  I don't have any means to measure ketones, but I think I have managed to remain in Ketosis after refeeding.  However, it is hard to be sure. 

Honestly, it was hard for me to notice much benefit to fasting, beyond ketosis and weight loss.  I really have no way of directly measuring the effects of autophagy, which is one of the main reasons for my fasting experiment.  I currently plan to try a schedule of fasting 5-7 days per month for the next 3 months to see how it goes, but I have no plans for longer-term fasts.

From my past keto-adaptation experience, it takes about 3 weeks of being in ketosis for my endurance to start surpassing my previous levels of endurance.  I only have 10 days of keto-adaptation time prior to my climbing trip.  Hence the reason why I may need to break out of ketosis, to maximize performance / fun.

If you are a serious athlete, I would definitely recommending benchmarking your performance during the keto adaptation period, to see how long it takes.

I also recommending trying daily intermittent fasting (i.e., 16 hour fast period / 8 hour feeding period).  I generally eat two meals from 12:00 to 20:00.  My initial impression is that daily intermittent fasting is preferable to multi-day fasting for maintaining and building muscle.  I will probably drop the multi-day fasts, once I am no longer working an office job.

Cottonswab-

I hear you about the lack of noticeable benefits to fasting (can't "See" benefits of autophagy etc.).

The science behind it makes sense in my mind (the articles I've read etc.) so we are going to continue to conduct personal experiments with it.

I will say, fasting for days gave me a tremendous amount of control over cravings/diet/nutrition. I've learned to ignore a desire for something I don't consider healthy (haven't had fast food in months). Moving into the keto realm has made that control even better, reducing desire for carbs/sugar even more.

I don't blame you for breaking a fast or dropping out of keto. We have to LIVE first and our diet/nutrition should support that over all other things. Wife and I are going on a quick trip later this month, things are likely to get UGLY from a nutrition perspective but that's three days, out a month, we'll survive of course.

I wouldn't say I'm a serious athlete but I do run/lift in an endurance methodology (no desire to bulk etc.) on a very regular basis. I am going to start tracking glucose and ketones as I continue my journey (keto blood meter and breath meter on the way....).

***EDIT*** I forgot to add, one thing I'm going to closely monitor is the impact of beer on ketosis. I'll take measurements during the week and prior to consumption, then have beer as usual (A couple on Sunday afternoon, usually when grilling out) and then see how long it takes to get back into ketosis. I can't wait to get the monitors and run several weeks of experiments. ***END EDIT***

I was out on my 12 miler yesterday and I hit a slight wall at mile five/six. Last meal was 15 hours prior. I kind of think it was a "switch-over" and I've gone through this before, start running, feel ok, legs get very HEAVY about an hour in (start fasted, no gels, no sports drink intake) and pace slows, breathing gets labored, keep running and 15-20 minutes later, something happens (endorphins?) and my legs "pick-up" and I can continue the run. The first time I went through this, I was on a 20 miler (similar conditions, fasted, no gels etc...) and it was the biggest ass kicker I've ever had running. At that time I was consuming carbs the day before long runs, I told my wife that I hit the roughest rough patch ever on that run, I almost turned around and went home. I think I ran out of carbs at that point and since I was not re-feeding on the run, I had to swap to body fat stores, which I was not used to.

So, now I'm going to keep carbs very low (except beer on Sundays!) and try to stay in ketosis and see how that works.

I have a crazy idea to maybe do an upcoming 30 miler either fasted or at the end of a 5-7 day fast.... I'm working the plan over in my mind.
 
I've been doing IF since FEB, that's how I started down this "road". I prefer an appetizer plat between 1600-1800 followed by one "meal" no later than 2000.



Knaak-

I LOVE not taking food to work and "dealing with that". It's not a huge thing but I don't have worry about forgetting lunch at home etc. We don't get antsy about food anymore. Traveling for the day, no issue, we just roll with it and eat whenever we are getting somewhere etc...

Like you, I'm over the monsters/energy shots/etc. We've been slowly reducing sugar all year and that's going to stay low pretty much for the rest of our lives. A little ice cream on Christmas Eve maybe and other major holidays and that's going to be about it for us. The rest of the time we plan to use replacement strategies.

Wife and I were chatting this weekend and the hardest thing about something like this is that you are working to overcome (in our case) 35+ years of diet/eating/nutrition habits since most of them form from a very young age. It takes that long for them to form, it takes a lot of effort to overcome them and put new habits into place.

For instance, growing up we drank sweet tea in my house, when we first got married, we started drinking sweet tea, just because. Once we thought about it, we switched to other drinks (this was YEARS ago). It took some time to get used to not drinking sweet tea but we eventually "got over it" and moved on. A glass of sweat tea today would put me on my ass from the sugar crash. I don't plan to go "back" to monsters either (one of those things that sneak up on my in times of stress/lack of sleep/lack of alternatives), your example being yet another great reason for that.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 11:45:36 AM by infromsea »

Cottonswab

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one thing I'm going to closely monitor is the impact of beer on ketosis. I'll take measurements during the week and prior to consumption, then have beer as usual (A couple on Sunday afternoon, usually when grilling out) and then see how long it takes to get back into ketosis. I can't wait to get the monitors and run several weeks of experiments.

Based on everything I have read and done, I really think you should drop the beer and all other grain based foods/drinks for a month.  When you reintroduce beer, you will be more sensitive to all the negative effects and will be able to make a more informed about whether you want to maintain the same lifestyle.  The beer is likely not only kicking you out of ketosis by spiking your blood sugar, but it also likely causing inflamation, stomach damage, and clouding your brain.   For me, consuming beer and other grains is worse than consuming refined sugar.

infromsea

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one thing I'm going to closely monitor is the impact of beer on ketosis. I'll take measurements during the week and prior to consumption, then have beer as usual (A couple on Sunday afternoon, usually when grilling out) and then see how long it takes to get back into ketosis. I can't wait to get the monitors and run several weeks of experiments.

Based on everything I have read and done, I really think you should drop the beer and all other grain based foods/drinks for a month.  When you reintroduce beer, you will be more sensitive to all the negative effects and will be able to make a more informed about whether you want to maintain the same lifestyle.  The beer is likely not only kicking you out of ketosis by spiking your blood sugar, but it also likely causing inflamation, stomach damage, and clouding your brain.   For me, consuming beer and other grains is worse than consuming refined sugar.

Good advice for certain.

Interestingly, the desire for beer HAS been dulled while fasting/eating keto.

We have swapped to a full time keto diet. I've spent the last week purchasing the keto "tools" such as cookbooks (the net has so many recipes but it's nice to have a book to browse and pick up ideas), baking/cooking supplies like almond flours/fatback/lard etc. and the measurement tools.

We now own the urine strips, the ketonix breath measurement device and the meter/strips just came in today.

We plan to eat very low carb/keto for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure why we'd even stop, especially once the wife's weight loss goals/insulin management situation is met/stable.

However, we are going to drink beer/consume alcohol like "normal". We don't drink much, maybe two beers here, four/five beers on a Sunday afternoon, a couple mixed vodka drinks (with no calorie mixers of course!) on a "date night". We also take "breaks" where we'll stop drinking all alcohol for 90 days, to show ourselves we can.

Alcohol does have some positive aspects to health. I've read that we should not start drinking JUST for those benefits BUT, if we already drink in moderation (which we do 90% of the time we drink) then we don't have to be overly concerned about the impact of alcohol.

I am going to test out what happens after having a few on a Sunday afternoon, how long it takes to get back into a state of ketosis. I'll report back.... It may not be too helpful if we follow up beer with a fast (we'll jump back into keto much faster) but I'll test both conditions.
1. Beer followed by a long term fast- how long to get back into ketosis?
2. Beer followed up by eating normal keto diet- how long to get back into ketosis?

We'll see!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 10:31:37 AM by infromsea »

homestead neohio

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I am going to test out what happens after having a few on a Sunday afternoon, how long it takes to get back into a state of ketosis. I'll report back.... It may not be too helpful if we follow up beer with a fast (we'll jump back into keto much faster) but I'll test both conditions.
1. Beer followed by a long term fast- how long to get back into ketosis?
2. Beer followed up by eating normal keto diet- how long to get back into ketosis?

We'll see!

This would be helpful to know.  Please also report volume of beer consumed, ABV, type of beer, rate of consumption, and especially some tasting notes.  By what metrics will you consider to have crossed from "not in ketosis" to "back in ketosis"?

infromsea

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I am going to test out what happens after having a few on a Sunday afternoon, how long it takes to get back into a state of ketosis. I'll report back.... It may not be too helpful if we follow up beer with a fast (we'll jump back into keto much faster) but I'll test both conditions.
1. Beer followed by a long term fast- how long to get back into ketosis?
2. Beer followed up by eating normal keto diet- how long to get back into ketosis?

We'll see!

This would be helpful to know.  Please also report volume of beer consumed, ABV, type of beer, rate of consumption, and especially some tasting notes.  By what metrics will you consider to have crossed from "not in ketosis" to "back in ketosis"?

Roger wilco homestead-

I'll report as much as I can remember :)

Just kidding, I'll take good notes.

The metrics will be:
1. Test with urine strips (they show low levels, might be helpful if not in "full ketosis" that would show up on blood monitor)
2. Test with ketonix breath analyzer (above 1.8 = ketosis/low)
3. Test blood glucose
4. Test blood ketones once they "show up" on urine strips/ketonix (strips = not cheap!)

Protocol:
Test as many metrics as possible sometime sat or sun before a meal/beer. (If I test Sunday it will be in a fasted state, about 18 hours fasted... TBD).

Have brunch on Sunday (this is our normal procedure, one meal, maybe a snack later if we are going into a fast the next week) drink beer if we want to (not always guaranteed).

Monday, test as much as possible first thing (probably won't do blood ketone test unless other tests indicate we are still in ketosis).

Continue to use the testing "ladder" to see how long the keto response takes.

As it stands, we are going into another five day fast next week so there is a GOOD chance we'll consume lots of keto foods (high fat/mod protein/low carb) this Sunday with beer. I would bet that come Tuesday, I have metal mouth, which is a cost-free way to determine ketosis (we've experienced it many times after 48/72 hours of fasting). It may be that since we have "practiced" getting into ketosis before (by fasting) that we'll adapt back into it faster than a non-faster which means everyone's results will vary (of course).

infromsea

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Ok yall, let's see what beer does to a keto diet.

Background, after our last five day fast we've (wife and I) been eating keto without tracking macros "hard core".

Tomorrow we start our third 5-6 day fast and I'm going to take this chance to see how beer impacts keto "numbers".

Numbers:
Had a meal last night at 1900, had two beers after the meal (Sam Adams White Christmas).

Up this morning at 0700 for a 22 mile run, no jels/foods/intake of any kind except plain water before/during/after the run (I do this all the time, I don't fuel prior to or during my long runs anymore).

Post run, 1145:
Urine stick = moderate
Ketonix = 2/2.8/2.4 (I always do more than one check since it's "free")
Blood glucose = 79

We ate brunch at 1500 and since then I've had a couple keto cookies and four beers (Trader Joe's hefeweizen, not bad beer for 6.50 a six pack....).

I'll have a fat bomb/protein shake here in a little bit and we'll start our fast tonight and go until next Sat evening when we'll have our traditional Christmas eve dinner.

The question is, now long before we are back into ketosis? We'll start with urine strips/ketonix/blood glucose tomorrow and, once the numbers indicate we are "back into" ketosis, we'll check blood ketones a couple of times to see how high they go.

Have a good week everyone!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 06:30:21 PM by infromsea »

homestead neohio

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Ok yall, let's see what beer does to a keto diet.

...

Post run, 1145:
Urine stick = moderate
Ketonix = 2/2.8/2.4 (I always do more than one check since it's "free")
Blood glucose = 79

We ate brunch at 1500 and since then I've had a couple keto cookies and four beers (Trader Joe's hefeweizen, not bad beer for 6.50 a six pack....).

I'm not familiar with your measuring tools or the metrics, except for blood glucose. 

1. What are the metrics on the urine stick?  Is it just high/moderate/low?
2. I see Ketonix is measuring acetone in the breathe as ppm.  What is expected for ketosis vs. not ketosis? 
3. Do you know how accurate/responsive these metrics are?  I presume they are designed for this, so hopefully changing diet readily and significantly changes the numbers.
4. Did these measurements confirm your suspicion you were already in ketosis prior to brunch and beers, despite two beers the prior night? 
5. Was your brunch mostly protein/fat/veg? Or did you have pancakes, syrup, and fruit?
6.  Is it really brunch if you eat it at 1500?

I don't know much about this, but if using available simple carbs from diet is the body's preference, I would expect you to come out of ketosis more quickly/easily than going back in.  This would encourage one to eat more simple sugars if available in order to build additional fat stores and preserve existing body fat, in case of a lean time ahead.  If not available, the body would return to burning fat (dietary and stored) as the primary fuel, because that is what is there.

It will be interesting to see how those post run numbers compare to post-fast.  I'm wondering if you were already above a keto baseline based on the two beers the prior night.   Also wondering if breathe/ketonix would rise faster than urine levels due to a lag time between urine production and when it leaves the body.

infromsea

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homestead-

Great questions, thanks for asking them!

Sorry for the novel! I'm off work today and the weather sucks so I'm being a bit wordy (and I need something to keep my mind busy).

Answers below:
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1. What are the metrics on the urine stick?  Is it just high/moderate/low?

You'll find the urine stick in the diabetic section of the pharmacy/wall-mart.

They are a rough measurement of the amount of ketones in the urine (via acetoacetate). Type I diabetics use them to monitor their urine ketones since they can help them prevent ketoacidosis (not the same as keto adapted, there is a lot more to this, this is the short/short version).

Non-diabetics can use them to see when ketones spike in the urine, indicating that we are entering a state of ketosis.

The thought is that we can use them early in the process but eventually the indication will drop as your body uses more and more ketones for the bodies activities, then use other tools once these stop measuring ketones (because the body isn't spilling them into urine, it's using them for the liver and brain etc.).

The range is Negative, Trace (5mg/dL), Small (15mg/dL), Moderate (40mg/dL), Large (80-160mg/dL).



2. I see Ketonix is measuring acetone in the breathe as ppm.  What is expected for ketosis vs. not ketosis? 

The ketonix is the least "established" method but I see them becoming the primary method in the future. For my purposes, the only detractor is that the readings will be off up to 24 hours after alcohol.

The directions that came with my  model (2015 RED) state:
Blue = no or very small trace of ketones, Green = small trace of ketones, Yellow = moderate trace of ketones and Red = high trace of ketones.

So, anything over blue indicates we are in the beginning state of ketosis.


3. Do you know how accurate/responsive these metrics are?  I presume they are designed for this, so hopefully changing diet readily and significantly changes the numbers.

From what I've read, the blood ketones test is spot on, just expensive (hence my desire to wait to test blood until I'm sure I'm not wasting strips).

Urine strips are good when starting out but they are a rough estimate and become un-reliable the longer you eat high fat/mod protein/low carb.


4. Did these measurements confirm your suspicion you were already in ketosis prior to brunch and beers, despite two beers the prior night? 

The way I read them, my sunday morning numbers did indicate that I was re-entering ketosis (I've been in and out over the past few weeks). I have never seen a higher urine reading. I believe this was "brought on" by the fasted long run. That tracks with my understanding and experience, as you start to exercise in a fasted state (only 12 hours fasted but no feeding before hand and during) you burn through your stored carbs and then start burning fat, entering ketosis.

Yesterday, at mile six I got VERY heavy legs for about 10 minutes, this resolved at mile 7 or so. I've had this experience before and now believe that I am literally running into a ketogenic state via this mechanism. If I start out running in ketosis, I shouldn't have the same experience, I might start a little slow but shouldn't "feel the switch".


5. Was your brunch mostly protein/fat/veg? Or did you have pancakes, syrup, and fruit?

Brunch was a two egg/cream cheese omelet cooked in bacon grease with a small portion of diced potatoes cooked in sausage grease, bacon, sausage patties, sauteed onion/spinach/green peppers, topped with cheddar cheese, no other carbs.

We stopped the whole-grain pancakes/toast/waffles a few weeks ago but there are LOTS of great keto-recipes out there for those things, they use almond and coconut flour. They are not zero carb (some with protein powder can be) but they fit into our current plan as we continue to determine what our personal carb levels should be.

We don't use syrup at all, nut butters mixed with coconut oil make great toppings when you might normally eat syrup.

We don't each much fruit, maybe a few frozen berries now and again. I've found that I'm highly sensitive to bananas, I can keep my diet 100% the same but add bananas and I bloat and gain weight.

(we are eating through our non-keto foods as we progress since we didn't want to toss good food this is the MMM website after all! We were already eating very clean anyway and are only tossing those things that will REALLY dent the ketogenic plan, like the half loaf of 9-grain wheat bread that, surprisingly, hasn't "gone bad" after sitting there for over a week, that's kind of worrisome...)


6.  Is it really brunch if you eat it at 1500?

Ha!

Good point I guess... :)

We still call it brunch even though we've moved it to later and later in the day. As we've "played with" intermittent fasting (which is how we got into fasting and then into keto) we've changed from HAVING to eat at 1300, OR SOMEONE IS GOING TO BE MURDERED! to eating later and later, we often eat that one big meal and call it a day. We typically eat "brunch foods" so I guess....

------------------------------------------

I don't know much about this, but if using available simple carbs from diet is the body's preference, I would expect you to come out of ketosis more quickly/easily than going back in.  This would encourage one to eat more simple sugars if available in order to build additional fat stores and preserve existing body fat, in case of a lean time ahead.  If not available, the body would return to burning fat (dietary and stored) as the primary fuel, because that is what is there.

It will be interesting to see how those post run numbers compare to post-fast.  I'm wondering if you were already above a keto baseline based on the two beers the prior night.   Also wondering if breathe/ketonix would rise faster than urine levels due to a lag time between urine production and when it leaves the body.

More good points and questions.

-I truly think you can drink beer and stay in ketosis IF the conditions are "right". For example, if you can eat in the "higher range" of carbs due to your current stats (body weight/body fat/glucose response to carbs/activity level) then you can probably consume those carbs in the form of beer and stay in ketosis. In addition, those who are keto adapted may still drop out of ketosis by consuming alcohol/beer/carbs in any form at too high of a level but they will "re-bound" into nutritional ketosis faster than those who are non-keto adapted (takes 3 weeks to a month??).

Note, I'm not trying to "force" beer into this way of eating. We enjoy beer and will continue to do so (in moderation and random breaks, we might drink three beers on a Friday night and not have another one for three weeks, it's not something we can't walk away from, we often take 90 days off as a challenge, just because....).

-From what I've read, there is little correlation between the different measurement devices. I expect to see urine numbers go up first, followed by a rise on the keytonix and blood measurements.

Since I was reviewing this info I went ahead and busted out all the gear and ran the numbers:
-Last meal was at 2000 Sun night (protein shake and small clif bar with peanut butter)

-Two cups of black coffee this morning

-0900 (just about 13 hours fasted)

-Weight = 164.4 (this is a great indicator of how un-important weight is as a number, I was at 157 Friday morning, many people would be concerned about the seven pound "gain" but I realize it's largely due to shifts in hydration, I drank a cup of pickle juice and LOTS of water post run yesterday, in addition to the four beers etc.... weight is my least important metric here, I only include it for tracking and to see how the six day fast impacts it, although I already know I'll drop about 7 pounds and put 3-4 of those back on within 2 days of re-feeding).

-Glucose = 102
 
This is an interesting number! It's a higher number than I'm used to seeing in a "fasted" state, probably due to the carbs from yesterday. I'm wondering if the clif bar or the beer is why this number is "high". Looks like I've got another experiment to run in the future.

- Urine stick = trace (5mg/dL)

- Ketonix = 2.8/2.9/2.9

This is a strange group of numbers. The "high" (high for me) glucose would indicate the body is still "processing" the carbs from yesterday afternoon but the keto numbers would lead me to believe I'm still in the early stages of a ketogenic nutritional state.

I will continue to track numbers and see when the "very clearly ketosis" point is.

homestead neohio

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^ Thanks for the detailed responses. 

I'm just learning about all this and changing my habits from eating for taste to eating for health.  I joined my wife for a whole 30 in April and we've kept to low sugar, low carb, high fats/protein/veg diet with a few splurges and exceptions.  This also perfectly aligns with the foods we can grow and raise on our homestead, which is good for us feeding ourselves long-term.  I'm down from 200 lbs in April to 175 now, and very steady there.  I'd like to get down another 10 lbs.  I will probably start with IF before seeing if I want to progress to additional fasting.  I know I could lose the weight if I gave up alcohol for 90 days and made fewer exceptions.  I'm a sucker for a free company lunch, for example.

The relationship of all of this to physical performance is fascinating to me.  People running 10+ miles in a fasted state?  That's amazing.  I don't know if it is a good idea, but the body is amazing.

So, understanding your data set is extremely limited for now, with both measurements in the same 24 hr period:
- Your ketonix numbers were up slightly, not sure if this is significant or essentially the same (within measurement error).  Your hypothesis is that these will continue up?
- Your urine strip numbers were down slightly, a contrary measurement.  Your hypothesis is this should rebound if you are re-entering/staying in ketosis?
- Your glucose was higher than expected.  Your hypothesis is this will come back to normal?

Quote
Urine strips are good when starting out but they are a rough estimate and become un-reliable the longer you eat high fat/mod protein/low carb.

Since you normally eat high fat/protein, low carb, do you consider your current use of the strips to be reliable or un-reliable?

infromsea

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You are welcome for the responses, posting them here gives me something to review in the future (tracking numbers in excel sheet but this post is more holistic).

I started this journey after reading Why We Get Fat by Taubes and then The Obesity Code by Fung (among other books, if you REALLY want to learn how screwed up "common wisdom" about diet/nutrition is, read Death by Food Pyramid). These are great books that opened my eyes and showed me how bad some of our "knowledge" is and how we should allow for updates to what we "know".

I understand the alcohol part, I always see weight loss when we do a 90 day break. I also understand the free lunch part of it, very few things beat eating for free!

As far as exercising fasted, it makes sense that we are capable when you think about it in "caveman terms". We most likely evolved from those who could go comparatively long periods of time without eating and then had to chase down/walk for food. More data to come as this week I'm fasting until Sat night, while exercising "as normal" during the week and running a 12 miler Sat morning (that's the plan anyway....). This is an attempt to see if longer fasts followed by longer runs could be sustained.

-----------

To answer your specific questions:
1. Yes, I expect the ketonix numbers to increase all week, I have no idea of how high they will go but I do expect them to increase and then level off as the body adapts.
2. Urine strips were down, most likely due to the carbs/beer from yesterday. This makes sense, the body is processing the carbs (increasing the blood glucose) and using it while it's available. From what I understand the body will keep some glucose in the cells even during long term fasting (in the muscle stores and liver). It appears to be a protective mechanism, the body just won't "give up" all stored glucose until a fast has gone too long (into starvation states maybe?). Maybe this is the "last push" mechanism in the body, save "just a little" glycogen in case you need it for that last run at dinner? The brain will still need about 25% of it's daily support from glycogen, that's not a problem as the liver makes around 100g per day even while fasting.
3. Glucose will drop in contrast to ketone numbers, I did find a reference that indicated that it's normal for glucose to initially rise during a fast, then drop as the fasting duration increases, that would support my thought process, that the body is burning the consumed glucose from Sunday, entering a more pronounced state of ketosis later today.
4. I think the urine strips are perfect for "starting out". They just give a "first warning" that you are entering ketosis. Seeing my high number after a long run indicates that I was running on fat but since I'm not fully keto adjusted, the body was dumping "extra" ketones into the blood. As I get better at utilizing them for fuel, that number goes done, the others go up. I saw this on my last long fast, on day six I had some salt to fix a cramping issue and then ran five miles and lifted weights. Afterwards I worked in the yard for four hours. I felt so good, I was almost euphoric (a common refrain when talking keto) and thought about going longer with my fast. That was the point when I decided there was something to keto (I already new the benefits of fasting) and we started trending towards a more rigid keto-like diet.

I am jealous of your references to growing food on a homestead, I actually mentioned maybe tossing a few chickens in the back yard (we live in a medium size city) and the wife gave me the "you go too far" look.....




« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 12:15:00 PM by infromsea »

infromsea

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An update (once again, I am home today, the weather sucks! so I'm taking a lot more measurements than I normally will have the opportunity to take).

At 1415 my ketonix numbers are down to .5/.6/.5.

To me, it looks like my earlier ketonix numbers were higher due to the alcohol consumption yesterday. I'll test this again in future "sessions" (drink beer, track numbers the next day to see if they are similar). The ketonix is fun to play with since each test doesn't cost anything hence my use (maybe over-use?) of it.

I will check all three again tonight before bed, we'll see what happens!

homestead neohio

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Summary from your posts:

12/17/16 dinner + 2 beers (Sam Adams White Christmas)

12/18/16 0700 start 22 mile run
12/18/16 1145 post run ketonix = 2/2.8/2.4
12/18/16 1500 brunch + 4 beers (hefe)

12/19/16 0900 (just about 13 hours fasted) ketonix = 2.8/2.9/2.9
12/19/16 1415 ketonix .5/.6/.5.


So you are reading as less of a ketonic state now than 5 hours ago?  While fasting?

Are you thinking the alcohol artificially increased the readings?  Interference?  Can you blow on this thing with vodka in your mouth and see what happens?  Is your beer laced with acetone?  The blood alcohol from those beers is long metabolized, are you suggesting you are just now seeing the lowered affects of those on ketosis?  That doesn't make sense if you ran yourself into ketosis.  I think you ate a snickers bar for lunch.

I think having multiple readings in short, regular intervals, and drinking beer (or making other diet changes) and monitoring if the pattern is the same would be a way to understand what is happening or if this device is not so good at its job.  Might have to set the intervals (4 hr?) and adhere to a schedule if you want to facilitate a good comparison between events.

I'm trying to understand this with a background of beer and eating.  It'd be easier to start with a stable trend based on the fast and try to understand what happens when you add beer and food.

infromsea

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I do think the "left over" alcohol being processed caused the high ketonix numbers earlier (doing some netsearch, I learned this is a known issue, alcohol could cause high numbers up to 24 hours after).

Good points all the way around about testing protocols. I have lots of numbers from last week (ate keto combined with intermittent fasting). I'll take the numbers from this week and compare them to post-fast, post-fast with alcohol and so on.

My last round of numbers for the night (almost 26 hours fasted):

12/17/16 dinner + 2 beers (Sam Adams White Christmas)

12/18/16 0700 start 22 mile run
12/18/16 1145 post run ketonix = 2/2.8/2.4
12/18/16 1500 brunch + 4 beers (hefe)

12/19/16 0900 (just about 13 hours fasted) ketonix = 2.8/2.9/2.9
12/19/16 1415 ketonix .5/.6/.5.
12/19/16 2150 (just shy of 26 hours fasted) ketonix = .6/.6.6; urine = negative; glucose = 83

So, I see a decrease in glucose, continued "low" ketonix numbers (first set had to have been inflated from alcohol consumption) and a reduction in urine ketones. This should make it very clear when numbers do start to climb. I thought I sensed a hint of metal mouth earlier (a common indicator of ketosis) but that might just be lethargy. I will say the mental clarity I experienced late fast/eating keto is not present at this time, I'll be appreciative of its "return".




infromsea

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***UPDATE***

12/17/16 dinner + 2 beers (Sam Adams White Christmas)

12/18/16 0700 start 22 mile run
12/18/16 1145 post run ketonix = 2/2.8/2.4
12/18/16 1500 brunch + 4 beers (hefe)

12/19/16 0900 (just about 13 hours fasted) ketonix = 2.8/2.9/2.9 (I think these numbers are high from alcohol consumption the previous night)
12/19/16 1415 ketonix .5/.6/.5.
12/19/16 2150 (just shy of 26 hours fasted) ketonix = .6/.6.6; urine = negative; glucose = 83

12/20/16 0630 (about 34 hours fasted) ketonix = 1.4/1.9; urine = trace
12/20/16 1600  Started to notice "metal mouth) which indicated ketosis
12/20/16 1700 ketonix = 1.5/1/.9
12/20/16 2200 ketonix = 1.4

12/21/16 0630 ketonix = 1.4/1.9
12/21/16 1600 ketonix = 1.8/2.2
12/21/16 2100 ketonix = 2.5/2.6 
12/21/16 2230 Blood Ketones = 2.5

12/22/16 0800 ketonix = 4.5/4.6

Interpretation to this point:

I began to develop "metal mouth" (some notice it as fruity breath) around 1600 on Tuesday. That's the first indication of ketosis. This was backed up by a rise in ketonix readings. They began to climb and (mostly) trended up from there.

I still held off on testing blood glucose since I bought the "cheaper" model and it's been known to give a LO reading rather than an accurate number below a certain threshold, not sure what that threshold is. I didn't want to "waste" any strips.

The timeline is "about right". I understand that it takes 24-48 to utilize our muscle/liver/blood stores of glycogen (even though the muscles and liver will apparently keep some stored up until starvation points, long discussion).

So, it looks like it took me about 44 hours post carbs for ketosis to become noticeable, even though the ketonix numbers were already climbing Tues morning after 34 hours of fasting.

Wed night, we hit the "hard core" shift into ketosis. ketonix readings climbed, our energy levels "shifted" from 'ho-hum' to "I can't fall asleep" (and I DON'T have trouble falling asleep) AND the blood ketones read 2.5. Resources state that .5 to 3.0 is nutritional ketosis.

Thurs morning- wide awake after 6 hours of sleep (normally get 7-9), out the door for a run (slow pace) followed by weights (lower weight, 4 sets x 10 reps) and FEEELING the ketosis.

Benefits of ketosis:
1. Alertness at a slight risk of being scatter-brained (walked out the door without my keys)
2. ZERO hunger. Last night the wife and I made our meal plan for the weekend/next week, researched recipes, walked through several stores with food all over the place, no issues! I'm going grocery shopping later today, something I've done before without issue.
3. Energy level of 9-10 out of 10. I've read other folks say they felt like their brain was on jet fuel when fasting, due to the ketones, I would second that.

I've "been here" before, the hyper alert, great energy, "touch" of goofy brain (have to double check the emails I write) and this is why I am so sold on keto (and fasting of course). This being our third five day fast, I find it does get easier, eating clean prior to the fast helps (beer was our biggest source of carbs prior to, we didn't eat bread/pasta etc.) and drinking the pickle juice/taking zink/magnesium has made a difference in my energy level and ability to exercise without issue.

Other questions I intend to gather data on:
- How high are the numbers going to go? We are tracking our numbers all week, it will be interesting to see how high they get. We plan to fast until Sat afternoon, just under six full days.

- How will the fasted state impact my long run on Saturday? I'm going to run 12 miles Sat morning, fasted. I plan to go slow, the question is, how slow will I HAVE to go to finish? Since I'm started out in a keto state, I should not have the "switch" I've felt before when changing from glucose to ketones mid-run (and I've felt that enough times to know that is occurring). NOTE: I've been running fasted for many months now and stopped fueling during a run about two months ago, I'll be ok! (I keep telling the wife!)

- How many carbs take us out of a keto state? This is a HIGHLY individual number, it WILL vary for each and everyone one us based on many factors like insulin resistance, activity level etc. I believe it took me about 44 hours to go from consuming carbs to ketosis. Now the question is, how many carbs kick me out and how long do I stay out, more to follow as we track carb impact on the state of ketosis (drink a beer, take a reading, and so on...).

- Where do I set my carb level to level off weight loss? What about weight gain? Do I use carbs or protein for that purpose (protein has an insulin response if too high and can cause weight gain but I don't want to over-do it as too much protein may be bad for life extension???). I'm running a 30 mile "race" (I don't care what my finishing time is....) in February 2017. I'm going to do it AT LEAST 12 hours fasted with NO intake during the race other than water. I am considering fasting for 7 days and then running the 30 miler. To do that, I'll want to "fatten up" in the weeks prior so I have to figure this out, how to gain without adding too many carbs and/or wheat (finished reading Wheat Belly and now I'm as anti-wheat as I am anti-sugar)....

Lots to do!

Happy holidays!

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Thanks for sharing new data.  Looks like ketonix readings around 1.5 or 2 may be indicating ketosis for you?  I'm getting conflicting messages from you about your state on 12/18.  On one hand you seem to be saying the post-run ketonix data were artificially high due to an interference with alcohol. 

Quote
I do think the "left over" alcohol being processed caused the high ketonix numbers earlier (doing some netsearch, I learned this is a known issue, alcohol could cause high numbers up to 24 hours after).

On the other hand you had previously said you ran yourself into ketsosis.

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The way I read them, my sunday morning numbers did indicate that I was re-entering ketosis (I've been in and out over the past few weeks). I have never seen a higher urine reading. I believe this was "brought on" by the fasted long run. That tracks with my understanding and experience, as you start to exercise in a fasted state (only 12 hours fasted but no feeding before hand and during) you burn through your stored carbs and then start burning fat, entering ketosis.

Yesterday, at mile six I got VERY heavy legs for about 10 minutes, this resolved at mile 7 or so. I've had this experience before and now believe that I am literally running into a ketogenic state via this mechanism. If I start out running in ketosis, I shouldn't have the same experience, I might start a little slow but shouldn't "feel the switch".

I'm wondering if re-interpreting history like this is valid:

Quote
12/17/16 dinner + 2 beers (Sam Adams White Christmas) (not in ketosis)

12/18/16 0700 start 22 mile run (ran yourself into ketosis)
12/18/16 1145 post run ketonix = 2/2.8/2.4  (in ketsosis)
12/18/16 1500 brunch + 4 beers (hefe) (trigger event to take body our of ketosis)

12/19/16 0900 (just about 13 hours fasted) ketonix = 2.8/2.9/2.9 (still in ketosis 13 hours after carbs)
12/19/16 1415 ketonix .5/.6/.5. (not in ketosis, body adjusted to high carb input 18 hours after beers)

With this interpretation, you have some data about coming out of ketosis.  If correctly interpreted and reproducible, it would take 13-18 hours to come out of ketosis after 4 beers worth of carbs (there were not many carbs in your brunch).  It would take a lot of rounds of fasting, beer, and measurement to establish reproducibility, not sure if that is your aim.

I wonder if it would take longer with fewer carbs, or if the rate of change is limited by switching metabolic pathways and it takes the same time no matter how many carbs are consumed above some trigger threshold (some low level of carb input where you just stay in ketosis).  Are trying to find this threshold?

You should absolutely take a ketonix reading immediately after a beer to test for interference in the reading.  If it elevates already high numbers, there is probably interference as drinking a beer can't put you further in ketosis.  But those post run numbers could have been real.

Having all that energy you describe, but getting foggy in the brain sounds a little manic, but you seem to really enjoy it.  Enough to put yourself through a pretty extreme eating regimen.  During our whole 30 and while eating relativley low carb for a period of months after, my wife lost a lot of body fat, so I assume she was in ketosis.  She did not have more restful sleep or lots of energy, which she was hoping to gain.

infromsea

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homestead-

I really appreciate you looking over this and providing feedback, it helps me to clarify my thoughts and gives me ideas for future N=1 experiments.

I do believe that I ran myself into ketosis on Sunday morning, hence the higher numbers.

-I would agree that it's highly probable that my Monday morning ketonix numbers could have been a result of continued ketosis and that the carbs had not "kicked me out" OR they might have been high from the beer/carbs.

More testing will hopefully clear that up. It would make sense, since it takes 24-48 hours for the body to "clear" consumed carbs, the impact of those consumed carbs may not be as fast as we might think (highly variable dependent on insulin resistance, level of activity etc....). 

In addition, I've seen other nutritional/metabolic changes take longer than I expected. For example, I've eaten like it was my last meal only to find I weighed less the next morning, then, two days later, seen a spike in weight even when eating low carb, only to see it go back down a day later, highly specific to me BUT, I think it's an example of how things don't happen instantly in our body. I do understand that consumption of carbs increases blood sugar and thus insulin almost instantly, I guess the "rest" of the process (insulin pushing carbs into the cells, excess insulin being stored as fat) takes longer.

- I am absolutely trying to find the threshold of how long it takes for carbs (namely beer) to cause ketosis to stop AND how long that mechanism takes. I will keep tracking for the foreseeable future, that means more beer! :) In the future, I'll use blood ketone tests to add more data, damn the cost, this is important stuff :)

- I will test the ketonix pre and post beer/alcohol (mother in law is coming into town, I might have to switch to vodka....) and report back.

- About your wife's experience: Keto sometimes requires VERY low carbs for some folks (the epileptic version of the diet keeps folks under 10 grams a day) and you have to monitor protein as well. If protein is too high, it will cause insulin to spike (fat is the only primary nutrient that doesn't have an outsized impact on insulin) and that can keep one out of ketosis, they will probably drop weight from the reduction of sugar/simple carbs etc. but may not be in ketosis.

From what you indicate (weight loss but no change in sleep or energy) I would hypothesize that your wife was low carb, not necessarily in ketosis.







homestead neohio

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Interesting exchange we're having.  I continue learning and you do all the work, so thanks!

- About your wife's experience: Keto sometimes requires VERY low carbs for some folks (the epileptic version of the diet keeps folks under 10 grams a day) and you have to monitor protein as well. If protein is too high, it will cause insulin to spike (fat is the only primary nutrient that doesn't have an outsized impact on insulin) and that can keep one out of ketosis, they will probably drop weight from the reduction of sugar/simple carbs etc. but may not be in ketosis.

From what you indicate (weight loss but no change in sleep or energy) I would hypothesize that your wife was low carb, not necessarily in ketosis.

We were low carb, no very low carb.  There are plenty of sugars in carrots and onions, which we ate a LOT of, and there was a lot of protein intake on whole 30.  We also ate sweet potatoes frequently.  She was eating more food than normal, and while we didn't count calories, I presume more calories, but dropping weight including loss of body fat.  I presumed this use of body fat during a time of high dietary fat and low carb was a result of burning body fat for energy. 

I understand people's threshold may vary.  But if they are burning body and dietary fat at low carb intake (not VERY low carb), is this not ketosis?  I probably need to read a lot more about metabolic pathways.

Our conclusion was that her sleep and energy issues were not dietary. 

infromsea

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Interesting exchange we're having.  I continue learning and you do all the work, so thanks!

We were low carb, no very low carb.  There are plenty of sugars in carrots and onions, which we ate a LOT of, and there was a lot of protein intake on whole 30.  We also ate sweet potatoes frequently.  She was eating more food than normal, and while we didn't count calories, I presume more calories, but dropping weight including loss of body fat.  I presumed this use of body fat during a time of high dietary fat and low carb was a result of burning body fat for energy. 

I understand people's threshold may vary.  But if they are burning body and dietary fat at low carb intake (not VERY low carb), is this not ketosis?  I probably need to read a lot more about metabolic pathways.

- You are welcome! I'd be doing the "work" anyway, I'm just glad to have a place to spew out what I'm doing/learning without judgment (tell someone you work with you haven't eaten in four days... count to three... they tell you "that's not healthy").

If others can take something away from this, that's great. Maybe I can make change easier for other people, remove barriers and stigmas and demonstrate that what we "know" about health/diet/nutrition does change over time and that we should be open to new ideas rather than sticking to dogma, obviously the nutrition dogma isn't working out too well in this country....

- You are correct, carrots and onions could be enough to push someone "over the edge" when it comes to ketosis.

Keto is low carb, MODERATE protein (this is something a lot of people overlook) and HIGH fat, upwards of 90% for some. The only way to tell if you "are keto" is the testing we've been discussing, though observational data (like metal mouth/fruity breath) can be a helpful indication. If you did not experience a "funk mouth" of some kind, you most likely did not get your ratios correct to enter ketosis. The ratios are VERY specific to each individual (I know I keep repeating that, it's just so key to this).

To learn more, Jimmy More's Keto Clarity is a good book, as is Low Carbohydrate Diet and Performance by Phinney and Volek (I might read this one first, a great book!). I also recommend the podcast "Keto Talk" by Jimmy Moore and Dr. McNally, I listen to it daily (catching up on all the old episodes) and it keeps me motivated. A couple of times we've had an un-satisfying meal (usually due to my poor cooking ability) and I question eating in this manner AND the keto/fasting lifestyle goes against ALL the training I received to earn my cert in personal training so it's sometimes hard to overcome that, listening to their podcast keeps me confident as they've both been doing this for years, not just a couple of months before getting tired of it.

- My spouse has non-dietary impacts (thyroid) on sleep as well. The neat thing, as she drops the weight and abdominal inches, the need for the thyroid medicine goes down, reducing the impact on sleep, it's a win-win! It's not just fasting/keto that's doing it, it's the TOTAL reduction in sugars and carbs, our random treats and post-fasting cheat meals were not doing us any favors.

You mention calories being higher and I agree that it's not an impact if eating low carb. Eating high carb/sugar AND fat, then calories "matter" but remove the carbs/sugar, and it's a whole nother ball game. Remove the fat and replace it with carbs, it's hunger time!

Quote from Banting in 1860s:

QUANTITY of diet may be safely left to the natural appetite; and that it is the QUALITY only with is essential to abate and cure corpulence.... (emphasis in original).



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Back from my climbing trip (and binging on carbs for almost 3 weeks).  I am now 26 hours into my second long-term fast. 

I am still undecided on when to end this fast, but I am currently planning to fast for at least 6 days again and then decide how much further I want to push the envelope. 

My only really measureable goals for fasting are really fat loss related, so I might continue the fast until I hit my short-term target weight of 76kg (starting fast at 82.7kg) and then start eating keto with a slight calorie deficit until I reach my final goal of 73kg.  Or if I am feeling strong and motivated, I might just continue fasting until I hit my final goal of 73kg. 

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This is way, way more badass than anything I could ever do.  I'm trying to work my way up to a fat fast.

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Honestly, it is not that difficult, if you are healthy and have excess body fat.  If you want to ease into it, I wood suggest going on a ketogenic diet for up to 3 weeks before the fast. 

I am now 3 days in to my second fast and still going strong...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 08:19:57 AM by Cottonswab »

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Just finished my fast after 8 days.  My experience was very similar to my previous 6 day fast.  The first two days were a little bit easier.  I don't think longer fasting periods will provide a net benefit for me. 

At the moment, It seems to me that a 5 day fast, once per month will likely be optimal for me.   So, that is what I am going to try in February.  I'll check back in after my next fast. 

infromsea

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Just finished my fast after 8 days.  My experience was very similar to my previous 6 day fast.  The first two days were a little bit easier.  I don't think longer fasting periods will provide a net benefit for me. 

At the moment, It seems to me that a 5 day fast, once per month will likely be optimal for me.   So, that is what I am going to try in February.  I'll check back in after my next fast.

Nice work!

We start our fourth five day fast Monday morning. We have been eating keto this year and I'm already in nutritional ketosis before starting this fast, I'm looking forward to see how that changes the experience, I'll report back end of next week with numbers and thoughts.

Take care!

Tim

infromsea

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Just finished my fast after 8 days.  My experience was very similar to my previous 6 day fast.  The first two days were a little bit easier.  I don't think longer fasting periods will provide a net benefit for me. 

I was thinking about your thoughts on longer fasting periods may not be beneficial for you....

My wife and I started another five day fast this morning. I wanted to watch a few "why you should fast" videos in preparation since, we often get into day 2-3 and we ask each other "Why the HELL are we doing this?" (it will be interesting if that happens this time since it's our third five day and we were eating keto before starting... I'll report back on that...).

In looking for some motivation/mental support, I ran across Dr. Longo's TED X video on fasting, where he discusses the benefits of fasting such as insulin response and possible cancer impact and increases in longevity, that's enough for me!

In addition, I'm reading a book on what wheat does to the brain, since I had one grandmother (fathers) die from Alzheimer and another (mothers) suffer from Parkinson (BOTH brain related diseases) my motivation for fasting (and it's TOTAL reduction of wheat from the diet for a period of time) is even stronger.

Good luck with your future efforts!

Tim

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I was thinking about your thoughts on longer fasting periods may not be beneficial for you....

It took me a lot longer (~6 days) for my strength and endurance to recover to my pre-fast state.  Restarting my digestive system was also much more disruptive to my sleep the first night, after breaking my fast. 

Since I am currently I am currently in Kazakhstan, I don't really have any good ways to objectively measure my biometrics.  However, my leading hypotheses are as follows:

  • My stores of key minerals (zinc, calcium, selenium) reached a more significant state of depletion, and several more days of food intake was required to regain homeostasis.
  • Key enzymes that support aerobic and anaerobic metabolism became significantly depleted, because I did not do any high or moderate intensity exercise during the fast.  Several days of moderate-intense exercise is required to maintain or restore these enzymes to previous levels. I avoided high and moderate intensity exercise to minimize muscle loss.

I plan to do moderate intensity exercise during the first two days of my next fast and then only low intensity exercise for 3 days, before breaking my fast.  I am hoping that this will avoid significant depletion of key minerals and enzymes, and minimize athletic performance set backs.




Ready2Go

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I have been reading this thread with great interest, as I have done 3 day fasts without issue, and never thought to go longer. So I was challenged to try this for myself and have now completed a 5 day fast

Late day 3 was very difficult - keto 'flu' symptoms I think. After that not difficult. I only did light exercise. At the end of day 5 I was feeling a bit weak and glad to eat some food. Thanks for the inspiration!



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I have been reading this thread with great interest, as I have done 3 day fasts without issue, and never thought to go longer. So I was challenged to try this for myself and have now completed a 5 day fast

Late day 3 was very difficult - keto 'flu' symptoms I think. After that not difficult. I only did light exercise. At the end of day 5 I was feeling a bit weak and glad to eat some food. Thanks for the inspiration!



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Wow. That's pretty awesome. Good work!
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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I completed my third fast, which was about 5 days long. 

I am still struggling to maintain homeostasis, while fasting (and while eating a ketogenic diet).  My primary hypothesis is that excessive coffee consumption (before, during, and after fasting) is significantly depleting key mineral and vitamin reserves, as well as preventing me from building them back when I am eating.  These problems become more extreme once my insulin levels go down, and my body starts dumping fluids. 

I will cut back on my coffee consumption to 1 cup per day, and see if there is any improvement.


infromsea

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I have been reading this thread with great interest, as I have done 3 day fasts without issue, and never thought to go longer. So I was challenged to try this for myself and have now completed a 5 day fast

I don't know how I missed your update to the post but congrats! (Late, I know...)

That's impressive! Do you feel more confident about diet/nutrition/exercise/life in general now?

Ready2Go

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I have been reading this thread with great interest, as I have done 3 day fasts without issue, and never thought to go longer. So I was challenged to try this for myself and have now completed a 5 day fast

I don't know how I missed your update to the post but congrats! (Late, I know...)

That's impressive! Do you feel more confident about diet/nutrition/exercise/life in general now?

Confident? Not yet. I felt weak while exercising for about a week after the fast, and that was a bit disappointing.  After some additional study,  I believe that I did not get enough salts/minerals, and that I should have done more light exercise during the fast itself.  I am definitely paying a lot more attention to what I am eating at a macro level.  I want to do this again - maybe mid March.  In preparation for that, I am upping my magnesium and potassium intake to make sure I am in good state before starting.   I am particularly interested in the autophagy benefits of fasting so I'm going to be doing more research about that.

infromsea

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I found that exercise was entirely possible while fasting. However, I've been "playing" with the protocol for over a year now, your results will vary.

Through trial and error I settled on a daily men's multivitamin, fish oil, potassium, zinc, vitamin D and magnesium supplements both while fasting and on keto.

From this point on I'll probably drink bone both during a fast as well, now that I'm confident in my ability to do a water/coffee only, adding bone broth should reduce negative effects like the post fast weakness you mention.

Good luck in your future experiments.

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Okay guys.  I am nowhere nearly as amazing as the other posters on this thread, but I am currently on my second 36-hour fast this week.  I feel like a million bucks.

infromsea

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Okay guys.  I am nowhere nearly as amazing as the other posters on this thread, but I am currently on my second 36-hour fast this week.  I feel like a million bucks.

Nice work!

You are probably experiencing ketosis.

Clear head, good energy, maybe a "touch" jittery (like too much coffee)?

That's ketosis.

You can verify by using urine sticks (especially initially, they don't work so well if you are deep into ketosis), blood sample (like a blood sugar check, you need special keto strips though) or, low tech = metal mouth/urine smell (usually the first signs).

I advise lots of vegetables in the post-fast feeding as it will help you recover more quickly and, if done right, the day or three post-fast, you'll feel more energy and healthier than almost any other time in life, thanks to the re-generative processes going on in the body....

Enjoy!

OurTown

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I'm pretty sure I am in ketosis.  We have been keeping to an Atkins induction eating plan for about the last month, and I am eating ketogenic on the re-feeding days.

OurTown

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On another 36 hour fast today, feeling great. 

infromsea

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Re: 5 Day fast next week; 15 day fast started today!
« Reply #98 on: March 22, 2017, 01:36:02 PM »
So....

This post has bounced all over the place, I'm thankful for that. It's been an interesting discussion and the differing points of view and reports from others who are fasting have been AWESOME!

Update from my end:
Spouse and I started our "15 day fast" today. Technically it began at 2100 last night as I had one last snack at that time.

Our plan is a little janky due to some inputs that were unknown when I first wrote this post.

For me: I had a work requirement travel pop up, it requires me to travel on day 12 of the fast and do some mentally challenging work days 13-15. That means I may have to end my fast sooner than I'd like as I can't risk not being able to work to the best of my ability. I'll report in on how that goes.

For her: She has decided that she'd like to take her fast out to 21-22 days due to various circumstances. I'm supporting her in that, she has great social support at work and since it's in a medical office, she'll have lots of "oversight" if things get sideways for her (they won't).

Later this week, I'll start to exercise lightly, running several times a week and doing a circuit lifting routine with low weights, moderate reps, 3-5 sets based on energy levels (they usually increase as I work out).

She plans to take long walks and get in what exercise she can.

WHY?

This is a valid question that we've discussed at length in this post but our mentality is:
1. To prove to ourselves that we can
2. To improve insulin response (we are both carb sensitive and have family histories to deal with)
3. To induce autophagy and reduce chance of cancer/Alzheimer's etc in the future
4. For me, to hopefully reduce the number of/size of benign fatty lipomas
5. For her, continued weight loss and reduced abdominal stores

I am planning to start consuming bone broth with sea salt around days 3-5, I'll continue to do that for the duration. I'll take fish oil/magnesium/zinc/potassium daily. This mix should prevent the cramping/extreme lethargy I've experienced in previous fasts.

My starting info is sparse at this point. Getting up at 0500 this morning, it was less than 12 hours since we started fasting so I didn't take glucose or ketone readings. The only data I have now is that my starting weight (after several days of "studying") is 171 (about 8-11 pounds higher than I normally stay).

I'll update every few days but I expect fasting glucose to run around 75-90, ketones will hit 8 around day 5-8 (the meter tops out at 8), and I'll drop around 20 pounds, depending on hydration levels. Post fast, I'll put on 4-6 pounds depending on post-fast eating habits (I largely regulate my weight through beer consumption....).

Here goes!

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Re: 5 Day fast next week; 15 day fast started today!
« Reply #99 on: March 22, 2017, 03:15:59 PM »
Wow, good luck.  I will be following closely.  I did a 36 hour fast last Thurs-Sat and a 24 hour fast on Sunday-Monday.  I'll be breaking another 24 hour fast in about 90 minutes.  I can't imagine 15 days!