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Adventures in Fasting, Part 1

April 24th, 2018 at 09:33 am

(Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor offering advice to anyone. This is my experience alone and hope that someone might find it interesting or prompt them to do their own research, as I have.)

Hello! For various reasons, I led myself down the path to experiment with Intermittent Fasting. Basically, it’s voluntarily not consuming food for a period of time- it can be hours or days. I have been practicing a form of this for years- “Skipping Breakfast”. I was operating with an eating window of 11-7 most days. For me, even when I eat ‘clean’ during the time frame, I will only be full for a couple hours and then the cravings hit. I was snacking all afternoon. After dinner (whether it was high protein/low carb or lots of veggies and big portions, whatever method I tried), I HAD to have something sweet or salty. Or both. I’m not overweight, but have gained 5-10 lbs in the last couple years (I’m a small person) and have a belly pooch. I need to get a handle on this before perimenopause!

My research led me to many sources. The most exciting to me is finding Dr. Jason Fung. He has many You Tube videos and podcasts. He has had success treating diabetics with fasting to get their blood sugar under control. There are many others- Michael Mosley made a documentary on fasting using the 5:2 method, for example. Of course, fasting has been done for thousands of years, as part of religion and healing- Hippocrates and others, so it's not really 'new' but it's been all but forgotten by the medical profession. There are a lot of different programs for fasting. I think that’s what is cool- one can do their own research and figure out the best way for them as an individual.

I’m currently in a 38 hour fast. I stopped eating at 7pm on Sunday night. I’ve only consumed water, coffee with a splash of heavy cream, herbal tea and homemade chicken broth with extra sea salt. (There are differing opinions on whether consuming anything other than pure water is a ‘real fast’). Last weekend I fasted for 24 hours and 22 hours with no issues, other than some tummy grumblings which passed in a few minutes. I had a harder time on this longer fast - major headache, fogginess, white-coated tongue. Pretty sure my body was detoxing and repairing yesterday. I slept great last night and woke up tired, but no headache. I meant to stop the fast at the 36 hour mark (7am) but now that the worst is over, I’m getting more energy and mood is great. I’m going to play it by ear and see how I feel during the day. I do have a smoothie and nuts if I need them, and all kinds of food in the work café.

I’m excited to see how this goes for me. So far I’m enjoying this process and learning about myself and what I am capable of. I am finding that it’s more mental than physical. I will make more posts on this subject soon, along with new insights. I’d love to hear your experiences if you have tried fasting.

4 Responses to “Adventures in Fasting, Part 1”

  1. Dido Says:

    Very interested to hear your adventures! I was doing IF from August 2016 to January 2017 and lost about 20 pounds, which have now crept back, so I have been trying to gear myself up to start IF again. I found IF thru Dr. Bert Herring (Fast 5 and Appetite Correction) and was mostly doing a 16/8 schedule, which I found manageable once I got going with it. I never did the 19/5 that Dr. Herring recommends. I fell off the plan with the combination of a new job and winter and adrenal fatigue (where they recommend that you don't fast as it is just one more stressor). I read Dr. Fung's book back when I was doing the program. It's very interesting hearing how it's going for you so you have at least one very interested audience member!

    Last year I went to a chiropractor who helped me deal with the adrenal fatigue/Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and while I did improve some working with him, I'm feeling like I've backslid the past few months, so I'm going to see an endrocrinologist and have some testing done before I try anything again. My endrocrinologist appointment is the beginning of June and I'm hoping what with summer weather and a slightly lighter load at work to get my own diet and exercise back under better control. I was doing pretty well until I started the new job, which I love, but it's been bad for my taking care of my health. My boss manages to exercise so I should be able to as well, but I currently don't have any energy either before or after work. Anyways, watching your experiments with interest!

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Make that TWO interested bloggers here! I really haven't tried it, except many years ago my boss and I would fast for the day together, and I found it helpful to do it with someone. I'm going to look up those doctors and perhaps start some reading. I feel so food-dependent but I know there are times when I'm not hungry but I eat on auto pilot simply because it's time to eat.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Meant to add, there have been many studies showing that an overall reduction in calorie intake (in the range of 15 or 20%) adds years to your life.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I do intermittent fasting most days and have been for about 2 years! I don't follow a strict schedule but I eat lunch anywhere between 11:30am and 1:30pm, and then dinner can be anywhere from 6-7:30pm. So anywhere between 16 and 19.5 hours, I guess. Some days I have breakfast, some nights I have snacks. Usually I'm really good Monday-Thursday and then one or more days of the weekend I loosen it up.

    I was hovering in my 140s for a couple years, but now I'm in my 130s. If I'm really good with my habits I sometimes dip down into the high 120s, but I'm usually too lax to stay there for long. Still, the overall median weight is lower than when I wasn't doing it!

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