I supplemented sodium and magnesium during the fast (which is essential), but otherwise only consumed water. During my first few days of re-feeding, I also supplemented sodium diphosphate to avoid hypophosphatemia - which is really only a problem when slamming carbs after an extended fast, but I wanted to be careful.
The most interesting thing for me was that after the first couple days (I've done shorter duration fasts ranging from one to five days intermittently for a few years), my desire to eat was entirely mental - the physical pangs had gone. After about the tenth day I was simply not hungry, at all.
Also could you maintain a normal libido? My wife won't let me do fasts because it impacts our sex life too much. But I wonder if I would break through after a couple days and get things back to normal in that department.
Libido-wise, I couldn't tell you. My sex-drive has been abnormally low for my entire life. Your wife's suspicion would seem to make sense. 'The Science of Fasting' - a movie available on Amazon Prime - goes into some detail about the metabolic changes a body undergoes during the process. It would make sense that reproductive urges would diminish during a time when one's body was focused on conservation.
The average height of a man in the US is 5'10". The difference between the low end of normal BMI to high end of normal is 132-167, or 35lbs. So even a person at the high end of normal BMI could easily fast for 30 days without going underweight.
What adult man burns 2000 Calories a day?
I was stupid/stubborn and didn't supplement anything but salt for the first 30 days. If you're going to fast, sodium, potassium and magnesium are what I would recommend. I could post my before/after pictures and the spreadsheets with my logs if there's any interest.
I’ve been doing this inadvertently, due to illness, and lost about the same amount - 40 lbs in less than 2 months. I was trying to eat as much as possible, though. I went from being in the higher healthy range of BMI to the low end.
Religious laws have lots of "thou shalt not", but rarely any "thou shalt only in moderation". The laws of kashrut are incredibly inconvenient, but they're remarkably easy to follow in practice because they're absolute - either a food is kosher or treif, with no middle ground. You don't have to exercise judgement or restraint, you just have to blindly obey a set of well-documented rules.
Fad diets like paleo are ostensibly irrational, but they're a good fit for human psychology. Counting calories is a minefield - it's too easy to slip up, too easy to deceive yourself about the size of a portion, too easy to nibble at something while you're cooking and forget to count it. A diet that says "don't eat grains" might be theoretically sub-optimal, but it's easy to stick to and much more resistant to self-deception.
Exclusion diets also front-load the burden of self control. If you don't buy any cookies, you have to get into your car and drive to the store if you get a craving for them. If you've got a jar full of cookies, you're relying on pure self control to eat only one rather than scarfing the whole lot. They're always sitting there on the counter, tempting you to break your diet.
here's the mathematical evidence: Over a 30 year period, this intake has to be incredibly precise. In 30 years, you take in about 22 million calories (assuming 2k per day). Now, if you're off by even 5%, say 1m calories then you would gain or loose 300 pounds!! (at the well known 3400 calories per pound) The vast majority of humans and even animals, don't count their calories, so how can they eat exactly the precise amount of calories to be able to sustain roughly the same weight. The reason of course, is because while you may not be counting your calories, your body certainly is, and counting them much more precisely than you or I can. IT adjusts the amount of calories you consume to reach the target weight. Now that target weight is decided by your body's set point - YOU can not change it. If you're body tells you to eat, you must eat. And you can't just trick it by eating a ton of super low calorie spinach.
Now, you may be able to reduce your caloric intake with sheer willpower, for a day or a week, or a month or even a year. But, the body will always be trying to compensate for this. And unlike you, who will grow weary of fighting this war, biological processes don't get tired. They fight and fight just as effectively 1 year later, 5 years later or even 20 years later.
Try this experiment: just once, try to eat half the lunch you ordinarily would eat. I bet you can't do it. Just try it. And if you could do it, you would quickly realize how miserable the rest of your afternoon would be.
Everything we've done: trying to reduce our caloric intake to excessive exercising as far as loosing weight is concerned is sort of a hack. What you really want is to reduce the set point. Once you reduce your set point, loosing weight will be completely effortless. If you look at all the normal sized people, all the epdimelogical studies show: they don't excercise more and they don't eat better, their bodies simply have the correct set point.
I'm sorry but people regularly skip meals and move on with their lives. Am I missing a parody here?
All that said, I do hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong!
I'm not saying you're entirely wrong here; in fact, I'd agree with your premise. The issue is, that the entire idea behind consistent dieting and exercise is moving what you'd call the "set point"; but somehow you're railing against that idea in general without giving HOW to change the set point outside of consistent, mindful change.
The general problem with food/caloric intake is that it takes time for your stomach to signal that it's full; so for many people - because most eat quickly - they're actually full well before they know it, which leads to over eating. Your body doesn't "know" its fat stores, it has no way of "remembering" what your current caloric intake/output is; it's a set of feedback mechanisms that tend to handle slow processes better than fast, and the only set-point "memory" that may be involved is the feedback response for the dynamic system sitting around the saddle-points of the equation modeling the process (which is a fancy way of saying any set-point is at best a representation of a representation of a dynamic multi-variate system).
If I proscribed myself to what you're saying here; my "natural" weight gain of roughly 10 lbs per year (from 2007-2013) was because my "set point" is somewhere way, way north of 220lbs (since my weight over time didn't "hockey-stick" level off during any point before then); and once I leveled off it was because I "changed my set-point," which you never explained how to do. Or, based on empirical data, I changed my eating habits, reduced my caloric intake to something manageable for my current metabolic rate, and increased my regular exercise; thus creating a net caloric deficit to get myself to a healthy weight. Once at that healthy weight, maintaining a slower eating pace allowed me to recognize I was full before I was overfull - letting the natural feedback mechanisms actually work.
TL;DR: You're using fancy new-speak to dress up the fact that a 2KCal per day diet doesn't meet everyone's caloric balance sheet needs and people need to be mindful of their own body's needs.
We're not even completely sure of what causes the set point to be messed up. There's a mountain of correlational evidence that points to sugar and all the foods that were invented to replace fat (obesity skyrocketed precisly the year US told everyone to switch over from fat to sugar). But, what precisely about sugar is it? the processed foods probably?
At this point, all we can do is try to eat as natural as possible and prevent the set point from ever getting messed up, as early as possible, before your overweight before your an adult, before even childhood. It starts with the baby in the womb.
So it seems it is like primarily a combination of psychological and behavioral modifications that impact physiological things. If you maintain the current set point / weight for long enough, your body adjusts.
edit: I now recall a UK TV station (BBC? ITV4? sorry) that investigated how people have quite different metabolism - they monitored people with state of the art device showing how they varied quite a lot despite having the same exact diet.
I would be worried about loss of muscle mass (especially important muscles such as stabiliser muscles), bone loss and cartilage issues. Not even talking about vitamin deficiency and imbalances. I feel that this would wreck my hormone levels too.
Some muscle loss is inevitable over an extended period of time, but muscle tissue and especially bone tissue aren't storage forms of energy. Fat is.
I definitely felt weaker at the end, but was back to my pre-fast strength level within a few weeks with regular exercise.
I can't assuage your concerns, and I'm not advocating that others do what I did. But, by being careful with electrolyte supplementation and extremely careful when re-feeding, the process was free of negative side effects, for me.
I read a few days ago about hunger helping with chronic pain and I read a few articles about fasting (although, you're saying you don't feel hungry anymore after a while, which would not be poaitive in my case).
Pretty fascinating stuff, though.
Re: your interest, there's a segment in a movie called 'The Science of Fasting' available with Amazon Prime streaming which follows a woman undergoing chemotherapy whose doctor ok'd her desire to fast during the process based on promising results from an animal trial. During her first round she fasted and only minimally felt negative effects from the chemo. During her second she ate normally and reported feeling substantially worse. The film also goes into how fasting significantly alters short-term gene expression, which might also be of interest.
I agree that the area is exciting. What little work has been done seems to show that the field holds huge promise for a number of therapeutic uses, the least of which is weight loss.
Congrats, I think it takes some courage and determination to succeed at fasting for so long!
There is almost no research available on the subject in the west, and there likely won't be - studies of this sort require funding, and Pfizer or whomever aren't going to spend money on research that could show that the most effective form of weight loss available is freely available for everyone.
I won't say I felt amazing for the duration - I fatigued easily, as could be expected, but other than that and some light-headedness when standing quickly from a seated or reclined position (which is common for people following a keto diet, too), nothing felt seriously off.
I don't get it
The mindset change for me was basically what I believe most overweight people suffer from: To start eating so much and so often that they forget what 'hunger' really is.
With that change, now knowing for real when I'm hungry and when I just 'want to eat', my weight started to drop naturally, and in 3 years (slow descent, which was good as well for other reasons) I ended up losing 50 kg, going from a "morbidly obese" BMI to a now healthy "slightly overweight" :-)
Losing weight slowly meant 2 good things to me:
1- the mind changed, so now I'm simply unable to get back to that weight, I can't eat so much, all my portion sizes were slashed and I can do that while eating normally - no fad diets or crazy restrictions. yes I eat pizza with a coke sometimes, I just don't eat a whole pizza anymore :) That level of control and balance was what I was striving for, because I think that's durable. I knew I could lose weight by being angry and brute forcing it for 6 months, but I don't believe I'd be able to keep the weight down without a proper mindset break.
2- losing weight slowly also meant I don't have heaps of loose skin, I didn't need plastic surgery or anything and besides still being a bit chubby, I can take my shirt off just fine without getting strange looks :-) I know people that lost the same 50 kg in 6 months through insane diets and overexerting themselves at the gym and their skin just couldn't shrink as fast as they lost weight, they have these folds which usually give away you 'lost too much weight'. I'm proud I don't have these features!
TL;DR: Change your mindset around food, your body will follow. Don't bruteforce it when you're angry, you're just gonna have a temporary weight loss like you probably have and tried countless times if you come from a fat background/upbringing. o/
To supplement all of that without food is certainly possible, but not easy without a ton of research and a plan. Given that most people cannot stick to a normal reduced-calorie diet, it’s a leap to think that full-on fasting will be possible for the general populous.
That said, I do intermittent fasting all the time, and occasionally do a 24-36 hour fast if I feel I need it. I don’t have an eating disorder, but there are times where my calorie surplus gets away from me during family occasions. The longer fasts help me get back on track, especially in tandem with a hard weightlifting workout at the gym to use that surplus to its fullest potential.
I come from a country where skipping a meal is unthinkable and grew up thinking it was unhealthy to not eat when you're supposed to, let alone not eat at all.
During that day I was surprised how "energized" and focused I felt after the initial lunch-time "hump". I reached a point at which I just wasn't hungry any more; I wasn't feeling full of energy but I wasn't tired either, and I was very focused for some reason.
What you found is exactly how I feel daily. By sticking to keto, that loss of focus is minimized as less energy goes to my gut for digestion.
Maybe because it was time to hunt... :P
If, like this guy, you have doctors monitoring you, you'll be okay.
If you just try to go about it without eating, you'll eventually end up with a deficiency in something or other, and have health problems until you eat whatever nutrient it is your missing again.
From a quick google search, it seems that cooking generates more AGEs, which are somehow related to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Also, you are a collection of organisms that work together to keep "you" alive. Punishing your gut bacteria/etc just because you can is not healthy.
He had electrolyte maintenance and periodic monitoring. Fasting is a remarkable component of the cure for all sorts of things.
> Punishing your gut bacteria/etc just because you can is not healthy.
Your gut bacteria don't care. They exit as poop and the remainders will be selected for survival, not "punishment". How does one "punish" bacteria? What does that even mean?
Let's be charitable. He probably meant that the intestinal fauna population would be greatly impacted. For what it's worth, about half the time I read, "What does that even mean?" I can immediately think of a possible interpretation, and it makes me think the one who asked should have tried at least a little.
Gut flora is not hard to restore, and in fact people have to do it quite often since antibiotics take their toll on it.
downvoters: I'm not wrong
downvoter isn't either, IMO
It’s very curious but fasting improves your smell a lot and I am not the only one to observe this phenomenon.
Maybe it’s an old biological mechanism to make it easier to find food? In any case it’s pretty impressive.
Seems possible it is inflammation related
You can get most of the same information from his online output, for free. I found this video especially interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIuj-oMN-Fk
(Here's one: https://aligntherapy.com/podcast/dr-steven-gundry-plant-para... )