Lost 80 lbs in 60 days, kept off around 60 of it for 3+ years. Here's my spreadsheet log. Note this is NOT how I would do things now.
I'll be around for the next hour or so and do my best to answer any questions, if I don't catch you, my e-mail is my username here at gmail.
1) I was drinking too much water. During the early phases I was up to 5 to 7 liters per day, now I keep it around 3 to 3.5 liters unless I'm on my feet or sweating quite frequently. Too much water can be just as bad (or worse) than not enough.
2) Doing salt only (probably combined with the excess water intake) was demonstrably stupid. Now I supplement sodium/magnesium/potassium every day on an extended fast. I personally shoot for around 3k/2k/1k mg daily of each of those. Do not take them all at once, they'll go right through you. Remember 3k mg sodium is roughly 7k mg table salt. Avoid Magnesium Oxide, shoot for Chelated Magnesium or Magnesium Citrate, they have much better bio-availability. This may seem excessive for electrolytes, but I think it's a good starting point regardless of body size, and the solution to it being 'too much' is 'just drink water'.
One Minor mistake -- I'd keep my diet much less full of junk leading in to the fast. That 60 days started over an argument with my significant other about about weather to cook two pizza's or one, and beer was involved, so... let's just say I didn't have the cleanest of slates going into the fast the next day.
Other than that, I'd take better notes, journal more, and test my bloodwork more frequently -- both with my ketone meter and in a lab by professionals.
For 2L water:
1tsp potassium chloride (NoSalt / SaltFree)
1/2tsp Himalayan pink salt
1tsp sodium bicarbonate (Red Mill. Not processed Arm & Hammer)
1/2tsp magnesium sulphate (Epsom Salt. West Point. Must be Food Grade)
Yeah I can only take that channel in small doses, but I've heard the recipe works well.
Any other side effects?
I lost 30kgs over 12 months in 2013, half of it through intermittent fasting over period of 3 months. I have also fasted for 2 weeks once (not during that year).
Literally the best I've felt in recent memory was day 61 after I started eating again.
Muscle mass was fine, I'm sure there was some decline in muscle mass, but I wasn't working out excessively during the fast. Mostly just long walks. I'd guess no more muscle mass than just sitting in front of a computer and not moving.
I leveled out around 225/230 post fast and I was able to deadlift 450 for 3x reps within weeks of starting to eat again.
> Any other side effects?
Completely re-calibrated sense of taste post fast, probably partially due to a much healthier gut microbiome -- though I have no way to back that statement up.
Massively heightened sense of smell during the fast too. Focusing seemed easier when running on ketones.
Long term, it took a while until literally everything didn't taste obscenely sweet.
I think consuming a bit of yeast (as Mr. Barbieri did) is probably a good idea to prevent your body from catabolizing muscles.
As to yeast -- that's right, that is exactly the point. Rather than eat yeast extract which is basically proteins and nothing else, I would take a look at a small amounts of broth in daily diet. It is possibly safer (people can survive on broth alone so small dose of it daily shouldn't be a problem) and it tends to contain a lot of useful stuff for the organism.
It is not strictly zero calorie diet but I think if your aim is health this is probably for the best rather than seeking ideal of zero calories.
I may have lost absolute muscle mass, but glycogen is a bunch of that mass, and my muscles had none of that by day 60.
My feeling was something along the lines of -- sure I lost some muscle mass, but it was a small amount and relative to overall mass lost and the other health benefits of not being obese.
Also, subjectively, I feel like I lost little to no actual strength.
To me quibbling over if 5% or 25% of overall mass lost was muscle is immaterial and completely outweighed by the benefits regardless of what that number is.
I actually loathed going back to eating. At a point I thought it strange that I am actually dragging switching back to eating -- before the experiment I thought I will be looking forward to it.
I have fasted many times before and after, though no longer than a week. I think it is easier to fast if you are already doing something like intermittent fasting and are used to skipping whole days of eating.
My experience is that the worst is 2nd and 3rd days of fast, it gets better after that and about a week later headaches stop and you are feeling light and slightly energized.
I will not repeat fasts over 1 week in length again as I have some data to suggest that my muscle mass and physical fitness decreased due to that fast. So if you are looking to loose weight by going radical fast you need to be mindful you can be loosing muscle mass that is really important to burning energy, and this could undo any benefits. I think if you are very, very overweight and very, very determined you could use this as a drastic measure with intention to build the muscle mass back after you finish fasting.
On the other hand shorter fasts (1-3 days), though not so enjoyable, don't seem to be leaving any lasting harm (for me) and over time you get used to it and can control calorie intake better.
(I'm doing much better now!)
I know 2 people that developed gallbladder stones and had to undergo gallbladder surgery after a sudden switch to plant-based diet for a month. Doctors say a rapid weight loss might be the cause.
I imagine it is only worse with real fasting.
Also, if you have any medical conditions or plan to fast longer than 2 weeks -- seek medical observation.
I would also suggest eating a tiny bit of vitamins, electrolytes and proteins, just for safety. Your organism cannot synthesize all proteins that are needed and can't produce vitamins (by very definition) even if it gets good at conserving them.
For example tryptophan is precursor for serotonin and melatonin and cannot be synthesized by human body. You are risking depression and sleep problems without any intake of it.
Also I am not medical professional. You should probably not base your health and safety on word of a layman dropping his opinion on HN:)
Now, fast is no magic, the organism still uses up stores of various chemicals, just slower, so it still can "run out" of some things even if it still has a bunch of fat available for energy.
One way organism can preserve chemicals is the simple fact it no longer has to digest stuff and then expell a lot of waste products. All of this is normally huge drag on your body, mostly on your liver. When on fast, that process is no longer necessary (mostly) and your liver gets much more efficient at the smaller number and volume of metabolic pathways.
So when you are on fast and drop a vitamin, your body has not much else to do and will be very efficient at incorporating those vitamins into your body when normally most of these vitamins would not be used because the pathways necessary would be busy doing something else.
It is also really funny to observe you can be not eating anything but still poop for at least a weak.
Isn't that because the body will still be excreting dead red blood cells and other short term cells. I had read somewhere that's often the bulk of feces anyway plus undigestable fibers
2) Drink water, not too much, not too little.
3) Supplement electrolytes. Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium.
You can see my comments elsewhere in this thread for more details on that.
Oh, absolutely right. If you have never missed a meal in your life and you plan to start multi-week fast you are in for a rude awakening.
As with any other change for your organism, you are best doing it slowly and letting your body adapt.
The metabolic pathways needed for operation while fasting are different from the ones you train on 3 meals a day. You need to let them develop a little bit before you go for a long fast.
It would be like trying to run a marathon without any training.
There is help here but I've refused it. Thanks.
Why have I heard or read about water fasts from multiple independent parties in the past 48 hours, incl this article? I'm creeped out beyond words.
I’ve been in some real rough holes too and I know what it feels like to lose all hope but I’ve never been without a home. Can’t imagine how hard that is for you mate.
And why do you want to commit suicide?
In my view, it's better to self terminate now and save resources. To be clear, I am destitute and have zero intention nor desire to participate in human culture again. It's why I gave everything away in preparation for suicide.
I've dealt with unresolved bullying and abuse for decades and decided enough was enough. Past the point of no return now.
I also have an untreatable medical condition that has wrecked my quality of life for decades.
Hoping to finally do it this time. Too many false starts.
Ouch, what medical condition do you have man?
All of that would get me down too. I get why you want to throw in the towel, it’s not easy. But please don’t. Please let’s just keep the conversation going so I can fully understand.
I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that you died alone, hungry and completely broken.
finances, credit, rental, legal, personal, family, work, online rep - all wrecked
> why suicide
lots of reasons, too many to list
As per other comment, I find human existence to be disgusting.
This is not by any means an acute decision. Years in the making. I ran out of food money a few days ago knowing I'd face this decision yet again.
If you're still in seattle, would you be willing to go help these guys feed the hungry tomorrow and feed yourself too:
or these guys
firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 723-0767.
If your current perspective is solid it won't be swayed by seeing people working hard to make other people's existence less shitty.
finding patterns in noise and noticing coincidences can be symptoms of psychosis, though. I hope you give meds another try before you hurt yourself..
On one of my twitter accounts where I tweet about my suicidal ideations, when I start a tweet to "@coffee", twitter's autocomplete returns the first suggestion as "Death Wish Coffee".
This doesn't happen on my other twitter accounts.
Am I noticing a pattern that is possibly indicative of psychosis? Or is twitter's pattern matching algo matching up my "death wish" (discussions of suicidal ideation) with "death wish coffee"? Or, perhaps there is some other explanation?
Suggesting psychosis is not appropriate either. Not what someone feeling suicidal wants to hear.
Seeing patterns is just that, a pattern matching process of the brain. It's annoying and creepy, like your response. I don't draw conclusions.
It's insulting and counterproductive to make an anonymous diagnosis (or even a suggestion of the possibility of one) to a stranger online. Please don't do that. I am under enough pressure as it is. Your response makes it harder for me, despite your intention. So, kindly discontinue.