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FASTING 101

fast fasting insulin insulin resistance

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#1 anorexicduty

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:01 PM

I came across a really good reference for those of you that fast. 

 

It's FASTING 101, but the title is the HISTORY OF FASTING.

 

It's a short 10 pages or so and well worth reading if you haven't read about the various aspects of fasting before.

 

It cleared up many misconceptions for me. I've been fasting for many years and I didn't know at least 50% of this content.


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#2 eIjeeae

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:03 PM

i'm going to read it!

i heard you were doing a 34 day fast. good luck!



#3 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:12 PM

I'll give it a read and report back on anything I've found interesting.

 

"Fasting is one of the most ancient and widespread healing traditions in the world. Hippocrates of Cos (c 460 – c370 BC) is widely considered the father of modern medicine. Among the treatments that he prescribed and championed was the practice of fasting, and the consumption of apple cider vinegar. Hippocrates wrote, “To eat when you are sick, is to feed your illness”. The ancient Greek writer and historian Plutarch (cAD46 – c AD 120) also echoed these sentiments. He wrote, “Instead of using medicine, better fast today”. Ancient Greek thinkers Plato and his student Aristotle were also staunch supporters of fasting.

 

The ancient Greeks believed that medical treatment could be observed from nature. Humans, like most animals, do not eat when they become sick. For this reason, fasting has been called the ‘physician within’. This fasting ‘instinct’ that makes dogs, cats and humans anorexic when sick. This sensation is certainly familiar to everybody. Consider the last time you were sick with the flu. Probably the last thing you wanted to do was eat. So, fasting seems to be a universal human instinct to multiple forms of illnesses. Thus fasting is ingrained into human heritage, and as old as mankind itself."

 

"Other intellectual giants were also great proponents of fasting. Philip Paracelsus, the founder of toxicology and one of three fathers of modern Western medicine (along with Hippocrates and Galen) wrote, “Fasting is the greatest remedy – the physician within”. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of America’s founding fathers and renowned for wide knowledge in many areas once wrote of fasting “The best of all medicines is resting and fasting”."

 

"Fasting for spiritual purposes is widely practiced, and remains part of virtually every major religion in the world. Jesus Christ, Buddha and the prophet Muhammed all shared a common belief in the healing power of fasting."

 

"The practice of fasting developed independently among different religions and cultures, not as something that was harmful, but something that was deeply, intrinsically beneficial to the human body and spirit."


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#4 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:23 PM

"Glucose and fat are the body’s main sources of energy. If glucose is not available, then the body will adjust by using fat, without any detrimental health effects." "The transition from the fed state to the fasted state occurs in several stages.

 

Starvation-1.jpg

 

  1. Feeding – During meals, insulin levels are raised. This allows uptake of glucose into tissues such as the muscle or brain to be used directly for energy. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver.
  2. The post-absorptive phase – 6-24 hours after beginning fasting.   Insulin levels start to fall. Breakdown of glycogen releases glucose for energy. Glycogen stores last for roughly 24 hours.
  3. Gluconeogenesis – 24 hours to 2 days – The liver manufactures new glucose from amino acids in a process called “gluconeogenesis”. Literally, this is translated as “making new glucose”. In non-diabetic persons, glucose levels fall but stay within the normal range.
  4. Ketosis – 2-3 days after beginning fasting – The low levels of insulin reached during fasting stimulate lipolysis, the breakdown of fat for energy. The storage form of fat, known as triglycerides, is broken into the glycerol backbone and three fatty acid chains. Glycerol is used for gluconeogenesis. Fatty acids may be used for directly for energy by many tissues in the body, but not the brain. Ketone bodies, capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, are produced from fatty acids for use by the brain. After four days of fasting, approximately 75% of the energy used by the brain is provided by ketones. The two major types of ketones produced are beta hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, which can increase over 70 fold during fasting.
  5. Protein conservation phase – >5 days – High levels of growth hormone maintain muscle mass and lean tissues. The energy for maintenance of basal metabolism is almost entirely met by the use of free fatty acids and ketones. Increased norepinephrine (adrenalin) levels prevent the decrease in metabolic rate.

The human body has well developed mechanisms for dealing with periods of low food availability. In essence, what we are describing here is the process of switching from burning glucose (short term) to burning fat (long term). Fat is simply the body’s stored food energy. In times of low food availability, stored food is naturally released to fill the void. So no, the body does not ‘burn muscle’ in an effort to feed itself until all the fat stores are used."

 

 

Personal Note:  The role of the liver is very important during fasting, which is why I prefer to use liver support supplement vitamin drops.


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#5 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:35 PM

Diabetes

 

"Insulin is the main driver of both obesity and type 2 diabetes."

 

"Fasting is the most efficient and consistent strategy to decrease insulin levels. This was first noted decades ago, and widely accepted as true. It is quite simple and obvious. All foods raise insulin, so the most effective method of reducing insulin is to avoid all foods. Blood glucose levels remain normal, as the body begins to switch over to burning fat for energy. This effect is seen with fasting periods as short as 24-36 hours. Longer duration fasts reduce insulin even more dramatically."

 

"Regular fasting, in addition to lowering insulin levels, has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity significantly. This is the missing link in the weight loss puzzle. Most diets reduce highly insulin-secreting foods, but do not address the insulin resistance issue. Weight is initially lost, but insulin resistance keeps insulin levels and Body Set Weight high. Fasting is an efficient method of reducing insulin resistance."

 

"Lowering insulin rids the body of excess salt and water. Insulin causes salt and water retention in the kidney."

 

"Fasting has also been noted to have an early period of rapid weight loss. For the first five days, weight loss averages 0.9 kg/ day, far exceeding the caloric restriction and likely due to a diuresis of salt and water."


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#6 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:37 PM

Fasting is Good for Muscle and Bone Health (actually boosts growth hormones)

 

"Growth hormone is known to increase the availability and utility of fats for fuel. It also helps to preserve muscle mass and bone density. Secretion is known to be pulsatile, making accurate measurement difficult. Growth hormone secretion decreases steadily with age. One of the most potent stimuli to growth hormone secretion is fasting. Over a five-day fasting period growth hormone secretion more than doubled. The net physiologic effect is to maintain muscle and bone tissue mass over the fasting period."

 

Fasting-GH2-300x182.jpg


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#7 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:41 PM

Daily vitamin supplements alone, found to be a sufficient nutrition source for long term fasts.

 

"Electrolytes

Concerns about malnutrition during fasting are misplaced. Insufficient calories are not a major worry, since fat stores are quite ample. The main concern is the development of micronutrient deficiency. However, even prolonged studies of fasting have found no evidence of malnutrition. Potassium levels may decrease slightly, but even two months of continuous fasting does not decrease levels below 3.0 mEq/L, even without the use of supplements. This duration of fasting is far longer than generally recommended. Magnesium, calcium and phosphorus levels during fasting are stable. Presumably, this is due to the large stores of these minerals in the bones. Ninety nine percent of the calcium and phosphorus in the body is stored in the bones. The use of a multi-vitamin supplement will provide the recommended daily allowance of micronutrients. A therapeutic fast of 382 days was maintained with only a multivitamin with no harmful effect on health."


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#8 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:43 PM

First Four Days of Fasting = Increased Energy Levels & Metabolic Rate

 

"Adrenalin

Adrenalin levels are increased so that we have plenty of energy to go get more food. For example, 48 hours of fasting produces a 3.6% increase in metabolic rate, not the dreaded metabolic ‘shut-down’. In response to a 4 day fast, resting energy expenditure increased up to 14%.   Rather than slowing the metabolism, instead the body revvs it up. Presumably, this is done so that we have energy to go out and find more food."


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#9 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:48 PM

Exercising while Fasting

 

"The increased adrenalin during fasting (to be discussed in future) will also allow you to perform a more intense workout.  It will make workouts easier and recovery faster.

 

It is not by accident that many of the early proponents of training in the fasted state are bodybuilders.  This is a sport that demands, in particular, high intensity training and extremely low body fat for definition."

 

"So, for all those people who thought that fasting would make you tired, or that you could not exercise during fasting, well, you’re just wrong. Fasting does not ‘burn’ muscle.  There is no ‘starvation’ mode from fasting where you shrivel up into the fetal position on your couch."

 

"Rather, fasting has the potential to unleash the anti-aging properties of HGH without any of the problems of excessive HGH (prostate cancer, increased blood sugar, increased blood pressure).  For those interested in athletic performance, the benefits are even greater."

 

Personal Note:  I intermittently fast a lot, preferring not to eat two days in a row, and I love exercising while fasting, my least favorite day to exercise is upon a food day as its my least energetic day in the early fasting stages, plus I hate the food weight on me holding me down.


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#10 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:56 PM

Fasting (at least long term, short-term does not rely upon ketones) is not recommended for children, but highly recommended for adults.

 

"Here’s a question I get sometimes. Can my overweight child fast? Seven hells, no. Here’s a graphical description of why. Children simply may not be able to produce adequate amounts of ketones. Even if they could, I sure as hell would not want to take that risk.

In fact, every major religion in the world requires fasting – but ONLY for adults."

 

FFA3-300x201.jpg


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#11 htttps

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:59 PM

i didnt know any of this

 

i'm gonna read it now, thank you so much for posting it!


 

 

 


#12 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:01 PM

Four Day Fasts

 

"In a more recent study of 4 days of fasting, virtually identical results were found. Let’s take a closer look. There are many interesting details here.  First, you will notice that fatty acids increase 373%.  Blood glucose drops from 4.9 to 3.5 – lower but still in the normal range, maintained by hepatic gluconeogenesis. Beta hydroxybutyrate increases 2527% percent! The brain is powered on ketones and the body is powered on fat. That’s the mythical fat burning – Burn, Baby, Burn!

 

Second, you can see that over 4 days of fasting, there is a continuous increase in norepinephrine, while epinephrine remains relatively stable.  The increase in adrenalin increases energy and prevents the decrease in resting energy expenditure (REE) or metabolism. REE increases more than 10%.  There is no metabolic shut-down.  Fasting instead revs the body’s metabolism. VO2 also increases slightly indicating a greater capacity of the body for physical exertion."


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#13 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:04 PM

"Studies of alternate daily fasting, for example show that the concern over muscle loss is largely misplaced. Alternate daily fasting over 70 days decreased body weight by 6%, but fat mass decreased by 11.4%. Lean mass (including muscle and bone) did not change at all. Significant improvements were seen in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Growth hormone increases to maintain muscle mass. Studies of eating a single meal per day found significantly more fat loss despite the same caloric intake. Importantly, no evidence of muscle loss was found."


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#14 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:07 PM

Why restriction dieting is bad, but fasting is good.

 

"So what happened in the Minnesota Starvation Experiment? These participants were not fasting. They were eating a reduced calorie diet. The hormonal adaptations to fasting were not allowed to happen. In response to a prolonged period of lowered food intake, the body makes the adjustment to lower TEE.  Everything changes when food intake goes to zero (fasting).  The body obviously cannot take TEE down to zero.  Instead, the body now switches to burning the fat stored on our bodies."

 

"Detailed physiologic measurements show that TEE is maintained or sometimes even increased over the duration of a fast. Alternate daily fasting over 22 days found no measurable decrease in TEE. There was no ‘starvation’ mode. There was no decreased metabolism. Fat oxidation increased 58% while carbohydrate oxidation decreased from 53%.   This means that the body has started to switch over from burning sugar to burning fat with no overall drop in energy. Four days of fasting actually increase TEE by 12%. Norepinephrine levels (adrenalin) absolutely skyrocketed 117% to maintain energy. Fatty acids increased over 370% as the body switched to burning fat. Insulin measurements decreased 17%. Blood glucose levels dropped slightly but remained in the normal range."

 

Personal Note:  I am presently eating one day for every three days that I fast (3:1 fast/food day ratio).  By these statistics it looks like I could expand fasting days to four days for an extra day of weight loss while maximizing short term metabolic percentage peaks.

 

"Some would argue that the beneficial effect of fasting is due to the caloric reduction. But why is there such a striking difference between reducing calories and fasting? Caloric Reduction as Primary (CRaP) has been tried innumerable times, and failed virtually every single time. Yet fasting is often effective where simple caloric reduction is not. The short answer is that the beneficial hormonal changes that happen during fasting are entirely prevented by the constant intake of food. It is the intermittency of the fasting that makes it so much more effective."

 

"So, what happens with this CRaP strategy? A detailed review can be found in the Calories series earlier. Essentially, the body tends to maintain a body set weight (BSW).  The body is initially able to lose some weight. However, as weight goes down, the body compensates for this weight loss by trying to regain the lost weight. Hormonal mediators of hunger (ghrelin) increase. This means that measures of hunger and desire to eat increase. This happens almost immediately and persists almost indefinitely.

 

Next, the body’s metabolism starts to shut down. In response to a 30% decrease in calories, there is a roughly 30% decrease in total energy expenditure. We start to feel tired, cold, and we have little energy for things like exercise.

 

As the body’s TEE decreases, the weight loss starts to slow down and then plateau. Eventually the weight starts to go back on, even as we continue to follow the diet. So the metabolic adaptations to CRaP is an increase in hunger and a decrease in basal metabolism. So, as you diet, you feel hungry, tired, cold and generally miserable. Does this sound familiar to any dieters? Probably sounds familiar to every dieter. This is what Dr. Ancel Keys had shown decades ago in his Minnesota Starvation Experiment."

 

"The worst part is that this strategy is guaranteed to fail. It has been proven by science long ago. The huge 50,000 woman randomized trial (Women’s Health Initiative) of the low fat low calorie diet proved to be an utter failure for weight loss. The problem with this strategy is that it does not address the long term problem of insulin resistance and high insulin levels. Since the insulin sets the ‘BSW thermostat’ – the body keeps trying to regain the lost weight.

 

Here’s the bottom line. As you reduce calories, appetite goes up, and TEE goes down. You reduce Calories In, but Calories Out goes down, too."

 

"Intermittent Fasting

 

As we recently detailed in the fasting series, the hormonal changes that happen in IF are completely different. In contrast to CRaP, during fasting, appetite goes down and TEE goes up. The body is trying to lose weight and helping you along. The main point is that it addresses the long term problem of insulin resistance. During caloric reduction alone, you do not get any of the beneficial hormonal adaptations of fasting.CRaP-vs-IER-300x88.jpg

 

The hormonal adaptations are completely different, as we have discussed so far in this series. Glucose and insulin go down and stay down.

During IF, the intermittent nature of the intervention helps to prevent the insulin resistance problem. A recent trial – The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women – compares CRaP to IF. In this study, 107 women were randomized to two strategies.  The first was a 25% continuous energy restriction (CER) – similar to the CRaP strategy of portion control. The second strategy was intermittent energy restriction (IER). Patients were allowed normal intake on 5 days a week, but only 25% of their usual calories on 2 days of the week – very similar to the 5:2 diet of Dr. Michael Mosley.

 

Let’s assume the usual caloric intake was 2000 calories per day. With CER, calories are reduced to 1500, or 10,500 calories over 1 week. With IER, weekly calories are 11,000 calories per week. So this study effectively keeps caloric intake steady – or even favouring the CER group slightly. The basic diet was a Mediterranean style diet with 30% fat.Harvie1-300x213.jpg

 

Over 6 months, what were the results? In terms of weight loss and fat loss, there were no significant difference although the IER tended to do better (5.7 vs 5.0 kg weight loss, 4.5kg vs 3.2kg fat loss).

 

But the real important part of the study was the effect on insulin and insulin resistance. After all, I’ve spent the last 60+ blog posts arguing that insulin and insulin resistance are the key factors in obesity and weight gain.Harvie3-300x268.jpg

 

What happens to insulin levels? Well, there is a clear, substantial improvement in insulin levels favouring the IER group. Even more impressive is the change in insulin resistance. This is measured by HOMA, which is a comparison of fasting glucose to fasting insulin.

In the CER group, there is virtually no change in their insulin resistance (IR). Because there is no change in IR, this will continue to lead to higher insulin levels in a vicious cycle. These higher insulin levels perpetuate the higher IR.

 

This is the long term problem of weight loss. This is exactly the part of the equation that is typically ignored and leads to the typical weight regain. It is the intermittency of the diet that makes it effective."


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#15 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:13 PM

Don't consume sugar while fasting, even a sip of a soft drink can stop ketosis.

 

"All the incredibly beneficial adaptations to fasting are not allowed to happen in a low calorie diet.

In fact, look how quickly the merest touch of glucose reverses the hormonal changes of fasting. Only 7.5 grams of glucose (2 teaspoons of sugar or barely a sip of a soft drink) is enough to reverse the ketosis. Almost immediately after consuming glucose, the ketones beta hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate drop to almost nothing, as does fatty acids. Insulin rises, as does glucose.

 

What does this mean? The body stops burning fat. It has now returned to burning the sugar that you are eating."


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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:19 PM

I'm only a few paragraphs in but this seems like a great read, thank you for sharing this!



#17 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:20 PM

Cautions / When to Stop

 

"There really is no upper limit to fasting regimens. Once again, I will add a cautionary note. If you are taking medications or especially if you have diabetes, you need to discuss this with your physician before starting. The blood sugars often come down with fasting regimens, but if you are taking medications, it may come down too low. This is a potentially fatal condition called hypoglycaemia. It often manifests as shaking, sweating and sometimes seizures. Medications often need to be adjusted including blood sugar and blood pressure medications.

 

Also, if you feel unwell at any point during the fasting, you must stop. You may feel hungry, but you should not feel faint, or unwell or nauseated. This is not normal and you should not attempt to ‘push through’."


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#18 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

"The world record for fasting is 382 days. This was a 27 year old man in Scotland who fasted in order to lose weight. He weight 456 pounds at the start of the fasting period. During this time, he only took a multi-vitamin, and something called ‘Paladac’ which was vitamin C and yeast.

 

He was able to drink as much non-caloric fluids as he wanted. After all, you would only survive less than 3 days without fluids because of significant dehydration."

 

Incorrect Information -  I've been 7 1/2 days without food and liquids at least four times, I did not die after 3 days!!!  Hell, I'm still here typing this now.

 

"At various periods, he did receive some potassium and sodium supplements, and he was monitored by a physician throughout the fasting period to see if there was any deleterious effects on his health."

 

"His weight decreased from 456 to 180 pounds. Even 5 years afterward, he remained at 196 pounds."

 

 

"Calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood vary over the fasting duration but generally remain within the normal limits and are virtually unchanged by the end of the fast. The same goes for plasma urea and creatinine, which are widely used measures of kidney function. Sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate were all unchanged and in the normal range. In this study, uric acid remains stable although other studies have shown some increased uric acid.

 

Serum magnesium levels did decrease in this study. This is consistent with what we see clinically in our clinic as well. It seems to be especially prevalent in diabetics. It is important to realize that 99% of the body’s magnesium is intracellular and not measured by blood levels. In this study, researchers took the next step to measure the magnesium content within the cells and the erythrocyte Mg levels remained firmly in the normal range. Nevertheless, we often supplement with magnesium to be on the safe side.

 

The rate of weight loss was 0.72 pounds per day averaged over the entire 382 days. Other studies of fasting over 200 days had shown similar rates of weight loss (from 0.41 to 0.67 pounds per day) for periods of 210, 236, 249 and 256 days. This average of 0.565 ((0.41 + 0.72)/2) is actually quite interesting.

 

We assume that one pound of fat is 3500 calories. This is a widely quoted figure, but not especially accurate. If we assume that one eats 2000 calories per day, then we would expect 2000/3500 = 0.57 pounds weight loss per day, which is fairly close to that number actually seen. So, for a patient with 100 pounds of fat to lose, you might expect that it would take roughly 200 days to lose it all. 200 days!"

 

" I don’t generally subscribe to calorie theory for the reason the Caloric Reduction results in reduced Caloric Expenditure. In other words, decreasing Calories In decreases Calories Out resulting in a plateau of weight loss efforts.  However, in the case of straight-on fasting, the caloric theory holds as promised, resulting in a weight loss very close to that predicted if Caloric Expenditure stays stable. In other words – metabolism does not decrease in fasting. A prolonged caloric reduction, on the other hand, is shown to decrease metabolism."

 

Personal note:  Its my observation that weight loss is the greatest at the onset of fasting, and tossing in food days after three or four days of fasting likely leads to a higher average loss of daily weight than longer term fasting.  Not verified, but it is my theory.

 

"patients were hospitalized into a metabolic ward during the first 14 days and only water, tea and coffee were allowed.  After that, they were discharged and asked to follow a 600-1000 calorie diet. Funny enough, 2 patients asked(!) to be readmitted for a second 14 day period of fasting because they wanted better results. Did it work? Was there ever any doubt?

 

Average weight loss was 17.2 pounds in 14 days. This is in excess of the roughly 1/2 pound per day of fat loss seen in more prolonged fasting. This indicates that some of the initial early weight loss is water weight. This is confirmed by the rapid regain of weight upon refeeding. It is important to understand this in order to avoid the disappointment that often accompanies the weight gain upon eating again."


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#19 seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:25 PM

"Constipation is one of the main problems we see in fasting. The reason seems simple enough. There is very little going into the gut, so little comes out the other end. This is a problem we face routinely in our IDM clinic. With this world record fast, this patient had bowel movements roughly every 37-48 days. What’s important to note is that this is a normal phenomenon and not an abnormal one. You do not need to have a daily bowel movement to feel well. Nevertheless, less than once a month seems kind of extreme."

 

Personal note: fasting three days for every one food day has kept my bowel movements regular


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I was once told that you are what you eat and then I just cried and cried and cried cause no matter how much I wanted to be one I just couldn't bring myself to eating a skinny person.

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#20 seasnake

seasnake

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:38 PM

"Fasting is not, like, exactly fun. It’s a hell of a long way from morbid obesity to anorexia. Furthermore, anorexia is a psychologic disorder of body image. Fasting does not lead to anorexia any more than washing your hands leads to obsessive compulsive disorder. But these lies persist.

 

Nevertheless, because of all the worries, you can rest assured that there are studies that show that intermittent fasting does not lead to eating disorders."

 

Personal note:  regardless of what is said here, my thoughts are very much and often eating disordered but I feel fasting keeps me healthy


  • Shaki and Kalan like this

I was once told that you are what you eat and then I just cried and cried and cried cause no matter how much I wanted to be one I just couldn't bring myself to eating a skinny person.

My threads:   The Fasting Game    My Fasting Game Spreadsheet    Youtube Exercise Videos (No-Equipment): Organized into Routines    The Whoosh Effect    My Profile    My Pics




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