I’ve been reading Jason Fung’s Complete Guide to Fasting. and it is a compelling read. Fasting is still a bit scary to me. After being schooled for years (decades?) in the need to eat every few hours, and the dangers of ‘starving yourself’ – I have a hard time accepting that I can go for an extended period without food. Dr. Fung’s book is very helpful in understanding why fasting works and mirrors my experience with weight loss. In addition, my hunger is clearly diminished on a ketogenic diet. So I’m going to use this space to chronicle an experience with a longer fast. How long? Well, I don’t know yet. I would love to break into the 130s. Fasting is supposed to result in a weight loss average of .5 lbs/day, so it would take me five days to reach my goal. Five days is really intimidating. Let’s see how it goes!
Thursday pm: Ate my ‘last’ dinner tonight before the fast. I wasn’t actually all that hungry, but felt like I should eat. I probably didn’t need to. I have a general feeling of doom and fear. Fasting scares me.
Friday: Today was pretty surprising. Other than coffee with 1-2 tsp of cream, I didn’t eat anything. I did sip a few cups of broth. I experienced no hunger at all until 9pm. None. Zero. Zilch. I even went on a 3-mile walk/run! Please note that I’ve been eating a ketogenic diet for eight months now, so my body is already well acclimated to burning fat for fuel. Going for long stretches without eating is already pretty easy. But I was still surprised that I went the entire day without a single hunger pang! Right at bedtime, I was overcome with a wave of hunger that made me nauseous. I sipped water and noticed that the feeling passed in about 10 minutes.
Saturday am: Not going to lie. I was nervous this morning. I am doing a running program and today was my group run: 5 miles at a 12 min/mile pace. How would it go running in a fasted state? Could I even go five miles? I haven’t run that far in years. So what happened? It went really well. I struggled up a huge hill in the last mile, but otherwise felt very good. Hunger wasn’t an issue at all. I never felt weak or depleted. 36 hours into the fast. Jason Fung writes in his book that Day 2 is the worst. I wonder if that’s more true for people who are not on a ketogenic diet? So far it doesn’t seem too difficult. The biggest challenge, honestly, is not physical but mental. I miss food. I like eating. But that isn’t a very good reason to eat, so I’m holding off for now.
Saturday pm: Ugh. I started to feel really gross around noon. So dizzy I had to hold onto a wall. I am definitely dehydrated. I drank WAY too much coffee and not enough water, especially after running four miles. Had a couple of glasses of salt water and I feel a better. I also measured my ketones and wow – my level is 5.7, higher than I’ve ever seen it.
I have a busy day of cooking for the family, soccer games and work – so I think this is enough for today. 42 hours. A good start!
Starting weight: 142