13 Day Fast, Beginning at 12% Body Fat

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #1

I see there are countless posts concerning those fasting longer than 10 days; however, most of these ‘fasters’ are above 17-20% body fat. I am not, and wish to return to my ‘normal’ body fat of 7%. My fast has already begun and will end on the 19th of February. I will continue my regular training routine: 5 miles per day 6 days a week in conjunction with 3 days per week of weight training.

I have seen all the advice ‘on how to fast’: ‘take this’, ‘take that’, ‘do this’ to make the fast easier or hunger less threatening; however, this is in direct contradiction to the very notion of fasting, namely, not eating, the whole process is the direct pursuit of hunger, not an evasion of it. Nevertheless, I am aware of hunger suppressing ketosis and fat-adaption that can occur prior (or whilst) to the fast making it much more enjoyable.

I am rejecting all advice to supplement with anything and will do as I please. Doing nothing is much easier than worrying about this supplement or that. Allow us to keep it simple.

Thus this fast is more of an acceptance of the horrible suffering that results from not eating (also accepting the euphoria); however, it is not the pursuit of euphoria or suffering. It is merely recognizing the experience and continuing to fast, despite any negativity, the goal is to reach the 13th day without eating and regular exercise, not to have an enjoyable experience.

I will post daily.

(TJ Borden) #2

You have to listen to your body and not “force” the fast (at which point it’s starvation). I have enough stored fat to try and set a new fasting record, but a friend of mine is under 10% body fat and typically taps out around day 4 or 5.

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #4

If I “listened to my body” I would have never begun dieting (calories rest., Paleolithic, and Ketogenic) to begin with and would have never attained the success that I did. The standard American diet provided much more entertainment and enjoyment than any other; my body “enjoyed this”.

By dieting and not eating for days, we are in direct opposition with our evolution that took an approximate four billion years. Not in the sense that evolution has equipped us to survive periods of zero calories; rather, we have evolved to consume whatever calories come across our environment, not to reject them. Thus, rejecting calories is a painful experience, imposed exercise is a painful endurance, cold showers are not enjoyable.

The point is, “listening to your body” (however vague this is) concludes eating whenever hunger occurs, that is absolutely irrational if ones goal is to ‘not eat for a couple of days’ or ‘loose weight’. Hunger and suffering is something that must be accepted when fasting or attempting calorie restriction, or exercising; the alternative to accepting this suffering is failure. And that, is unacceptable.

There is an end point of my fast, if my body fat percentage reaches below 6% (which is unlikely) at this point, I would “listen to my body” and gorge on meat. There is no distinction between fasting (not eating) and starving (unless we define starvation as when fat stores are depleted, at roughly 4-5% body fat).

Suffering is a given whilst fasting, not an option.

(TJ Borden) #5

It sounds like you’re not ready to fast. It can definitely be a mental hurdle to go for an extended amount of time without food, but if you’re in a state of ketosis and you’re fat adapted, then it actually comes quite naturally. I’d keep reading up on it, there’s plenty of information and n=1 stories on this forum.

If your sole goal is acheiving a certain body fat percentage, then it might be a little tougher to find the info you’re looking for here since, although weight loss is certainly a major focus, most people here tend to be focused on overall health and treating diseases associated with insulin resistance. Lowering body fat percentage is certainly a nice perk, but it’s not the focus.

(Doug) #6

Akilah, you are more lean than most of us here. I think that in general, the leaner one is, the more one will “suffer” when fasting. There is a large range you mentioned - from euphoria to horrible suffering. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Richard Morris) #7

Fasting and Calorie restriction are two different things.

I never suffer when fasting. I feel a little hungry the first day. But then settle into a comfortable pattern, and I feel awesome. The difference between us is that my BF% is 19%, I have about 44lbs of body fat.

The body has a range that it considers to be maximizing survival to reproduction that it will aim you for, given thousands of factors most of which you are probably barely aware of. Ideally your body is going to make sure that you have enough body fat to can go a few days without food. You will need around 800 kCal/day from body fat to do that, so your body will start to tap out around 25lbs (800 kCal / 31.5 kCal/lb/day) of body fat - that’s if you have negligible fasting insulin and so have 100% access to body fat. If you are a uncontrolled type 2 diabetic with insulin levels that never go below 300 and you can only access 20% of your energy from body fat then you may need more like 125lbs of body fat to meet your bodies expectations.

If you want your body to go below your minimum amount of body fat to be able to sustain a day without food it’ll put up a fight. When you think about it, it really should put up a fight, because what you’d be trying to get it to do is leave you with so little body fat that you couldn’t survive a day on your energy reserves.

Of course you don’t totally go without when you don’t have enough body fat, there is a backup emergency source of energy for when you have inadequate glucose or fatty acids to keep the lights on … protein.

So any attempt to go below around 25lbs of body fat should involve some wasting of lean tissue for energy. Obviously that is unsustainable … so most people who get their body fat below 10% end up yoyoing down into that range only for competitions, and pound in protein to try to recover the damage afterwards.


(Richard Morris) #8

BTW: Jason Fung says, “People who aren’t overweight shouldn’t fast”.

(What The Fast?!) #9

I have about the same, but I’m over 30% BF (I’m only 5’ 2” and weigh around 144 with 99 ish lbs of LBM according to DEXA). I know you also workout/cycle while fasting - do you supplement your fasts at all, or just coffee, salt, and water?

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #10

24 hour mark - Complete.
Hunger (scale, 1- 10): 3.
Overall pain (scale, 1-10): 4.

I ran 5 miles today in 40 minutes, as usual and immediately attended the gym for weight training; training anterior upper body: muscle ups, bench press, shoulder press, Incline push-ups, leg-ups, and weighed sit-ups, all of my training today lasted for a precise normal time of two hours.

Currently, not hungry; no fatigue yet. I expect the absolute worst pain from fasting, there is no downside from this.

Personal notes (taken through-out the day in Onenote):

  1. Pain gives me direction.
  2. Pain is integral to life; deny this, and I deny a fruitful life.
  3. Pain is the impetus to continue; as this is an indication of my efforts being rewarded.
  4. It is either I accept failure, or pain, which do I choose?

My day was normal as well, began with a cold/hot shower, reading of Seneca, school, training, technical reading/studying in quantitative finance (despite distracting hunger, annoying); all in all, it has been a good day.

I look forward to experiencing the cold, pain, longing for food, hunger, fatigue, acquisition of wisdom and knowledge, and the intense discomfort that results from fasting. I also look forward to the buffet I will be attending to break this fast; I do not deny any part of this painful experience, infact, I want it.

At the end, I will document photos of myself along with body fat percentage in conjunction with weight.

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #11

I look forward to both!


Fasting isn’t painful if you are fat adapted.

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #13

Thanks for the knowledge!

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #14

We will see.

(Richard Morris) #15

… and green tea. Oh and non-caloric gum. But no calories. I’m old school :slight_smile:

@carl supplements just fats the first day to ease into it.

Oh I used to have a cup of bone broth sometimes back when Jules was just getting into it and a bit panicy about fasting … I’d share a cup of bone broth with her. But now she’s hard core, and we don’t have anything.

(Ethan) #16

Do you think the sweetener in the gum has any negative effect?

(Michael ) #17

Sounds tough. I’ve found that the thinner i am, the harder the fast. I’m not sure how you are measuring body fat to pull the plug if you drop to 6 percent, but sounds like you have a plan.

Fasting for periods longer than a few days with low body fat is how people die from fasting, so good luck to you. I’m sure you’ll be fine, but when people die from fasting, it usually resembles this type of scenario, so in the absence of a doctor supervision, listen to your body and be careful

Good luck

(Ethan) #18

Ideally your body is going to make sure that you have enough body fat to can go a few days without food. You will need around 800 kCal/day from body fat to do that, so your body will start to tap out around 25lbs (800 kCal / 31.5 kCal/lb/day) of body fat - that’s if you have negligible fasting insulin and so have 100% access to body fat.

@richard, How does this work for a shorter individual whose “ideal weight” is perhaps 125 pounds. 25 pounds of body fat is 20% overall for that person. Does this mean that shorter people “should” have a higher body fat percent?

(Akilah Aije Carvajal) #19

Our local GNC has a DSM-BIA device; which is far more accurate than ‘normal’ BIA devices (rivals with DEXA scans, and about 85% cheaper per scan); I will be measuring every 6.5 days, a total of two measurements for this fast.

I know my limits:

(Michael ) #20

That’s awesome! How expensive is that? I wonder if our GNC had this…finally a reason to go to GNC?

(Jack Brien) #21

Your not a vegan are you? Seriously though, I think you’re going to hurt yourself. You won’t take advice, you won’t take supplements, you aren’t fat adapted and as far as I can tell you’ve not fasted before. 13 days is a LONG fast. 6%bf is not normal by any measure and from your other thread, not even for you. I hope you don’t hurt yourself.