Well my fast has started and I am 16 hours into it, what have I learned so far? A venti Decaf Americano with steamed heavy whipping cream from Starbuck’s contains 231 calories! That is probably a quarter cup, 2oz, of cream—and it tastes so good. Need to limit these and just go with black mostly.
I got a lot of queries about why I chose to do this extended fast and what kind of support system I had in place; these questions made me pause and think as I really hadn’t considered these things before. I’ve known all my life that men are invincible so I didn’t think this thing through!
I am 62 and relatively healthy especially since starting the LCHF lifestyle: I reversed my pre-diabetes, and hypertension, and improved my lipid levels to the point where my doctor has taken me off of all prescription medications. I feel invincible once again!
Now, thinking about a long fast, I know there were 3 reasons I took on this task:
- A personal challenge: My wife always accuses me of being all or nothing and I’ve fasted before for up to 8 or 9 days and really enjoyed it. The reason I never went longer is more mental than physical; I don’t get hungry after about the second or third day but I do think about what I am going to eat when I break my fast. Places like Facebook that have all kinds of recipes scrolling by all day long also add to that anxiety. I figured with the season of Lent coming, and knowing that it is a season of fasting and repentance, that the timing would challenge me.
- Religious challenge: My ego pushed harder at the early days in thinking about this and then someone asked me if I was going to offer my fast up to the Lord? Hadn’t crossed my mind. Now I am planning to make this just one of the things I will do to celebrate Lent this year.
- Improve my internal health: Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits and few drawbacks (unless you have pre-existing conditions.) My body still acts like I have insulin resistance so fasting really keeps insulin low and will help with that. Other markers like CRP, an inflammation marker, are dramatically improved as well. Finally, and of most interest to me, is the fact that Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which decreases significantly in your 20’s and 30’s, will increase to help grow new tissues, muscles, and strengthen the bones.
My support system includes my doctor, I am going to see him tomorrow and will probably surprise him with my intention to fast. When I told him that I was LCHF, and that was what changed my blood sugar and lipids, he didn’t understand. I even gave him a couple of books but I don’t know if he’s even looked at them. Anyway, I am not looking to him for advice, I am looking for someone that can look at my test results and help guide me if need be.
I will also be using a website called headsuphealth.com to track my weight, blood glucose, and blood ketones on a daily basis as well as the results from any other tests I have. My doctor will have access to the site as well in case he needs.
There are lots of knowledgeable people in many forums across the internet who have advice and experience so I know that I can ask questions as I go. While they may not be doctors I know that experience tells a story and that helps me to learn along the way.
Finally, family and friends are always great, they may think I am crazy but hey; a year ago I would never believe if you told me I’d be attempting an extended fast!