A really extended fast: going for 46-days!


There is a such wealth of information here in this thead that will be of geat benefit to the many ‘experimenters’ in this forum. Your sacrifice for science is greatly appreciated! Congrats on the anniversary!

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #464

Day 70 in my experiment and I’m back to fasting today with some heavy cream to help with satiety. Travelling today through Thursday and am in the Detroit area so I won’t be updating my weight until Friday when I can stand on my own scale. Here are my numbers for today:

Seems my weight floated up a bit during the night possibly from the snacks I ate yesterday. I sometimes think that eating meals is much better than just eating snack foods like I did yesterday. Overall 84% of my calories came from fat so that is on track with my eating plan but how did these different foods affect my blood glucose and other factors like the various hormones that drive the way the body holds onto things.

I have noticed that I haven’t been having regular bowel movements and I think that could be an issue so I am increasing my magnesium supplements to 500mg every day instead of every other day to see if that helps. Maybe a little house cleaning is needed here.

I also had 3 oz. of cheese cubes yesterday and I wonder how they affect me. I have heard good and bad things about eating cheese so I may decide to do a N=1 test on a fasting day to measure my glucose and ketones after eating cheese to see what, if anything happens. The nice thing is that I wake up fasting every day, the overnight fast, and could easily wait until the afternoon to do the test as that would be 18-20 hours fasted. It will probably be late next week before I can fit this N=1 in. I may pick a different day to do a test on macadamia nuts as well. With the nuts and the cheese I may do multiple N=1 tests with different levels of the food to see if the quantity makes a difference for me!

I have been looking at a 2013 review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition with the title: “Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets.” I will include a link with this post. Of interest to me is that one of the authors is Dr. Jeff Volek a very prolific author and researcher in the LCHF community.

The review is a very technical look at the beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet and covers most of the common maladies we hear about today broken down by the events with strong evidence and emerging evidence. The maladies with strong evidence are: weight loss, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and epilepsy. The list with emerging evidence are: acne, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, neurological diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, brain trauma, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The paper begins with a very technical explanation of “What is Ketosis?” This may be a good paper to take to your doctor if they want some light reading on this way of eating (WOE). It explains that a LCHF diet can be defined as one that limits carbohydrates to <50 g/d (although I usually shoot for <20 g/d.) A few quotes I like are “After 3-4 days without carbohydrate consumption the CNS [central nervous system] is ‘forced’ to find alternative energy sources, and as demonstrated by the classic experiments of Cahill and colleagues this alternative energy source is derived from the overproduction of acetyl coenzyme A (CoA).”

Then the state of ketosis is defined as “Under normal conditions and concentration of KBs [ketone bodies] is very low (<0.3 mmol/l) compared with glucose (~ 4 mmol), and as glucose and KBs have a similar KM for glucose transport to the brain the KBs begin to be utilized as an energy source by the CNS when they reach a concentration of about 4 mmol/l, which is close to the Km for the monocarboxylate transporter.” This is the definition of the therapeutic ketosis range we have all heard that is 0.5-5.0 mmol/l as we were learning about LCHF.

Just a couple of highlights from the section on “Therapeutic Roles of Ketogenic Diets.” From the section on weight loss: “There is no doubt that there is strong supportive evidence that the use of ketogenic diets in weight-loss therapy is effective; however, there are contrasting theories regarding the mechanisms through which they work. Some researchers suggest that there are not in fact any metabolic advantages in low-carbohydrate diets and that weight loss results simply from reduced caloric intake, probably due to the increased satiety effect of protein.” The review then addresses the “a calorie is a calorie” theory very effectively.

The second highlight is from the section on cardiovascular disease: “The VLCKD [very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet] effect seems to be particularly marked on the level of blood triglycerides, but there are also significant positive effects on the total cholesterol reduction and increases in the high-density lipoprotein.” I know that I had been on medications for years to bring down my triglycerides and nothing happened. When I went on the ketogenic diet then Wham, the numbers fell very quickly. My HDL went up for the first time in my life. Low fat diets don’t do that!

This review was a great confirmation for me of what I have been learning over the last 18 months and I am glad I found it. There are many parts in it that deal with biochemistry and I don’t understand much of those sections but I did get a lot from reading through the paper and am planning on researching some of the referenced papers as well.

I will talk about the second paper tomorrow.

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #465

Day 73 of my experiment and I am slipping on completing these posts—skipped 2 days! I’ve been doing more of an intermittent fasting thing this week as I have a very busy travel schedule both this week and next! Here are today’s numbers:

I have up to 4 business trips plus 2 personal trips in the next 3 weeks so I am having difficulty deciding on my fast/feast cycling. When I do eat I am not doing damage to my diet as my blood glucose and ketones are staying in a very acceptable range and my weight is moving lower.

I have found it is easier to do fasting when I travel as I tend to be a bit more organized and really only have access to food at meals. Yesterday, for example, I had thought about fasting for the day as I was flying in the evening and I like to fast when flying. I decided to get breakfast in the hotel: I bypassed the buffet and ordered EXACTLY what I wanted; 3 eggs over medium cooked in butter and 4 slices of bacon. That is exactly what I got and is all I ate!

Again, I considered fasting for lunch but was with customers in their cafeteria and I found a special that was 3 oz of smoked brisket and they offered it with or without BBQ sauce so I got some without and grabbed some mustard and really enjoyed it. I did fast the rest of the day!

I had a 10:30 appointment today for an ultra sound to see the status of my non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that I had been diagnosed with 20 years ago. I was a bit surprised when they told me I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight, not even water! That was the most severe restriction I had ever been given. When I arrived everyone was asking me if I was fasting, even from water and I assured them that I was. They asked me if I felt faint or anything since I hadn’t eaten in so long and then I told them about my 46-day fast and they couldn’t believe it. I will find out the results next week!

For those of you who do fast you have probably had similar reactions from people you meet. Even if you do a 24-hour fast from dinner to dinner people think that you are going to die! They would have as much difficulty with you fasting for a few days as they do when I tell them about 6.5 weeks! I just smile and go on about my business of trying to improve my health.

Having trouble getting the macro-nutrient chart to update correctly!


Hey, Ron…try this. Click the series on the graph that is not updating correctly, and then the data used to build the graph will highlight itself in the spreadsheet. Use the bottom-right corner squares of the highlighted data to drag and include the additional rows of data. I think this might fix the issue.

(Autumn Sangra) #467

Just curious…How are you doing? Missing your posts!

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #468

Officially this is Day 83 of my experiment on cleaning up my eating and my body and I am doing very well! I haven’t posted in about 10 days to this thread and have been called out for that so I will post an update here. I am still measuring my numbers although I actually missed my blood metrics twice in the last 10 days but will post them anyway.

There are 2 reasons for my lack of posts: first, I am not fasting as much so I don’t have all the extra time I did before !:yum: Second, I have been travelling a lot lately, 12 planes in the last 10 days as well as about 800 miles by car, for both business and pleasure. I considered trying to type an update on my iPad on an airplane but that didn’t sound like a lot of fun so I gave in and had another club soda with lime instead.

I have been trying to do some fast/feast cycling that after my 46-day fast and realized my body needs to recover a bit so I slowed down, why hurry when your body doesn’t want to! I had lost a total of 34.4 lbs (15.6 kgs) during the 46 days and then gained back about 19 lbs (8.5 kgs) during the initial refeeding stage thanks in part to poorly controlled eating the last few days. I then began the fast/feast cycling as I mentioned above and some of that recovery weight fell back off very quickly!

I have plateaued a bit in the range of a 28.2 lbs (12.8 kgs) lost since I began the extended fast on 1 March 2017 so I can safely say that my net loss from the 46-day fast was 28.2 lbs (12.8 kgs) and I am very happy with that.

My travels have made the fast/feast cycling a bit challenging as May is a busy month for me personally with our anniversary, Mother’s Day, and my wife’s birthday all in a 2-week stretch! Trying to schedule what to do when is a pain.

I had been fasting on most business trips as it makes the trips easier not having to worry about when and where to eat. My issue is a mental one of; I have a generous expense allowance for meals and so I could be eating really good ketogenic foods on the company so why fast? Especially breakfast—I LOVE bacon and eggs!

At home, or on vacation, my wife is always asking “Are you eating today?” and I feel like I may be disappointing her when I say “Yes.” I believe it is a little uncomfortable for her that I am not eating with her, especially if we are eating out, but she has put up with me for 28 years so far and I think I am good.

I saw the thread for @brenda’s May 2017 Zorn Fast 18-21 last Thursday and that inspired me to start in at noon knowing I was taking my wife for a birthday lunch on Saturday in St. Augustine, FL. That made for a nice 48-hour fast and worked for me as I had to leave Thursday afternoon for another business trip and didn’t get home until 2:30 AM Saturday due to airline delays. A few hours of sleep and off to do some sightseeing with the thousands of other tourists there this time of year. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. We did lunch as I volunteer on Saturday evenings at our church calling bingo (all of the ladies love me since I’ve lost almost 90 lbs!)

I have business trips this week and next already set so here goes my dilemma again: do I fast on the business trips where I can eat expensive for cheap so I can feast while at home with my wife, or do I feast while travelling and fast while home. Hmm, maybe I will try doing a 3-day fast split between business and home and then have the best of both worlds!

(Marie Gibbs Anderson) #469

How did it go? I am planning to attempt a 40 day starting July 17.

(Mary 🌹 ) #470

I am pulling for you!
Why are you WAITING?

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #471

What are you doing to prepare yourself?

I highly recommend being in ketosis (blood ketones 0.05 mmol/l or higher) at the beginning of the fast as you will not have as many of the symptoms when starting the fast as your body will be into fat-burning mode.

Keep us up to date!

(Shannon) #472

Wow this whole thread! Amazing! Shot out from Nashville TN here.:slight_smile:

(Linda Culbreth) #473

I know this is from a very long time ago - but I am just now reading the post. This is in reference to something you said on March 10 about our bodies needing salt or our blood gets too thick. Over the past umpteen years, doctors have drilled into our brains that we must do low sodium. I wonder if that is the main reason so many folks, especially older folks, have to be on blood thinners - because they (like my mother and grandmother and father-in-law, aunts & uncles) just about wouldn’t even touch a salt shaker and didn’t add salt to their cooking.

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #474

Good observation! I would caution that there is an association with too little salt and ‘sticky’ blood but that is not a proven cause.

You may want to check Dr. Nicolantino’s “The Salt Fix” for more information.

(Linda Culbreth) #475

Thanks ron. I have read all this post - thanks so much for sharing your experience. I am currently on day 10. Much insight here. Learned a lot from you and your experience.

(James Taylor) #476

Incredible journey through this thread! Love the way you presented it too! like science!

(KCKO, KCFO) #477

@ron-coleman how are you doing these days? Did you keep most of the weight loss off? Have you done more extended fasting since this one? Did the extended fast affect your lean body mass?

Enjoyed your podcast with the dudes a lot.

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #478

@collaroygal I disappeared for a while from the forum due to personal and work obligations. I also managed to gain all of the lost weight back as I still can’t figure out how to eat smartly when I do eat!

Have done a few short fasts in the past 8 months but am planning to fast again for Lent this year but not all 46 days! I am looking at weekly 3-day fasts probably on Wednesday-Friday each week. I will open a new thread for this and post it here.

(KCKO, KCFO) #479

Glad you are back with the forums. Sorry to hear of the weight regain. I checked out your thread, and will follow your progress.

(Carpe salata!) #480

Hi Ron, welcome back to the forum. I wasn’t following your fasting but I heard you on the podcast and I was inspired to fast because it didn’t appear to have big impact on your daily activities. I have done three 5-day fasts and got past an extended stall.

I think the shorter fasts might suit you. They seem to curb my appetite for the day or two after. It might even cause you to change your claim that you eat like a dog. Best of luck, I’ll follow your progress this time.

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #481

Hi @Peter thanks for the kind words! I still fast on occasion doing 3-5 day fasts so it still feels good. My biggest thing is that I rarely get hungry but eat due to habit. I want to get that under but am at a loss to read my own hunger or satisfied signals.

Always a work in progress

(Carpe salata!) #482

My hunger signals are way better than when I was a carb eater. Also my personal desire meter (when near a dessert bar to example) has swung from ‘Ohh I wish I could try that’ to ‘eww that looks disgusting’.

Something I learned from your podcast Ron is that it really is a mental game against habits and culture rather than actual hunger ( when there is adequate body fat to draw from). I still have a couple of dozen kg in that dept yet!