ADF vs. Single Longer Fasts?

(Bob ) #1

I’ve spent the morning reading what I can find on this and really don’t have much to go on.

My question is how people do on alternate day fasts versus doing a single longer fast? Does anyone know any studies, or maybe have input on their own N=1 experiments or even IDM or other experts? I think I recall that IDM (Megan Ramos) says they rarely have their patients do more than 36 hour fasts.

I’m back on ADFs like I did from last June until November. I fast Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and eat M,W,F and Sat. This is only my second week back, and so far I’m doing OK.

I stopped doing ADFs around the start of November because I had consistent problems with diarrhea (always on the refeeding day, always two hours after my first meal at noon) but after several experiments I seem to have come up with a trick to avoid that. It wasn’t life-threatening, but it wasn’t fun, either - it was actually pretty miserable feeling.

Among my experiments since the first of the year, I did one five day fast. I felt pretty rotten on the last day, but I expect that would go away with practice, I just didn’t notice any improvement in weight loss, energy, or my morning fasting blood glucose. My FBG was lower midway through it than the last day. That made me think there was no real advantage over doing alternate days.

So does anyone know if it’s better to fast three days straight or stick with alternating days?

If it helps, I was never called Type 2 diabetic, but I think that’s because I went keto far enough back (2015) to keep from going that far. I think I’m insulin resistant, as both my brother and mother are/were T2. Even today my FBG (non-fasting) runs close to 110. I’m 65. Staring weight 260, current 208. I do cardio, cycling about an hour three times a week, and do some superslow lifting on our Bowflex. Otherwise, I’m just “walking around” active, doing various things around the house.

(Jody) #2

Megan in her video series on the IDM site says you need to figure out the protocol that works for you and your life. She says doing 3 AD of fasting/week will provide the same benefit as 3 consecutive days per week. 36 and 42 hour/3x week is the standard for T2D with the IDM program, although I’ve seen on their forum folks doing extended fasting too. When it comes to fasting, I don’t see a wrong answer, you just have to figure out how your body and life can make it work without suffering.

I can’t remember the advice for diarrhea. It might be worth the $ to sign up for a month at the site, it’s $40 and they have regular additions to the Q&A video library and they have a video series for different health issues. The forum is not great though. You can also join live Q&A’s. I found it worth the investment early on, I paid for 4 months.

I am a huge fan of ADF because it just works for me and my schedule. I am fighting T2D. I started with a 24hr ADF but wasn’t seeing any results till I pushed to a 36-40 hr ADF. I’ve been doing this since January. Some days I can’t complete a 40hr, so I’ll stop at 24. I don’t give it a 2nd thought. Other days, 42 is a breeze and I feel like I can keep going.

(Bob ) #3

Thanks, Jody. I really appreciate you answering.

Your answer is pretty much what I thought it would be and what my limited experience said - three ADF days is pretty much the same as three straight days. We have to figure out what works for us ourselves. Today is my last fasting day of this week and I’m toying with the idea of doing three straight days next week. Mix it up a bit. My tendency is to schedule days, but there are folks who say they wake up in the morning and flip a coin to decide if they eat that day. Maybe that’s as good a way as any.

What seems to be working to get rid of the diarrhea is fiber. Someone here talked about bile malabasorption syndrome (I have no gall bladder) being a cause. I looked into what can help with that and read fiber can. I tried to find if either soluble or insoluble was better and started taking Metamucil on fasting days, simply because I had some in the house. It has worked so far. I still need to determine if the water soluble fiber is better, but there’s time for that.

(Paul Butler) #4

Hi Bob,
During a week, I do multiple different fasts.
20-24hrs Monday, 16-18hrs Tuesday, Wednesday 16hr, Thursday 42-72hrs depending on how I feel, than 16/8 on weekends.
I’m not sure if its too much or not, I appear to be able to do a 72hrs once a month and 42hrs the rest of the weeks (with this rotation). As I listen to my body and break fast if feeling too hungry/cold etc.
Last year after each extended fast I did have a small bit of diarrhea, but I just looked at it is a clean out. This year I have made a few changes and started doing the 72hrs and I don’t have the diarrhea any more. Not sure what would of made the difference.
I break most extended fasts with bone broth, and have been including Apple Cider vingear in morning water on non-extended fast days. (Thomas DeLauer)
For a couple of months this year I was doing a 42hrs twice a week (Monday/Thrusday), I was always hungry, not feeling satisfied, so I dropped the Monday back to only 20hrs and I feel much better. So I was probably over doing it.
I’ve lost 20kg on Keto and IF in just over a year, but stalled, so I’m trying to experiment to get some more movement.

(Alec) #5

My opinion is that you should go with the regime that you feel better on ie don’t push through discomfort when fasting. From what you’ve said, ADF looks more suited to you.

As discussed above, IDM seems to recommend multiple 36hr fasts per week for most, so that looks like ADF. The other option is to go ADF for a while then do a couple of 72 or 96hr fast weeks and see how you feel each time.

I do 2 36hr fasts per week, Mon and Thursday. Works for me.

(Bob ) #6

Thanks @Alecmcq, @Jarlaxle. I’m finding that the 42-ish hour fasts I do every other day are easy to live with. So far I’ve lost a pound for each fasting day, which is way faster than I’m used to.

I can see how some weeks it might be better to do consecutive days from a schedule/life viewpoint. Three of those 42 hour fasts is 126 hours or 5-1/4 days, so it’s more fasting time than just saying “I’m not going to eat three days a week”.