I don't want to track but am gaining weight

(Windmill Tilter) #22

I’m a huge fan of fasting for weight loss. I dropped 45lbs in 3 months, and I’m still down ~40lbs 7 months later. That’s a big win in my book.

That said, I’d still 100% agree with your statement by adding the caveat “with a BMI much below 30”. The issue is that the % of lean mass lost during extended fasting is very minimal when your obese (I presume we’re not talking about IF).

However when BMI drops much below 30, the % of lean mass lost as a percentage of weight lost increases exponentially. The OP has a BMI of around 21, which is not a good fit for extended fasting as a weight loss strategy. Still totally valid for things like autophagy and other stuff though. Dr. Fung says much the same.

I’d agree with this: Extended fasting for weight loss is counterproductive with a BMI much below 30.


Agreed on the sleep and stress.

A few days ago, my sleep was not so great as I was trying to catch up on a deadline. I don’t think I was stressed persay…more like…increased brain activity due to the deadline :sweat_smile:

The following day, I had my OMAD, then a few hours later had cravings (not hunger) for salty protein specifically. Truly odd. I had a handful of salted pork rinds and that abated it but the only thing that had been different was my poor sleep and mild stress.

I made sure I got enough sleep the next day and now I’m right as rain.

(Robert C) #24

What you are saying makes a lot of sense in terms of the success of the IDM program (where successful fasting for weight loss is common).

(55 yo female started keto Jul '19) #25

Thanks for reminding me. I heard about it before and I now bought it. I already decided to start tracking again for now. But I want to have the page 4 anyway.

(Hyperbole- best thing in the universe!) #26

I keep it as a back up plan too. Tracking can also help get things back under control. Neither has to be forever. Both are good to keep in your toolbelt.

(Bunny) #27

What I think happens is you lose a little lean skeletal muscle volume every time you fast unless your trying to build muscle in the process and your pumping iron like Chris, Dr. Baker or April for example. So your still in storage mode rather than oxidation mode?

So by the time you do decide to eat after fasting on your normal eating regimen, every little carb is being stored even though you may have burned up some visceral fat around the liver and pancreas to reverse diabetes in the process.

The individual “set point” that Dr. Fung talks about and why it takes so long (I see people struggle with this brutally) to get their for some people has to do with the amount of skeletal muscle volume they are playing with or have available and lack of muscular resistance training by a trained physical therapist to go along with the fasting? I’m certain that I’m correct about this and wish Dr. Fung would further investigate this?

Dr. Fung uses the storage paradigm but not the oxidation paradigm as it relates to skeletal muscle volume? Maybe he is unaware of it (amino-isometric-butyric-acid)? (aminoisobutyric acid; a chemical to electrical process or chain reaction-cross-talk communication between muscle tissue secretions {an electrical wall or worm hole} and the few specs of mitochondria within white adipose tissue that oxidize carbohydrates for fuel rather than store them similar to mitochondrial iron rich brown fat cells or BAT see image below; preventing the storage of glucose by insulin to lipid droplets within the fat cell and if you are in dietary ketosis oxidation of fatty acids in the fatty acid turnover pool)

image image link

Could be Dr. Fung is already aware of it and maybe what I’m describing here is already proprietary to his practice?

So I hope I’m not imposing on his bread and butter?


[1] Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Health Benefits of Cold Exposure and Sauna: “…The health benefits of cold thermogenesis are due to the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT), a form of fat that burns regular fat for heat generation through fat oxidation. This has mitochondrial effects in cranking out more ATP (look at the Berkeley College take on this below [2]?). The more mitochondria there are, the better our aerobic capacity will be. Cold exposure increases the number of mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis). The more BAT you have, the better your body becomes in burning fat for energy. Fat loss benefits, anyone? Cold exposure also releases cold shock proteins such as RNA binding motif 3 (RBM3) that is linked to regeneration of synapses. Similar effects have been observed in so called heat shock proteinsthat are released under heat stress. …” …More

[2] “…A normal cell uses mitochondria like a battery to perform work. … But in brown fat cells, UCP1 short-circuits that battery, causing it to heat up instead of producing ATP. (look at Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s take on this above[1]?) With UCP1 activated in the mitochondria, brown fat cells soak-up fat and SUGARS from the diet and burn them for heat in the mitochondria. …” Mar 5, 2018 U C Berkeley College

[3] Mitochondrial Oxidative Biogenesis

(55 yo female started keto Jul '19) #28

When I received the page 4 file they also linked to a public youtube video. It shows Dr Westman explaining how to do it. I am sure you know already the ‘how’, but I put the link here anyway: I like the video very much because of the kind way he makes things doable for normal people.

(Hyperbole- best thing in the universe!) #29


(Windmill Tilter) #30

It’s hard to know how muscle is affected. I’ve never seen good research on it. Lean mass means a lot of things. Personally, I did a Body by Science workout once every 5 days while doing 3 Fast/2 Feast on a serial basis. My leg press went from 500lbs to 600lbs, so I don’t think I lost much muscle. I think I gained some! Granted I started at a BMI up in the high 30’s.

@Annja Just to be clear, I think there are lots of benefits to fasting even at a low BMI, so I’m not knocking that in the least. My point was just that it’s not necessarily the best strategy for weight loss once you get down to maintenance weight.

If you really enjoy fasting, and want to do it frequently, consider adding in some protein. Many alternate day fasting protocols call for 500 calories during “fasting” days. One technique you can use is “protein sparing modified fast”. Historically, this was used as a short-term stand alone strategy where the patient will eat 500kcal/day for months, but the vast majority of calories is protein to prevent lean mass loss. There is lots of research around this, it’s evidence based, and it works. It might be helpful tool for you.

(55 yo female started keto Jul '19) #31

@Don_Q Thanks so much for pointing to the protein sparing modified fast. I did some reading about it. I like the idea. I do fasting mainly for the autophagy effects; not for loosing weight. Protein will diminish those I think. But the fasting days are never easy for me. I already tried supplementing pure fat. Now I want to try protein (and no fat) also and accept diminished autophagy effects.

Edit: it will be real food, so a little bit of fat will be in it.

(Bunny) #32

I agree it is hard to know how muscle is effected, especially; and I think it mainly has to do with the health of the liver also.

For example if a person over does it with supplements and they are a body builder there muscles will actually implode (no joke) and take on the consistency of fat and actually get full of fatty deposits once they damage the liver enough with supplements. I would never supplement especially with natural endocrine suppressors or stimulators.

Likewise I personally think a person can over do it with lifting weights too much and actually do the opposite if they are simply working to shrink adipose tissue. Just like a person can get the so called “adrenal fatigue“ from fasting too much off and on in close approximations of time, the same can happen to the muscle tissue, it quits oxidizing carbohydrates.

I like to simply make the microscopic tears and recover for a week or more, no hours and hours of lifting or aerobic exercise. I think Gyms are contributing to the obesity problem because people exercise too much and if the muscle is in-fact an endocrine organ then it can be damaged by over-exercising it with too much physical exertion for long periods of time?

BTW: …it was delclared back-in 2007 that skeletal muscle tissue is in-fact identified as an endocrine organ in the scientific and medical community, after I was complaining about that earlier…lol

(Windmill Tilter) #33

If you’re looking at 48hr fasts once a week, I really don’t think there would be any harm in it. I was just looking at your chart and it seemed like there were some pretty dense periods of fasting like I would expect to see when someone is using it for weight loss. Lord knows I’d be the pot calling the kettle black if I were to make a fuss about that (I fasted 18 days/month in 84hr increments for 90 days straight); I was just pointing out the much larger lean mass trade-off that occurs for folks fasting with a BMI ~20 vs 30. My BMI was ~40 when I started my fasting.

Also, if it’s the autophagy effects that you are looking for, consider that no one really knows how much fasting is too much. If I recall, Dr. Fung suggests a brief monthly or quarterly fast is probably sufficient once at maintenance weight.

You should really check out Dr. Valter Longo. He’s a pioneer in autophagy research, and a globally respected thought leader in the scientific community in this space. He’s very conservative in his recommendations around autophagy and says that too much autophagy can be as bad as too little. He created something called the “Fast mimicking diet” to address this. Basically, it’s designed to allow for controlled amount of autophagy, while still eating something like 400kcal/day. It might be something you’re interested in. He has a non-profit that sells meals kits prescribed by bariatricians, but clever folks have reverse engineered the menu/macros. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Windmill Tilter) #34

I think this is absolutely true. I think excessive exercise is the worst possible thing to do if you’re trying to lose weight. There are hundreds of threads on this forum that start with a sentence like this: “I’m doing an hour of cardio a day and I still can’t lose weight. Help!”. I think that the root of the problem is that exercise increases appetite, although I think this varies from person to person. I think eating to satiety is the cornerstone of successful keto; when exercise is causing satiety signals to go haywire, the whole thing breaks down pretty quickly.

Personally, I can exercise, or I can lose weight, but not both. My strategy was to do high intensity resistance training for just 20 minutes each week. My appetite would go through the roof, and I’d feast for 2 days (>3000kcal), then I’d go back to fasting. This isn’t right for everybody, but it dropped pounds fast, and allowed me to actually build a bit of muscle while dropping 2lbs/week.

Everybody is different though. Some people are capable of exercising 5 days a week and they still lose weight. I think they are the minority. For those folks, I say “keep doing what you’re doing!”. Moderate exercise is good for just about every system in the body; it’s just terrible for weight loss for most people.


I lost 20 pounds (to my goal weight and starting with a BMI of around 24) with a series of fasts, and I didn’t lose a lick of strength. I think that the study you cite doesn’t take into account an important fact: after fasting, there’s a huge uptick in lean mass synthesis (in organs and muscles, maybe also bones?). I’m not a huge fan of Dr Longo’s eating recommendations, but his research on fasting is fascinating.

(Bob M) #36

I also think that if you lose “muscle mass”, what does that mean? For one thing, if you lose weight, you WILL lose muscle mass, as you don’t need the muscle you used to have to carry around the weight you were carrying.

And I’ve seen people who are thin who can fast for quite a long period of time. They don’t seem to be wasting away. Let’s say you weigh 150 pounds at 10 percent body fat (male), that’s 52,500 calories (assuming 3,500 calories/pound, which is completely not true, but whatever), which is a lot.

I personally have found fasting to be better than low carb at helping me to lose weight, while gaining muscle mass and strength. The gains in muscle mass are verified by DEXA scans.


I’m about 10 pounds lighter than this now, with more strength. And I fast all the time.

(back and doublin' down) #37

this is my justification for not starting some sort of major exercise routine yet. I don’t WANT to gain muscle to carry around the extra weight. And, I do believe this has happened in previous weight loss by diet and exercise routines. I’m losing the weight first, then I’ll work on establishing more of a regular exercise routine. I do some weekend warrior type stuff, mainly hiking, and that goes easier each time. And I do some yoga/stretching that I think is helping tone without building bulk, which is generally what’s happened in the past.

(Ken) #38

Here’s what I see. The majority of your weight fluctuation has been Glycogen, not fat. Here’s the good and bad, first the bad. Initially, you mainly depleted glycogen, with very little fat loss. Now, you’re eating enough carbs to refill your glycogen. You may have lost or gained a little fat on either end, but you’ve mainly experienced glycogenolysis and subsequent replenishment.

Forget about any real positive effects, let alone fat adaptation. You simply have not been following the protocols of Lipolysis long enough.

(55 yo female started keto Jul '19) #39

I am assuming you are interpreting the graph in my opening post. I did not start keto to loose weight. My BMI is wiggling around 22.5. In the past I have been obese; I do not want to gain too much either.

@240lbfatloss: can glycogen plus water give me the variation of 6lbs/3kg you see in the graph? I always thought that was much less (max about 2lbs/1kg for someone my size).

(Ken) #40

Yes it can. It really depends on your body size and muscle mass. Glycogen is stored primarily in the liver, with some additional being held in the muscles. It’s liver glycogen that goes up and down easily, muscular glycogen gets used up by exercise and activity.

If you’re not trying to lose fat, these fluctuations are totally normal, and is what happens during Maintenance, when you’re neither adding or losing fat.

I’m 6’ and muscular, and I carry easily 14 pounds of glycogen when full. I know because I regularly depleted and recompensated when I was training. If I wanted to gain water weight on purpose, which I did as n=1 experiments, I could easily gain over 20 pounds in a day intentionally.

If you’re doing Maintenance, make sure you.eat overall low carb, and if you do to have a higher carb meal/day/weekend/vacation, cut back to keto levels so you don’t chronically overfill your liver.

For example, this Thanksgiving I’ll skip my dinner the night before, eat what I want on Thanksgiving, then not eat again until I’m actually hungry. That’s usually at least 24hrs. later.

(Windmill Tilter) #41

At your 130lb weight, I’d guess it would be 5-8lbs.

When I went on keto I dropped around 13lbs in the first week or so; it was all water/glycogen. When I went off it I regained that exact same amount in water/glycogen. Pretty normal to lose/gain somewhere around 5% of bodyweight when entering/exiting ketosis respectively.

Even while I was strict keto, fasting added another variable. I typically would lose an additional 1lb per consecutive day fasting, which I would regain immediately upon keto refeed.

Weight doesn’t mean much when your going in and out of keto and fasting. A tape measure is a lot more useful under those conditions!