The idea of extended fasting (e.g., 2-3 days) is intriguing. But reflecting on my (very fortunate) situation, I wonder why I should even try? I’ve read a lot about the benefits for those addressing a range of health challenges, but honestly, I don’t face any of those issues. So if you’ll bear with me I’ll explain why I’m asking. Sorry for the lengthy post, but context here probably matters a lot.
First, I’ll clearly state my question:
QUESTION: If there’s no need to lose weight, no chronic health issues to address, and nothing about one’s metabolism to fix, are there still compelling reasons to incorporate Extended Fasting into one’s life? And by “compelling reasons” I mean demonstrated science.
CONTEXT: I’m still new to keto after 5-6 weeks but have had amazing outcomes in every way. I did not appreciate how low-level inflammation had been dragging down my otherwise active lifestyle (I felt older, stiffer, and sorer than my 60+ age would suggest). Now: my joints/muscles feel fantastic. Energy level = high. Concentration/focus = phenomenal. Also lost 13+ lbs and 3-4" at waist. At 5’9" am now just under 150lbs with 32" waist. Blood pressure low. NMR lipid panel (@ 4 weeks) = awesome across the board. And, as before, no meds of any kind.
So I’m a very lucky dude, to be sure. I’m also one of those fortunate people who suffered no discernible “keto flu” during transition to ketosis … perhaps in part because I wasn’t especially unhealthy to begin with (ate loads of complex carbs, but not so much refined sugars)… and also PERHAPS because - for the last decade - I’d fallen into the habit of one&one-half meals daily eating pattern: I’d typically eat a very light first meal around 1pm (shredded wheat, 1% milk, banana) and then my big meal (dinner) around 6-7pm … loaded with “healthy” carbs, lean meat, veggies, (like a big cobb salad).
In other words: Without having a name for it, I’d been eating along the lines of 18/6 or 16/8 “IF” for years before switching to keto. Also: for decades I’ve done daily cardio, tai chi, 1-2x weekly free weights, skiing, hiking, etc.
Now, having moved to ketogenic eating, I’ve got “no complaints” about anything going on inside my body - and I intend to continue my comfortable “IF” daily eating pattern with keto ingredients (am loving it!). Hence, to rephrase my original question…
Is there any scientific evidence that - absent weight loss goals or other health concerns to be addressed - EXTENDED fasting provides meaningful health benefits beyond those that are achieved through INTERMITTENT fasting? If not, perhaps I’ll limit my focus in learning more about extended fasting to intellectual curiosity and its applicability for others - as opposed to something I need to try for myself.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.