Karim's Extended Fast Tracker - come along for the ride


(Karim Wassef) #797

Ending the night after the feast at 95G, 1.4K
Before was 57G, 4.2K

… big meal.


(Karim Wassef) #798

Two final results coming up tomorrow -

  1. Overall data review… and conclusions
  2. Loose skin results

The carnivore thread will pick it up after that-

https://www.ketogenicforums.com/t/karims-muscle-gain-carnivore-adventure/84959/100000


(Karim Wassef) #799

First, the overall results:

My conclusion is that using the GKI adaptively to determine when to fast and when to eat is probably the best way to stay in the green target zone of 1-3.

The extended fast probably had great longevity benefits, but I’m going to take a break from it and focus on building up next.

I hit my extreme limits on blood glucose minimum (33) and ketones maximum (9.3).

Overall weight loss was 23lbs with probably half being real fat.

Definitely identified supplements that seem to help maintain lower GKI - to be tested in the building up phase next.


Hypoglycemia low blood glucose while highly fat adapted with high ketones Research?
(Karim Wassef) #800

ok. now for the most embarrassing part but I’m sharing in the hope that it could help someone else.

I started in March a little heavy at 195. Around 10 days into my continuous extended fast, I took this picture - it shows a little loose skin, but not too bad: 3/14/2019

If this is too much, I’ll remove the pics and try to describe it… I tried to be as specific to this area and as presentable as possible, like a medical setting.

but here’s what I look for as measures of loose skin change:

  1. Bellybutton - you can see the depth of the sag
  2. Rib to Hip - those stripes on the side
  3. Lower belly - stripes on the bottom

I also tried to take the pictures while in a vacuum since this was reasonably consistent and showed the most loose skin effect.

I went through the rest of the extended fast and then refeed and a week later in the cyclic phase, I took this pic: 4/13/2019

I had lost more weight and I think this actually shows that the loose skin was getting worse. Basically, I was losing fat faster than skin again.

This is when I tried something different (I’ll share at the end) and 5 days later 4/18/2019

and I think I’m seeing some definite improvement. It might just be my eyes but I think it got better.

Around 3 days later 4/21/2019:

I think it’s better still…

Then 4 days later 4/25/2019:

Here it looks like it’s getting a little worse, but that’s when I started the berberine/bitter mellon and I think the higher GKI was having a short term effect of losing more fat than skin - that’s even though I actually saw a weight gain from eating while using the supplements.

And finally the last day before breaking the fast: 4/27/2019:

The side skin is loose but looking like it’s tightening. The bellybutton looks less deep and the lower belly wrinkles looks smaller (to me).

I’ll let you be the judges of whether this is real progress or not, but here’s what I think:

  1. Without collagen (since I was vegan), I think I had a hard time rebuilding skin. I think autophagy worked and adding more external food protein was useful, but I suspect that having more direct collagen in the diet may have been more effective.

  2. It’s hard to measure loose skin when fat and water is fluctuating - cyclic fasting made this harder.

  3. I think the skin is more than just the outer layer. My experience is that the muscle underneath is just as important.

Ok - so what did I do?

  1. I started vacuum training. You can find plenty of videos on this and the primary intent is to reduce the waist overall. But I found that tightening the muscle underneath actually helped tighten the skin too.

  2. I started using a waist trainer. It’s basically a belt that I wrap around my waist tightly after performing a vacuum. This basically forces the skin into a smaller volume.

That’s what I did. I don’t think the extended fasting helped me lose loose skin. I think the training and waist volume reduction worked better.

I am uncomfortable sharing these pictures, but I promised I would - so there they are… for now.


Karim's muscle gain carnivore adventure
(Neil) #801

Looking good, Karim! Thanks for sharing! I haven’t been as careful at documenting my progress as you have, but to my untrained eye I think I see a gradual improvement in my own “stripes” from fasting as well.

Quick question for you. I know you’ve been tracking GKI like a madman, testing yourself as many as 8 times per day. I did 8 tests yesterday and the sides of my fingers on my left (non-dominant) hand, where I did all the testing, feel like a pin cushion now! Any tips for how to make repeated tests less uncomfortable? :slight_smile:


(Karim Wassef) #802

The thumb seems to have the most “robust skin”… I go to the highest setting but I doesn’t hurt as much for me.

There really isn’t much I’ve used. There are topical anesthetics but over time, your skin adapts and you get used to it.

My thumb used to look like a pincushion but now it heals almost completely each day… so you can’t even tell.


(aka Nick) #803

Huge improvement!

Things changed a whole heck of a lot during the month of April, whatever you were doing seems like it worked. Now I have to go Google “vacuum training” and a waist trainer. I haven’t heard of either but they definitely seem to have a noticeable difference over a very short time frame. I think you might really be on to something!

I’m halfway through a 90lb weight loss attempt, and I expect I’ll be needing these techniques in 3-4 months.

Don’t pull the pics unless you plan to patent the technique and sell it to weight loss clinics. :yum:
If anything, you should keep documenting the hell out of the progress over the coming weeks. Whatever you do, don’t do any dry brushing, because dry brushing enthusiasts will claim that it was really did it. If you solve the loose skin puzzle, you’ll be inducted into the keto knighthood.

There isn’t a single one of us with >100lbs to lose that won’t have to think about strategies to manage it.


(Empress of the Unexpected) #804

Bummer about the limes. So you are saying that they caused your ketones to go down but didn’t affect your BG? Or did I misread. I always assume that anything that would lower ketones would raise glucose.


(Karim Wassef) #805

They raise my glucose and lower my ketones. I just need to be disciplined and try to “stretch” a lime. :slight_smile:


(Karim Wassef) #806

I couldn’t hear the end of the jokes from my wife - calling it a corset… she likes to rile me up.

Truth is that it trains your TVA to feel tight. I thought it would do the opposite but I stopped just letting my belly hang now. It feels unnatural and I think the belt did that.

Bodybuilders use it too since they tend to gain everywhere and this limits gain in the belly area - muscle or fat.


(Karim Wassef) #807

I appreciate the support. It’s just embarrassing…

In japan, one of the ways to train managers and executives is to push them into very uncomfortable situations.

You think public speaking is scary?

Imagine being told to recite a poem at the top of your lungs in the middle of a busy walkway while HR judges you ability to persevere in the face of hostile and disgusted passerbys…

I’m very private so this is just uncomfortable but I hope it helps just one person.


(Karim Wassef) #808

Jeff does a good job showing variants on vacuum too:


(aka Nick) #809

I just googled “stomach vacuuming”

My first hit was from Jeff Cavalier at Athlean-X. As far as I’m concerned, that’s all I need to know.


(Karim Wassef) #810

Yup… sorry I should have linked it sooner


(aka Nick) #811

That’s hilarious, we both just posted the same Jeff Cavalier vid about 10 seconds apart.

I love that guy. I watch everything he puts out, even when it doesn’t directly apply to my lifting. Yet… :grinning:


(aka Nick) #812

That’s fascinating. I’ve never heard of it, and it doesn’t totally make sense, but if it works, I’ll embroider the words “corset” on it! I’ll take a temporary corset over the inevitable loose skin I’m going to need to manage 45lbs from now.

I can’t decide whether to start implementing the waist trainer & vacuuming now, or to wait until I have loose skin to see if I can replicate your results.

If I start now, it won’t be possible to differentiate whether the fasting or the vacuuming/WT provided the benefit. What do you think?


(Karim Wassef) #813

I would do it as soon as you can… I wish I had. The vacuum training is just exercise for the TVA


(aka Nick) #814

You’re entitled to feel that way obviously, but I don’t think you should be embarrassed, if anything you should proud as hell. I know I would be!

You’ve pulled off a pretty amazing weight loss, with almost no loose skin at the end, which is kind of miracle in and of itself. The statistical odds of someone going to from a BMI of 40 to a BMI in the low 20’s is 1 in 1290 or roughly 0.07%. It basically doesn’t happen in the real world. If you think I’m kidding, look at this study and the sample size (14,767!!!). Out of nearly 15,000 people, only 71 pulled it off.


(Jane Ellis) #815

Wow, I just posted a thread because I was alarmed when my GKI dropped to 0.85 and 0.68. I was afraid that might be dangerous. 0.68 was more than 24 hours after I broke fast and I’d eaten a couple of substantial meals in the interim. Reading your posts makes me think it’s OK for it to drop so low.


(Karim Wassef) #816

My lowest now is closer to 0.25

Listen to your body though. Not hunger, but deep “weakness” is my cue