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

(PJ) #994

I found this graph interesting - hopefully the video should link right to it –

The next couple minutes of the vid shows that plant protein (wheat or soy) vs. animal protein (egg or whey) had a major diff in muscle and esp fat.

(Karim Wassef) #995

I totally agree that animal protein is better.

However, I have the vegan dietary restriction for another 5 weeks before I can get back to my eggs and ribeye :smiley:

I’m planning on going for a dozen eggs a day to aggressively beat down my myostatin with the yolk.


Not sure where to get fertilized eggs though… need to make friends with local farmers :laughing:

I’m going to back that up with sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts too.

and then lift as heavy as my joints will let me.


I picket pea protein powder because it’s the best of the plant based proteins

(Karim Wassef) #996

Day 1 of post-feeding.

I feel good. No digestive distress.
The feeling of “unhappy” is gone and I feel very full.

Hunger - zero
Calmness - high
Mental Clarity - very high
Energy - average
Happy - average


It’s strange, but every time I end a fast I feel somewhat “unhappy”. Not what I would describe as depressed. Just not emotionally optimal. Enough to notice, but not enough to be concerned about. It’s hard to explain.

(Karim Wassef) #998

Day 2. I’ve gained about 5lbs back but not sure if I’ve stabilized or not. Ketones are unfortunately crashing even though I’ve been at 15g carbs or less and about 1000 calories. :frowning:

So adaptable…

I’ll post the data in a bit.


I could be mistaken, of course, but lower ketone numbers aren’t bad, it also means that your body is using ketones, so there aren’t many traveling around in your bloodstream - as they are produced, they are also used.
Maybe such high numbers don’t really offer any advantage over the number that your body would show if you ate a normal ketogenic diet? You can’t fast forever, you would eventually die of starvation, so higher ketone numbers could only be beneficial for a short amount of time?
I’ve been following Ilana Rose, as well, she ate some chocolate and her ketones remained high or the number rose even higher (I forget, apologies) - it could mean that the chocolate had no effect OR her body stopped using ketones and this was the excess of unused, dumped, ketones traveling around in her bloodstream.

(Karim Wassef) #1000

Unfortunately for me, lower ketones correlate with slower fat usage when I eat.

Ketones measured are part of a formula with “ketones from food“ and “ketones from body fat” adding and then energy usage subtracting… so it’s hard to tell what’s what. And ketones from body fat may be triggered by some foods for “some people”.

I also don’t feel the energy, clarity or satiety with lower ketones.

Case in point… I indulged today with 17g of carbs and my ketones dropped and glucose rose… I still expect to lose some body fat but I’m hungry again.

It’s ridiculous that I’m more hungry now than I was after fasting for 19 days… but there it is. Hormones are more powerful than logic. They don’t listen to common sense- they follow biology and mine says “there’s carby food somewhere here, dummy! Go get some now!”

Every body is unique in the levels that trigger these effects. I’ve learned mine by collecting massive amounts of data.

Others are clearly luckier than I am. Somewhere in my ancestry, someone survived a multi month fast and lived to pass on whatever genes made that possible. That super survival is now a health hazard (unless we experience that again :laughing:).

(Karim Wassef) #1001

Oh… the carbs were mostly from a delicious bit of onion in my asparagus+portobello sauté… I regret nothing! :smiley:

But still the hunger is so bad, it’s keeping me from sleeping… :man_shrugging:t2:

(Karim Wassef) #1002

I also did the math above and based on my available fat, I had a reserve of weeks of fat to go before I’d “starve”… and by starving, I would be under 15% body fat… so not even then. Fat is very energy dense.

I ended with 38lbs of fat and 138lbs of not fat. So I could go down to 21lbs and be perfectly fine. That’s 17lbs “in the tank” to go. At 0.7lbs/day, I have 24 days in me… so weeks of high ketones squandered.

Anyway, I’m traveling so I’m going to fast with only 3 vegan bouillon and 120g of pea protein for the amino acids and see how that works out. That comes out to 19g of fat, 1.5g of carbs, 103g of protein. It’s less than 600 calories but should be more satisfying and keep me in decent keto without more muscle loss.

Only the data will tell.


It is very interesting, that even such a low number of carbs sets off such a strong hunger sensation.
Then again, hunger is very mysterious to me - I have noticed 3 different types of hunger: actual hunger, psychological hunger, and thirsty-hungry. Maybe you are hungry because your body is missing something, even transiently, and it responds as hunger?

I ate mushrooms and asparagus yesterday as well, so I completely agree about not regretting anything! :joy:

(Karim Wassef) #1004

It’s all hormones: Insulin, Leptin and Ghrelin

After keeping the insulin beast under control for weeks, it comes back and spikes just long enough. I know this because I get a little headache and a massive amount of thirst. I drank about a gallon of water… so I probably gained 8 lbs in just that :smiley:

Anyway, the insulin bounce is bad.

Leptin sensitivity should be good after fasting. It’s the hormone fat cells make to say “enough, we’re full”. Leptin is the satiety hormone. Usually Leptin resistance is why we don’t stop eating when we have a lot of fat cells already.

Ghrelin is the opposite hunger hormone and reacts to food going into the stomach. After a long fast, it may be that I’m very sensitive to this too.

I think the few carbs get the snowball rolling downhill… for me.

(Karim Wassef) #1005

Day 22 (19 days fasting and 3 days refeed):

So the water and waste change in the beginning is completely reversed. I wasn’t counting it in my math but we’ll see if my body is done or if there’s more to go. The fibrous nature of the food I’m eating doesn’t help.

Here was last night’s meal with all indulgences included (18g of carbs):

Still with a metabolism around 2200 and intake at 1300, the 18g of carbs (I had miscounted by 1 before :smiley:) caused massive water retention, glucose went up to 71 before eating and 95 a few hours later! And the hunger.

Here’s last year’s results:

I will say that the increase isn’t as bad as last year where I had gained back 8 lbs of “fat mass” in water by this point. I’ve only recovered 5 lbs this year…

Last year I tried to fast cycle but I wasn’t happy with the final result so I’m going to use protein instead this year and see how that goes.

Dr Boz Calculates levels of autophagy using blood sugar/blood ketones ratio
(Doug) #1006

Great data, Karim - beautiful data. :sunglasses: I haven’t fasted as long as you - my longest ones are 10 and 12 days - but I got that ‘increasing hunger’ thing too, when I started eating again. Lots of really good things happen to us during the refeeding period - I can’t remember them all but what I’ve read is impressive; I had a “high” feeling just from what I assumed was going on.

While the hydration level certainly matters and can throw things off in the short term, I think your numbers all make sense. If we take the starting fat mass of 53.9 lbs. (presumably ‘fully hydrated’ in the non-fasting mode) and compare it with that last figure of 42.9 (presumably re-hydrated), OR we go with Day 3 at 48.6 (really into the fasting steady-state) minus Day 19’s 37.6, we get 11 lbs. fat loss both times. The fat mass figures may creep up a little more, but for now if we say that 19 days of fasting did this, then it’s an average of 0.58 lbs. per day. I think for your weight and metabolism, this is just about perfect.

(Karim Wassef) #1007


I look at it as 11lbs over 16 days since the first 3 are not real fasting… I’m still digesting and expelling fiber and waste… so my average is ~0.7 lbs/day

The question is what happens when I allow just enough protein to spare muscle loss but stay in keto and caloric reduction? At 450cal of protein and 150cal of fat… am I going to be sated or ravenous? Will my ketones continue to crash & glucose spike? Will I continue to retain water for three more pounds or flush and reset? Will I be able to build muscle mass?

Need more data! :wink:

(Karim Wassef) #1008

I updated the format and added today’s G, K results before eating…

Surprisingly, my glucose was 47 and ketones went back up 3.0…

I also went back and reviewed last year’s G, K results and I had 5 datapoints per day. I was pulling the first one of the day in my results above but I decided to grab the ones closest to the times I measured this year and the results are a little different but still consistent:

One noticeable difference year-over-year is that last year my ketones remained higher for 4 days longer than they did this time. It almost looks like I had a premature crash this year that started even before I broke my fast on day 19. Maybe it correlates with my excess “unhappy” this year?

Today’s meal at 550 cal mostly protein will be interesting.

(Karim Wassef) #1009

Thinking back on why my ketones went back up and my glucose dropped, I realize that I made too many changes on Sunday to be able to discern which ones had an effect…

In the interest of community learning, here’s what I changed outside of the food I ate.

Serrapeptase (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003QW3GCI) - first dose. I added this to see if it would help with my loose skin.

Broccoli Sprout Extract (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OJNOX02) - first dose. I wanted to reintroduce sulforaphane. This is part of my attempt to epicgenetically reduce my myostatin to improve my lifting.

I was traveling and didn’t want to buy anything with open containers so I had no coffee for the first time in months. I had a coffee headache but didn’t really think about it.

Without coffee, no stevia either…

Traveling was stressful (face masks, alcohol hand sanitizers, etc…).

So unfortunately, the observed result could be the result of one or all of these effects :frowning:

Bad scientist and bad lab rat… that’s what you get for trying to have a real life while collecting data!


(Karim Wassef) #1010

I’ll add one more variable (even though I don’t want to), for thoroughness…

Coronavirus infections increase autophagy as the body goes to war (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3528273/)

I have absolutely no symptoms and I’ve been super careful (really! masks and all) so I doubt that had anything with my GKI drop, but I have to add it to the list of possible variables since I’ve been in 3 airports in 2 days.

So…6 variables and one outcome… :man_facepalming:

(Karim Wassef) #1011

Day 23 - flushed out 3 lbs without being fasted, so I’d say this is close to being a refeed reset weight (maybe) :smiley:

Comparing to last year, I’m at almost EXACTLY the same weight and composition… little sickening that I’ve made no progress in a year. But then again, it’s just one datapoint.

Ok Ok… it’s not so bad. I started with a lot more fat packed on this year so getting to the same fat mass is not a bad thing, but the same muscle mass is disheartening. Still, with hydration in the mix, it’s hard to be sure.

I feel good overall but a little hungry. That’s the problem with eating something vs. eating nothing, but it’s not intolerable.

Hunger - medium
Calmness - high
Mental Clarity - high
Energy - high
Happy - high

(Karim Wassef) #1012

I think my low “happy” while fasting may have been impacted by insufficient exercise…

great video talking about the benefits … but specifically, I like the section around dopamine and cortisol

(Karim Wassef) #1013

Day 24

I’m back in Texas and under self imposed (wife imposed) quarantine in the guest room for a while. She’s concerned that my multi-airport contact may have exposed me to the virus. I have no symptoms but I want her and the kids to feel safe, so … there it is. My prison cell is comfortable and productive though :smiley:

Gained a pound of “fat water” but that’s good since it probably means that I’ve plateaued on the refeed weight. On the way into the fast, I lost 8lbs (5.2lbs was “fat water”) and on the way out, I gained back 7.2lbs (4.3lbs “fat water”).

So I can now look at the result from day 1 to day 24 and consider it meaningful. I went from 201lbs to 183lbs overall - so that’s 18lbs of loss. My fat mass (hydrated and fed) went from 54lbs to 42lbs - so that’s a GOOD 12lbs of real fat shedding improvement. The cost was a muscle mass (also hydrated and fed) down from 67.5lbs to 66.1lbs - so about ~1.4lbs of muscle loss.

I hate losing muscle mass but the math is still in my favor - losing 1.4lbs of muscle while losing 12lbs of fat seems like a meaningful exchange.

Now during the partial fast (muscle sparing protein only), I need to gain as much muscle with the least amount of fat. This makes me hungry but emotionally, I’m in a happier state. The hunger starts in the morning too which is disconcerting… and extends into the late night after eating.

I am finding it hard to stay under 10g carbs vegan with high protein though. It constricts my options so much that I usually can’t break 1000 calories. So some days, I give in and float up to 20g of carbs … I’m planning on being stricter today at 6g, but we’ll see how well that works out.

Here’s the plan for today:

I have a recipe for my pea protein soup that is making it actually quite good… I use cumin and garlic :wink: