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

(Karim Wassef) #582

My carbs were probably in the 50-70g range on the worst days. I stayed in Keto > 2 through most of it, but glucose did rise into the 90s temporarily.

My protein is where I focused the most - I wanted to create a reserve or anabolic compensation to any lean mass lost so I was pushing that heavily. That was likely 90-110g.

I’ll run the numbers tonight.

I feel much better now. The morning was “cloudy”. I have early morning calls and I didn’t like my memory stalls and poor verbal communication… the last time I had experienced this was on statins. I need more fat is what I think my body was saying.

Interesting that my improvement came after another “food-flux”… seems that if there’s still material in process, it can mess things up. The high fiber content over the weekend meant that my microbiome was still fermenting for days… so technically “not fasting yet”.

(Karim Wassef) #583

Side pain and gut pain… not digestive, feels like fat being mobilized.

Also more gurgling than usual… not hunger, but sounds like it without any sensation of hunger.

Today is heavy lifting day… will see what that looks like

(Britt) #584

I don’t really understand everything at this point but it’s kind of like reading about a big mountain you might like to climb someday…it’s good to know what you may face!

I’m sure it helps having readers to root for and support you as well as much of this is mental as much as physical.

I still haven’t gotten to the end of the posts yet so I don’t know everything that happened but I’m hoping it was a success and it had to be a learning experience even if it didn’t turn out the way you planned!:grin:

(Karim Wassef) #585

It’s actually been great.

I’m going for a DEXA & RMR next Monday to get an objective measure of progress. Here’s my summary of learnings so far :slight_smile:

  1. There are four variables that matter : lean mass, fat mass, visceral fat and metabolic rate. Those are what I want to measure and improve.

  2. Fasting will always degrade lean mass. The difference is in what that lean mass was (loose skin vs muscle vs organs) and how much is recovered upon refeeding?

  3. Fasting will also degrade metabolic rate. The same difference applies here: how well does it recover upon refeeding?

  4. Never take a fasted DEXA or RMR before refeeding. The data is basically useless since being fasted, or immediately post fasting is a temporary and deeply catabolic state that does not represent a sustained condition. Every fast+feed cycle must be accounted for as a single event.

  5. Fasting is no harder on day 18 than day 3… once the body gets into the groove, it’s fine. The trick is to compensate for electrolyte & water loss sufficiently to avoid complications.

  6. Daily weight variation is a curiosity more than a meaningful measure. It provides interesting insight into water and food flow but is a terrible measure of actual muscle or fat. This is especially true on fasting and refeeding but is generally true also. The post-refeed windows are the only times my smart scale actually reconciled somewhat with DEXA.

  7. In phase 1, I went for 19 straight days followed by 9 days refeed. During that phase, I lost 7lbs of fat from my belly and lost 4lbs of muscle from my legs/thighs/glutes. The muscle loss was disturbing and set me on a different path in phase 2 where I fast for 5 weekdays and eat on the weekend. Each week is a cycle and this is week 2 = cycle 2.

  8. During phase 1, I lost nearly half my visceral fat. It dropped from 1.8lbs to 1lb. I also got my CAC (calcification) score that showed that my risk of heart disease is very low < 3%. Both excellent indicators for disease reduction and longevity.

  9. In phase 2, I’m experiencing very large fluctuations in weight upon fasting or refeeding. I think this is due to choosing to be vegan and the fiber that seems to cause massive water retention and food flux for days. I have no data on how good or bad this is. If the DEXA doesn’t show benefit, I may go into protein fasting or protein cycling… that would be a pivot into a different phase 3.

  10. The original phase 3 was scheduled to start in May and was intended to be non-fasting and carnivore.

  11. I’ve experienced mental clarity and calmness with the unusual exception of the times before a digestive “food-flux”. This is my euphemism for bowel movement. For some reason, when this occurs when in a deep fast, it seems to “sap” my strength and mental clarity. I don’t know why but it clears up almost immediately afterwards.

  12. Knowing when to stop - deep chills are bad but they’re not usually the market for me. There is a different state of deep “economy” where the body starts getting very frugal with energy. Movements become very deliberate - like a very old person. I align this with lowers metabolism but don’t have my own RMR (jealous much???) :smiley:

  13. My conclusion on lean mass loss (so far) is that’s its an equilibrium between the natural nitrogen cycle from normal breakdown of old weak cells (catabolism, autophagy, AMPK hormonal triggers) + availability of protein (anabolic mToR triggers) + demand driven stress from exercise, heat, cold (mToR, growth hormone, testosterone)… I don’t have a clear view on how to optimize this yet. The 4lbs of mass loss in my legs was the result of laziness since I chose to skip leg days and my body figured out it wasn’t necessary.

  14. I started using the amino acid Leucine since it seems to accelerate ketone production and is anabolic to muscles. My view so far is that while insulin and Leucine are both mToR anabolic triggers, Leucine is very transient and goes in for a very brief muscle growth event while insulin lasts for hours and causes fat and muscle gain. There are studies that point to Leucine also being catabolic (and anabolic) by acting like “robin hood” stealing amino acids from some lean mass to build where there is new demand.

  15. My chemical modifiers so far are MCT, ACV, Leucine, vitamin C, and coffee. My stress modifiers are hot, cold, exercise, UV and fasting. These basically accelerate the switch from glucose to ketone. This should be good… but still uncertain.

These are all that come to mind as I sit in the sauna for 35minutes…

To everyone else - if you notice something that I missed in my summary, please bring it up so anyone joining new can catch up.

(Karim Wassef) #586

Heartburn is gone and feeling better.

Lifted heavy and that actually cleared my mind a bit more.

I went back to compare last week to this week - so I looked at my daily glucose, glucose, and GKI:

I’m running about 1.5 ketones higher this week. It may be because I stayed so high during the refeed. Even though I brought it back down to 0.9 just before the fast, I don’t think it was enough.

I plan to eat more protein this weekend and potentially not even do OMAD. I’m concerned that my lean mass and metabolic rate on Monday’s DEXA/RMR will be depressed given that I’m approaching similar ketone ranges as my second week of the 19 day fast ~ 5+

I’m not there just yet, but I expect I will by tonight…

Nick - looking at my GKI over time, I might switch over to a 3 feed - 4 fast cycle to keep myself in the 1-3 GKI range. It would mean eating Saturday night to Tuesday night and then fasting Wednesday,Thursday and Friday.

(PJ) #587

Looks good!

(Karim Wassef) #588

I was expecting to end at ~5… but here’s the day 3 evening reading:

60G, 6.6K = 0.5GKI

So in deep autophagy & very high ketones.

I feel fine.

Usually when I get to this level, the fasting chills really start to hit but I feel warm… not just that I’m not cold, but I’m actually warm.

No explanation for why this fasting cycle is different from previous cycles. I have increased my potassium a lot to compensate for the massive drop in water, but I don’t see a connection.

(Karim Wassef) #589

(Karim Wassef) #590

This weekend, I’m going to try to control macros better

Going to target 2080 cal:

20g carbs ~ 80 cal (3%)
140g protein ~ 560 cal (27%)
160g fat ~ 1440 cal (70%)

(Karim Wassef) #591

Day 4, cycle 2, phase 2

Only 0.6 lbs over the last 24hrs so this is probably fat and lean mass. If you look at it historically, the curve looks to be a continuation of last week’s softening weight loss curve.

To put the 169.8 in context: My lowest adult weight was 162.6 after my 12 day fast in December and my lowest was 168.4 after the 19 day fast… so we’re in the range of deep weight loss.

It’s 1.4lbs from my condition at the end of the 19 day fast and 7.2lbs from my lowest adult weight… the hope is that the composition is different though with less fat and more lean.

0.58 GKI still in autophagy and off from the 1-3 target I keep missing.

I feel better today. I’m sore from yesterday’s heavy lifting and my core hurts - stomach, sides, lower back.

With less belly and less loose skin, my v shape is showing more. Smaller waist so that’s encouraging. My 32” waist is starting to be constrained by my hip bone but my waist may actually be smaller since my new pants and shorts keep slipping again.

Unfortunately, a secondary problem is that every weightlifting exercise now works out my core. I have to stop bicep curls because my waist hurts from having to keep my body upright against the weight. My bracing belly fat isn’t there to keep me upright and I have to pay attention to my posture.

Side ribs are showing again. This usually happens towards the end of my long multi-week fasts so the cycling is definitely comparable so far.

(Karim Wassef) #592

Also very warm again…

Any ideas on fasting chills vs warmth? An indicator of lower gluconeogenesis? Increased fat oxidation?

(aka Nick) #593

Try the preacher curls bench. It transfers all of that tension from your core to your elbows pressing against the bench.

(Karim Wassef) #594

I have been doing them but it feels awkward.

The position of the elbows is probably better to focus on the bicep as an isolation exercise but it’s a little unnatural.

I also don’t like machines … maybe some cable… but I just love free weights.

Maybe it’s good that I feel that core pain so I can start to see better ab development… :slight_smile:

(Karim Wassef) #595

Since I seem to have the most boring accountability thread here :joy: is there anything you would want me to add or share to get more of a dialog going?


Going into the gym for core (25), cardio (35) and sauna (35)

62G, 6.2K = 0.56 GKI before… I’ll check in after 1.5 hrs for the results.

(PJ) #596

Never thought of that!

(PJ) #597

I once read something that said cold/warmth in limbs had solely to do with the blood circulating there. That some people had interference from low circulation for physical reasons (high body mass vs weak heart or leaky veins can do it) but that mostly it meant the body felt a sense of threat and was conserving its energy for the core, damn the limbs, much like trees pull in as autumn cold hits, to protect the trunk and roots, damn the leaves/limbs.

I’ve read that high body temp can make you cold because of the differential in environ. You are taking your temp right?

(No idea of course, I’m just meandering on what I’ve seen about this.)

I feel like fat oxidation is what makes me sweat. When my body’s really happily burning it up, that’s usually when I am slightly sweating (or greatly depending on what I’m doing), as well as other keto symptoms.

(Karim Wassef) #598

I have had some remedies for the fasting chills that mostly focused on blood volume and circulation. So I agree.

The first was to keep salts high to make sure that blood volume didn’t diminish substantially due to water loss. I still believe this is true but I’m now in an equivalently dehydrated state to my deep fasted state according to my weight. But in the previous fast, I was in deep chills. In this one, I’m very warm… I’m still trying to keep my salts and hydration up but I did that last time… with minimal results.

The second is that the body needs to increase circulation to fatty deposits in order to extract lipids there. That necessarily reduces flow to the extremities. My solution to that was the application of cold packs to the fatty deposits to cool down the blood circulating there causing the body to upregulate thermogenesis which increases heating to the whole body, including the extremities. So if flow is reduced, then I’ll increase the temperature flowing there to get warmer. Again- I did that before and doing it now.

The only difference is that there’s less belly fat, so maybe there’s more cold pack cooling of the circulating blood?

The third is blood vessel dilation. Basically, under stress, the extremities’ vessels contract reducing flow and the flow is directed to the vital organs. For that, nitric oxide is important so beet extract and sunlight/UV has been my remedy… but again- I’m doing the same things.

The fourth is temperature stress: sauna and cold to increase dynamic flexibility … doing the same.

The fifth is thermogenics like cayenne and cinnamon extract… doing the same again.


The only thing that’s changed is probably the amount of body fat and lean mass and the dose of Leucine I’m taking.

I’m researching the Leucine ketone effect … the Leucine availability in the blood seems to be a really potent metabolic driver.

(PJ) #599

Well aside from reduced bodyfat (and how reduced are we talking here, since the last time you were in this sitch?) it seems like leucine is the changing variable.

I got some (powder form). I’m giving myself a week of refeed to not stress about my food in any way except choice, supps for refeed, and digestive enzymes. After which I intend to eat no meal ever that does not contain protein and 4g of added leucine. I doubt I’ll be able to track that variable in any possible longterm gradual results but now I am convinced protein is worthless without enough of it (easily influenced by videos on the internet, I am :grin:) and protein is the primary driver of my strength, my attitude, and nearly all the good things in my personality.

(Karim Wassef) #600

My caution around Leucine is because of the upregulation of mToR which would be bad for cancer. I think it can be great as long as it’s intermittent…

So fast for AMPK, then Leucine for mToR

Mini cycles… waves of breaking and building

(PJ) #601

Good point.