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

(Karim Wassef) #922

Day 10 final

The results are encouraging but I got to admit, I feel cruddy today. No energy and bad mood and motivation. Hope it’s just a wall I can break through. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.


I’m sure somewhere in this thread it’s already been asked and answered, but have you thought about taking a couple of tablespoons of MCT oil in the morning? I’ve consumed up to 460 kcals of MCT oil during long fasts and done nothing but slightly lower my GKI ratio while 1>. Although I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it go less than 0.5 for very long. That seems to be my wall so far.

I know it’s not ideal for weight loss, and logically the extra energy should slow down autophagy, but it won’t adversely affect your GKI ratio. Or at least it doesn’t mine. If I hit a low energy wall a couple tablespoons can really turn my mood and energy profile around. It switches me back into that euphoric state, where my mood and cognition feels improved.

Just a question and a thought.

(Windmill Tilter) #924

You’ve got to check out Blood Flow Restriction training (aka BFR). It sends VEGF through the roof. Pretty much every professional and Olympic team has incorporated BFR into training and recovery at this point.

Dr. Mercola is obsessed with it and has put out some great content. There’s nearly 1,000 peer reviewed journal articles that are worth exploring as well.

If you have shoulder bursitis, it might be a good option for you to maximize hypertrophy while rehabbing the joint with very light loads.

If you travel, the restriction bands take up less space than a water bottle in a suitcase, but utterly transform hotel gyms. Even if you typically leg press 600lbs ordinarily, you still won’t be able to finish 4 sets of air squats while holding 10lb dumbells with the bands on. Try it!

(Karim Wassef) #925

I use MCT when I do IF but not these long fasts. If I hit a wall, I may consider it.

The idea of a fast for me is zero external calories. It’s painful but I’m trying to train my body and mind to use the resources I have in hand. If my BF% was closer to 15%, I could see using exogenous calories to keep the machine going, but I’m at 23% with plenty of available energy still on deck. I need to find a way to motivate my body to access it.

(Karim Wassef) #926

I do use occlusion bands and I like them. I don’t take them with me when I travel though - they’re part of my home gym.

There’s a lot of stigma around using them in a public gym and I’m not big on driving controversy while fasting. LOL

(Karim Wassef) #927

Day 11

Big movement on the scale this morning and it does align with a 6.6 ketone reading last night.
Still need to find a way to boost my emotional state.
I’m calm, clear, focused and thoughtful - but not very happy.

My consciousness is elevated but my mood is down.

I am one day away from my second longest fasting record of 12 days set over a year and a half ago in December 2018. That’s my motivation for now and I hope I break through the wall as I get closer to it.

(Karim Wassef) #928

The ketone graph from yesterday was interesting. It had a gentle S curve shape and looked to have plateaued around 5.2 for a few days and then suddenly it hit 6.6. It’s an abrupt transition and coincided with my deep mood change after my heavy lifting session the day before.

I wish I could get a hormonal breakout of what causes it and what it indicates is actually changing… hmmm


I agree 100%. The way I have used MCT oils on an extended fast was to extend the fast. I used them at the point where I felt low energy or fuzzy, and that I might break my fast if I didn’t. You’ll burn off the exogenous kcals in a matter of hours. Your GKI will remain low, but it might actually help get you back on track.

If you get to a point where you feel like you need to break your fast short of whatever goal you reaching for, MCT oil might be the bridge to that goal.

I believe a good analogy would be it’s like throwing gasoline on the wet wood (your fat) of a dying fire (metabolism). But I’d make sure it was mostly C8 MCT oil. I’d avoid the cheaper MCT Oil that contains a lot of the longer chained molecules due to the slower metabolic pathway. Your liver will very quickly convert C8 oil into usable ketone bodies. It might be enough to get the process going again. I don’t have good data, but I’ve observed higher fat loss rates on a fast up to 48 hours after taking C8 MCT oil. It could just be a correlation and not causation, I haven’t done it enough to confirm it for me.

Just a thought worth gathering data on.

(PJ) #930

Karim, for me, “energy” is directly related to my psychology. In fact I can tell when my energy level is going up or down, by how my psychology is feeling. I am nearly a different personality entirely when high vs. low. My psyche responds before my body does and is always a precursor.

I think your psych is telling you that you don’t have enough energy. I realize that you “should” just be able to whip out that fat and use it but “should” confuses a lot of things in the fat loss topic. For whatever reason, it is not doing it quite enough. It’s doing it SOME, or you’d know for sure (or be dead on the floor) but if it were doing it enough, I think you wouldn’t have the initial symptoms of low energy.

I join the peanut gallery in voting for a little dose or two of MCT. :wink:

(Karim Wassef) #931

Thanks :smile:

I agree that I’m not getting enough energy out of my endogenous reserves. Also, I think the spike in ketones and slight increase in glucose are a reflection of my body’s own calculus coming to the same conclusion… and therefore giving me more.

My solution though is to look internally vs externally for solutions.

What can I do to change this (other than consuming external calories)? How do I tap into my internal reserves when my biology is either unwilling or incapable of doing so?

Here are my ideas (potential solutions):

  1. Brute force.
    Our biology is all about efficiency… economy. I’ve adapted to keto and carnivore and IF and EF so my body isn’t scared of this. It knows that it can keep on trucking and has adapted to working within a small margin of wasteful expenditure.

So, I need to do things it doesn’t expect… basically throw it off it’s game so it stops being so economical. The trick is to do this gradually so it doesn’t panic and break out the gluconeogenesis axe and start hacking away at the walls and furniture (aka losing muscle mass).

Low intensity cardio
Light weight lifting with high reps and occlusion
Ice baths
— Please add to the list —

  1. Gentle persuasion

Another approach is to make it easier for my body to be wasteful without the fear of injury or harm. In fact, I want it to be relaxed and comfortable so it doesn’t sense threat and anxiety… basically very low cortisol. The concept is clear, but solution are not. Here’s where my head’s at:

More sleep > 10hrs
More walking for relaxation
More comedy and family time
More calorie free alcohol (?? I’m not advocating but thinking out loud)
More fun in the sun (vacation style)

  1. Cycles

This is basically a combination of 1 and 2 alternating stress and relaxation until something breaks free.

  1. Time

Doing nothing has gotten me this far. It’s possible that continuing to do the same will cause another jump in ketones and a higher energy level. When I did this, my ketones eventually rose over 9 and I had a surge in energy.

  1. Compromise

I’m including this here as a thought exercise and to make peace with the “peanut gallery” :smiley:

I could take small doses of MCT to get myself back in the mood to fast.

I could choose to add a very controlled portion of protein (pea powder is what I used last year) to avoid muscle catabolism and maybe get the glucagon effect.

… those are my thoughts today.

In a bit, I’ll measure my ketones and go lifting. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

(Karim Wassef) #932

(Karim Wassef) #933

Day 11 final

So back to 5.4 ketones and 0.5 GKI … so yesterday may have been spurious

Workout wasn’t powerful but better than no workout :slight_smile:

Next week, I’ll have access to the sauna so we’ll see if that makes a difference.

I did get some MCT C8 in case I weaken next week and the sauna doesn’t help.


The MCT oil would be an interesting experiment. 2 tablespoons has roughly 260 kcals of energy. Its metabolic pathway probably doesn’t stop autophagy. But whether or not it does, it’s not going to stop it for long. You’d burn through the 260 kcals in a few hours just sitting around. With your penchant for recording your data, it’d give you a novel variable.

I predict a slightly lower GKI, slightly higher BHB, and slightly lower BG. As to whether that translates into greater fat loss rate by spiking your metabolic rate, IDK. But it’d be interesting to test, and I don’t think it’d set your long-term fast back.

Oh, you mentioned alcohol in an earlier post. I don’t think that’s a great idea. While it may spike your BHB levels, lower your BG, thus lowering your GKI. That wouldn’t represent a “good thing”.

Here is a great video discussing the similarity between sugar and alcohol. Worth a listen.


(Karim Wassef) #935

I’m not big on alcohol in general :grinning:

It’s really a poison that stops the liver from functioning properly until it’s disposed of

I like to put all options on the table, even bad ones, and then decide. The only consideration is that it may improve my mood temporarily.

(Karim Wassef) #936

Exogenous MCT may artificially increase ketones and lower GKI but it’s not the same as fully fasting ketones and GKI. A portion of those ketones in my blood are not from my own fat reserves so I can’t really compare the data.

I may try it to extend my fast but the true measure will be the rate of fat loss with and without it.

We shall see… I think I’ll make it to my previous second place record of 12 days but my will is weakening.

(Karim Wassef) #937

Day 12

Noticed that the ratio of cumulative fat lost to total weight lost is generally tending towards the 2/3 range so I decided to add that in.

The last 24hrs were good in terms of fat loss at ~0.5lbs though I’m not sure how muscle mass can increase. This has happened on three out of the last 12 days and I’m assuming it’s a correction for errors in previous measurements.

Still not feeling as I did last year. Something is missing and I’m not sure what it is. Let’s call it " Joie de vivre". The calm clarity and mental focus is nice but it’s just incomplete. Let’s hope the weekend with the family can break me out of it.

Interesting observation on the fat loss trend. It looks to be cyclical every 4 days? Day 3 to Day 7 being one cycle and Day 7 to Day 11 being another cycle. The cycle starts by flattening out for a day, then dropping for 2 days, then taking a significant drop on the last day… and repeating. It may be my imagination since I haven’t put any math on it, but it looks to be the case. Why does that matter? Because that would make Day 12 the first day of the next cycle and it’s somewhat flat again.

The slope is also changing which is to be expected but still a decent overall rate of descent.

And as always - thank you for joining me on my journey. :smile:

(Doug) #938

:+1: Every fast is a roll of the dice, to an extent.

(Karim Wassef) #939

Day 12 final

So Ketones are stable at ~5.5 and GKI is pretty stable at 0.5…

(Karim Wassef) #940

Day 13

(Karim Wassef) #941

Nice to be under 180 again and losing 13.5lbs of fat is probably worth losing 2lbs of muscle/lean mass.

Last night the gurgling returned with a vengeance and I was uncomfortable to the point of nearly giving up.

I used my waist belt and the constriction helped calm things down so I could get to sleep.

Woke up feeling better this morning and the overnight loss of 2lbs (1.4lbs from fat) was substantial. I am going to compare the rate of fat loss this year vs. last. I have a feeling this year’s loss is faster.

Also, I had a dream that I broke my fast… It actually felt awful… a failure. Maybe it’s my subconscious egging me on to continue by showing me the emotional toll of giving up now.

The truth is that it took me 5 days to get to a GKI under 1 which is much longer than it used to when I was fasting regularly. I was still eating OMAD keto but my body had completely adapted to it. I would have a fasted G ~ 80 and ketones were ~ 0.2…

After this fast, I may have to go back to fasting Wednesday through Friday again just to remain in ketosis. Adaptation is such a pain… clearly useful in keeping us alive through the horrors of life centuries ago, but now, we have to recreate that pain just to remain healthy. :laughing: