I’ll post my results later today but it looks like I’ve gained a pound of water. This weight rebound is actually similar to what happened around this same time last year.
I expect it’s the result of rapid fat loss again causing my body to refill my lipid-depleted fat cells with water. So this is likely a substantial fat reduction event.
Unfortunately, I won’t find out until I go through a flush event which may take up to three days
Well. The good news is that I’m only 4 days from my record and that’s a decent achievement.
I have plenty of energy. I’m alert and focused.
Day 15 final
I was unhappy with my inability to compare muscle year over year so I went back and recovered all the old data so I can now break up “not fat” into “muscle” and “other”. This makes for more interesting results
First, I started with 5.5lbs more fat than last year but almost exactly the same muscle mass. The fat loss curve is consistent at 13.8lb this year vs. 13.3lbs last year… little better but close
But the muscle mass is holding up much better this year. In fact, I had lost 3.2lbs of muscle by this point in the fast last year vs. 2.2lbs this year. Not sure if it’s a result of the extra fat giving me a bigger buffer? better adaptation? Not sure, but it’s good!
The uptick in weight is still bothering me… I have to say that even though I completely understand and accept that this result is a temporary artificial effect of water retention, there is a real emotional impact to not seeing progress. It may be that after 15 days, I enjoy and respond to the measurement to keep me motivated, and understanding the data doesn’t change how I feel … LOL
I cannot find the ref, but many years ago I read something that explained that when fat cells empty they fill with water and it does not release for about 90 days.
I know that probably didn’t help, huh.
I agree with that but it’s not 90 days… its usually 3 days for me
I don’t have a scientific reference but my experience shows the effect. The underlying mechanism may not be correct but it functions as a reasonable analog… as with all science, we never know the absolute truth, we just have better ways of explaining what we observe.
Great numbers and perseverance, Karim!
I think the first couple days get skewed by water loss, but from Day 3 to Day 15 you’re showing 8.5 lbs. fat loss, or ~ 0.7 lbs. per day. I think that’s right in the zone (a very good zone). If, after all is said and done, it ends up looking like you didn’t quite average that much fat loss per day, you’ve still got some room for the number to be shaved down and be very happy, IMO.
True. The water rebound after breaking a fast usually adds 3-5 lbs almost immediately. Once I break this fast, I’ll compare the post-fast rebound results as well.
As I approach the final week of the fast, I am starting to consider how to extend the benefits for another few weeks.
I will impose a dietary restriction of remaining vegan until Sunday April 19th (5 more weeks after the end of this 3 week fast… yes, the total is 8 weeks )
I personal hate being keto vegan. It’s actually worse than water fasting in my view… but then again, I’m a carnivore at heart so this is an act of great personal sacrifice…
Back to the question at hand… how to break the fast and extend the benefits for as long as possible?
Here’s my plan:
First, I plan to move into a protein sparing low fat keto phase for at least a week. This will be minimalistic and monodietary (not sure that’s a word, but there it is).
I will use pea protein powder and vegan bouillon to make a pea soup with the following criteria:
<1000 calories per day
<10g net carbs
~1g of protein / lb of lean mass (140g)
This is actually very convenient as I travel a lot and pea protein and bouillon is very portable. I plan on remaining OMAD as well. I will have to eat some salads during business lunches but I expect those to contribute nearly nothing to the math (lettuce only, no dressing).
I think I can do this for a few weeks breaking it with a few days of indulgence targeting higher fats and specific goals:
I want to build up on omega 3 so I’m using seaweed for that.
I want to build up on phytonutrients so I’m adding EVOO for that.
I want to enhance fat burning and maintain my mental acuity so I’m adding MCT for that.
Here’s what that looks like:
I had to give up a little protein (0.9g protein / lb lean mass) to make up room for the fat but this still keeps me very close to the target of <1000 calories. I kept the <10g of carbs intact.
I would have liked to increase the portion of portabella mushrooms, asparagus and onions… or even add half a lime but the net carb content quickly throws me out of the 10g max. I’m unfortunately one of those people who are really carb intolerant … hence mostly carnivore
The weird proportions are because of the units in my spreadsheet. The 0.0625 cups is a tablespoon. The 10ml or 0.33 tablespoons is ~ a teaspoon. I could make the spreadsheet more flexible but I’m the only user so…
Day 16 - final
I woke up hungry and felt some muscle aches that can’t be explained by weightlifting since I didn’t get to it yesterday or the day before. I’m going to make a conscious effort to change that today.
I also took Doug’s (@OldDoug) feedback and reset the calcs to start from day 3 after the water, waste and glycogen should have been depleted. I think this makes for a more accurate and realistic measure of change. Pretty decent recovery after the increase in day 15…
am - The stomach gurgling is a little obscene this morning. Last night, it was loud enough to keep me from falling asleep for a bit too.
pm - I went out and got some sun today since the weather was nice. It felt good but I’m feeling dizzy, even with a steady intake of salt. My glucose is a lit higher too (60s instead of 50s) but it may be the result of additional stress?
Excellent all the way through, Karim. We have so little data on longer fasts for humans.
Thanks! I remember this forum being a lot more active last year. I’m always glad to share the results of my n=1 experimentation.
I actually really enjoy the community around here. I wish I could re-energize it some but I guess my thread is a little boring an dry with all the data and charts
It does seem like the “New Years boost” in interest was less this year. There is such a huge, potentially incredibly valuable area here - longer human fasting; I’m going to retire in a couple years and plan to do many self-studies as I’ll be easily able to control everything then. My longest fast has been 12 days (surprisingly easy) and there are some wide avenues out there…
I think I’ll incorporate hot peppers after my fast…
Day 17 looks like a dud in terms of results - no weight change.
And while I completely understand that this just means that my body is retaining water or potentially experiencing inflammation due to exercise or other variables (G>60 yesterday), it’s still demotivating.
I have to admit that I use my progress as motivation and today’s progress fuel tank is empty… so I’ll have to draw on other emotional, mental and spiritual resources.
My wife doesn’t support extended fasting so her answer is usually “what would you like me to cook so you’ll stop this insanity?”…
I am considering cutting the fast back to 19 days so I can have a couple of days of eating with my family before I get back on the road (lots of travel ahead).
I’ll post the results later today …
hmmmm … interesting
Day 17 - final
My iphone malfunctioned today and that created a lot of anxiety. I have to be on a flight in 4 days so that just aggravates the situation. I was hoping to be more relaxed today and bring my elevated glucose (G>60) back down, but it wasn’t meant to be
At this point in the fast, I generally start the day feeling quite good but my “happy” and “energy” levels degrade throughout the day. I went to the gym and used the sauna for 15 minutes and that made me feel better.
Given my current state, I don’t know if I can me it through the last two days. I’m redrawing the target back to 19 days and planning to break my fast on Friday night.
I’m definitely seeing diminishing returns. Or maybe my fat loss is just demonstrating regression to the mean ~0.7lbs per day?
Year over year results show overall slightly better loss in fat and less loss in muscle mass. This year, I started 1.8% body fat higher than I did last year and unfortunately that means that I’m not going to break under the 20% mark this year if I stop at 19 days. Based on the current average, I’d need to fast for another week to break under 20%.
I’m still not sure why I hit this wall around three weeks. I feel “depleted” but it’s not due to lack of fat. I still have 38lbs of the stuff and if my target bf% is 15% then I only need 20lbs of it. So there’s 18lbs of excess fat available for energy… At 0.7lbs a day of usage, that would be 25 more days of energy available…
But something else is depleted…
I take salt and vitamin supplements (K, Mg, salt, Iodine, Zinc, Copper, Boron, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, …) and I take ACV to help with absorption + Coffee.
I use weightlifting to increase my energy… and my ketones are reasonably high. The recent increase in glucose might indicate that my body needs more “burst” energy?
So what is being depleted? It’s definitely hormonal… but I’m not sure I know what it is. I’m not hungry… I feel like I could go on for weeks without more food. I’m also not foggy or anxious - I’m actually very calm and lucid… Mentally, I’m in great shape…
It comes down to this: I’m unhappy and tired… and I don’t know how to change it.
If I had to take a guess, I’d say I need to find a way to boost Dopamine and Serotonin. If I had to find supplemental amino acids to support, I’d say it would be tyrosine and phenylalanine.
Since I’m transitioning to a pea protein muscle sparing keto phase, I’ll be getting most of the essentials:
I may consider supplementing those two amino acids if I don’t sense an improvement after breaking the fast.
Please let me know your thoughts on this.
pm update - added G and K … still ~ 0.5 GKI
I plan to continue to capture my data after the fast is over so we can see the full effect of the re-feed as well.
With the re-feed being a restricted calorie vegan higher protein keto, it will be an interesting recovery… If the problem is a lack of protein, this phase should show this. The plan is to improve my “happy” and “energy” and reduce the loss of muscle mass (even though it’s not severe as is) while continuing the reduction of fat mass.
If anyone has comments on my post-fast plan or my diagnosis of these extended fast late stage symptoms, please share
I was going to suggest feeling depleted could be emotional in origin. Sometimes when we don’t actively process emotions as they ‘store up’ that can result in feeling depleted (or overwhelmed or resentful or…) and maybe a pill will only address the symptons not the underlying issue
so how has your mindfulness practice been?
or perhaps it’s physical from lacking in sleep?