Maybe a long fast, then?


(A Very Hungry Bunny) #1

Hi all. If you’ve been following along, you likely already know my struggle, but here’s a brief summary:

Started keto 5 months ago, I’m currently up about 3-4 lbs from when I started. I lost a few lbs in the beginning but they came right back. I have tried IF, a few EF’s (2-3 days), ZC for 40ish days, less fat, more fat, etc. I work out (cycling and other stuff) and have some digestion issues (I rarely “go” and when I do, it’s usually painful). I have gotten a couple DEXA scans and somehow managed to gain 2 pounds of body fat. I have tested EVERYTHING. My fasting insulin is low, my HOMA IR is good, my thyroid is normal, everything looks like I should be losing weight, but I’m not.

SO…I have been feeling pretty awful (emotionally) - especially after the last few weekends spent mostly in a bikini - and it’s becoming very difficult to KCKO - though I don’t really know what other options I have. The odd thing is - my energy, my sleep, everything else is still great.

I’m going to Hawaii in 2 weeks and it just occurred to me…what if I just fasted until then? The longest fast I have done is 3 days, so I have no idea if I’ll last longer than a few days, but what’s the worst that could happen?

Based on my DEXA, I have about 48lbs of fat on my body, so based on @richard’s fasting math, I have 1440 calories accessible daily. Based on my BMR, I would probably need to supplement with a couple hundred calories of fat. I don’t think I’ll worry about working out (no long bike rides) during this fast, aside from some bodyweight lunges, squats, and pushups, walking the dog, and some light stretching.

Also, I’m currently taking 800-1000mg of Magnesium Citrate daily + digestive enzymes and a LOT of HCL with each meal, and I’m STILL not going to the bathroom regularly…so maybe just giving my gut a break altogether is a good idea. I feel strongly that my gut issues (low stomach acid for sure, mal-absorption potentially?) are what’s causing my body to hold on to this weight - I have an appointment with a kets-friendly GI doctor coming up next month, so hoping she will be able to help.

So far, when I’ve fasted, I haven’t kept the weight off, but maybe doing a long fast will change that. If you’ve been in a similar situation, please let me know. Or - if you have any thoughts/feedback that you think might help, please share!

PS I’m hungry already…
PPS my fasting heroes: @Brenda @JorgePasada @meganjramos (obviously) @infromsea

Editing to add: Also, if some of you recall, I also got those 2nd degree burns back in early April (near-boiling water spilled on my chest). I know my body is still healing from that…though I doubt that’s still having an effect on weight loss?

(Brenda Zorn) #2

Just so you are aware that you need to keep some of that body fat…

You understand that part, right?

And if your body has decided you are at a healthy bodyfat percentage, it’ll fight you to lose more.

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #3

I get that I need some body fat, but I’m at 32.5% body fat. At 5’ 2", I’m about 20 lbs more than what I should be. Believe me, it’s not a question of body image issues or unrealistic expectations, I have verified with many, many people that I’m not being a crazy person…also, 20 less pounds on the bike would make a WORLD of difference.

I’m not looking to be unhealthily thin with a ridiculously low BF %, I don’t have illusions of grandeur. I’d like to be around 25% - right in the middle of the healthy range. I also really want to get to the bottom of this and find out WHY I’m gaining fat and how to resolve it. The DEXA showed that I didn’t gain muscle, I gained FAT. Something isn’t working properly here…and with no insulin resistance, low fasting insulin, and normal thyroid function, I think it’s got to be a gut issue.

PS If you have other ideas, I’m listening!!

(Adam Kirby) #4

Yeah you are nowhere near the bare essential amount of body fat, I get that the body isn’t eager to give up BF if it doesn’t have to, but it shouldn’t be literally impossible to lose anything at your weight. Something is wrong. By all means, try a long fast.


Sounds like a really good idea to me. If nothing else, it might help your gut issues, plus it’s pretty much impossible not to lose weight on a long fast, right? I’m planning to try a longer fast in October, when I’m alone in the house.

(Khara) #6

@yayhowfun You brought up gut issues. Have you had much chance to investigate this further? It interests me but I’ve only done cursory reading on the subject. Robb Wolf and Dr. Jockers both have a lot of info on their websites. I also have a friend who just recently discovered the probability of an issue with too many oxalates which damage gut health so she’s cutting those out in hopes of improvements. I’m not suggesting your issue is oxalates in particular. But possibly look in to particular foods that might damage the gut or might just be an issue for you… Food sensitivities, digestive health, leaky gut, histamine, autoimmune, FODMAPs, microbiome, anti-inflammatory… would all be something I’d be researching. Like I said I’m not very well informed in this area but the reading and podcast listening that I have done seems to interconnect all of these topics. Best wishes to you!!! I hope your new Keto GI doc is a shining light for you and keep us posted on your extended fast. :rainbow:

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #7

Thanks! I’ve read a lot of about these issues too. I’ve determined that I DEFINITELY have super low stomach acid, but there may be more. I’m hoping there are some tests that can be done to help identify the specific issues.

(Khara) #8

So is that something that can be helped by consuming apple cider vinegar?
(I saw recently where ACV helps with too alkaline of blood - does it apply to stomach as well?)
Well, you’ll probably be one of the more informed new patients for this new GI doc!

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #9

I’ve heard people say that it helps promote stomach acid if you take it about 15 minutes before meals, so that’s what I do. I skip it while traveling but have it when at home.


Going on 14 day fast when you have only completed 3 day fasts can be difficult, not impossible, but difficult. Really watch the water and electrolytes. If you have malabsorption issues, you may need more than most. If you get to feeling sick on the fast remember you can break it, refeed for a day and start another. I had good luck with that routine a few times.

How did adding more carbs back effect you? Did that go ok?

I feel your frustration, I have had long periods when no matter how on point I was, I did not lose, and it is the worst.

Hope all goes well with the fast, update us here. Really hope the new GI is helpful. No matter what your weight enjoy the trip to Hawaii.

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #11

I didn’t think it was an issue, but I’ve gained a couple of pounds, so maybe it was. I don’t know anymore - too many variables. I was in NY for work last week and ate keto the whole time, then flew to Northern California for Labor Day weekend with family - ate keto the whole time, went on a couple bike rides (27 miles and 17 miles) and only had 1 or 2 drinks all weekend (keto friendly) and still managed to gain. I am staying up here all week and while I could easily grocery shop and cook my food all week, I just felt like it was a good time to start a fast since I’m out of my normal routine.

I have my bike here and could jump on and ride in the early mornings, but I think fasting and walking the dog may be what I need right now.

I don’t know if I’ll go for 2 weeks; honestly I don’t even know if I’ll make it to the weekend - I’ll have to see how I feel. I’m already ravenous, but it’s about hour 19, so that’s expected. I’ll be drinking LaCroix, coffee, and supplementing with some fat (like coconut oil in coffee). Thanks for the well wishes!

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #12

Sidebar: it’s funny how when you’re doing intermittent fasting, 18 hours can seem long a really long time! Around hour 14 or 16, I have to remind myself there’s only a few hours left. But, somehow, knowing that I’m going to do a multi-day fast makes this first day not as bad. …though maybe I’ll changing my tune tomorrow. :joy:

(Tarsh) #13

Maybe take a closer look at your Normal thyroid function… The range of Normal is calculated using a sample of the population which by default also includes people with poor thyroid function. So while technically Normal, it may not be Optimal. Generally speaking you want your TSH level to be at midpoint or lower,… and free T4 and free T3 to be midpoint or higher. If you want to dig deeper, you may wish to get a more extensive thyroid panel test which includes Thyroid antibodies (to eliminate Hashimotos), and Reverse T3 levels. T4 can be converted to T3 which which is the active from, or reverse T3 which is inactive and has the effect of apply the brakes on your metabolism. T3 is a hormone which is also involved in gut motility. If all else looks normal but RT3 ratio is too high, that could be your problem. The website Stop The Thyroid Madness is a good resource and has a calculator to assess whether your ratios are in the optimal range.

(Doug) #14

Heh, yes - the mental aspect of it; things are relative. Good luck, Andrea. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Richard Morris) #15

I reckon a 1440 kcal day should be a decent energy budget for the day given your low insulin isn’t going to be preventing access to it. You have a lot of friends here wishing you success. :slight_smile:


Yes, good wishes, Andrea!!


Wow, @yayhowfun, I see why you are frustrated. I am routing for you to have a successful extended fast, some BF reduction, and a wonderful time in Hawaii.

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #18

Thanks everyone!! I appreciate the encouragement!
Question for those of you who fast a lot: when does the awesomeness feeling happen? I generally feel pretty lethargic when I fast, but I’ve only gone to about 75-80 hours or so in the past. I know a lot of people talk about feeling great, tons of energy, etc - I haven’t experienced that with fasting and am wondering when that usually kicks in.

(Doug) #19

:thinking: Hmm… I wonder. Never have felt great or really energetic. For me, the “best” feeling is that it’s not that bad, really not bad at all, heck, I can do this standing on my head… 1/2 to 3/4 lb. of fat being used up every fast day - somewhat awesome, there.

(Crow T. Robot) #20

It varies for different folks, but it seems like many (like me) report the fourth day being the best and fifth about equal. The sixth is usually low-energy for me, but with the same kind of ‘buzzy’ productive feeling (in between naps, lol). The seventh day is back on top and eighth is good, too. Ninth is like the sixth. Tenth is pretty good, and I’ve never gone past that, so I can’t tell you about the eleventh :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t necessarily expect to feel “awesome” if you mean “more awesome than normal”; it’s more “relatively awesome” with some productivity benefits (don’t be afraid to work when you can’t sleep). I think you will like it, though.