My Facebook post on fasting

(carl) #1

I recently posted this on my Facebook page, and it stirred a lot of interest. @Brenda asked me to post it here. Good luck with the August Zornfast!!

Some of you may know this already, but I have had great success with IF (intermittent fasting). I’ve done several 2 and 3 day fasts, and a 5 day fast. The more I do it the easier it is and the better I feel. I wouldn’t have even thought it was a good idea if it wasn’t for Jason Fung, a nephrologist (kidney doctor) from Toronto who is successfully treating type 2 diabetes and obesity with fasting. When his patients eat they eat a ketogenic diet (low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat). His best-selling book, The Obesity Code ( was an eye opener.

In a nutshell:

If you have a significant amount of body fat (> 10%) and aren’t pregnant, breastfeeding, or malnourished, you can let your body repair itself by fasting.

The best fast is to only consume water and salt. Megan Ramos, who works at Jason’s clinic, recommends putting 1/8 of a tsp of sea salt, pink salt, or any mineral-rich salt directly on your tongue every 2 hours or so while fasting. Let it dissolve, then chase it down with water. When I fast, I drink black coffee in the AM. Otherwise, it’s just water and salt.

If you’ve never fasted before, it will be a challenge. Most people don’t get enough salt. Your kidneys will flush electrolytes like mad. If you don’t replace the salt, you’ll feel horrible, and it could be dangerous as well. So, salt up. Jason also recommends taking a multi-vitamin.

How long? That’s up to you. My first was 24 hours, then 48. You’ll definitely feel hunger, but it comes in short waves. Salt and water help. Hour 18 is particularly challenging. Work your way through hunger and it will pass. Ron Coleman fasted for over 40 days, recorded all his body data, and posted about it in our forum at A really extended fast: going for 46-days!

After the first day or so, you’ll feel a huge increase in energy. That’s a shot of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), as well as adrenaline. Your body is realizing there’s no food, and is giving you a chance to go run down a woolly mammoth. Your body is using body fat for fuel. It takes a couple days to adjust, and then you’re on your way to full fat adaptation. Ketones are produced by the process of burning body fat for fuel. The liver makes glucose on-demand for red blood cells, brain cells, eye cells, and any other cells that require glucose.

After day 3, you’ll feel like you have a superpower. You’ll experience acute mental clarity, energy through the roof, and your hunger will subside. On day 3 autophagy is in full-swing. Autophagy is the body recycling dead proteins, weak white blood cells, and other yucky stuff. The body is literally eating up these dead cells, or portions of cells. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.

You can’t get the benefits of fasting by reducing calories. Any food at all will trigger insulin. Autophagy only happens when insulin is low and stored glucose energy (glycogen) is depleted. So, it’s better to eat nothing at all than just a little bit of food.

(Khara) #2

Thanks for the nutshell! We should be able to double :heart: a post. Ooh, or double :rainbow:! (Max one per day :nerd_face:.) Anyway, it’s in-depth but not too overwhelming. I’ve just recently been looking in to starting some fasting myself. Daily (like 18/6) are natural and the norm so it’ll be interesting to try the full 24 or 48 or longer. Your daily “what to expects” are interesting and this is the 2nd mention of the Obesity Code I’ve seen just in this session of browsing so I’ll pick that up. I can’t believe I don’t have it yet, I have just about every other low carb book.
You also answered a question I’ve been searching and planned to post.…

So you’re verifying that even fat only or protein and fat will stimulate a small insulin response? I was playing with my glucose readings the other day. Prior to eating I was at 80 and after eating I was at 88. My SO and I started debating/conjecturing what my body was doing about that. Does it always release insulin upon eating or will it let you get up to a certain amount before it’s like, ok now I’m gonna blast it?
Thanks again!

(8 year Ketogenic Veteran) #3

This would be hard to calculate. It depends on how long after eating you tested, for one.
Also, 8 points is such a small amount, it is within the margin of error for a test strip.

One day there will be home insulin meters. I wish they’d hurry up and make one.

If you are wondering if your body releases insulin after a particular type or,amount of food? I can tell you with certainty that it does, as this is basic human physiology. How much insulin and for how long would vary depending on the person.

The basic scoop is: if you want to receive maximum benefit from fasting, you have to fast without supplementing any protein, fats, or food.

(Mutain) #4

@carl - Thank you, Carl. Excellent post.

(Linda Culbreth) #5

Yes! Every overweight person, every T2D, every healthcare professional, especially every diabetes educator and so many others need to read this section. Excellent work - thank you for it! And enjoy several pieces of :bacon: when you break that fast!

(kevin) #6

Thanks for the tip about the salt on the tongue, I was feeling pretty bad on day 3 even though I had been drinking salt water, but I think I had been flushing out the salt drinking so much water with it.


I have a question about the vitamins and supplements. Does digesting the pills stop or pause the autophagy? Dave Asprey wrote about not stimulating digestion which would have to occur for the pills, right? I am only IF right now but considering 24-hrs.