Yesterday I completed my third 3 day fast and I wanted to share my experiences. I have done several intermittent fasts and am fat adapted. Doing a three day fast was pretty easy for me and I look to go longer in the future, but three felt good. I am not an expert at only three by any means, but here are some things I wanted to pass on.
edit: I apologize for being overly verbose! It was not my intention but stuff kept coming out (kinda an unintended bad pun as you will read later) I hope you read the rest despite my poor attempt at humor.
Further - I listened to episode 58 - Switching it up with Megan Ramos. That encouraged me to think about this differently and listen the Fasting Talk podcast with Jimmy More. I listened to about 5 episodes and got some great focused information. It really cleared up some of the diarrhea issues I have asked about earlier. This problem is far more prevalent than I gleaned otherwise. I would take a listen if you are a getting started.
Pre-fast - I did eat more than usual this time, perhaps loading some. I ate more fats - avocados, HWC, Chart House blue Cheese (yum) and some fat bombs. It was not really intentional just turned out that way, perhaps eating 1/3 more fats. I think this helped and will do the same thing for my next three day fast.
Fast intake - So this may no be the “true” fast the hard core folks do but I significantly reduced my calorie and carb intake from normal days.
I did have my BPC coffe, BUT I eliminated that MCT from it and just used HWC and some Maca powder. About 70 Calories and 3 grams of carbs. I may eliminate the Maca next time. I also eliminated the MCT to control my digestive issues.
I also had a couple of small black coffees at my local roaster while working. Just one per day early afternoon. I also had peppermint tea on one evening but cannot recall which.
Prior to strength training and running, I consumed a cup of chicken bouillon broth. 5 calories and 1 gram of carbs. This was like a pre-workout bomb - it made an instant and welcome energy boost. I think this is a must do.
Post strength training I did consume one scoop of protein powder. I realize most of you will not make this choice, but I have goals pertaining to strength and condition that I hold dear. I believe delivering protein to your muscles up to an hour after your workout is a magical time. I simply get better results and (more importantly) recover faster and that is big deal at 47. Anyway - it winds up being 110 calories and 3 carbs.
So total calorie intake was never more than 200 calories and 8 grams of carbs to 75 calories and 5 carbs. Not exactly water fasting, but again, was a significant decrease to my normal intake.
I also found the when I did experience any cravings or hunger pain, that consuming a lemon carbonated water like LaCroix did the trick.
I mostly took my normal supplements, a multivitamin, probiotic, curcumin, etc… nothing out of the ordinary.
Strength Training and Running
Running - I had two runs Monday and Wednesday. Monday was not the best - not sure why it was my first day of the fast and not that far in so I do not think the fasting had any affect. Wednesday (last day of fast) I put up 5 miles with a decent pace and felt great before, during and after. This was my experience when I have fasted at other times. So - I am all in running while in a fasted state. Listen to your body and do what feels right.
This experience was that same as lifting while fasted prior = bad. The chicken broth really helped, but was a short lived gain. As with other workouts - I had limited energy, often felt light headed and did not have my normal giddy up. My workouts last about an hour to an hour and fifteen. I do not take it easy, talk or play social hour. I am focused, keep my head down, and leave nothing on the table. I currently cycling with Stronglifts 5X5 and both enjoy and recommend it. To give you an idea of where I am and my intensity/level for reference - I am at 5 sets of 265 x 5. I failed on sets 4 an 5 - something I do not typically experience. So all in all - I would say it sucked. I am not quite ready to blame fasting, but it looks that way. I should adjust my expectations to more maintenance I think. I will also keep a closer eye on any additional factors that could have an impact next time, i.e. sleep.
To a degree (OK large degree) - I think his information, on the podcast and on the forum, has been under reported and is generally inaccurate at least as how it applies to the masses. I am not trying to be inflammatory in any way - I think the world of the site and podcast, but fee strongly about my convictions in this area by way of continued bad experiences. Also - again, listening over at the Fasting Times podcast confirms my suspicions Before anyone jumps to the defense of the site/podcast go take a listen. Some of this even comes out on the podcast here. Again - please take this constructively! I apologize in advance if this has been brought up on the show before and I am missed it it, either way I think it needs to be a core concept flushed out (pun intended) whenever fasting is mentioned Rand over - moving on…
I think more people are prone to diarrhea, and in my case it was severe and debilitating. Again, after listening to Megan, it appears this is a more common problem then not being able to go. Perhaps this is more pointed at beginners or new fasters like me. It should be front and center, imho, when talking about fasting. Megan indicated that when you fast your body does detox and expels the bad stuff and cleanses your colon. Therefore I must have a super duper squeaky clean colon… ugh.
Back on point. This cleanse/diarrhea was bad news for me every time fasted more a day. Even then it was I had some troubles. No matter what I ate after fasting I was in the bathroom in sad shape. This might last for 48 hours after I break my fast. It affected my work and home life aka taking care of my kids. This is a big deal to me. I needed to do something to FIX the problem on my next fast. Enter my savior - Megan. She mentions a few ways to ease the issue while acknowledging it is quite normal and part of the deal.
What worked for me = Metamucil a.k.a psyllium husk. I only chose this out of convenience and cost. I got mine at Walgreens on sale. Any psyllium husk should be the same, but I think a pill is better than drinking it mixed in water. To be clear - this worked for me, and I am not attempting to be prescriptive here. There are other ways Megan and Jimmy recommend to ease the pain. I took 4 pills once toward the evening on Day 2. I again took 4 pills about 2 hours before breaking my fast last night. This has completely stopped my diarrhea symptoms, at least this time. I am not ready to call it a miracle cure, but I continued to function as a human being during and after my last fast 72 hour fast. To be honest, if I had a similar experiences like my last 5 extended fasts I would have stopped fasting period and never tried again.
Edit: It is important to note that psyllium husk is a “bulking” laxative. It is, as I understand it, designed to make one go more regular not more often.
To be clear - Things after my fast were not perfectly “normal” and a little wonky. Nothing like before and spot on with respect to frequency. So I count that as a home run. YMMV
Breaking the Fast
About two hours after eating the psyllium husk I ate about 12 almonds and Canadian bacon. No strategy here just what I had around and sounded good, although I do think the almonds are a safe bet.
I then had a typical meal - Carl’s Fathead pizza, some veggies Chart House blue cheese, and a small bar/cookie smothered in cream cheese. note - I am going to post a quick simple cookie hack soon. These feel like a reward when I need something extra.
No issues at all. Again - this worked for me. Experiment with what works for you.
Weight loss and overall health
To be honest I have not idea how much I lost. I did not weigh myself before I started as it was not my priory… I will do so next time prior to staring my 4 day fast. If I had to guess, I lost about 2 lbs. I can tell you I mostly felt great. I used the lemon fizzy water almost as supper. It was easy, if you are ready GO FOR IT.
This was a great experience and I look forward to trying longer fasts now that I have my digestive issues hopefully under control. I look forward to the healing it provides and reduce my insulin resistance - autophagy I think. Fasting is, I believe, a vital tool in the tool box. It is a plateau buster.I am going to explore mixing up my eating like Megan suggested, keeping my body guessing by revving up my metabolic rate with food and then slamming the brakes on.
I truly hope this will help others, it does me good just to get it out. If you have any questions about my experience feel free to ask. I apologize for this being so long!