My fifth fast - and it's not starting out strong

(Dave) #1

Keto since March; at the end of that month, I began my first fast with water and supplements. That ended up being a 6 day fast and sold me on the practice. Since then, I’ve done a 72 hour, another 6 day, and almost a 5 day.

On Sunday I started a 5th fast. This one is intended to be the longest yet - two weeks or more if I feel good. However, my rule is always: I break the fast if I start feeling poorly. And this one is not starting as well as the others.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure I picked up a bug. Sore throat on Friday, very tired Friday through Monday. Been sleeping a lot.

HOWEVER… three other guys from work who sit near me also caught a bug - and they’re not only miserably tired, they also have runny noses and coughing. Worst I got was the sore throat (which ended quickly) and the tiredness (which hasn’t). I credit my better resistance to previous fasting - boosting my white blood cell count.

Now, I know I shouldn’t be doing a fast while I’m fighting something. Fasting is known to improve the immune system post-fast but it actually suppresses it during the fast. But I’m doing it anyway. I feel okay - it’s just a weak start. Tuesday I finally began to feel better - still tired, even today, but not as bad.

Why do I say it’s a weak start? Besides the tiredness, my blood ketone levels. 72 hours in and they remain stubbornly low (0.2 - 0.4).

This is not the pattern I’m used to. On other fasts, beginning around the 50-60 hour mark, I began to feel like I was in my twenties again, energy-wise (I’m 45). K levels rose at the same time.

Wanting to kickstart something, at 4:30, I took exogenous ketones. I seem to recall they should have an effect within an hour or so, though I could be wrong there. I recorded my blood K levels every hour:
4:30: 0.3 (pop the K-in-a-can)
5:30: 0.3
6:30: 0.2 (hey, that’s the wrong direction!)
7:30: 0.4

Well, pretty static still.

I love the energizing effect of a fast. Was looking forward to it kicking in today. Disappointing. Maybe tomorrow.

(Carl Keller) #2

Back when I was doing extended fasting, it always seemed to trigger ads to hit my mailbox advertising steaks or something equally delicious on sale… The good news is fasting is an open invitation.

(Dave) #3

Last night, around 9:30, I finally started feeling the energy. Just when I’m ready for bed, right? Hehe

Today I was still kind of tired, but better. Ketones are 0.8, glucose at 85. With a GKI of 5.9, that’s technically low ketosis, by most definitions, but it’s not close to what I’m used after 4 days fasted.

Body is resisting heavy ketosis this time. Has anyone else experienced this?

(Annja) #4

It is difficult to advise someone else about stopping or continuing. Nice to see you being thoughtful about it. I hope the upward trend continues.

For me, I deliberately set a ‘break’ on my wish to do extended fasts. Although I find doing that difficult, I strongly believe in practicing patience and not do another fast too soon. And better break one off too early. But this is pure my own rule, to be enforced only on my own practice. And I really can not say for someone else (except if the person obviously is making a mistake, which in your case I do not see).

(Dave) #5

Thank you, Annja.

After my last post, there was a little more tiredness and then the ketones took off. Finally felt that high. I stayed feeling somewhere between “good” and “great” up through the end. At 7 and a half days, I finally started eating again for other reasons - work/social reasons. But I could have kept going and been just fine.

I’ll enjoy the keto way of eating for a few weeks. Eventually, I’ll fast again - next month maybe. No hurry but I’m not avoiding it either. I really do find it a great feeling once I’m past the first bit.