New to fasting, keep going till you fail, or refeed


#1

Hello,
Any advice is welcome. I am 62 hours into a 72 day fast. It started out as a 24, then 48. I’m trying to decide if I am breaking the fast today, or going for another day. I am currently weighing in at 235lbs(5’5), I started this lifestyle change at 259lbs on November 15. I started intermittent fasting and semi keto, low carb high protein high fat. I do not crave sugar or carbs anymore. i started kind of fast increasing my fasting window. Started at 12, then 14 then 16. I stayed at 16 a few days and found it quite easy to do 18, did that a few days and did 20, and accidentally found myself at 22 hours not hungry and kept going. My question is should I continue till I know I’m done or break and start another fast, or break go back to 18 or 20 hour fast.

I really need to get healthy and part of that I know I really need to lose weight. my acne has gotten better, my eczema is going any…I know these thing are most likely being helped my fasting. I don’t know if its overkill to keep going or break the fast. I’ve been reading if you are obese you can go longer, my BMI is currently 39. I’ve been reading people say multiple day fast are not good for women because of hormone levels but I know for a fact all this extra weight on me is not healthy either. I dont want to burn out, but I also want to let my body do what it’s going to do.


#2

Do you mean 62 hours into a 72 hour fast? (It says “72 days” in your post). I’m going to assume you mean hours :slight_smile:

You’re going to hear a lot of opinions on this! I think the general experience of women on this forum - especially those with a fair amount of fat to lose - is that longer fasts are great.
Have you listened to Megan Ramos? She’s fasted many many women in her work with the Intensive Dietary Management program and she’s actually a fan of somewhat longer fasts (3-5 days) for women in particular.

I think that as long as you’re really honest with yourself about how you’re feeling - physically as well as psychologically - you can continue for as long as you feel good. Also you need to make sure that in the times between your fasts you really eat. You want to 1) nourish yourself 2) make sure there’s not a feeling of long-term deprivation and 3) keep your metabolism revved up.

If you haven’t already, check out the many fasting threads on here. You’ll see a wide variety of approaches that work for different people. And if it’s not quick clicking for you, just know that you can be very successful with keto without fasting!

Also, make sure to stay on top of your electrolyte supplementation (sodium in particular). The dehydration and weakness that results from a drop in electrolytes will stop an otherwise great fast.

Good luck!


#3

thank you so much. and yes you are correct. I meant hours not days. the biggest problem I’m having is not being hungry during my feeding window. I hear you saying I need to make myself eat. I guess I’ll have to see how the rest of the day goes, I can tell I am starting to think more fondly of food right now, I have 3 kids so I am feeding them meals so I’m around food. do you think it would be too much if I ended this fast at 72 hours and did another one next week?


(Allie) #4

The most important thing is to listen to your body and give it food when needed. Plenty of people fast throughout the week and eat only at weekends, but none of us here can say if this will be right for you. Let your own body guide you.


#5

I agree with the others - listen to your body! I intended to start a fast Monday but I was so dang hungry all day and then at dinnertime my husband was making keto tacos and bacon, and I was starving, so I decided to eat. I’m glad I did! I started again after dinner Tuesday night and I haven’t been particularly hungry at all.

I think the most important thing is to be able to recognize the difference between your body saying “hey it’s dinnertime, are you going to feed me?” and “SERIOUSLY, WE NEED FOOD.”

And don’t forget that stress raises cortisol, which is counterproductive for the results we’re trying to achieve. So if fasting is stressing you out, it’s time to stop.


#6

I think I’m going to end it at 72 hours and eat a meal and see how I feel in the morning. might go back to 16-18 hour. and maybe Sunday do another 24 hours.


#7

Over the past 18 month’s, I’ve done dozens of fasts ranging from 3 to 20 days. They are always open ended, I never know how long it will to last. They end because of social obligations, lack of energy, I got cold, or simply because I saw something that looked delicious.

I didn’t want fasting to become a goal or an achievement. I didn’t want to evaluate a fast as a success or failure. I view fasting simply as a tool. Every day of fasting keeps my insulin levels low, allows my pancreas to work less hard, promotes lipolysis, and improves my metabolic health. Fixing metabolic derangement is a long journey, it doesn’t matter how long any given fast lasts.


(Robert C) #8

The other thing to keep in mind - as is said around here and by Megan Ramos - is that you have to work your fasting muscle.

I have found this is actually a 2-part issue.

First - getting through the fast. This is actually pretty easy after the second or third day, in terms of hunger, as hunger goes away. Then, for about 5 days, it is not hunger but things like social obligations, boredom, smells etc. which cause triggering responses that you have to learn to deal with (strengthening the fasting muscle).

Second - making the fast count. In my first few attempts I found that my (too big) refeed following a 36 to 48 hour fast essentially ended up making zero scale difference after going back to regular keto for a week. Going longer helps but also, (again, building the fasting muscle) not going crazy on the refeed is a discipline that needs to be focused on and worked out.


#9

well guys I ended my fast at 67 hours. I wasn’t terribly hungry, but since last night i got a sore throat and along with lower energy levels i was feeling crappy and not getting anything done. I broke my fast with a cup of detox tea with a teaspoon of honey, and 30 mins later had 2 pieces of bacon and 2 fried eggs. I’m going to try and eat again before 6pm, that is usually when I cut of eating for the day. I am pretty sure I’ll have the energy to work out this evening. I started at 243 and ended at 235.


(Laurie) #10

@dropweight, sounds like things worked out okay for you!

I read somewhere that after 40 hours it’s diminishing returns. (I’m sorry I didn’t make note of the source.) I do 44-hour fasts, because I have a 4-hour eating window and that’s just how the math works out if I want to skip one day of eating (e.g., stop eating on Wednesday evening, resume eating on Friday evening). I do this twice a week on specific days.

I don’t trust myself with open-ended; if I don’t have a strict plan, I’ll get into trouble. Of course, I can always change my plan later, based on new information or goals.

I feel fine on my fasts–not weak or hungry. But when I do my daily workout, I do notice that I’m not feeling at 100% on the second day of my fast, so I’ve had to adjust my exercise routine. Since exercise is a priority for me, I choose not to do longer fasts.

I don’t go overboard on refeeding, because I only eat certain amounts at each meal.

Please let us know how your post-fast workout goes.


(Allie) #11

Why the honey?


(says keto isn't complicated. Sorry, but it just isn't.) #12

Jason/Megan - after 36 hours, diminishing returns hits hard.

Here’s Megan talking about it:

https://www.ketogenicforums.com/t/juices-non-juice-journal-jottings/61706/386?u=juice