Today was an awesome day. I ran a ton of errands, steamed cleaned a carpet and moved furniture around. Despite all the activity I didn’t feel hungry once. Not bad 5 days into my 7-day fast.
Day 4 of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge is winding down, and I am a bundle of energy. I’ve been running around my house going from chore to chore for about 10 hours. I took a “quick” break for social media and 30 minutes later I start crashing.
I just moved to the next project. BAM! Energy levels come roaring back.
As for hunger, well, I’m just have no interest in food. Oh sure there were a few small rumbles, but they went a way as fast as they came. Heck, I was working in my kitchen about 5 feet from my refrigerator and I had no urge to eat.
My hunger is just gone. Sweet!
Right before bed I decided to test my ketone levels. I just had too. I used two different strips — one I got from CVS and another that was sent to me by One Health to test. I’ll do a review of One Health’s ketone strips next week. However, I say they have one immediate advantage over the ones I currently use — length! When you have to pass the sticks through a urine stream, having a long stick is awesome.
Anyway, last night the strips showed that I was excreting trace amounts of ketones. By morning the strips showed I was releasing small amounts (1.5 mmol/L). A few hours later the amount increased to “moderate” levels or 4.0 mmol/L.
Using Ketosis To Protect Cells
So I am fat burning mode and loving it. The added benefit is that ketones protect our cells from cancer. In his presentation at the 2017 Low Carb Down Under conference, Dr. Gary Fettke talks about how things like protein and fatty acids serve as building blocks for cancer (glucose is the fuel), but are not readily available. So Cancer basically poaches them from nearby cells.
That’s where ketones come in. When you are burning fat for fuel instead of glucose, the ketone bodies act to protect healthy cells. So not only does it stop cancer from stealing from healthy cells, ketones also starves cancer cells. Pretty Awesome.
Check out the video for yourself.
Yay! Three fasting days down, just 4 more to go. And I’m feeling awesome! Day 3 was easier than Day 2 by far. My energy returned. And that ravenous feeling I had the day before disappeared.
Like Day 1, I stayed busy all day. So there were no stray thoughts about food. I was just too busy to eat. And today I was lifting lots of heavy boxes and home office equipment. I may have missed my workout on Tuesday, but I had plenty of resistance training today.
I will add that I got very hungry after I was done with all the heavy lifting. That was expected and I just rewarded myself with a tall glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. That’s the way i role on a fast!
I did have two little hiccups. The first appeared in the form of a minor headache. Since I’d had to get up twice last night to go to the bathroom, I knew I lost a little too much sodium. A nice cup of bone broth with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt fixed me up in about 20 minutes.
The second happened around 6:00 p.m. That’s when the husband cooked his dinner. I went up stairs, thinking of the phrase “out of sight out of mind.” Well, that doesn’t really work when it comes to smell. Wow, that was a tough one. But I prevailed.
Opps! Forgot About Measuring Burning Fat?
During an extended fast it can take between 2 to 3 days before you reach full ketosis. Ketosis is a natural state where your body is almost completely fueled by fat. Normally on Day 1 of my fast I would track my ketone levels (ketones are small fuel molecules, produced in the liver from your body fat). However with all the excitement with my mom’s unexpected hospital visit, I completely forgot to measure my ketones. Ugh!
Well better late than never. Tomorrow morning I’ll start tracking my ketone levels. I’m using the urine sticks (you basically pass the stick through your urine stream). Besides getting a reading first thing in the morning, I plan to also test my ketone levels after having my morning coffee and afternoon bone broth.
I’m just curious to see the effects both have on my fat burning.
Day 4 is coming up next and my biggest challenge is I’ll be home, working 10 feet away from my refrigerator. Here boredom is the enemy.
But between cleaning the basement, picking out a new kitchen sink, counter top as well as the color we’re painting our cabinets, I’m thinking I’ll have a pretty busy day.
Lately I’ve had a few questions about fasting and low carb/Keto lifestyle.
- Should I eat breakfast?
- How do I know I should fast?
- Aren’t saturated fats bad for you?
- Isn’t fasting the same as starving?
- Won’t eating all that fat cause a heart attack?
- Why I can eat brown rice or whole grains?
For me, when it comes to reclaiming my health and losing weight, nothing beats a low carb diet combined with intermittent fasting. Unlike the standard Western diet, there is actual science behind the therapeutic benefits of LCHF/Keto and fasting.
I’m not saying LCHF/Keto and fasting works for everyone. But the science for each is rock solid. For me, understanding the science of why we get fat was key to making better decisions on what to eat AND when to eat.
So for those who are new to, curious or want a primer on LCHF/Keto and fasting I’ve posted a few videos below to help you out.
Also keep in mind to do your own research like I did. For me, the science was compelling so I gave it a try and sure enough LCHF & intermittent fasting worked. That may not be the situation for you.
Science Behind LCHF/Ketogenic Diets
- Low Carb Diet: Fat or Fiction?
- Why We Get Fat (Gary Taubes)
- Processed Food: An Experiment That Failed (Dr. Robert Lustig)
How LCHF Works
- Optimizing Weight & Health with an LCHF Diet: Part 1 (Dr. Stephen Phinney)
- Optimizing Weight & Health with an LCHF Diet: Part 2 (Dr. Stephen Phinney)
- Optimizing Weight & Health with an LCHF Diet: Part 3 (Dr. Stephen Phinney)
- The Perfect Treatment for Diabetes & Weight Loss (Dr. Jason Fung)
- The Calorie Deception (Dr. Jason Fung)
- Therapeutic Fasting (Dr. Jason Fung)
Cholesterol & Heart Disease
- The Truth About Cholesterol – And LDL and HDL (Dr. Eric Berg)
- Demonization and Deception in Cholesterol Research (Dr. David M. Diamond)
Sorry for the delay in posting on the final days of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge, but I had a sick doggie and husband that needed some attention. Plus while going through the last 4 days of my fast, I thought they were uneventful. The intense hunger I felt on Day 3 was gone. Once in a great while my stomach might grumble a bit, but a sip of water took care of it (Day 3 I was obsessed with food thoughts).
I even stopped opening up the fridge.
But my little notes to myself indicate there was a lot more going on than I realized at the time. Physically, my menopause symptoms were gone. I could easily get 8 hours of sleep each night. The hot flashes and chills disappeared. My anxiety dropped through the floor. Mentally I was crisp.
Worrying that my fast would cause more stress on my body (thus raising cortisol levels and stress me out further) was unfounded. Yes, I lost weight not eating for 7 days, but that really was side benefit.
Below is the highlights of days 4-7 of my fast. Read More
Well my scheduled 3-day fast went up in smoke. Once again I was super tired after my radiation treatment. I planned to take an hour nap then start on my chores (you know, keep busy so I don’t think about my rumbling stomach). Turns out I couldn’t nap. And when I tried to get up, I had no energy. So I lay in bed for a couple of hours listening to my stomach get louder and louder.
There wasn’t enough water, bone broth or tea in my house to quell my hunger.
I broke down and ate a hard-boiled egg.
Yes I technically broke the fast with that egg, but the amount of food was so small compared to a normal day. I thought if I could hold out until the next morning I can kick my fast into high gear.
I chased the egg with 24 ounces of water. But my tummy persisted. Rather than spend the rest of the day staying close to the bathroom, I admitted defeat and ate dinner. Read More
After Thanksgiving I took a hard look at my intermittent fasting (IF) schedule. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing a 14-hour fast about 3 times a week. Maybe fasting 5 days a week might help break this plateau? So I started re-reading Dr. Jason Fung’s blog posts on fasting. Sure enough I stumbled upon an important data point that could help me break my stall.
Resetting My Body’s Set Weight
We all have a Body Set Weight (BSW) – a weight your body is comfortable with. During my last physical, my doctor cautioned me that if I wanted to lose more weight I could, but my BSW might be at 185 lbs.
If I was at my BSW and dipped below it, my body compensates by increasing it’s output of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Basically you dip below your BSW your body increases hunger and desire to eat. Your body wants to get back to its set weight.
I have to admit at the time of my physical I thought there was no way 185 was my BSW. I could still see the fat around my belly, thighs and arms. Look, I don’t expect to be super model thin. But I set my sights on 150 lbs. and that’s what I wanted to get to.
Well 8 months later and weighing 185 lbs., I’m starting to believe. Read More
My intermittent fast ended nearly a month ago and I find myself missing it. Since Lent ended, I too easily shifted back to eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Yet, I’m not hungry when I eat. Not good. I’m letting years of bad conventional dieting wisdom (3 square meals, grazing all day, etc.) dictate when I eat. It’s become muscle memory. Ugh!
The fight to eat healthy never ends. Read More
Clearly the changes I made this week — reducing the cream in my coffee and my fasting for lent — helped me work off the weight I imagined I gained over Valentine’s Weekend (lots of wine!) and then some. I’m down 1.8 lbs. this week for total weight loss of 131.2. Yay!!!!
So How’s That Fast Going?
I’m three days into my Intermittent Fast. So far so good. I haven’t dipped under 1200 calories/day and I’m averaging 12-18 net carbs/day.
The most important thing is I don’t feel like I’m starving. However, when it is time for me to eat, I am hungry.
Well duh, right? Read More
In my past weight loss adventures, I’ve tried fasting to no avail. Besides being hungry all day and night I ended up gaining the weight right back over the next few days. What was the point of that?
Turns out it wasn’t the fast that was the problem. It was me. There are really two ways to head into a fast – healthy or going full-throttle jackass. Guess which way I went? Read More