Fast – Day Seven

Made it through another fast day! Thirty six hours. Easier than any of the past fasting times. Does that mean it’s working? In fact, I’ve noticed (just from my one meal, so n=1, haha!) today my appetite isn’t as ravenous as other fasts I’ve broken. I know, just a week into this, but I feel like that’s encouraging, and that SOMETHING is working. My energy is still good. Head is clear. And I’m not having any symptoms of my metabolism crashing.

My weight was down 1.8 from yesterday, which puts me .4 higher than my low on Tuesday morning. That also feels encouraging.

I had a tiny revelation today. Over the past five years, when I’d get sick, I’d lose a decent amount of weight (5-8 pounds in a weekend or week, for example). Usually it was because I was hardly eating or in some cases, I’d stay in bed and not eat at all. Everyone always said, “Oh, it’ll come back.” And it always did, of course, but not immediately, or even quickly. Just over time it would come back. It makes me wonder if that weight dropped off because of the benefits of fasting, and if I had started even a one or two day a week fast, if that would have kept me from gaining these last 30ish pounds. Or if I would even have lost weight becuase it would have helped with whatever’s going on in my body that fasting is working when other things (more exercise, less calories, etc.) aren’t. Just a thought.

For it to pan out, I’ll have to have sustainable, realized weight loss that goes beyond 8-10 pounds then plateaus. I’m feeling hopeful this is going to work. I feel different today than a week ago. I’m hungry, but not ravenous. I eat a meal, and then eat again when it’s another meal time. I’m not eating huge portions, and I feel satisfied. But I felt similarly when I started low carb. So, I guess we will wait and see!

I have been trying to find success stories on any type of fasting aside from the shorter intermittent fasting. I’m looking for 5:2, alternate day, longer term, etc. And, man, the comments about fasting are so frustrating. So many negative people who don’t know anything about the science saying, “This is an eating disorder” or “You’ll end up fatter than before.” But they have no basis for their reasoning.

I also was surprised to find how many people still track and limit (or try to meet) calories. Part of the draw for this approach is you fast for 36 hours (some eat around 500 calories during that time, I found it’s easier to not eat), then you can eat pretty much what you want on the alternate day. The first day (after 48+ hours of fasting, so not alternate day, exactly), I did eat mroe than I wanted. But it wasn’t absurd, and definitely not outside of the history of my eating. Just not nutritious at all. But today’s been good. And I was actually craving things like meat and veggies and higher fat/lower carb items. Today’s eating would be considered an accomplishment even in a non-fasting world. I find that interesting, and have found my appetetite today was really good. Anyway, my point isn’t to judge those who count the calories or push themselves to eat more, it’s that I enjoy this plan because, as defined, you don’t need to do that. Through tests they’ve done, they’ve found people have a net deficit between the days without trying (or restricting at all), and that the fasting days are overall good for inflammation, autophagy and many things you track with bloodwork.

The one thing I want to track is my blood pressure. The only thing with that is if blood pressure drops because of weight loss, how do you know if fasting is helping? Or if it’s the weight loss caused by the fasting. Ultimately, I just want my BP to fall in a more normal range (right now it’s usually 125-135/85-90 – and there are times it’s higher, I’m close to needing BP meds). I think things like your insulin and triglycerides can be high even when you are thin (mine always were), and can drop even when you’re overweight (mine have). But BP, for me, has just kind of been a steady incline with weight gain. And it’s always lowest when I’m at a healthy weight, working out consistently. That’s a major reason I’m so frustrated with struggling to lose weight the past five years!

The only real issue I’ve had has been sleep. Sometimes I sleep great. Sometimes when I go to bed hungry, I just can’t seem to fall asleep. It’s possible I sleep better on eating days because I also workout on eating days. Or maybe it’s all psychological! I tend to sleep a thousand times better on weekends when there’s no alarm, no worrying I forgot about something the next day at work, etc. In fact, I think I slept 11 hours last Saturday night! I’ve found myself both when I was in school, and as an adult with work, delaying sleep to delay the inevitable of going to school or work. So it’s possible sleep is related to that, and nothing to do with diet, hunger, etc. As long as my sleep doesn’t go totally off the rails, I’ll keep on with this path.

Total weight lost so far: 5.8 pounds

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