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Finishing a 7 Day Fast

  • 16-08-2021 11:05pm
    Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ IamMe33

    I've just passed day seven of my water only fast with himilayan pink salt for minirals, and will break it tomorrow.

    I go on and off intermittent fasting patterns, usually the one meal a day routine when on it.

    I haven't been practising IF since last year but starting this fast my body slipped over to gycogen depletion and ketosis without any hunger pangs.

    I didn't plan to go a week as my longest period ever before was two days, but this time since I went beyond the two day mark at 9pm I held off eating or that evening and found myself thinking about going another day, and then another.

    Psychologically after day two it became a lot easier as I stopped fantisizing about food, and every day since I thought about food less and less.

    Strangly enough the smell of wholesome food sets me off at the moment more than junk food, even to the point where I was dreaming about breaking the fast...with a plate of veggies and I've never been vegitarian).

    My diet has been awful during lockdown, indulging in ice-cream and a takeaway daily after work, where I would have had a cereal breakfast and normal dinner.

    Since my body is now in raging ketosis I have been buring up the gut I've developed during lockdown so there's a significant amount less hang since last week.

    Unfortunately I've no scales to give figures but I'm 6' and have ranged from max 107kg to 92kg since my mid thirties (now 44) depending on gym and IF.

    I've never gotten near the lower nineties kgs with weights and cardio - only with IF - as I've never ate lean.

    Anyway, the point of this thread is I'm curious to see if anyone else has completed a prolonged fast and how were your food cravings in the weeks after finishing it?

    Did you maintain a wholesome food craving and was your attitude to fast food more indifferent compared to pre-fast?

    Honestly, despite having the processed foods and sweets in the house my thoughts have not been returning to them again and again like it usually would during normal eating, only ever looking forward to the bone broth and avocado I've planned to break this fast with tomorrow when I occasionally think about food at all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 189 ✭✭ NiceFella

    I've never attempted anything more than a day. That's enough for me. Can I ask are you able to still work as well given the lack of food? What are your reasons for going 7 days? Or are ye just challenging yourself?

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ IamMe33

    Yes, I've worked Monday to Friday doing overtime each day (typically 07:00 - 18:00).

    It's office-based so no serious exertion.

    I've a 10 minute cycle into work every day and tend to walk home in the evening with the bike to get a bit of sun.

    Other than that I haven't been exercising during lockdown.

    I've not experienced fatigue or drop in mental faculties.

    From what I've read many people in ketosis experience a sharpening of concentration and I'd say mine has very slightly improved.

    I didn't start out intending to last this long, but when I went past day 2 I really became motivated to try for the supposed benifits beyond the insulin sensititivity conditioning, gut rest, and autophagy - which is said to be your immune system starts to rejuvinate itself beginning after day 3.

    As I said, after day 2 the wilpower around food doesn't become so much of a factor so I set myself a challange for a week after day 3.

    If I had felt any deterioration or ill effect during this I would have stopped it immediately.

    As I've not ever suffered from any metabolic condition and being on and off in the gym as well as cardio I've never been chronically unhealthy but I have developed a bit of a gut, though not massive.

    Hitting into my forties, and concious I'm entering into the age where heart disease, diabeties, cancer, metabolic syndromes ect start to increase in odds, I've dabbled with IF primarily as a small measure against the possibilty of these as I don't eat very clean and tend to resort to it during periods where I lay of exercise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    So what is your routine today? 3 meals a day with snacking in between?

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ IamMe33

    No, I've stuck to the intermittent fasting since. I find it easier to eat cleaner when I'm on this eating pattern as I generally finish eating by 15:00 at latest and don't suffer from the late evening snacking urges when you tend to target fast food or confectionary as handy and tasty gap-fillers due to being in wind-down or lazy mode.

    The fast lasted almost eight days in the end. That was just over a month ago.

    As recommended when following an intermittent fasting routine I try to vary the eating period anywhere from one meal a day (eating to full) to an eight hour window so my system doesn't become overly used to a pattern.

    Weekdays in work is the easiest as the working day routine tends to shape everybody's eating habits and there's quite a varied menu served in the canteen.

    A typical weekday is:

    07:30 - Coffee x 2 (I occasionally fall into to this tasty habit but mostly avoid coffee as I develop a thumper of a headache within a couple of hours if I don't drink it at the regularly appointed time. I've slipped into drinking it again since finishing the mega-fast.

    09:30 - Breakfast: Often fried/poached/scrambled eggs on toast with butter(depending on how the canteen is doing the eggs). Twice a week a full fry up.

    13:30 - Dinner: I tend to leave the carb filler of spuds, chips or rice that pad out the dinners from the canteen and just eat the meat and veg, adding what I bring in - a couple of avocados, small bottle of olive oil to drizzle on the dinner, couple of fistfulls of walnuts/pistachios,macademias, a teaspoon of cod liver oil, collagen powder drink and a square of quality gigh cocoa pecentage dark chocolate.

    Weekends I tend to eat one gut-busting meal a day with an occasional dessert.

    I find it easy to maintain this routine when I'm in it. It's starting off which is most difficult.

    I still haven't managed to weigh myself but the gut has decreased dramatically. However, it is in the initial stage you see the quickest improvements.

    If I started back in the gym and maintained this habit I imagine it would accelerate results, but with Covid still lurking I'll be avoiding gyms.

    I'll have to start doing bodyweight exercises in the apartment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭ Josephfromdowntheroad

    Congratulations pal 7 days is massive

    The most I ever done is 5 and I felt very jittery so caved in but it is quite the experience spirituality as well as physically.

    I found it rewired my appetite but alas it didn't last a weekend of drinking and I was back on the fast food.

    Being aware of triggers that make you eat bad should be your thoughts now as you have rewired your brain to want healthy food and this is huge.

    So write down all triggers and stay away from them and be mindful.

    This only me 2cents of course and might not work for you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ IamMe33

    A five day fast is still an outstanding lenght and the result of tremendous determination.

    I felt the same on day 5 as day 7 really, and felt no difference in energy or thinking about food.

    I agree about recognizing tiggers being the first step to avoiding or pushing through a potential relapse. You could almost analogize craving junk food to be an addiction and the two crucial factors in overcoming any addiction are willpower and triggers.

    I rarely drink and the older I become the rarer the occasion, so that's unlikely to catch me.

    My triggers would be stress or feeling down. That's when food is a quick pick-me-up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,979 ✭✭✭ aFlabbyPanda

    I experimented with fasting a few years ago having done IF for a while. My longest fast was 20 days, I lost around 8kg in total after refeeding. On my last day I was down nearly 11kg but obviously some of that was water, food, & waste. Once I got past the hunger pains and low blood sugar, etc from day 3 to 4 I felt better but I was very cold & lethargic after about 14 days.

    I broke that fast using some light fruits (watermelon, etc). I didn't have any specific food cravings but I did miss the social aspect of coffee/snacks with friends at work or sitting with the family at home.

    Interesting feedback on a fast on reddit which showed that the person technically had a high body fat % since the body lost more muscle/lean tissue during the fast. * (1) [OC] I didnt eat food for 15 days and tracked data. : dataisbeautiful

    * He Didnt Eat ANYTHING For 15 Days And This Is How Much Fat AND MUSCLE He Lost - YouTube

    I've no plans to do an extended fast and found overall it was more detrimental to my overall strength & fitness goals. I still practice IF occasionally.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Redjacketboy

    I'm wondering am I missing something here. By fasting do you mean you just drink water and pink salt for those days? Surely this can't be healthy. Someone else did it for 20 days? Is just purely weight loss you are targetting?

    It sounds a bit eating disordery to me? I don't spend a lot of time on social so maybe I've missed something?

    Hope you guys or ok, and have a lovely breakfast. A full tummy is a nice feeling!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    The more I dive into research the more I think that humans as many other mammals not require to eat every single day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭ scottygee

    A friend recommended it to me before but the third day was hell for me.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    Sound like you have used all your glycogen but didn't have enough ketones. If you do it a few times even for 24-48 hrs eventually it will balance up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    There is a limit to how much fat you can oxidise, or how much ketones you can produce in 24 hours. When fasting, you simply won't be able to meet you needs that way. And since the universe does make an exception for you, balance must come another way. Most like catabolism and down regulation of energy. Two awful outcomes imo. No idea why anyone would aim for it.

    Post edited by Mellor on

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    Sugar is non essential source of food.

    Human body can produce enough glucose from fat to fulfill any demands.

    Post edited by markmoto on

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    Yes sugar is non-essential. But I didn't mention of sugar. Not sure how you think that's relevant to what I said.

    Second sentence is incorrect. The human body can produce some glucose from fat, the pathway exists, but it can't fufill all demands. It's convoluted pathway. that requires precursors from fat oxidation, or ketosis - as I pointed out above, both are limited (plus using for glucose means not using for energy - net zero).

    That should be obvious when you think about it, if we were able to fufill all demands from fat, we could produce as much glucose as needed, and ketosis wouldn't ever be needed or even possible. But is it necessary and possible. The main pathway for glucose is from amino acids. When starving, you've no dietary aminos - which means muscle gets catabolised - which is exactly the issue I pointed out above. SMH

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    I don't know how to start long debate your mind in a abolutely different pathway. You have read outdated books my friend. Anyhow try to fast a few times and as experiment go into ketogenic diet for a few month. I am sure you would have fewer arguments afterward.

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ IamMe33

    Were muscle building/bodybuilding your goal fasting is not a winning strategy due to the catabolic reliance for glucose requirements.

    Neither do you have the available energy to maintain or endure any explosive training.

    Strict training regimens nor bodybuilding are not ambitions of mine though. I dabble with it for the supposed benifits that accrue from giving the gut a break as outlined.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    I've used ketogenic diets for years. I understand it far better than you. Certainly you didn't read any of that in a book. Maybe if you actually tried what you claimed and got some real world experience you'd stop making up your own "science". The fact you response is "I don't know how to explain it" proves you can't back your you claims - as usual.

    I mean, look at any body that has been undereating for a long period of time. They quite clearly suffer massive muscle mass loss. How can you claim that doesn;t happen. Baffling.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    Exactly what I was getting at. You can't remove a massive chuck of energy, and expect there to not be an equal and opposite adjustment. To be clear, I was responding to the poster who said they felt like crap. Seems you are fully aware of the catabolic elements and have taken it into consideration.

    Seems far more sensible that insisting catabolism doesn't occur due to unlimited glucose supplies.

    Strict training regimens nor bodybuilding are not ambitions of mine though. I dabble with it for the supposed benifits that accrue from giving the gut a break as outlined.

    Bodybuilding would not be a goal of mine either. It would be the recovery, hormonal issues that I'd be avoiding. But we all have our different priorities. If you want to prioritize the gut benefits, you just need to match your activity. Same goes for others above.

    Post edited by Mellor on

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    Once you are ketones adapted. There is no glucose requirements in fact glucogene is dirty fuel which leaves 4 types of waste that cell has to deal with. On top of that it gives you spikes of unstable energy very high to very low vs ketones steady clean energy with tones of benefits one of which is more oxygen availability to cells. Hence you can see many athletes (not bodybuilders) switching over to ketogenic diet few month before the competition to improve performance by upto 30%.

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    Let me clarify when I talk about sport I usually mean sport not bodybuilding.

    Bodybuilding in my opinion is not a sport but I do enjoy weight lifting in the gym.

    As far as I understand your are protein hero and all your experience base around bodybuilding industry.

    And I don't find beneficial talking to you. You either come from wrong school or provoking to long useless conversations to improve visitors to this board.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    In this post you said there is no glucose requirement, in the last you said fat converts to glucose to fufill any requirement. Contradicting yourself and still wrong.

    It's not possible to create enough ketones in a day you supply 100% of energy needs. You need energy from fat, protein or glucose to make up the rest.

    Let me clarify when I talk about sport I usually mean sport not bodybuilding.

    Bodybuilding in my opinion is not a sport but I do enjoy weight lifting in the gym.

    When I say sport I also mean sport. Nothing I said above is to do with bodybuilding. It's just biology.

    As far as I understand your are protein hero and all your experience base around bodybuilding industry.

    And you again your "understanding" is incorrect. I'm not into bodybuilding, never have been. Something else you've made up to try and justify your "special" advice.

    I've no idea what your experience is based around. But its missing some fundamentals and most like quite fresh.

    And I don't find beneficial talking to you. You either come from wrong school or provoking to long useless conversations to improve visitors to this board.

    I'm not posting for your benefit. You repeatedly post bad and incorrect advice. I'm correcting for other people so they are not mislead. I'm not provoking you, I'm posting clear information, politely. Interesting that you can't explain your claims and instead come out with classics like "you come from wrong school". If you had a more open mind and instrad of theink everyone else was wrong it might benefit you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    People will find the true using their own mind not yours or mine.

    Post edited by markmoto on

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto

    I did not contradict myself. You just ripping content/meaning apart. Human body require none of glucose intake hence carbs is not essential food source. However small amount of glucose for certain operations body produce from fat or some protein if having an excess. And put blood glucose into strict control between 4-6 mmol/L. And yes human body is capable to produce more than enough energy from fat. I think I put you into ignore you just trying to annoy me for sometime now.

    Post edited by markmoto on

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭ markmoto


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    Human body require none of glucose intake hence carbs is not essential food source.

    Never said it was essential. In fact I said it wasn’t.

    And yes human body is capable to produce more than enough energy from fat.

    it’s not. There is a limit. Which is why too large a deficit causes problems. Look at people on hunger strike or in concentration camps. There’s a reason they never look like fitness models.

    Ive no idea why pointing out that simple information annoys you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 263 ✭✭ GoogleBot

    I Don't think people in concentration camps had any fat. They all were starving of malnutrition.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    They didn’t start out like that. Thats literally the effect of starvation. The point is they rapidly lost lean mass as well as fat. They didn’t simply burn off fat stores.

  • Registered Users Posts: 263 ✭✭ GoogleBot

    On a 7 days fast that would never happens. Losing large chunk of muscles = prolong starvation, not fasting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,139 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    Prolonged starving results in large losses because you lose a bit each day. It doesn’t just disappear after a month. It falls away incrementally from day 1. The rate of loss is greater at the start and reduces as BMR drops.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 263 ✭✭ GoogleBot

    how do you explain people mid 30-40s with 2-3 meals a day full of protein, never fast, lost 30% of muscle mass in period of few years?