This is the 57th day I have been alternate day fasting, so yesterday marked my eighth week on the plan. This morning I weighed 274 pounds, down from a 312 starting weight, which means I’ve lost around 39 lbs since March 1st. (If I hadn’t been eating more during the week of Easter, I would probably have shed forty pounds by now.)
But I’m not in a rush. I haven’t made any big changes since my last update except that I’ve been experimenting with longer fasts in the past couple weeks by not eating any calories on most of my down (fast) days. However, I may switch this up going forward because I’ve been noticing some fatigue and weakness in the evenings of my down days: symptoms I didn’t notice as much when I was eating the low-cal meal on the fast days. Other than on fast day evenings when I don’t eat at all, the early symptoms I experienced in the first month are gone — even feeling cold on fast days, and occasional nausea and the like. Seems like my body has adjusted.
Still, sometime in May I’d like to try a longer fast, just to see how my body handles it — maybe a 60 or 72-hr abstention. I still have a long way to go. Here’s some photos to document current progress:
It just occurred to me that I keep titling these posts with which day of alternate day fasting I’m on, but I never set out with any specific goal or time period to do this. Instead I had a goal weight target in mind: 250 lbs. There are some people who’ve been eating this way for years, but I’m not sure I could do it forever. I like fasting and I think incorporating it into my life is sustainable, but I’m not sure about ADF in particular.
Today is a feed day after a 39-hour fast. I walked five miles this morning, plus I went with the church’s youth group to walk in a pine forest last night in the dark — I’d say we went about three miles. Eight miles is a good amount of walking on an empty stomach when you’re a fatbody like me. So after I showered this morning my stomach was woke.
I really overate when we went for pizza two nights ago, and did I ever regret it: I was hungry a lot yesterday. There’s no shame in making mistakes as long as you learn from them, I tell my kids. Because some people don’t. Today I’m going to focus on putting good, nutritious food in this body so my stomach and head will fall into proper alignment with my will tomorrow.
It is April 9, Palm Sunday, and this is my 40th day on the ADF regimen. As I write this I have been fasting for 38 hours, but I slept pretty well last night: I need less sleep when I am fasting. I felt cold all day yesterday, though, except for when I was outside helping the boys build a fire for the rest of the family to cook their lunch.
I weighed in at 282.6 lbs this morning, having lost three pounds in the past week, and over 30 lbs since March 1st. Perhaps next week I will crack under 280.
Either way. The loss was slower this week, but I’m not concerned about the variable speed of weight loss as long as the needle is going in the right direction. Two to four pounds a week would be ideal. I lifted weights this morning and hope to take a brisk walk/light jog later.
The dynamics of the alternate day approach have changed a lot since I first started. There hasn’t been any intestinal distress of any kind for a couple weeks now. I fart a lot less, too. When I was eating all the time I had a constant feeling of bloating and gas. And although I’m working out moderately almost every day, I haven’t felt any undue muscle soreness. So it seems like my body has pretty much adapted to eating every other day.
Then this morning I broke a 38 hour fast with a bowl of shredded wheat, whole milk, and a scoop of chocolate protein powder. In the 38 hours prior, I only felt hungry one time, at bedtime, while my wife was talking about the various kinds of food she’d sampled at a certain buffet (human feeding-trough) establishment in Myrtle Beach. Except for that brief moment when she was talking I hadn’t thought about food all day, even though I’d done strength training in the garage for about 40 minutes and walked a few miles this morning before I broke the fast. I wasn’t starving during all that time. I felt strong. Only one hunger pang in 38 hours — I could’ve kept going if I’d wanted. My energy was super-powered all day yesterday. I felt euphoric. In fact, it wasn’t until I ate two bowls of homemade beef stew for lunch today that it just disappeared entirely: now I’m slaggy and slouching and feel like I could just drool on someone. It’s counter-intuitive: eating — not fasting — makes me sleepy.
I started this eating plan on a bit of a whim and caught up with lots of reading and research later. If someone had told me at the outset that I’d love the way I feel on fast days, I’d never have believed it. I’m sitting here thinking, Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we fast, and it’s not a negative thought. I actually look forward to it.
I certainly didn’t eat too clean yesterday, throwing down last night on four IPAs, pasta, cake and ice cream. Many a carb was consumed, and most were of the simple sort. But I didn’t die in my sleep or anything so here I am.
Since starting this regimen, on my up/feed days I don’t seem to get really hungry until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Yesterday morning I went for a walk on the beach, came home and ate two cups of shredded wheat with a cup of whole milk, a banana, and a scoop of protein powder: all good, nutritious clean food. Around 4 PM I came home and ate like hell, but before that I wasn’t hungry and didn’t eat a thing. It’s like my stomach suddenly wakes up in the afternoon and I can really pack it away until 7 or 8 at night.
Oh well. In spite of all the sugar I spiked my insulin with last night, I feel great with fasting today. It’s 11 AM and I haven’t had a hunger pang or a drop in energy or anything of note. Maybe I’ll shoot for a 36-er if I’m not feeling hungry tonight, to make up for filling the tank with junk last night.
I bought some keto sticks two days ago because I was curious to know whether I ever get into ketosis on fast days. I tested my urine throughout the day from 10-7 or so, and the sticks showed a trace amount of ketones every time, with the last measurement being slightly stronger, but still “trace.” I’d be interested to know whether a 36 hour fast would show anything different.
Got the results from last week’s lab work today. All of my numbers are within normal limits, which surprises me because I was hard on my body in 2016. I watched TV, played video games and ate sugary salty fattening crap, and I drank a lot more than I should have. When I consider that since my last blood work I was mostly laid out on my back, feeling depressed and stuffing myself — and gaining thirty pounds in the process — it seems like there is only one way my numbers could now be this good. Alternate. Day. Fasting.
My risk indicators for heart disease are low. My blood glucose and triglycerides are low. The human body is really an amazing thing in its capacity to safeguard and heal itself. If the numbers look similar in six months I’ll hit the doctor up to reduce or eliminate my statin dosage.