5 Day Fast.

This time it was my son’s idea, so I joined him for company and moral support.

Day 1: Pretty easy but yielded the most weight loss 5lbs for me, 3lb’s for him. Worked out. Felt fine.

Day 2: Traditionally the hardest for me. Weight loss of 1lb for each of us. I was a bit hangry and skipped my workout due to low energy. My son hit the gym like a champ.

Day 3: In progress. But much easier than day 2. Both of us worked out to about 80% of normal effort. Feeling pretty good. Of course the hours before bed time are always the roughest. Dropped another 1lb each.

Day 4 & 5: TBA

If your energy requirements are 2000 calories a day, then you lost 6000 calories durimg the 3 days. 1kg of fat is about 7000 calories. So you probably lost about 1.5lb of fat. The rest is the meal weight and stuff inside you leaving and liquids (I find that when I eat 3 meals instead of 2 my liquid intake goes up 0.5+ liters).

Correct. Most of the initial 24-48 hour weight loss was waste, not fat or general body mass.

Day 4: Ketosis kicked into full gear last night. Woke myself up with a pillow rebound of that gross ketosis breath. Ugh. Light headed this morning. Should clear up as the day goes.

Day 4: (update) Felt a bit euphoric all morning, which was nice. Trying to stay hydrated. Worked out (weights) and felt reasonably strong given that I’m running on fumes. Cardio was out of the question as my heart rate started to max out way too quickly. Probably due to running low on electrolytes. Scale says I’m down another 1.4 lbs. My son dropped nearly 2 lbs. Looking forward to the last day now.

Do you take supplements? Potassium might be helpful to metabolize fat into energy. Are there electrolyte-rich drinks which aren’t sweet?

Is it water only or do you take tea and coffee? If you take then now/in the past, did you find they had any kind negative effect?
Is your workout mainly cardio or strength? I’ve heard that high intensity training can go well with fasting because they both increase human growth hormone although I only tried it yesterday.

I should take a multi, but I’m out so I haven’t been. I didn’t plan for this 5 day fast well. Mostly I’m doing it for moral support of my son who decided he wanted to try it.

I drink a cup or two of black coffee. It wakes me up in the morning and gives me a bit of a kick in the afternoon when my energy level drops. I also have a cup of tea in the evening. The hot liquid helps with any hunger pangs which are at their peak in the evenings because of my long standing IF lifestyle habit. Other than that, I try to drink enough water. Honestly, it goes right through me (ugh).

With respect to supplemental drinks, there are things like Smart Water but they don’t contain significant enough amounts of electrolytes compared to tap water. I hate and avoid sport drinks because most contain added sugar and that defeats the purpose of fasting.

My workouts typically include cardio 15-30 min of varying intensity, followed by body weight and free weight circuit training. But I dropped the cardio part of the program on day 3 because it kept spiking my HR to near max for my age and fitness level (~170) even when I was only working at 70-80% perceived effort. Like I said, I think it’s because I’m low on electrolytes. So that’s been the one negative effect that I’ve noticed.

With respect to resistance training, I don’t feel like I’ve taken much of a hit. I’m recovering from a sports injury (golfer’s/tennis elbow) so I’m not lifting quite as heavy as I would normally.

Day 5: (the final) Dizzy this morning. Tired due to fitful sleep and disturbing dreams. Surprisingly hungrier than previous mornings. Probably psychological because I know it’s the last day.

Day 5: (final update) Really dragging my ass today. Lost another 1.4lbs on final weigh in. Total loss 10.6lbs. Obviously not all of it in fat. But I’m 1lb away from my fighting weight of 158lbs. So a sense of accomplishment for sure. My son dropped a total of 7lbs. More importantly, he has learned the benefits of fasting and pride in accomplishing something that takes a lot of willpower. He says he wants to lose another 10-15lbs to get to his ideal weight and he’ll do that by following an IF diet. It’ll seem easy compared to the last 5 days.

So all in all, mission accomplished.

Thanks to those who followed along, even if you only feigned interest.

This may seem like a dumb question, but you didn’t eat anything at all for 5 days?

Did you consult your doctor before doing this? I realize 5 days isn’t all that horrible, but I would probably have asked mine if it was wise, or if she had any advice for how to best do it.

I fast about once every 2 months, but only for a day.

Nothing but water, black coffee or tea and an occasional tylenol.

Damn. Nice going!

Nope. If I asked my doctor he’d just look at me like I was an alien. Anyway, dude looks like he’s not missed a meal in 50 years.

It’s not my first time fasting. I did a 5 day earlier this year. I’ve done 2-3 day fasts over the past 10+ years. I also practice intermittent fasting on a 20/4 hour schedule for going on 15 years. I typically eat once a day between the hours of 5 and 9pm.

Well, for a healthy adult, not much danger of a five day fast if you keep hydrated. But the weight loss is temporary

“The appeal is that [fasting] is quick, but it is quick fluid loss, not substantial weight loss,” says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Weight Loss Management Center.

“If it’s easy off, it will come back quickly” – as soon as you start eating normally again, she says…Even some proponents of fasting for other medical purposes do not support fasting for weight loss. Some say it can actually make weight problems worse.
“Fasting is not a weight loss tool. Fasting slows your metabolic rate down so your diet from before the fast is even more fattening after you fast,” s…*

So, not too dangerous, but few actual benefits.

I asked mine about fasting and her response was to wave it away with “It’s not good to deprive your body of nutrition” which is rather less informative than I’d hoped from someone who went to medical school.

Aside from the breath, is there a point at which you know you’re past the adaptation phase and into full ketosis?
I wonder if taking omega 3 supplements (in fish oil) does much to lessen the benefits of fasting. I prefer taking supplements at the beginning of the day and some vitamins require lipids as they’re not water-soluble.

How does your bowels react to fasting?

Do you Stop pooping?

Get the runs?

How about after you resume eating?

Is it several days before you go?

Here is a better informed research paper on the subject: INTERMITTENT FASTING AND HUMAN METABOLIC HEALTH

There are studies that show that for obese people, fasting is an effective way to kick of weight loss and encourage them to change their lifestyle to continue to lose weight and avoid a rebound. But like anything else, if you stop doing the good things, bad habits creep back in. Weight loss as a lifestyle change works. Weight loss as a fad diet, doesn’t. That hasn’t changed.

Not surprising at all. Doctors don’t study nutrition in great depth and detail in medical school. I’ve read that in the past, most didn’t do much more than a single course on nutrition in med school. I think those doctors who continue to update their training and knowledge are more up to date on the subjects of fasting, intermittent fasting and plant based diets with respect to treating and even curing some of the most common health conditions in the population, including: diabetes II, heart disease, high cholesterol, gut issues, immune system disorders, etc…

Short answer: No. I suppose if I took regular blood tests while fasting there would be indicators to help answer that question. I, however, only notice the more obvious physical and mental changes through the fasting process.

I think there is very little caloric value in supplements so I really don’t think it will jack up your fast. I’ve taken multi-vitamins and omega-3’s in past fasts and didn’t notice any negative impact on weight loss or overall experience. In fact, not taking anything this time around has probably yielded some negative effects including periods of low energy and unusually elevated heart rate when working out.

It’s complicated.

Initially, you empty it out and feel really good, light and unencumbered by that full gut feeling.

But you drink a lot so you don’t stop needing to go but it feels like everything you drink washes right through you both with respect to urine and waste. You might experience that you’re actually needing to go to the bathroom more than when you’re eating normally. Eventually that moderates and you adjust.

Upon eating the first meal, it feels like a ton of bricks has hit your gut. It’s can be quite unpleasant. And, at least for me, your gut kicks in high gear to process the waste very quickly - a couple of hours or so. Which is actually normal for a healthy gut. It’s not normal for the gut to hang on to waste for multiple days. It’s become normal because out diet doesn’t contain enough fiber and too much processed food. But really, we should eliminate waste within a few hours after the meal.