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Fasting fail

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  • Fasting fail

    I tried a teeny-tiny IF today - skipped breakfast. After the initial hunger passed I felt fine - for a couple of hours. Then I just started feeling slow and weak. Since I'm at work I can't go non-functional, so I ate some yogurt, fruit, and almonds, and I STILL feel slow and weak.
    Is this normal? Am I not yet ready for IF? (Only primal about a month and haven't been really strict.) Would I be feeling better now if I'd broken that fast with more protein?

    Some friends are doing the master cleanse and I am totally jealous of their ability to not eat for a week.
    Any input??

  • #2
    I believe fasting is ridiculously difficult when not in ketosis or at least highly keto adapted. Even after establishing ketosis there seems to be a period of time where kicking sugar/carb addiction generates serious food cravings, then there's the possibility of carb flu making matters difficult. I think Master Cleanse is foolish and I wouldn't be jealous of anyone deliberately destroying gut flora. They are taking serious metabolic risks, imo.

    Getting conditioned to fasting requires some will power. You sound like you may be suffering carb withdrawals. Keep lowering them, eat a big vlc dinner high in fats, and maybe have a late night snack, and try again. It will get easier.


    • #3
      I agree w/ Grol. But, also wanted to add that there is a large mental component to fasting. If you get pre-occupied w/ being hungry, it will be very difficult to fast and you'll probably over exaggerate how you feel. Try to stay busy, really busy.

      Go w/ what Grol said. Have a good dinner and snack, then give it another go (when you're ready). But, tell yourself that come hell or high water you will not eat until Noon or whatever time marks the 16 hour point. Once you make it to that point successfully, you realize you won't drop dead from skipping a meal. That can be a liberating feeling.


      • #4
        +1 You just need to realize that your body doesn't really need food and not to let your feelings get in the way of what you are trying to do. Fasting will teach you the meaning of hunger to your mind and body separately. It takes time to get used to though.


        • #5
          thanks all! very helpful!! I am not even close to ketosis I think. I will try again another time w/ more focus & better pre-fast diet.

          I'm interested in what grol says about master cleanse and destroying gut flora??? is that what happens??


          • #6
            Well, since learning a bit about the needs of gut flora at Cooling Inflammation and Whole Health Source, I sure cannot see how a diet of maple syrup, lemons and cayenne can support it. When you read the forums they are all told the diarrhea is perfectly normal cleansing. Reading Dr. Ayers pretty much assures me that anything that creates lasting diarrhea is killing off good flora (and hopefully bad too). In the MC communities you will even read about the need to resupply gut flora after a cleanse. Dangerous. I did one ten day MC and thought it was disgusting. I enjoyed a few juice fasts that gave all the easy fasting benefits of MC, but none of the side effects. These fasts are easy because they are loaded with sugar and that stops cravings. Not healthy, but hey, it's a fast and having the runs for days must mean something good is happening.

            Btw, it was after sugar fueled extended fast dieting that metabolic syndrome appeared and I was diagnosed pre-diabetic. The yo yo of that type of unsustainable eating can mess you up. Beyonce gained it all back. If she would only listen to me.


            • #7
              Don't worry about it. There have been planned fast days where I couldn't continue for one reason or another. Also I read an article over on the IF Life that advises not to fast if you are going to be stressed, the two don't mix and I agree.

              I also agree with staying really busy. This is why I would never fast on a weekend...way too much time to think about food.

              Try doing one more hour each time. I did several 16 hour fasts before moving to 20 and now 24.


              • #8
                If you're used to riding the glucose rollercoaster all day long, it may take you a while to ease into IF. Start by skipping meals and just going as long as you can. Soon you'll be able to do it for 24 hours!
                Lean, Mean, Virile Machine
                The Modern Man's Guide to Health, Fitness, and Wellness


                • #9
                  I made it 20 hours today and caved , i really wanted to hit 24!! I guess i'll try again next least i caved with mark's omlette muffin recipe rather then junk!! By the way those are the most clever little things to have in your fridge!! Good luck on your next attempt!


                  • #10
                    i think you need to understand you DID fast.... did you have different expectations? were you trying to live up to someone elses fast? if you decided to go until you needed food, then according to your description you did....theres no fail in that, eat when hungry stop when full...when youre not eating youre fasting. dont try to live up to a certain perspective of fasting. if you fast 8 hours then thats your fast. if you fast 24 hours b/c you think thats right then good for you too.

                    i think you did well!
                    Get on my Level


                    • #11
                      I agree with MalPaz... I've come to realize that just because you are not doing a "full 24-hour fast" doesn't mean you're not fasting "correctly" and it sure as hell doesn't mean that you're still not getting the benefits. Check out .... I'm not sure of your goals, but I'm assuming weight loss since you are envious of your friends' abilities to go without food for several days... Which I've also come to realize is not healthy, and DOES in fact slow your metabolism after around the third day...

                      Little something from Martin's blog:
                      "My research has indicated that the ideal state of fat burning is reached after 12-18 hours of fasting. Coupled with high levels of catecholamines, increased blood flow to stubborn regions, and low insulin for a2-receptor inhibition, this time interval is the "golden age" of stubborn fat mobilization.

                      Let me just explain real quick what I mean by the ideal state of fat burning. Studies have examined free fatty acid (FFA) oxidation from anywhere between the overnight fasted state to three days of fasting. While FFA oxidation increases the longer time you spend in the fasted state, the contribution of fatty acids to whole body fat oxidation changes.

                      In short-term fasting there's a significant increase in subcutaneous FFA oxidation. That's just a fancy way of saying that you're mainly burning body fat and nothing else. For up to 14-20 hours (14-20 hours in a completely sedentary state should easily equal 12-18 hours in real life) after a 600-calorie meal in normal-weight subjects, fat is only mobilized from body fat stores in resting individuals."
                      On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at


                      • #12
                        "haven't been strict" implies that you're probably still doing the insulin rollercoaster, carb reliant. Try being much stricter and keep a lower carb intake for a week. Stop eating anything after 8pm.

                        If you are going to try to fast, have a good supply of primal foods ready at work. I find that when I'm fasting I have a light, clear head and am able to concentrate well. I used to get all shaky. Give yourself time. Just aim to go a little longer each time. You might find that a particular day of the week suits you better. I like to go shopping and doing errands - so I can hike a few blocks downtown and keep myself distracted.


                        • #13
                          This could be significant of nothing, but I almost always suppress a little hunger in the middle of my day. I like to think the fat I have eaten is officially depleted, my body briefly asks for more, and then begins burning body fat. Even if that is totally false, it helps me psychologically get past some minor cravings. The more I IF the milder the cravings though.


                          • #14
                            Not sure if this is relevant to you, but I found an interesting blog that explores a bunch of different aspects of physiology and psychology and hacking your brain and body. One of the things it talks about is the "deconditioning diet" in which the first step is low carb and the second is IF.

                            quette's journal


                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone for all the input & suggestions. Very, very helpful.

                              My goal with fasting is mainly to know if I can. My whole life I've had problems with low blood sugar, always having to eat w/in a certain amount of time, always thinking about food. Since I've been primal I haven't had any blood sugar crashes, but I don't think I'm quite off the roller coaster completely and I have more work to do. Thanks for all your ideas.