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  • Fasting

    Hi I have a question about Fasting that I hope someone can answer.

    Every January my Church does a 21 day water fast and I expect that we'll probably end up doing it again. I've done several 7-21 day fasts before and know what to expect. However, this time it will be different. The last few times I generally ate like the average American, but recently I've decided to follow the primal blueprint. I expect by the time January rolls around I'll have less fat than I did the previous times.

    My question is does this make it any more dangerous? Or will my body respond to my fast and burn fat slower if I conserve my energy?

    One time I split up my fast into 3 weeks. (1st week just vegetables, 2nd week just juices, 3rd week just water) What do you think about that strategy?

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    so wait... you're not going to eat for 21 days? Am I reading this wrong?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by croí View Post
      so wait... you're not going to eat for 21 days? Am I reading this wrong?
      Not so unusual. I don't agree with the practice but plenty of people do it, doubt all of them do so for religious purposes.

      To the OP, how "recently" was your switch to primal? depending on that your body should be more adapted to burning stored body fat as fuel, so it should make fasting easier theoretically.

      Have there ever been any issues with people in your church and fasting for so long? really doesn't sound like something an entity like the church should be messing with, but for penance or cleansing purposes it sort of makes sense.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        That is correct, I may not eat for 21 days, depending on how I plan my fast. Or I may eat only certain types of foods or limit the times I eat.

        I've only switched 2 weeks ago so I'm still getting used to it, but the fast wouldn't be for a few months.

        I haven't heard of any problems with people fasting. Each person decides what is right for them. Some people don't participate, it all depends on what they feel they should do. I know a bunch of people who have done water fasts and have had no problem. I've done three myself (2 for 2 weeks and 1 for 3 weeks). I lost around 20lbs for the 3 week one though, which probably isn't very healthy. It isn't for penance though, its more about focusing on God and intercessing for others.

        It seems like Mark mentioned that fasting every so often was a good thing. I'm guessing he probably didn't mean that long though.
        Last edited by polymurphism; 10-05-2011, 11:09 AM.

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        • #5
          I did a google search on this 21-day fast. I would think if it was a real fast people would be dying of starvation, so I checked it out. Apparently it's just 21 days of no junk food.

          Approved foods include: whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn; peanuts and peanut butter; dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans; canola, grape seed, peanut oils; tofu, and soy products.

          Foods to avoid:
          beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish; milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs; lard and foods high in fat; coffee, tea, herbal teas

          https://danielfast.wordpress.com/daniel-fast-food-list/


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grok View Post
            I did a google search on this 21-day fast. I would think if it was a real fast people would be dying of starvation, so I checked it out. Apparently it's just 21 days of no junk food.
            There is no formula to the fast. I am not following some prescribed fast to do. I am talking about absolutely no food, just water. I've done it several times, you don't die.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by polymurphism View Post
              There is no formula to the fast. I am not following some prescribed fast to do. I am talking about absolutely no food, just water. I've done it several times, you don't die.
              I would think that depends on the individual.

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              • #8
                Right, I guess what I'm wondering is if someone else has experienced something similar.

                My main question is does my body function differently now that I have a new diet? Does the primal diet require me to eat more often? Does my body burn/store fat differently? Things like that.

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                • #9
                  If you run out of energy you'll probably just become really tired and sleepy all the time until you eat enough. You'll probably also lose a lot of muscles.

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                  • #10
                    Personally, I would be worried about muscle wastage. On a total fast like you're talking about, you will burn body fat of course, but it will also be burning protein to generate glucose via gluconeogenesis. Your red blood cells and brain require glucose (your brain will switch to burning some ketones, but it will still require some level of glucose).Due to the muscle wasting issue, I don't think such a long fast is a good idea for optimal health.

                    Unless you are starting out quite lean (I guess maybe 8-9% or less for males, 12-14% for females) I don't think lower body fat should be an issue. You require approximately the same amount of glucose for your brain+RBCs regardless of how much fat you carry, so protein breakdown shouldn't be changed too much, but if you're super lean (especially if you're skinny with little muscle mass) to start with, I do think it might be more dangerous.

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                    • #11
                      Right now I'm 5'10 215lbs. I just switched to the primal diet about 2 weeks ago. It seems like I'm losing about 2-3lbs a week on my current diet. But I don't think I'll be at 8-9% anytime soon.

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                      • #12
                        You will be at an advantage by the time January gets here if you continue with the PB. You will be able to get energy from your fat stores much more efficiently than the grain eaters. However the type of fasting we recommend here is intermittent fasting. I don't think there is anyone here who thinks fasting more than a couple of days at a time is healthy. As mentioned above you are going to be burning muscle tissue after a while which is not healthy.

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                        • #13
                          Would you be open to a "one meal a day" fast? Sort of like Ramadan... plenty of time to focus on god and all that good stuff. I'm pretty sure god wants you to take care of the body you were given, and surely he trusts that you have plenty of time to do his bidding after eating. I'm seriously not trying to be funny regarding your religion at all. A simple meal of fatty meat and non-starchy vegetables, would probably take you upwards of 20 mins to prepare, another 20 to consume, so one hour out of each day devoted to you and your nutrition, rest of the day for everything else.
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                          • #14
                            Polymurphism, I am fascinated that you have achieved other 21-day fasts in the past. How were your energy levels? It seems like it would be difficult to attend to daily responsibilities after the first week or so -- especially in New York in January. And did these fasts alter your body composition at all, or did you basically rebound to where you were before the fast?

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                            • #15
                              This is some people's religious practise. They fast for a particular period of time and this is for several days too

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