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Thoughts on Fasting to Heal?

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  • Thoughts on Fasting to Heal?

    I've got an injured back rib/scapula and was wondering if anyone had fasting tips. I do 16/8 everyday, but thought I''d try at least a 24hr, and maybe even a 36hr. I'm going on 17hrs now and am not hungry like I usually am. My only concern is muscle loss(more psychological than anything).

    What if I took 5 grams of BCAAs a couple times the rest of the day and drank some tea/water and maybe a few fish oil pills. Sound good?
    KFCialis - It may be boneless...but you won't be! - Stephen Colbert

    My Powerlifting journal in preparation for my first meet - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread54184.html

  • #2
    I've been thinking quite a bit about the same lately.. Overall healing that occurs during a fast.. Digestive system has time to relax, immune system looks to heal while not working to constantly digest food..

    My understand: muscle loss is relatively minimal during a weekly 24 hour fast, & any loss that does occur should be easily recaptured with a heavy lift & small period of slight "overeating".. That's my experience.. But, generally a reduction in overall calorie intake over a period of time (say, 1 week) would probably lead to muscle loss.. For me, key is to "fast hard" then "eat (somewhat) hard".. Similar to a snake.. Maintain lean muscle building calorie intake, but spread it over fewer meals..

    Trying to incorporate more "fasting" in my lifestyle.. My joints seem to heal, inflammation calms, stomach is calm, & even skin looks less "active" & more healthy.. Wondering what the optimal balance of fasting & eating is to maximize the benefits? & if my fasting experience is common or unique..

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    • #3
      I am new to this idea, and curious. What is the evidence around fasting during times of injury?

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      • #4
        Great read here ---> Fasting

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        • #5
          Correct me if I'm wrong, but based on info off lean gains, muscle loss only becomes an issue past ~96 hours of fasting.
          "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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          • #6
            I've been finding myself naturally gravitating towards fasting while I heal from candida.

            I only had one meal today, some non-caffienated tea to hydrate. I just had a few spoonfuls of pecash butter, because I'm a little hungry!

            It makes sense from a 'let-the-body-do-its-thang' standpoint. I'm all for it!
            A Post-Primal PrimalPat

            Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.

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            • #7
              I'm glad you asked since I've been wondering this myself! (Sorry I have no official right answer to offer, though...) I injure (since I'm a runner) and I also happen to fast (daily IF plus one day of no food every week). I always like to think that these fasts are helpful with bodily recovery; but I think it was Lyle McDonald's forum where I read recently one of his comments where he claims fasting (or any period of CR) is detrimental to injury recovery. It doesn't mean he's right, but its an angle I hadn't considered.

              Anyway, I keep a close eye on my protein and call it day and keep on fasting....

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              • #8
                That was an interesting read abc. Especially the part about protein.
                It was theorized that protein loss during fasting was harmful and that a fast should be supplemented with protein. Fasting with protein became known as the Opti-fast. Fasters took nothing but water and a protein drink. Sadly, several people died. Protein digestion during the fasting state created an overload of urea and the blood become acidic. In this condition, the organs become more damaged instead of healing. To the body, fasting is a natural process. During water or juice fasting, the protein levels of the blood remain constant. Although protein is being utilized, a person fasting 40 days on water will not suffer a deficiency of either protein, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids. In the breakdown of dying and diseased cells, all essential substances are available while fasting for reuse within the body. These dead cells are utilized in a systematic manner.
                I would imagine that was from long term fasting though. I don't think some BCAAs would do that. 20hrs in fast now and a little hungry. Just had some tea so far. Debating whether to have the BCAAs and few other things I mixed together. I may just not have anything except more herbal tea.
                KFCialis - It may be boneless...but you won't be! - Stephen Colbert

                My Powerlifting journal in preparation for my first meet - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread54184.html

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                • #9
                  Over 24hrs now and I'm really surprised that I havent been dying to eat. My last meal did contain around 1,800 calories though, so I guess thats part of the reason(even though it was very low fat). Decided not to have any calories whatsoever. Just had some mixed tea with 80mg caffeine in it, and then one caffeine free herbal tea. Don't notice anything really with the injury, but I'm interested to find out how I'll feel when I wake up later.

                  I'm also planning on doing some form of a workout when I get up before ending the fast. Squats have not affected the injury, so I think I'll try them. I tied my current 5rep pr Monday, so wouldn't it be something if I broke it having fasted for over 36hrs?! Of course I'm gonna be smart about it. If I feel like I could pass out at anytime I won't do it. And if I do the squats, I'll take BCAAs before.
                  KFCialis - It may be boneless...but you won't be! - Stephen Colbert

                  My Powerlifting journal in preparation for my first meet - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread54184.html

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by abc123 View Post
                    Great read here ---> Fasting
                    Thanks for the link. I read most of that page. In the end, I think most of what I am reading is speculation, and much of it isn't logical, based on some basic priciples of biochemistry and human physiology. The kicker for me is that it seems to rely heavily on the work of Herbert Shelton, a man who devoted his life to the idea that fasting could heal the body, who was at one time imprisoned for practicing medicine without a license, and who ended up with a neuro-degenerative disease that he was unable to heal with his own practices. I think I will pass!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MightyMouse View Post
                      That was an interesting read abc. Especially the part about protein.


                      I would imagine that was from long term fasting though. I don't think some BCAAs would do that. 20hrs in fast now and a little hungry. Just had some tea so far. Debating whether to have the BCAAs and few other things I mixed together. I may just not have anything except more herbal tea.

                      I agree.. I think the named damaging effects of protein infusion fresh off the fast is more prevalent in the "40-day fast" than the 24 hour fast.. I'm thinking the 24 hour fast, once or twice per week, may be the best balance for me.. More of an "intermittent" leangains approach.. Allows time for healing, but little downside in loss of muscle.. May experiment with a 2-3 day fast down the road.. The benefits of fasting & "healing" do make sense to me.. Any time we allow the body to relax & "repair", I would guess there's no limit to what the body will repair.. Shoulder injury to digestive tract healing, fasting should benefit the process
                      Last edited by abc123; 02-17-2012, 12:16 PM.

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