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Week-long Fast

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Derpamix View Post
    I've read something like this too. Hans Selye? It was an experiment on rats, but he reported a severe atrophy after 4 days of fasting and 48 hours it began to decrease in size.
    Yes the rat study says 48 hours induced atrophy. I have also read on humans the thymus is one of the main organs broken down during starvation.


    • #32
      Hi, the longest iv fasted was 4.5 days and after day 3 i felt great. Hungry but good! Just take a small healthy meal when starting to eat as this can help you gut not to cramp. I lost about 8lbs and only gained about 2 which then fell off after a couple of days. I didn't exercise as this can be a bit dangerous so be careful. Also i had just one cup of tea a day to give me something warm to look forward to at night. A friend of mine also done this but he would have a bowl of soup a day just to keep something in his tummy. I had a cold at the time which cleared up really quick as they say the body goes into repair mode which i noticed as my knees didn't hurt (which i run 3-4times a week) and when i started to run again i felt even better. Lots of water and i walked abot an hour a day to help. Good luck and keep us updated:-)


      • #33
        Thank you for the well-wishes, Cossycarrick!

        I'm over the 40-hour mark now and am enjoying some hot green tea. Feeling pretty good. The thought of eating certainly retains its appeal, however I don't have any tremendous urge to eat. For the most part I've only had slight cravings, which are easily overcome through reason. I'm curious as to whether this will be the case in the days to come. In a few hours I'll be heading off to bed. When I awake and head to work, I'll be sure to post an update with my daily stats.


        • #34
          Good going Char. If it helps, I'm right there with ya. Just hit the 42-hr mark and dinner tomorrow seems a long way off, but still feeling pretty good. Hang in there!

          I think it really is easier between the 48 and 72 marks. I've never gone past that, so I'm curious to hear what your experience is.


          • #35
            Good to hear, Diana! Hope you're hanging in there!

            Today was an interesting day, to say the least. First, here are my daily stats:

            Weight: 291.4
            BP: 131/76
            HR: 78

            These numbers are remarkable to me. As of this writing I've been fasting for nearly 60 hours. That these marked changes have occurred in such a short timeframe is really something. Also, I haven't exactly had the best of days today. I only managed about 3 and a half hours of unrestful sleep and faced a few stressful situations concerning finance that rather ruined my mood. Despite all of this, my fast has persisted and my overall health seems to have improved. Currently, I feel surprisingly good. Despite the fact that I haven't slept, my mind is clear. The hunger pangs were much worse prior to bed, but have since ceased. The combination of hunger and fatigue is a sinister one, so I'll be heading to bed straight after work in the morning, rather than staying up the way I usually do.

            I've begun to notice that if I stand up too quickly, I get a nice rush of blood to the head and feel as though I might faint. The sensation lasts only a few seconds and is avoided completely by simply standing up slowly.

            So, over the course of about 24 hours, my blood pressure has fallen by about 5/10 and my heartrate by 22 points. My weight has dropped by 3 pounds, although a lot of this weight is likely water.

            Feeling good, all things considered. I wonder how I'll be feeling come 72 hours.


            • #36
              The rat is designed to live about three years, its heart races, its body is hot. It eats almost non-stop. There is little room for starvation in rat DNA. The species benefits from massive die-offs when supply is short. It's in a rat's favor to die of starvation. There is no validity in any study that compares rat metabolism to human metabolism. Rats also die on a high-fat diet, because they are designed to eat grains - the opposite of what we're designed to eat! I don't see how a rat thymus tells us diddly about the impact of human fasting. What of apex predators? Does the wolf thymus break down constantly between meals?
              Crohn's, doing SCD


              • #37
                I think fasting is a very individual thing - noting this is example is different to what Char Anzable is talking about doing; I've completed food and sleep deprivation in the military which lasted 6 days. It included pre-fatiguing and high intensity work loads, working for 22 hours a day with about 60 - 90 mins broken sleep each 24 hours (allowed after we'd cracked the 42 hour mark of being awake and working).

                I only lost about 5 kg, which I gained back within about 72 hours and had no lasting effects from (had awesome 6-pack and super model like defined cheekbones for a few days though!!).

                However, some people dropped up to 10 kg and a couple had ongoing stomach troubles for weeks afterwards. Obviously the work intensity and sleep deprivation aspects can't been ignored in this example - but for the majority there were no lasting effects regardless.

                Char Anzable - good luck, mate. I figure as long as you are monitoring yourself, keeping up fluid etc you should be right. I don't think I would starve myself that long voluntarily, but I'm interested in following your progress.


                • #38
                  I agree with Knifegill, those rat studies are worthless. If the human thymus started breaking down that quickly, the human race would have died out with the first ice age.

                  There was a thread here started by Piscator last summer where a bunch of us did a four day fast. That was great.

                  I have been researching the extensive history of fasting as a treatment and in many cases a cure for epilepsy, history going back to the ancient Greeks. I have been contemplating doing an extended fast sometime soon. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.


                  • #39
                    Thats why i didnt post that study. I still recall a human study about the tissues that start breaking down first and the thymus was high on the list but like i said i cant find it and dont recall specific time frames.


                    • #40

                      Interesting study.


                      • #41
                        Today's update:

                        Weight: 287.6
                        BP: 124/78

                        Aside from the weightloss, it seems my other vitals have remained more or less the same. Systolic blood pressure fell a bit. Dyastolic rose 2 points, as did heart rate. These measures are merely a snapshot of what appears to be an overall downhill trend. I took it again a short while later just out of curiosity and got something like 124/66. Not sure if that's accurate. Perhaps the cuff wasn't on properly. Whatever the case, these numbers are a good deal lower than they were a mere three days ago, so I'm pleased.

                        I've been fasting about 80 hours now. It's kind of strange to think that I've gone without food so long. On the one hand, I miss the experience of eating. I've been more or less overweight for the bulk of my life, and have always derived great pleasure from the act of eating. In fact, the pleasure I've felt from eating probably trumps the pleasures associated with things I've actually accomplished in my life. Admittedly, this reliance on food for happiness makes me feel like a big, stupid animal who lives only in anticipation of the next meal. By fasting, I've something of a personal goal in ridding myself of this dependence. I want to teach myself to "eat to live" rather than to "live to eat", if you will.

                        This sentiment of mine-- my disdain for the dependence upon food for happiness-- has an added benefit so far as fasting goes. The idea of eating for any reason other than genuine hunger has begun to fill me with a degree of disgust. I realize that, in many respects, I desire to eat only out of habit, or for comfort. The idea of eating for any reason aside from survival is something I'm quickly coming to detest.

                        The hunger pangs have been slight, and have manifested more as a slight weakness or nausea. It isn't nausea in the typical sense; it's more like a feeling of malaise. It clears up after a brief sit, however. I decided that since I'd been three days without food I should begin to supplement. I had about 1/4 a teaspoon of sea salt and a multivitamin. These things served only to remind me of food. I don't feel better for having taken them, but perhaps I'll feel better in the long-run for it. Tomorrow, if I feel it necessary, I might have a bit of fresh lemon juice.

                        This might be a bit too much information for some: Within an hour or so of taking the salt and multivitamin, I had a small burst of diarrhea. I'll spare you most of the details, but I will say there wasn't a whole lot and it gave me the impression not of proper diarrhea, but of my digestive system just kind of coughing the stuff out. I suspect this is simply my body cleaning house, getting rid of any solids or other matter that might still dwell in my digestive system. Either that, or the multivitamin upset my stomach. Whatever the case, it wasn't pleasant.

                        My urine was a bit dark after I woke up today. I'll be trying to drink a bit more water. Also, I managed almost ten hours of sleep today! Feeling pretty rested and sharp. I'll be enjoying a thermos of organic coffee tonight, along with a few bottles of water. This fasting stuff, overall, isn't really that bad!


                        • #42
                          I'm fasting too and am drawing inspiration from your posts. Taking solid pills on an empty stomach doesn't go well with me, wonder if that had anything to do with the diarrhea.

                          Don't know if I will go a week but best of luck to you!


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by dizzyorange View Post
                            I'm fasting too and am drawing inspiration from your posts. Taking solid pills on an empty stomach doesn't go well with me, wonder if that had anything to do with the diarrhea.

                            Don't know if I will go a week but best of luck to you!
                            I just read up on your thread! Glad you're hanging in there and hope that my experiences will prove useful to you!

                            It's been roughly 85 hours since I last ate. I went for an hour-long stroll during my lunch break at work. Felt somewhat ooky afterward. I've been hydrating a bit more today and just enjoyed a cup of strong coffee. I think the caffeine kind of perked me up, because I'm feeling better.

                            I think I may change the length of this fast, as previously mentioned. I think I'll be fasting till Christmas, which would make this a total of 21 days fasted. It's daunting, but I'm hoping I'll feel good enough at the end of the first week to press on.

                            My only concern is ketosis. I've been doing IF and eating a pretty good diet up until the beginning this fast. I'm just not sure if I'm in ketosis yet. I'm worried I'm not fat-adapted enough. I thought I had some ketostix somewhere at home, but haven't been able to find them. I'll have to look around when I get home. Anyone have any insights into managing ketosis or knowing when you're finally in a ketogenic state? I've been trying to look for the classic signs, but have proven woefully inept, haha.

                            The daily weightloss and improvement in vitals has got me pretty motivated. Unless things suddenly take a turn for the worst, I really think I'll be able to hold on till Christmas. I'll likely break my fast on Christmas eve with something small and then have a nice, large meal with my family on Christmas day. I don't have much of a goal weight, but if I end up in the 260's somewhere, I'll be happy. I don't think ~30 pounds of weightloss is too unrealistic, especially if I stay fairly active.


                            • #44
                              Keep an eye on those electrolytes, man. #1 problem on a fast. Easily the cause of most light-headedness and weakness.

                              Best of luck, but why not just fast three days a week for a few months? Seems a lot safer, and you get to eat on those other four days so your thyroid function stays normal. Perhaps. Add ten thousand if's and's and but's to that idea.
                              Crohn's, doing SCD


                              • #45
                                Thanks. I took a bit of sea salt today and a multivitamin. Don't know how effective they were, but I'll try and supplement regularly with them. Some lemon juice should help too, I think.

                                I've been doing IF for the past few months and just figured this would be better for me and my goals. I've got a fair bit of weight to lose and wish to capitalize on the autophagy and fat-burning that take place during an extended fast. I've read little on the subject of thyroid changes. Several posters early on brought this up, and I admittedly don't know whether a 21-day fast will have any detrimental effect of note. I know that a lot of people engage in fasts even longer than that and manage to keep the weight off/live healthy lives with no thyroid damage to speak of. In fact, I haven't heard of anyone suffering thyroid damage or detrimental shifts in metabolism due to fasting for such an extended period, but would be interested in hearing of such accounts if they're available.

                                To my mind (which doesn't have all of the answers, admittedly!), it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the thyroid to take a big hit during an extended fast. Human beings are naturally suited to going for long periods without food, and somehow I don't think that everyone who was forced to fast during times of extended famine in the Paleolithic ended up with a whacked metabolism and thyroid issues. Again, I'm not an expert on this by any means and would be interested in evidence to the contrary, but as it stands, common sense seems to tell me otherwise.