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Week-long Fast

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  • First, today's update:

    Stats:
    Weight: 275.6
    BP: 116/70
    HR: 149 !!!

    Great stats-- except for that heart rate! It's pretty high! Granted, I have eaten quite a lot of sodium today and the bolus of calories may be influencing this. Also, seeing as I've had more energy today, I've been moving around a lot faster than I have the past 8 days. It was a little frightening when I saw that number come up, but I'll keep an eye on it and take it in stride. I lost .2 pounds, which is interesting, and my blood pressure is great!

    Feeling really, really good. The change is mostly psychological, but it's a substantial change nonetheless. I feel pleasant and talkative now that I've had food. I began with the applesauce, moved onto some dark chocolate and then had some pork and potatoes with butter. I went to bed not long after this meal and slept OK. When I awoke however, I could still feel the food sitting in my stomach. A bit of movement helped it along; I'm burping and whatnot, and I can feel my stomach slowly working through it all.

    Got to work and had a slice of meat pizza. I don't know why. I hadn't had pizza in months before this and it really hadn't sounded good, but for whatever reason, I went for it. It upset my stomach a little, but all seems to be well now. That'll be the last I have of pizza for a long time, but the taste was more intense than I remember. Although unhealthy, it wasn't particularly unsatisfying.

    Overall, my portions have been lesser today, as I've been trying to get used to food again. Tomorrow I'll try eating normal amounts, and the day after that, I'll start my bloodletting sessions at the gym! I'm so pumped! Working out at higher intensity has been something I've wanted to do for a long time, and I think I may be light enough and disciplined enough now to do it. Going to be lifting and doing some high-octane cardio. I know it's silly, but I feel unstoppable! Just have to make sure I don't overdo it, haha.

    Oh-- not sure if this is worth a mention, but about two hours after first breaking my fast, I had a solid, normal-ish bowel movement. I was really surprised, lol.

    I'm happy to hear that so many of you are considering longer fasts and look forward to hearing about your progress! I'm not done with fasting, and will probably settle back into my usual IF (one large meal every one to two days) in a day or two. I don't think there will be any problem with this, health-wise. I'll keep on updating! Keep me posted if any of you should decide to fast!

    Comment


    • Haha, no worries, jadedgamerx. Admittedly, I made a few poor food choices today and the applesauce was indeed kind of sugary. My body seems to have handled it OK, and I'll be moving towards only healthy, whole foods from here on out. Also, BBQ chicken sounds heavenly at the moment, haha.

      Best of luck with your fast! Fasting without having someone cooking around you will certainly make it easier. Let us know how it goes if you decide to go for it!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
        I think the idea that protein is somehow "hard to digest" is a CW/vegan propaganda leftover. I broke my four day fast with a big steak and was just fine. Meat is one of the easiest most completely digested things you could possibly eat.

        Of course you might want to "work up to" it with smaller portions to let your shrunken stomach adjust.

        Char, you are an inspiration. Seriously, major kudos to you.

        I will be doing a 7-10 day fast sometime soon.
        Thank you! I hope to hear about your progress! And I agree: my stomach didn't seem to have much trouble with meat. Smaller portions at first are key, but I don't think abstaining from protein is necessary.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Char Aznable View Post
          Haha, no worries, jadedgamerx. Admittedly, I made a few poor food choices today and the applesauce was indeed kind of sugary. My body seems to have handled it OK, and I'll be moving towards only healthy, whole foods from here on out. Also, BBQ chicken sounds heavenly at the moment, haha.

          Best of luck with your fast! Fasting without having someone cooking around you will certainly make it easier. Let us know how it goes if you decide to go for it!
          I most definitely will - if everything goes according to plan it could help me jump start a "no booze until new years" plan as well I would love to post some pictures up of progress but I can't find anything of me at my pre-primal weight other than some "party pictures" or what not. I guess those would be ok if I can't find anything else. I would offer that anyone who is taking primal seriously take progress pictures every couple weeks or so, it's really nice to have them to look back and compare. Try and wear the same clothing when you take the pictures in the same place. I'm going to snap some new ones tonight and start recreating it every few weeks for myself as well.
          Quite literally, the wittiest signature line you can think of.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Char Aznable View Post
            Oh-- not sure if this is worth a mention, but about two hours after first breaking my fast, I had a solid, normal-ish bowel movement. I was really surprised, lol.
            Must have been incubating for a while I actually had the same experience a few hours after breaking my 4 day fast. Congrats on making it to a week! 20lbs of weight loss is quite impressive.

            Comment


            • Today's update:

              Stats:
              Weight: 280
              BP: 125/79
              HR: 111

              Not bad, overall. That heart rate went way down, haha. Thank goodness. The blood pressure is decent, and I weighed myself today with clothes on this morning, so I presume that that added an extra pound or two. Either way, ~5 pounds of gain was what I was expecting, and it should even out over the next few days. Feeling quite good.

              Yesterday, I certainly ate more than I should have. Lots of sodium and some not so paleo-friendly choices. Today's been the total opposte, however. I find my usually voracious apetite somewhat curbed. It doesn't take much to fill me up and I find I don't really have any huge desire to eat. Like, I'll be ambivalent towards food, but will see or smell something that smells good. I'll help myself to a little bit, and will be satisfied. This is totally unlike my old approach to food. I'd see or smell something tasty in the past and want to devour it all. These days, I seem to enjoy small portions of food, but only until I'm feeling full. Eating past that limit makes me feel kind of vulgar and bloated. I'm hoping this continues to be the case. Fasting for a week seems to have given me a better understanding of hunger and how much I really need in a day. I snack on small amounts of things throughout the day, if something tickles my fancy, but only eat a substantial meal once a day (and even then, this "substantial meal" is a good deal smaller than it used to be). I'm curious how long this will persist, or if it'll be a permanent change for the better.

              I had some nice grilled chicken today with some fresh salsa, cilantro and cheese on it, as well as a small serving of rice. I also had a small green tea and mango smoothie. Added a bit of honey to it. I'd made a "normal" portion of the chicken and rice, but ended up only eating half of what I'd prepared. A week ago, I'd have eaten it all and then some! Now, I've got leftovers for tomorrow! I also nibbled on a little bit of dark chocolate. I need to tone down the carbs a little bit in the days to come, for sure. Of all the things I ate today, my favorite was the salsa. The spiciness and the freshness of the peppers and tomatoes was just awesome. I'm almost craving it as I type this, though eating plain salsa would be a little weird, haha.

              Feeling quite good today. I plan on going to the gym and doing some cardio tomorrow. Providing that goes well, I'll begin alternating between cardio and weightlifting throughout the week.

              Comment


              • What kind of target heart rate are you going for when you are doing your cardio workouts? Not sure how much you are following Mark's primal guidelines, but if you are, you should be trying to stay between 55-75% of max HR if possible.

                Your resting heart rate is approaching or exceeding that lower number on some of your updates:
                assuming: HRmax = 191.5 - (0.007 age2), <-- this is the most accurate formula I have been able to find for making generalizations, with a normal deviation of 2-5 BPM in the wild.

                191.5-(0.007*(24*24)) = 187.5

                Your range would be: ~103-141 BPM

                Have you done any exercises to find your actual Max HR? You're about the same age as me and this is pretty accurate for me (I usually max out around 185-190 on an all out sprint).
                Quite literally, the wittiest signature line you can think of.

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                • To be honest, I haven't got a means to record my HR during exercise. I only record it when I take my BP. The HRs listed in my updates are at rest. An HR monitor for use at the gym would be a good investment, though.

                  Today's been an interesting day...

                  Stats:
                  Weight: 283.6
                  BP: 127/80
                  HR: 104

                  Weight's gone up for a second consecutive day. This isn't altogether unexpected, but it's kind of demoralizing nonetheless. There's plenty of food in my digestive tract, and I've been drinking a fair bit of water today, so I presume that's where the bulk of the weight gian is coming from. I've been fairly active today and have eaten reasonably.

                  Had a scare in the bathroom this morning, haha. Went to urinate and noticed that my urine was really, really cloudy. I mean, it was practically yellow milk. Very opaque and not at all normal. I didn't detect any foul smell or anything, and I don't have any other symptoms that might indicate a more serious condition, but it really freaked me out. It hasn't happened since; my urine during subsequent urinations has been normal. I scoured google for information, but could find nothing that satisfied me. Without any other symptoms, I can't make a diagnosis. Moreover, I feel strongly that this is a result of my fast, likely the re-feeding stage, and that it was a one-time thing. Whatever the case, I've been keeping an eye on my urine ever since. If anyone would care to hazard a guess/share some insight/advice, let me know. I'm very, very curious about it.

                  Food-wise, today was great. I didn't manage to get much sleep, unfortunately, but I had some good eats. Had a few almonds, a square of dark chocolate and a small portion of pulled pork in the morning and then set off with my kids to the mall. Walked almost nine miles there! Had some water and tea along the way and felt great. Afterward, my wife and I visited a small chinese restaurant near our place. We'd gotten good coupons in the mail and my wife had been wanting to go for some time. I'd been reticent, since I wasn't interested in eating greasy Chinese fare, but was pleasantly surprised to see that they offered steamed dishes. I had a nice serving of steamed chicken and broccoli. It was really good! In the past, I'd eat large amounts of stir-fry and dumplings. The steamed stuff was less filling, but still satisfying despite the lack of oil and junk. I decided to skip the rice, too. A little while later, when we were at home, I finished the remainder of the chicken and salsa from yesterday and headed to bed.

                  Comment


                  • 1) Once you have some extra funds definitely get yourself a chest strap/watch type heart rate monitor. I picked one up a while back at walmart for like $50 bucks and it works much better than my >$100 Wahoo Fitness / iPhone bluetooth thing. The older trusted ones are the best IMO.

                    Sportline DUO 1010 - Mens

                    This one is like $20 on ebay:
                    compare.ebay.com/like/321020533127?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&va r=sbar&_lwgsi=y&cbt=y

                    2) I have had the same cloudy urine thing happen before - sometimes it seems like it could be diet related, other times I wonder if it could be the beginning or end of a very minor UTI from romantic encounters. It's never been serious enough to cause me to go to the doctor. And I have had it happen during and after a fast before. Wish I had more info to help you there.

                    3) Make sure you are weighing yourself at the exact same time of the day and in closest conditions possible. I get out of bed, take off all my clothes to get ready to shower and step on the scale. I'm at my lightest in the morning due to water losses and digestion while sleeping so I know this is going to be the lowest it will read and because I'm in a mildly fasted state, the most accurate (no recent drinks or food in my system other than what might be digesting from dinner the day before). This is really important and will really help you get control of what is going on with your body. If I could pound one thing into everyone's head it would be to stop weighing themselves at any other time than when they wake up, and to do it less often and focus more on weekly goals instead of daily due to fluctuations that occur and not perfectly accurate scale mechanisms. It can very much negatively affect your mental state and outlook which can hamper your efforts.
                    Quite literally, the wittiest signature line you can think of.

                    Comment


                    • ^Thank you for your tips, mate! Bookmarked that monitor.

                      I actually just got back from the doctor. My urine was a little cloudy this morning and I was fairly freaked out, so I decided to give him a call. Gave a urine sample, got my weight and BP taken, etc. No UTI. Doctor seems to think I was just dehydrated. He says that cloudiness/darkness can occur when you get dehydrated. It definitely set my mind at ease.

                      Oh, and my BP was good! While the nurse was taking it, I was afraid it would be high. It was like 122/78. Not too shabby!

                      My doctor lectured me a little about fasting and said that he didn't think there were many benefits to it aside from mental/spiritual ones, but was impressed when I told him how much my BP has decreased as a result. He advised me to stay hydrated should I choose to do it again and that perhaps I should do fasts of shorter duration instead. Not totally unreasonable. I told him I'd read a lot on the subject, but he warned me that most of it was pseudoscience. I like my doctor a lot, and he's a smart guy. I don't really agree with him, but I decided not to argue with him, haha. Even if the benefits to fasting were only in one's head, I'd still think it a great exercise in discipline. Aside from this little urinary scare, I feel like the fast has been a very positive thing in my life. At the end of the day, that's good enough for me

                      Comment


                      • Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but I'm unable to find an answer to my question. Maybe you all can give me an answer on this.

                        I'm starting an extended fast from today (Saturday) through sometime Thursday. About 6 days. Coffee, tea and water are a given. I was toying with the idea of adding some bone broth or beef stock with gelatin- couple cups maybe- each night.

                        What are the pros/cons of doing this, do you think?

                        Comment


                        • Looking forward to hearing about your fast, Diana! Keep us posted!

                          As far as the broth goes, I suppose it depends on your goals for the fast. Admittedly, I haven't got any sources for this, but I don't see any reason not to have a little broth. I'd say keep it to about a cup or so, just so that you're not taking too many calories in. The nutrients and fat in broth would likely be of great use to your body during a fast. I'd say go for it. I kind of wish I had, in retrospect. Oh, and of course, stay hydrated!

                          Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • I think that the broth will add a lot of good vitamins and minerals, keeping electrolytes balanced and such. You might get as much as 200-500 calories from it, but maybe not. I think it's perfectly acceptable for fasting, even so.

                            Comment


                            • Thanks guys.

                              For the broth I picked up a couple boxes of Pacific brand organic beef broth to get started in the crock pot. According to the box it's 15 calories per cup, plus whatever my bones add. Not much I expect. I may get 100 cal a day at most. I have loads of bones in the freezer that I can add to it. I figure as I take a cup out, I'll add a cup of water, and just keep cycling the broth that way, adding bones as needed.

                              Started the fast late as I forgot I had some bacon thawed in the fridge and didn't want to re-freeze it or leave it for a week, so I had bacon and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Good "last meal" I suppose. I have a large 1.5L bottle that I will keep refilling as my "goal" water intake (drink straight or make into tea,) plus my 12 oz coffee cup in the morning, a cup or 2 of broth in the evening.

                              If this short fast goes well, I'll plan a longer one at the start of the year.

                              Comment


                              • I did a google search and 1 cup of home-made beef broth is estimated at 200 cals per cup, and home-made chicken broth is estimated at 75 calories per cup.

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