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7 day fast (Unintentional)

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  • 7 day fast (Unintentional)

    I got sick a few weeks back and couldn't eat. I had all I could do just to gag down a glass of juice. I was consuming little to no calories on a daily basis for what seemed to be about a week.

    The results? I was around 170 lbs at the start, hit a dehydrated 155 lbs part way through it before I started drinking gatorade, and now that I'm better and eating my top weight is around 165 lbs. So I lost a good 5 lbs of fat, lost an inch off my waist, and my belly is now flat.

    From my experience I am convinced that fasting works phenomenally well at dropping the fat, and our bodies are meant to do it if we have to. But also, it's good to have a few extra lbs of fat on your body in case you need it like I did. I'm just talking maybe 5 extra lbs, so for a guy for example, it'd be better to be say 6% body fat instead of 3%.

    Also, for guys, you'll probably have to be a lot lighter than you think if you want to see your abs. For me for example, I've been lifting my entire life and I'm thinking I probably still have to lose another 5 lbs of fat if I want to see my abs more clearly.

    Mind you I'm not lifting as hard as I was back when I was competing in strength sports, but even if I was I just don't think I'd be weighing that much more. Maybe 5 more lbs if I was working brutally hard, and lucky.
    Last edited by Ripped; 06-28-2013, 12:03 AM.

  • #2
    Did you lose much muscle mass along with the fat?
    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

    Originally posted by tfarny
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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    • #3
      Are you fat adapted? If so, it would have been much easier for you to lose that amount of fat, while a non fat adapted person would go through a terrible period of low energy, lethargy etc before starting to burn fat.

      I'm also concerned about the loss of muscle, cos I'm an athlete myself and im sure losing some fat would improve performance, but I cant afford to lose muscle. If fasting for a week or maybe a few days could help lose fat, I wouldn't mind trying!

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      • #4
        I hesitate to call it a fast since 7 days without food is a long time. here's some interesting reading on the starvation response, courtesy of wikipedia: Starvation response - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        I'd think being ill and laid up in bed for a week is quite different to being an active human engaging in structured fasting.

        On a related note, would anyone else think that when on a caloric restriction, the appearence of muscle loss is just because you're dropping fat? For example, your arms may look smaller but thats because the surrounding fat tissue is being used..

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        • #5
          I don't know, calorie restriction people have disgusting cancer arms, I can't look at them. They are mostly just bone.
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Misabi View Post
            Did you lose much muscle mass along with the fat?
            I don't measure, but I highly doubt it. I used to weigh 220 lbs. And of the weight lost, I contribute 35 of those lbs to intermittent fasting as well as occasional longer fasts such as 2-4 days. And my experience has shown that I always end up peaking in strength at about the same level even at a lighter weight, and even after I've done multi-day fasts.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cthy View Post
              Are you fat adapted? If so, it would have been much easier for you to lose that amount of fat, while a non fat adapted person would go through a terrible period of low energy, lethargy etc before starting to burn fat.
              No, I eat what ever I want. And it wouldn't have mattered anyways, because I was so sick. I had dengue fever, and that gives you a fever, makes your entire body (muscle and bones) ache, lowers your platelets in your blood and white blood cells, and pretty much leaves you sick in bed for 7-10 days. And you can't eat while you have it either, it really messes you up. It makes it so anything you put in your mouth tastes like chalk and napkins.

              Originally posted by cthy View Post
              I'm also concerned about the loss of muscle, cos I'm an athlete myself and im sure losing some fat would improve performance, but I cant afford to lose muscle. If fasting for a week or maybe a few days could help lose fat, I wouldn't mind trying!
              Like I said, if you're sick you're pretty much in big trouble anyways. I didn't purposely do that fast. I just couldn't eat. That's why I actually started getting nervous towards the end, because I didn't know how much fat I had left. That is besides the fact that my blood was messed up and I'm lucky not to have had to get a blood transfusion.

              However, I have purposely done 4 day fasts before, and what I can tell you is that it's never been a problem. You do get low in energy after a few days of fasting. So clearly performance will suffer temporarily during your fast. But in my experience I always came back stronger after the fast. I still can't figure out why that is. But what I can tell you is that muscle loss has never been an issue. Considering the fact that I used to be obese and now I'm thin, I can honestly say that fasting has only done me good.

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              • #8
                I am with you, completely. Barring extraordinary circumstances, a fast here and there is awesome. Sometimes your body does it for you, as in your illness, and sometimes one does it intentionally, but I think it would benefit most.

                Glad you are no longer sick! That is the more uncomfortable way to get one done.
                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jenry Hennings View Post
                  On a related note, would anyone else think that when on a caloric restriction, the appearence of muscle loss is just because you're dropping fat? For example, your arms may look smaller but thats because the surrounding fat tissue is being used..
                  Absolutely.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                    I am with you, completely. Barring extraordinary circumstances, a fast here and there is awesome. Sometimes your body does it for you, as in your illness, and sometimes one does it intentionally, but I think it would benefit most.

                    Glad you are no longer sick! That is the more uncomfortable way to get one done.
                    Thank goodness!!! Dengue fever sucks!!! That's another lesson. If you go to areas where they have dengue and malaria, don't get bit by mosquitos!!!

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                    • #11
                      Ripped: that's great news! I think I'll try fasting for longer periods of time, since its the off-season now. My current 'record' is only 24h (pathetic, I know), I'll see if I can get it up to 2 or 3 days. I've been doing IF on-and-off, so I hope it would be easier for me to transition. Do you get major hunger pangs when you do your 2-4 day fasts?

                      I'm currently a student, so it would be interesting to see how IF affects my attention, alertness etc.

                      Thanks for the info!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cthy View Post
                        Ripped: that's great news! I think I'll try fasting for longer periods of time, since its the off-season now. My current 'record' is only 24h (pathetic, I know), I'll see if I can get it up to 2 or 3 days. I've been doing IF on-and-off, so I hope it would be easier for me to transition.
                        I've only gone up to 4 days a few times. You literally only can lose a few lbs (1 kg) that way. That's not much if you've got a lot to lose. But in the case with someone who is already reasonably lean, it's definitely enough to see a noticeable difference. I just like it to help out once in a great while. And in my opinion, it certainly beats cutting calories every day for several weeks.

                        Originally posted by cthy View Post
                        Do you get major hunger pangs when you do your 2-4 day fasts?
                        Never. I don't get hungry at all when I do it. It's easy. The only thing is, I'd start to dream of yummy food and enjoying a good meal with a friend and missing the experience after a handful of days.

                        I would expect the story to be different for someone who is already skinny with little fat left. My best friend is skinny and he says his stomach hurts if he fasts for too long, which for him I think is a good 24 hours or so. But if you've got plenty of extra fat, it shouldn't be a problem.

                        Originally posted by cthy View Post
                        I'm currently a student, so it would be interesting to see how IF affects my attention, alertness etc.
                        When I was in college I used to think I had to eat all the time. I was kind of fat.

                        But I did have a friend who used to eat less before a test. He believed it helped him concentrate better. His grades were phenomenal. But I think that was just a coincidence.

                        Personally I don't think it would make a difference at all, unless eating makes you sluggish. You could skip breakfast before a test.

                        If I had it to do all over again, that's how I would do it. It certainly beats being a fat pig any day of the week. I'd much rather be and stay lean for life.

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                        • #13
                          Most people who can't eat because they are sick gain the weight back on quickly. It's just a normal response when you're able to eat again. Many dieters are seriously disappointed to find that weight loss during an illness can't be followed up by a diet that will maintain the loss or continue losing. I would think it would take strong willpower to overcome that.

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                          • #14
                            You should have placed whatever pathogens you were afflicted with in bottles and sold them on the internet as weight-loss supps. I would have bought some from you--haha!

                            My journal

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                            • #15
                              Slightly off-topic PSA: Dengue fever is no joke. If you are infected again with one of the other three strains it can be deadly. Especially if you are in a remote area without access to first-class medical care:
                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever

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