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  • Fasting and metabolism

    I have read in many holistic nutritional books that a 3-day fast in the spring or every change of season is a healthy detox for the body. I am trying to lose weight and I am afraid that if I do a full 3-day fast that my metabolism will slow down, making it counterproductive for weight loss.

    Does anyone know for sure whether a 3-day fast will derail my efforts to lose weight (due to slowing of metabolism)?

  • #2
    i haven't ever fasted for three days before, so i can't share my experiences with you, but i've come to learn that it takes about 72 hours of fasting for the body's metabolism to slow down. of course, as soon as you eat again it should go back up.
    do you really need to detox though? eating primally should work just fine for you--it may not be immediate, but i would argue that taking a little time is a good thing.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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    • #3
      It wouldn't be as effective as intermittent fasting meaning more frequent, shorter fasts. Eat an early dinner one day and nothing the next day until dinner time and have a large meal. Then have a normal day, and then another fast day. This can be done a few times a week all year round. Generally the more time we spend not digesting, the more repair we get done so it doesn't have to be this big 3-day event. We're also fully functional and nutritionally sufficient the whole time.
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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      • #4
        I've water fasted for 14 days and my metabolism never noticeably slowed. I lost 21 pounds and the weight loss was steady from day one to day 14. I've juice fasted for 30 days and lost 50 pounds, the greatest weight loss was between days 18-22 when I was going for 5 mile hikes every day. I think the idea of metabolism stopping is bunk and even the subtle deceleration is meaningless. I also think the idea of detox needs a lot more research along with the benefits of extended fasting. The idea of giving your digestive system a break to cleanse and heal sounds good on the surface, but asking your body to function with clear nutrient deficiencies may do more long term damage than any cleansing or weight loss provided. I'm reading the Drs Eades 6 Week Cure and feel pretty convinced the whole colon cleansing fasting detox fad is bogus and moving product. There is no real research supporting the detox and cleansing claims, but I will concede the anecdotal testimonies are strong. Extended fasting does appear to heal some stubborn conditions, but detox and cleansing are different issues. I think eating real clean and intermittent fasting is healthier and probably more cleansing. The notion of detox seems like even more of a reach.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your replies. Would it be better to do a 24-hour IF from breakfast to breakfast, instead of dinner to dinner, so as not to eat your daily calories all at night when the 24-hour fast ends?
          Also, I have done a 10-day juice fast and lost 1 pound a day and felt great; however I am reluctant to do that now since I have read in a few other books that extended fasting can be detrimental to your metabolism. I am also concerned because I am hypothyroid and taking dessicated porcine thyroid. My metabolism is already slow, so I don't want it any slower - if that is indeed true that fasting causes it to slow.

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          • #6
            I'm a fan of the daily dinner to dinner fast (sometimes with a super thrown in). I don't see anything wrong with eating all my calories in the evenings.
            http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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            • #7
              Not sure if this applies to you, but just in case:
              Be careful with fasting during pregnancy. There are some interesting studies (see section on fasting during Ramadan and mortality in muslims in SuperFreakonomics by Levitt and Dubner) that correlate fasting during certain periods of pregnancy and higher risk for some diseases and overall higher mortality. Correlation only, but highly suggestive.

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              • #8
                Good lord why would anyone fast while pregnant???

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                • #9
                  I am breastfeeding, but my baby is almost 9 months old now. I read a few research articles that stated milk supply and quality is not affected for 24-hour fasts, but I haven't read anything on extended fasts while breastfeeding. I just know fasting makes me feel good!

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                  • #10
                    I would advise dinner to dinner or breakfast to breakfast, or simply skipping breakfast and having lunch, the last method is what I'm accustomed to now. I take my break around 1, eat, then eat dinner around 7 or 8. Super long fasts aren't necessarily better but you'll obviously lose weight faster. Breastfeeding though, I'd make it a point to eat every day, just in case. Again, ain't nobody paying you by the day, take your time with it ...
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                    • #11
                      I have water fasted for 10 days, and to prepare your body for an extended fast like that, you spend a few days preparing your body - restricting to raw, watery fruits and veggies, and then do the same coming out of your fast. So, while your metabolism likely drops during a fast, breaking a fast in a healthy matter will put you right back on track. People get in trouble when they fast for an extended amount of time and go straight back to their normal eating. When breaking an extended fast, I usually start with watermelon or skinless cucumber the first day, and then the second day add a couple scrambled eggs, and then the 3rd day start adding back in some steamed veggies and fats, and then by the 4th day I am ready for some small portions of meats. Back to normal by day 5 after the fast. Typically you want to take the same amount of time preparing for and breaking your fast as you actually spend on it, so if you are planning a 10 day fast...prepare for 5 days, fast for 10 days, and then break the fast in 5 days.

                      I would not fast while pregnant personally.
                      For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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                      • #12
                        How much lead body mass do you lose when you fast for 10 days and do you notice drop in strength? With the amount of fat that I have on me, I'd be skeletal by the end of five days. It's hard to imagine.
                        http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fyrespryte View Post
                          Good lord why would anyone fast while pregnant???
                          Sometimes it's hard to imagine how tens of thousands of years ago, food would magically appear for pregnant women while others had none.
                          You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Daemonized View Post
                            I'm a fan of the daily dinner to dinner fast (sometimes with a super thrown in). I don't see anything wrong with eating all my calories in the evenings.
                            I tried that - and the leangains 16/8 scheme, but in the end I prefer whole days fasts, meaning that you fast at least 36 hours (e.g. dinner to breakfast with a day in between). I think that any daily routine (e.g. feeding window) is a bit too regular, and your body might get used to it. Besides, I wouldn't be surprised if people who are successful with that were also cycling calories on a day to day basis. To me that's the main thing ... having periods of feasting and periods of fasting, so that total caloric intake is bordering starvation, but the feasting phases prevent our body from lowering metabolism.

                            Another aspect is that whole day fasting is easy to implement. On some days I know that I'll basically have three protein shakes and that's it - on the other days I'll simply stuff myself. Not to the point that I'm absolutely full, but definitely a bit past the point where I'm satisfied. The goal really is to tell your body that there's plenty of food available.
                            MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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