The only serious hypoglycemic episode that I've encountered was during the latter part of a 56h fast ( I would start fasting in the evenings, and break the fast with a culturally consistent breakfast time ie, on the morning of the third day ). So, about 40h into it, I went to a circus arts class, and the instructor had us do a fairly intense met-con workout prior to the skills drills. I went seriously hypoglycemic, flushing, sweats, elevated heart rate, nausea, the works. Of course, not having trained at the tail end of a fast before, I was aware of the potential for hypoglycemia, so I had brought along a bottle of orange juice and a bag of nuts. Like an idiot, I left them in my locker in the dressing room in the basement. It was quite an adventure navigating the stairs to get to it, but ... all's well that ends well.
Get on my Level
Thanks for taking the time to write these great posts. I'm interested in extending my current 16-8 split sometimes, but I'm concerned about the effect on physical activity - I lift mon/wed/fri, am doing HIIT Saturdays and sometimes Wednesdays, and have a physical job too. I'm thinking the best time to try it would be after a post-workout meal and if I was off work the next day... I don't seem to be asking a question here, do I? I suppose what I'm asking is for your experience with such things.
I think that I am leaning towards expanding my online footprint in some way, maybe with a blog of my own or a website.
I'm going to make a standing invitation to you and anyone else that would care to be notified when this happens. If you would like, just send me a PM and I will make sure to notify you directly when I go live with whatever I decide to implement.
Thank you pklopp. Nice breakdown of the study. This makes me less fearful of fasting longer than the 20-ish hours that I do daily. I may try a ~40h fast on a weekend since I normally only workout during the week.
Here's a thought: How about eating some lean protein at the end of the fast - say in the evening? By doing so you might be able to extend the fast while minimizing the loss of lean tissue.
EDIT: Essentially it then becomes a protein sparing modified fast, like for example Lyle McDonald recommends with this Rapid Fat-Loss Handbook.
Last edited by MikeEnRegalia; 04-26-2011 at 10:51 AM.
Consider this: as the fast progresses, we have seen cortisol trending up, and have concluded that this is in order to provide the necessary inputs, that is, amino acids, for gluconeogenesis. This would be a futile thing to do, unless at the same time, gluconeogenesis itself was ramped up in the liver. And of course, it is. So, at the point of peak gluconeogenesis, you eat. Now, notwithstanding the issue of the cephalic insulin response ( remember the dramatic rise in insulin based upon mere anticipation of a meal? ) either your meal causes a rise in insulin, or it doesn't. If it does, we've shunted the body into storage mode, so we've changed the hormonal makeup of the fast. If it doesn't, then unless you've eaten only fats, and we're considering lean protein here, then you've just provided a nice infusion of the necessary substrate for gluconeogenesis, and blood glucose should increase, and with that insulin, and we're back to changing the hormonal makeup of the fast.
I do see one potential way around this, and that is to eat only fats. So, maybe you could drink some heavy cream? Ultimately, though, this would be somewhat pointless. The point is to metabolize fat, so feeding yourself fat reduces the overall amount of endogenous fat that you would oxidize, and it also does not address the issue of maintaining blood glucose levels.
I guess the bottom line is that a fast consists of not eating, and there is very little you can do, short of not eating, to trick your body into thinking it has not been fed when it has. Assuming you could trick your body this way, that would be disastrous, as you might find yourself in the paradoxical position where you keep eating and eating the faux feasts while the body is in full on famine response!
great thread pklopp!! Someone else asked you if you believe that this type of fasting can break thru a weight loss plateau. I have made great progress and have really leaned out. I would like to lose another 5-7 lbs. of fat. Could this be the way? Thanks again for this excellent thread.
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