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Thread: Extreme Fasting - How Much is Too Much? page

  1. #1
    pumpkinslayer's Avatar
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    Extreme Fasting - How Much is Too Much?

    Primal Fuel
    The aim: to fast for as long as possible.

    I was totally and absolutely inspired by the fasting series. Most especially the Scotsman who went for over a year without food. I went to the source and read about it and he seemed to have no ill effects whatsoever.

    After jumping into Primal (it's just so sensible) for just over three months, and slowly getting rid of all nasty stuff from my diet I lost around 2kg (4.4lbs).

    I dabbled with fasting straight after I read about it. I went 62 hours without food and felt fine. It was really the "urge to eat" that made me break the fast.

    Now, I'm 1.85m (6'1") and I've weighed 85kg (204lbs) since I was 17 or so (I'm almost 33 now). I was (still am) an active cyclist. I went up to 87kg after marriage, then dropped back to 85kg with careful eating, then 83kg with Primal eating.

    BUT... I still reckon I have plenty extra lard on my body.

    I estimate that I could safely get to low 70 something kgs and look/feel much better.

    Now mixing weight loss and strength building is good, but I chose to go a more direct approach.

    LOSE FAT FIRST!

    So starting from 22:00 on 2012/5/13 I stopped eating.

    ....

    7 days later: no food at all, down 5kg to 78kg (188lbs)... and I feel fine. I look quite skinny (never before), but I can still grab a handful of fat.

    I don't feel weak, my energy level is constant, and my feeling of having energy goes up when I've exercised (moderate cycling).

    I will continue until I feel it's enough. Then work from a slim base and build muscle. I've gotten plenty of warnings from family and friends that this is too extreme, but I think they underestimate the capabilities of our bodies.

    I'll keep posting as the days go by, let's see how this goes.

    Any thoughts? Please reply!

    ---- Logs ----

    Days 1 (83kg), 2, 3, 4 - water + 1 liter sports drink (170kcal)
    Day 5 - water only
    Day 6 - water + 200ml or so of absolutely awesome Taiwan Green tea
    Day 7 - water only
    Day 8 (78kg) - water all day, 55km bicycle ride in the morning, broke fast in the evening. 400ml milk, 1 cucumber
    Day 9 - 2 eggs breakfast, evening filled with meat and a handful of nuts
    Day 10 - 5 egg + 5 bacon breakfast. steak + chicken breast for lunch
    Day 11 - Back to fasting, water + lemon water
    Last edited by pumpkinslayer; 05-22-2012 at 09:07 AM. Reason: Updated logs

  2. #2
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    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    Here's an article from scientific american.

    Most hunger strikers (who are adequately hydrated) can last up to 70 days, but may still have health problems due to it. People who survive concentration camp and famine conditions may be able to go longer still, but they usually have some form of food coming in at irregular intervals that may sustain them -- so technically not complete starvation fasting period.

    Death comes with body weight issues. If weight drops below a certain percentage (into a BMI that is half of normal), then organ failure sets in.

    For starvation diets for overweight and obese people, one of the long term symptoms is heart conditions (myocardial infarctions).

    Then, the article goes on about refusing food and water -- whether actively or passively refusing due to total incapacitation -- and death occurring within 10-14 days. I don't think you are at risk for this.

    I think that if you want to fast, it's fine -- but I personally want to nourish as well. Consuming one meal a day, for example, can be quite a good way to get lean without the risks that starvation can have.

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    bloodorchid is online now Senior Member
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    so, in summation, if you die, you fasted too long
    beautiful
    yeah you are

    I mean there's so many ants in my eyes! And there are so many TVs, microwaves, radios... I think, I can't, I'm not 100% sure what we have here in stock.. I don't know because I can't see anything! Our prices, I hope, aren't too low!

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    pumpkinslayer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply zoebird.

    I have been drinking copious amounts of water, about 4 liters per day at the most.

    My BMI is still way in the normal zone, it would have to drop to below 60kg before I'm below that, and I in no way intend to go that far.

    I'm not starting from lean either. I have at least a fair bit of fat that my body can use for energy.

    I have tried the once-a-day eating for a week before and it was fine too.

    A friend of mine recommended getting a doctor involved while I do this, but then again I'm well aware that I have limits. It is, however, the unseen effects which are most worrying, heart, liver, other internal organs.

    With all this said, I don't feel bad. I'm not fighting my body, and if it starts to react, I'll be happy to go back to normal by chomping down on a big, fat steak, a couple eggs and a few strips of yummy bacon.

    Thanks again.

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    pumpkinslayer's Avatar
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    Well, if I die, that wouldn't be so good. But I do suspect I'd have some other bad feeling before death set in.

  6. #6
    js290's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinslayer View Post
    I will continue until I feel it's enough. Then work from a slim base and build muscle. I've gotten plenty of warnings from family and friends that this is too extreme, but I think they underestimate the capabilities of our bodies.
    Your location says Taiwan, you can share this with your family:
    Non-English Language Content | Carbohydrates Can Kill

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    Quote Originally Posted by js290 View Post
    Your location says Taiwan, you can share this with your family:
    Non-English Language Content | Carbohydrates Can Kill
    Awesome js290, thanks for that resource. I wish there was an English version of those things, as I'd like to read them first. My Chinese ain't that hot.

    I'll certainly share them though.

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    As I am in the middle of a fast right now, I obviously don't think there is anything wrong with it. I have two suggestions.

    First, you say you are drinking plenty of water, but don't mention what kind. I drink regular water, mineral water, and water mixed with salt and lemon juice during my fasts, to make sure my electrolytes don't get whacked out. Also, are you taking vitamins?

    Second, you say you will continue until you feel it is 'enough'. I would have a more definite plan for ending. Either a specific weight or time frame, unless you feel bad before then.
    One of the side-effects of long-term fasting can be the complete loss of hunger, and it might be easy to over do. This might also reassure your relatives and friends who are concerned. "It is only until X." As others can react to a new level of thin-ness as 'too thin' just because it is different from how they are used to seeing you, they may feel that your 'enough' is not based in reality. Having a number of some kind, either in pounds or time, might be a mental comfort to them.

    And lastly, not a suggestion just an opinion, although you want to lose the fat FAST (don't we all!) you might consider doing it in two stages. To let yourself, and others get used to your new level of thin-ness. There may be nothing wrong with a long fast to lose weight, but it certainly bucks the trend nowadays, and that has its own complications.

    Good luck and good health in whatever you choose!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabine View Post
    As I am in the middle of a fast right now, I obviously don't think there is anything wrong with it. I have two suggestions.

    First, you say you are drinking plenty of water, but don't mention what kind. I drink regular water, mineral water, and water mixed with salt and lemon juice during my fasts, to make sure my electrolytes don't get whacked out. Also, are you taking vitamins?

    Second, you say you will continue until you feel it is 'enough'. I would have a more definite plan for ending. Either a specific weight or time frame, unless you feel bad before then.
    One of the side-effects of long-term fasting can be the complete loss of hunger, and it might be easy to over do. This might also reassure your relatives and friends who are concerned. "It is only until X." As others can react to a new level of thin-ness as 'too thin' just because it is different from how they are used to seeing you, they may feel that your 'enough' is not based in reality. Having a number of some kind, either in pounds or time, might be a mental comfort to them.

    And lastly, not a suggestion just an opinion, although you want to lose the fat FAST (don't we all!) you might consider doing it in two stages. To let yourself, and others get used to your new level of thin-ness. There may be nothing wrong with a long fast to lose weight, but it certainly bucks the trend nowadays, and that has its own complications.

    Good luck and good health in whatever you choose!
    Thanks Sabine for a fantastic reply.

    I've been drinking tap water with nothing added. I am taking a multi-vitamin and vitamin c.

    My specific end has been in flux. Simply because this is new territory for me.

    I've had those expected reactions and some not quite correct reasons from others about why I should stop. But I've actually somewhat relented today and ate some food this evening. Not much, but something nonetheless.

    That bit about losing your appetite is very interesting, and important too.

    Doing it in two stages should work well and I'll wait until I've transitioned back to regular eating before attempting this again. I'm easing back into normal eating by having breakfast only, then after a week I'll probably add in another meal each day. I have some things that will need my full energy at the end of next month, but after that I'll try for another week long fast.

    Again, thanks for the very insightful reply. Very much appreciate your comments.

    PS. Could you tell me the "recipe" for your drink during fasts? What ratio of regular, mineral and lemon juice?

  10. #10
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    I personally haven't fasted for longer than 36 hours, I usually just skip breakfast most days. I couldn't really comment on what drinks/supplements you might need. But I don't think there's anything wrong with longer fasts, as long as you do it mindfully.

    Try to think objectively when judging how you feel and and keep a journal of the experience. Keep good primal foods ready just in case, so when you do break fast it won't be from one extreme to the other.

    Make sure you are not retreating into a fasting lifestyle that is at odds with your everyday life though. It may be more practical to do shorter fasts and re-feeding periods to make sure you can cope with work/family commitments.

    Most importantly, don't make a goal of a certain number of days. You might end up pushing yourself further than you should go. Simply start with the intention of a few days, then take each day as it comes.

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