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    ktwintz's Avatar
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    Fasting and metabolism

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    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)?

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    primalrob's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.
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    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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    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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    Daemonized is online now Senior Member
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    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.

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    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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    Good lord why would anyone fast while pregnant???

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    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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    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 ...

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