I am finally trying an extended fast. Why you might ask?
I have read the works of Jason Fung, and i think that they have value - particularly in type 2 management (no one can fast out of type 1). In terms of diabetes management, though, I am more a Berstein Lady.
From my readings on ketogenic diet and ketosis, it would appear that ketosis is at least partially protective in minimizing muscle loss that may be feared in extended fasting… and fasting is quite distinct from the metabolic effects of very low calorie intake… particularly if that low calorie intake includes enough carbs to preclude ketosis.
I have lost my pregnancy in the past week at 9 weeks … and I feel fasting is a cleansing spiritual thing to do. I feel that this is the right time to try fasting.
I am moderator of a ketogenic group in Philippines, along with a group of very geeky friends. We hare having phenomenal results with reversing type 2 diabetes (in some cases), and at least dramatic improvements in others. Major weight loss in morbidly obese people. We do recommend Intermittent Fasting to those who want to try it (particularly, we take the eat when hungry approach). Some of our members (and my very geeky friends, which includes a medical doctor) are very interested in extended fasting, and have been trying it. So I also thought I should try it. [hahaha… peer pressure… yes, that did play a role in motivating me to ‘try’ this].
There is a theory that fasting helps the body reset and renew. Because, as part of self preservation, the body will first cull and use all the cells that are least healthy. Autophagy. Can’t hurt, particularly now when my hormones are kind of limbo and my body will take a few weeks to get back on track.
I am considering a possible career change, to nutrition and lifestyle coaching in the next few years (looking at possible courses now), and although the establishment doesn’t support such things, I want to have personal experience with doing this.
I do want to lose weight.
My fasting approach includes free intake of water, coffee, both black and with a little cream, a little calamansi juice with water, chicken or other soup broths, a shot of jin or vodka is allowed (I put it in my calamansi juice and water - most pleasant). I am also taking a multi mineral supplement, and additional salt.
I am measuring blood sugars using Freestyle libre, blood pressure, and weight daily. I just measured breath ketones today.
Today is day 4 of my extended fast, and I intend to fast for another 1 - 3 days, depending on how I feel. (it is now Wednesday afternoon and I last ate on Saturday evening). I am finding this a pretty amazing experience, so far.
Saturday night I took my usual insulin dose. Sunday morning I woke up high (that is also because I had eaten out the night before, and not my accustomed foods). I cut my insulin dose by 50% starting on Sunday for basal. And bolus only for corrections. Note: i am probably LADA, and should have some residual insulin production. So here are my results so far:
Sunday: Fasting BS = 112, BP 128/80, total insulin dose = 17 Units, weight 88 kg (about 2 kg higher than usual - maybe water retention from Saturday night food and drinks).
Monday: Fasting BS = 86.5, BP 118/77, total insulin dose = 13 U, weight = 86.5 kg
Tuesday: Fasting BS = 72, BP 110/78, total insulin dose = 7 U, weight 85.8 kg. Tuesday night I used 5g of sugar to raise blood sugar slightly before bed (I was getting nervous about low sugars, and still having possible insulin on board).
Wednesday: Fasting BS = 68, BP 108/70, total insulin dose = 1U, weight = 83.8 kg
(I still had to counter the Dawn Phenomenon as my blood sugars went from 68 to 110 in 30 minutes after getting up) - but since then after the correction hit, my blood sugar is sitting nearly flat at 3.3 - 4.0 (60 - 72). I tested breath ketones this morning and they were pretty low at 4.4 ppm. But still ketosis.
For those worried about me, I am checking in with my crazy doctor friend daily (maybe we should both be worried about) and the fast will be stopped if there are any concerns. The interesting things are: -
- Amazingly I am not hungry. I did not expect that I would not feel hungry… I have cooked meals for my children, and gone grocery shopping, including walking through food courts, with no problems.
- I am feeling pretty clear and calm mentally. Yesterday, I actually completed all the items on my to-do list, which is very unusual… today I’m not so busy… hence playing online. I am working normally and doing all my normal activities (except eating). This included a light treadmill session this morning, that felt great!
- It is so freeing not to be thinking about food all the time.
- Fasting does not kill a person, and may not even cause suffering - this is a pretty major realization (of course it has to be short-term as one does not want to actually starve).
I fully know and expect I will be back on insulin once I start eating again…
After this is done, and after a break of normal low carb/ keto eating, I intend to personally experiment with a few weeks of protein sparing diet (this is low fat, low carb, and moderate protein), and in a few months, I will likely consider doing it again…
I will update this post once I finish a few more days… and the aftermath impact on blood sugar and weight once I start eating again (I have a baptism to attend on Sunday, so I should ease back into food with a light meal on Saturday night).