Friday, May 13, 2016
Water fast and diet report-back: Week 2
Following a slight setback last week, I returned to my water fast for a 5-day period, which will end this evening. I'll be following a 5-2 fast plan, fasting for 5 days from Sunday evening (after supper) until Friday evening, then eating (low-carb, high-fat, controlled portions) from Friday evening until Sunday evening, then repeating the pattern. I hope this will help to avoid the blood glucose crash I experienced last week.
So far, the modified approach seems to be working well. I've lost just over 6 pounds this week, for a total weight loss of just over 25 pounds since beginning this exercise 15 days ago. (A lot of that was water weight, of course, but I've maintained a greater or lesser degree of fasting ketosis since Day 3, so plenty of fat is also being burned, with minimal muscle loss.) My blood sugar has dropped steadily since starting the water fast again last Monday, but it hasn't had enough time to reach dangerously low levels; and by starting to eat tonight, I'll push it back up again, so that when I resume the fast next Monday, it'll have recovered to a level sufficient to cope with the following 5 days (at least, that's the idea). I'll be monitoring it daily to make sure of that.
I found it necessary to increase my water consumption this week, as the weight was slower to come off. Last week I drank at least 60 ounces of water each day, over and above black coffee, black tea, or the occasional cup of bouillon broth. When the weight didn't shift as quickly this week, I increased my water intake to 80 ounces (2½ quarts) per day. That seems to have done the trick. I don't want to drink too much water, though, because then one might run into the problem of water intoxication. I'll watch my rate of weight loss, and prudently adjust water consumption as needed.
I found the craving for food was much less this week than it was when I began the water fast. Perhaps one's mind and body become more accustomed to the idea of doing without food for an extended period. I've also found that a little cheating here and there doesn't seem to hurt - but I do mean a little cheating. For example, yesterday I found myself craving some sharp cheddar cheese. I resisted it for several hours, but it was becoming a problem; so I cut off less than an ounce of cheese from a block in the fridge, and nibbled on it slowly for the next half hour. Result: my craving was satisfied, I didn't eat enough calories to affect the fast (or my state of ketosis), and I was able to carry on with the fast with no trouble after that. I don't mind that sort of 'cheating' at all.
So far, so good. I've got a long, long way to go, and I expect to continue the pattern of fasting-then-eating until at least the first quarter of next year. There'll be longer breaks in the fast from time to time, to enjoy holidays or functions with friends . . . quite apart from Thanksgiving and Christmas, there's the incomparable City Diner in Chattanooga during Libertycon in July, and then there's Blogorado in October, where the food's always to die for! If I put on a bit of weight during those 'cheat periods', well, I'll just have to fast a bit longer afterwards to take it off again, won't I?