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  • First 5 day fast, tips?

    I have been reading Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferriss. Tim and Dom D'Agostino talk about the vast benefits of a 5-7 day fast 1-2 times per year (cancer prevention, reset ghrelin levels, autophagy etc).
    Leading up to the fast I will be doing a 16:8 eating window while eating a maintenance cal keto diet, then I will ingest 500 calories of C8 MCT/butter in the form of bulletproof coffee for the first 2 days to fast track me into ketosis and then spend the next 3 days drinking water with pinches of salt.

    I have attempted many 2-3 days fasts in the last year but was put off after breaking a 2.5 day fast with burgers and crapping myself twice because I had savage diarrhoea, unsure why, I assumed it was the food choice but many people I know have broken fasts with worse and had no side effects.

    Is there any tips anyone with fasting experience can give me to make this process as easy as possible? I plan on spending 4 of the days just chilling, walking, watching Netflix or working on my online business.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Salt and magnesium and fizzy water are my most important tips. Keep those high and you will probably feel great (but the magnesium might give you the runs).

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    • #3
      Plain water only fasts are the standard in the past. Intermittent fasting will make the transition to full day fasts more tolerable, but my hardest time was between 2-3 days. After that, I lost my cravings until the fast ended. Two day fasts are probably the least efficient and most difficult to live with.

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      • #4
        Just did a 5 day. Ditch the coffee with a bunch of refined oil and just drink it black. Coffee, itself, boosts ketones. It's a 3 day fast following 2 days of drinking a lot of oil calories the 2 days prior, IMO, if you do it that way.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by iconoclast79 View Post
          Just did a 5 day. Ditch the coffee with a bunch of refined oil and just drink it black. Coffee, itself, boosts ketones. It's a 3 day fast following 2 days of drinking a lot of oil calories the 2 days prior, IMO, if you do it that way.
          From what I have read you can get pretty much all of the health benefits of fasting while still consuming up to 500 calories of pure fat. If you consume protein or carbs it will not work. This is what Jason Fung and Dom D'Agostino have explained on their podcasts. I believe that is partly because it fast tracks you into Keto so you quickly get into a muscle sparring state.
          When Tim Ferriss fasted on water for 7 days and got dexa scans he lost 12lbs of muscle, spent the first 4 days with massive back pain due to sky high uric acid levels due to the body converting muscle to glycogen. He then did a 10 day fast while using 500 cal exogenous ketones (C8) for the first 2 days and also got dexa scans and lost 0 lean muslce and had a pretty easy fast with no issues.
          You may be right that it is not a "true" fast but I believe if it increases compliance then it might be worth it.

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          • #6
            I'm keto going into the fast, so maybe that's why I don't feel I need any oil help. I did try MCT at the start of going keto, and all it did was give me a horrible headache and the absolute worst diarrhea. I'm just primal minded on this, but I get the wanting to hack it thing.

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            • #7
              Yea I get the Primal mindedness with it. I had a big conversation with my friend who fasts monthly, he just did a 16 day fast which I tried to talk him out of because he was already lean. He also spent the last 2 days dry fasting (I can't see any benefits to this at all). His philosophy with fasting is not just health orientated, he was to train himself to not crave anything. So he abstains from anything but water and thinks the fat fasting doesn't count because you're still training yourself to need 'want' something. However I am interested purely is the health and longevity benefits. But I will be eating Keto while intermittent fasting until I undergo the fast so perhaps I won't actually need that MCT hack as I will already be in ketosis.

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              • #8
                I've done many of these before. I am starting one today due to the fact I broke a tooth yesterday and wont be getting it crowned for a bit.
                So its either fast or be on a liquid diet - to which I say I'd rather fast.

                I start the day with 2oz ACV.
                I have counted well into the 1500 cal mark in 1-2 cups of Bullet proof coffee (these suckers are 250 cal all as fat), 4-6 cups of tea (50-100 cal each) and 2-8 drinks of bourbon or vodka etc. Not all in the same day. The 8 drink day would not have the max coffee and tea etc etc. I was usually over 800 and most of the time under 1500. 1200 average. I'd however say, the more you eat even the allowed food the more likely you metabolism starts to slow. However its likely its just temporary or I'm not even sure, if its not a normal side effect of being 75-90lb down.

                And yes 5 dayer's maximize the pain. But its a good start. When I didn't know this much about fasting I blindly did it and I actually was far more successful. Now that I know all the theory and loop holes and everything I seem to be failing.

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                • #9
                  Possibly because theory and practice can have differing results. A sore tooth doesn't help, adding stress to pain.

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                  • #10
                    Sore tooth is just since sunday. Forced fast. LOL.
                    I also possibly have not been in deep ketosis since I have not had the need to do anything bigger than an 8 dayer. And I haven't serial fasted. In the whole month of Nov I only ate 3 meals. And if you include 6 week from nov 1 to dec 5, I only ate 4. That is huge, 4 meals for me nowadays is never more than a week. I do 8 day fasts followed by atleast 4-5 of eating.

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                    • #11
                      Srin, maybe your body has had enough fasting if it is so difficult? Sounds like you might be out of tune with your mind-body. What do those around you say?

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                      • #12
                        I don't believe your body gets worse @ fasting any more than it get worse @ ketosis after you get into ketosis and out a few times.
                        Your body tends to get more efficient at jobs you do repeatedly and it gets better at avoiding risk and danger. Remember even getting fat is a reaction to a stress or a risk or danger.
                        For example: I used to get 3 and 4lb loss over the first 3-4 days. Usually when a lot of water, gut bacteria, and muscle get eaten. Those are now down in the 2lb range. Yesterday I lost 1.8lb and that's one of the highest in the last few fasts. I'm usually in the 1.5 range.
                        Cut in 1/2. Maybe I am running very low on decrepit muscle which is the first target of autophagy. But still its a good sign IMHO.
                        Past 4 day weight losses are .5 to .75lb a day, and those I have to observe. But no insulin = my body has no control over my metabolic rate in the fasting window. Its whatever metabolic rate I had when I was eating.

                        BTW the pain now is the broken tooth and the fact that my tongue tends to dig @ it in my sleep. That is the only pain. I've been doing good on 200 or so cal in tea, coffee and broth of late. No pain.

                        I was watching an interview with Dr Fung and he mentioned in passing in one where he said he's fasted for 3 and 4 days for over 2 years off and on. I'm about the same frame size as he is, I don't think long fasts are right anymore. But 4-8 is very much OK IMHO, I'd rather do 1 8 day instead of 2 4 days at this point though.
                        So fasting is hard cos I don't have a 100lb onboard reserve, its maybe 20. And that's optimistic. I have to watch out for true starvation and other problems.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cletus Kasady View Post
                          Yea I get the Primal mindedness with it. I had a big conversation with my friend who fasts monthly, he just did a 16 day fast which I tried to talk him out of because he was already lean. He also spent the last 2 days dry fasting (I can't see any benefits to this at all). His philosophy with fasting is not just health orientated, he was to train himself to not crave anything. So he abstains from anything but water and thinks the fat fasting doesn't count because you're still training yourself to need 'want' something. However I am interested purely is the health and longevity benefits. But I will be eating Keto while intermittent fasting until I undergo the fast so perhaps I won't actually need that MCT hack as I will already be in ketosis.
                          Your friend needs help. This is no different than anorexia, even if the motivations are different. Sort of the Buddhist's attachment leads to pain to an extreme. It is normal to want. Especially food! It's how we fuel the bio-machine.

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                          • #14
                            Srinath, I don't mean this unkindly, but you are really off the deep end on all this fasting fixation. It's both mentally and physically unhealthy. We did not evolve fasting except in the very short term, usually. I've noticed that you, and other intense fasters get all hung up on the duration, what you did or did not consume during that time, weight loss numbers, etc. etc.

                            Go have a Big Mac already for God's sake. Just kidding.

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                            • #15
                              I have been writing what I have been eating for the last year +. Right about when I even started a semi LCHF and lost 20lb by accident.
                              I have full on details pulled via DSM-BIA when someone says "you're losing muscle" to say - sorry nope.
                              I was at this same weight on 4 different occasions. And my muscle% is just in the middle meaning, I am not out of the norm. Seriously I do this everyday, takes less time than making this post.
                              Like I said in my first post - cooking potatoes 10 times took me less time than to explain it, because I was just twisting a timer knob. Electricity and newtons law of cooling does the rest.
                              Cooking rice 5 times takes less time than to explain to someone how and why I did it.
                              I am not obsessed with much of anything, however I am standing on the shoulders of giants. The WD40 example. You just use WD40. What if some alien dropped in and asked you how WD40 came to be. That would be what I am doing trying to explain everything I am doing. I'm just the master photocopy artist.

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