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Fasting

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Dillinger, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    I recently caught a bug my son had picked up and was off food for a couple of days (but drank plenty of water). I kept up the normal basal insulin and things went very well as far as my blood sugars were concerned about 4.4-4.7 until I drank some Dioralyte (which sent things off course for a good few hours; I was surprised by the rate at which things shot up I must say).

    Anyway, this enforced fast seems to have kick started my ketosis (going from trace to medium) and I have noticed my weight which had plateaued dropped as well. So the question is; have people found that a day or two of fasting has helped them with blood sugar control and general management?

    Possibly even missing a meal or two would have benefits?

    I wouldn't really want to do more than a day in the normal course of events, but am thinking maybe I should try and drop a meal every now and then; what do you think?

    Dillinger
     
  2. NickW

    NickW · Well-Known Member

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    Fasting can be a great way of improving insulin sensitivity, helping blood glucose control and kick-starting weight loss.

    I find it an absolute doddle to control my blood on days where I fast - my last two days of fasting had average BG's of 4.3 and 4.6 with no hypos (i.e.nothing below 3.6 - I did have a few readings in the high 3's, but these cause no detectable symptoms for me and I don't count them as hypo) and nothing higher than 5.8 and 6.1 respectively. I'm a T1, and these are VERY good numbers for me (and would give an HbA1C in the mid 4's if I could keep it up for a period of time).

    There's also some interesting research taking place on the benefits of intermittent fasting ("IF") on general health and longevity. So far the only studies I've read are in mice (and we all know the problems of studies on non-human subjects), but the results are at least promising - mice fed on an IF schedule seemed to gain all the benefits of a CRAN diet with none of the downsides. Anecdotes from people who've implemented it are also very promising in terms of their athletic performance, body composition and general health. I can dig out some links if you're interested, or a hunt on "Intermittent Fasting" will give you some interesting reading.

    I'm currently trying to put some weight on, but once I get to where I want to be I'm planning to experiment with IF on some or most days and see if it helps my control. My suspicion is that by fasting in the mornings and evenings (i.e. eating between midday and 5pm) I can avoid issues with insulin resistance in the morning, and ensure a stable blood before bed (and therefore hopefully stable blood overnight). I'll certainly post back when I put this in place and let you know how it goes, though it might not be for a month or two. My hope is this might be the answer to the 4% club...

    For a T2 I imagine you'd want to be extra vigilent with the carb load during your feeding periods, but I can see no reason it couldn't work. Either whole-day fasts or "compressed feeding" (where you eat all your food in a shortened window of time) could work very well.
     
  3. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing some reading up on fasting. Seems like it DOES have many benefits for T2s.

    Now - if I could just go for 1 or 2 days without food!
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Guys,

    It seems a win win then with a low-carb approach; as I never feel hungry or have the need to snack so I think it would be pretty easy to drop a meal a couple of times a week.

    Nick; I'll have a look at the IF stuff.

    Dillinger
     
  5. fergus

    fergus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if I qualify, but I often fast a little at the weekends. I'll have a low carb brekkie, then eat nothing more until dinner at around 7:00. That's just skipping a meal in my book, but fasting sounds a bit more, well, noble.
    It's partly a habit developed as a result of having too many children to look after :roll: but oddly I find it most sustainable if I've had a long bike ride during the day. After a few hours in the saddle, I have no appetite for quite a while.
    I think this is most likely due to the catabolic effect of exercise, switching the body over to burning stored fuel. Anabolism and catabolism tend not to happen simultaneously and the low insulin levels make this catabolic state easier to achieve so that cellular energy can be maintained without added dietary calories.
    By 7:00 it's time for insulin and anabolism once again.

    All the best,

    fergus
     
  6. Spiral

    Spiral · Well-Known Member

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    Where do liver dumps fit in with this?

    I need to eat regularly to avoid liver dumps, would this change if I get even better control?
     
  7. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Hi Spiral.

    Precisely....Liver Dumps.
    I too would not be able to do this as I know that I would certainly go from one extreme to the other. I have tried it, not through choice, but by circumstance. I need to maintain the control over the day, otherwise a 'rollercoaster' effect sets in. Very difficult to get back on track.
    Then again, I'm not on Insulin or a T1 and I check my Bg levels throughout the day so know exactly what the levels are at critical times. I don't do averages.

    A Diabetic is advised to eat either little and often, or three small meals day perhaps with some snacks in between. This is to stabilise the blood sugars. Keep control.

    It seems a bit of a theory espoused by some 'strange' internet groups, not many members though. Mainly fitness fanatics, not so much about Diabetes. You could try it and see, however, personally I would give it a wide berth !

    Here is a link to some research which is highly inconclusive about ADF (alternate daily fasting).
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/86/1/7

    There are many links in there including further links to subjects covering Cancer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes and other variables. All state that further studies are needed ?

    An extract from the summary.
    In summary, this still nascent literature suggests that ADF may effectively modulate metabolic and functional risk factors, thereby preventing or delaying the future occurrence of common chronic diseases, at least in animal models. The effect of ADF on chronic disease risk in normal-weight human subjects remains unclear, however, as do the mechanisms of action. Much work remains to be done to understand this dietary strategy fully.

    As for fasting being a great way of improving insulin sensitivity, helping blood glucose control and kick-starting weight loss ? I think the jury is stll out on that one ? You could always try it and see.
    Me, I prefer to steer clear of hypo and hyper numbers. 'Compressed' feeding.....what's that all about ? Only if I fancy getting 'mega' numbers on my meter. :lol:
     
  8. cugila

    cugila · Master

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  9. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    I'm a type 2 on no medication at all. If I don't eat, I 'liver dump' continually and my blood sugar levels rises sharply. I have no way of correcting this therefore have to eat regularly and ' properly' ( for me) to control levels. Similarly if I ate a lot in a short period of time my levels would spike and I would spend an uncomfortable few hours till it came down.
    Nick, this may work for you, but please do not advise everyone to try this. The effects on other members could be catastrophic, it could totally ruin otherwise excellent control. Those that are on insulin have the leeway to correct, those on oral or no medication have not.
     
  10. NickW

    NickW · Well-Known Member

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    sue, I'm not advising everyone to try it by any means - simply pointing out that it's a strategy that CAN work well, and has done for a fair few people. It won't work for everyone (and it won't appeal to everyone) and I didn't say it would; but for people who are curious about it (like Dillinger) or feel it might fit into their lifestyle (like Patch) it's an option that's worth looking in to.

    In fact, I'm not advising anyone to do anything, just posting my own experiences and thoughts like everyone else; no more than you're advising everyone to not try it, you're simply posting your own thoughts on whether it would work for you.
     
  11. Doczoc

    Doczoc · Well-Known Member

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    I have gone an entire working day without eating. Not deliberately, just missed brekkie and forgot lunch one day, on testing I was 3.9 (which I'm very happy at) so no liver dump for me it seems. Since then I missed a few lunches without any adverse effects. Why is it that some people liver dump and others don't?
     
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