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Intermittent fasting: 14/10-16/8, 5:2, 24-hr fast, 20-hr fast

Discussion in 'Fasting' started by AloeSvea, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's that time again - my once a month 2-3 day no-food fast. I took the broth out of the freezer to defrost, and extra bottles of sparkling mineral water in the fridge, knocking back my 'non-back-up back-up' glucomannan/konjac root capsules to pop in a bit of fibre hopefully to prevent constipation.

    I was able to predict my latest HBA1c results, this month, based on adjusted BG readings (I was convinced my 'Care sens N meter' reads consistently wrong) (yes - I miss my Roche accu-chek aviva - it was great having BG readings that consistently matched a latest HBA1c!). This is a big step in 'my life with T2D'. This time I was able to say, hmmm, with the extra carbs at Xmas, and less strength resistance training (weight lifting!), more shopping, less brisk walking, due to moving house and country (and not finding an outdoor gym close to where I am living now, and the home-weights have to travel the seven seas to get here...) - I predicted I would go from 40 (October, pre-move) to 43 (yesterday) - and I was right! Which is unfortunate, lol. But yes - predictable.

    Since the last fast, soon after my cross-global-permanent-move, I have noted the fluctuations in belly fat - small but definitely there. (It's swimsuit season here! Easy to see.) (As in - getting fattier!) It is interesting to note and know what relatively small changes in carbohydrate levels (but consistently over a month) and bigger differences in activity levels affect my blood glucose to this degree. It fits in with the liver and pancreas fat theory of T2D/insulin resistance, yet again.

    I feel VERY confident now, in talking about my T2D as carbohydrate intolerance, and my low-carbohydrate and activity as my treatment to my medical centre locums and the practice nurse, on receiving my latest blood lipid results. They went quiet. But. As I was able to predict my HBA1c rise based on those things, what could they say? But nothing. I know this sounds arrogant as hell, but I do see myself as educating my medical practice on low carbing as treatment of T2D. I feel I can probably get away with saying this in this forum! I will integrate the IFing info to them gradually! (I think I heard the same practice nurse breathe in a bit the last time on the phone I mentioned that I fast periodically, lol. So I thought best not to mention it this time.) (Let them get used to the idea over time, and send the Jason Fung links!)

    Talking of which. From when I started using fasting, last year in January 2015, as part of my treatment - all those fasting for BG/health Jason Fung links have gone online. (I read them, thanks to Indy51's great link posting...). They truly are marvellous.

    We are living in interesting times indeed, as diabetics. And exciting to be a part of the information about such treatments methods!

    This makes me feel much better at not being able to eat Herr Svea's wonderfu 'sillsallad' - or herring and beetroot salad - sitting there in the fridge! He promises me he will make some more just for me when I break the fast on Saturday. Cheap lovely sparkling water goes a long way, I find. With a little citrus squeezed in when it gets boring.

    Onwards and upwards!
     
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  2. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As Dr Fung reports - Day 2 of any non-food fast is often the worst, in terms of how you feel.

    I have woken up with a definite ring of 'brain fog' on the top of my head. I want Mr Svea to bring me my tea. Hell - I want him to make my coffee! ie lack of energy.

    Last night I did have a burst of energy (at the end of about 20 hours of fasting) - this was with a weekend-away invite, and some ketone action. (Level 1 on ketostix, which apparently means some ketone action started about three hours before that, for it to be evident in ....) ( I find it hard to key urine! :)!) This morning - ketones down to trace at 0.5. I have no idea what that means. (I think, in my poor clouded memory banks, it's to do with volume of ketones in urine, which is one of the reasons why testing ketones in blood is so much better, as the volume is too low in the morning, but increases so night-time readings with ketostix are much more accurate.)
     
  3. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Honestly! Too much brain fog to figure out I needed water? The importance of ample hydration during fasting perfectly made!

    And drinking a lovely cup of Mr Svea's homemade turkey stock/broth/consome.

    Now I can talk BGs. After meter-number-adjustments (see my thread on CareSens-N if interested) - all in the 5s since 'lunchtime' yesterday. Good! (At 10 hours since last food.)

    Other numbers:
    30 hours since last food (morning reading Day 2) : Fatty/watery extras - from 74kg to 72.5kg, so height to waist ratio back to 0.49. (I was sitting at 0.50 before the fast and 'consider action'.) (0.50 is the 'global boundary' for too much belly fat for your height.)
    One cm off the waist and hips.

    Dr Fuhrman calls this using fasting to rebuild your body. I like that idea and image. I like that it involves time and gaining and losing, gaining and losing, as I am building my good health, I hope, as well as this body in this general range. (Including my HBA1cs!) My goal is to get my glucose level down into the 30s, to give me a bigger buffer for good organ health. (I would prefer a range in the 30s to 40! Not 40-44, as it is now. But - who knows? It might not ever happen, and I am prepared for that.)

    Dr Fung talks about using fasting as intensive dietary management. It's all good! (Gee, I hope so. Else I go through Day-2 blues once a month for nothing! o_O
     
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  4. Larissima

    Larissima Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That's why I'm too much of a wuss to try a longer fast! ;) I find my twice-weekly 36-hour fasts surprisingly easy to perform, and they work well enough for me not to have to push for more.

    Great job, BTW!
     
  5. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Larissima - you are very kind! Alas, as is clear I am no poster child for fasting - as I experience hunger keenly, and I suffer! lol. Not like the "you won't feel hunger after day 1" assurances of Dr Fung. But, I figure, the world has billions of people in it - what are the chances we all experience not eating the same?

    I would rather get it over in one foul swoop for a few days a month, than have two days of low-cal hunger looming over my life every week (as in the 5:2), or hunger every day (as in the window of eating method). Also - I can't really do anything else while I fast, for large parts of it - maybe other than short walks (20 mins or so). This is just my make-up, as even as a young person I could not participate in science experiments involving fasting (well - one I remember!) because I had remembered the intense pain and suffering of a 40-hour-famine for charity when I was a young teen. (OK - I AM a bit dramatic! But as I have just been fasting, that is how I experience fasting, lol.) (And I die now when I think of all those barley sugars we were encouraged to consume during that fasting for charity! Dear me! Ghastly.)

    But, I have not to date found anything that gets my BG in check like fasting does. I feel great after the fast. Lower BGs, more energy, better moods. (Thank goodness, or poor Mr Svea could talk about his pain and suffering at length!) I imagine it's the greatly lowered insulin levels while no food is going in. (I know I produce a lot of insulin still, due to c-peptide levels, if I am reading them and understood them correctly.) Which as we know - comes along with the lowered glucose levels. I like to think of my organs breathing a big sigh of relief during those fasts! It is simply - worth it (for someone who has chosen not to medicate at least).
     
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  6. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I broke the fast earlier than I planned, due to a holiday date change out of my control. I just couldn't launder and pack (and bake low carb breads!) and organise while in a non-eating state. So I broke the fast after 38 hours. I had trace ketones via ketostix that night, and a 5.0 BG level, so all was not lost!

    Here are the BG results

    Day 1: FBG = 6.2 (rest of day's = 5.3, 6.0, 5.5, 5.6)
    Day 2: FBG = 5.6 (5.8, 5.2, fast ends at 5.0)
    The day after FBG = 5.7 (evening reading 6.1)
    2 days after FBG = 5.6 (post breakfast 5.3, post morning tea 6.1)
    3 days after FBG = 6.1
     
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  7. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a passing note on the possibility I have witnessed an increase in insulin sensitivity since the past year of VLCDing, then LCHFing, and IF/periodic fasting in the last six months.

    I don't usually have such a 'test' provided by life, but yesterday I threw BG caution to the wind (OK! It happens!) and ate two pieces of garlic bread - yeah the fullblown 'bag of glucose' kind! PLUS - a fairly normal slice of bought - decidedly un-LCHF - pavlova in a 'day after a party with normal' food' supper with family. I also ate about eight cherries, and about four pieces of stevia sweetened chocolate - but I do believe the pav and baguette were the true glucose carriers there!

    With fear and anguish I tested my BG a couple of hours later - 9.4. And three hours after that (6 hours after eating) - 6.4.
    FBG today (the day after carb blow-out) - 6.3. (Pretty normal prediabetic range in other words.) Post-late lunch - 5.9. Typical of me to have a highish DP FBG, and followed by pretty good post-meal readings as an LCHF-eating diabetic.

    I don't have 2014 BG readings to compare with, on hand, but this appears to me to be a good sign of increased insulin sensitivity that I can have a couple of (delightful it must be said!) 'glucose bags', and come back down to my normal in that amount of time. Bearing in mind I was diagnosed with an HBA1c of 93 mid 2014. My BG readings weren't 'coming back down' to much back then! (with an average BG reading of 14.4 or something, at diagnosis.)

    No wonder I don't like thinking of BG averages! 14.4? Good grief! (I'm thinking - 7.1 - which it is now on average apparently, at least for the prior 3 months - seems still way too high. ) Thinking of Jenny Ruhl's damages graph. But her graph doesn't deal in averages, but fasting blood glucose, and 2 hours post meal BG.

    Jenny Ruhl's damages graph copy.png
     
  8. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh - OGTT is that glucose test? Not post-meal - sorry.
     
  9. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's my once a month 2-3 day fast time, and I'm on day 2. What is interesting for me this time is I am not suffering with hunger pangs (or is it pains?). I was not having a bad time of it yesterday either! Wow!

    I think it is probably due to the heat and the humidity (height of summer in the southern hemisphere). It could be due to being in my 'natural habitat' (and light and weather conditions!). it could be the fact that my vitamin D hormone levels are rising very nicely now. (I paid the dough and got my vitamin D tested - as my years in the cold country where the sun seriously don't shine for months and months had depleted it so.)

    Or, if I am being optimistic - maybe my leptin levels are responding or changing? ie my appetite hormone is giving me a break with all my repeat fasts! (Wouldn't that be nice?!)

    My FBG this morning was not marvellous - still in the mid 6s, and it hasn't dropped as the morning progressed - now it is in the late 6s. But yesterday, in my usual lowest BG point of the day (late afternoon) - it was 4.7. Good.

    Yesterday evening around dinner time - I had a cup of homemade turkey bone broth. I love having a bone broth/stock during a fast. I know it means it's not such a strict no food fast then, but I don't have any of the faintness or dizzy spells now I am drinking it. A couple of hours after the broth my BG was 5.0.

    I haven't taken the konjac root capsules this time. No worries there it seems, either.

    It's great having Fung's work on fasting to read during these times as further encouragement and inspiration. I love his glucose-as-garbage out on the street, insulin-as-garbage truck/street cleaners, and our bodies as a town metaphor. (The front doors are the 'open' cell receptors.) (The streets the blood stream.)

    During a fast there is no glucose being put in through the front door by the street cleaners. (Alas, I have my own glucose-generator working hard inside my house! Argh!)

    And I remind myself my insulin levels are very/low during a fast, which will hopefully aid lowering insulin resistance. (The shut front door, which in an ideal world in a friendly town can and should be open! - ie insulin sensitivity.)

     
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  10. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a note - I realise that fasting Thursday (well - Wednesday night) to Saturday gets interrupted too easily on Friday afternoon - due to the fact I find I have to prepare for early Saturday and I need energy and food to do it. A serious energy boost of ketosis doesn't kick in for me until Day 3, it seems (from past experience), so I will change the 2-3 days to Monday (well - beginning Sunday night) to Wednesday, and see if that prevents the interruption. (It's happened twice already!)

    I do believe the more natural easy fasters are the ones who don't experience hunger very keenly, and who don't have big energy loss problems on Day 2 like I do (I basically can't do anything except screen time). But, it's still one of the best things for lowering my BG without medication, apart from low-carbing, and, I hope, improving my insulin sensitivity long-term. So far, at least.
     
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  11. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Now a note on the effect of high stress on fasting. I have had very high levels of stress recently due to country relocation practicalities and LOTS of dealing with companies and governmental authorities. I wanted to add in another two to three days of fasting in for this month, due to the fact that I had broken fasts twice in a row. But, I realise fasting is actually stressful in itself. Due to dealing with hunger, and lack of energy and the mood low on day 2 - I just cannot add to the high levels I have already with even more! (And therefore to poor Herr Svea's stress level. He agrees!) This is a tremendous shame, as fasting is something I rely on to give my poor overworked pancreas and liver a break and therefore I hope to improve my insulin sensitivity and improve the health of my arteries and organs. To deal with that stress (the not being able to fast one!) - I have upped my walking in terms of time and distance, which seems to be working a treat at least in terms of giving me some periods with healthy BG levels. That is at least something. But I am looking forward to having a more regulated life again when I can fit in 2-3 days of no-food as a matter of course.
     
  12. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    OK. Intermittent Fasting - you can see how it can really work for you. I fasted for one day last week - my FBGs have been back in the 7s again for way too long. It fitted into the working day just fine. And my FBGs had a few days in low 6s - creeping up to mid to high 6s again this morning. So I plan to fast two days a week, with a feeding day inbetween. On working week days. (I have to be at work - so why not do something for my health as well? Is my reasoning.) So Tuesday, and Thursday non-feeding days. I think it's roughly the 36 hour model, for me, by no more eating after dinner (in this case Monday night), then reinstating eating at breakfast two days later (Wednesday morning).
     
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  13. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Second week at work - when Tuesday came around I didn't have the heart to fast a second day! But fasted on Thursday re the 36 hour cycle. There is something to be said for being busy during a no-food day.

    I wrote this email to Herr Svea: "If I ever get to meet Dr Fung and Professor Taylor, I will have a LOT to say about 'the unbearable lightness of fasting - and VLCDing". And he replied, "*giggle' - meaning he is sure I would! I wondered if my new immediate boss was going in to the big boss's office to talk about the new woman's ghastly mood that day... And the really mean things she was saying to the computer! (It probably wasn't that bad - but close!) (Enough for me to be afraid - very afraid!)

    That night was not pretty though. (To call it a bad mood is an understatement!) (Herr Svea says he will not comment.)

    Will give it a bash tomorrow (Monday). Taking two lots of stock this time. Lots more herb teas. Eating a good complement of healthy fats today in prep.

    Yesterday, out and about with my mother and daughter. My mother: "Your mood improved incredibly after we had lunch." And that not even a fasting day.

    Oh dear. The same old, same old. It really just must be VERY ingrained in me, and maybe just not to do with leptin and insulin levels and so on, but a very deep rooted brain-body connection between me and the fed state! (Fancy way of saying - I can get very grumpy when hungry.) (My trigylcerides are at a good healthy level, and c reactive protein low - good health indicators for low or no inflammation and low levels of fatty acids in the blood in the morning though.) (My piece of evidence that it is just part of my metabolism/personality. Drat it.)


    So here is my today's quote from Dr Fung ( of who I am a huge fan of course!) - he isn't saying fasting is EASY, he is just saying it isn't as hard as most people believe. (Yeah! I REALLY don't agree, lol.)

    Fung on fasting as efficient and not difficult.png


     
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  14. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    @AloeSvea

    If fasting causes you such stress, any benefit of lowering insulin could be counterbalanced by increased cortisol caused by stress. Maybe just accept that fasting is not for you?

    I can handle 16 hours over night very easily, but more than that I know I have a stess response, so pushing it when I'm not in the mood is something I won't do to myself.
     
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  15. andcol

    andcol I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    The first 36 hours are the worst then I find it plain sailing. Guess I am just lucky
     
  16. Larissima

    Larissima Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Or a different type of fasting, such as 16:8 (omitting either breakfast or dinner daily, so eating 2 meals within a window of 8 hours). Even according to Fung, you can be very flexible with fasting, and I keep reading that 16 hrs of non-eating is already meaningful in the context of reducing insulin resistance.

    I myself had to adapt last month, during and after a virus that caused a chesty cough as well as a few weeks of minor fatigue and weakness. So instead of 2x36 hour fasts, I did the 4:3 pattern, with one (~500 Kcal) meal per day on the 3 days. This still affected my FBG positively.
     
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  17. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Indy51 - I am shocked at you! In this instance. Actually. I pride myself on providing a more nuanced and fully expressed side of fasting - as it is not dealt with nearly enough, in my humble opinion. I think it needs to be out there, which is a big reason why I continue to talk about it to the extent I do.

    I believe you are jumping to a rather big conclusion about my hormone levels, in relation to cortisol and my health. And a very big jump to suggest to me not to fast.

    I have found having type two diabetes very stressful. I find getting better to be wonderful for my stress levels, as in lowering them :). And fasting is helping me get better, and maintain my blood glucose levels at a healthier level. Very good for my stress levels indeed.

    Many diabetics, and I am one of them, have big appetites. And many people are expressive. I'm just one of those people.

    I do not, as a rule, like unasked for advice, I have to say, especially when it is contrary to everything I say about my intentions and own treatment plan. (MY suggestion - If you don't like reading about my finding being hungry difficult, don't read my posts!)

    Saying that - I am very happy for you Indy, that you find fasting easy. And I have much admired you and your posts and gotten a lot out of the links you post. Many people DO find fasting easy, indeed.

    But I am not convinced I am alone in finding hunger hard at times. And I do not believe I alone experience and express a range of experiences with fasting, including physical discomfort.

    Just to add here - I am finding 24 hour fasts, in a working week, a lot easier than 36 hour ones. (I switched to two 24 hour fasting days a couple of weeks ago.) I do also agree with Dr Fung himself that fasting gets easier with practice, and with time. It may never, for someone loud and expressive and who experiences hunger keenly like I do, be easy. But I certainly find it handable, and more and more so, as I continue to practice it, and continue to reap the health benefits from doing so.

     
  18. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    I'm really sorry that my post has offended you, @AloeSvea as it was definitely not my intention to criticise you. I don't find fasting easy if it's anything other than an extended overnight - just the opposite in fact. Every time I try, I'm usually very stressed. Sorry if I expressed myself badly :(
     
    #118 Indy51, Apr 5, 2016 at 12:06 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2016
  19. Finsky

    Finsky Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to jump in as there seem to be good 'gap' in here for it at the moment...
    I've read all the pages and more on other threads about everybody's experiences of fasting.. thoughts and feelings, what ever scale it is done. Soaking up anything and everything...and it is ALL informative and most importantly...getting those 'feelings', they tell so much more as one can really relate to them... most supportive thing for those who are poking their toes into 'fasting waters' themselves. I can only encourage these diary-like entries to carry on!
    In reference for 'hunger'....there is hunger and then there is HUNGER...first one for me is actually quite enjoyable. It is then that my imagination gets going and I can 'see' my fat reserves turning into 'raisins'...wrinkling away:angelic:..and that picture in my head is what fuels my eagerness to carry on fasting.
    And then there is HUNGER..:mad:..that includes cravings, though I classify them under 'sub-category', still kind of 'manageable situation'. When HUNGER arrives, there is nothing in the world that will stop me for reaching to some sort of relief...it doesn't necessary mean naughty food, but something edible will have to enter into tummy or....:mask: 'ee-ee-ee' (that's the sound from Jaws film;)...or you can fill in special effect sound from any horror film...)

    These post is are so important..nothing will prepare for the flood of different sensations during fasting if one haven't done it before, particularly during longer fasting sessions. But to be able to read about them will help to understand what is going on and differentiate those that are 'to be expected' from 'that is not right'. And that's why I suspect medical profession is not keen for us to do it..I can't find much about those 'feelings and sensations' written down form in details. If 'they' can't read about it...they cannot teach and recommend it for their patients..too much time consuming hard work :rolleyes:

    Yes, I'm rambling now from one subject to other....I haven't had my morning caffeine quantity fully yet and here I am attempting to type something that looks and sounds even remotely intelligent:rolleyes: Ha! ...something is that hard to do even in 'clear' moment...(I blame the language barrier...;)...I sleep with Finnish brain and wake up slowly to gear up the English speaking fraction of grey matter....COFFFEEEEE!)
    Morning egg and chunk of cheese is calling, and today I start eating less again, NO MORE carbs in quantity! I must head out soon to do something physical that involves spade and wheelbarrow... have a good day everybody!
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    #119 Finsky, Apr 5, 2016 at 8:33 AM
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  20. Larissima

    Larissima Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Talking about my almost-3-days fasting experience (I lasted 67 hours), I can honestly say that it was not a feeling of hunger as such that made me break it. Like @Finsky , when I feel hunger pangs during fasting, it makes me happy that I'm melting my fat reserves instead. Also, those hunger pangs are mild and easily quelled by a large glass of water, cup of black coffee or tea.

    I don't feel the other, "big" hunger any more, as I used to when burning sugar instead of fat. This time, on the evening of the second day, it was just the mild hunger plus a gnawing nervousness, together with a mild but annoying headache (my face and eyes were hurting). When I woke up on the third day, no hunger again, and I felt as well as I usually do in the morning. By the time I walked to work, though, I was feeling a bit miserable and foggy in the head, so I made a decision to have a meal at 3 pm (my usual "lunch" time). Around noon, emerging from a busy period at work, I suddenly realised I was feeling fine again, and briefly entertained the idea of continuing to fast after all. My mood instantly dropped through the floor, and I had to reassure myself that I would indeed eat! That sounds funny now, but felt deadly serious at the time.

    I broke my fast at 3 pm with an avocado and anchovy salad, all adding to about 400 kCals, and then did not eat until the next morning, which was another 16 hr fast (apparently good enough for increasing insulin sensitivity). The longer fast definitely helped empty my liver a bit, as my FBG lowered (and I had my first ever BG reading of under 4!), as well as a temporary reduction of 2 kgs.

    Conclusion: an interesting experiment, but not one I intend to repeat any time soon. I will continue with 36-hr fasts once or twice, and several 16-hr fasts per week.
     
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