Lately I’ve been experiencing an urge to fast for longer than the 36 hours per week I’ve been doing over the last month or so, thus I decided to fast for as long as I can (safely and comfortably). Of course, I couldn’t possibly do this without gathering at least a little data, so it will be a bit of a loose experiment as it stands.
The experiment will have multiple stages, that – except for the beginning and end phase – are not at a set length. They are as follows:
- Water fasting
- Fat fasting
During the baseline, from September 1st to September 7th I’ll be consuming an ad libitum diet of 73/27 burgers (pre-formed), butter, and commercial pemmican. Beverages will include tea, herbal tea, and flavored sparkling water (no sweeteners). Supplements will include my normal fare of a methylated B vitamin complex, and vitamin D. Electrolytes will be consumed as needed.
1 mile of walking will be done every morning as is my usual.
During water fasting, no calorie containing beverages or food will be consumed. Supplements, electrolytes, and beverages will be consumed as outlined in the baseline, and exercise will also continue as normal.
This phase will continue as long as I can comfortably maintain it, I suspect around one or two weeks.
If I reach a point where water fasting becomes uncomfortable I’ll be adding fat (via homemade broth made from marrow bones, and fat [e.g. cocoa butter and/or butter] added to hot beverages, according to hunger. I’ll continue this phase as long as I can comfortably do so.
Exercise, supplements, and beverages will continue as previously outlined.
After I can no longer comfortably fast, or fat fast, I’ll return to eating by slowly breaking my fast and then returning to the baseline diet. After a week of re-feeding I’ll conclude the experiment. Exercise, supplements, and beverages will all follow the baseline, as well.
I’ll be recording the following over all phases of the experiment:
- Glucose (daily, morning)
- Ketones/BHB (daily, morning)
- Acetone (daily, morning)
- Weight (daily, morning)
- Measurements (waist, hip, thigh, arm; after baseline, weekly during fasting phases, after one week re-feed)
- Blood testing (after baseline, weekly during fasting phases, after one week re-feed)
- Food/Beverages/Supplements consumed (picture logging; constant throughout all phases).
- Fasting time (via free fasting app, delineated between water and fat fasting)
I’ll be getting 12 tests total during each blood draw. This is pared down from what I’d usually get, but covers many metabolic markers.
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (14)
- Insulin and C-Peptide, Serum
- Ferritin, Serum
- Fatty Acids, Free (Nonester)
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential
- Glucagon, Plasma
- Uric Acid, Serum
- NMR LipoProfile
- Total Cholesterol
- Small LDL
- Oxidized Low-density Lipoprotein (OxLDL)
- Leptin, Serum
Over the course of the fasting portions I expect the bolded items to decrease and the italicized items to increase. Non-marked items are unknown, or contain multiple tests.
As a side note, I don’t expect GlycA to significantly change over the course of the fast. I expect triglycerides to initially increase and then fall back to normal over the course of the fast. I expect ketones to increase and glucose to decrease over the course of the fasting periods, and weight and measurements will decline. By one week post re-feed I expect blood markers to return closer to baseline levels, with some (although not total) regain in weight and inches.
I’ll be checking in frequently with Dave on how I feel throughout the fast, and in contact with my primary care doctor. If I ever feel unwell, especially any nausea or abdominal cramping, I’ll immediately abandon the experiment and eat. If I ever feel “off” or feel like I should call off the experiment due to any health/safety concerns I will do so without hesitation.
Overall I am very curious to see how things will change over a longer term fast. I’ve previously done a 7 day water fast, outlined here, but this will (hopefully!) extend even beyond that. Adaptions to longer term fasting is definitely something I’m interested in, especially given some studies I’ve been reading recently, and as I’m currently “overweight” I feel I can comfortably take it on. I’m also curious to see what changes may occur comparing water fasting to fat fasting especially in regards to weight, and blood markers.
Given the longer fasting time I’ll definitely be overly cautious about safety and being sure I call off the experiment if I feel it’s necessary for my own health. Other than that, I feel pretty confident overall, especially given I have access to a doctor who has other patients who fast regularly, and am looking forward to sharing back the data.