A Post on Fasting

I have no new updates on my platelets since I only see my doc every month now, so I thought I’d post something on fasting. After getting into another “discussion” with my RN wife on the “risks” of fasting (my body is somehow going to start eating my internal organs despite the fact that ~ 17% of my weight is fat), I thought a post with some cited research would be beneficial.

First, let me give you the results of my self-experimentation. On January 1st, 2012 I weighed 186 lbs. Down from 196lbs using the SCD that Tim recommends. I began the first week of January on a juice fast after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” in the hopes that it would help my autoimmune condition. It was a spectacular failure in that regard. I went from seeing my hematologist every 6 weeks to every week. It probably didn’t help that I went Nov and Dec without treatments because I didn’t have insurance.  However, I did lose 8lbs in 5 days. After doing some more research on fasting (oddly, only vegans seem to really do much of it) I decided I could get the same results in half the time by water fasting and it would be healthier because I’m not consuming straight sugar (even if it is “natural”). I lost 20lbs in January by eating mostly vegetables, some fruit, and little meat (this was before discovering paleo, I was under the impression that meat was not healthy after reading all the vegan blogs). I would fast for 3 days, eat 1, fast 1, eat 2 for the rest of January. Unfortunately, I also became anemic (my treatments combined with not eating very much meat). The intervening months I fasted much less (maybe once a week) because I began training using The Primal Blueprint and Convict Conditioning as guidelines. I also kept being told I had an Army physical fitness test coming up (STILL haven’t taken it). Fasting has no effect short bursts of strength, but endurance is another matter entirely. The Army only cares about endurance. Anyway, I’ve lost another 10lbs without really trying just by eating paleoish and fasting once or twice a week. I just did a 3 day fast to cut fat for memorial day weekend. I now weigh 155lbs (I had gained a little muscle and was slightly heavier) and I can see where my ribs connect at my sternum, my entire latissimus dorsi, the separation between the two biceps muscles (when flexed), and some separation my rectus femoris and my vastus medialis (leg muslces around the knee). I have not lifted weights at all during this time. Straight calisthenics. Yesterday I started some kettlebell training (squats, swings, lifts) so hopefully my muscles will develop a little more.

Self experimentation usually isn’t enough evidence for people, so here is a great article by Dr. Michael Eades on Intermittent Fasting as well as a series by Mark Sisson and some studies I found on pubmed.

For those non-readers out there, the long and short of it is as follows. Short periods of fasting (3 days is considered “extended”) reduce blood lipids, increase insulin sensitivity, increase self-control, force your body to use stored fuel for energy (read: fat), increase HGH secretion (this is great for weight loss), and all of this is WITHOUT AN OVERALL CALORIC DEFICIT! That’s right. Rats who ate ad libitum for 24 hours and fasted for 24 hours ate twice as much on the days they ate then the rats who ate everyday and they still lost weight. This shows that calories in vs. calories out is not entirely accurate. Manipulating hormones to switch from sugar burning to lipid burning is the key.

Also, if you fast until you workout and then eat after working out, I believe you will see even better results (see leangains protocol link below). I came off a three day fast last night, worked out before breaking my fast and ate 2 bowls of chicken and dumplings, a small pack of fig newtons, a small pack of white chocolate covered pretzels, and a small pack of gummies (I was experimenting with carb loading after working out ala Rob Fagen’s book, “Natural Hormonal Enhancement” ). Afterwards I worked out again for about 10 min (pullups, squats, kb swings) and went to bed. This morning was the first time I’ve ever been able to see where my ribs meet my sternum. Without further ado…







I almost forgot Martin Berkhan from leangains

IF myths: http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html

Guide to IF: http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html

Before and After pics as requested. The one in black sweats was a couple months ago and the one in uniform was yesterday.

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6 Responses to “A Post on Fasting”

  1. Duke (Senior Fitness)
    Duke (Senior Fitness) May 19, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Send us a before and after picture.

    • TC - The Ancestral Man
      TC May 23, 2012 at 5:46 am #

      Updated with pics as requested.

  2. Stephen (4 Hour Body)
    Stephen (4 Hour Body) May 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Hey TC,

    I always learn something from each of your posts. I just followed your link over to Martin Berkhans’ blog. I wish I had time to read it all tonight, but I will go back and finish it when I have some more time this week.

    We just took the kids to see the movie Chimpanzee, I love primates because everything they do seems so human… of course Darwin would have something to say about that.

    As they were foraging for food you realize just how diverse the primate diet can be. The Chimps really didn’t think about their food, they just ate what was available. They ate quite a bit of fruit if they could find a tree but would polish this off fairly quickly. They ate green leafy veggies rarely, but you could tell that their foods of choice were nuts and if they could get their hands on it…. meat. This happened only once in the movie when they hunted (quite amazingly I might add) as a team and were able to catch a monkey.

    The majority of this protein rich diet was consumed by the women who were caring for the infant chimpanzees. The men stepped aside but you could tell they were frustrated by this.

    Fasting was a big part of their lives, it was not intentional. When things got bad they would seek out honey and other invertebrates such as ants. Not yummy but hey what is a hungry chimp to do?

    The entire Paleo movement seems pretty strait forward to me…. Just pay 7:50 and see the movie chimpanzee. Here you have the original human diet.

    You know what, I think I am going to write a blog post about this…. I will finish this up there.

    Great info as always by the way. You mentioned starting an online project or blog once. What are you thinking of doing? Your self experiments would make even the most astute of self quantifiers very proud.

  3. TC - The Ancestral Man
    TC May 21, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I’m fixing to do another fast today and tomorrow to try and control my allergies. I’ll take a pic after that. Interestingly after splurging all weekend, my weight went up from 155 to 164 but my bf actually went down a little (17.5% to 16.9%). I guess all the new weight went to my colon.

    I was thinking about doing something like that. I use this blog for that now. Though I am still considering buying the domain name “bleedinglikeastuckpig.com” and doing something with it, I’m not sure what. Right now my focus is on getting a new job, raising a healthy baby, and eventually starting a 4HWW business.
    – Ryan

    • Stephen (4 Hour Body)
      Stephen (4 Hour Body) May 22, 2012 at 1:00 am #

      Great URL TC. Your priorities are well aligned.

  4. TC - The Ancestral Man
    TC May 22, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Thanks. You should also check out Brad Pilon. I read his book, “Eat, Stop, Eat” a while back and he really breaks it down in an easy to digest format. I also listened to an interview with him on “The Fat Burning Man” podcast the other day. Smart guy. Here’s his website: http://bradpilon.com/

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