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Fasting

Fitness tips, Relaxation, Mind and Body
ReformedCharacter
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Fasting

#419086

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 12th, 2021, 6:12 pm

A clear and informative video about the many health benefits of fasting - 11 minutes:

What Really Happens When We Fast?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhmtoAYVRSo

RC

stevensfo
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Re: Fasting

#420108

Postby stevensfo » June 17th, 2021, 10:21 am

ReformedCharacter wrote:A clear and informative video about the many health benefits of fasting - 11 minutes:

What Really Happens When We Fast?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhmtoAYVRSo

RC


Fascinating video. It seems like a fast way of jump-starting a low carb diet. I tried low carb once and it was the easiest and best way to lose weight ever. Since, in the absence of sugar/carbs, the blood sugar and insulin levels stabilise, the hunger pangs disappeared. Although I avoid sugar and don't have much of a sweet tooth, my downfall was my silly craving for hot buttered toast and chunky marmalade. ;)

Has anyone tried a fast? I'm toying with the idea. I only take an expresso for breakfast and don't feel too hungry during the day, so I may try an evening 'One meal a day' for a while, but not sure how I'd cope with a 48 or 72 hour fast.


Steve

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Re: Fasting

#420138

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 17th, 2021, 11:37 am

stevensfo wrote:
Has anyone tried a fast? I'm toying with the idea. I only take an expresso for breakfast and don't feel too hungry during the day, so I may try an evening 'One meal a day' for a while, but not sure how I'd cope with a 48 or 72 hour fast.

Steve

I've eaten one meal a day for a couple of decades. About once every 7-10 days I skip a day, giving a 48 hour fast. Recently I tried a 72 hour fast and I found the 72 hour fast no more difficult than a 48 hour fast. On a fasting day I usually (90% of the time) feel very little hunger and have no difficulty in abstaining from food, although I do drink tea or coffee with a little milk. As far as mood is concerned I feel more 'upbeat' than usual, somewhat 'uplifted'. My theory is that this is the reason why all major religions emphasise fasting on days of religious importance.

I find the idea that humans evolved to benefit for periods of ketosis persuasive and I strongly suspect that the modern habit of otherwise healthy adults eating 3 meals (or more) each day (and never experiencing ketosis) is unhealthy, specially when we are no longer young.

I have noticed that my skin seems healthier and clearer after fasting. People who haven't met me for a long time often say that I look younger than my age (early 60's). Looking at photos of my parents at the same age I'm inclined to agree. I am slightly lighter than I was at 16 with the same waist size. I exercise moderately and regularly, mainly on an exercise bike. On a fasting day I find the exercise slightly harder and my times slightly slower but not very noticeably so.

I have also noticed that after fasting I tend to choose healthy foods to finish the fast, I theorise that the human body does have the ability, through appetite, to determine which foods it needs to consume to maximise health (as do other animals) but that modern diets, particularly the consumption of sugar, has - for most people - negated this ability. I worked with dairy cattle for some time and they were provided with a block of minerals, probably calcium and magnesium mixed with molasses but I forget the details. Every now and again the cattle would have a few licks of the block, they obviously felt that they needed it but consumed no more than they needed. And I suspect that humans have this ability too but we have become more or less blind to it. Of course we have a food industry and now a culture of food-fetishism which has the effect of ruining our collective health whether it be by heart disease, diabetes or obesity.

My form of fasting may be a little extreme for many people but fortunately Dr. Michael Moseley and others have popularised the 5:2 diet and similar variations. My OH recently bought a copy of his 'The Fast 800' and it looks pretty useful.

RC

stevensfo
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Re: Fasting

#420373

Postby stevensfo » June 18th, 2021, 9:27 am

Snorvey wrote:These days, I stop eating at 7pm and don't eat again until 7.00am the next day. From what I read, 12 hours is pretty much the minimum to 'qualify' as a fast. You'd get more benefit from a 16:8 regime. Recently, I have discovered protein powder. Very good for supressing appetite for about 100 calories and probably good for anyone over 50. I take a glass with my dinner.

Up until I bust my leg, I also (occasionally) did what I call a 'Superfast Friday' which is a 24 hour liquid only fast from Thurday to Friday dinnertime, with an indoor rowing session thrown in at around 4pm. I'll probably go back to this when I am fully recovered.

I've done the 5:2 on a few occasions in the past, with decent success.

Maybe it's good to mix your fasting regimes up a bit.


I calculated that I regularly go about 16 hours without really realising it. We eat about 7pm and since I don't like breakfast, I eat lunch at noon.

As an experiment, I tried cutting out lunch yesterday and only had dinner, about 7pm -I was ravenous! ;) So one meal a day.

Today (Friday) I plan to do the same, but then fast from Friday evening to Sunday evening (48 hours). My wife's away so no nice smells from the kitchen to weaken my willpower. I will drink loads of water and take plenty of vitamins, minerals etc. I have a horrible feeling that I'll only last 24 hours, but it will be an interesting exercise.

Steve

PS Probably the start of the bbq season is not the best time for this sort of thing! 8-)

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Re: Fasting

#420783

Postby bungeejumper » June 19th, 2021, 6:07 pm

Fraid my brain doesn't function if I fast. :( My work goes right down the drain, and I just can't focus. And I speak from regular experience. Every six months or so, I am required to do thirty hours without food for medical tests, and it's a kind of zombie existence until I can get some calories down me. At which point I finally start to wake up. Do I feel "energised" or "cleansed" or "regenerated"? Nope, I just feel ten ounces lighter and starving (and not in a good way).

So there we have it. Either I'm a fully-evolved 21st century specimen, or I'm a wimp who would never have survived the last Ice Age. Very possibly both.

BJ

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Re: Fasting

#420786

Postby GrahamPlatt » June 19th, 2021, 6:32 pm

In a similar vein, why you should shun carbs and embrace fat.

https://youtu.be/6IPvKKisqbc

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Re: Fasting

#420789

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 19th, 2021, 7:04 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Fraid my brain doesn't function if I fast. :( My work goes right down the drain, and I just can't focus. And I speak from regular experience. Every six months or so, I am required to do thirty hours without food for medical tests, and it's a kind of zombie existence until I can get some calories down me. At which point I finally start to wake up. Do I feel "energised" or "cleansed" or "regenerated"? Nope, I just feel ten ounces lighter and starving (and not in a good way).

So there we have it. Either I'm a fully-evolved 21st century specimen, or I'm a wimp who would never have survived the last Ice Age. Very possibly both.

BJ

I think most people would feel that way. Our bodies get used to a regular pattern of meals, not just the digestive system but the brain too. Going from say, 3 meals per 24 hours, to no meals for 30 hours once every 6 months is quite an extreme change, you're missing 4 meals. Not surprising it makes you feel under-par. If you want to get some of the benefits of fasting then you can do it gradually, using the 5:2 diet or one of the variations and then your body will become more used to the fasting period.

Brain function is definitely affected by fasting:

When you are on a keto diet, or fasting, your brain can switch from using glucose as its main fuel source to using ketones. There are however portions of the brain that do require glucose for function. The brain will use some of the carbohydrates consumed on a ketogenic diet (~5-10% of calories is the usual range of carbohydrate consumed when eating a ketogenic diet) and the rest will be produced through gluconeogenesis in the liver. During gluconeogenesis, the liver will create glucose using amino acids from protein. Glucose can also be created through gluconeogenesis by using the backbone of fatty acids, glycerol. This process ensures that the portions of the brain that rely on glucose will have their preferred energy substrate in times of fasting or very low carbohydrate intake....

Ketone bodies reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS), a type of by-product molecule that can react with other molecules in a cell. The build up of ROS in cells can overwhelm antioxidant activity and can cause damage to DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids. ROS have been implicated in aging, neurodegeneration and carcinogenesis (the formation of cancer).

https://lifeapps.io/nutrition/this-is-your-brain-on-ketones/

NB the article in the above link mentions a ketogenic diet which is another thing altogether but the brain chemistry comments are accurate AFAIK.

For about the last 2 decades I've eaten only one meal each day and every 7-10 days skip a day. On the second day I can usually, but not always, notice a difference in brain and body. On my previous exercise bike I used to do regular exercises, eg 4 km 'uphill' or 10 km 'on the flat'. On fasting days I was about 2 or 3 percent slower. I've also had periods of many months when I've been programming for many hours a day. It seemed, very subjectively, that I produced more code and better quality code on fasting days. However, although I usually feel pretty upbeat on fasting days I do occasionally feel a little irritable and have difficulty concentrating, so I kept the fasting for days when I didn't have to go to work with other people.

Personally, I think the health benefits are considerable but that's just my view.

RC

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Re: Fasting

#420896

Postby GrahamPlatt » June 20th, 2021, 11:53 am

Not fasting, but diet in general, Guardian article today: https://www.theguardian.com/science/202 ... -interview

viewtopic.php?t=27536 refers

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Re: Fasting

#421088

Postby stevensfo » June 21st, 2021, 9:11 am

ReformedCharacter wrote:
stevensfo wrote:
Has anyone tried a fast? I'm toying with the idea. I only take an expresso for breakfast and don't feel too hungry during the day, so I may try an evening 'One meal a day' for a while, but not sure how I'd cope with a 48 or 72 hour fast.

Steve

I've eaten one meal a day for a couple of decades. About once every 7-10 days I skip a day, giving a 48 hour fast. Recently I tried a 72 hour fast and I found the 72 hour fast no more difficult than a 48 hour fast. On a fasting day I usually (90% of the time) feel very little hunger and have no difficulty in abstaining from food, although I do drink tea or coffee with a little milk. As far as mood is concerned I feel more 'upbeat' than usual, somewhat 'uplifted'. My theory is that this is the reason why all major religions emphasise fasting on days of religious importance.

I find the idea that humans evolved to benefit for periods of ketosis persuasive and I strongly suspect that the modern habit of otherwise healthy adults eating 3 meals (or more) each day (and never experiencing ketosis) is unhealthy, specially when we are no longer young.

I have noticed that my skin seems healthier and clearer after fasting. People who haven't met me for a long time often say that I look younger than my age (early 60's). Looking at photos of my parents at the same age I'm inclined to agree. I am slightly lighter than I was at 16 with the same waist size. I exercise moderately and regularly, mainly on an exercise bike. On a fasting day I find the exercise slightly harder and my times slightly slower but not very noticeably so.

I have also noticed that after fasting I tend to choose healthy foods to finish the fast, I theorise that the human body does have the ability, through appetite, to determine which foods it needs to consume to maximise health (as do other animals) but that modern diets, particularly the consumption of sugar, has - for most people - negated this ability. I worked with dairy cattle for some time and they were provided with a block of minerals, probably calcium and magnesium mixed with molasses but I forget the details. Every now and again the cattle would have a few licks of the block, they obviously felt that they needed it but consumed no more than they needed. And I suspect that humans have this ability too but we have become more or less blind to it. Of course we have a food industry and now a culture of food-fetishism which has the effect of ruining our collective health whether it be by heart disease, diabetes or obesity.

My form of fasting may be a little extreme for many people but fortunately Dr. Michael Moseley and others have popularised the 5:2 diet and similar variations. My OH recently bought a copy of his 'The Fast 800' and it looks pretty useful.

RC


Well, I did it! Only one meal/day for two days - Thursday and Friday evening, then a 48 hour fast from Friday to Sunday evening. I drank loads of water with vitamins, minerals etc, and once I'd made my mind up, it was quite easy. The fact that the previous two meals had been very low carb did help of course, since I was already starting to control insulin levels. I did cheat once: Saturday evening, I had an ice-cold alcohol-free beer (60 calories). The shame! ;) By Sunday 6pm, I was starting to feel very hungry, but I reckon that this was psychological, since I knew I was coming to the end of the fast. I'm pretty sure that I could have continued, had I decided before.

I plan to continue the one meal a day routine for this week, and maybe repeat the fast asap. Next weekend not possible. Wife already decided, in her usual democratic way, that we're going to a posh restaurant on Saturday to celebrate her birthday. 8-)


Steve

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Re: Fasting

#614657

Postby ReformedCharacter » September 12th, 2023, 11:21 pm

There's a lot of information about fasting on the net, but we all know that the net is full of quacks and self-promoters. This is the best study that I've found:

Safety, health improvement and well-being during a 4 to 21-day fasting period in an observational study including 1422 subjects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6314618/

The participants attended the Buchinger clinic(s) which have provided therapeutic fasting programs for many decades.

https://www.buchinger-wilhelmi.com/en/

They look expensive and perhaps a bit new age. However, the Buchinger clinics do provide a suitable cohort of participants and you don't have to go to a Buchinger clinic to get the benefits of fasting.

Participants were divided into four groups according to the duration of their fasting period (Fig 1): F5d underwent a fasting period of 5±2 days, with an average of 5.4 (n = 695), F10d underwent a fasting period of 10±2 days, with an average of 8.6 (n = 530), F15d underwent a fasting period of 15±2 days, with an average of 14.1 (n = 196) and F20d underwent a fasting period of 20±2 days, with an average of 20.1 (n = 37).

In conclusion, this one-year observational study demonstrates the safety of a periodic Buchinger fast of between 4 and 21 days, as well as its beneficial effects on health and well-being. Periodic fasting led to marked weight loss and improvements in several cardiovascular risk factors, such as overweight, abdominal circumference and blood pressure. It was accompanied by normalization of numerous blood parameters and led to pronounced improvement of the major health complaint in most participants. Importantly, periodic Buchinger fasting was not linked to relevant perception of hunger. On the contrary, it was subjectively experienced as enjoyable, which is an important factor for compliance.

There's plenty of medical analysis in the paper.

RC

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Re: Fasting

#616124

Postby stewamax » September 20th, 2023, 4:17 pm

Were we back in the days of whipping-boys, I would appoint a fasting-boy to do the fasting days for me.

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Re: Fasting

#616177

Postby Dicky99 » September 20th, 2023, 8:26 pm

It may have or may not have a scientific benefit but I have 3 meals every day and a small snack for supper. Food structures my day. I really enjoy getting the day started with a wholesome leisurely breakfast, lunch provides a nicely anticipated mid point break to the day and planning and cooking the evening meal is the main event. I'm pretty much the same weight and waist size at 59 as I was at 29.
I view faddy diets and denial in the same light as sack cloth and ashes preferring to subscribe to enjoying healthy food choices of mostly home made food and combining it with regular outdoors exercise. That seems to work for me whereas I'm fairly certain that abstinence would make me very unhappy :cry:

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Re: Fasting

#616714

Postby Fluke » September 23rd, 2023, 8:47 am

I do this 'fasting-mimicking diet' every 3 or 4 months, I actually quite enjoy it.

https://prolon.co.uk

It's expensive but you're paying for the research that's gone into it. The price seems to be coming down too, there seems to be more promotional codes around than there were when I first did it a few years ago.


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