So fasting becomes a thing with Keto. When you first start out you see these fasting posts and think – are you mad? But once you become fat adapted and learn about the benefits of fasting suddenly you are dying to try it.
So as you all know I love Dr Jason Fung the author of the Obesity Code and the Guide to Fasting, great reads if you haven’t done so already.
So the basic gist is. Insulin makes you fat not calories. To lose weight you have to control insulin, if you are obese or have metabolic syndrome or things like PCOS you are pretty much definitely insulin resistant – meaning you pump it out most of the time and your cells receptors have started ignoring the signals. This creates a cycle of insulin resistance and weight gain. So to lose weight and treat the insulin resistance you cut carbohydrates to 50gm or less – or 14gm in my case.
This gives gets you 75% of the way to dealing with your insulin resistance. But Dr Fung believes that to really cure the insulin resistance and heal your hormones so you don’t regain the weight you need to fast. The idea that fasting is an ‘insulin holiday’ meaning that insulin levels drop very low for a period of time (don’t worry blood glucose is still managed perfectly well in a non diabetic person) allows the cells to become more sensitive to insulin after the ‘holiday’ just like when you are drinking every night it takes more and more to get the buzz – the same thing happens with insulin. Give it a break and your tolerance falls back down to normal.
So that is why you fast. But you can’t just go I am not going to eat for a week, well you can try – maybe you can. I am working my way up. So I started at 8 weeks into keto when I was fat adapted (using ketones efficiently and my body expecting fat for fuel not glucose). I do 16:8 (16 hours not eating 8 hours eating) about 4-5 days a week, basically I skip breakfast.
I then did a couple of 24hrs eat dinner early one night don’t eat until 24 hours later or dinner the next night. I then worked up to a 36hr only once a week. And now I have just done a 48hr. I stopped eating Sunday evening and it is now Tuesday evening and I broke my fast with this.
You think you can eat a lot after not eating for 48 hours but actually you can’t. I have learnt this lesson so now I start small. I will have a fair sized meal a bit later too.
So what do I consume, while fasting?
1-2 teaspoons cream if required in drinks
Bone Broth – 1 cup for dinner
and I make up this electrolyte drink
I recommend having this at least once a day, I nearly fainted on a 24hr once when it was hot, I had been working outside so not noticing my dehydration when all of a sudden I got the wobbles. Keep hydrated and have an electrolyte drink.
So the proof is the first picture is my blood glucose at 4.8 when I started fasting it was 5.7 not diabetic but not great. This means there is less insulin in my system – woo hoo! and the second pic is ketones. Despite being on 14gm of carbs a day which is pretty strict I still struggle to get my ketones above 1.5 this is about 40 hours fasted and they are 2.2.
There is no studies to confirm that higher ketones mean you lose weight faster but many people theorise it does. As long as you are above 0.5 you are considered in nutritional ketosis
So I will continue to fast during my journey but at some point I will stop and that will be just fine. Hunger does come in waves, you are not hungry the whole time, believe it or not. The first 24 hours is the worst. I would like to do 5 days but I am not there yet and I think I would like to do it in a different environment – dreaming of bali health retreat with massages and pools and – do you think they would give me a discount for not eating?
Thats the skinny on fasting, ask me any questions if I didn’t cover something.