Thursday, September 06, 2018

Fasting Again

Here’s a Facebook post from Tuesday:

Noting that, despite the weight training two to three times a week and the walks of twenty or so miles in total each week, my waistline has been getting no smaller, I've decided to fast. Since my last fast over a year ago I've tried on numerous occasions and failed at the finish line, gobbling down loads of food in the evening. Yesterday I finally succeeded and intend to continue today. I want to do something like the 5/2 diet. That strategy for a man is to eat 600kcals two days a week. My way is to take in my only calories on two consecutive days through the milk in my tea. I want to get into ketosis fast, and to continue limiting my eating on the five other days. If I do fail a complete fast on those two days, I'll limit that failure to the aforesaid 600kcals. Fed up with this spare tyre!

My last fast was more than over a year ago. It was back in February of 2017. Here are a couple of my posts from that time: Burning Muscle and One Week Fast. Rereading those now I’ve made a few corrections, but still probably haven’t got it right. I still believe muscle wasting does not occur on the level claimed by some who want to sell their snake oil, but wouldn’t be surprised if some does on the basis of my logic there: to keep the most essential organ functioning, the brain.

Thursday 6th September:

Monday was hard, but I seem to have reclaimed that earlier mindset. It’s difficult to ascertain why. I take a lot of supplements and decided, as is my want, that there is too much bullshit out there on the subject, and that I would quit them. This caused a return of some anxiety, so I started them again, telling myself I would give them up as they ran out then see how I feel. My aim then would be (if I felt rough, tired or whatever) to take a more scientific approach: trying one at a time to see its effect. In the midst of these considerations I read about supplements, tiredness and anxiety and remembered something. I used to take B vitamins for mood, the most essential one being B12, of which my brother (so similar genetic makeup) suffered a deficiency. I started taking it and quickly felt an increase in energy. Placebo effect? Maybe, but I carried on.

Another thing might be that I am in a much better state mentally. My private life has vastly improved, I’ve written to (almost) completion the Rise of the Jain trilogy and have been belting along with the next book, called Jack Four (thus far), while it has also been well over four years since the death of my wife, Caroline. At a bereavement group I was told that on average it takes about five years to get back to anywhere near normal. What is cause and what is effect is debateable, and will remain so. Life has no easy answers.     

Tuesday was not so difficult but, wary of my previous failures I kept a rigid mental grip on myself. I really wanted to get through the day, and especially the evening, without turning into a glutton. I did take in calories in the form of milk in tea and coffee, three small glasses of creamy milk in which to mix a lipophilic supplement and other supplements. The total would have been at most about two hundred calories each day. On Monday I hit the gym for 45 minutes, then on Wednesday I carried on with gym again and then no food throughout the day, then a 7 mile walk in the evening followed by food. The fast was effectively 3 days and the salad I ate was about 700kcals.

Difficult to ascertain weight loss since there is a huge water loss involved which despite drinking a lot, it doesn’t come up to normal when one is pissing like a race horse. I was averaging about 188lbs before and went down to 182.6lbs at one point. However, my deficit was about 2,000 + 1,500 + 2,000 = 5,500 and we are told that fat is about 3,000kcals a pound, which works out at, miserably, under 3lbs. Since I don’t feel particularly hungry today, haven’t eaten anything and it is now near midday, I intend to fast through till bedtime. 

Wish me luck.

3 comments:

Subrata Sen said...

Wishing you luck - and stoic mental focus. Coincidentally, I started up with B-12 a week or so ago, feeling low in energy during workouts. It seemed to help this week.

Lauris M said...

Good luck!
You will find what works for you best.

Mr Blootered said...

I've done the 5:2 before and intend to again. Did it with just one 500-600 cal meal and all the water/herbal tea/black tea or coffee I could drink. Deffo lost weight and increased energy levels.
Good luck mate.