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Fasting

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Kitsune, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Just wondering who here has done this, what kind of protocol you followed (e.g. how many days a week, how many hours a day, what you ate, etc), and whether it helped your CFS - e.g. boosted your immune system? Also, were you strictly fasting, or did you have light meals?

    I have shied away from it since my first attempts because they stressed my already over-stressed system. But I've been on the Paleo diet (loosely) now for about 4 months and my blood sugar has stabilised, so it might not be so hard for me to skip meals now. I'm wondering how I might go about trying some fasting that will work this time, and no doubt it will help with weight loss too, especially since I can't really exercise due to the CFS.

    Please feel free to chime in. Cheers!
     
  2. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Mind you, fasting appears to be contraindicated for people with low cortisol/adrenal fatigue, and that would be me. Certainly don't want to make matters worse.
     
  3. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    You might try what they call 16/8...16 hours per day fasting, then eating all your calories in an eight hour window. This supposedly gives a lot of the same health benefits as a longer 24- or 36 hour fast, without nearly the stress on the adrenals (or anything else).

    There's a good book called "The Fast Diet" that gives a lot of the science behind fasting. That's what got me into it and committed to it. There was an adjustment period but once I started actually feeling the benefits it got easier. I was already feeling a lot better by the time I started fasting, though, so if you decide to do it please go slow. Esp. in the beginning it can be kind of tough, although I never found 16/8 to be particularly hard.

    Hope more people chime in than just me. Good luck!
     
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  4. sillysocks84

    sillysocks84 Senior Member

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    I do 36-48 hr fasts. But sometimes I wonder if I have hyperglycemia because I'll start to feel really dizzy, more than usual for me on day two. And I do drink tons of water. But fasting always has benefitted me afterward. I am not as itchy and reactive to foods/substances. I try fasting twice a month, never during my menstrual cycle. I learned that the hard way, then felt dumb for not figuring it out before torturing myself.
     
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  5. Theodore

    Theodore Senior Member

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    @Kitsune, you should check this thread

    @sillysocks84, I think it's completely normal, in the documentary I told you about, people says the first 3 days and especially the second and the third are the worst part. Then they begin to fell great at the fourth or fifth. But going after 3 days is what matters because according to Longo from an article of The Telegraph: "He also thinks there are two specific problems with 5:2: ''We have seen that the high protein intake associated with 5:2 and the short duration of the fast (ie 24 hours) seems to block the regenerative effect you get from fasting.’’ Plus, the brain gets confused when you ask it to change behaviour often; fasting and then not fasting, especially if you swap the days around a lot may affect our Circadian rhythms, says Prof Longo".
     
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  6. sillysocks84

    sillysocks84 Senior Member

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    Interesting I'll try pushing for a full 72 hours for my next fast. I'm willing to try it.
     
  7. Theodore

    Theodore Senior Member

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    You can eat up to 200 calories per day.

    By the way how many times have you done it?
    Do you get back to your usually level after? If yes, how long after breaking the fast?
     
  8. sillysocks84

    sillysocks84 Senior Member

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    @Theodore I have done this probably 4 or 5 times. Afterwards I feel more energy for a while, and it helps me with tolerating food better. I would say probably within 12-24 hours of breaking the fast.
     
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  9. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I've been using alternate day 'fasting' for a couple months. I switched to this from the 5:2 fasting mode, as I'm trying to lose weight. I've found it easy because there's about 400 cal allowed/expected on the fasting days. And my eating period is about 10 hours. My body seems to really like this way of eating. I also got positive results from a 3-day water fast earlier this year, to reset immune system. I found it very helpful for histamines in particular.

    http://thefastdiet.co.uk/ Site affiliated with Dr. Michael Mosley

    this is a really interesting site, about ketosis and other matters of diet:
    http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/ketosis-advantaged-or-misunderstood-state-part-ii

    Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605141507.htm
     
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  10. Theodore

    Theodore Senior Member

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    Thank you. Please keep us informed when you will start/finish your next fasting experience :)
     
  11. rebar

    rebar Senior Member

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    "You might try what they call 16/8...16 hours per day fasting, then eating all your calories in an eight hour window. This supposedly gives a lot of the same health benefits as a longer 24- or 36 hour fast, without nearly the stress on the adrenals (or anything else)."

    this has been my experience, although I'm not able to presently. there is some good info on the Health Rising site concerning short term fast.
     
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  12. sillysocks84

    sillysocks84 Senior Member

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    @Theodore I will! Thinking of starting one next week.
     
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  13. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    This is completely contra what Longo thought and what his data formerly showed, according to the most recent Fast Diet book. :rolleyes: :meh: I wish to hell they'd make u p their $#@! minds. :mad:

    I've been doing 5:2 or 4:3 with 16/8 and a 4-day every couple/few months since the beginning of the year. It's really helped with weight loss and while tough at first, after a period of time it does get quite a lot easier. But even with the caveat of "tough at first", it's hella lot easier than actually doing a deliberately calorie restricted diet. Knowing you can eat well tomorrow and that you won't have to stay hungry for the rest of your life to maintain health or weight is a very, very great comfort.

    IMO the "body confusion" actually helps a lot with weight loss. There have been studies that show this to be the case. My plan right now is to do 4:3 for another couple few weeks to accelerate the weight loss, and then take a week or so off where I eat every day. Some days I deliberately break the 16/8 routine, too. Not often, but in the interest of varying the routine.

    This is statement from the article is intriguing to me:

    "What would be even better would be to encourage people on the non-fasting days to eat two to three times a day rather than going back to their old ways of grazing and snacking.'

    I think doing this has helped me a lot, too. It's kind of a by-product of the 16/8, although you could theoretically eat 4 small meals in 8 hours. I am coming down from hyperglycemia and I've come to believe that frequent meals, even if small, just aren't good for some of us. And if they're too small and not calorie dense enough, while that helps control blood sugar levels, you eventually get cravings and fall off the wagon (what happened to me on the Zone). The frequent meals are like constant stimulation on the pancreas, which never quits putting out insulin, possibly resulting in "pancreas fatigue" and making cells insulin resistant over time.

    Honestly, I think Longo may be shifting his stance a bit in response to feedback from people. His cautionary statements in the article tell me there have probably been quite a few complaints about how people are feeling while 5:2 or 4-day fasting. IMO those longer fasts (24+ hours) are not a particularly good "starting out" strategy for people who are seriously overweight, half-sick, used to eating a crappy, processed diet, and unaccustomed to listening to their body's feedback. And I suspect those are exactly the people who are trying it.

    Edited to add: I also found that fasting disrupted my circadian rhythms a bit in the beginning, but now things are really even-ing out. Yesterday was a fasting day, and last night I only got up to pee one time, which is like a minor miracle. My routine is usually three times. I've learned to basically sleep through it, but I can tell this morning the quality of the sleep last night was better than usual.

    After thinking back, based on my experience, I postulate there's an adjustment period when starting fasting where your body rebels and goes wonky over the new routine...just like when starting almost any significant health altering protocol. The more unhealthy you are, the more extreme may be the adjustment, and the longer it might take. I've been doing fasting since about February, and it's taken me this long to get settled and comfortable with it. It's always been easier than a calorie restricted diet, but it's still been ups and downs. After doing alternate day fasting for the first month I noticed I was getting stressed and a little strung out, so I stopped for a while. The circled back after I got feeling better again.

    I also wonder if the fasting might have precipitated some "accelerated healing" or whatever that drove my recent need to increase methylfolate and mB12 again. The increase seemed to work, and I seem to have experienced another little jump forward in well-being after that step back. Everything seems a bit easier now than it did three weeks ago, including the fasting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
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  14. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    I have water fasted for 8 days. Unfortunately it didn't cure any of my conditions but it was a nice test for my will.
     
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  15. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    I agree with this......... . Fasting has never done anything for me except stress me out. I might get a very short feel good few days after a fast but then things returned to my normal feeling like crap.
     
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  16. sillysocks84

    sillysocks84 Senior Member

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    @whodathunkit how long have you been sick? Do you have any form of oi? Any food sensitivity? What symptoms does fasting help with foe you the most? For me I feel I get somewhat more energy and tolerate foods better. Thanks just comparing.
     
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  17. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    I've never had a diagnosis of CFS, but my health has been declining for several decades. After hanging around here for the last couple years I realized I *did* fit the criteria for CFS (PEM, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive impairment, weird flu-like symptoms involving lymph nodes, etc.) even though I never had considered it before. I thought I was just old, fat, and tired. Maybe that's all there was to it. But I still fit the criteria.

    Different things have affected my health negatively and contributed to the deterioration and fatigue, including SSRI use, low-carb dieting, and emotional trauma/shock.

    I never considered that I did when I first got here, but after learnign more about it, I might. I definitely have some mild dysautonomia (I had NO IDEA what that was even six months ago :lol:) since every time I rise relatively quickly from a full squat I get a little lightheaded. Not bad dizzy, but enough to be notable. Still do, even though I consider myself to be 80-90% recovered from fatigue/mitochondrial dysfunction.

    Connecting the dots from other symptoms over the years (extreme preference for laying down over standing up, some dizziness upon rising even from a mild recline, etc.) makes me realize I might have POTS. I've never done an informal home test for it, though, since I don't have a BP cuff and I have consistently forgotten to try the heart rate method. I guess it's not been enough of a bother for me to prioritize it since I never fainted or anything like that. Occasionally I would have to sit back down really fast, but again, I just blew it off as "old, fat, and tired".

    I also am a little paranoid about actually getting a diagnosis for something that's considered "untreatable", because of the possible psychological implications of it. For me (and for me only, not saying it's this way for everyone) sometimes knowing a the exact nature of a problem can erect a mental barrier to my fixing it. A variation of the old bromide "Ignorance is bliss", I guess. Unless something is giving me really acute problems and interfering substantially with my daily life, I just try to keep on truckin'. It's tough when the decline happens so gradually tat you don't realize how limited your daily life has become. You just accept limited as the norm.

    Blowing off all symptoms except the really acute ones has been my M.O. my whole life, BTW, not just since I hit PR. It may be to my detriment one day.

    Energy and a decrease in inflammation for me. For over a decade I had this light rash across the bridge of my nose that wouldn't go away, that probably indicated chronic, systemic low-level inflammation. I've also suffered on and off from itchy eczema my entire life. Since I started fasting that rash is gone. I attribute the rash disappearance more to fasting than to gut therapy because the gut therapy seemed to make it worse in the beginning (as did methylation). After what I've read about fasting, I think it's safe to attribute most of the decrease in inflammation to that.

    Thankfully, I've never had any acute food sensitivity. I know I have the gene that allows for digesting milk :thumbsup: and cutting wheat for months at a time has never turned up a symptom when I resumed eating it. That I can recall, I've never had an allergic reaction to any food.

    HTH. :)
     
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  18. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Yikes - it looks like you have to fast for 6 days in order for the white blood cell regeneration to occur. I can't find any more details about that though. Sounds like hard work.

    added in edit Though a quick Google shows that 3 days might work just as well. Still, how do you fast for 3 days - do you still take in some calories? And I've read in quite a few places now that you shouldn't fast if you have adrenal/cortisol problems, and hormone levels can also be disrupted.

    This is going to be a hard decision for me - I'd like to try it, but don't want to end up making myself worse.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  19. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    That's apparently not what Longo's earlier data showed, according to the Fast Diet book published last year. The protocol recommendations have changed, too. 1000 calories on the first day? That honestly doesn't sound like much of a fast day, and makes me wonder if Longo is indeed bowing to pressure from critics after so much recent publicity. I'd be willing to bet money there are some fairly unwell people who have tried this, possibly (although not necessarily) misapplied it, then gone to their doctors because of side effects and said what happened was because of the Fast Diet book. The fasting fad can't be popular with mainstream medical professionals, that's for sure. Guess we'll have to see how it all shakes out according to the long-term research.

    At any rate...6 day fasts 4x/year? Don't think so. Although it is worth noting that even without the graduated decrease in calories on the first two days there's a big difference between eating around 500 cals per day and doing only a water fast. Water fast for that long is almost untenable...500 cals is much more doable (for relatively healthy people, at least), even if still quite difficult.
     
  20. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    I've just been reading about something by Longo called the fasting-mimicking diet, which may be what you're referring to. Apparently 5 days on it is supposed to produce the same effects. But there are specific percentages of protein, carbs and fats that you're supposed to eat, and he apparently sells 5-day food packs designed by his team for something like £150. If this could be made more intelligible to someone like me who is not about to pay that for food that might not be the type of thing I'd want to eat anyway, I think I'd be very interested, especially since it's calorie restriction rather than strict fasting.
     

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