Friday, September 2, 2016

Long overdue update...

I am finally back to fasting!  After the whole broken ankle disaster, it took me most of the spring and summer to get back here.  My IDM group started a Ketogenic Challenge
on September 1st, and I decided to start it off with a 7 day fast.

Initially, I was going to start fasting on my long weekend (which begins today) but I decided to fast starting Monday instead, which was a great idea, as it has been a very busy week!

Today is day 5 and I am doing great.  I am drinking lots of water, bone broth and one or two cups of coffee with a little cream each day--so like before, not completely calorie free.

I feel good, and it is fall in Seattle now which is my favorite time of year.  Starting over like this can be disheartening.  I began my fasting journey at around 216.6 pounds last October, and I started this fast at 214.6 pounds.  My lowest weight over the past year was in January at about 201 (after I had broken my ankle).  I feel like I have completely lost ground which is depressing considering how hard I have worked.  The first four days of this fast, my weight remained right around 214, then this morning I weighed in at 211.  So at least it is going in the right direction.  I know that weight is not necessarily a good indicator of fat loss, so I also measure my waist, and it has gone down three inches since Monday which is great.  That was some badly needed positive reinforcement!

I have to keep reminding myself that the purpose of this long fast is not specifically to lose weight, but rather to make sure I am in deep ketosis, so that I can utilize the fat stores that I obviously have.  In fact, with the way that the body works, I may not lose weight very quickly, The process may make me leaner in other ways.

For now, my goal is to keep up with Megan's Keto Challenge.

My Plan

Fasting: I joined a Facebook group called "My Low Carb Road--Fasting Support" Which is a group of people doing a slightly different fasting protocol than I was following previously which I think might work really well for me, or maybe not.  It is very scale-oriented, and they encourage eating on the low end of the fat spectrum, which doesn't work well for me.  More fat is definitely something that works for me.  But I thought I would experiment a bit this coming week and see what it is like.  Basically I set up a weight goal for the week--typically it is .2 pounds, (although in my case at first I might make it 2 pounds per week since I have so much to lose.)  I will weigh in every morning, and if my weight is over my goal for the week I will fast that day, if not, I can eat.  I will be following a strict ketogenic diet when I do eat. I will not count calories, but I will track all my food in Fitday.  I will do water fasts when I fast making sure to add Himalayan salt to my water (about a tsp. per day).  I may allow myself coffee (with limited cream) and broth as needed...

Eating: I will eat lunch and dinner on my eating days.  I won’t eat them more than 7 hours apart, and I won't eat past 6 pm at night since I go to bed at 9 pm.
Macronutrient Breakdown: I will stick to 20 grams or less of TOTAL carbohydrates per day. I will consume no more than 60 grams of protein on my very sedentary days (rare), and 100 grams on a regular day. (My lean body mass=107.6) For me, a regular day usually includes over 5 miles of walking--on weekends I sometimes do a 6+ mile walk.

My Beginning Stats

Ketones: Since Sept 1st, I have measured my urine ketone levels every morning using Ketostix. My levels were 15 mg on Thursday, and today they were 40 mg.  So definitely excreting some ketones.  This is a good measure of my acetoacetate levels (one of the three ketone bodies) which tells me I am succeeding.  I do this first thing in the morning before I start drinking water, because water can dilute my results, and I drink a lot of water.  When I become keto-adapted, Ketostix will be less helpful since once I am keto-adapted the level of acetoacetate circulating will drop.  If you want to read more about this, I recommend this post.

Weight and Inches: My starting weight was 214.6 on Thursday Sept. 1st.  I am 211 now.  My waist at its smallest point was 38 inches when I started Thursday Sept. 1st and I am 35 inches now. 

Goal: I weighed 214.6 pounds September 1st, and want to lose 2 pounds per week, so a total of 8 pounds lost by the end of September. I may need to re-adjust this if I lose too quickly.  I have  49.02% body fat at the start of September, according to this site. For this challenge, my body fat  goal is 25%, so 1% per month would be a good goal--I may invest in a body weight scale and include this in my daily stats.

Miscellaneous: I have been very tired this week as I am transitioning to full-on ketosis which suggests to me that my body is struggling to use fat for fuel. It seems like it is hard for me to be fully in ketosis if I am eating, even with the low carb diet I usually consume--I will need to be very careful and stick to the 20 grams per day rule very strictly.  I allow myself wine on my eating days, but even that small amount of carbs seems like a bad idea--if I drink at all, I should limit my drinks to special occasions and stick to very keto drinks like dry Martinis, and monitor whether or not even that is feasible!

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