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.
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!