Here are my notes after not eating for a week.
The idea is to fast for 5 days every 3 months of the year. Eat nothing and drink only water.
It’s a cellular cull, a sugar withdrawal game, an immune system reboot and a journey in dematerialisation.
A stoic quest! (-:
“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight … / done a 5 day fast?”
- Well… it’s a challenge.
- You want to reboot your immune system – or at least wake it up. Make your body generate some new white blood cells which are sharp enough to identify cancer cells and kill them.
- You want to give your body a break from running on glucose.
- You want to starve any (pre) cancer cells in your body. Cancer cells run on glucose.
- Detox included. No alcohol or any other bad stuff for a week.
- Reset hormone levels / reset insulin resistance.
- Lowers bad cholesterol.
- Fasting stimulates the release of growth hormones.
- Fat loss.
- Food tastes amazing afterwards.
Easy. Don’t eat anything and just drink water, for at least 4 full days, ideally 5 days.
Prepare. Do some intermittent fasting (IF) in the weeks before. Keto adaptation usually takes about three weeks. Your body can get 50% more efficient at running on fat after a few weeks of fasting. Do a few 24 and 48 hour fasts while you prepare.
I would NOT suggest you just switch from a high carb diet to fasting in a day. This is a 4 week project not an overnight thing. If you are already used to IF and keto adopted, then jump right in.
Plan your week. You probably don’t want to do this on a very stressful or travelling week.
You want to get into a mild ketosis state before the fast. Do some low carb / keto eating in the day(s) before.
Try and keep to 1-5 millimolar/l ketone levels.
How A Fasting Week Might Go
Saturday: I’d suggest you eat zero carbs from after lunch.
Sunday: Maybe some eggs for breakfast, zero carbs. Eat your last keto meal at lunch time, maybe a salad with some protein. This is when the fast starts.
Monday: You should be in mild ketosis. 1mmol/l ketones. Have a small amount of coconut oil in your green tea if you like. Monday night might be a bit uncomfortable. Just go to bed early.
Tuesday and Wednesday should have a nice productive buzz.
Thursday night might be a bit uncomfortable again. Your ketone levels will probably be high. Keep going.
Friday: Eat again at lunch. Have a healthy smoothie or a salad. Make this a small meal. Eat a nice protein meal for supper on Friday.
Saturday: Healthy breakfast, eggs etc.
Hacks to make it easier
Be sure you are in ketosis before you stop eating. Take some BCAAs and/or MCT oil on the day you transition into ketosis.
Drink enough water.
Have a bit of green tea if you get bored.
Add a tiny bit of coconut oil to your green tea on the first day of the fast.
Add some sea salt to your water.
Take some 5HTP at night to help you sleep well. Also take some Magnesium and Potassium. I find that I sometimes get mild calve cramps when swimming if I don’t take some Magnesium and Potassium and salt.
Notes and Tips
Ketones are anti-catabolic and your body releases growth hormones when you are in ketosis.
It’s a pretty productive time. You will realise how much time food and eating consumes. You might need to go on a few lunchtime walks, not to get too bored.
There can be some negative things for some people: brain fog, back pain, heart racing, bad sleep. A lot of this is probably your brain going through sugar withdrawal. I did not experience this stuff – I’ve been experimenting with fasting for at least 12 months now.
Your underwater breath hold time will increase. Try it. Very cool how you can spend more time underwater.
It’s cheap. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are free.
You might feel a bit of a high on day two/three, this is the ketones.
Some people will react a bit weirdly when you tell them you are not eating for a week. Just don’t tell some people.
Don’t go to gym. You probably want to take it easy with the exercise. I went to gym in my fast – just to see what weights I could lift. Pretty similar, but maybe 80% of the regular weight. If you are not eating protein it does not make sense to go to gym. Your body does not have anything to repair your muscles with after weight training.
A few chilled walks or swims are probably enough exercise. I usually swim 1km on most days I’m fasting.
Start eating at a slow pace after the fast – maybe start with a smoothie or something easy to digest. Take care eating healthy food after the fast ends. The period of re-feeding after a fast is very important to regenerate cells in your body.
Does fasting really kill cancer cells? Nope it’s not that simple, but it gives them a hard time. It radically slows their growth. The real kicker is that you reboot your immune system, and your new white blood cells identify and kill the weakened cancer cells. That’s the theory.
“Fasting for four days causes stem cells to awake from their normal dormant state, and start regenerating. Researchers discovered this practice destroyed damaged and older cells, and caused new cells to be born, effectively renewing the immune system. This is the first time any natural intervention has ever been shown to trigger this self-renewal.” — from this article
- Is this safe?
Yeah, you can probably go 30 days without food. Don’t stress… but, I’m not a doctor – make sure you are in good health before trying this. A 27-year-old male patient fasted for 382 days. “Prolonged fasting in this patient had no ill-effects”.
- Can I take MCT oil while fasting?
Yeah, if you must. Not needed.
- Can I take BCAAs while fasting?
No, BCAAs will help prevent muscle loss, but the glutamine in most BCCA mixes is a bad idea. Cancer cells like glutamine.
- How often should I do this?
Four times a year. Every 12th week. Add it to your calendar.
- How much fat will I lose?
Depending on your base metabolic rate, probably about 2-3kg. Not as much as you might think. A kilogram of fat contains 7700 calories. If your base metabolic rate is 2000 calories, you can lose about 260g of fat per day – a bit more if you are more active. Take a few long walks.
- What do I do when I get hungry?
Drinks some green tea or go for a walk.
- Will this work the same for females? From some general reading, females seem to find fasting more stressful. You’ll have to do your own research on this topic.
Nov 2015: I went from 84kg to 80kg over the days I fasted. Probably some water loss there.
Nov 2016: I went from 90kg to 85kg.
- 30 Sept 2016 – Found My Fitness: Fasting-Mimicking Diet & Fasting for Longevity, Cancer & Multiple Sclerosis
- 2015 Nov – Tim Ferriss Show: Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and The End of Cancer
Happy health hacking, crazy kids. LLAP.