Impacts of a 3-day fast

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Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby SciameriKen on December 28th, 2016, 9:41 pm 

Greetings all -- one last experiment to close out 2016!


In this experiment I test the limits of will power itself in assessing the impacts of 3 days of water only fasting.

Here is the link:
http://scientificameriken.com/cover_dec16.asp

Somehow I tricked the wife into joining me :D

Enjoy!
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby zetreque on December 29th, 2016, 4:53 am 

You are a true inspiration :)

So you did this fasting two years in a row?

What is the sampling interval, is it 17 days then skips to one measurement a year later?

Did you have any visions? I have heard personal accounts from people who fasted for that long on a spiritual quest and said it was life changing. In addition to fasting, they spent the entire three days out in the wilderness too.

however, a common warning regarding fasting is that this weight loss also comes with a reduction in one's "metabolism", thus resulting in chronic weight gain.


Tonight I was thinking again how much less I could potentially eat on a regular basis without any health costs. I'm convinced that people eat far more than they need to these days. Switching a diet that was high density energy for most of my life to one that is lower density energy has been difficult but achievable.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby BadgerJelly on December 29th, 2016, 11:57 am 

I am curious how this effected sleep pattern ?
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Braininvat on December 29th, 2016, 12:28 pm 

Have seen recent research on "microfasting," which generally involves only a day or so, or simply doing all one's eating between, say, 10AM-5PM, so that each day has a 17 hr. fast. Seems to work well for many test subjects and doesn't produce any problematic BMR droppage.

Another common experience is (both from research studies, and self-experiment) is a drop in mental acuity in the first part of the fast, followed by a notable increase after a few days. This has been speculated on, as the body saying at some point, "Wow, I really need to be alert and up my game in searching for sustenance!" I've wondered if that second phase, where the mind becomes very sharp and alert, has been a driver of mystical experiences like Z. referred to?

There's also some oncology research out there into long fasts and possible effects on shrinking tumors. Long fasts usually mean taking a small amount of fruit juice every day, with a bit of salt added.

Anyway, amusing to put 3 day fasting under the heading of "Fun." I guess it is more fun, or less miserable, if you have company.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby SciameriKen on December 29th, 2016, 12:30 pm 

zetreque » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:53 am wrote:You are a true inspiration :)

So you did this fasting two years in a row?

What is the sampling interval, is it 17 days then skips to one measurement a year later?

Did you have any visions? I have heard personal accounts from people who fasted for that long on a spiritual quest and said it was life changing. In addition to fasting, they spent the entire three days out in the wilderness too.

however, a common warning regarding fasting is that this weight loss also comes with a reduction in one's "metabolism", thus resulting in chronic weight gain.


Tonight I was thinking again how much less I could potentially eat on a regular basis without any health costs. I'm convinced that people eat far more than they need to these days. Switching a diet that was high density energy for most of my life to one that is lower density energy has been difficult but achievable.


Thanks man! :D

Indeed - I redid the fast a second time this year. The first time I did it at home, with access to food all day because of the thanksgiving holiday - so that was rough - also preparing food for the little guy, who would take two bites and be done with it was difficult temptation to overcome. Thus, this year I did it on work days - and it was much easier.

As far as visions - nothing out of the ordinary :) I did seem to have excessive tunnel vision at times - I am wondering since I was just doing water only if that was maybe affecting my electrolyte balance. Maybe some gatorade next time to see if that problem goes away. For people on a vision quest - perhaps if I had the added intention and expectation of something "spiritual" happening it might manifest - but nothing like that happened for me :)

There are people who are attempting the caloric restriction diet (a couple ongoing studies) and perhaps it might be working for them. One common side effect is they have lower body temperature and start feeling cold a lot more. I think there are benefits in reduced calorie, and/or intermittent fasting - maybe nothing happens after a single fasting event though. But then again, perhaps I don't know the long term impacts of what I did to myself :)
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby SciameriKen on December 29th, 2016, 12:32 pm 

BadgerJelly » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:57 pm wrote:I am curious how this effected sleep pattern ?



If you sift through the raw data, linked on that site, you could see my sleep data for the experiment. I had an jawbone Up activity tracker going. However, during the fast my kid was waking us up all the time throughout the night, so I excluded adding the data. Perhaps I should have included Kid impacts in my write-up -- but that's what this discussion forum is for :D
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby BadgerJelly on December 29th, 2016, 1:11 pm 

I am interested simply in how you felt? Harder to sleep or not? More tired or not?
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Serpent on December 29th, 2016, 1:20 pm 

I've never done more than two days voluntarily, and that didn't seem to cause any problems. Once you convince yourself that it's okay to feel hungry, you can just go about normal life. I didn't notice any change in my ability to work or interact with other people.
In that short period, sleep was normal and i didn't feel particularly tired.

Once it's over, don't feast: have fruit or soup or toast to begin with.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby SciameriKen on December 29th, 2016, 1:46 pm 

BadgerJelly » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:11 pm wrote:I am interested simply in how you felt? Harder to sleep or not? More tired or not?



Ahh - So actually I just did a one day fast yesterday and I was so wired last night I could not sleep - I want to say this happened on the first nights of my other fast attempts too. After missing a night of sleep I believe if I recall I got to sleep easier the next nights of the fast.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Braininvat on December 29th, 2016, 1:49 pm 

I noticed sleep was actually a little easier when fasting. But I had no trouble shoveling snow or taking a walk or whatever physical activity was called for during the day. Obviously, YMMV. After a couple days, you do definitely need electrolytes. The classic way (Gandhi, IRA prisoners, etc.) is salted lemon juice, which has virtually no calories. Without electrolytes, you will be risking some cardiac problems. The tunnel vision sounds like there might have been a drop in blood pressure, but it could also be that not eating triggered a mild migraine....you can get migraine precursors and not have it turn into a full-blown headache. We're all in the realm of anecdote here, of course, but that can lead us towards some interesting hypotheses.

My spouse does all her eating between 9AM and around 4PM, and her body is completely adapted now to the microfast. She didn't even really set out to do this, she seems to be someone with really good blood sugar regulation and this practice fit her schedule. But staying at her high school weight has been a positive reinforcer, I'm sure. What I envy is that she seems able to eat absolutely anything she wants during her daytime window of eating opportunity. Quite remarkable to see this slender girlish lady putting away the sweets, whole milk, fatty foods, rich cheeses, nuts, etc. But it sort of makes sense - if you're not going to eat for 17 hours, you want calorie-dense food when you do. And fatty foods that digest slowly, release energy slowly and avoid that carbohydrate seesaw effect that's so hard on the body.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby zetreque on December 29th, 2016, 3:34 pm 

Braininvat » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:28 am wrote:so that each day has a 17 hr. fast. Seems to work well for many test subjects



I spent at least 8 years of my childhood doing that and similar for most of my childhood. Just eating late lunch and dinner. Never at school lunches. It worked out great. Never had any problems until I started eating more, and the most sick I ever was in my life was when I was eating meals and snacks all throughout the day. And now that I'm back to my childhood routine I am a lot healthier.

From my reading it seems many hunter gatherer tribes do it that way as well. Spend most of the day hunting, collecting, preparing with just a snack and then eating in the afternoon and night.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Serpent on December 29th, 2016, 4:24 pm 

I guess evolution couldn't foresee 5 fast-food outlets at every street corner and 4 snack aisles in every supermarket. We were never designed to designed to eat as much as we crave.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby doogles on December 29th, 2016, 4:40 pm 

Good on you SciameriKen.

I admire anyone who has a 'go' at anything and keeps a record.

I haven't much to add to this, except that I've performed a 40-hour fast twice in my life as part as a charity thing for Africa.

What really surprised me on the second occasion was that at the end of the 40 hours, I wasn't ravenously hungry. The next meal was eaten as if I hadn't missed a meal.

Maybe I can add a fact about suddenly starving overweight sheep. They die from acute ketosis, the latter being associated with fat catabolism. But I have no idea whether this applies to obese human beings.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby zetreque on December 29th, 2016, 8:26 pm 

I think the key to successful fasting is being preoccupied or distracted with other things in life. For many years I would forget to eat because I was so busy exploring or doing other things (for a time it was gaming, lol). So the key to healthy eating is having other things going on in life that contributes to normal fasting, but you MUST have a plan to eat healthy when you do eat. By forgetting to eat and being so busy, we often make poor choices when we do eat by choosing what is more convenient and not healthy.

As they say, "Eat to live, don't live to eat."

That's one of many reasons I think "dieting" fails too. It's because when we consciously "diet" (I define diet here as refraining or eating a certain way with the objective to lose weight or another healthy motive), we are thinking too much about food rather that living our lives.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 30th, 2016, 12:58 am 

Hi Guys,

I've never fasted longer than 36 hours.. no impact on my life from that. But I have done sleep deprivation for about 72 hours (3 days). Several times actually.. work related schedule pressure. I snack during the period though.

After such a session, I get severe tunnel vision and feel sort of drunk. If I call this sleep-fasting.. am I still far off topic...lol.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby zetreque on December 30th, 2016, 1:18 am 

If food fasting is one of the healthiest things a person can do, sleep fasting is one of the most unhealthy things a person can do IMO.
I've gone 72 hours without sleep once before and I worked graveyard for a time. I will never do that again. It took me over a year to recover from working graveyard only 3-4 months. I had a fun time while doing it but it was also one of the loneliest things I have ever done and I had absolutely no life. Everyone that worked that graveyard shift over the years I was there was very sickly except one person who has done it for at least 20 years two to five times a week. There are only a handful of people who can do it successfully.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 30th, 2016, 2:18 am 

Hi zetreque,

I work at home now days. My schedule is strange:
4 hours work.
4 hours sleep.
4 hours recreation (and meal).
Repeat twice per day.

I feel fine.. but never know what day it is without looking at my PC clock.
The reason for such is I can't physically work 8 consecutive hours anymore.. too hard on my body. Getting old..lol.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Serpent on December 30th, 2016, 9:49 am 

The 8-hour work shift (pared down from 12, after long, hard battles) is an artifact of the industrial age. It's for the convenience of factory time-keeping, not part of the natural cycle. And the schedule of meals that we've become accustomed to is devised to fit the work-day, not the human metabolism.

If we each listened carefully to our biorhythm and set our own schedules accordingly, we would be healthier, there would be no traffic gridlock and much of the junk-food industry would wither away.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby henriette on March 7th, 2017, 8:09 am 

Dear,
Below is just a personal experiment and practice.
I used to practice 2-day fast when I was young. As far as this humble experience is concerned, the impact (sleep, weight control) depended on two factors that are not reported into the article you kindly "recommend" : breath and psychology, with two conclusions : stop breathing so much and don't care about your own psychology, be contemplative instead, put those two turbulent kids gently apart ; this was my main recipe for fasting good.

Fasting may be of interest to find your own regular diet and, as a result of mine, I now have only a meal a day, fasting everyday like a Muslim during Ramadan, festive late dinner every evening, for more than a decade, with nothing else but water and some coffee all the day long (while not being a food dogmatic). Being 47 years old, many doctors told me my diet was insane but the reality is that my 5.5-6 hours of sleep a day are extremely good and soft ; strictly never practicing sport, I can walk up quickly the stairs of my lab (6 levels) without mostly breathing ; it is also possible to me to master my sweat and decide not to sweat at all ; it is more difficult to regulate the heartbeat, I don't know why. Alcohol is very good at this step because a single glass is enough to get drunk.
Hence, as far as diet and fast are concerned, my point of view is that this thread could find a place in the philosophy forum too, maybe following Nietzsche's discussion about diets.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby zetreque on March 7th, 2017, 9:54 am 

My chemistry teacher would say that if you wanted to live longer without cancer to stop breathing. (I think I think he was referring to)The reaction of oxygen to break down glucose that ages you.
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Re: Impacts of a 3-day fast

Postby Braininvat on March 7th, 2017, 10:50 am 

And yet the immortal jellyfish off the Japanese coast react oxygen with glucose.

Also, interesting to hear about breathing less as a health regimen, given that current medicine and traditional health techniques like yoga advocate deep breathing. Deep breathing aids relaxation, meditation, diaphragmatic massage of internal organs, and cardio health. Also, I am a bit skeptical of anyone saying they can master their sweat and "decide" not to sweat at all. Let's put you outside in Texas in July and see how that works. Henriette, I am wondering if your post has lost something in translation from French? I would certainly be concerned about the blood pressure of someone ascending 6 flights of stairs "without mostly breathing."
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