Fasting for Weight Loss mid-2017 update


So this has been a slow start to the year in terms of fasting and weight loss progress. I didn’t get much fasting in from the 20 day fast in late October-Early November 2016. My weight went to 236 by the end of the 20 day fast. My weight went as high as 260 I believe after the 20 day fast before settling in around 253 unfasted. My weight right before the 20 day was 263, but that was about 7 pounds lower than most of the unfasted weights I was getting so I was happy with the progress from the 20 day fast. I expected the large weight gain almost back to where I started before dribbling back down from the previous 20 day fast.

In January my Grandmother died which led to not getting back on track until about March April.

My weight stayed stable in the low 250’s despite not much fasting and not watching what I ate beside my usual just being aware. While I was discouraged about the lack of progress, I was encouraged about maintenance since I really didn’t seem to be doing anything that difficult to maintain and the final goal will probably be 25-40 pounds away.

During March April I got a good 30 cumulative fasting days in and my unfasted weight got down to low 240’s. I did a smooth 10 day aiming for 30 but calling it short due to an impending trip.

On day 2 of the trip my wrist became for unknown reasons really really inflamed and painful. Between May and Early June my weight zoomed up to 258 essentially giving back a good 6 months of progress.

This seemed very discouraging but I think I isolated 3 variables that changed between the long November- February break.

The first was that I stopped exercising beyond some Pokemon Go/Walking. Even the elliptical seemed to inflame the wrist. Now that I think back on it all my major weight gains seemed to come at times my physical activity slipped up. While I never could lose weight with copious exercise, I’m thinking that exercise might be very potent in keeping hormonal changes that induce weight gain at bay. If you think of leptin, the level of which is dictated primarily by the level of fat, as primary in driving weight then this makes sense. Fat, itself, keeps itself on, but once it’s gone it stops crowding out the beneficial effects of weight loss.

Second difference was that I consumed Coke Zero and artificial sweeteners again. Now that I think about I noticed that my appetite seemed higher than before. It had decreased significantly with the fasting. I had consumed Coke Zero some parts of 2016, but I’m thinking now that my Leptin Sensitivity is partially restored that it might have more effect. I’ve read studies indicating the artificial sweeteners can reduce leptin levels.

Third I didn’t weigh myself. This is more of a note for maintenance. I think weighing yourself at least once a week is a good idea. You just don’t know when a lifestyle change that you don’t think will matter will sneak in and end up mattering quite a bit. 

June-July hasn’t completely restored the loss of progress during May. I’ve gotten a 3, a 4, and a 7 day fast in and I’m on a day 5. Hoping to make it to 30, but we’ll. I’ve noticed that going for 30 seems a lot easier psychologically than going for 20 because at 30 the fast end is so far away that I don’t bother cutting the days short.

While I’m of course disappointed at the two steps back, I’m not terribly upset. I feel like I learned something and it’s part of the progress. I’m deliberately trying not to be overly regimented, because I think it will make maintenance easier and traditional dietary advice is that obesity results from personal accountability issues and cognitive bias so I want to do everything the exact opposite to verify for myself that those people don’t know what they are talking about for every single obese personal in their blanket prejudiced assumptions.

I’ve also found it funny that I’ve explained the diet coke and exercise and the lack of weight gain in the four month period november-february as well as serious carb consumption during that time. People still try to blame it on the carbs. It seems as though people just have a stock generic answer to certain problems and that one problem can’t have different answers for different people.

Also, on the positive side I seem to be back down to the lowest belt loop I got down to in May and the 38 pants seem a bit lose so I might have gained some muscle during May. May was the first time I’ve been seriously anabolic since starting fasting so it makes sense. I imagine fasting might create a muscle deficit that the body tries to fulfill when it has available building blocks again.