Monday, August 15, 2016

What Happened When I Didn't Eat for 24 Hours

I've gained 5 pounds.

There I've said it. After working so hard to get the baby weight off over the last year and a half, the fun of summer has finally caught up to me. Too much BBQ, beer and sweet treats.

It's time to knock that shit off.

So today, I started a 24 hour fast. No food, just my bulletproof tea and water for 24 hours. If I'm still feeling good after that then I might push it to 32 or even 38 hours.

One hour at a time though.

Why do it?

I suffer from high levels of inflammation that was detected through a C-Reactive Protein blood test.  Over the last year, I've been able to get it under control through intermittent fasting, a low carb, high fat diet and running.  I also suffer from Leaky Gut, so limiting my eating hours to just 8 a day has allowed my gastrointestinal system to heal itself.

Many doctors believe that intermittent fasting promotes fat burning for fuel instead of glycogen stores.

The average sized person has between 1,000,000 - 150,000,000 calories of fat stored in their body.  That is enough fat for a normal sized person to survive 1-3 months without eating depending on their size and level of activity.  For more information, on how this all works check out Butter Bob at Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off.  

OK, back to how I am feeling.  

My start time is 9:00 PM on Day 1 because that is when I finished my last glass of wine (yep, I've been bad).  

At 6:00 AM, 9 hours into my fast, I had my bulletproof tea which is how I start every morning.  I was feeling fine.

By 9:00 AM, (just 12 hours in) I wanted to eat!  It was so hard to be surrounded at work by food and to resist gobbling it all down.  

11:30 AM is usually when I eat lunch.  I drank hot tea with nothing added.  Irish Breakfast Tea to be exact.  I'm not going to lie, it was gross and quite possibly the last thing I wanted to eat on a burning hot day, but it filled up my belly.

When 1:00 PM rolled I was apologizing to my co-workers about the bear that was trapped inside my belly.  I was also chugging water to make my belly feel full.

3:00 PM or 18 hours in I was fading fast and losing my resolve.  I was ready to reach for the emergency snack in my bag that I packed just in case I couldn't hack it or just felt really sick.  I felt gross to say the least.  I was weak, hungry and felt like a headache was coming on.  Amazingly, once I got up and made myself busy, I felt a whole lot better.  The best part?  By hour 19, I had a ton of energy.

So much energy that by hour 21 or about 6:00 PM I was doing a short workout modified to take into account the plantar fasciitis in my feet.  I was still hungry but I had enough energy to get through and I was in no way starving.

I've made it to hour 23!  Mentally, I'm done.  I'm tired of just feeling tired.  I'm tired of feeling hungry.  I'm having a hard time thinking straight.  I realize I am probably also tired from the long day since it is 8 PM, but the constant hunger isn't helping.  I do notice that my stomach feels less bloated and hard.  When I press it, I feel pain.  I chalk that up to my Leaky Gut. By 8:30 PM I am preparing something to eat.

I will end my fast at the 24 hour mark.

The hardest part about this fast is getting out of the habit of eating at designated times.  Just because we traditionally eat breakfast early in the morning doesn't mean that we have to especially if we are not hungry.  Also, I found myself reaching for food just because it was there for the taking.

Next time, I will start my fast earlier in the day.  On a typical day, I stop eating at 7:30 PM, not 9 PM.  I think that really made it harder for me to start it that late in the day.

Here I am a day later. Honestly, I don't see much difference between these two pictures. I FEEL better, less bloated and gross and I can say that those shorts fit a lot better. So don't the shorts that I haven't been able to wear all week because they were cutting off circulation. Now I didn't weigh myself because I'm concerned more with getting my insulin levels down while letting my gastrointestinal system heal although I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about those 5 pounds I've gained. Plus, I'm training my body to burn fat for energy again. Today, I will fast for 16 hours which is the norm for me. 

If you are thinking of fasting start small, 14 hours then 16 and then jump to 24 when ready. It can be done and your body will thank you for it. 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Decreased body fat and body weight
  • Decreased blood glucose levels
  • Increased growth hormone levels
  • Decreased food related stress
  • Decreased chronic systemic inflammation 
  • Increased cellular cleansing 

If you are interested in starting a low-carb diet, here are some books that will help get you started:

What do you think?  Will you try intermittent fasting?