Dry fasting is when you don’t consume anything during your fast including liquids. Should you dry fast? In my opinion the answer is no. Absolutely not.
You can survive for long periods of time without eating but you will not survive for days on end without drinking. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that it is necessary to consume a certain number of 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Like eating frequently throughout the day it just doesn’t make sense.
If you practice fasting or intermittent fasting the last thing you want is to become dehydrated. That leads to all kinds of problems that you just don’t need. Drink your water, coffee, and/or tea people.
“Since your body can only survive an average of three days without water, it is not recommended to dry fast for an extended period of time or more than a 24-hour window,” Satrazemis says. If you’re exercising, abstaining from fluids can be especially dangerous and put you at risk for dehydration and heat stroke in warm weather.
“Any feelings of dizziness, fainting, rapid heart rate, or dark urine are all warning signs to look out for that would indicate you are putting your body at risk,” says Totoro. (Yikes.) If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, end your dry fast immediately, eat food, and drink water—and call your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve.
It’s intermittent fasting but done during a different time scale. During Ramadan Muslims eat a meal before dawn, called suhoor, and eat a meal again after sunset, called iftar. In essence they have two fasting cycles. One while they sleep and the other during the middle of the day. This is similar to a 20:4 or 22:2 cycle for fasting depending on how long their time is for eating their meals.
I think this shows more and more that the advice we’ve been given for so long regarding eating multiple meals a day is wrong. We are animals at our core and our bodies are designed to eat as we would if we were not civilized. That means most of the time we would not be eating. Wild animals don’t have refrigerators and pantries stocked with food. They have to catch, kill, and/or find what they need to eat.
The timing of these two meals and the fast itself may hold the key to a healthier life, said Mindikoglu, who is board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology.
The study, led by Mindikoglu, found that dawn-to-sunset fasting was associated with proteins protective against cancer, as well as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammation and some neurological disorders.
“Intermittent fasting has become very popular in the treatment of many chronic diseases, including cancer,” said Mindikoglu, who began designing the research in 2014.
Last week I finished reading, “Life in the Fasting Lane”, and I think it’s a great book for anyone looking to get into intermittent fasting or even fasting for longer periods. The book follows the real experiences of Eve Mayer and chronicles her successes and struggles with weight, diet, and fasting.
There is nothing better than real people and their experiences to help you through getting started on improving your metabolic health. The book is an easy and fast read and contains enough information to help you along. It’s available in Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle versions.
Intermittent fasting (IF) or Time Restricted Eating (TRE), call it what you want but either way you’re not eating as much as you used to and you’re not spiking your insulin every few hours. The results are incredible and it’s so easy to do.
With a Ph.D. in epidemiology, Etienne-Mesubi put her research skills to work learning about intermittent fasting: “I needed some science. I wanted to know what evidence existed to show this was a legit way to lose weight.” She discovered people had been fasting intermittently for years who said they were losing weight, feeling better, and reversing diabetes and hypertension. “I was blown away by all the information I was finding, and a lot of it is based in science,” she says.
The question is being asked if it is safe to exercise and also intermittently fast. First, let’s get something straight. If you don’t eat breakfast and you work out first thing in the morning you’re exercising in a relative fasted state. Hardly anyone would question a person’s ability to do this. It’s not that hard.
While there are lots of different ways to do it—the 16:8 diet, OMAD (one meal a day), the 5:2 diet—the basic idea of intermittent fasting is to your limit your eating to a particular window of time. After trying a bunch of different protocols, I finally settled on 18:6, meaning I fast for 18 hours a day and eat during a six-hour window, from 2 to 8 p.m. each day. From an eating standpoint, it was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done; I’m not usually hungry until about then anyhow.
Yet there was one thing that’s always bothered me. How was it affecting my body when it came to exercise? I work out six days a week, doing a mix of cardio, yoga, and weight lifting. My workouts are non-negotiable, as they are essential to dealing with my lifelong depression and anxiety issues. While I’ve always felt fine working out in a fasted state, I’ve wondered if maybe I was doing some kind of long-term damage and just didn’t realize it yet. So I decided to find out.
The study and the article refer to the 5:2 method whereby 2 days out of the week calories are restricted to a very low level and the other 5 days are normal eating days with no restrictions. That to me is not Intermittent Fasting. If you’re eating you’re not fasting.
Intermittent fasting, to me, is better described as not consuming any food for a large portion of your day. For instance, consuming one meal a day means you’re not eating for about 23 hours out of each day. It’s not calorie restricted. You eat what you want during that one meal. But you are not eating the rest of the time. It’s intermittent because in normal fasting you don’t eat for and entire day or several days or more.
I don’t even buy into the time restricted form of Intermittent Fasting where you can eat during an 8 hour window and fast for 16 hours. That’s just eating. If you eat breakfast at 8a, lunch at 12p, and dinner at 4p you’ve consumed a normal American diet. Especially if you’re eating a low fat high carbohydrate diet. No matter how you shift those hours that’s a lot of eating.
Fasting takes place between time-restricted feeding windows. The two main types of intermittent fasting include time-restricted eating and the 5:2 format.
During time-restricted eating, you can eat within an 8-hour window of choice. For example, it could be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the remaining 16 hours of the day no food is consumed, only no-calorie beverages (like water and unsweetened tea).
The 5:2 format is when two non-consecutive days of the week are spent “fasting,” with only 25% of daily recommended calories eaten during those two days. If the average U.S. adult consumes 2,000 calories per day, that would mean 500 calories would be consumed on the two “fasting” days. The remaining five days of the week, you could eat your regular diet. This type of intermittent fasting is seen in “The Fast Diet” by Dr. Michael Mosley
When I hear that something I do is reported on mainstream network TV I give a little shudder. The level of depth network news gives to reporting, especially science reporting, is sooo piss poor that I fear they will misinform the public.
I don’t see a reason to have the eating window be from 8am to 2pm. That just seems a little unrealistic in how we live our daily lives. For me, I found that it doesn’t matter when I eat. I generally eat what ever I want between 4pm and 10pm. Listen to what your body is telling you.
A form of intermittent fasting that requires people to eat all of their meals earlier in the day appears to be a “powerful strategy” for reducing hunger and losing weight, a new study has confirmed.
It does so by curbing appetite rather than burning more calories, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Obesity. A longer fasting period also prompted obese people to dip into their fat reserves, leading them to burn more fat, said Courtney Peterson, the lead author and an assistant professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
If this article is true it is a testament to the wonders of the human body and mother nature. As human beings we over think everything and sometimes believe that we can circumvent nature and our own natural state. It’s easy to see that at our core we are just animals like the rest that roam the Earth. If modern life wasn’t invented we certainly would not be eating three meals a day and we wouldn’t be eating processed sugar. Our bodies are already adapted to this lifestyle. All we have to do is live it.
MIT biologists have discovered an unexpected effect of a ketogenic, or fat-rich, diet: They showed that high levels of ketone bodies, molecules produced by the breakdown of fat, help the intestine to maintain a large pool of adult stem cells, which are crucial for keeping the intestinal lining healthy. The researchers also found that intestinal stem cells produce unusually high levels of ketone bodies even in the absence of a high-fat diet. These ketone bodies activate a well-known signaling pathway called Notch, which has previously been shown to help regulate stem cell differentiation.
As I’ve said before, I’ve been living the Intermittent Fasting and Keto Friendly lifestyle for over 2 decades and fell into this lifestyle quite by accident. It’s only recently that I learned that it’s the latest diet craze (hopefully not a fad). As such, I have never measured my blood sugar or ketone levels (never knew ketones existed until several years ago). In the creation of this blog and my Instagram account I have run across people that are actively measuring their blood glucose and ketone levels to make sure they are in Ketosis. So, I became curious about my own levels.
I had a theory that I slip into ketosis rather easily after consuming loads of carbohydrates and that’s what has allowed me to maintain a stable weight without watching what I eat. Keep in mind that I do not have a sweet tooth so I don’t normally eat cookies, candies, chocolates, cakes, and other sweet desserts. It’s not that I don’t like them when I’m eating them it’s just that I never crave them. I think that is a major contributing factor as to why I go back into ketosis easily… or so I theorize.
I decided to put it to the test by buying a glucose and ketone meter and testing myself daily from July 15th through August 6th. That’s 3 weeks of daily testing. Before July 15th I consumed carbohydrates in the form of white bread and it set me up to start out of ketosis and I thought that would be a good baseline. At the end I also consumed a slightly elevated level of carbohydrates in just the food I ate. No bread or pasta or sweets but just an over abundance of carbs in regular food.
On August 6th I went to NYC to attend my granddaughter’s 1st birthday. I was gone for 2 weeks and decided to just eat anything and not monitor my glucose or ketone levels until I return. Upon my return I would resume my standard daily diet that is mostly low carb and begin testing again to see how quickly I could get back into ketosis. While in NYC I ate everything. I had rice, popcorn, potato chips, donuts, soft drinks, cake, tacos, etc. In other words I consumed food with little thought. I simply enjoyed myself and my granddaughter’s birthday.
The chart below shows my Glucose Ketone Index (GKI), which is better explained here on keto-mojo.com. It starts on July 15th where I’m out of ketosis right after the weekend where I consumed bread. Then it shows my GKI throughout the rest of July and how quickly I went back into ketosis and stayed there until I left for NYC.
When I returned on August 19th I tested myself that evening after arriving home. I drove from NYC to Chicago and did not eat anything on the drive and only consumed black coffee. Obviously I was out of ketosis, as the ketones were too low to measure, but my blood sugar level was below 84 mg/dl so I think that shows I was already starting to turn the corner towards ketosis just by not eating anything all day long. For good measure, in the evening on the 19th, I had a couple slices of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza and a salad as my only meal that day. I figured that would ensure my test was valid and keep me out of ketosis for at least the next day.
Yesterday, on August 20th, I tested my blood as normal in the middle of the day and my GKI was 16.48. Still out of ketosis. But, ketones in my blood had returned. The test showed 0.3 mmol/L and my glucose was 89 mg/dl. I resumed my normal eating patterns. I had my one meal, which was a decent sized salad with one hard boiled egg and half the chicken breast from a Costco rotisserie chicken, and a snack later that night of some salami slices, provolone cheese cubes, roasted almonds, and roasted peanuts.
Today, August 21st at around 1pm, I tested my levels and bam! Just as I theorized. I’m back in a moderate level of ketosis with a GKI of 4.03. My ketone level returned to 1.2 mmol/L and glucose remains below 90 at 87 mg/dl.
This confirms, in my mind, that because I’ve been living this way for so long that I’m well adapted to burn fat. That has allowed me to do things like eat the occasional carb meal or snack and then return to fat burning to get rid of what I just ate. It’s kept my weight stable for a long long time. Who knows how this applies to other people. Everyone has a different body chemistry and different metabolism.
Hopefully this post and experiment on myself helps someone to stay on the low-carb path so they can get to the weight they desire. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer!
I highly doubt that eating one meal per day or limiting yourself to a window of time per day for eating will harm anyone. I think we all eat too much already. But, like anything else, too much of a good thing can always turn into something bad. As long as you’re not going to extremes you’ll probably be okay.
But, like any diet, intermittent fasting can give rise to extreme eating habits. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who subscribes to a fasting routine, eats a single meal on weeknights followed by a weekend-long deficit — what some nutrition experts consider a sign of an eating disorder. In some cases, the negative side effects of fasting could outweigh any potential benefit.