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More babbling about health stuff...

So, after a lot of thought, and some reading, and some discussion. I've decided to try fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. This is not necessarily in an effort to lose weight, but I'm hoping it might help. Mostly, with the new medication I'm on, and the looming Rheumatologist appointment in June, I'm hoping to try and jumpstart my system a bit. Because of all the auto-immune issues I've been battling for the past few years my system refuses to lose weight. On the whole I'm not generally unhappy with my size, never have been, but I know that in some cases, it would help if I could drop some weight. And no matter what I've tried, my body holds on to every last pound and refuses to let go. It's not uncommon for me to gain 5 pounds in a week, no matter how little I've eaten, or how much I've exercised. And despite the amount of muscle I have, and keep, the weight isn't going anywhere. I mean, last time I saw a nutritionist, even they were a little baffled.

Anyhow, all that goes a long way to saying, that I'm trying this. I really want to see if I can give my system a little kickstart. Also, I'm hoping that it'll help me figure out what sort of foods trigger bad reactions from my system.

If you're interested in reading up on fasting, check out http://www.fitnessthroughfasting.com/. There's a lot of good information there - mostly tips and background information. Also, it details the different types of fasting - like juice, water, lemonade.


And on that note, I'm definitely hungry. V8 does not a meal make. Also, fasting with a migraine is probably more trouble than I should've given myself today.

Has anyone fasted? Or have any stories about fasting?


( 18 felicitations — Felicitate Me )
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
have you ever tried writing down what you're actually eating? Maybe it helps to get the nutritionist a bit less baffled. :-)

also, I notice that it's true what they say: it's easy to mistake thirst for hunger, so drinking a lot might help. Is always worth trying, since most people drink too little, anyway. ;-)

And of course, it might be an idea to have the thyroid checked, as a malfunction could cause such strange weight gains.

Anyway, good luck with this!
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
Well, I know I have hypothyroidism, but even with it regulated, there's only a slight improvement in how I feel, but not the weight issue.

Yeah, part of seeing the nutritionist was keeping a food diary. I even kept it when I wasn't seeing her. That's part of why she was so unhelpful - even writing down every speck of something that went into my mouth - I still (in theory) take in less calories than I burn in a day. Adding in muscles and exercise - I shouldn't have this problem.

Mostly, we (me and the docs I've seen) realize it's most likely auto-immune related. But, most of the medications aren't going to help that, and in most cases they may make it worse.
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
dang, that must be really frustrating! *comfort*
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
i've tried fasting, but it makes me so jittery and weird after about half the day that it seems almost dangerous. i get the shakes, drop shit, freak out over everything...

i have done fruit fasts without too much of a problem. basically you can eat fresh fruits and berries (no bananas, coconuts, or...apples? i think) and drink juice and water. a little less crazy than straight-up fasting.
Apr. 8th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know I couldn't do it without any input whatsoever. So, I limited myself to juice. It's helping, especially if I drink really really slowly. :)
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
that sounds good, I can't fast, I get too sick without any food. (headache, nausea, the shakes) and I LOVE fruit, that'll be a good way for me to get my fruit intake. Thanks for the idea!
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
I know this won't be terribly helpful if you're just doing a straight juice/water fast, but dried fruits and nuts are tasty and help when you feel like eating something and don't want to eat too much. Good luck with the fasting.
Apr. 8th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I've been trying to think of little somethings to have to make the process easier.
Apr. 9th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Dude, we are like almost on the exact same wavelength here! After I gained that 80lbs "from the bipolar meds", I've only been able to lose about 20lbs of it. Just like you, no matter how much I exercise, what/when/how much I eat (which, because of the IBS, has been just about fasting for the past few years), I can't lose the weight-just gain. It probably doesn't help you, but I'm glad to hear that someone out there is going through something similar to me. :)

Have your docs checked you or mentioned Cushings? I've been googling my symptoms and that one keeps coming up for me. As for fasting, like I said, I've been doing it for awhile because of the IBS. If I go too long, I get migraines, shakes, light-headedness, and I get really cold. I've heard the shakes and V8 stories, and that seems to work for me. So doesn't stand in for a good steak. :)
Apr. 9th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
How long have you fasted? I think probably once or twice a week for 24 total is all I can do. But, I've heard that even that much is supposed to help.
Apr. 9th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
Usually, when I "fast" it's for 1-2 days and it's usually because my IBS is really bad and I'm just sick of having that physical reaction to food/drink. It's bad enough that I already hardly eat anything because my IBS is so bad, but if I stop eating for a day or two I can go back to eating for a while without the IBS being so bad.
Apr. 9th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
I don't know how this would relate to someone with physical issues like auto-immune and your hyperthyroid, but I have always been told, by every doctor I've talked at length with about my food history, that fasting is terrible for one's metabolism. When I lived with my dad, my step-mother was borderline abusive and I was not allowed to eat for entire days. Because I went so many years eating practically nothing and/or being forced to forgo eating, my metabolism is fucked. The doctors have all told me that the only reason to get it to kickstart is to eat something small every two hours and to do this over a very long period of time. They've said that digesting anything is good, even if it's a few baby carrots. I'm only very rarely hungy, though, and I can never keep this up.

I'm not saying I know better than your doctors; if your doctors have suggested this, then ignore me. If you heard it from someone else, I'd talk to your medical professionals first.

Also, I've been told that to lose weight, you should lower your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. When I was actually able to stick to that, I lost weight pretty easily; as with all life changes related to food, though, I couldn't stick to it. I love food too much!
Apr. 9th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my biggest problem is that I don't usually get in enough calories in a day. So, lowering it pretty much equals not eating, which is what I'm trying. I mentioned in another comment that I didn't talk to my GP about this, because I'm only doing 24 hours at a time. Fasting for long periods of time is supposed to be bad for your metabolism, however, my step-brother was a bodybuilder, and one of the things he did to help eliminate fat and eat normally, was fast. If he fasted once or twice a week, ate normally the rest, and kept up his weight training, he had better luck than dieting, or drinking those awful protein shakes.

My metabolism is pretty much screwed already, so it can't hurt anymore than it already is. And since it's for small periods of time, if it doesn't work, it's easy to stop completely. I chose doing 24 periods for that reason, anything longer than that, and to do it right you have to build back up to solid foods.
Apr. 9th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
Have you talked to your doctor about this?

I did a week long juice fast once in college as a bet. The first three days were pretty horrible, then after that I pretty much just forgot about it. My roomate reminded me when the time was up.

I have a friend who might be able to tell you more about it, good and bad. Are you on Linkdin?
Apr. 9th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm on LinkedIn (with my full name). I didn't talk to my GP about it, but that's because I'm only planning to do 24 hours at a time, which technically means missing two meals, not three for one or two days a week.
Apr. 10th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Since I got on FB, I almost forgot about LJ. Go figure.

Studies have shown that even fasts of 16-20 hours once or twice a week can be beneficial to general health, well being and weight management. That isn't necessarily fasting with no food, but it is calorie restricted and often juice or fruit and vegetable based. The key is to make sure you're taking in just enough to stave off hunger, and not so little that you're getting light-headed or can't climb a flight of stairs without the shakes.

There also is such a thing as "starving yourself fat." (To put it bluntly.) If you eat too little, or if your eating patterns are erratic, no matter what you do otherwise, your body will hold onto every calorie. You may try actually ADDING 200 calories per day in fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, etc. on the days that you aren't fasting, and see if your body responds to broader nutrition. I know it's counter-intuitive, but many people who would like to drop a little weight get better results by adding just a few calories to their daily intake.

I know weight isn't your main issue, and you must be getting really frustrated with the health problems. I hope you find some relief!
Apr. 10th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I knew you'd have some good feedback. :) Thanks for your input. I know I probably need to try and add some more calories into my diet - I'm just really bad about buying fruits and veggies, since Matt and I together won't eat them fast enough. Do you think something like Cottage Cheese (which I love) would be a good snack to add in with some tomatoes or fruit?
Apr. 10th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Cottage cheese is a great snack, paired with fruit or veggies. In fact a piece of fruit or some veggies and any protein source make an excellent snack. (i.e.) 2 tbsp peanut butter w/an apple or a banana; cottage cheese with 6-8 sliced strawberries (one of my faves!); a diced hard-boiled egg with diced onion and tomato & salt and pepper to taste; 15 almonds or a small handful of pecans mixed with 1/4 cup dried fruit. It's perfectly OK to buy your fruits and veggies weekly, to save on waste and help you better plan your meals. For example, if you are shopping just for yourself, start by buying 7 pieces of fruit and 7 servings of veggies. That is a reasonable place to start - one extra fruit and one extra veggie serving per day, and build from there as you get used to the change. Be consistent with the changes you make, and you should start seeing some results. Be warned - for the first few weeks, your results may show in how you feel BEFORE they show in a change on the scale. If better health is truly your goal, then feeling better should provide some encouragement. Hang in there!
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