I just finished my second-ever 24-hour fast. It went well, although not quite as easy as my first one in February. The novelty has worn off. I had more thoughts of food and eating this time.
Dietriffic dietitian Mel Thomassian spurred me to finally try fasting by summarizing what we know and don’t know about intermittent fasting and effects on health.
I had a brief pang of guilt about half way through this last fast when I realized I had just drunk 7.5 oz of Diet Coke. Then I remembered it had no calories, so I was OK as far as I’m concerned. I drink black coffee, too.
Here’s the mind game that get’s me through the fast. I eat my last meal, then sleep for seven hours. Next, I get up and putter around the house for a few hours, then head to the hospital for my 12-hour shift. So I’m not tempted by food at home, nor bombarded by food ads on TV for most of the 24 hours. It helps to be busy. Soon enough, the 24 hours is up and I break my fast.
I’m tempted to extend the fast longer, or try a physical work-out after a prolonged fast. It’s self-experimentation, not an obsession or eating disorder. A longer fast might be easier if my wife joined in. At this point she doesn’t even know I’ve done these two fasts.
The Fast Diet is pretty popular right now. Check out Dr. Yoni Freedhoff’s review.
I wonder if you could get the benefit of fasting without the distress by judicious use of coconut oil (Paul Jaminet writes about this in the Perfect Health Diet). Yes, it’s calories, but there’s no protein to disrupt autophagy (one of the benefits of fasting) and no carbs to affect blood sugar (another benefit), plus you potentially have the benefit of the MCTs converting to ketones which might help too.
Re your wife, there was a discussion on the paleosphere a while back about research suggesting that IF is not necessarily as great for women as for men. My theory is that women who need to snack every few hours are probably terrible candidates for fasting.
Beth, thanks for weighing in.