I lost a lot of body fat – about 6 pounds. But for the next three days, which were Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I ate junk and a lot of it. I had no motivation to do much and did no exercise, yoga or meditation. I am feeling better now and aim to resume fasting today, 21st June 2019, and learn the lessons of last week. I will avoid herbal teas, salt and cider vinegar as they don’t seem to work for me. Mineral water is probably better than adding salt to filtered tap water. I may cut back on the exercise further into the fast to see if this helps with compliance. It’s like anything else: just keep trying and you will improve. The main thing is not to give up, don’t beat yourself up and don’t set a target just keep going as long as you can. Meditation is a definite help. I did not fast on the 21st either. 22nd June I resumed ashtanga yoga and Tai Chi. On the 23rd June I was fasting all day and practiced Ashtanga Yoga and Tai Chi and Ab work. My right ankle is very sore. Only one day fasting so far. I had intended to resume a long term fast but this may have been too ambitious. It is a psychological rather than physiological barrier. I have maintained an eating window of 4 to 5 hours.
24th June Yoga, Tai Chi, Crunches, Shaolin abs but no fasting. 25th June Yoga but nothing else. 26th no yoga, nothing else and eating all day. 27th Yoga, Tai Chi and crunches. 2 hour eating window. 28th nothing 6 hour eating window.
So, between the 19th June and 28th June inclusive, ten days in total, I fasted one day and ate for nine days. I exercised five days. I managed an eating window of between 2 and 6 hours.
Conclusion: long term fasting is not a good way to lose weight unless you are very disciplined about not gorging afterwards. I noticed my mood plummeted after I resumed eating. This lifted on the ninth day after the long term fast ended but only because I consumed panax korean red ginseng, about 700 mg 10:1 extract, that day. I researched this and it is permitted to consume it on a water fast. The first goal of the water fast is to stimulate ketosis to lose visceral fat. This starts on day two (the worst day for me). Apoptosis continues (cell death and replacement) accompanied by the process of starvation-induced autophagy: destruction of damaged or redundant cellular components occurring in vacuoles within the cell. This is the self healing that occurs throughout. It is accompanied by significant increases in human growth hormone (hgh) and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also called somatomedin C. It is a hormone, similar in molecular structure to insulin, which plays an important role in childhood growth, and has anabolic (muscle building) effects in adults.
In other words if you long term fast you will burn fat and potentially build muscle – or at least retain it – and you will repair all damaged cells. Inflammation will decrease as well. This is how fasting can heal and cure heart disease, diabetis, arthritis and cancer.
It is therefore of fundamental importance that a method is devized to make fasting easier. I run out of steam on day 6. This is the third time in the last four months I have failed to progress to day 7. I believe that day 7 is a huge psychological barrier. I now know that ginseng is not going to break the fast. Breaking the fast immediately stops autophagy as well as HGH and IGF-1 production so is to be avoided. I need a much stricter post fast routine to maintain the weight loss benefits. Probably by only eating whole food plant based food.
Meditation helped me but I think by day 5 the mind, and in particular motivation, is defeated by the body craving food. The interesting thing though is that I was not actually hungry. It was the habit that demanded to be fed. I also became tired, fatigued and melancholy on day 5. This day also usually results in nausea which was not as bad this time but did make me think about eating to stop it. It is almost like trickery by the body to frighten the mind into letting it eat. I also developed an ache in my jaw and sinuses which went when I did finally eat. I can combat tiredness with ginseng and black coffee (also permitted on a water fast). Nausea may be helped with more water although I did drink a lot of it this time. I will need to check that out but when I try next to long term fast I will consume ginseng (which reputedly does suppress appetite a little) and possibly 1500 mg, which is a high dosage, to keep energised and active.
My aim is weight loss AND healing. 21 days is the holy grail as this achieves maximum healing and weight loss according to Russian research. But I would be very happy to make it through to day 8 this time.
I have been reading a book called Evolve you Brain by Joe Dispenza DC. He has written two others that I have read as well. The first is called You Are the Placebo and the second is called Becoming Supernatural. I read them in reverse order. The gist of it is that the placebo effect can be mimicked so that we can heal ourselves. Healing ourselves has a wide meaning for Dispenza as it can also mean changing your personality, dealing with stress and changing habits. The technique involves meditating. Simply put he has updated Buddhist teachings – secular Buddhism that is – by reference to up to date neurological theory. The books are well worth reading. My take on Buddhism and the Yoga Sutras is that meditation will cure suffering. Dispenza takes the view that to activate affirmations you need to follow a procedure: 1. Clearly define your goal 2. Within that goal state what will be achieved without putting any deadline on it 3. List how you will feel when you attain your goal.
He believes that if we meditate and get into a higher emotional state by doing so and then bring to mind our aim it will develop into the status of a memory rather than an aim and our body-mind will adapt and change its behaviour and that goal will be reached. He posits the theory that epi-genetics is activated by this method and so our memory has an environmental influence on our gene expression and that by changing the mind, by achieving this higher emotional state of bliss, we change the body and our future is mapped by it. He is of the view that awareness, as discussed by Buddha and by the Yoga Sutras and in particular Tibeta Dream Yoga and Yoga Nidra, is seperate from the mind-body and exists in the “quantum field” as a high frequency wave. He posits the multiverse idea that there are an infinite number of futures and we can draw ourselves towards one by getting into the wuantum field via meditation. He draws on the particle duality theory, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and the idea of the wave function collapse to support his ideas. One idea that I did find illuminating, even though he did not expressly state it, is that when we are in the field there is no time. He describes time by reference to motion. This led me to believe that decay and motion are measured by time in the same way we measure distance. Time is measured by referencing decay and motion relative to the motion of the planets and so time does not exist other than as a reference for our sensory experience of life. He further argues that the physiological behaviour of he body can control our mind, our behaviour and our desires. His aim, like Buddhas, is to detach from that control to control (and so heal) our bodies by altering the mind. I think he is onto something and it has helped me fast. I am now of the view that because of the fact that fasting increases HGH and IGF-1 that not eating should not lead to hunger until our body fat percentage is 5%. Mine is 25% to 42 pounds of me is fat. That is 147,000 calories. I need, say, 2000 calories per day. So I should not get hungry for 73 days. But I get hungry after 18 hours of fasting. By 42 hours it is difficult to resist the urge to eat. Why? because the body is my mind. My body is used to (over) eating daily and regularly through the day. This makes me happy so I am addicted to the chemicals released when I eat. My body craves these chemicals as they are part of my homeostatic state and a default requirement. So even though there is no reason for me to eat for 73 days I crave food. This should be possible to control. The next step is to work out how. I believe from reading around secular Buddhism, the science of stress, neurology, psychology and now Dispenzas theories that awareness exists within the mind-body and is usually subsumed and dormant within it. However, I believe awareness can be activated, and so mediate between the body-mind and the competing needs of it: the need I have in mind to lose weight as opposed by the need of my body to be satgiated with a physiological response generated by eating.
I will let you know when I start my next fast and update you on my reading. Ginseng definitely helps with the tiredness from fasting but given ketosis deals with energy needs and HGH and IGF-1 with muscle growth why am I tired at all? A trick of the body on the mind to make me think about and crave food? Sugar addiction? Oil addiction? We need to know!