1

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Fasting ability

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 18, 2012 at 2:25 AM

Combing through some old Archevore posts I found an interesting comment: "Impaired fasting ability is another downside to a more glucose based metabolism. I have never met anyone eating over 50% carbs at any BMI who could comfortably fast for 24 hrs. It is easy if you are VLC or ZC"-KH

As well as previously hearing Paul Jaminet mention that as he became healthier he was able to tolerate fasting much more. So my question is very simple: What factors facilitate our ability to fast and promote a positive reaction to it (i.e. improved concentration, energy..etc) instead of the malaise that many [unhealthy] people report when attempting it?

42f33b23ca2b7c788bdd85afe6bb9dde

(95)

on September 22, 2012
at 09:31 PM

I hope you discover how to shift pronto! I've gone down to 20g carb per day and still can't shift any weight at all! Am post menopausal, have a herniated disc and am desperate to lessen the burden on my spine, and can't get rid of what went on during menopause. Aarrrggghhh!

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on September 19, 2012
at 06:06 PM

I am actually not confused in the slightest, just too lazy to cite it.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 19, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I think fasting manifests itself as a "state of mind", but really, it's mostly physiological. Someone who is very physiologically adapted to fasting will likely describe it as "mental" at all.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 18, 2012
at 11:45 AM

"your body burns an increasing amount of fuel from the opposite fuel source" -- I'm sorry, but this is just not true. I think you are confused with the myth of the "fat burning zone". Yes, there is a zone (zone 3 by the way) where your body burns fat at a higher rate. But, no matter what you do, your body burns whatever it can for fuel. And at very high exertion, your rate of using glucose for energy goes up, you magnitude of fat burn goes up. So you burn more total fat with sprints than you would for a comparable amount of jogging.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 18, 2012
at 11:42 AM

Former college distance runner. I was, most assuredly, not a fat burner. I ate pancakes every morning, pizza and/or a sub every day for lunch, and pizza or pasta every day for dinner. I also had ice cream every day. Drank Gatorade throughout the day, etc. That is not to say my body didn't burn fat for fuel, but it was not my primary fuel.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 18, 2012
at 05:05 AM

What's the confusion around ketones? Maybe we can shed some light on it for you.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 18, 2012
at 04:31 AM

I so can't get my mind wrapped around ketones...

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 18, 2012
at 04:29 AM

I'm a distance runner and carbo loading is an old myth. Paleo is sufficient nutrition for endurance athletes because you train how you are going to perform for an intensive event, not all of a sudden drastically alter the diet. However, carb loading after the event is common place and sensible.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:53 AM

they carb load for intensive events when the % of energy derived from carbs is much higher. Day to day training is mainly in the fat burning zone. Secondly, there is an interesting phenomenon where your body burns an increasing amount of fuel from the opposite fuel source with which you mainly exercised from (e.g. sprints burn carbs but you burn increasing amounts of fat during the rest of the day; same goes for fat burning and carb usage following)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:18 AM

no, feeling hypoglycemic means you're a sugar burner and running out of sugar to burn. You'd think a distance runner is the epitome of fat burning, but they always carb load, drink sports drinks, have their energy gels, all of that drives them towards sugar burning and away from fat burning (I know, I used to be one).

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:55 AM

I have simple point of contention: distance runners. Lots of them have to eat 5-6 times a day minimally or they feel "hypoglycemic", yet they are the epitome of fat burners.

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4 Answers

3
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Pretty much your ability to metabolize fat is directly related to your ability to fast. If you can burn fat, even the leanest person has enough fat to last a week or so. So once you're burning fat you have no trouble fasting.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:18 AM

no, feeling hypoglycemic means you're a sugar burner and running out of sugar to burn. You'd think a distance runner is the epitome of fat burning, but they always carb load, drink sports drinks, have their energy gels, all of that drives them towards sugar burning and away from fat burning (I know, I used to be one).

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:55 AM

I have simple point of contention: distance runners. Lots of them have to eat 5-6 times a day minimally or they feel "hypoglycemic", yet they are the epitome of fat burners.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 18, 2012
at 04:29 AM

I'm a distance runner and carbo loading is an old myth. Paleo is sufficient nutrition for endurance athletes because you train how you are going to perform for an intensive event, not all of a sudden drastically alter the diet. However, carb loading after the event is common place and sensible.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 18, 2012
at 11:42 AM

Former college distance runner. I was, most assuredly, not a fat burner. I ate pancakes every morning, pizza and/or a sub every day for lunch, and pizza or pasta every day for dinner. I also had ice cream every day. Drank Gatorade throughout the day, etc. That is not to say my body didn't burn fat for fuel, but it was not my primary fuel.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on September 19, 2012
at 06:06 PM

I am actually not confused in the slightest, just too lazy to cite it.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 18, 2012
at 11:45 AM

"your body burns an increasing amount of fuel from the opposite fuel source" -- I'm sorry, but this is just not true. I think you are confused with the myth of the "fat burning zone". Yes, there is a zone (zone 3 by the way) where your body burns fat at a higher rate. But, no matter what you do, your body burns whatever it can for fuel. And at very high exertion, your rate of using glucose for energy goes up, you magnitude of fat burn goes up. So you burn more total fat with sprints than you would for a comparable amount of jogging.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:53 AM

they carb load for intensive events when the % of energy derived from carbs is much higher. Day to day training is mainly in the fat burning zone. Secondly, there is an interesting phenomenon where your body burns an increasing amount of fuel from the opposite fuel source with which you mainly exercised from (e.g. sprints burn carbs but you burn increasing amounts of fat during the rest of the day; same goes for fat burning and carb usage following)

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:32 AM

It's called fat adaptation. Your body can convert fat to ketones and use ketones for energy. If it's used to getting glucose to power the brain, then it uses that. When it switches to ketones at first it holds back the rest of your body to ensure your brain will be fueled. Once it knows it will get the energy on a regular basis, you become fat adapted. Once you are fat adapted, your body will burn fat for your energy and have no trouble fasting.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 18, 2012
at 05:05 AM

What's the confusion around ketones? Maybe we can shed some light on it for you.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 18, 2012
at 04:31 AM

I so can't get my mind wrapped around ketones...

1
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 19, 2012
at 03:00 PM

This is one of the most interesting topics out there right now. I'm planning on doing my graduate thesis on the subject. Lots of work has already been done. Check out this link.

http://miketnelson.blogspot.com/2007/12/metabolic-inflexibility-literature.html

In a sense, what fuel is being used at any given moment isn't important. What is important is developing flexibility and the ability to quickly and efficiently switch between fuel sources. Obviously it's a very complicated process that relates not only to diet, but hormones, activity and many other factors.

Mat Lalonde and John Berardi have spoken about this regularily as well, and I hold both of their opinions in pretty high-regard. Check into it by Googling "The Metabolism Advantage", developed by Berardi.

Quite simply, unless your body is exposed to cycles or periods of being forced to burn fat, it's never going to efficiently be able to, even in times without available carbohydrate. Unfortunately, that natural "unavailability" is no longer present in the modern-world, hence, these people simply get hungry every few hours and readily consume carbs. I think it's pretty clear how both carb-burning and fat-burning works and how one goes about using both. The more a person understands this, the more they can tailor it to their activity. This is what most Paleo folks do when it comes to carb intake and training.

What I'm planning on researching further is the shifting between the two states and what biochemical shifts take place and how humans can use supplements and other self-controlled aspects to optimize this.

42f33b23ca2b7c788bdd85afe6bb9dde

(95)

on September 22, 2012
at 09:31 PM

I hope you discover how to shift pronto! I've gone down to 20g carb per day and still can't shift any weight at all! Am post menopausal, have a herniated disc and am desperate to lessen the burden on my spine, and can't get rid of what went on during menopause. Aarrrggghhh!

0
42f33b23ca2b7c788bdd85afe6bb9dde

(95)

on September 19, 2012
at 01:54 PM

Fasting is a state of mind more than all else. For religious reasons I do 2 26 hour fasts every year and several 12-15 hour fasts. It requires going off caffeine for at least 24 hours beforehand [some friends go off for 3 days in advance], and we all eat high starch and sugar foods in advance too, plus some protein. Been doing it for the last 45 years. Several glasses of water during the day before the fast begins, to flush as much toxin out as possible. Actually, once the fast is formally over, I am so alert that I can easily continue right thru the night to the next morning, no probs. That makes it 36 hours. Some of these fasts begin with a traditional festive meat meal [though no salty foods, or overly spicy] and some begin with a bowl of simply made rice with warmed milk, an egg, a cookie and a cup of tea.... So, as you see, HUGE differences in what we eat prior to going into the 25-26 hour fast, too. In other words, a state of mind over matter.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 19, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I think fasting manifests itself as a "state of mind", but really, it's mostly physiological. Someone who is very physiologically adapted to fasting will likely describe it as "mental" at all.

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