8

votes

Specific question about fasting: what ACTIVITIES can you or do you perform?

Answered on August 07, 2017
Created March 24, 2011 at 6:24 AM

OK, I've looked through all the fasting questions, and while I've found some helpful data there I think it would also be helpful to ask a new question. So:

Instead of trying to describe your fasting experience in terms of how you feel while fasting, or in addition to describing it that way, can you also describe it in terms of what you do?

i. One way to ask the question is: what can you do? I have gotten much, much better at fasting as the time on paleo has added up. This is exciting for me because of the improved flexibility in eating -- liberating for someone who used to be a slave to the clock (and his blood sugar). But after 20 hours or so (I like to fast about 24 hours these days) I find that there are certain activities that I just don't want to do. Anything requiring deep concentration, basically. It's not that I don't want to use my brain; I have no trouble reading a book, or answering questions on Paleohacks, or writing emails, or taking part in intellectual conversations. And I don't feel irritable (in fact I often feel a little manic). But anything requiring a whole lot of really detail-oriented or logical thinking just doesn't appeal to me. When it occurs to me that I should be doing such a thing, I have an immediate reaction of antipathy and annoyance. My mind tells me: "no, don't do that." Has anyone else found a similar dividing line? How about all you computer programmers? I guess I'm more interested in brain function and day-to-day activities, because I think exercise has already been covered, but obviously I'd welcome any feedback.

ii. The other way to ask the question is not what can you do, but: what do you do? I've seen a few people here and there say that they plan their fasting periods for the weekend. Do you fast only on certain days? Do you set up your fasts only when you know that certain things won't get in the way? And if so, is that not an implicit admission that there are certain things you can't do as well when you're fasting?

As a bonus question, what the heck is going on with my brain? Is there some extra high level of glucose needed to push me up to that "next level" in brain function?

Sorry about the long question again, I really have to ask some short ones soon.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 28, 2011
at 08:24 PM

thx for posting the link, I very much enjoyed reading about your experience!

2422dcf52da053d610d816fe90d93098

(177)

on March 25, 2011
at 12:48 PM

agreed, well thought out, relevant question, I have up-voted!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 25, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I also wait for a while after a workout. I've never bought into the advice that you need to get protein into your body asap. I listen to my body, easy as that. Of course I'm not trying to put on tons of muscle either. But even then I doubt it would really be necessary.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 25, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Yes, I think fasting is useful for active needs and passive needs as you say. The energy really increases when you need to get things done, and if you're fasting for peace/rest/stress relief it is almost as if you go into a hibernation type of calm.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 24, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I eat ONLY when I get hungry, for ME that's usually 1-2 hrs later and I'm Ravenous. I recommend waiting for your body to signal to you that it's ready.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 24, 2011
at 07:23 PM

I am getting from it, that you dont' eat soon after the faster workout? I was wondering how soon after I should eat. My fasts are not that long - 16h or so, sometimes almost 20h, but rarely. Till now I've been eating within 30min after a workout. Should I wait longer?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:34 PM

def plan on reading tonite!

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Thanks texasleah. It was tough in places - I am not sure if you read my full five blog posts about it (and they do need editing down a bit). My mates thought I was mad, but I proved to both them and to myself that this whole fasted thing has some merit behind it. It also busted the idea that you must necessarily carb up before such an undertaking.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:48 PM

And your first paragraph also makes me think that it's useful to describe it as active versus passive. If I were in a situation in which I was forced to think logically -- how can we trick this mastodon without moving the bishop from b6 to c5 -- I would be ok, but if it's up to me then I won't do it.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Thanks for the great detail, this was fun to read. You point to something that I hinted at: the difference between ability and will. You were in fact *able* to do logical-style thinking (during work hours) but when you had the choice you didn't want to.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Thanks. I was not fasted when I wrote the question, ha ha.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Ditto on the exercise. I pretty much don't eat every day until it's been 15 hours, and a third of the time more like 17. I don't even notice it, and I love lifting after 13-14 hours, and also after 20-22. Impressive about your going to work fasted.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 24, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Bravo to your 14 Peaks accomplishment!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 24, 2011
at 03:12 PM

this is a great question!

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7 Answers

best answer

3
D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

on March 24, 2011
at 03:50 PM

I have fasted for 75 hours, from a Wednesday noon to Saturday mid afternoon once. I am a Comptroller for a fairly large company that runs with a very small staff and my duties require quite a bit of concentration. I purposely started my fast during a very busy time at work because I thought it would be easier to do if my mind was occupied. This strategy worked very well, I was too busy to think about my appetite.

Now what did I do during my non-work hours? I did not exercise, I did my household chores before they really needed attending to (nice bonus), and spent quite a bit of time reading. Also quite a bit of my spare time was just spent listening to music, laying in the sun and contemplating many different issues (health, nutrition, thinking of new ways to make paleo work for me, the coming of spring etc). A clearer way to explain the downtime activity would be to say that I became very hyper-focused on why in the world I was trying to fast in the first place: to learn to listen to my body as a way to learn what hunger really feels like. The odd thing that I did not expect was a "floaty", peaceful feeling, almost meditative, new-agey like state of mind. And I am an accountant, logic and answers are the cornerstone of my personality and I absolutely never expected to feel like such a different person as a result of being in an un-fed state. Very weird for me. So I am totally understanding your feeling of not wanting to participate in anything logical as that was exactly my experience as well.

Implicit admission that there are certain things you can't do as well when you're fasting? This is where my one lengthy fast experience differs. The ability to focus on logical/work related tasks was there if I had chosen to exercise the need, but instead my focus was directed at the purpose of my fast which was to heal and reconcile my health to my actions. I have no doubt I could have burned through some financial statements or depreciation schedules if required, probably at a record pace!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 25, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Yes, I think fasting is useful for active needs and passive needs as you say. The energy really increases when you need to get things done, and if you're fasting for peace/rest/stress relief it is almost as if you go into a hibernation type of calm.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:48 PM

And your first paragraph also makes me think that it's useful to describe it as active versus passive. If I were in a situation in which I was forced to think logically -- how can we trick this mastodon without moving the bishop from b6 to c5 -- I would be ok, but if it's up to me then I won't do it.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Thanks for the great detail, this was fun to read. You point to something that I hinted at: the difference between ability and will. You were in fact *able* to do logical-style thinking (during work hours) but when you had the choice you didn't want to.

4
F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

on March 24, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Question #1, What can you do? Well I completed the Welsh 14 Peaks completely fasted. This involves summiting all 14 of the mountains over 3000 ft in Wales within the space of 24 hours, without using any form of transport. The length is about 24 miles, but the walks to the start point and down from the finish point can take it to over 30 miles in total. Total ascent is just over 12,500ft! By the time I had completed it I had fasted for over 30hrs (IIRC). I wrote about it here. So in answer to what can you do - the answer is 'a hell of a lot' if you are keto adapted.

Question #2, What do you do? I usually throw in two 24hr fasts a week. Most days I never really eat until midday anyway. Apart from the eating/not-eating I do whatever I would normally do that day in terms of training and exercise. If I was to do something uniquely competitive I might eat more carbohydrate in the few days before - but this has yet to happen.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 24, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Bravo to your 14 Peaks accomplishment!

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Thanks texasleah. It was tough in places - I am not sure if you read my full five blog posts about it (and they do need editing down a bit). My mates thought I was mad, but I proved to both them and to myself that this whole fasted thing has some merit behind it. It also busted the idea that you must necessarily carb up before such an undertaking.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 24, 2011
at 06:34 PM

def plan on reading tonite!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on March 28, 2011
at 08:24 PM

thx for posting the link, I very much enjoyed reading about your experience!

3
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 24, 2011
at 12:12 PM

Sleep. and I am not being cute with my answer

ii- random unscheduled fasting so the body doesn't plan a survival mode.

2
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on March 24, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I try to schedule for a workday, simply b/c I want to stay busy and away from the fridge ;-) I do get hungry (but not upset), and I simply would like to eat out of habit and boredom. Weekend would kill me ;-)

I try to do workout toward the end, and generally am doing surprisingly well (a few years ago I was half-human if fasted). Sometimes I can get slightly sluggish in terms of thinking or energy.

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 24, 2011
at 01:32 PM

Question #1, I actually really try to keep myself busy and out of the house. I usually go shopping, lol, but not food shopping if I can help it! Because I'm mental, clothes shopping especially helps me keep the fast, because I see what all my hard work has done for fitting in new awesome clothes.

Question #2, I always fast on the weekend. That way I can plan out my day so that it doesn't get to me so much. I am not an expert faster, but I am much better at it than I used to be. The key for me is to get past the first bout of hunger and rumbly tummy, then it's super easy.

I don't know what going on in your brain, Paul, LOL but I like it. Very interesting question!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Thanks. I was not fasted when I wrote the question, ha ha.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on March 24, 2011
at 12:54 PM

I've done 48 hr fast ended after 2.5 hrs of hard running playing ultimate frisbee. I regularly lift heavy weights after 16-20hr fast.

I almost always exercise fasted, and perform poorly (comparatively) if I do eat.

I work most days (Pricing Analyst) in a fasted state. Concentration, attention to detail and logic all required.

Once you've adapted its all quite easy. The transition can suck I you don't do it gradually.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 24, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I eat ONLY when I get hungry, for ME that's usually 1-2 hrs later and I'm Ravenous. I recommend waiting for your body to signal to you that it's ready.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 25, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I also wait for a while after a workout. I've never bought into the advice that you need to get protein into your body asap. I listen to my body, easy as that. Of course I'm not trying to put on tons of muscle either. But even then I doubt it would really be necessary.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Ditto on the exercise. I pretty much don't eat every day until it's been 15 hours, and a third of the time more like 17. I don't even notice it, and I love lifting after 13-14 hours, and also after 20-22. Impressive about your going to work fasted.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 24, 2011
at 07:23 PM

I am getting from it, that you dont' eat soon after the faster workout? I was wondering how soon after I should eat. My fasts are not that long - 16h or so, sometimes almost 20h, but rarely. Till now I've been eating within 30min after a workout. Should I wait longer?

0
A259f553565fc421167e74ed729ca57e

on August 07, 2017
at 12:30 PM

Fasting can cause psychosis. Professionally, psychosis is defined to be more than 10% brain use. LSD causes psychosis by blocking seratonin, the neurotransmitter of the inhibitory neurons in the brain that keep brain use down to 10% brain use. An MRI can show blobs of light travelling around in the brain indicating changing regions of brain use. The total volume of these blobs compared with the volume of the brain indicates the percentage of brain use. Vagal stimulation causes more than 10% brain use by the parasympathetic, also called muscarinic, nervous system overriding those inhibitory neurons. The psychosis of "nervous breakdown" is caused by enough stress overriding the inhibitory neurons. The unpleasant "breakdown" effect is when the "knowledge of good and evil" is too horrible for the uninitiated to endure. Esoterically, Adam and Eve caused each other's "knowledge of good and evil" by the vagal stimulation of massaging each others' "apples". The parasympathetic nervous system is "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". Fasting eventually also causes "starvation ketosis", extra acetone in the blood stream, which increases neuron wall permeability which is then counteracted by the homeopathic response that also causes organic psychosis, increases of percentage of brain use. It is obvious that, esoterically, fasting was used to access the "spiritual world", psychosis.

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