4

votes

What about 36-hour fasts?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 27, 2011 at 3:46 AM

Here's my fasting story, in a nutshell - a year ago, I went two days without eating anything. Not on purpose, just didn't have food. Probably lasted about 70 hours, but I felt fine the whole time. Ever since then, one day a week I don't eat anything. In my head it's a 24-hour fast but for some reason people count sleeping as fasting so technically it's a 36-hour fast, and it's the only kind I do, and have been doing for 6 months now.

Nearly every post here on fasting has to do with 16-hour "fasts", aka skipping breakfast, or 24-hour "fasts" aka skipping breakfast and lunch. In my mind that's not fasting, that's just delaying your daily food. Fasting for me is not having food at all. I'm wondering:

  • Why don't more people do whole-day fasts? Is it because it's hard? (It's not really.) Is it unhealthy? (I feel fine during and afterwards.)

  • Wouldn't all the benefits of fasting (autophagy, fat burning) be higher in a 36-hour fast compared to shorter fasts?

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:20 AM

Do you restrict yourself from eating when the hunger hurts? I realize you see some benefits to restricting, but if it's painful is it worth it?

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 31, 2011
at 01:51 AM

I just flipped it open, says 16 hours is sufficient to trigger autophagy; however, I didn't see anywhere that longer is harmful. Different page? I'd certainly consider taking a few tbsp of coconut oil on a fast.

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:22 PM

36 hours a day IS possible. Simply adjust the speed thingy inside your clock to make it run faster.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:45 AM

Of course it does...glucose is scavenged from protein catabolism. Sounds lovely.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 28, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Studies show that cellular autophagy increases when you go without food, which is very logical.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 27, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Do you really believe that proper cellular turnover is starvation-dependent?

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Travis: honestly? There are a wealth of studies that show positive health effects from fasting. Consciously fasting to gain those benefits is a true *paleo hack*, and it's about as far from an "eating disorder" as it gets. "Responding to the nutrient depletion of our food supply with bouts of starvation" *is* bad, and it's not at all what I'm doing (where did you get that idea?). My RDAs 6 days a week are 200%-1000% across the board, and I only fast when I'm in good health. If you have studies showing harmful effects from 24/36-hour fasts please post them; otherwise let's keep this reasonable.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Travis~ You *may* change your mind after reading pklopp's series on the physiological effects of short-term fasting (36-40 hours.) See my answer for the links. Skip to part 3 to read about 40 hour fasts. LOTS of studies. I was *totally* against fasting when I first started eating a Primal diet, but I've since changed my stance after a lot of research and trying it out. So many benefits, including autophagy and increased HGH. It's not for everyone, but it certainly is NOT starvation or an eating disorder.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Autophagy, weight loss, self-control, spiritual reasons.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:57 PM

+2 Kasra. Since we're breaking the laws of physics and all...

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:56 PM

+2. Since we're breaking the laws of physics and all...

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:55 PM

Yeah there are alot of alleged benefits to IF beyond mere calorie restriction. Hormonal corrections like upregulation of leptin/insulin receptors maybe.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:53 PM

If you did a 36 hour fast every day, you would break time.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:41 AM

I like all the fasting questions!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:19 AM

If there's one thing worse than Paleo becoming a fad diet, it's Paleo becoming an eating disorder. Responding to the nutrient depletion of our food supply with bouts of starvation is misguided, no matter how you slice it.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:05 AM

That's a great article, thanks.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:03 AM

I'd never call it starvation. Do you starve for 9 hours every night? No, you just don't eat. Fasting is when you can eat but you don't want to. Starving is when you want to eat but you can't.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:57 AM

The paleo fascination with starvation is bizarre.

0a0c8c37d3a56738dc017e4ff09f21ee

(480)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:55 AM

I'd rather do breakfast and skip lunch and dinner, being as I eat pretty much the same thing every meal. That way you'd be less likely to go into "starvation mode" that day, as they say. Just my thought.

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7 Answers

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:53 PM

pklopp over on MDA wrote a brilliant series about IF--and he talks about 36 hour fasts within the series.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread27894.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread28459.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29011.html

As for me, 20-22 hour fasts happen occasionally and I fast for 14-18 hours daily. I think there is fabulous benefit to a 36 hour-ish fast. Haven't done it yet, but it's nice to know that I could do it safely.

2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 27, 2011
at 07:03 AM

I wouldn't recommend doing this everyday :P

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:53 PM

If you did a 36 hour fast every day, you would break time.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:56 PM

+2. Since we're breaking the laws of physics and all...

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:57 PM

+2 Kasra. Since we're breaking the laws of physics and all...

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:22 PM

36 hours a day IS possible. Simply adjust the speed thingy inside your clock to make it run faster.

1
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on October 28, 2011
at 03:14 AM

The Jaminets in pp 246-248 (Perfect Health Diet a version of Paleo) discuss the merits and issues of 16 hour fasts which can trigger autophagy verses 36 hour fasts (once a month).

Shorter fasts may help with immunity and Alzheimer's.

The longer fast should be stopped immediately if signs like anxiety, hunger, dry eye/mouth, or skin infection appear.

They recommend using coconut oil, and green veggies (0 carb) so that fat and fiber (without carbs) help. According to the book, coconut oil can help reduce glucose needs of the nervous system (including the brain) because the short chain fats are easily converted to ketones in the liver.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 31, 2011
at 01:51 AM

I just flipped it open, says 16 hours is sufficient to trigger autophagy; however, I didn't see anywhere that longer is harmful. Different page? I'd certainly consider taking a few tbsp of coconut oil on a fast.

1
96061d386f8929f50a4d71e0420e3d5d

(208)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:20 AM

If you subscribe to Calories In = Calories Out, you should be able to lose a pound a week with a 36hr fast if your normal calorie intake for a 36 hr time period is 3600 calories. Somehow, I thinking fasting blows CICO out of the water.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on October 27, 2011
at 01:55 PM

Yeah there are alot of alleged benefits to IF beyond mere calorie restriction. Hormonal corrections like upregulation of leptin/insulin receptors maybe.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:59 AM

Sure fine. Read World's Most Effective Diet in Men's Health:

http://www.menshealth.com/bestfoods/food_features/The_Worlds_Most_Effective_Diet.php

According to Brad Pilon the benefits peak after 22-24 hours. I've fasted 24 and 36 hours. Didn't notice any additional benefits from the longer fast personally.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:05 AM

That's a great article, thanks.

0
D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:53 PM

I only "fast"/starve myself if I've been especially naughty in the sweets and treats department for a day or two. I don't know why anyone would deprive themselves of some real, good food intentionally.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Autophagy, weight loss, self-control, spiritual reasons.

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:20 AM

Do you restrict yourself from eating when the hunger hurts? I realize you see some benefits to restricting, but if it's painful is it worth it?

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:24 PM

I naturally fast for anywhere from 24-48 hours randomly, I just listen to my body as it knows what it needs or does not need. I don't fast because its the cool new thing to do, it just seems that the body sometimes needs time to do other things internally other than digesting food.

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