I woke up this morning feeling a lot better. The night was restless but not bad — I was up and down a lot to pee and drink water but went straight back to sleep each time. Around 8:30 I had a few ounces of coconut water and went back to sleep. A few more ounces around 10:30 when I finally woke up again, and then I took my meds. I’ve been afraid that my medication would upset my stomach, but so far so good.
As with so many things, there seem to be two sides to the fasting conversation: the scientists, who are cautiously and slowly coming to accept the benefits, and the believers/practitioners who talk about “purging toxins.” I believe there is a rational and scientific explanation for the benefits that many people find in fasting. For example, I read yesterday all about ketosis, a biological process that occurs when there is no longer enough glucose in the bloodstream, and the body must begin to burn fat. From The Eating Academy:
The reason a starving person can live for 40-60 days is precisely because we can turn fat into ketones and convert ketones into substrate for the Krebs Cycle in the mitochondria of our neurons. In fact, the more fat you have on your body, the longer you can survive.
I am intrigued by the notion that shutting down digestion allows the body to focus its resources on other things. And it does make sense, in a very nonscientific way, because we evolved under conditions of food scarcity. Periodic fasting and ketosis must be natural and healthy states, but the fact is that most Americans probably never experience ketosis once in their lives.
Recently, the scientific community has gotten excited about the benefits of intermittent fasting as a way of prolonging life. From the National Center for Biotechnology Information:
We now know that fasting results in ketogenesis, promotes potent changes in metabolic pathways and cellular processes such as stress resistance, lipolysis and autophagy, and can have medical applications that in some cases are as effective as those of approved drugs such as the dampening of seizures and seizure-associated brain damage and the amelioration of rheumatoid arthritis.
I’ll have more to say about all of this, I’m sure, and will update tonight if I get home at a reasonable hour. I’m very nervous about going out in public for the first time tonight, and being around food. I can do it!
Starting weight: 140 lbs
Day 1: 137 lbs
Day 2: 140 lbs
Day 3: 136 lbs