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lessons learned from fasting and carb loading

I just finished a 7+ day water fast 1 (stopped eating last Sunday and started this Monday).

My breathalyzer peaked at 0.19 %BAC on the last couple days. That was also the time period with basically zero hunger. On Monday, when I was scheduled to break the fast, and looking forward to getting back into kitchen experiments, I could easily have kept fasting.

It seemed, if I had to eat, I was craving cream of broccoli and cheddar soup, so I made that for my break-fast (Monday afternoon). It was delicious. It’s always delicious. It wasn’t mind-blowing. I also had a brined pork chop, also delicious, also not mind-blowing. Then I started a stew simmering for dinner, but by the time it was done I didn’t end up eating anything. In fact, the idea of putting it in the fridge to see if it improved the flavor was more interesting than eating it.
I also worked out a few times during the fast; stuff like pullups and kettlebell swings. There wasn’t any obvious effect on performance, but it did seem like my muscles remained sore longer than usual.
Today (Tuesday) I got a little hungry around midday but didn’t need to eat. By the time I got a chance I didn’t feel hungry and was doing other things anyway. It’s early afternoon and I’m not sure if I’m going to eat today at all. I might eat dinner. We’ll see. I’m still at least 0.10 %BAC.
Lessons Learned
  1. The biggest problem was boredom. Meals are stimulating; they create cycles in the day. Similarly, energy levels that cycle throughout the day are stimulating. When adapted to fasting there’s just less stimulation because energy and events are smooth and even throughout the day.
  2. Even though I’m still interested in and occasionally think about treats such as dark chocolate covered almonds, there’s no compulsion to indulge. I experimented with adding carby stuff like that back into my diet prior to the fast and it clearly made me hungry. As in, the stuff I ate actually made me hungrier than other stuff I ate. Food is supposed to satisfy hunger, but it’s not that simple. Running through cycles of experimentation like this is calibrating my perception of what’s satisfying.
  3. Words and phrases such as “breakfast” are only semi-useful in this low-carb-and-fasting lifestyle. I want to say something like “my breakfast meal was X” but that implies it happened in the morning after I woke up. It’s significant that my “break-fast” meal happend in the afternoon, so I have to search for an appropriate modification such as the hypen. I feel it clarifies that the meal wasn’t habitial, it was a deliberate choice.
  1. Guidelines indicate that you have to start worrying about deliberate re-feeding if you fast longer than 14 days.
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