After this past week I’m considering changing my approach again. I’m trying to find a balance between doing a full on fast long term verses something that is more aggressive than an intermittent 52 fast. The original plan was to do a reversed 52 approach (2 non-consecutive non-fasting days).
However, it seems that into week 3, while my average weight loss for the week is showing down by 5 lbs, in fact from the lowest point from the start of the week to the lowest point at the end of the week, my effective weight loss was only around 2 lbs.
What created a problem I think is that on Sunday I likely over did the inclusion of carbs as compared to the week before. That drove up my weight gain across two days instead of one – likely completely driving me out of ketosis despite the 1 day of fasting between the two refeed days.
So the last 5 days has been getting back into ketosis.
Yep 5 days, not 4.
That is because I’m switching up my R52 plan to extend to a 9-day rotation rather than a seven day rotation (5 days fasting, 1 day refeed, then 2 days fasting, and 1 day refeed).
Also, I’m going to need to limit carbs and simple sugars on refeeding days. I truly admit that I can’t cut out carbs altogether. I like pasta, pizza, potatoes, cheesecake, beer, all those things that drive insulin the wrong direction. However, knowing that I can have those items in moderation on refeeding days is what sort of helps keep me going as compared to trying to abstain completely.
The third component is to be more rigorous in monitoring calories on refeed days. The idea of deliberately overeating on refeed days to stimulate metabolism (for which there is a basis in research that supports this approach) may be sensitive to how far to over-eat on those days.
I had previously set a limit of between 1x – 1.25x max calories based on the estimated number of calories calculated from my samsung health app (currently estimated at 2950 calories). I’m thinking however that what I should be doing is setting the limit based upon 1x – 1.25x my estimated basal metabolic rate (currently estimated at 2382). So that would mean 2400-3000 calories verses 3000-3600 calories on those days.
Based on this – tomorrow is a refeed day and then I will be two days fasting again before refeeding again on Tuesday.
I’m a bit loathe to extend this beyond 5 days however as the research I’ve looked at seems to suggest that the sweet spot is in shorter duration fasts of no less than 3 days rather than longer ones.
The other alternative is to cut out the in-between altogether. I.e. 5 days fasting, 2 consecutive days refeeding. I’ll have an opportunity to test the difference between the two however as there is a family event coming up in a few weeks which would allow me to test the difference between the two approaches.
For for the next two “cycles” I’m going to use this approach (5-1-2-1). The two cycles following that I’ll use the 5-2 approach and see what the difference is. By that point I’ll be starting the hospital weight loss program and will be following their recommendations (at least initially while I see what the difference there is also)
On the plus side the weight is still going in the right direction overall and using this R52 approach appears to be helping alleviate the lean muscle mass problem.
I guess overall I don’t have much to complain about because I only lost 2 lbs verses the 5-6 pounds I was used to doing a full fast. But then the goal is to also be healthy at the end of this process and to be able to enjoy life.
At 340-350 lbs I was not enjoying life. After almost 50 lbs lost since the beginning of June I’m coming to the belief that the light at the end of the tunnel is going to start showing itself soon and I’ll be able to start doing all the things I used to once enjoy doing like biking, scuba, and skiing.