My recent 44-hour Fasting Experiment

11 months ago

Whenever I fly inter-continentally I fast; that is - I don't eat. I benefit from this by avoiding spending money on airport food and by avoiding airplane food.

Thus, I have no stomach upset. My GI tract is in 'reverie' mode, unlike when I was eating during my long travels. Back then, my stomach was somewhat disturbed and I had trouble recovering from jet lag, which is inexistent with this current strategy. I am aware, though, that correlation is not causation and that other factors from my life could contribute to this. Anyhow...

Removing my attention from food and feeding, I can focus on working on whatever project is on the 'table'. Since some of these travels last for 30-40+ hours, this is a good way for me to go against the grain and be productive while traveling.

The last one (fast) that I did was not during an intercontinental flight but during a short trip to Washington, from NYC. Here's a timeline of my experiment:

Day 1:

15 PM - Finished last meal, which was my only meal for the day. Total energy intake: ~1,600 kcals.
Plane to Washington in the evening.

Day 2:

Fast.
Walked 13,000 steps, just by visiting around.
Had 2 double espressos with some milk.
Returned to NYC by bus.
Went to bed at 1 A.M.

Day 3:

Woke up quite refreshed at 7:50 AM.
Did some intensive calisthenics at 8:30 AM. I don't recommend doing this in a fasted state, especially if you're not used to not eating.
Black coffee at 9 AM.
First meal at 11 AM - after 44 hours of not eating.

On day 3 I planned feasting (eat a lot) to make up for the period of deprivation. I am at maintenance weight and body composition since early 2014 so I have no intention to lose fat or build muscle.

Day 4 (today):

I failed feasting yesterday. I only consumed about 2,500 kcals in two large meals and a smaller meal. That's more than I usually eat so it's not total failure. I'll try keeping the higher-cal trend for the following few days...

Here's a photo I took at Lincoln Memorial:

It's easy for me to undergo such experiments because I am least hungry when I end the fast than when I start it. Plus, the total amount of carbohydrate I consume daily is below the norm, so I may have an upregulated fatty-acid and ketone metabolism. My urine ketones were 'ultra-black' post calisthenics (see the top).

My rationale is: since I may be used to burning fats, I do not experience hunger pangs as glycogen is being depleted compared to someone who is not in this situation. I did have a headache that lasted for a few hours on Day 2; it was not disturbing though.

I will not go into rationalizing (yes, rationalizing) the benefits and pitfalls of fasting and IF. I discussed them at length in 3 of my books. But if you have comments or questions about related to this, please let me know below and I'm more than glad to share my subjective thoughts.


To stay in touch with me, follow @cristi

#intermittent-fasting #fasting #ketosis


Cristi Vlad, Self-Experimenter and Author

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3 of my books! haha. nice.
I enjoy IF but care not for the mumbo-jumbo: it's a great way to keep calories in check. 44 hours is extreme....i usually do 16-maybe 18 windows.
Pretty cool to visit DC though!

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yep, there's a lot of unfounded hype around it, which masks some if its potential benefits...

haven't thought about this for travel/flying... interesting post!
i just watched a video recently where a flight attendant said that once she started her job she saw a lot of health issues (skin problems/hair problems etc), she believes it was because of her diet of eating airport/airplane food which she said was loaded with salt
thanks for this post!

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that could be an interesting correlation to study!

I really like the idea of fasting while travelling, especially for a long haul flight. Someone told me airlines serve food to bung you up so you don't need to use the loos so much, lots of people not many loos! Avoiding it seems sensible!

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hmm, I'm not sure what the loos is. could you please explain further?

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bathrooms.

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oh, it would've never crossed my mind :)

I have been on ketosis (most of the time) for two years now. My personal experience is that fasting is not really such a good idea. You can easily stay on ketosis by eating 3-4 meals per day. I started with 5% carbs, now I can stay in ketosis with about 8-10%. But that's just me. Things work differently for each person. Thanks for sharing!

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you said it. each strategy should be tailored to the individual...

Interesting. I have had a lot of success fasting. It really seems to help me detox and actually become a bit revitalized. Thanks for sharing!

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Our body detox (without outside help) all the time. That's why we have liver and kidneys for (and other excretory/filtrating organs). Some people are more efficient, other less. And other fall for detox/cleans fads. Hope you're not one of them.

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I don't. I detox through fasting, even though I am the type to detox very easily. my body seems efficient at doing it. Unfortunately there are a few toxic thiings I still consume regularly so it is an ongoing process.

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have you ever thought of these toxins in a positive manner? such as stressors that increase resilience? :-/ removing all toxins and stress is not desirable if you ask me. how is your immune system challenged, how can it grow if you purpose to live in an 'bubble', free of all pathogens?

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I have... well said.

I eat only raw beef, raw eggs and butter. I recently did a 72 hour fast, lost 4 pounds and my blood ketones measured 7.2. I felt great the whole time and after this 3 day fast, I resumed eating my normal one day meal of beef, eggs and butter. I've been eating this once a day meal for 65 days now and been doing zero carb for 2 years.

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glad it works for you!

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Were/are you a member of the Prinicpia Carnivora FB group? I did Zero Carb for about a year, though am eating some plants again now.

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i dont think I am :) I stopped believe in one sided extremist approaches a while ago

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Sorry, should have labelled that comment as being to @mejda1. In general I agree with you about extreme approaches. At the time, it seemed like something my body needed. But it only needed it for a while. Likewise the recent fast. 3 days was enough.

nice one. I'm getting slowly into adapting my body to use more fat than sugar, but I come from a different angle: I run ultramarathons (those over 100k being the most appealing to me). I started a few months ago to train using MAF (Maximum Aerobic Fitness level) a technique created by Phil Maffetone. I'm going to stick with it, because I already see improvements, and I'm slowly transitioning to LCHF as well, hopefully winter will make this easier.

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I also found it fascinating. I was once an amateur runner (half-marathons) but I stopped doing it as I progressed into strength training...

I have never tried fasting during trips. I am as a result always sick... ;)

I will try the next time! Definitely!

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hm, what do you mean by sick?

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Digestion issue. My stomach does not like much traveling.

I do the same thing. Airport food is disgusting.

I just saw a video recently of a guy analyzing food inspections dataset, only to find an airport being a hot zone for violations.

I've been fasting bits now and then. I found that I don't get hungry that much nowadays.

That's all you man. If I did coffee and no food I'd seriously pass out. I don't even drink coffee anymore....we are all built a little different.

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well, I would be the same would I not be accustomed to this...I can recall how I was in the past :)

I did my first water fast a couple of weeks ago. I had been IF with two meals a day for about 2 weeks before that, which I think made it easier. The first 72 hours were much easier than I expected, though I started getting low blood sugar after that, so broke the fast at about 84 hours. Having found it ok, I think I'd be inclined to fast for long trips as well now - not that I do many.

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depends on what your purpose is, I think.

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Yes, absolutely. I think its good to know why you're fasting. I did have a very specific purpose for the fast, though it didn't actually do what I hoped. (and it wasn't detox either, I agree with you on that.)