Since my proof of concept fast went well, I began planning for my next fast – the one I would use to change my lifestyle, my cravings, and all of the negativity that goes along with that. I previously shared my goals for the 90-day period (see 2019 Plan – Starting Soon on a Blog Near You!) and this fast was to be the first phase of that new plan.
Due to traveling in January, I started a week into the year. I planned to go at least 5 days on this fast, but really didn’t have an end time. I decided to trust my blood work and how I was feeling to make that decision. I started after eating a non-nutritious fast food meal, which gave me a good (cough) starting weight to base everything off of. I only mention this because I did not do the same thing in my first 5-day fast. I thought it would be motivating to start with a great weight drop this time.
My blood work was a little different this time too, as I did it a week before beginning the fast. I decided to stop taking the DHEA, but before going off of it, I wanted to check its effect on my hormone levels. I also wanted to see how well my Vitamin D supplements were going. Finally, I thought it would be interesting to start the year with an NMR lipid profile to see if could get additional information on my insanely high cholesterol. I went ahead and measured my insulin, CBC, and CMP at this time as well, figuring there wouldn’t be much changes over the short vacation duration. My insulin started at 6.2uIU/mL, which was lower than before my previous fast, so I was optimistic that I would see a nice decline!
I was quite disappointed to see that after 2 months of taking 5000IU Vitamin D, my blood levels had not changed much at all. My steroid hormones were increased, as I expected, from the DHEA supplements. I stopped the DHEA after this blood test, to see if this was possibly related to my unusually high cholesterol numbers of late. I hope that as time goes on, my lipid values return to the stable state they were in prior to the DHEA supplement.
My liver and platelets had returned to the realm of normal since my last two measurements, so I was happy about that. My cholesterol and LDL had come down to lower than before my previous fast, and my HDL was back to normal. My triglycerides increased a little above my post-fast results from last time.
The extra information from the NMR lipo-profile was interesting. On the bad side, I had a really high LDL particle number and small LDL particle number. However, on the good side, my LDL particle size and VLDL particles were really good. This contradiction encouraged me to get a CT calcium screen and I was happy to see that my calcium score was 0, so despite my weird cholesterol values, there are no blockages in my heart. That was a huge relief!
My second set of blood work (the normal panels I get) was done around hour 36 of the fast. My final set of blood work was done shortly before I broke the fast after 6.5 days. Seeing the results of that blood work indicated that I chose the right time to stop fasting.
After 36 hours of fasting, my fasting insulin had dropped to 3.1uIU/mL, and at the end of the fast, it reached an all-time low of 2.4uIU/mL. I was thrilled with that decrease. This time, my initial glucose was good (83mg/dL) and my lab values went down to 81mg/dL and 71mg/dL during the fast.
Like the previous fast, my total and LDL cholesterol increased, and my HDL increased. The overall swing was even larger than last time. My triglycerides fell again, but since they didn’t start out as high as before the previous fast, they didn’t fall as much. My post fast triglycerides was 136mg/dL, as compared to 144mg/dL last time.
The reason I am glad I stopped the fast when I did is because my ALT and bilirubin had increased above my normal (however, both were well within the “normal” reference range). Additionally, my bicarbonate level was low, which didn’t happen last time, so it was concerning to me. These values all bounced back immediately, so there was nothing to worry about after stopping the fast.
I took measurements during this fast and was able to look at inches lost, as well as weight. I also took before and after photographs, but it’s really hard to see the magnitude of difference, despite being careful to do everything exactly the same way. I also tracked symptoms, sleep, steps, and everything I could think of.
I have the same graphs as last time (see below), but I will also list the results. My weight decreased 14.4 pounds (remember, I ate junk right before my initial weight), as compared to 10.8 pounds last time. More importantly, my abdomen measurement decreased by 3.5 inches, from the removal of my permanent “bloat”. I have a tendency to carry all of my excess fat around my mid-section, which is really the biggest motivator for trying to improve my health!
The final thing I want to say is that it was much easier to do the fast the second time. My body and I both knew what to expect, so there was no anxiety or headaches, and I felt great even faster. I also got into ketosis more quickly this time. It was almost like my body was ready for this fast and for the changes that would follow it… More to come!