Having to stay home most of the time to avoid covid-19 infection had an unexpected impact on my fasting routine. 

First – I do not move as much, trying to come up with more activities than a 30 min spin on an air bike. Walking dog in the neighborhood weather permitting, right after we had a nice week of 60s and even 70s in early March it became cold again, So, I am doing more house work like mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing just to get off the chair for more physical activity. Considering game console with wii extensions for exercise, or online instructions for yoga or pilates.

Second – being in constant proximity to kitchen has its tall, I started snacking again. A cup of tea with cream cheese on my toast; an orange followed by slice of cheese; a dark chocolate truffle because I gotta have one and cannot get my mind off it.

Not that I gained back weight – no, but good effects of fasting day are followed buy not so good habits of non-fasting days, and I loose much less now (like only 0.2-0.4lb each time instead of a pound or more). My goal is to reach turning point when I can reduce number of medications I am taking for diabetes or reach condition when I may not need them at all.

So, going forward I will be aware of needing to control snacking and follow more closely Dr. Jason Fung’s diet recommendations on non-fasting days, and especially NOT eating when not hungry.

What amazes me after a month and a half of intermittent fasting is a steady progress in the weight loss aspect of it. Although my first goal is to reverse the progress of diabetes and other health benefits, losing some weight in the process is an inspiring perk.

I remember all the diets I endured since I was 15, you eat what diet tells you and first couple weeks you lose weight and then the process slows down … and then nothing happens. Dreaded morning, step on a scale after diet torture and no reward. 

Now, the last 3 weeks I was fasting in 36 hrs periods; stepping on a scale morning after was like a miracle – a reward every time, another pound comes off. You have to know what happens during “normal” diet and exercise experience to appreciate how unusual this steady weight loss is. No slow down they call a plateau. Wow! If only I knew this years ago. 

This constant reward makes me look forward to next fasting day, I no longer fear feeling hungry – hunger is my dear friend.

2016 year’s Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.

Thanks to Yoshinori  Ohsumi and others following in his footsteps, we now know that autophagy controls important physiological functions where cellular components need to be degraded and recycled. Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is therefore essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress. 

… Cells also use autophagy to eliminate damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control mechanism that is critical for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.

Disrupted autophagy has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders that appear in the elderly. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause genetic disease. Disturbances in the autophagic machinery have also been linked to cancer. Intense research is now ongoing to develop drugs that can target autophagy in various diseases.

Autophagy has been known for over 50 years but its fundamental importance in physiology and medicine was only recognized after Yoshinori Ohsumi’s paradigm-shifting research in the 1990’s. For his discoveries, he is awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.” ~ www.nobelprize.org

The OddDiet Community

As we looked around for more information about fasting every other day, how various groups do it, what medical community opinions are, the benefits and the risks, we realized that every bit of useful information is scattered out there and hard to find. Not to mention, there is hardly any forum like the Odd Diet Community that is un-connected to a published book, or free for members to participate in discussion and to share their story with other Members. You can join our forum at OddDiet.com free of charge. Click Here

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Had another 36 hr fasting day, BG 126 in the morning; I take no pills on a fasting day, but if you think about starting fast consult your doctor first – everyone’s condition is different.

Lost another pound, which is a great incentive to continue the longer fast – I am very glad I stood up to myself at the moment of temptation yesterday. At some point I was tired and felt hungrier than usual in the evening, and was thinking about breaking fast at 24 hrs instead of 36 hrs next morning. My brain was frantic, fear of hunger was there – I had a need to go looking for food which I resisted. I had a cup of tea and went for a walk, it was a little cold for me (I feel extra cold when fasting) and I took a walk around the store promising myself I will only look for new socks. Right. I did end up with a bag of breakfast food planning to make the most of the upcoming breakfast meal. 

Still, telling yourself you can have anything you want tomorrow anyway helps a lot – no feeling of punishment but the anticipation of reward the day after you accomplished your fasting goal. Like they sing: “…The Phantom of the Opera is there, Inside my mind.” Just talk it into waiting a little longer before you eat again.

When I started fasting with just 16-18 hrs extending time window before my first meal of the day I did feel something like fear of hunger. Will it be difficult? Will it be just another torture? It was not particularly bad and on the next fasting day I would fast a little longer till I reached 24 hr between meals with small dinner at the end of the day. Last week was my first 36 hr fast, which is almost a month since I started fasting.

After several fasting days I noticed that tea with zero calorie sweetener makes me very hungry and difficult to make it to 5pm without food. I suspected other ingredients in the sweetener packet triggered insulin production and hunger till I read about “cephalic phase response”. Human brain responding to sweet taste just the same it would to real sugar in your tea.

The other thing that happened to me every time I was fasting is urge to go shopping for food. I was dreaming about wonderful things I could buy for breakfast or dinner tomorrow, and how I would prepare them. Turned out, as we were eating less on our non-fasting day in general we could not consume all the goods I was bringing home, so I started putting surplace food in the freezer. Today I went to buy toothpaste and shampoo, and could not help but walk through food isles trying to remember if we need anything. Well, I ended up with a jar of pickles – we did run out of them 🙂

When I was diagnosed with diabetes I sat in the car in front of doctor’s office and wept, I knew what this diagnosis meant. My father was diabetic since he was in his late 40’s, most of his life it was undiagnosed, untreated, in his late 50’s he got metformin pills and monthly blood tests at the clinic. He had a stroke at 59, a heart attack next year, and passed away at 62 after a second heart attack. I planned to drop dead in about 8-10 years, so no particular life plans.

Having read about fasting for diabetes type 2 and potentially reversing the condition, getting rid of insulin resistance and meds and live… I found hope. I want to live, I plan for the future, with this new found hope I can do anything! Feeling a little hungry one day at a time is not going to stop me.

I;ve always been overweight. Diagnosed with diabetes about 8 years ago after being pre-diabetic for several years, my a1c was 18 and doctor said “well, you have finally arrived” meaning I cannot go back to being a non-diabetic or pretend I don’t have a health problem. He put me on metformin 500mg twice a day. A year later it became 800mg, then 1000mg and for some time it kept my a1c below 8; a year ago I started gaining more weight and my blood glucose levels went up, my physician prescribed Janumet and, recently, Trulicity injections once a month which brought a1c to 6.0 but then started climbing again. Last reading was 6.2 and I am sure it will not end there.

My current physician kept telling me that loosing 30-40 lb could help and referred me to dietitian and specially designed food programs, but I already knew that diets sorta work but then you gain back even more weight. I was reluctant to engage with yet another dietician telling me how many calories a day I can eat, demonstrate “what portion looks like”, and what foods to avoid. I kept wondering: when we run out of options in pills and other meds – is my doctor going to put me on insulin? I did not want that, I feared that. My doctor knew that I will gain even more weight on insulin, he told me so.

So, what to do? I decided to join with my husband’s “Odd Diet” and research fasting options for diabetics. I was stunned with what I found and it gave me hope.

After several weeks 18-24hr fasting I braved a 36 hr fast. All day I felt great – alert and creative. Was busy with work and other chores, then watched a movie and went to bed. Slept really well, woke up only 2 times (my normal night 5 times due to meds that have diuretic effect). I was after really lowering my insulin level as described in Dr. Fung’s book, and last night it was 101 and this morning 128 with no diabetic pills during fasting (usually it is 139-142 taking janumet pills). With several days of 18-24 hr intermittent fasting in January I also lost 9.6lb so far. Loosing weight was not so much a goal but means to lower insulin resistance and may be (it’s a dream) to reverse my diabetes. I feel  better in ways I did not expect – better sleep, need less amount food and eat healthier low carb meals; my skin is less dry and red patches on my face are gone; and I feel more optimistic and happier when I fast.