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Low carb and fasting


I have been low carb for maybe three years now and have never done better on my weight loss journey. Fasting has been much more recent and that is amazing!

  FastK Replied:

Thanks Gwen. A place to chat

I am the same. I am very low carb. Like 10 total carbs per day and just recently added fasting.

The fasting is wild in that I feel absolutely amazing with no food except some broth or a protein shake in the day.

What type of fasting are you doing? What type of drinking are you allowing in the day? total water fast? or a dirty fast as I heard it called....dirty being maybe a cup of beef broth or such?

just curious

  Gwen Replied:

Hi FastK, most days I am on 20 Total carbs. I used to work out what net carbs I consumed but now have 20 total carbs. That does not include my flax seeds which I grind and have on eating days. That flax seed tweak is my own, because I am aware of the debate about fibre and feel the seeds go right through me anyway, if you know what I mean! If I had psyllium husks I would not add them as part of my total either.

My first ever fast a few months ago was a bone broth fast and honestly, it was so easy, really easy. Then I read and watched Jason Fung and Siimland and decided to dip my toe into water fasting only. I also read Miraculous fasting by Paul Bragg (free pdf file). Dr Fung has lots on Youtube and Diet Doctor. I am a great fan of Dr Mercola too. You can search his website for really good info on lots of natural health topics. I am now onto my third 4 day fast and so far so good. On a water fast I drink green tea in the morning and then water for the rest fo the day. Apart from a little Himalayan salt that is it. I feel cold but a hot water bottle for my feet cures that.

How often have you fasted? Did you have good weight loss? Are you aware of the cautions re fasting with some medical conditions?

Looking forward to chatting on this topic with you FastK and with anyone else who wants to throw their hat in the ring!

  FastK Replied:

Absolutely, anyone else who wants to chat up about how they eat and fasting info etc. join in at any time

Gwen luckily I have no med issues at all. I am blessed that I am in perfect health at age 57 here, except for some weight I need to shift off this old body.

I never 'fasted' to 'fast'. I did low carb and netted them like many do. Then I realized that net was stupid. A carb is a carb to me truly and so I went total carbs and never looked back.

I was more of a natural faster in that it was just because I was not hungry. Being 10 carbs and below I was very satisfied on my protein meals such as a nice steak or crab legs or salmon etc. and it was more than enough to keep me to one meal per I kinda fasted anyway thru my natural eating schedule. But I would eat more if I needed it in a day.

then I realized I liked how I felt with less food and 'real fasting' as in days caught my eye. I have done 3 day fasts only and with broth. I also said to myself I will eat if needed but so far I am doing very well on my short fasts.

Question for you. Do you have a schedule you kind of adhere to when fasting. Like do you fast every week for days or is it every 2-3 weeks as you feel you want to do it? I kinda am not sure if people do a schedule for themselves or if when the fasting whim hits them?

I lost about 50 on very low carb but then I started to backslide a bit. Put like 15 back on and now it was imperative to catch this so I opted to try some fasting days. I have lost 5 of it so far being back on a strict plan so my fasting is a new thing for me.

So basically I need the 15 I backslided on off me again and then I would like about another 20-25 after that. I hit a bump where I got tired of it all and now I got some mojo back and am attacking plan again strong, but I think the addition of fasting will help me shake up the plan a bit and give me a new direction.

are you at goal now? I still have to tackle some lbs I want off.

  Gwen Replied:

I am 65 and at goal, give or take a pound or two! Yippee and that is because of low carb! I learned about low carb from SYD, Kate in particular. I have much to thank her for. 3 day fasts with bone broth is good, inspirational.

My schedule for fasting is when I feel like it and am mentally prepared for it. EG I was going to fast at the weekend there but ate unhealthy food on Friday so decided I should do low carb over the weekend and then begin fasting today. It worked. My body was ready for a 4 day fast. I have good energy too! Some people schedule fasts but I prefer to fit a fast round my life, if you know what I mean, and not the other way round. Dr Fung and Dr Mercola have things to say about the frequency of fasts, the need for fasting and when not to fast.

I think low carb regulates your hunger so you are able to fast without a gnawing hunger.

  FastK Replied:

yes I sure agree. I naturally would go very long between eating on very low carb, so that step into a few days real fasting was kinda an easy step. Not like I was going in off a junky menu and starving. I think the deep ketosis helps with fasting absolutely.

you are at goal, lucky you, but no luck really was there it was hard work to pick a plan and eat it and change your patterns, so you deserve goal for your efforts! congrats!

I think I will do the same as you. When I feel a few days fasting will fit into my life good, I am prepared for it and feel it will be an easier attempt then if I try to force days I might not do well.
I like that.

thanks for sharing some info. on how your plan your fasts, etc. cause it helps me think how to plan it into my eating plan with more ease then fighting along and finding what works and what does not.

Can you share a daily meal day that you eat? just wondering. I like to know what others are subsisting on and compare it to how I eat LOL

  Gwen Replied:

Good morning FastK and anyone else who is reading this post. I live in North East England so my timing is a bit different to yours. Eating here is just as big a challenge as where most SYD folk live and especially at this time of the year.

A typical daily meal plan
No breakfast as a rule
Lunch chicken with salad and mayo (sugar free). Flax crackers and coconut oil or one ounce of cheese
Evening meal 100g quality protein, a portion of 'above the ground' vegetables, a square of high cocoa chocolate or one of my fat bombs or low carb dessert (sugar free, grain free) or a portion of sugar free jelly.

  FastK Replied:

Same here. no breakfast. Not a rule for me but a way I always ate. I can't eat early. No desire for food until like 12-1pm and then I eat my brunch time meal I call it

You are eating like me. Thing is I rarely do crackers or veggies. I might do some mushrooms with my steak or some broccoli in my chicken alfredo meal (no noodles of course) but I tend to hang on protein mostly.

A typical day for me is brunch time meal of tuna/mayo and tin of sardines
broth to sip on if wanted at any time
Evening meal would be ribeye steak with mushrooms. Meatloaf. Naked cheeseburger patty or I love seafood so I might do grilled shrimp or crab legs.
I also eat sugar free jello if needed. I rarely need or want a sweet taste anymore. But when I do I make the jello, whip some some fresh whipped cream and I am in heaven making my sweet tooth happy.

It is good to see how very low carb you are. You are at goal so that makes me know if I hold the course and hold my very low carb plan tightly, with fasting in there, I should hit my final goal also! I know I am motivated to do so

Are you exercising a lot? just wondering again about how much you might push yourself in this direction?

  Gwen Replied:

You do sound motivated FastK so you will do this!

We eat very similarly! My flax crackers are low carb and give me the crispy texture I crave from time to time. Do you make your own broth? I get a supply of free bones from a local butcher.

I exercise a lot. I am rarely under 20,000 steps a day which includes the gym three times a week.

  FastK Replied:

Ohhh, you are an Energizer Bunny Exerciser That is wonderful.
No exercise here. I am an outdoor person. I bike, hike, kayak, and move all day but I prefer my activities vs. a gym etc. I joined a gym and never go, lol...thankfully it was at a very low monthly cost and I paid a I might go again, heehee...who knows.

I don't make my own broth. I usually get organic soup in a can...heat up, strain out the guts of it and drink the broth. More costly but I love the convenience of it and I can then change up tastes. No cream soups, just broth based.

I sometimes eat Melba Toast type crackers. But every time I eat them I think of 'carbs in them' and kinda shy from them but every now and then I put some tuna on them and they are fab.
I also have that problem of when I allow crackers back, or something even if low carb, I tend to want more and more. I see it as a gateway to worse to come. The more I stay near zero carb eating the SO much better I do. But yes, I also have a few things every now and then cause I am only human and I find if I don't have it, like my toasted crackers, I start to to eat a few and get it out of my mind.

luckily I am a meat eating carnivore to the max so meat/seafood is such a pleasure to me I do very well with little else.

Do you have family to cook for? Who eat different? My hardest is feeding the husband and my daughter. My daughter is more low carb type eater but husband is not. I cook a lot of different meals sometimes and it irks me, lol, but I get pleasure out of good meals they want for the family.
Sometimes it is very hard, cooking old favs I can't eat anymore

  Gwen Replied:

It is amazing how well you do FastK. How does your digestive system cope with your preferred diet?

I cook for myself and my husband. Alexander was on high carb for years and then changed to adopt low carb. He is doing really well on it nad I have less to cook and some of old favourites only appear once a year. I have to say my tastes have changed and I don't appreciate some of the foods that once had me hooked!

Have a good day!

  FastK Replied:

I am the same on tastes. Mine have changed. Some of my old favs....I take a bite and think YUM then one other spoonful and YUK. It isn't the same truly on a lot of my old favs, same as you.
One thing that hasn't changed tho for me is ice cream. OMG I have a fav ice cream that I have never lost the taste for, good thing is no one else loves it like me and I never buy it for the family, so out of sight, out of mind mostly

You are very lucky your husband went to low carb. So much easier on you in the kitchen! I wish mine would be sadly he hasn't gone this way at all. My daughter is going on 14 and I installed low carb in her, so she does watch the amt of carbs she eats within reason. She will opt for a salad and not a carby side dish a lot of times so that has me smiling. I don't want to push her but I need her to know that bread and butter is not a side dish and the salad works better for her body and she is getting that info loud and clear and does select good options most of the time.

My digestion is fab. I function extremely well on a zero carb menu. Meat/seafood/limited dairy and I thrive. I add in carbs from any other source other than protein and my body starts to scream. I slug out. I crave more carbs instantly. So for me simple meat/seafood/some dairy is the way to roll. I just feel so wonderful eating this way I can't go backwards any more.

It sounds as if you have settled into a very good eating plan for yourself for long term. That is exactly what I am striving for at this point. Long term eating is key. Can I live like this, so far I believe it is my way to roll thru life and feel my best doing so.

Eating today, simple and light.
beef broth for brunch time meal
then 2 thin cut pork chops and small bit of my leftover chuck roast I cooked in the crockpot for dinner.

tomorrow I am doing a fast day with beef/chicken broth and maybe a protein shake. The protein shakes I am not a fan, but I seem to do ok on those. I use like Atkins shake, 1 g sugar and 23g protein. They kind of fill me up, which I like.

do you ever use the protein shakes in your menu ever? I won't rely on them by any means but right now they fill a niche I need to get a handle on my fasting days.

  Gwen Replied:

Could you make low carb ice cream once a year or would it set you off down a rabbit trail?

I have never had protein shakes but I am a home cook and can honestly say I prefer real meat, eggs or whatever. I do bulk cooking and freeze it in portions so it is no more work and I can have a home made soup or protein portion very quickly that way.
Enjoy your fast day tomorrow.

  FastK Replied:

I am not a bulk cooker in that I love all my meats/seafood freshly cooked every meal. I am not a leftover type re-heat person. A few things I am fine with reheat but not many. Just a quirk in me

yes the protein shakes I am only using on some of my fast days.

I thought of lc ice cream but I am not a fan of substitute lc foods. Like I want real ice cream LOL and not a sub for it. Any LC subs I made were always awful and make me crave the real deal more if I eat them. Like lc pizza, yuk. Or something like cauliflower mashed fake potatoes. I am not a fan. Never was. Like you said I do have to be super careful cause if I start adding back in junk I do love, I will go down the rabbit hole very quickly. I find staying on a tight leash is my best weapon.

You know I find I am mentally OK with dropping a ton of food options from my life. I also think the older I do get, the more my menu is changing anyway, walking away from junky food just seems easier and easier. Seems like a good thing for me tho

  Gwen Replied:

FastK, you are quite right to choose fresh foods over frozen. I admire that. I only made low carb pizza once and it was really heavy in my opinion and will not rush to make it again. It had a nut and cheese base.

  FastK Replied:

nut and cheese base. You know to me that isn't even close to what pizza dough tastes like and that would make me mad right off the bat LOL. I know some of the lc substitute recipes are called 'subs of the delish ones' but I haven't truly found a recipe that tastes good really. I guess trying to recreate an old fav to taste like an old fav is kinda impossible really.

One reason I don't cook bulk also is that family is not eating like me so being just 1 person I am, I can easily just throw a steak in a pan and fry for myself easily and cook for them differently at the same time. My freezer is loaded with meats tho

I wish I could find a good sale on seafood. I love crab legs etc but prices are high but with being the holiday, a few sales might be coming around and when they do I will load up the freezer with seafood also

  Gwen Replied:

I can eat fish, haddock or cod but not seafood. It makes me feel sick. Anything that tastes 'fishy' is not something I can tolerate. Pity really.

  FastK Replied:

yes that is a pity. it takes away a lot of options. you know I am the same but opposite I do well on shrimp, crab, scallops but am not a fish person. only fish I eat is a can of tuna and my sardines and I so hate that I miss out on all those fish meals I could be eating but I don't have the taste for fish for some reason.

I am a big beef eater. Something I truly love. I can exist on ribeye steaks easily.

  Gwen Replied:

Happy birthday FastK! It is wonderful to be able to celebrate without having a food feast. I take it you don't feel over hungry when fasting. This is a complete benefit of low carb. Did you eat out for your birthday? How do you find making choices when in a restaurant? Has it become more intuitive?

  FastK Replied:

luckily I am in very deep ketosis so my hunger is truly in a controlled state. thank goodness for that! while fasting I don't get overly hungry. But sometimes I do hit that feeling of I need a meal so I just eat something lighter, like tuna with some mayo or a tin of sardines.

Now we didn't eat out. Husband came home and asked if I wanted to go and I said, nah, not really. No desire to dress up and go out in that COLD weather He said fine. If I wanted at any time this weekend to go out we could do it then, but lately I am not into restaurants. I find eating out very annoying now. I am mostly a zero carb eater. I hate paying a high price for a steak I can buy at the store and cook for a 1/3 of the price. I eat no side dishes with that meat and sometimes I order the side and give them to the family. In a way, restaurant eating has become more of a hindrance to my eating then a help. A lot of times we hit a diner for breakfast or lunch I can order a bacon/cheese omelet. Seems every place makes them and they fit right into my way of eating so that works out.

How are you on eating out? Do find it challenging also?

  Gwen Replied:

I agree about hunger being far less and controllable, it is amazing. I am just vexed it took me so long to find the secret.

Have you ever tried tinned tuna or salmon with mayo and curry powder, delicious.

Eating out? My hardest time I would say. When I eat at home I usually have no real issues. Eating out, especially with other people rather than just my husband is a real test. It is so easy to just eat what everyone else is eating to save the spotlight being on my choices. Being with our wider families is even harder for me. So this Christmas we are meeting them for coffee rather than a meal so that should be better.

  FastK Replied:

not a curry spice fan ever. tuna and mayo is a staple around me LOL

ahhh, that is relaxing when you meet up in a social situation and real food meals are not involved. I would give a big sigh of relief when those times happen.

I never could get the hunger under control when doing 'regular' lc. I always felt best when I went into Atkins Induction levels, you know, the biological zero carb induction.....I could then control hunger but once I got over that total 10 carbs per day, I struggled more and more. I finally found where I need to be and it works so well.

You are right tho, once you find your sweet spot on your carb level, it is very easy to control hunger. I wish there was some way to control mind and head hunger easier LOL

  Gwen Replied:

I find what you say about regular low carb FastK fascinating. We need to all find our own level when it all boils down. Now you really have nailed it! Have a good low carb week!

  FastK Replied:

oh yea when I read Dr. Atkins (OLD original book, not this 'new net the carbs' junk,) he says everyone has a Critical Carb Limit their body will allow. Add back in 1 carb over that limit and you start to gain. That is how you know where you should be at all times. After all weight loss and you are at the goal you want to be, he said to add back in 5 total carbs per week after weight loss phase to see how your body responds. If you don't gain at 5 total carbs per week then you add another 5 the next week, if ok, keep going til that one week where you add in 5 more and boom, the scale gains on ya. Then you know to back off those 5, and you hit your critical carb limit your body will allow.

for me every time I added back in a few carbs over about 10 total carbs per day, I really started to struggle and wanted more and more carbs. You know it took me a while to realize I really had to stay very very low carb. I fought against that cause I sure wanted some more carbs back in my life like other people but at some point you actually listen to your body and accept what it is saying LOL

That is why you can't say eat only X amt of carbs and you will be fine. Everyone is different and won't ever be the same on how we react. But I guess it boils down to know thyself and work with what ya got

  Gwen Replied:

I forgot about what Atkins said about adding in 5 total carbs a week. I am on the brink of beginning to understand what my carb limit is. The marvellous thing is our bodies do tell us exactly what they need. Learning to listen to our body is key! I am still learning!

  FastK Replied:

me too.
I fought so hard to keep carbs in my life
I mean I really did not want to give them up and would find any way to keep them but the scale never lied and my blood sugar swings in my body just kept calling for more food after I crashed after eating carbs. It was a sad day when I realized my body did not want carbs. I saw all the horrible it did when I ate them and all the great my body was without them. So I finally had to concede and just rolled with near zero carb eating and I am flourishing doing that. I love also I can fast easily cause I am in a very deep ketosis and with being near zero carb my appetite is so low actually that fasting is more of a breeze then a fight against it. Thing is the mind and nose, I see and smell other foods and I get triggered in that horrible mind game of 'I want it' even if not hungry but am working on that aspect of it all. Hard to do tho but winning the game mostly now

Changing one's eating habits from your whole life and trying to fight smells/sights of food in a mind game is never easy for anyone LOL but we all try hard and some of us win the war. I hope to win the war long term

  Gwen Replied:

'More of a breeze than a fight'. I like that!

  FastK Replied:

well, one day it is like that, well, more than one day, but then there are days that make a day so darn hard!! I like the fasting tho. But I noticed a few times I had to just eat or I was going to go into a carb binge like crazy style One thing I always said was if I fast and I start to go super hungry or feel out of control in any way I will just throw a nice ribeye on the grill and have at it. Nice thing is I don't leave plan, I just didn't make a good long fasting time. but hey that is ok. I can't be perfect all the time ever lol

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