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Extended water fasting for weight loss, health and spirituality

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Ūruz, Oct 27, 2022.

  1. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    So I have become pretty fat during last couple of years. Mainly due to depression—me using food to sedate and distract myself when I feel like shit. I haven't weighted myself recently but I am approximating I am close to 300 pounds right now (maybe 285 or so), cos I was 275 last time I weighted and I think I have gained a few pounds since. When calculating my BMI it puts me in the obese category. And I feel like shit physically, and obviously it's unhealthy, so I want to lose that.
    The fastest and easiest way to do that would be just water fasting. I have been looking up a lot of Youtube videos of medical doctors like Dr. Jason Fung, Dr Pradip Jamnadas, Dr Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, Dr Michael Klaper and others, talking about the benefits of fasting and how it is very healthy for you. And not just intermittent fasting but even extended water fasting (3 days, 5 days, 10 days, etc) seems to have a lot of benefit for health. It keeps the cancer away, lowers inflammation, increases joint health, keeps blood pressure and diabetes in check and so many other benefits. Also has a lot of psychological benefits like lowered depression, increased motivation, helps to get rid of food addictions and unhealthy overeating habits, etc. And then I also found people like this Snake Diet guy on Youtube, who is definitely a crazy drill sergeant character, and not an MD, but nonetheless has coached a lot of people to lose weight, and keep it off, through extended water fasting.

    So I have decided that I will start long term fasting to lose all that weight. Maybe start with few 24h fasts, then increase to 3 day and maybe eventually 10 day fasts. Then refeed with some plant based whole foods in between fasts. I have some experience with fasting in the past, but that was years ago and I was not as fat as I am now back then. If I would need to lose this weight the normal way I think it would take me like 2 years. So this will be the fastest and most simple way to lose all that extra weight I have; I think there is no need to waste all that time to try to go slowly when we could just fast, cos we know fasting is healthy and safe. And I think it will help me to overcome my bad eating habits and food addictions, so when I stop fasting eventually it will be easier for me to just keep eating healthy balanced diet and stick to it long term.
    I mean think about it: when you look at other addictions, like drug or alcohol addiction, the standard practice is to go cold turkey, because this has the biggest success rate. When you are drinking a bottle of whiskey every day it's gonna be hard to slowly decrease the amount to half a bottle, then a glass, etc, cos the temptation is just too big—it's like a constant tease (like p-subs, if I may use a nofap analogy; you will relapse to porn eventually). It makes sense to go cold turkey. But when we try to get rid of food addictions for some reason that's not what we recommend, which is just silly to me. It would make more sense to do some extended fasting (which has the physiological benefit of suppressing hunger) and cut out food off completely. So then by the time you start eating again the bad habits are somewhat faded and it's easier to just stick to healthy eating long term.
    Maybe we do not recommend it for food addicts cos we used to have this wrong idea in medicine that fasting is bad for health. But now we know it's BS and in fact the opposite is true. I believe once these medical facts go more mainstream in couple of decades every weight loss psychologist will be recommending extended water fasting as a default.

    I'm on day 10 of nofap as of writing this and I already start to feel some of the hormonal benefits of nofap kicking in: more motivation and not feeling as depressed as I usually do; I imagine it will only get better as I continue my nofap streak. And I want to use this nofap boost of motivation to get into fasting. I think water fasting could amplify the positive benefits of nofap too (when you look into Taoist or Hindu religious traditions, such as Fangzhongshu or Brahmacharya, they always recommend some fasting for celibates).
    There are some people who I have found doing it for spiritual reasons. Like this guy who says he did 40 day water fast, which put him in touch with God. Now personally I am not too religious (mostly agnostic) but I would not mind exploring the spiritual side of fasting as well. I have just recently gotten in meditation and would be interesting to see how it effects it. Who knows, maybe some synchronicities show up and guide me, like it did for that guy. I can't say I am not curious.

    Anybody else has done or planning to do fasting for weight loss, health or spiritual reasons? Would be interesting to hear from you. If not then I challenge you to try it out with me! Even if you do not need to lose any weight try it anyways just from the spiritual and health benefits.

    Also, by the way, there are links to some of the best videos I have watched so far on fasting:

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022
    Joseph Campbell likes this.
  2. Hi! Thank you for posting all this. I'm also on a weighloss journey around the same weight as you. I;m in the 3rd month of my diet and lost about 20 pounds so far following Dr Fung's advice. Unfortunately 19 of those pounds were in the first month, the second month I got lazy and only lost 1 pound. So need to rededicate myself. In that time however I started with one day fasts and got up to being able to do a 3 days fast no problem. I plan on a 4 day fast starting Monday. Anyways, it's great to see another person here on a similar weight loss journey! Hope it goes well, we can do this!
    Ūruz likes this.
  3. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    Awesome to see that someone else is doing it! Yes, we can absolutely do this! 19 pounds in a month is absolutely amazing result, as somebody who is just now starting this makes me excited for the month ahead!
  4. Yes I was absolutely amazed! But then got lazy thinking it would be easy, don't make my mistake! For the first month my fasting schedule was fast Wednesdays and Thursdays then OMAD on all other days, except Saturday when I'd have a bit of a cheat day. I stuck to that fairly well I believe though there were some days I cheated. Hope that helps give you a reference of how I lost those 19 pounds in one month.

    Wish you the best! You can absolutely lose 19 pounds in one month too! Fasting has been the sole thing in my life that has allowed me to lose weight. Calorie restriction never worked, exercise never worked. But back in 2016 I made it down to 220 just from eating OMAD. So yeah fasting really works.
    Ūruz likes this.
  5. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    That sounds like reasonable schedule. The next month is just few days away, so what are your goals for that? Mine are to do at least two fasts a week, with one or two days of refeed in between, and hopefully slowly build up to at least one 4 day fast by the end of the November. I can relate to getting lazy and losing motivation. Wanna make a healthy competition? Who's not gonna complete their goal by the end of November is a moldy Kinder Surprise egg with no toy in it (used to love those in childhood, but got few lame ones that had no toy but only stickers in them, still bitter about it :mad:)?

    Just a fun, little random idea to keep us both accountable! :p No pressure.
  6. Sure! Lol. Sounds like fun! I'll weigh myself on Nov 1 and see if I meet my weight loss goal by December 1. Looking at my chart I need to lose 13 pounds to meet my weight loss goal for the month. Hope to surpass that though to make up for last month. I want to start off the month with a 4 day fast, OMAD on feeding days, Saturday a cheat day. I've been planning on fasting Tues-Thu too during the week.

    I've never had a Kinder Suprise egg lol! They were banned here in the US by our Food and Drug Administration I think. I can imagine how disappointing that would be though. Stickers are so not fun.
    Ūruz likes this.
  7. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    Sounds like a plan! Let's go!
    Ah yes, I forgot, you Americans like to eat the toys lol. :eek:
    Lady Blåhaj likes this.
  8. Apparently, that's what the USDA believes at least.
    Ūruz likes this.
  9. Okay it's Nov 1 and the challenge is on! :) Just weighed myself at 314.6 need to be at least at 301.6 by Dec 1.
    Ūruz likes this.
  10. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    Let's do this! :emoji_muscle:
    I'm sure we gonna crush it!

    Just unfortunate that Halloween is over, o well, there is always a next year; if we don't make it we have to wear this next year for Halloween 2023:
    kinder suprise egg costume.jpg
    Lady Blåhaj likes this.
  11. Oh wow yeah that can't happen haha.

    It is funny that we're starting this the day after Halloween when everyone is flush with Halloween candy.
  12. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    Maybe, by next year's Halloween, after we lose all that weight through water fasting, we will be such candies that we won't need costumes! :emoji_eye::emoji_tongue::emoji_eye:
    Lady Blåhaj likes this.
  13. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    A few tips to make an extended water fast easier
    When doing extended water fasting we often face a lot of hunger, some of which is physical hunger from simply not eating and other is psychological hunger, cos we can no longer use food when we are bored and so on. So since I am now into the habit of practicing regular water fasting I started doing some research and looking into some things, to maybe help myself to suppress hunger, to make extended water fasts easier. This is what I have found so far:

    1. Ingest carbon dioxide

    It's a standard recommendation to drink a lot of water when fasting, or when trying to lose weight in general. This is because of two reasons. One is that hunger and thirst feels very similar in the body, because generally the body can not tell the difference, and so can't we; when we are hungry we might actually be thirsty, so making sure we are fully hydrated before eating might help us to not overeat. And making sure we are fully hydrated while fasting might make us not so "hungry".
    The other reason is that there are sensory neurons in the stomach, called stretch receptors. When stomach is stretched by it's contents these receptors send signal, through the vagus nerve, to the brain, to suppress hunger.
    Filling stomach full of water does this, but by drinking carbonated water you can amplify the effect; because of all the gas in it the stretching effect is stronger. So get yourself a bottle of some sparkling water. Obviously make sure that whatever sparkling water you are drinking is not sweetened, to not kick you out of the fasting state. But simple carbonated water, with nothing other than just dissolved carbon dioxide gas in it, will fill you up way better than just normal water alone.

    2. Drink decaf coffee
    Drinking coffee has long been reported to decrease appetite for some people; studies have shown that drinking caffeinated coffee decreases levels of ghrelin in the blood, and ghrelin is a hormone, released in the stomach, responsible for increasing hunger. Yet while we know that ghrelin levels decrease while consuming caffeine, the results for hunger suppression are inconsistent; a lot of people reported no difference, and some actually reported increased hunger while consuming caffeinated coffee on an empty stomach! This may be because coffee promotes gastric emptying.

    However the picture completely changes when talking about decaffeinated coffee. While decaf coffee seem to have little to no effect on ghrelin, it does increase the production of peptide YY (PYY), which is a hormone secreted in the small intestine in response to feeding. This hormone suppresses hunger. Decaf coffee seems to trick the body into releasing PYY, by making it think that food has been consumed. In the research this hunger suppression effect lasted for up to 3 hours.
    In this study decaf coffee was compared with caffeinated coffee as well as simply pure water, with caffeine added to it; decaf coffee yielded the most highest results of hunger suppression, while caffeinated coffee, and only caffeine mixed with water, had no effects on hunger.

    So drinking decaf coffee is beneficial for hunger suppression. Way more beneficial than drinking caffeinated coffee. And it can be drank as much as one desires, and even before sleep, as it has no caffeine in it. I recommend drinking one cup of decaf coffee every 3 hours, for maximum release of peptide YY, for optimal hunger suppression.

    3. Sniff a bag
    Peppermint tea supposedly has many benefits. Apart from having a lot of antioxidants, it's leaves contain a natural compound called menthol, which is a decongestant that can help to relieve stuffy noses and coughs caused by colds or allergies. But when it comes to hunger suppression, it has nothing to do with compounds found in the peppermint, but rather just the smell of it.
    In one quite old study from 2007 they found that inhaling the scent of peppermint reduced hunger, and inhaling the scent consistently over a course of 5 days resulted in lower total calories consumed that week.
    The exact mechanism of how this works is not understood, but a theory is that the smell of peppermint activates certain brain centers, particularly the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain responsible for regulating hunger.

    So if you do not like peppermint tea you don't have to actually drink it to get this effect, just sniffing a tea bag would be enough!
    Another option would be to use peppermint scented essential oils, or to get a peppermint plant in a pot and put it on a windowsill, which will make your whole room smell nice!

    4. Take coke
    So far all the tips above have been about suppressing physical hunger, but what about psychological hunger? Sometimes we want to eat not because we are actually hungry but simply because our brain is bored and craves that dopamine hit from the food; we simply want something tasty to stimulate our taste buds with. In which case it could be an option to take a bottle of Coca-Cola and have a sip! It is sweet and tasty, and might give the brain the release it needs. Make sure it is zero calorie version of coke, or any other zero calorie soda, because you don't want to consume calories for obvious reasons—you are fasting after all! But taking a couple sips of something sweet and tasty might be enough to clench these food cravings, so you can keep fasting.

    This should only be used in emergencies, because artificial sweeteners in coke zero, and other such diet sodas, while not containing any calories, does activate insulin response! So it will kick you out of the fasting state. But whatever effect artificial sweeteners will have on your fasting state it will still be ten times less than having an actual high calorie meal! So in a situation where it's a choice between relapsing to food cravings and braking the fast completely vs having a slight insulin response but avoiding braking the fast, it's pretty clear in my opinion. In the end you will have satisfied your cravings for something tasty and you would have still consumed zero calories!

    The insulin response activated by consuming artificial sweeteners will kick you out of autophagy, so if you are fasting for healing this might not be the trick to use, but if you are fasting for weight loss this slight insulin response doesn't really matter much, because you can not trick the basic laws of physics and thermodynamics; zero calories consumed will still result in massive amount of weight loss overall!

    5. Go for a walk
    An obese person had a doctor appointment. Doctor asked him, "do you exercise?" The obese person answered, "yes doctor, I walk every day, from the couch to the fridge and back." Doctor though it did not really count, but I disagree, it does count! Because when our brain craves dopamine, and when we relapse to food, PMO, or anything else, a large portion of that dopamine is actually release before the action of consumption, and only a portion is released after as a reward. In many cases it's actually the most of dopamine and only a small portion is released as reward, in other words, it's the lead–up to that action that gives you the hit, not the so much the action itself.
    This is how it's supposed to be, because dopamine is a motivation molecule, it's job is to motivate you to act, so your brain releases it to get you moving, like an appetizer! So by getting up and simply walking to the kitchen, opening the fridge, looking at food, then closing the fridge alone could actually be enough to release enough dopamine in the brain to satiate the craving.
    Sounds weird, but try it out! Get up, walk to the fridge, make a cup of tea, and by the time you are done the craving might be gone!

    6. Take a cold ice bath
    Cold showers are quite famous in this community as a way to avoid urges to PMO, and many people swear by them and that they do work! But why do they work? Well, one reason is the good old dopamine!
    Our brain associates PMO with dopamine, that's why it carves it! And the cold shower is a great way how to get a massive dopamine hit! Immersing yourself into cold water for just 3 to 5 minutes rises dopamine by 250% above baseline, which is a massive amount! That is about as much as a dose of cocaine! And actually more than sex and orgasm, which only rises it by 200% above baseline!
    The best part about it is that, unlike with those other things like sex or cocaine, it is not followed by a crush! But rather the levels stay consistent for a while and after few hours slowly tapers back down to the baseline, but not below it. So cold ice bath, or cold shower, is literary free drug hit with no downside! The only downside is that we can not do it forever; the more we do it the faster body gets adapted to cold, and once we become cold adapted this massive dopamine increasing effect no longer happens. So use this trick sparingly! But do use it, when you feel like your brain is craving stimulation and pleasure, such as food; it might just be enough to get rid of the cravings.

    Some references:
    Joseph Campbell likes this.
  14. Badr77

    Badr77 Fapstronaut

    Why dont you try islamic fasting like we do in ramadan btw i am not doing this to do any religious thing , i dont care what is ur religion but u can try the way we fast ,we dont eat or drink water from 3 am(fajr prayer) to the sunset (maghreb prayer) about 6:30 or 7 PM and in the night we can come back to eat and drink but bcuz we can't stay up eating all night i personally lose weight every year of ramadan , btw now I am trying the contrary of what u doing i am trying to gain white through eating and working out but i can guarantee u if make eat low calorie meals in the night and fast the rest of the day u will be amazed by the result , ps: we fast a month every year and i never seen somebody having any health issues from my surroundings and I personally feels like fasting bcuz it make my mind clear and help me focus
    Ūruz likes this.
  15. Gabriel Knight

    Gabriel Knight Fapstronaut

    It is true that zero coke has almost no calories (i think its 0.2kcal in 100ml of product), but the issue is with the artifficial sweetener, and there is a strong debate if it breaks fast because a theory is that it "tricks" the brain with sweet taste, thus it slows down the fat burning. I can tell you from my experience that raises insulin, and that is not a good stuff when fasting.
    Now, i tried fasting to tone my definition, but somehow i always have abit of belly at middle section, and that happens even when my weight is pretty low for my height. I actually tested this to see if i would remove it, and it doesnt happen, although the 6 pack is 3 pack for me lol)
    Can you recommend something to me, because that last portion, man, i feel i can be 20 kg and still have that stuff :) )
    Lady Blåhaj and Ūruz like this.
  16. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    Hmm, the Ramadan type of fasting is interesting thing, because you guys don't just fast from food but also from water, so it's not a "water fast" but a "dry fast". Other than that it's just a type of intermittent fasting with 8 hour eating window, which I do practice on my eating days. I do drink water however, and my normal eating window is not in the night, but rather in the daytime, but other than that it's the same. And from what I have learned eating before bedtime can actually have negative effect on fat loss, in fact usually it contributes to fat gain—I have no idea about whether it is you religious requirement to eat more than one meal (I imagine people are hungry, so the standard is probably more than just one meal after sunset), but from weight loss perspective I think you would get even better results if you would not wake up in the middle of night just to eat and then go to sleep again, but just eat one big meal after sunset (or if not one meal then at least do not eat 3 hours before bed) and then just water; just wake up to pray but don't consume calories (again, I have no idea if that's allowed or if eating is mandatory, just talking from a weight loss perspective). But I know that generally the shorter eating window the greater fat loss, and OMAD (One Meal A Day) type of intermittent fasting is the most effective.

    Comparing Ramadan type of fasting to my intermittent type of fasting, I am not sure how much difference not drinking water makes, I am sure you would lose more weight, but is it fat weight or just water weight that comes back once Ramadan is over and you are no longer chronically dehydrated? I don't know, but I have been looking into dry fasting and there are some people who claim that you lose more fat when not drinking water, because the body supposedly brakes down fat cells at accelerated rate to access cellular water. There are testimonies on the internet when people have even done dry fasts for up to 5 days, sometimes even longer! Dry fasting however is kind of controversial between doctors, cos there is very little research on it and we do not know whether it is healthy to do intermittent dry fasting and whether extended dry fasting is even safe. That doesn't mean it's not, we thought water fasting was damaging for health 50 years ago and now we know it's actually healthy, we just don't have enough science on it. But I like to look into it, I am eyeing two books that I might end up getting: Dry Medical Fasting by Sergey Filonov and The Phoenix Protocol by August Dunning. Filonov is actually an MD in Russia, there is an interview with him about dry fasting, albeit only with English subtitles: Dry Fasting. Russian Fasting School. Dr Filonov Explains. Some fascinating stuff; Muslims might actually be onto something!

    As far as why do extended water fasting and not intermittent dry fasting? Cos I think it will lead to way more and faster weight loss! There is no reason not to, cos we know extended water fasting is not only safe but actually good for health! Last month I lost nearly 20 pounds, and not just water weight but actual adipose tissue! No way you could get such weight loss in only one month, if you would consume calories every day.

    From what I learned is that you can not spot reduce fat, you lose it all over the body, and your body will pick and choose where. Unfortunately it's just bad genetics for you I guess; some people have super visible abs with 20% body fat and some will still struggle to get abs while being under 5% body fat—we all store it in different places, which is genetic. The best you can do is to keep losing weight by being in calorie deficit and hope that it goes away once you get lean enough. Or you can try to focus on building as much muscle as possible and then go on a cut; between two people of the same body fat % the one who holds more muscle will always look more defined—I remember when I was a teenager, at late middle school / early high school, I was skinny as a stick and still had no abs, but when I started to do some strength training and build some muscle at my early to mid 20s I actually started noticing some definition. That was all before I got more depressed, stopped exercising and got obese, so now I am miles away from abs. So whatever problem you have with stubborn belly fat and a 3pack I am jealous, I wish I had that problem lol. :D My point I guess is that as they say, "comparison is a thief of joy"—even if you have a 2pack that's still top 5% physique of all men!
    Interface likes this.
  17. Gabriel Knight

    Gabriel Knight Fapstronaut

    After your post, i am a happy man :D . Now i am at peace :D
    Anyways, i like to experiment, and i read that guys in the bodybuilding community who had monster abs actually trained 25-30 reps for 3-4 sets. So there is a tip for all of us, maybe by doing that they will pierce through that stubborn lard lol :)
    Ūruz likes this.
  18. Puretim

    Puretim Fapstronaut
    NoFap Defender

    I'm a believer myself in fasting for health benefits. I just finished a close to 3 day fast and have fasted before on water for one week and longer on juices. I have a friend who along with changing his eating now fasts 3 days every month and he's alot slimmer and claims to feel better than he can remember. But....as great as fasting is once the fast is broken I still have to change my relationship with food if I want permanent change. I'm an addict and that applies to alot more than pmo. I can use food for all the wrong reasons. People talk about comfort eating which to me means numbing out with food. Often after feeling shame or frustration from indulging in one of my other addictions , or just feeling emotionally uncomfortable I would stuff my self with food to not feel as strongly. Alot of foods I avoid completely now - white sugar and flour, cheese and bread are some of the biggies for me. Plus grease. I'd suggest writing down a food plan that you can COMFORTABLY live with and then do your best to stay with it a day at a time. My plan now is a whole food plant based diet and I eat between 2 pm and 8 pm. I'll make exceptions mostly on the time if I go with friends to dinner or some other social event . Forgive my unsolicited feed back but I've dealt with food " issues" for decades and like pmo will power alone won't work. In order for me to change my relationship with food I need to change my relationship with myself, others and the world as a whole. I apologize if I'm rambling. I wish you great success. With the right effort you can do it.
    Ūruz likes this.
  19. Ūruz

    Ūruz Fapstronaut

    @Puretim You have a great point man, it's important to fix our relationship with food, otherwise the weight will just come back! I am working on getting rid of some food addictions I have and I hope extended water fasting will help with that, I already notice a big difference: every time I start eating again after a long water fast my food cravings are less and less and it's easier to stick to healthy eating. I am also focusing on the whole foods plant based diet by the way. And thanks for the feedback and supportive words, I also wish you great success in whatever your goals are! :)

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