Update: This is an informative article written by the previous owner of the site. I love her journey and feel it will be helpful to many. She has given me permission to use her articles.
I started an alternate day fasting challenge on October 1, 2020 to get me through a stall and shed some pounds for my birthday in November. These are my alternate day fasting and keto results after one week.
Before I get into the numbers, you might be wondering what exactly is alternate-day fasting and why I decided to take such a drastic route. Let’s chit-chat, shall we?
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What is Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate day fasting is exactly what it sounds like. You fast completely every other day. I’ve taken a more relaxed schedule that works better for my lifestyle. So I fast every Monday and Wednesday completely and do OMAD (one meal a day) on Fridays.
That means Sunday night at 8pm, I close my feeding window until Tuesday at noon, completing a 40 hour fast. Tuesday at 8pm, I close my feeding window again until Thursday at noon. Thursday at 8pm, I close my feeding window for 24 hours, having a nutritious keto meal Friday evenings at 8pm.
On the weekends I relax and enjoy keto meals and keto treats without overdoing it. On my feeding days, I keep things strictly keto because I’m not trying to undo any of the hard work I put in to maintain a 40 hour fast.
On my fasting days, I consume only coffee or tea with Stevia, the only keto sweetener that won’t break any type of fast. Speaking of types of fast, let’s get into that. You can see my alternate day fasting schedule below. This is the keto journal I’m using to keep track of my results.
Types of Fasting for 3 Specific Health Benefits
Fasting has a myriad of health benefits but the three main goals of fasting are:
- Gut health
- Weight loss
Autophagy is the process that the body goes through to break down damaged cells in the body, clean them out, and regenerate new, healthier cells. Our body rarely gets the opportunity to do that because we’re always eating so our cells are working on breaking down and utilizing our food instead of going through the autophagy process. Autophagy literally translates to self-eating, so the body is clearing out the old to make way for the new. As you can imagine, autophagy has a significant benefit to the aging process.
The same can be said for gut health. When we’re in a constant state of feeding, the gut rarely gets a chance to rest. If you’re experiencing problems with a leaky gut, you might want to incorporate a few fasts in your life to help your gut heal itself. I am a firm believer that the body is capable of healing itself if we nourish it properly and give it the opportunity to do its thing. This is me doing that.
Weight loss will of course be a result of eating less food during a specified time period. This isn’t to say that you’re starving yourself and will go into that mode where your body is storing fat because you’re not eating. When you’re in ketosis, your body will push past that storing of fat phase and start to utilize that very same stored fat for fuel. This makes longer fasts easier because you’re not very hungry since your body is actively using fat for food and not sending you strong hunger signals when you’re in ketosis while fasting.
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Alternate Day Fasting vs OMAD
Why did I choose 40 hour fasts instead of OMAD or even 24 hour fasts?
Because I’m looking for a reset. I’m looking for drastic results for my birthday for sure, but I’d also gotten very comfortable in what might be dirty keto or lazy keto and I want to reset my diet and acknowledge why I’ve been stuck at this weight all year long.
Keto is like any other diet that can be done right or wrong. When I get comfortable on keto, I overdo dairy and keto treats like keto cakes, keto chocolate and sweet chaffles. I did keto for Lent this year and the scale didn’t even budge. I knew I needed a proper reset but then the world went awry for 2020 and I kinda gave up on that.
Now that my birthday is looming, I’ve decided to kick myself in the butt, clean up my diet and break my keto stall. A clean keto diet will always get you the results you’re looking for. Lots of green leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, cold-pressed oils, grass-fed meat and free-range pasture-raised butter and eggs with minimal dairy.
I think OMAD is a great tool as well and I may transition to that after my ADF challenge, but I really wanted to go drastic and get things moving. I’m also really interested in the autophagy benefits and longer fasts facilitate that process much better than shorter ones.
What Can I Have on Fasting Days?
I knew my diet was coming from nothing at all when I started this challenge so I didn’t go into it head-on. On my fasting days in the first week, I had bone broth that I made in my Ninja Foodie, as well as lots of tea and coffee with heavy whipping cream and collagen.
The extra fat in my hot beverages helped me to push through without feeling too hungry and gnarly. Now that I’m in my second week of fasting, I only consume water, black coffee with stevia and herbal teas with stevia. Make sure to get pure stevia with no other ingredients as anything else will break your fast. This is the stevia I use. I use my bone broth to break my fasts when it’s time.
This has been going pretty well for me. I make sure to supplement well to avoid any keto flu symptoms. It is also my intention to start working out this week in my fasted state. I say intention because, with me and exercise, it’s a battle. But I’m gonna try and get it done. Exercising in a fasted state can really help you to achieve your results faster as well as help you retain muscle mass and look lean and fit while losing weight. I’m not sure if I will be able to sustain my incredible first-week results without exercise this week so I’m motivated to try and work out.
What Do I Eat on Feeding Days?
So you’ll notice even my feeding days in the week are short 8 hour windows. On my eat days, I’m not counting calories or macros, I’m just making sure everything is clean and keto.
I typically break my fasts with bone broth or with tea ladened with heavy whipping cream and collagen. The collagen is very important to keep your skin supple and stretchy throughout this rapid weight loss period. This is the collagen I’m currently using, and I will be getting this exclusively grass-fed collagen next to rotate into my diet.
I follow that up with some eggs and cheese and a side of avocado if I have it. I’ll have a handful of nuts a bit later if I still feel hungry. For dinner, I try to have some salad with whatever protein is prepared at home with more avocado. I’ll also mix in ground lupin if I have it. It’s a coarse texture similar to grits that’s very filling and perfect on days when the protein is stewed or curried.
This was some ground beef on a bed of ground lupin topped with cheese and red pepper flakes that I had on Thursday. It was absolutely delicious, perfectly filling to take me into my next fast. Get my shrimp and grits recipe using ground lupin too!
Last week I made my slightly sweet lupin flour bread so I was able to have that in the evenings, toasted up with a pat of butter to close out my feeding window and take me into my next 40 hour fast. You’re dying to know the results by now I’m sure, let’s get into it.
Alternate Day Fasting and Keto One Week Results
Five pounds down in one week! I’m ecstatic, to say the least. Let’s talk about it.
In my last keto one-week results update, I lost a significant amount of weight too. It’s important to note that in your first week on keto, you’ll shed a lot of water weight initially. As you get into ketosis and move from utilizing glucose to fat for fuel, lots of changes happen in your body resulting in this big jump that first week.
Is this kind of weight loss sustainable on keto with ADF? That’s what I’m so interested to find out after my second week. I could potentially lose 20lbs in one month using these two tools and I very excited about that prospect. Here’s an alternate day fasting before and after picture after the first week:
Those 5lbs are showing up clearly for me. I can see it in my boobs, my face and very clearly in my waist. These pants came up further, covering up more of my belly. My love handles are going in as well, which is one of the big benefits I’m looking for.
With results like these I’m truly motivated to go work out this week! Except, I am on my cycle this week and I usually hate to work out during that time. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll try to at least get out for a walk this evening.
The biggest win for me in all of this is that I maintained my weight loss through the weekend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to do strict keto and my weekends completely undo all my hard work. It’s a refreshing feeling to be moving forward immediately with my fasting focusing on losing more weight instead of having to lose a pound or two from my weekend first.
How I Feel on Fasting Days
I’m not trying to play you here and make you believe 40 hour fasts are easy. They’re not. But I realize that this is more of a mental challenge than anything else. Now that I’m deeper in ketosis, I’m becoming fat-adapted and using fat for fuel so I’m not terribly hungry per se.
Here’s how I felt after this whole fasting every other day experiment was done.
There are hunger pangs, for sure, but nothing that makes me feel like I must eat. What I’m battling is the mental hurdles it’s taking to be disciplined. I find that these longer fasts are so much more of a mental challenge than anything else. I can hear that voice in the back of my head telling me that a handful of nuts won’t be that bad at the end of the day when hunger is playing mind tricks on me.
I push through though and I am so proud of myself for doing that. This is the first time I’ve been so successful with long fasts and the results are definitely shining through. I just focus on the fat around my belly when I think of giving in. That fat has got to go. I’ve all the time in the world to enjoy a handful of nuts after I lose this excessive weight. Not a moment before.
Outside of that, I feel amazing. My brainpower is firing. I’m pushing out blog posts and creative content like whoa, ideas are flowing and my energy levels are definitely up. My sleep is getting better too and I’m happy for that benefit. So no, I’m not walking around cranky because I haven’t eaten. I’m focused on my work and grateful for the time stolen back from the hours I’d spend in the kitchen preparing meals.
So, that’s my first week update. I’ll be back next week to report on my second week to let you know if this 5lb dip is sustainable. This weekend will be even more interesting since it is a holiday weekend and I’ll be going on a mini-staycation with bae. Will I be tempted by food choices or will I hold firm?
Time will tell.