Is It Okay To Simply Not Eat For Days At A Time If You're Not Hungry?

edited July 2012 in Bulletproof Diet
Since I've been taking the bullet proof coffee every morning I simply don't get hungry. I can go all day long and I feel thanksgiving full from morning to bedtime.



Is this a common thing for people like me who are seriously overweight?



I'm currently to 255 lbs from 270 lbs since I've been on the diet a couple of weeks ago. The leanest and healthiest I've evern been was 14 years ago when I was at 180 lbs at a height of 5' 8". I did a lot of martial arts training and at that weight I was around 15 to 20% body fat.



So I still have a lot of fat to lose to get back to my fighting weight but I already feel better.



I have been forcing my self to eat a very small lowcarb dinner with lots of good fats just to be on the safe side..



But now I'm wondering would it be harmful if I just go stricly by my body signals and only a eat when I'm hungry. Even if that means going a few days without regular food.



I don't really burn that many calories through exercise because I only do KB swings for 12 minutes 2 times a week and I practice KB Turkish Get Ups for 5 minutes twice a week. Just enough exercise to keep strong and flexible.



Could I get away with this for awhile until I get thin enough where my body starts getting hungry more often? What do you guys think?



Thanks

Comments

  • I may be wrong, sense I have not be doing the diet that long but believe you can go the straight fasting route, but they do HIGHLY recommend a regiment of vitamins. You can read more on this page. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-fasting-results/
  • Yeah, the fasting isn't harmful in itself but you want to be careful that you get the vitamins/supplements you need. Also, be careful of only eating when you're hungry. I know that's not the typical response, but there is a specific hormone that regulates hunger (leptin) that can get out of whack, especially in chronically overweight people. You should have normal hunger cycles, and you aren't, possibly because that hormone is maladjusted. Also, you can do the BP Fast without severe calorie restriction. While calorie restriction is at times useful, doing it too drastically for too long will put your body into starvation mode where it will be incredibly difficult to lose weight. So make sure you do your re-feed days at the very least. And make sure on those days you eat a LOT of food (*good* food mind you) so that your hormones get a chance to re-set, even if you don't exactly want to.
  • I've heard that you don't want to go much beyond 24 (to maybe 48) hours on a fast - because your body can then start cannibalizing muscle. Everyone is different, but most seem to say that the random nature of the fast is what makes it effective - but just not for too long. I think there is a difference, though, it how long you can survive without food. Supposedly someone who has 10% body fat has enough to let them survive for 30 days!
  • edited July 2012


    I've heard that you don't want to go much beyond 24 (to maybe 48) hours on a fast - because your body can then start cannibalizing muscle. Everyone is different, but most seem to say that the random nature of the fast is what makes it effective - but just not for too long. I think there is a difference, though, it how long you can survive without food. Supposedly someone who has 10% body fat has enough to let them survive for 30 days!




    I'd love to get a source of the "cannibalizing muscle" quote. It's definitely wrong unqualified - I fasted for 21 days, exercised almost daily, and didn't lose muscle (perhaps even gained some - I wasn't measuring; but I mostly jogged which isn't generally a muscle building exercise).



    What I do recall reading in an old Bernarr McFadden book that I can't find anymore, is that your body will dispense with the things that are useless - and muscles you don't use are wasting energy. So it makes sense that the body will dismantle them (in order to stop wasting energy - not necessarily FOR energy).



    That book also quoted a result from a study of some religious indian fasting custom. Doctors were observing the fasters on a daily basis, and the result was NO irreversible damage up until 40-something days (although there was loss of muscle after 25 days or so), and then very rapid irreversible damage (as in, noticeable damage by the hour, death within a week) - apparently the body then turns to metabolizing the nervous system, which cannot be recovered even when food arrives again.



    Another interesting point from that study was that people with more stored fat reported feeling bad and started metabolizing muscle much earlier than lean people -- agreeing with the idea that the purpose of fat is not necessarily energy store, but just as equally a toxin prison
  • 21 days! no wonder you turned into a Vampire. image/icon_cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool:' />



    was that absolute torture? do you pretty much have zero body fat left?


  • 21 days! no wonder you turned into a Vampire. image/icon_cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool:' />



    was that absolute torture? do you pretty much have zero body fat left?




    Nope, not a torture at all - and while I did lose approximately one pound per day for the first 14 days, the last 7 were approximately flat.



    I did drink a lot of water. And I did exercise. And I did not feel hungry - most of the time, I felt disgusted at the thought of eating, and then it was just "meh" - but after 21 days, all of a sudden I was hungry. And by hungry I do not mean "had appetite", which is what most people call "hungry". I was *hungry*. It's a completely different feeling to appetite, which I don't really know how to put into words.



    And I wasn't even planning a fast - I lost my appetite, so I didn't eat (it is surprising how uncommon this reaction to losing appetite is!). And it took a while to come back. I did do bloodwork throughout to see that I was well, and I was - I think listening to your own body is one of those underrated magic techniques for improving its performance image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
  • If someone was already in good shape and just battling to get rid of the final 10 lbs on the lower abdomen - would you recommend longer fasts (or at least a once-per-week 24 hour fast) to get rid of the most challenging fat for men to lose? I think it would be great fun to get to washboard abs at 42-years-old. I know that metabolism at 42 versus a 20 year-old is a whole different world, but I'd love to jump the ravine. So far, with Paleo and Bulletproof, I've gone from 240 lbs and tight size 38 jeans (at 5' 11"), to 188 lbs and loose size 30 jeans - but the abs have still been elusive. I feel like I'm very close, but I've felt that way for more than a year now. I suppose it is a long process.
  • For abs and stubborn fat, I'd go with HIIT. Sprinting is super effective for losing the last remnants of fat and improving overall insulin sensitivity. It also works your abs like you wouldn't believe (I say this as I am sitting here cringing with every twist of my torso due to sprints this morning).
  • I don't recommend fasting as a way to lose weight at all. It's a side effect, yes - but healthy fasting is apparently a "maintenance mode" the body is designed to switch to in the absence of food; unless you exercise properly, for example, your body will prefer to get rid of muscle than get rid of fat. Furthermore, the experience for most people is that, although there is a very noticeable health effect, weight tends to go back to where it was over a 3-6 months period following the end of a fast.



    I do recommend fasting as a way to know yourself better - the first time you feel hunger (rather than appetite), which is the signal that the body has finished whatever maintenance it can do - you get a different perspective on food, and you get it forever.



    When boxing (classic or the various MMA varieties), a lot of people have the experience of "boxing before I got hit in my nose the first time", and "life since that event" - the first time that happens, you are disoriented, it takes between a few seconds and some ten minutes before the ability to think, stand and reason straight comes back. But after it does, something changes about how you react to temporary loss of balance / visit / concentration in the middle of a fight. (That was my experience and of many people practicing with me, anyway). And I think it is also that way with first time hunger. You haven't felt it until you've fasted for a while; when it eventually arrived after three weeks - gradually over a few hours - was the first time I realized I've only had appetite up until that point in time, never hunger -- and my perception changed as a result.
  • Cruiser42Cruiser42 Want to look like this again - or BETTER!

    I realize this post is 2.5 years old, but I'm not hungry either - and I'm an overweight, out of shape female, postmenopausal at age 54!


     


    Anyone still reading these oldies ?


     


    Any suggestions ?


    As soon as my supplements arrive, I'm fasting..................


  • Occasional periodic fasts of up to 36 hours, like a few times a year probably won't hurt, if I recall from what I've heard.  But weekly deprivation to the extent of no nutrient intake, even past 12 hours can lead to muscle break-down.  Probably not the healthiest thing... but there's gotta' be some value in listening to your body.  Maybe you're more tuned to a feast and famine ability... whether or not that's a good thing.


  • You can probably get away with eating less, I seem to recall hearing about some research that said something along the lines of "the more body-fat someone had, the more of a caloric deficit they could get away with."  But keeping-up a level of amino acids and nutrients in your body will likely help preserve muscle mass as you lose fat, along with other health issues (cf. Triage Theory, Dr. Bruce Ames).  On those no-appetite days, even some essential amino acids throughout the day, or a few small (10-15g) dumps of a protein would likely help your body to thrive mo' better, along with some well-chosen micro-nutrients (see: the Top 10 Bulletproof Supplements list, or the Rapid Fat-Loss Protocol supplements list).


    Have you read this post? https://www.bulletproofexec.com/rapid-fat-loss-protocol/


  • Cruiser42Cruiser42 Want to look like this again - or BETTER!
    edited January 2015

    I just started the RFLP today.  I still haven't been getting super hungry, so thought, "why not"?  Its a hack, just like everything else.


     


    Yesterday, I tried a little goat cheese (which I used to LOVE), and it flared up hives in my arms so bad I drew blood scratching them.  WOW!  Guess I have a sensitivity to goat cheese!  Wont be eating any of that anymore!  Good to know. 


     


    Thanks for the info !


     


    Lisa


  • This post is the closest thing to my question, so I'll start here.


     


    I'm also doing RFLP (4 days in) and I've done a TON of reading and podcast listening over the last two years regarding paleo, ketosis, gluten, etc, etc.  So I feel like I pretty well understand the science.


     


    Here's my question - I'm following Bulletproof RFLP rather closely (I even bought the glutathione force, am taking vitamin D, using grass fed butter, etc).  I'm leaving out vitamin K and krill oil, just because I'm cheap.  The one thing I've been trying to do is BCAAs, but I'm having trouble consuming the powder form that I bought by mistake.  I'm having no trouble with hunger or energy.  I think the brain octane oil is really helping with that.


     


    So, are the BCAAs just for energy level, or are they also supposed to help with muscle maintenance?  Dave is suggesting 10g of protein a day (pure BCAAs) in the protocol, and I've been doing less than that.  I could supplement with eggs or some other high BCAA source, but I'm not sure how many g's of protein will kick me out of ketosis.  It has to be somewhere between 10 and ???


     


    Insights appreciated.  I'm a big strong muscle bound guy.  269 at start of RFLP, 32% body fat at 6'2.  I look like a linebacker, but I know I need to lose 30-40 pounds of fat. Would prefer to keep all this muscle!



  • So, are the BCAAs just for energy level, or are they also supposed to help with muscle maintenance?




     


    The BCAAs are for muscle maintenance; I believe the L-Glutamine is for energy level. I'd just chug the BCAA's in divided doses, even if you bought gel caps that's a lot of capping and swallowing to do.


     


    I'm not sure whole protein sources like eggs can work with the RFLP. But I also think it's kind of silly and risky and don't recommend it. 

  • There's a lot of myth and conventional wisdom surrounding fasting these days, but remember that many religious people fasted during Lent, Ramadan or during certain Jewish holidays. I believe if the practice of fasting led to negative effects, these practices wouldn't have propagated down to the current day. Ray Cronise, rocket scientist, has done a lot of work on fasting using actual measuring tools. Starvation mode is a myth 


     


    Previously, I've had a real struggle with my weight because I would eat out of boredom and I was never hungry. I think there's a leptin/gehrlin issue there that I haven't figured out yet. The way I frame it now is that I'm not hungry because I'm 50 lbs overweight.


    This is my body telling me I don't need to eat right now.


     


    I'm on day 3 of a 3 day water fast right now. I'm down 5 lbs. and I feel good. There's a little glimmer of hunger in my belly, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I'll eat tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not chewing my arm off.


     


    Dr Jason Fung has written extensively on fasting.  https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/


     


    Here's another one: https://thequantifiedbody.net/5-day-water-fast-results/


     


    Dr. Dominic D'Agostino did a long interview with Tim Ferriss. What struck me like a thunderbolt was that on day 5 of a 5 day fast, D'Agostino deadlifted 550 lbs. for reps and felt fine. Even if he's a trained powerlifter with a much higher personal record, 550 for reps takes a lot out of your body. 


     


    There's something to this fasting thing...

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