An update on my Snake Diet fasting experiment after week one. I’ve decided to make adjustments to the protocols based on my blood sugar response and my need … for protein.
- Why I fast
- Week one results
- Adjustments to Snake Diet Protocols and why
I maintain truly normal blood sugars, normal weight and I thrive! So why am I fasting? For the health benefits, I want to lean out and … I love to challenge myself!
If you missed my introductory Snake Diet post, go read it now. It’s short … and meaty. Then come right back! Here’s the intro, “Snake Diet … What?”
In the past, I’ve been able to fast for up to four days doing true ‘fat fasts’, consuming nothing but coconut oil and butter.
My longest ever water-fast, has only been two days! Why?
Each time I had to stop after two days due to … hypoglycemia or low blood sugars.
I’m talking ‘real’ hypoglycemia — too many who walk around with elevated blood sugars think they are hypoglycemia when in reality, they are not.
An example of my fasting induced hypoglycemia: in one fat fast, back in 2015 (I consumed nothing but coconut oil and butter). I had a 56 mg/dl at 5 PM on the 4th day , but decided to ride it out. I continued feeling extreme lethargy so I checked my blood sugar before bedtime, …. 45 mg/dl (2.5 mmol/l).
I do a lot of crazy stuff but yeah, I’m not going to bed at 45 mg/dl (2.5 mmol/l). Knowing how my blood sugar can sink while fasting, I like being over 70 mg/dl at bed time.
I’ve done three 48 hour fasts and I do think Snake Juice helps my body tolerate a water-only fast better. During the first fast, I felt fine on the 2nd day, and blood sugars stayed normal. On the 2nd 48 hour fast however, my blood sugars tanked and stayed in the 60’s on the second day. That range is typically not a problem for me, but it was on that day. I ended the fast early as I never felt right all day.
The 3rd 48 hour fast was like the first, I felt fine both on the first and second days. (It’s afternoon and I’m still fasting now) :) And like the first 48 hour fast, my blood sugars have been normal all day, in the 80’s. :)
What is snake juice? It’s water, sea salt and potassium at the most basic form. Read the intro post! :)
Snake Diet Results: Week One
I’ll discuss weight, calories consumed, energy, strength, stamina…. and Blood Sugars.
Weight and Calories Consumed
Weight loss is NOT my goal… however, leaning out and gaining muscle are.
So while I still have excess body fat, I’m living with the weight loss.
My weight of 152.2 is lowest weight since before Junior year in high school… yeah.
Calories for the week are @ 5,400 … that’s deficit for sure. I’m usually around 13 – 14,000 calories for the week. Today is the 19th, the last day on the chart and I’ll definitely eat today, so it will round up to 7,500 to 8,000 calories for the week. Still a hefty deficit.
Energy and Strength
On days I fast, yes — my energy comes and goes, but I usually workout every day in some form. I feel fine as long as my blood sugars stay in normal ranges.
I make sure I do a total body weight resistance routine at least every other day, to help maintain muscle mass.
- Two days ago, 80 pull-ups with a multi-year personal record of 10 in a row to start. I permanently dislocated my right shoulder in 2013 and I haven’t done many pull ups until a few months ago. When I began 4-5 was all I could do in a row.
- This morning, 40 hours into a fast I performed a very intense, hour plus total body workout.
There has been no strength, energy nor stamina loss.
Note: Muscle Loss
Muscle loss is a concern for me. Some claim muscle loss occurs while fasting… but is that just more failed conventional wisdom? For decades I heard we needed to eat 4-6 meals a day… I know that’s a lie.
I have seen evidence from Cole Robinson (the creator of the Snake Diet) and some of his adherents, they have body composition tests showing no muscle loss and other examples of no power loss.
Does a ‘proper’ fast mitigate protein turnover and loss?
I’ll write more about this later but for now, I *think* … as long as you perform weight resistance exercise a few (3 or more) times a week, *AND* you have plenty of body fat, you should be ok.
Blood Sugar Results
This is the ‘biggie’ for me.
Yes I want the health benefits of fasting, yes I want to lean out, yes I want to gain muscle… but at the end of the day, I *MUST* have truly normal blood sugars.
I’ve been following the Snake Diet’s Muscle Building protocol, which is…
- Five days, fasting for 22-23 hours a day and eating in a 1-2 hour window.
- Performing a 48 hour fast, once a week.
Problem Is …
I like to start my fasting after dinner. The problem is … consuming all of my protein for the day in the evening… raises my blood sugar while I’m sleeping, resulting in elevated fasting blood sugars. Below are pictures of my fasting blood sugars after eating over 200 grams of protein for dinner two days in a row.
This can not stand… man. A quote from the movie, “The Big Lebowski”. :)
In the next section, what I’m going to do about it.
I won’t tolerate elevated blood sugars. My blood sugar goals are 60-90 mg/dl. I wrote a post explaining why, “My Blood Sugar Targets“.
I really want to continue the Snake Diet fasting protocols… so here’s what I am going to do…
- Move the Eating Window: instead of eating at 6 pm or 7 pm , I’m going to move the start of my eating window up to 2 pm. This way, I’ll burn some of glucose up with exercise or just activity.
- Widen the Window: Instead of eating one huge meal late in the evening, I’ll widen the window to four hours. I’m going to eat a larger meal @ 2 pm and then a smaller meal if needed @ 5 pm.
- Increasing Fat: I am VERY close to my target body composition, and I had planned on increasing my fat content anyway. I’m not going to measure, I’m just going to eat more fatty meats. :) Don’t worry, I’ll make sure I get enough protein. :)
I am going to make an effort to ‘dial in’ the Snake Diet’s, Muscle Building fasting routine. I really think it’s important to incorporate fasting into your ‘lifestyle’. There are many health benefits in addition to weight loss.
My main concern as I mentioned above is getting enough protein, maintaining lean muscle mass and maintaining truly normal blood sugars.
Lastly: If you have elevated blood sugars or want to lose fat… give fasting a try. I did. :)
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