March 14, 2012

ADF* findings (So Far)

"The best of all medicines are rest and fasting." Benjamin Franklin

*ADF is alternate day fasting. For more information, see this post or click on the ADF label on the right side of the page.

I'm fasting today. In general, I have given myself permission to decide on the morning of any scheduled fasting day whether I will actually fast or eat. I've done this because my day-to-day reactions to recent family-driven stress vary--on some mornings, it actually makes fasting easier but on others the idea of fasting seems to add more stress. Which I really don't need.  

Note: Since you've probably had enough of my vague clues, please know that my teen-aged grandson is being quite self-destructive, doing risky things and not seeing that they are risky--a situation that could last for years. I cannot change the situation much and I cannot turn my back, therefore I must cope.

Here are a few other things I've noticed about ADF:

FACT #1: By evening on a fasting day, my blood glucose sits right around 70.

SO FAR: This is the real difference I have seen between IF (intermittent fasting) and ADF, as my fasting blood sugar never went that low on IF and I have sensed/seen deeper bodily healing on ADF--I now have no symptoms from eating wheat (although I don't intend to make that a habit,) the new "groove" at my waist has become more distinct and my gums/tongue have improved color.

Regarding my waist, the circumference of belly/kidney fat had gradually decreased throughout the past 10 months but there was one long arc with no groove at my waist; after 2 weeks of ADF I noticed a distinct groove and my midriff and belly fat pads are now independent arcs.

My blood sugar has never dropped below 70 and I haven't experienced any "low blood sugar" symptoms at all even if I go shopping or take a long walk with my dogs (that evening or the next morning.)

FACT #2: My first few fasting days MAY have caused some sleep disruption but I didn't notice any fatigue; it simply took longer to fall asleep and I woke up once or twice. It's hard to tell if it affected my serenity as there were multiple incidents with the grandkid that definitely caused upsets. In fact, I'm not sure if the sleep disruption was actually caused by the ADF, the incidents or a combination of both.

SO FAR: I am watching this but since my overall reaction to ADF is very positive I don't think minor sleep disruption is a reason to stop. My mood and energy levels have been great during and after fasting days. So far today (fingers crossed) my stress level is mild and I'll be interested to see what happens at bed time tonight.

FACT #3: I don't like black coffee. I either need to ditch the coffee or use heavy cream/coconut oil and (possibly) ditch the honey I add to those fats on eating days. 

SO FAR: I tried black-coffee-only on 3 different fasting days. Not going to work. I seem able to cope with cream-only, though, and in recent experiments I've found adding a little coconut oil too is "okay" but not an improvement. I now put the coconut oil in the first mug only. It tends to pool on the surface so I use a spoon to drink it plus coffee first and then drink the remaining coffee and cream normally. I do miss my honey, though, which actually makes the coffee taste GOOD. 

Calorie-wise, ADF allows up to 25% of typical calorie intake. I KNOW this isn't intended to be cream and honey, okay? The cream's actually okay as it has very little of either protein or carbs and shouldn't interfere with either ketosis or (protein) autophagy in small quantities. The honey is a sweetener and is officially an "avoid" whether I'm eating or fasting. So far today I'm doing okay without the honey but I may add a little to my last mug of the day. 

Here in the southern tip of Nevada the current morning temps in which I am walking my dogs are in the mid- to high-50s. When they rise another 10 degrees or so I may lose my interest in coffee and shift to water with a wedge of lime.

FACT #4:  One reason to continue drinking coffee is that it seems to inhibit hunger pangs. 

SO FAR: I usually drink 3 mugs of coffee, sometimes 2 and sometimes 4 but usually 3. I sip it fairly slowly so it's mid-day when I reach my "enough" point.  At times I'll notice hunger before drinking coffee but I never have any while I'm sipping some or for 1-3 hours afterward.

FACT #5: Even with cream and honey, I don't have a strong blood glucose response to the coffee--usually it's around 93-94 and, if I test again, gradually drops back to the 80s. 

FACT #6: I usually have some hunger pangs between mid-afternoon and early evening on a fasting day.

SO FAR: Mild hunger pangs and "time to eat" brain impulses are easy to ignore in the absence of new mental upsets and they are gone by 7 pm as I'm usually done eating for the day between 4 and 6 pm.

FACT #7: When I am fasting, the presence of bananas, berries and other fresh produce in the house isn't an issue and neither are my grandson's neolithic treats. Having lots of fresh produce does increase my pleasant anticipation of eating the next day.


  1. Have you read Mark Sisson's latest post about alternate day fasting? Here's the link.

    1. Hi, Kathleen!Yes, I saw Mark's post this morning and I've been following a series of fasting posts by Paul Jaminet at Perfect Health Diet. All info is helpful!

  2. I just read your comment on Mark's site. I guess I just couldn't wait to tell you about it. I should have read all the comments first. Ever since you have been posting about ADF, I have felt like trying it. I thought I might wait till summer vacation (I'm a teacher), but now I think maybe I'll try it sooner. If I do, I'll probably have some questions to ask you and Mark.

    1. LOL, you know where to find me!

      Actually, I think the summer will be a prime time for ADF because I always feel a little less hungry then. I mentioned to my grandson yesterday that I'll be going a little easier on myself for the next month or so but May and June will be serious ADF time for both health and fat loss.

  3. First: BOYS! Humph!
    Second: Your new photo looks AMAZING! I wish I had thought to do a mug shot.
    Third: I've been really interested in your ADF posts. I have tried Dr Jack's Leptin Rx, but find I simply CAN NOT eat so much protein so early in the morning (leaves me feeling ill all day)
    Left to myself I can easily fast, but my husband gets quite worried that I am not eating.
    I have decided I will try eating only at dinnertime (when he is home) and simply not bother at breakfast or lunch unless I feel I need to...
    I am also doing cold showers as per Dr Jack's recommendations and am stunned (because being cold is NOT my thing) that I feel GREAT and my muscles feel like I have done a ton of exercise (which i have not)
    Perhaps it is all part of the N=1 experiments they all talk about???

    1. Hi, Janet! The one-meal approach did 90% of my healing, I think, so it's definitely worth a try. If my family situation hadn't gotten so stressful I'm not sure I would've tried ADF but it really is calming. For the next month or so, I may only fast 1 day per week but once we hit May and June I'm going to buckle down and fast 3 days per week. I'll have given up coffee by then--due to the heat here--so going zero-calorie will be much easier and my appetite is much less in the heat anyhow. I want to have a new weight loss achievement to celebrate on July 4th!

      Re: the cold shower, it does make sense when I remember how wild we were as kids coming out of the cold Atlantic Ocean water. Maybe when the temps get over 95 here I'll try it.