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Jimmy Moore’s (At Least) One-Week Fasting Experiment Begins

I’ve decided to take the plunge and begin my quest to go an entire week without eating a single morsel of food. That’s my goal right now to see how I feel doing something like this that I’ve never experienced before. The last time I ate was with a group of low-carbers in Baltimore, Maryland late on Sunday afternoon and I’m going to see if I can make it to at least late Sunday afternoon on Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011…perhaps even longer. This fasting experiment has been a long time in the making and I’ve tried to psyche myself up to doing it in earnest. And now it’s here. LET’S DO IT!

In February 2011, I asked the simple question “Have You Tried An Extended One-Week Fasting Period To Boost Your Health?” Up until this time the longest I’ve ever gone without food is one day. I couldn’t even imagine what I would have felt like when I was over 400 pounds and severely carbohydrate-addicted not too long ago if I didn’t have food for more than a few hours. But here I am attempting to do it for a MINIMUM of 168 hours. Have I completely lost my mind? Maybe. Maybe not. My interest in doing something like this was especially piqued after I interviewed Dr. Thomas Seyfried on my podcast in November 2009 who said a one-week fast can be used as a means for preventing cancer primarily and it’s taken me this long to work up the gumption to actually do it. So here we are.

I plan on sharing my daily thoughts and experiences on my low-carb menus blog all this week since there won’t be any food to list there. You will see my exercise schedule continue as usual with my volleyball, yoga, Pilates, and refereeing youth soccer. I think it’s important to keep up the normal routine as much as possible and I’ll closely monitor how I’m feeling and doing with this. Last night I played two hours of competitive volleyball and did remarkably well despite the fact I hadn’t eaten in over a day. Today I have yoga, I’ll take Wednesday off from exercise, Thursday I have Pilates AND another night of volleyball, I’ll take Friday off from exercise, Saturday I’ll referee for three hours, and Sunday I’ll take off. If at any point I feel dizzy or weak or anything else, then I’ll stop the activity immediately. I know my body pretty well now and wouldn’t put it in jeopardy.

As for food, before I return back to eating again from going without food, I have a plan for progressing. If the desire to eat becomes just too strong for me to withstand, then I’ll first begin by consuming a tablespoon of coconut oil. If that doesn’t work then I’ll add in a protein shake. Finally, if that doesn’t work, I’ll return to eating. But the goal is for me to remain 100% free of consuming any food for a week and sticking only with non-caloric liquids. My wife Christine thinks I’m insane (yeah honey, just a little), but I feel like I need to do this to see how my body will respond.

Here’s my first video update after Day 1:


http://youtu.be/J26xgVfcssc

So, what do I expect from this wild and crazy one-week fasting experiment? Actually, I’m wide open to learning whatever I can through this process. I have no preconceived ideas about what’s gonna happen because this is unchartered territory for me. As I’m typing this post, I’ve already surpassed the longest I’ve personally gone without food–EVER! And surprisingly, I feel fantastic. The fact I’m not so severely dependent on sugar and carbohydrates anymore makes this easier for a low-carber to do. I’m surviving on the food of our ancestors now as this geeky T-shirt from The Nutrition & Metabolism Society shows (I’m wearing the shirt in the video above). That’s the ketone bodies that are created when you are in a fasted state or when you restrict carbohydrates below 50g daily to be in a ketogenic state.

I learned a lot about the positive role of ketones at the conference in Baltimore, Maryland this past weekend (a report on the conference coming soon!) and this fasting experience will help me get refocused on those benefits for myself. I encourage you to follow my fasting journey this week and watch my video updates to see how I’m doing. If you feel like this is something you want to do, then please venture slowly before diving into something like this. It’s certainly not something you do flippantly without careful consideration of your own body. You do what’s right for you at all times to be as healthy as you can possibly be. What do you think about my one-week (or longer!) fasting goal? Would you try something like this for whatever reason?

  • http://ieatmostlymeat.com/ Josh

    Great Jimmy, this is something I’ve been wanting to try too. Can’t wait to see how it goes for you.

  • Sylvie O.

    Hey Jimmy!!!

    I did a four day fast last summer and plan to do another one this year. Kuddos to you!!!

    Just a suggestion: in my experience I found that I would often get dizzy upon standing up too fast and I realised afterwards it was probably due to low blood pressure (fasting makes you lose a TON of water). You might want to add a pinch of salt to your liquids now and again if that happens to you.

    Looking forward to reading about this journey!

  • http://nutrition-and-physical-regeneration.com/blog Michael

    I wish you the best. I have gone two weeks just on water and 42 days on juices. You will survive and probably even thrive. Just be aware on any potential herxheimer reactions, and your wife’s reaction to stinky ketone breath. :-)

    By the way, should you get to the point you need something else, coconut oil in lemon water is a great way to go. Even just lemon water (9 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed with 36 ounces of water) is sufficient to blunt “hunger.”

  • http://www.tkayfeelgoodcafe.com Teresa

    good luck!

  • Peter Silverman

    I’ll be very interested to see what you learn from this. I think the longest I’ver gone without food was while I was asleep.

  • subrosa

    So what is the point of fasting? Have you stalled? Is there some connection with fasting and LC?

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      I shared in this post some of why I’m doing it. But more than anything it’s just a new experience for me.

      • subrosa

        I have a request . . . would you consider posting your daily weigh-in results during the fast?

        • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

          Daily? No. But I will continue to weigh in on Fridays at my menus blog as I have been all year. THANKS!

  • anne h

    I’ve done a few of these over the past few years…. Awesome!
    You look great, by the way!

  • http://lc-shrink.blogspot.com/ Holly J.

    Wow! Congrats on your success of surpassing your personal best.

    I would add in there that at the conference they talked about the importance of bone broth/stock with a “pinch” of salt (probably real salt, not table) to keep up mineral levels. If I recall correctly that’s what they gave people during the fasts (to keep up electrolytes and such). Perhaps that could be a stop gap between the coconut oil and the protein shake? I’ll be interested in watching this unfold. :)

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      That’s a good point, Holly! I’m doing well so far, but the broth will help with balancing electrolytes if I need it. Christine did that this morning for some leg cramps she was experiencing.

  • Alan

    All power to you Jimmy. I’m sure you will make the distance, you have that stubborn true grit about you. I’m sure there will be moments but you will be doing your body a powerful good..

  • shirl

    looking forward to reading how you get on, good luck, your an inspiration

    Dotty

  • Peter Silverman

    It’s interesting that in Gary Taubes’s article in the NY Times today he mentiioned the idea that heart disease used to be caused by high cholesterol, but now it’s caused by insulin resistance.
    This is similar to what Ron Krausse said. It would be interesting to hear them explain more about why they think that.

  • Lulu

    I was going to suggest broth, but I see someone did already. I have done great fasts on chicken broth. The salt really helps with the light headed bit.

    Also, are you sure you want to take that much exercise? Most books ive read say to take it easy and give your body rest and the chance to heal. Strangely enough, you lose more when you exercise less. Think about being sick in bed with the flu and losing 10 lbs, Maybe just a little bit of light weights.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Yep, doing the broth. And I know my limits on exercise.

  • Nina

    Jimmy

    Check out the Gary Taubes latest. Time for a Taubes/Lustig double interview?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=2&ref=magazine

    Nina

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      I’d never be able to end it. LOL!

  • Susie

    So how’s the fast going piggy moore?

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      That’s Mr. Piggy to you, missy. :D

  • Paul von Elsner

    Jimmy I love ya, but you have turned a simple lifestyle into more than rocket science. I have gone back to whats right for me the last few months and have lost the last 25 lbs and my lab results are right on for a 51 year old who had his Thyroid removed 3 years ago. I call it “MAD” (Moderate Anything Diet) Kind of a take off on Matt Stones HED.
    What was happening is the thyroid meds were not converting into T-3. When the Endo asked me what my diet was like, I said Ive been doing Atkins for about 4 years. He said that was the problem. He said its okay short term, 30 days at most. He pointed out that in his practice, more patients see him for thyroid related problems when Atkins is popular. I was surprised he said Atkins is fine to help jumpstart a weightloss but not as a permanent lifestyle.
    Don’t give up Jimmy. I will always be reading and listening to the podcasts
    Paul

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thanks buddy. Didn’t do this for weight loss though.

  • Paul von Elsner

    Cool. I’ll catch up on your blog and read your results.
    I want to mention that I still keep my carbs between 60-80 grams per day. My Endo was only concerned about being under 30g. With my Bicycling picking up for the spring/summer, he felt 30g was to low and would cause more stress on the body which can inhibit the t4-t3 conversion. I got a better clarification yesterday at my appointment of what he had told me 3 months ago.
    Paul