Topic 4 Posts


Dirty fasting

Been experimenting with dirty fasting and caloric restriction. Whether I eat 10, 20 or 67% of normal calories, I lose mass at half the rate of a strict water fast (0.6 lb / day vs. 1.2). Kicks you out of ketosis too often.

OTOH, you keep your normal energy level, so it’s way more pleasant and sustainable. Your hands and feet are cold, but not much hunger. And you don’t need to drink salty electrolytes as much.

Fasting, part 3

Plateaued in weight on my third fast, several days without significant change. Think I’ve hit my natural adult weight, low end of my college weight range. Done fasting for now.

Been eating just ~200 kcal a day, curious how body still mostly maintains weight. One homemade muffin and a handful of small cherries. Possibilities:

  • Burning less at lower weight = lower daily loss
  • Body turning down activity and energy level further
  • Retaining water
  • Retaining excreta which isn’t enough to expel yet

Probably can get 10 lbs lighter with hardcore workout / diet like marathoners or Kumail, but think I’m at my healthy adult weight now.

Have definitely been in ketosis at 200 kcal: low energy, body cold, etc.

  • 3 wk strict, 2 wk strict, 1 wk “dirty” (200 kcal)
  • 1 wk 400 kcal caloric restriction
  • From: April 1–June 2
  • Δ : –40 lbs

Down 2 sizes, 4 belt notches. So 1 male clothing size ~20 lbs, 1” belt notch ~ 10 lbs.

There’s a hazing / commitment effect: after weeks skipping food, I’m looking askance at hi-cal junk food ‘cause I know what it took to lose it.

Also got my fill during the breaks in between :) Air fryer, oil-free spicy potato wedges are reasonably healthy though.

So much junk food you drool over during a fast, is unappealing after breaking it. Like going home with Taco Bell at 2 am last call. Fastgoggles :)

Caloric restriction

I tried caloric restriction: one 400-kcal meal a day.


  • No electrolytes or supplements
  • Temporarily satisfies food craving
  • Body isn’t cold


  • Easy to overeat
  • Hard to track weight progress since not eating enough to excrete daily
  • Still high food craving
  • Lower anti-aging benefits (autophagy, HGH)

I’m going to go back to “dirty” fasting, with a couple of cheats: soy milk in tea / coffee, and a 150-kcal homemade muffin right before a run.


First fast

Water fasting works better than just eating less because it mostly turns off the hunger hormone. I’m able to sleep fine after drinking warm water.

Your body’s a hybrid with a glucose digestion cycle and a fat ketosis one. You just switch over to your stored fat after ~48 hrs, you don’t starve. You can continue light cardio.

The glucose cycle is a small buffer, refilled often by food; ketone cycle may be a large one, depending on how much fat you’ve stored.

Currently on a water fast, losing ~2 lbs / day. You regain ~4 lbs once you restart food, as glycogen and fecal matter.

Speed tails off as you approach ideal weight, and is lower if you’re already lean.

I’m only drinking water, tea and coffee without milk, occasionally cheating with 2-3 drops of honey. Amazing how 10 kcal of honey triggers hunger pangs.

You need electrolytes, drinking brine throughout the day: ½ tsp iodized salt, ½ tsp potassium (salt substitute) in 24 oz warm water 4× / day, plus 400 mg total daily in magnesium tablets.

Without electrolytes, you’re hungry, tired and get nausea and the shakes.

I’m still in low power mode with electrolytes, but functional.

What’s cool is this gives you full control over your body weight, easier than an aggressive diet, at (in my case) 3× the speed.

You do longer fast(s) to get to ideal weight, then maintain with clean eating, plus one meal a day or alternate day fasting as necessary.

You can add a quarterly 7-day fast for the anti-aging benefits: sped up autophagy of decrepit cells and boost in HGH. These tail off after 7 days.


  • Lean people can’t fast much before starving
  • > 3 weeks should be doctor-supervised
  • Take your electrolytes

I’m jogging 3 mi / day during the fast, taking it easy with walk breaks.

Unexpected things

  • No strong hunger at all. In fact, less hunger than when I’m eating normally
  • No “low blood sugar” weakness, like on a long run: you’re burning ketones, not glycogen
  • Do take a hit on energy level, like coming off a mild cold

Fasting benefit: way more free time since no cooking, dishes, eating or pooping.

Resets your palate so even cardamom in black tea tastes intense. Lowers insulin resistance.

Haven’t eaten in a week, feel fine 🤷🏽‍♂️

Fasting gives me ice-cold hands, and I’m cold all the time. No longer overheat under 4 thick blankets.

Body turns down general energy level, heating, immunity, digestion, elimination. Wonder what else.


Last ate 14 days ago. -23 lbs. Rate of loss slowed to 1 lb / day, you can see it slowly turn asymptotic as you approach ideal weight.

Still no real hunger: eating, you have a ~5-hr buffer; ketonic, it’s as large as your stored fat.

Rate of loss is pretty much a multiplier of caloric restriction. I.e. eating nothing is roughly 3× faster than eating a third less.

Plotting what to indulge in when I break the fast :)

Breaking first fast

In 9 hrs I will break a 3-week water fast, and friends, I’ve never been more excited to have a toasted pepper bagel with hummus.

r/fasting talks about re-feeding, but no one ever mentions re-pooping.


Broke a 3-week water fast. I have a baby’s palate right now. Filters wide open. Everything tastes like the best of that thing you’ve ever had, insane. I went around nibbling a bite out of 30 things. All the layers of a strawberry, grape, pineapple. Peanut flavors I never knew.

Even an 80%-ripe banana tastes like the most intense banana ever. Everything tastes like a unicorn fruit or dish you’d track down at an out-of-way bodega or dhaba. Every individual component of chana masala.

Like getting high-end headphones and going through all your favorite music in history again. I’m eating just to taste, not even as meals. How do I keep this supertaster power? Hope short fasting does the trick.

I can taste the garlic in garlic sourdough, the sesame seeds. The most intense almond butter, which usually tastes relatively mild. Spent an hour and a half nibbling everything in the house.

Took 2 hrs for my body to warm back to non-fasting temperature. Got 2 heavy blankets too many.

The carb energy made it hard to sleep.

To break the fast, I ate one perfect strawberry. 🍓

Long fast is like taking molly, but for food. A happy discovery for a Punjabi :D

Didn’t lose any spice tolerance. No re-feeding syndrome (carb shock). Just a little tired as the insulin turns back on.

Remember the first time you ever tasted a peach? Everything tastes like the first time.

Like the first time hearing a banger, on good headphones: hearing every layer individually. Hi-res. Everything pops.

Suspect the taste buds are sending this info all the time, and brain filters it as hedonic adaptation so you don’t overstimulate. But man, it’s incredible. Everything flavor’s intense.

The newly-intense post-fasting taste of everything means I eat less because smaller portions are full of taste.

Also no longer willing to eat on the go because I want to get that intense flavor of even a humble banana.

Gradual rise in cardio fitness even during the low energy of water fasting, because running got easier. Like a rocket speeding up as it drops mass.

Now at the weight I was at age 25 :) Featherlight jogging, riding high in the suspension.

Being lighter opens up a lot of options. Clothing, shoes, but also sports.

Easy to fit in the wettie, board floats you; can use a smaller, faster board. Well under the tandem hang-gliding limit.

Second fast

On the second fast, I got within a pound of the the weight I was at age 18.

Took the lower-mass frame out for a steep hill run, way easier and more fun! Calves are so bouncy at this weight :)

Very mild supertaster effect after this 10-day fast. Nothing like the 21-dayer.


Fast total: –37 lbs in 29 days* = 1.28 lb / day

*31 days elapsed, but first 2 days of second fast were just re-losing glycogen weight because of the pause

Had already switched diet over to higher protein / lower carb—the carb-heavy Punjabi farmer diet was the root issue.

Hardest part isn’t the fast, but developing tasty recipes to maintain weight going forward. See spicy tofu recipes.

Fasting itself is very cheap. The electrolytes are at the local grocery.

Cut back on the salt if you get sodium headaches.