First, experiments with fasting and strength:
It takes a while to become efficient at burning fat for energy. When Mark Sisson was on Joe Rogan he said it takes several weeks to get up to 80% and another year to get up into the 90's. He said this had to do with how long it took to build additional mitochondria in your cells to burn fat efficiently. I didn't think about what cells he meant until I heard Dr Rhonda Patrick on Joe Rogan a few weeks later talking about the transformation of white adipose tissue (WAT) where fat is stored into Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) where fat is burned. I did some reading around the interwebs and there seems to be some disagreement with some articles insisting that your brown fat and white fat are fixed and you get what you get. While others point out that you can increase the number of mitochondria in fat cells and change them (they also point out that exercise does increase the number of mitochondria in muscle cells and make them more efficient at using energy in general. Unfortunately I am not the best resource for this technical info and I may be confusing some facts but none of that affects what I did next. Two Saturday's ago I fasted for 14 hours, jumped on my bicycle and rode a hard, steady pace around a very hilly 15 mile road coarse. I averaged 15mph (which is good for me) and, to my amazement, I arrived back home strong and ready to keep riding. No weak, shaky feeling. So Last weekend I reproduced the experiment but with a longer 30 mile coarse this time I didn't make as good an average speed but it was very windy and I ran into several obstacles. Regardless, I rode steady and hard without “running out of gas”. I arrived home strong and able to keep riding. I am planning to reproduce the 15 and 30 mile courses after longer fasts. Then I may do shorter fasts and do longer courses, I would like to see where I hit the wall.
Next up: I have been thinking about the cost of my ketogenic diet.
I was browsing back through the last couple month's worth of receipts and I feel like I am actually spending less on my weekly food now. That's weird because I am eating 90% of the same foods as before. I'm just not dumping them on top of rice and pasta. I am physically eating less and doing more with it, Now granted, I never spent $12 for a jar of almond butter before 2016 but a jar of almond butter outlasts $12 worth of bread and chips. I am going to pull all my receipts and chart this properly for next week. So, expect graphs!
Quickly back to Fasting:
I said I had fasted before riding my bike, well what I didn't say is fasting makes me feel really good now. I am noticing cyclical patterns in my desire to eat or not eat. Last Friday, Saturday, & Sunday I was simply not hungry. I planned and ate meals based on my spread sheet but I typically eat less on the weekends. Through the week things were normal by Friday I was craving snacks. Today I have no desire to eat at all. For now I am letting my body decide when and what it wants (within the constraints of my spreadsheet controlled diet) I am playing around with switching to one-meal-per-day or maybe doing a weekly 24 hour fast. I would like to try a 48 hour or longer fast. I have to plan these out but I'm excited to try.
Finally, the bane of my keto experiment:
I drink bourbon nightly and alcohol skews everything. It's extra calories that slow weight loss. It messes with heart rate, blood vessels, and blood contents (ketones, glucose, etc) It affects how you hydrate and it really stresses out the liver. I won't bother with “some studies show it's actually beneficial”. It's unhealthy but I like it. I know this sounds dumb, but you have to chose your sins carefully because you don't want to go to Hell for something stupid. I will eat better food, get exercise, get plenty of sleep and avoid dangerous exposures where ever possible but I am going to have a drink. My concession will be the quantity and regularity. So, I have started drinking carbonated water (ingredients: water CO2 and some acids for a citrus flavor) to fill the tactile place of drinking alcohol and it's worked very well for the last 2 weeks. There's no burning desire to get drunk or even have a drink because I have the glass in my hand and I'm drinking from it whenever I want. Even refilling it is a satisfying habit. It's kind of weird to realize I have this very OCD habit. For now, I still have a few drinks on the weekend after work outs are over but I've basically reset my tolerance and with fasting I can't do the heavy drinking I was doing. I am drinking half of what I was drinking 2/7ths as often. I am going to keep this up with my keto diet until I get my weight to the mid 180's. My plan at that point is to shift my diet around to find what I really like that works for me. I would like to add fruit and some small qtys of carbs back into my diet (I always did very well on pasta). Likewise with the alcohol, maybe I'll have pasta and wine night a couple times a month. The possibilities are exciting but more so because I am documenting this and I will be able to look back and say “You big 'ole liar. You hated not drinking.” We shall see.