So 50 days without food. Aren’t you just going to pile weight back on when you finish? Surely body will store all the food you eat and you will just gain it all back on?
This is what I believe to be the most common misconception within a question that I get asked. The short answer is yes and no. If I broke the fast at any day including day 50 and went on an absolute binge eating session then yes, obviously this is the case, however that’s only because I have consumed more calories than my BMR.
When I finish the fast I plan to have lost about 50lbs. This would place me at a BMR of around 2000 calories a day. If I then presume my metabolism is shunted by the so called ‘starvation mode’ and say that my BMR is greatly reduced to 1000 calories as an estimate, then as long as I consume less than 1000 calories a day for a short period of time and ease myself off of the fast, it is simple physics, I cannot gain weight.
The problem in ending a fast is reintroducing yourself to food, a plan that I have thought about for hours prior to starting the fast. My stomach will have shrunk, my digestion slowed to an almost halt, not to mention other areas of the body! If I were to suddenly jump back to eating 1000 calories of solid food a day then I would be in serious trouble, not from weight gain, but most likely through episodes of lightheadidness and the potential of fainting. This is due to the increase amount of blood and energy that will be diverted to the digestion system to resume ‘feeding’.
When the 50day fast is finished I have a clear plan that I will adopt to prevent any serious repercussion of reintroducing myself to food. My stomach will have shrunk greatly and therefore it won’t be able to fit much into it.
Day FE+0 to +5, for the first 5 days after the fast I shall adopt a juice fasting diet, this is to allow my body to get used to nutrients being thrown back into the body, with a low amount of calories and also in a liquefied state as to prevent the body from having to spend energy to process it from a solidified state to a liquefied state. My daily calorie intake will not exceed 500calories in this time.
Day FE+5 to +10, for the next 5 days the juice fast will continue, supplemented by the addition of low calorie soups at two intervals through a 24hour period. This is where my daily calorie intake will increase to no more than 750 calories.
FE+10 to +20, these next 10days will see the supplementing of the juicing and soups with the reintroduction of solid foods, through salads and bananas only. These are two forms of food that are easy for the body to digest and contain some level of much needed nutrients. This is where my daily calorie intake will increase to no more than 1000calories.
FE +20 to +25, these 5days will see the reintroduction of lean meats only, this is the time that the juicing will end. Therefore I will be consuming lean meats, salad, bananas and soups. This time the daily calorie intake will not exceed 1250calories.
FE+25 to +30, this 5 day period will allow for the reintroduction of wholegrains, most notably rice, at this stage all fruits and vegetables come in to play. Creating much more of a varied balanced diet that is healthy and practicable for my body to consume.
FE+30 onwards, at the point of 30days after the fast has ended my body should have been prepared to be completely reintroduced to all types of food. This is the point when all restrictions are lifted apart from the BMR calorie limit. My BMR at this point should have stabilised around the 1800calorie mark. My food consumption will not exceed this, if it does exceed this then exercise is needed, every calorie over 1800 will be a calorie needing burned, keeping a status quo of calories in versus calories spent will mean my body will maintain its weight as it currently is.
This is the plan I have created, it is a weening process, allowing the gradual reintegration of food into my life. This plan has not yet been tested, however due to my experience of other diets and weight loss I feel personally for my body it will allow sufficient time and nutrients for me to ease back into a normal, varied and most importantly healthy diet.
It is very important for anyone entering a diet where they completely stop the intake of one thing, such as carbs or food altogether to have a period of transition. The body will go crazy and store all of the item you have cut and most likely cause weight gain.
Within the transitional period weight gain will be expected. This is mainly through water weight gain. The body will now have a supply of glucose being provided, this is stored within the water in your muscles. Therefore the body will store the water and glucose back into your muscles to build up its reserves, hence the weight gain.
This is my 30day post fast reintroduction programme. It is by no means perfect for everyone. But it will work for me.