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Fasting vs. a low-calorie shake plan?

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  • Fasting vs. a low-calorie shake plan?

    I agree with others that with a total fast, like a water fast, you can just put food out of your mind altogether which is the big plus. Since on any low-calorie diet, it's like feeding yourself a little bit of the drug you're craving so much. So, a shake diet, even one that puts me in a severe calorie deficit, just seems to keep me hungry all day long - even worse that a total fast (at least at first). I do really well on water fasts up until about day 6, when hunger seems to take over my brain and tell me that this is stupid, why are you doing this, do you realize how long you'd have to keep this up, etc? It's like a switch that's flipped and my willpower seems to vanish like snow on a hot day. So part of me wonders about something like the shake diet (any protein shake will do, really), where I won't hit that day 6 wall and will be able to push through it. But I worry that having a shake will be like pouring gasoline on a fire. The big plus with water fasts is that you lose weight so fast, of course. Has anyone else done these two ways to lose weight in order to compare them?

  • #2
    I have been watching people try this for years in this group and have never seen it work. I have tried it myself and it never worked.

    You hit the nail on the head that it just pours gas on the fire. Plus, shakes can keep you from getting into ketosis, which means you will lose more muscle along with the fat than if you just went straight-up water.

    Here's what has worked great for me in the past. If you hit a wall at day 6, take a break from the fast but EAT LOW CARB. This will KEEP you in ketosis, and once you have the urge out of your system, RESUME YOUR FAST. You won't go through as much pain and hunger on "Day 1" because ketosis moderates hunger. Your energy level will be higher from Day 1 because you will still be fat burning.

    A strategy that worked very well for me in the past was to fast M-F and then eat low-carb on the weekends, so I wouldn't have to miss out on meals and outings with friends and family.

    Good luck!!!

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    • #3
      Interesting suggestions there, TJF. I had never thought of that. I had only ever considered "I've gone X number of days without eating,'" like it was a contest to win or something. But I could do a water fast for, say, five days, then take a day or two and eat low-carb/low-calorie (careful - don't binge), then start back again for another five day fast. I'm definitely going to mull this over. After all, my goal is to get rid of the fat, not break a fasting record.

      So when you did this, did you take a one or two-day fasting break to eat low-carb? I wonder if a two-day break may get me out of the fasting mode.

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      • #4
        I played it by ear depending on family plans...often I just did one or two meals. Sometimes the whole weekend.

        In a way, it is easier to get back into "fasting mode" because you can honestly tell yourself...All I have to do is get through Friday...and I can have a steak (with a salad or broccoli of course!) on Saturday

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        • #5
          I'm on a longer fast right now but will be going back to "flexible fasting" once I break this one. Like you, just want to lose the weight.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tinajfreeman View Post
            In a way, it is easier to get back into "fasting mode" because you can honestly tell yourself...All I have to do is get through Friday...and I can have a steak (with a salad or broccoli of course!) on Saturday
            A big steak! That's a nice motivational carrot to keep in front of you to make all the unpleasantness worthwhile!

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            • #7
              Fasting is easier then fighting the temptation of hunger that comes along with the shake, the shake can work but you have to train your mind that that's all you can have.

              I have done a protein shake fast but it never lasted long because it leads to cravings.

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