Location: The Bronx, NYC.
It’s 5:30 A.M. on a cloudy Monday morning. In a couple of hours I will be flying over the Atlantic, in a trip back to Romania, my beloved home country. It’s going to be a 24+ hours adventure…
Last night I had this crazy idea of doing a feast before leaving. Then, I would fast all throughout the trip.
Fasting during traveling is nothing new to me. I’ve been doing it when I flew to Thailand and also to the U.S. from Europe. I’m doing it almost always when I’m flying. 24+ hours should be easy since some of my fasts lasted for more than 40 hours.
But wait, a feast? How much food in a single meal would it take to kick me out of ketosis? Yes, I’m still following a well formulated ketogenic diet.
I didn’t think too much of the details. I was more concerned about my next 24 hours, with all the uncomfortable switching/transferring between subways, airports, busses until I would get home eventually. I wasn’t looking forward to it.
On top of that, last night’s sleep wasn’t in my top 3.
However, the thought of eating so much got me a bit excited, especially because I was consuming the foodstuff I enjoy most and, notably, because I usually under-consume calories.
First, I tested for ketones. I was at ~1 mmol/dL. I still use the urine sticks because after ~2 years of mostly constant ketosis, they still work for me.
Then, I did some calisthenics for ~20 minutes:
150 – 200 pushups,
playing with some 30 pounds dumbells,
Followed by a 5-10 minute cold shower.
And then, food:
350g (~12 oz) mixed nuts and seeds (peanuts – yes!, cashews, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds)
100g (3.5 oz) full-fat Greek yoghurt – I had thrown-in some of the mixed nuts from above.
30g (1.05 ounce) cheese
300g (10.6 oz) salad (200g of broccoli + cabbage, 60g turkey bacon, 40g full-fat Greek yoghurt)
100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate 90%.
It was indeed a feast. I felt full, but I didn’t feel stuffed (like I couldn’t breathe).
It took me more than an hour to eat everything. However, I felt super-satisfied. It should have kicked me out of ketosis, but did it? I wouldn’t have cared if it did…
Putting everything together in my Cronometer, this clocks somewhere at:
~80g of total carbs: – 54g net carbs, 26g fiber
~260g of fat
~110g of protein
Shortly after finishing up, I went to a nearby Starbucks to get some work done before the trip. While there, I had 2 double espressos with a substantial amount of whole milk.
At 10 A.M. I got back home (in the Bronx) to get on with the packing and with sorting the last details of my upcoming trip.
I checked ketones once again. It was 2 hours and a half since I ate. Ketones were moderate to high (about 3-4 mmol/L). I didn’t see that coming…but I was pleasantly surprised.
I suspect my sensitivity to insulin has improved much since I started my protocol in late September 2013.
I didn’t have too much time to ponder upon that. I felt super-energetic, possibly because of the food intake + too much caffeine.
I fooled around with the dumbells for a while and then I took another 10-minute cold shower…Then I left…
Flash-forward 34+ hours…
I hadn’t eaten anything since my feast. I didn’t have the slight feeling of hunger. All I had during my trip was purified cold water, some coffee, and some nice red dry wine (during my flight).
Now, it was past midnight the next day… I was at home, safe, sound, and not tired at all.
I checked ketosis. The sticks were dark pink. For validation, I felt it (ketosis) in the fruity breath as well.
I decided to break the fast during night time just for the sake of it. I usually don’t eat when it’s dark, but due to my current physical conditioning I could break the rules every now and then (even more often than I currently do).
So I broke the fast the same way I started it:
150g (5.3 oz) mixed nuts
100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate 85%
20g cheese (0.7 ounce)
I didn’t have jetlag and I didn’t have trouble sleeping. I slept for about 6 hours and then headed straight to gym to do some weightlifting.
My focus over the next days would be to recover from the trip. Even though I don’t feel tired, I believe my body needs appropriate time to rest (sleep at least 7 hours per night)…
Folks reading this should not think I somehow advice people to do what I do. Nor that I claim that what I do is optimal and should be a general approach for everyone.
I usually consume a well-formulated nutrient-rich-low-calorie-ketogenic-diet, loaded with vegetables, greens, and plant foods, and moderate-to-low in protein (less than 1g/kg). I do intermittent fasting almost everyday, with an 18+ hours fasting window and a 6 hour feeding window in which I eat twice. I often do 24+ hours fasts and sometimes 48+ hours fast. So, I think I have a lot of room to experiment with overfeeding.
I don’t eat at night and I try to live my life in synchronicity with my circadian clock. I use cold thermogenesis everyday (ice bath + cold showers) and sometimes I break sweats in the gym and take hot showers to animate my strategy. Overall, it seems to be working well so far…
Here’s a photo that I took in Miami about a week ago:
I did this post mostly by popular demand from some FB friends. If there’s something that I can help you with based on what I wrote here, please share your thoughts in either of the comment sections below.