Leptin Regulation with 20+ Hour Fast

I’ve been doing the 16/8 (more like 17/7) intermittent fasting protocol daily but having some issues with calorie and carbohydrate regulation.  Last week, I actually fasted 21 hours on Friday and 20 hours on Sunday.  An interesting side effect was that my Leptin (appetite satiety hormone) was immediately regulated!  The effect lasted 4 days.  

I ate whatever I liked and tracked my carbs/calories.  I naturally dropped about 500 calories below maintenance and was at 150 net carbs or less.  

My conclusion is that, for most people, the 5:2 method of fasting will probably yield faster weight loss results (fasting for 20+ hours, 2 days per week and eating only 500-600 calories on fasting days).

Unfortunately on day 5, I had to eat breakfast and started getting hot flashes, insomnia, and body chills.  So I don’t think it’s a good idea yet for me to fast that long with my hypothyroid and adrenal issues.  Maybe I can occassionally do a longer fast as I acclimate to fasting.  It was amazing the immediate effect it had on lowering my appetite.

Probably I do need to reduce calories and carbs and  increase my protein.  I might not quite be running out of glycogen by 16 hours.  I started feeling really good at 18.  So my long-term goal is definitely to fast for longer periods, but for now I’ll continue to just skip breakfast and work on my macros and maybe a bit more exercise.  

Weight loss isn’t the only reason I’m fasting – eating less frequently also lowers my insulin and gives my body a longer window to repair oxidative damage. So I’m still seeing benefits from the 16/8 plan.

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4 Responses to Leptin Regulation with 20+ Hour Fast

  1. Audrey Ward says:

    Twenty hours is a long time. I have a friend who is successful on intermittent fasting not having breakfast and again not eating after 9 p.m.

    • That good to hear! I’m glad I am able to fast longer if necessary but I really prefer not to skip more than breakfast most days. I might try a longer fast once a month if I am able to, if my leptin seems out of whack.

    • I just found out about a protocol called “Fast 5” where you fast 19 hours per day. Sound like a possible solution in between the 2 others. I might give that a try and will report back!

      Again, the biggest issues here for me are reducing my insulin level and repairing oxidative cellular damage, both of which can be accomplished by eating less frequently. Not necessarily less food, just eating in a shorter timeframe.

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