Recap: my experience doing my DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet

Picture of Dr. Jen Kerns

Dr. Jen Kerns

Well, I made it through my DIY FMD this go around. I’m working slowly on putting together a video to outline the FMD, show how to make the vegetable soup, introduce everyone to my mom Tracey, and vlog a touch through the diet about how I was feeling. So hopefully that will come out soon to add a lot more detail to the story. But major themes were not feeling terribly hungry most of the time, having no bowel movements, and feeling very cold most of the time. I’m back to following my loose form of time restricted eating in which I mostly fast until lunch (with the exception of coffee and pure-fat Nutpods creamer, which technically gives me calories so isn’t true fasting, but it’s sugar- and protein- free so shouldn’t really do much to trigger my body to release insulin… many people call this a “fat fast”). It’s amazing how much easier fasting all morning felt after my FMD than it had the week prior, even though I had totally carb’d up.

Oh… what’s that, you ask? How did I break my fast?

I had planned to have an apple and a 10-calorie packet of wasabi-flavored roasted edamame (basically good carbs and good protein), but instead I lost my mind around 2 or 3 pm and ate a Mediterranean veggie sandwich and TWO big soft chocolate chip cookies from Panera that were left over from the residents’ free lunch in the hospital. I was outrageously stressed out with work the whole day Friday because the volume of patients being admitted and discharged felt overwhelming, and I had to additionally prepare for another attending physician to cover my patients on Saturday (so even more time needed to wrap up loose ends and spend an hour talking to him about each of our cohorts of inpatients). Of course, all had to be done in time for me to get to Graham’s preschool to pick him up before they closed (and reported me for for child neglect!). So, I was super stressed and felt time pressure and overwhelm… and I wasn’t even physically hungry because I’d eaten a big bowl of my FMD veggie soup and a couple of packets of olives at lunchtime. I ate that sandwich and those cookies purely out of emotional hunger. They were delicious… I think? I actually barely tasted them because I was, of course, multitasking and working on patient care documentation on my computer as I inhaled them. This was mindless emotional eating at its best. And this type of eating is exactly why I, like millions of other people, struggle with my weight. Much more about mindless (and mindful) eating to come in the future.

Anyway, I felt distinctly bloated and felt my heart pounding about an hour after the food. My pulse rate was both significantly faster and stronger than usual; I could feel my heart pounding through my chest. I felt hot. I felt horrible. Did that stop me from eating a honeycrisp apple in the car at 5pm as I drove from the hospital to pick up Graham from preschool? Take a guess. I ate it just because I could. Because I was feeling stressed and my instinct is to buffer negative emotions with carbs. Because it was in front of me. Because I’d been so restricted for the last 4.5 days and was reactive. Because. NOT because I was hungry. (I also went on to eat the scraps of Graham’s grilled cheese he didn’t finish for dinner and a fudgy microwave dark chocolate brownie after I put him to bed, that I decided was justified since I’d already eaten every other carb I could find and “would go back to ‘no sugar’ tomorrow.”) Does that excuse sound familiar to anyone? To be clear, there was no physical hunger after noon on Friday. …I will write more about my sugar addiction in an upcoming post.

SO… I didn’t break my FMD with the best choices, obviously, but I am at least confident that I managed to get the benefits I’d intended (ie, triggering autophagy). Making mistakes is human, and beating myself up doesn’t help me stay on track, so I just move forward. I’m already back to my usual lower-carb/no sugar Mediterranean style diet with time restricted eating (with ideally a few hours of fasting before bed).

Stats (all measured first thing after waking)

Start: weight 148.8 lbs, beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) 0.7 mmol/L, glucose 78 mg/dL
Day 2: weight 148.6, BHB 1.4 mmol/L, glucose 72 mg/dL
Day 3: weight 145.8, BHB 2.0 mmol/L, glucose 75 mg/dL
Day 4: weight 144.2, BHB 2.1 mmol/L, glucose 76 mg/dL
Day 5: weight 142.6, BHB 3.9 mmol/L, glucose 77 mg/dL
After refeeding: weight 145.2, BHB 1.1 mmol/L, glucose 82 mg/dL

Until next week…
Jen

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