This is part II of the FasterSelf series, Keto-kyo Drift. If you haven’t read part I, click below to do so:
As of the time of writing this, it is Saturday, March 31- day seven of my fast.
The best part about finishing this week is that the worst part is over. From here on out, it will get progressively easier for the next two weeks, assuming that my experience mirrors that of my first fast. We shall see.
There have been a few things that differed, however- the first being that I have been having very strange bad dreams involving accidentally eating food. They aren’t nightmares, but I have been frequently waking up only to realize that there isn’t any food in my bed that I could be eating. I’m not sure why this is the case, although my working theory is that, while my first fast was very easy because I was so excited, this one has been a bit harder and was definitely harder to work up to. As a result, there’s a lot more riding on it psychologically, and my brain is trying to process it. If that’s not it, I have no idea.
Another notable mention here- I don’t normally remember my dreams, so being aware of them this frequently is incredibly odd. There have been a few bits of unpleasant personal stuff mixed in there, which adds to my “brain-working-things-out” theory, but why I’m so aware of them is a mystery. Perhaps it has something to do with the ketones.
Speaking of ketones, I figure this would be a good a time as any to explain what ketones are. Normally, when you’re eating, your body converts your food into glucose- blood sugar. When you run out, which usually takes about a day, your pancreas releases glucagon, which causes your liver to convert your stores of glycogen into glucose. It’s kind of like having a car with a spare gas tank- when you run too low on blood sugar, you switch over to your reserve tank.
Eventually, the reserves run out. That’s where ketones come in- they’re created from your body’s fat stores. This is what fasting is all about- when you switch to ketones, your digestive system almost completely shuts down. When this happens, the rest of the body has more energy to focus on other things. One of those things is called autophagy- this is where your immune system starts to eat old and weak cells, like some scar tissues. After autophagy ends, your entire immune system is regenerated. This is a huge benefit, and part of why you start feeling so good when you fast for longer periods.
The other big part of that is the ketones. I’ve already started noticing that I’m thinking more quickly and creatively, and I’m needing less sleep. That’s a good thing, because I’m pretty sick of having dreams about eating a wheel of cheese- I’m sure you can understand.
Aside from that, nothing has been too exciting thus far. Hunger has disappeared, and I can comfortably watch people eat without losing my mind. I’m into the thick of the fast, so let’s see how I feel a week from now.