FULL DISCLOSURE: I woke up on the morning of the third day a tad bit nauseous. My body was very obviously DONE with fasting and ready for more fuel. In the future, I will likely stick to a 48 hour fast. So my experience below is in regard to how I felt up until I woke up this morning, about 57 hours into the fast.
If you would have asked me a month ago if I thought I could fast for 60 hours, I would have said 24 is the most I can give you! Even then, I usually struggle with 24 hour fasts. Weakness, HANGRY-ness, even dizziness.
Fasting with ketones? None of that.
No really, I'm not exaggerating. No hunger. No cravings. No pity party that everyone around me was indulging in ghirardelli chocolate (because they literally were) and not me. No hunger pangs. No fatigue. No mood change. No energy crashes. No pain from inflammation.
On the contrary, I had plenty of energy! I had mental clarity. I had willpower to make my 3 kids breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the weekend without opening my mouth to taste it. In other words, I FELT GREAT!
The willpower was pretty interesting. I'm a stress eater. Even with healthy foods, I will stress eat. I went the whole weekend with my husband out of town for work and had some stressful moments without the call of the munchies. How empowering! I gained control over my stomach and let my brain do the talking. My brain was happy because it was being fueled by ketones.
Why am I doing this? Over spring break, I was with my parents in Oklahoma. We sat around playing games, going hiking, hanging out. I indulged on roasted marshmellows, chocolate and peanut M&Ms. It was very eye-opening that in doing that and eating sugar, there were IMMEDIATE consequences. My joints and body just HURT. I felt bloated and gross. I had trouble sleeping that night. I deeply regretted the sugar binge.
I've been avoiding going OFF sugar completely because that would start me back on Day 1. And no one likes a Day 1 .... or 2. Especially after going on a 125 day sugar-free streak (which ended for me in Feb). Starting over can be discouraging. So I figured a fast could be a good solution to this problem. A 60-hour fast automatically gets me on Day 3 of no sugar. Great momentum, right? A great jump start to getting back on the wagon of a high fat/low carb/low inflammatory way of eating.
Results? I did not weigh myself because most important for me were the NSVs (non-scale victories). This fast gave my body a chance to rest and heal. Healing, people! Aren't we all in need of some interior spring cleaning? A reset? Letting the kidneys, pancreas, liver, and digestive system kick their feet up in the Bahamas? But instead of pina coladas, they're sipping ketones ;)
I loved this article on your brain on ketones. It explains the science behind your brain using ketones as fuel and the benefits to the brain. I loved this last part: "Ketosis for the body means fat-burning (hip hip hooray!). For the brain, it means .... a better environment for neuronal recovery and repair."
I have multiple sclerosis and hashimoto's thyroiditis. Two autoimmune diseases. And nasty ones, at that. My brain has lesions, scars, and neurological damage. If somehow using ketones as a fuel source means the possibility of delaying the progression of the disease.... well, for me, it's worth trying! And if fasting gives my body a chance to rest and heal, then sign me up! Do fasting and ketones together and HUZZAH!
Downside? Well, yes. Just one minor downside. Be prepared to have access to a toilet everywhere you go. With the diuretic effect of the ketones + all of the water you are drinking (remember, I said 150 ounces?), you and the restroom will become well acquainted. But truly, this isn't a downside. You become hydrated and are able to flush out all the toxins and junk you are removing from a fast.
Sidenote: The key to a ketone fast is to listen to your body. Start your fast knowing that you should end it as soon as you feel like you're moving in the wrong direction and that the fast is not beneficial. I was prepared to end my fast as soon as I felt badly, but never did. In my head, 60 hours was my goal, but I wouldn't be disappointed if it ended before that. Like I said above, my future fasts will likely be 48 hours or I will need to increase the amount of ketones I drink if I go above that.
So see? No downside. No reason not to try. My experience was so positive, I plan on doing this once a month. Think of it as a gift to yourself. A chance to flush the body, reset the systems. Who wants to join me on my next keto fast?