I love seeing the updates in this thread! Thank you so much.
With time I have found that there is no "normal" to my fasts. Typically, I am always hungry, just always. Whether I am intermittent fasting, long juice fasting, water fasting, or eating what and when I want.
However, since for me it is always a constant struggle to deal with losing weight and managing my PCOS I have found that after a while of eating normally or intermittent fasting, I am just.... tired of food. Even food I know is terrific and normally love. So I go on an extended fast at that point.
My last extended fast was a low sugar vegetable juice fast (such as kale, cucumber, celery. Though I did add in up to a half of a beet root per 2L pitcher of juice because of how many nutrients they have) in which I drank coffee with almond milk one 16oz mug per day, various tea, lots and lots of water, and if I felt bad I would have a cup of bone broth. I also took select vitamins like iron because I am anaemic.
I started this fast on April 5th and started working my way off of the fast on April 17th. I lost 19.6lbs in that time and after completely ending the fast I put almost 9lbs back on within a few days and weight has been stable since then. I did come off of the fast earlier than intended because my kidneys were being sore and I have been unable to find a doctor in Australia to assist in monitoring my extended fasts and family members were very stressed because of genetic predisposition to kidney issues in my family.
Though a few things seem to be mostly consistent with my fasts, I am always able to work normally but I am more tired than normal. I tend to have very vivid dreams of my favourite foods and like someone else mentioned they will be huge mega versions (like an entire swimming pool sized lasagna), and I am ravenously hungry after about 8-12 hours without eating until I do eat. Even if the fasts go for months. Overall I find the just water fasts to be easier, very simple rules to follow, no question on if it is -allowed- or not but I tend to feel worse and get more dizzy and tired. And no matter how slowly I reintroduce foods, if it has been more than 5-6 days it upsets my digestive tract greatly.
I have spoken with a doctor though, who has suggested I try a very low energy diet of 500-600 calories a day comprised primarily of protein and non-starchy vegetables. The diet is intended to keep one in ketosis long term without losing as much muscle mass. The science behind it I have read does seem sound, though because I cannot help it, I have gotten the doctor to agree to allow me to put my own spin on it. Their diet has meal replacement shakes with ingredients I do not approve of such a artificial sweeteners, and they allow an unlimited amount of sugar-free jell-o (jelly to the Aussies out there) which I have also ruled out. Instead I will take an extra real food derived organic multi-vitamin. And I will be combining this with the intermittent fasting I am accustomed to, instead of having the 4-6 suggested mini meals per day. I plan to start Monday and will try to let you guys know how this works for me.
All of my blood tests were run, and my family has a very strong history of being morbidly obese, having high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney failure, and many other health issues. While I do have PCOS and tend to always feel crappy because of injuries sustained when being hit by a car when I was 18, other than being slightly anaemic (despite being on a very high dose iron supplement), all my numbers other than weight all numbers are completely perfect.
A second job I picked up 8 months ago has been stressing me out significantly though, and I am up almost 70lbs from what had become my new normal because I have been stress eating like mad. Every time one of the patients I works with passes away, I cave and stress eat and this happens several times a week. If I do good, I eat nuts, if it is really bad and I had gotten way too attached, I go for something worse like a no refined sugar mug cake, or even something with processed sugar which is not like me. So, my biggest hope is that trying this new way of eating will get me out of this stress eating rut if nothing else.
Have any of you tried the very low energy diet (VLED)? What were your experiences?
I also want to thank the whole Permies community. It is one of the few places I feel free to actually be me without any reservation because everyone is just so accepting and open. You guys make my life better, even when I do not have time to post. You keep me inspired and thinking. Thank you all for that SO much!