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Intermittent Fasting: The Saga Continues

Click here and here to get caught up with my story of how I’ve begun an Intermittent Fasting (IF) lifestyle.

At the end of Day 3, about three hours after I finished dinner, my stomach began to growl. It continued growling, all the way until bedtime. That was only four and a half hours after the end of my dinner, but, have you ever had your stomach growl for an hour and a half straight? It’s hard to ignore.

But ignore it I did, because I never felt my blood sugar drop.

It was hard to go to sleep, and I didn’t sleep as well as I’d been doing since I started Intermittent Fasting. But the next morning, Day 4, I was able to go through 7:30 (three hours after getting out of bed) without feeling much hungrier than I had the past two days.

At 7:50, I ate a spoonful of coconut oil. Pure fat isn’t fast-breaking food because of how it’s metabolized, and it’s supposed to keep your blood sugar in balance.

Supposed to. But, just like adding fat to a meal has never helped me feel satiated or kept my blood sugar level, neither did it then.

On top of that, I began to experience fibromyalgia shortness of breath. That’s when you feel like you can’t catch your breath, or take a deep breath, even though you must be getting enough oxygen because you don’t get lighthearted or dizzy regardless of how long the annoying sensation goes on.

I’ve experienced this I don’t know how many times during the past three years, on a conventional eating schedule at the time, so I should have just chocked it up to hormonal imbalance. But I couldn’t help wondering: am I messing up my thyroid function by the fasting? Or, at least, by not eating as soon as I feel my blood sugar dropping? Maybe it’s because I’ve been at a calorie deficit for the past few days, and my body hasn’t adjusted to it.

Maybe my body won’t adjust to it and I’ll never be able to fast longer than sixteen hours.

As it were, I broke my fast at 8:36 – a little over sixteen and a half hours – with a half frozen banana.

I.F. is so hard for a reactive hypoglycemic to step into.  Though, per what I’ve read, reactive hypoglycemia takes place around three hours after eating, and what I experienced that morning was fasting hypoglycemia – neither unhealthy or dangerous.

(The next bit I wrote the next day…)

And then, I got nauseous.

But before I get to all that pleasant stuff, after writing the above, later in the day I found an article that stated that people with reactive hypoglycemia don’t use fat and protein efficiently for fuel.

Oh. That explains a lot.

Except for all the people I’ve discovered in YouTube comments, claiming to have been healed from Reactive Hypoglycemia with a Keto I.F. diet. My thoughts about that in a later post.

Back to the day when coconut oil did nothing for me…not too much after eating the half banana, I realized that it was not enough to make my body happy. My blood sugar remained low. So I ate a few almonds, my go-to which had always previously done the trick in leveling out my blood sugar.

But by the time my husband came home with the groceries a bit after nine, I was feeling more desperate than ever. I’d put food into my stomach; now, it was screaming for more. By the time I got to plucking the grapes from their stems to put into a bag to freeze, I was feeling shaky and weak, and a little out of breath. So I ate a few grapes. Stupid. If there is one fruit that sends me into hypoglycemia, it’s grapes. Usually, I can eat around a half cup with no ill effect. But this, of course, was not a usual situation.

Within minutes of eating the grapes, I became nauseous. By then, it was almost time to make my smoothie, but I didn’t want to eat any amount of it if it was only going to come back out.

So, I waited. It took over half an hour, but finally, I felt like I could keep food down. Another hour after working on the smoothie, and the symptoms of low blood sugar had evaporated.

What I finally figured out

That evening, my meal was much more filling than the previous day’s dinner had been, even though the calories were about the same. And the next morning, I made it to the seventeen-and-a-half hour fasting mark before eating…with only mild symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Could it be that the volume of food it has to work on is more important – or at least, equally important – to my stomach as to how many calories I consume, when it comes to the “distance” I can fast before hypoglycemia hits?

Maybe. There were a couple of other things I did differently the next morning that I believed helped sustain my blood sugar levels as well.

I’ll write about them in my next post. And tell you anything new I learn from my, for now, ongoing dinner-volume experiment.

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