Feasting Mimicking Diet Trial Results Part 1

I completed the first ten rounds – 20 days – of the Feasting Mimicking Diet without many issues. Hunger was greatest during the second day of the first cycle. I suspect that after the second or third cycle my liver glycogen was largely depleted. On days after a feast my blood sugar would be relatively high and ketones modest. After a fast day my ketones would rise rapidly until the next feast. Oh! And I lost weight.

My weight (left axis), waist and belly circumference (right axis) during the 20 days.

Am I Diabetic Now?

After I announced the Feasting Mimicking Diet, some expressed concren that I would give myself diabetes by intentionally giving myself insulin resistance by consuming wine and saturated fat but then feasting on carbohydrates.

This is a reasonable and valid concern. I mean, I didn’t THINK I would but maybe? On days 19 and 20 I got bloodwork done at LabCorp in Scranton, PA. Shout out again to Dave Feldman and Siobhan Huggins over at ownyourlabs.com. While I was there I overheard someone walk in to get an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. I thought, I should do that!

An OGTT works like this: You consume 75g of straight glucose and then test your blood sugar two hours later. If your blood glucose at that point is under 140, you are very insulin sensitive. If it’s over 200 you are considered to have type two diabetes. Anything in the middle is considering impaired glucose tolerance.

On my way home I stopped at the drugstore and bought a container of glucose tablets. There were so many different fruit flavors to choose from! I went with orange. The tablets are very large (4g of glucose each) and very sweet but with balance of tartness and good orange flavor. They remind me of huge SweetTarts. I had to crunch through 19 of them to get my dose of 76g for the test. It was 12 year old Brad’s dream. I might do more of these tests just for an excuse to eat so much candy all at once!

That’s a LOT of sugar and pure glucose hits your bloodstream FAST. I was coming off of a 44 hour period of fasting with wine as my only source of calories. An hour in my BG was at 245 and I was literally trembling. At the end of the two hour period my BG was at 180 – not diabetic but not far from it!

So I had successfully given myself insulin resistance. But here’s the key question. Because I am quite insulin resistant does that mean I’m on the road to diabetes? Luckily I collected a LOT of data this time.

Day 0Day 19 Post FeastDay 20 Post Fast
Weight235 lbs219.6
Waist Circumference39.7538.5
Fasting Blood Glucose11110586
Fasting Insulin15.36.98.6
Fasting Free Fatty Acids0.70.41.4

So I’d lost 15 lbs in 20 days, more than an inch off of my waist, my fasting blood glucose was lower and my fasting insulin levels were literally cut in half.

I was reversing symptoms of pathological, long term insulin resistance while remaining physiologically insulin resistant.

Let’s Talk Post-Prandial

During the feast I eat until I literally can’t take another bite. Obviously this is a large meal combining starch protein and fat and it takes a while to digest. On the one hand I’m insulin resistant going into it and on the other hand I know that combining starch with saturated fat and protein is the best way to get a maximal insulin spike. Afterwards I have that feeling like after Thanksgiving dinner where all you want to do is lay on the couch and watch football except there’s no football now. (If you’re reading this far in the future and wondering what happened to football, this was written during the Covid-19 epidemic.)

I have a blood glucose spike that lasts about four hours, peaking two hours after the meal around 190. I am probably producing a pretty fair amount of insulin during this spike. Is this bad? My gut says no. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that stimulates not only glucose uptake but also uptake of amino acids for building protein and ribonucleic acids for building DNA.​1​ Perhaps having a good bit around during the small window of the 48 cycle while protein is available is a good thing? I’m speculating here, but I am interested in thinking about how these seemingly opposing factors play out in the post-prandial period.

The fact that my Free Fatty Acids are low the morning post-feast suggests that insulin is indeed having effects. To channel Peter at Hyperlipid, “The function of insulin is the inhibition of lipolysis.” Lipolysis is the process by which fat cells release Free Fatty Acids.

The Other 44 Hours

A pretty regular pattern emerged over the rest of the cycle. I made a scatter plot! Who doesn’t love a good scatter plot?

Blood Glucose (BG) is plotted against the Left Axis and the others against the right. FFA is “Free Fatty Acids” – this is the type of circulating fat that is most available to cells. Annoyingly, I’ve changed BG in this graph into mmol/L, unlike the rest of the article. I thought it was easier to compare BG and ketones that way. Ethanol is in ml/L ten-fold higher than a breathalyzer would read.

Blood glucose is highest the morning after the feast. I assume this is due to a combination of lowish insulin and available liver glycogen. It starts to decline the afternoon after the feast and stays low until the next feast. Ketones are typically over 1 mmol/L by noon after the feast. I find this fascinating since the feast contains 150g of starch. Free Fatty Acids are low the morning after the feast but rise throughout the period. After wine consumption the evening of the fast day, ketones drop until the ethanol is cleared and then rise steeply the morning of the feast day.

Blood Glucose never gets low, presumably because I’m insulin resistant. The consistent presence of ketones and free fatty acids and/or ethanol means I’m never particularly hungry.

Back To Croissants

One of the complaints about this blog is that many of my ideas involve fairly elaborate cooking and exotic ingredients. Handmade croissants. Fat bomb fries. Stearic acid. Beef suet. But I’m going on a road trip! I figured this was the perfect time to come up with a feast meal using only pre-packaged, store bought ingredients. Something I could get from a national retailer…

And then I thought of the all butter croissants at Wal-Mart. Just like that I was back to Croissant sandwiches. Here’s the feast meal:

So for the new feast meal I attempt to eat everything in this picture. I assemble all four croissants into sandwiches using all of the butter, cheese and ham; wrap them in foil; pop them into the toaster oven and eat the cheese dip and pretzels while they cook. Incidentally, if you want a “cracker” with zero vegetable oil, the Snack Factory brand Pretzel Crisps are what I’ve been using. They also make a gluten free version. I usually can’t finish the fourth sandwich, but if I DID, this is how the macros would break down including 22 pretzel crisps (2 servings according to the bag):

% of Calories
Calories3649
Protein132g15
Carbs16218
Fat27468

The best thing about this feast is that on a road trip you can heat up the sandwiches in the hotel parking lot under the hood of your car while the engine cools down. Because ‘Merica.

  1. 1.
    Hollenberg M, Cuatrecasas P. Insulin and epidermal growth factor. Human fibroblast receptors related to deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis and amino acid uptake. J Biol Chem. 1975;250(10):3845-3853. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/165185

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