Sadly, most fasting protocols lead people to lose and regain the same weight over and over. By contrast, we have seen people make incredible progress when they use Data-Driven Fasting Challenges to fine-tune their eating schedule to align with their unique metabolism, routine and goals.
Using your blood sugar as a guide to understanding when you need to refuel vs when you can wait a little longer seems to provide exceptional long-term results.
Participants in the Data-Driven Fasting 30-Day Challenge lost an average of 5.1% of their body weight. The average weight loss was 4.1 kg (or 9.0 lbs) at a rate of 1.3% per week as people chased a lower pre-meal blood sugar value.
More importantly, with a focus on nutrient-dense refeeding, participants in the Data-Driven Fasting 30-Day Challenge were able to lose an average of 14.4% of their body fat at a super impressive rate of 3.6% per week. On average, participants who 3.9 kg of body fat (8.7 lbs).
Waking glucose dropped by an average of 16% from 5.7 mg/dL (102 mg/dL) to 5.1 mmol/L (92 mg/dL). People who had the highest waking blood sugar at the start of the challenge saw their waking glucose drop the most. However, people who started with normal blood glucose levels were still able to make progress with Data-Driven Fasting.
Many people quickly saw their waking blood glucose drop from what would be considered diabetic (i.e. greater than 7.0 mmol/L or 126 mg/dL) or prediabetic (i.e. greater than 7.0 mmol/L or 126 mg/dL) to normal healthy waking blood glucose values (i..e less than 5.6 mmol/L or 100 mg/dL).
Premeal glucose trigger
Participants started with an average premeal trigger of 5.4 mmol/L (or 98 mg/dL) and ended with a premeal trigger of 4.7 mmol/L (or 85 mg/dL). Premeal blood glucose trigger dropped by 15% on average.
Using your blood glucose as a trigger to refine your meal timing seems to work regardless of whether your blood glucose is elevated or ‘normal’. Waiting until your blood sugar returns to below Your Personalised Trigger is an extremely powerful way to ensure you achieve a negative energy balance for sustainable long-term fat loss and diabetes reversal!
What about lean mass?
While many people simply focus on weight, loss of metabolically active lean mass (i.e. your muscles, organs, etc.) is a reality for most people when they maintain an energy deficit over the long term.
In Data-Driven Fasting, we encourage people to track their body fat using bioimpedance scales to understand their long-term trend in loss of fat vs lean mass. While bioimpedance scales are not as accurate as a DEXA scan (or an autopsy), monitoring changes in your body composition against your baseline can still be useful.
If your lean mass is trending down faster than you would like it to or your body fat percentage is increasing, you can review your diet to ensure you are consuming adequate protein when you eat or choose to slow your weight loss. Some form of resistance training is also useful to tell your body that you want to grow and even keep the muscle in spite of the fat loss is also ideal.
In the Data-Driven Fasting Challenge, we saw people lose an average of 0.31 kg (or 0.68 lbs) of lean mass. Some people gained a moderate amount of lean mass during the challenge despite the weight loss while some people lost a little lean mass.
The good news is that the loss of lean mass was small compared to the average fat loss of 3.9 kg (8.7 lbs) and a reduction in average body fat percentage from 37.4% to 34.5% over the four weeks.