Fast Forward: Getting Fit
This month we were lucky to meet Matt Fara, a man that went from 145kg to 72 kg in days of fasting. Here is his story towards 73 kg lighter.
It was May 2010 in New York. I had just graduated university after a half decade of classes in biology and psychology. Economic development talks were underway between the US and China, and the sky was a widening, bright blue smile, but I was fat. Standing at a mere 170cm, I weighed 145kg in the nude, necklace taken off, and eye glasses, wristwatch, and socks oh, and after urinating, of course. My weight was out of control. Depression kept me from pursuing medical school or a meaningful job. Didn't want to see friends or family. Wasn't out on the weekends. Let's eat!
I lost some weight in the two years before I shipped my ass off to China for a reset, but I was still around 111 kg when I flopped off the jet in Changsha. Progress was measurable, but slow and inconsistent, until I moved to Shanghai in 2014. Then it just stopped. So I bought kettle bells. I switched to a keto diet. I started an HIIT routine. I ate chia seeds before every meal in all-natural yogurt while standing on my head, but I had plateaued and so I remained until very recently.
Then, however, I began intermittent fasting, which is abstaining from food for some portion of the day (for me, skipping breakfast and lunch). This allowed me to satisfy my gluttony in the evening and, combined with a lighter, low carb diet, to loose weight. Again, however, it was slow and frustrating. Next I tried going a whole day with no food. Not too bad. Then I tried a full two days. Not nearly as hard as I would have imagined. Then I tried 35.
At the end of it, I lost 13kg, of which I'd estimate half was body fat. I'm down to 72kg now, about half the weight when I graduated University, and 4kg less than when on the junior high wrestling team. But more interestingly, I managed to start a podcast, maintain my job as a biology teacher, study Chinese, and follow a mild exercise routine, all despite consuming nothing but water, coffee, tea, and bone broth for over a month. In other words, it was easy.
I had more energy, during the last two weeks of the fasting, than I ever had before. Didn't need as much sleep. Razor-focused and with more time to work on projects. I occasionally became dizzy if my electrolytes were unbalanced, but I otherwise felt good enough to do the day-to-day.
Since I broke the long one, I've done three more 5-day fasts between holiday/anniversary/celebration weekends, that's kept the weight off and I'm currently still losing a bit. I've even got some abdominal muscles showing through in the mirror if I stand just the right way. I'm very happy with the results so far, and I recommend fasting to anyone who is starting from a disease-free place and doesn't mind eschewing the norm to accomplish a goal. Just get enough water, salt, and sleep, and don't listen to all the crap people tell you. It's safe and effective. Check the science reviewed by Jason Fung, M.D, out of Ontario here.
Next step: get someone to help me buy new clothes...
Words by Matt Fara