A Theory of Relativity for Weight Loss and Aging
Weight Loss and Aging; how might they be related? I sometimes worry that my posting my weight daily on this site could discourage some people particularly as I may now be into my third REALLY LONG water fast. I have already water fasted 47 days and 75 days. In order to get to my goal weight of 139 lbs and a BMI of 18.9, a weight and BMI I have never been at in my adult life, may take even longer. This may be some of the slowest fasting weight loss you have ever seen and may appear to defy the laws of thermodynamics. Right now I seem to be losing only about one pound for every four days of fasting.
I am older than most of the people reading this. I may be older than anybody in the world doing this. I am 69 and now in September 2012 in about 350 days (gasp) I will turn 70. I read one fasting doctor’s opinion that an aged person, whatever that means, must shorten the lengths of their fasts or face dire consequences. According to this doctor I should already be dead.
I am into autophagy (see my article Authphagy), age reversal and biological alchemy. Let me make an analogy which may or may not have something to do with weight loss and aging.
Einstein got his first idea for his theory of relativity in Zurich, Switzerland while sitting on the back of a train and watching the train station clock as the train pulled away. Einstein imagined the train accelerating to the speed of light. As the train approached the speed of light the clock slowed down and when the train reached the speed of light the clock stopped.
Although Einstein never suggested it was possible, and you must now believe in science fiction, if the train exceeded the speed of light, the clock would start to go backwards.
As I approach the speed of light, my goal weight, the speed of my weight loss is going to slow way down. In fact the speed of my weight loss may have already slowed way down because of my 47 day and 75 day fasts. As I approach my goal weight my weight loss may seem to almost stop.
This is related to my turtle’s view of weight loss. Some turtles live very long, some in excess of 200 years. This extreme longevity may be related to the turtle’s slow metabolism. I believe that long distance water fasting may slow metabolism. As I approach my goal weight my metabolism may slow to the point that I may be running an extremely low calorie deficit and hence my weight loss will slow dramatically.
I am patient number one. I am a white mouse and I sail in uncharted waters. I cannot be sure what will happen.
IN FACT THERE IS SO MUCH WE DO NOT KNOW
Yes there much that we do not know. But there have been a lot of studies with intermittent fasting and there is no question that intermittent fasting stimulates autophagy, natural growth hormone production and other good stuff. Even a fast of some 18 hours will increase HGH by over 1000%.
The problem I have had is that there are practically no studies involving subjects that went on say 40 day water fasts. Of course it is easy to see why this is so. Few would volunteer for such a study and even fewer doctors would want to supervise it.
Henry Tanner was a 19th century doctor that promoted 40 day fasts as a treatment for many diseases. At the beginning however nobody believed this was possible; 12 days was considered to be about the max that anybody could go without food. Tanner put himself on a 40 day fast in New York and was surrounded by doctor observers 24 X 7. On day 40 thousands of cheering people were outside his hotel. He was like a rock star that had done the impossible by fasting 40 days.
But Tanner was never treated well by his 19 century peers and medical science today has not yet caught up with him. I cannot find any good research on using the 40 day fast as a treatment for disease. Medical science has in effect ignored Dr. Tanner’s 40 day treatment model for nearly 150 years.
I should also mention that I believe aging is a disease that can be treated. But the medicine is very harsh. The treatment model is similar to what Dr. Tanner had in mind.
So there would be many factors that become intertwined in the relationship between weight loss and aging. And at age 69 I am quite willing to become a white rat and I have in fact called myself patient number one. I believe it may be possible to fast longer than is generally believed advisable and that overweight older people in particular should engage in this behavior to extend their lives and vastly improve the quality of those extended lives. I would not do this if I really thought there was risk. In fact I believe that this might be the way to extraordinary health for aging people or for that matter for everybody. What I have experienced to date would certainly suggest that. And like I say I really find this long distance fasting exciting and an opportunity for real adventure. For me it beats golf any day.