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Alternate-Day Fasting Improved My Fasting Blood Sugar

Posted Jun 30 2013 12:00am

A few days ago, I gave a talk at a Quantified Self Meetup in San Francisco titled “Why is my blood sugar high?” (PowerPoint here and here ). My main point was that alternate-day fasting (eating much less than usual every other day) quickly brought my fasting blood sugar level from the mid-90s to the low 80s, which is where I wanted it. I was unsure how to do this and had tried several things that hadn’t worked.

Not in the talk is an explanation of my results in terms of setpoint (blood sugar setpoint, not body fat setpoint). Your body tries to maintain a certain blood sugar level that’s obvious. Not obvious at all is what controls the setpoint. This question is usually ignored for example, in Wikipedia’s  blood sugar regulation  entry. Maybe Type 2 diabetes occurs because the blood sugar setpoint is too high. If we can find out what environmental events control the setpoint, we will be in a much better position to prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes (as with obesity).

A few years ago, I discovered that walking an hour per day improved my fasting blood sugar . Does walking lower the setpoint? I didn’t ask this question, a curious omission from the author of The Shangri-La Diet. If walking lowered the setpoint, walking every other day might have the same effect as walking every day.

I was pushed toward this line of thought because alternate-day fasting seems to lower the blood-sugar setpoint. After I started alternate-day fasting, it took about three days for my fasting blood sugar to reach a new lower level. After that, it was low every day, not just after fast days. My experience suggests that the blood-sugar setpoint depends on what your blood sugar is. When your blood sugar is high, the setpoint becomes higher; when your blood sugar is low, the setpoint becomes lower. Tim Lundeen had told me something similar to this.

If you tried to lower your fasting blood sugar and succeeded, I hope you will say in the comments how you did this. I tried three things that didn’t work: darker bedroom, Vitamin B supplement, and cinnamon. Eating low carb raises fasting blood sugar, according to Paul Jaminet .

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