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Benefits & Side Effects

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Have you tried having a salty drink? That often helps get rid of headaches on fast days. If you are drinking a lot of fluids you can end up being low on sodium/potassium so a salty drink, especially a vegetable bouillon type drink can really help.

Your weightloss looks about average to me (0.5kg/week). If you want to really see what is going on with the weight, weighing daily and using a trending app like Libra (Android) or Monitor My Weight (iOS) will help enormously.
This is interesting, Caroline. This is my third fast and I have yet another colossal migraine. I am going to try your low carb day before advice, and maybe rethink the way I am getting my 500 calories. :bugeyes:
So glad I found this thread!!

I've had THE most appalling headache, and terrible nausea today - my first 'fasting' day.
I don't drink coffee, and only two cups of earl grey tea per day. I stick to a low-carb diet too - so when this feeling hit me, I was at a loss.

I drunk so much water I expect I'll be on the loo all night, and taken paracetamol, and I'm hoping this is just a one-off.... :?:

Must dash....that loo is calling me.... :wink:
Glad I'm not the only one with a thumping headache on fast days! I've only done two fast days so far, 3rd due tomorrow and both times the headache has set in around 3:30/4pm, and has turned into a nasty migraine. I've always been a headachey type and migraine sufferer but have had the headaches under control lately with taking Amitriptyline every night.
Tomorrow I will try a cup a soup at lunch time for the salt and force down a couple of black coffees although I normally only drink tea. Hopefully it will help as I really want to give this 5:2 thing a good go and for it to be long term, but don't think I can bear it if these headaches don't ease up :frown:
I'll keep you posted!
Hi Suzpar and welcome to the forum :like:

I too am a fellow sufferer. I have headaches every day for a good 30 yrs, and also migraines most weeks. I am in my 10th week of fasting. To begin with my headaches slightly improved, but then settled back to how they were.

Now some fast days I am suffering more. I am on medication for the migraines. Like you are finding with the timing, mid afternoon can be a killer for a migraine to appear with reduced food :frown:

I am determined not to give in and say, oh its the diet, easy to do as we are knew to this way of eating. I try to work through the headaches.

Your body will also take a few weeks to adjust, so (excuse the pun), some pain now will hopefully be worth it when you stand on the scales :grin:

I find they do vary in intensity through the day, and I can put this down to the food on fasting. I was drinking lots of water to keep hunger at bay, prob in excess of 3 litres (I don't drink tea or coffee). I have tried to cut this back incase I am flushing minerals and salt out of my system. My headaches were more acute with the volume of water I was drinking.

I think I cut back a little too much, so have eased myself gently back into water.

Maybe keep a record of when they come on, intensity, what have you eaten/drunk etc. It could be our bodies are crying out for something as simple as salt, or a drink.

I have lost 15lbs in 9 weeks, so the motivation to keep going is high ! If I get a migraine on a fast day, I eat the reduced and go to bed early. Having a bad headache next day after a fast is something I experience sometimes, but cannot say 100% if I would be any different without fasting.

I feel for you, knowing exactly what its like :confused:

Good luck and lots of positive thinking for less headaches !


p.s. Not sure if any of this helps !
Hi Suzpar and welcome. I have found that skipping breakfast, drinking my usual few cups of coffee, miso soup at lunch and then a small protein-based snack mid-afternoon (I have low fat cottage cheese in a celery stick) has worked a treat with my headaches. I was having breakfast and then fluids only until dinner - headache would appear somewhere between 3-5pm. It's all good now. Good luck!
Stop gap measures to help with the headaches could be caffine tablets for the caffine withdrawal.

If you are prone to migraines would a painkiller with caffine in it as a preventative measure help? (In the UK its any painkiller that has Plus or Extra on the label). Take them through the day of a fast?

A diet cola of some kind.

For those worrying about the mineral loss, boullion or a bit of sea salt in a drink might help.
Thanks, Caroline - really useful info. Will try the low-carb the day before and am drinking marmite tea (which, bizarrely, I find quite tasty!)
I am very lucky that I like black coffee (and tea), but a tip: why not caffeine pills for those who don't like their liquid beverages plain? When I had to step down my caffeine intake several years ago (I can't STAND the withdrawal headaches!), I used judicious (and controllable) doses of caffeine pills (you can split as needed for a smaller dose) to control my withdrawal. And no calories!

You can even get liquid caffeine online.

Luckily, I'm not very prone to headaches, but had one (not bad) my first two fast days (this is fast day #8), and now I think it was mostly due to insufficient water/fluids; since then, I pound down the fluids on fast days!

And for those who think it might be salt-related, why not try sipping (natural) broth? thanks to whomever suggested that; really helps out when I'm trying to delay first mealtime on fast day.
hi - this is my first post and i have just completed my first fast day of 500 calorie intake with no lunch and today (day after fast) i have had a headache. some migraleve has helped it go and i know from experience that mirgraines are tricky things! but apart from water intake increase is someone able to clarify the extra carb scenario mentioned in previous posts? what is the best 'food for a fast day' for migraine sufferers?
Hi, @serenary, I am tagging @caroreesfor you and with any luck she'll be able to respond to your question. In the meantime, well done for getting through your fast day! I hope the headaches improve over time.
Hi, on my phone so can't write much. This article is a good place to start ... n-fasting/

A lot of people find a high carb dinner the night before makes the fast day harder. Possibly because the carbs stop or slow the body from using stored fat for its energy and the body ends up short of energy when the carbs run out.
Nice post :like:
Thanks for sharing. Its really a helpful post.
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