I am intrigued by exfatloss's recent theory that the primary cause of the obesity epidemic is slow, subtle damage from linoleic acid over many years. Specifically, I want to test the broader possibility that the composition of adipose tissues is what's causing the problem. Since we do not have a decade to test his hypothesis naturally, I'll retcon my current eating habits for a modified experiment.

I am just now transitioning from a very low calorie diet to a water fast, having lost around fifteen pounds in the last few weeks. I am going to attempt to continue my water fast for the next thirty days, or until I reach a BMI of <25. After the end of my water fast, I am going to rigorously exclude linoleic acid and other PUFAs from my diet; my meals will consist mostly of vegetables, rice, specially ordered low-PUFA pork, and fish. Then I'm going to eat to satiety for another month.

Normally what is expected to happen after a water fast is that you regain all of the weight you just lost, because you haven't modified your body's dietary "set point" and you wasted all of your mental strength trying to keep yourself from eating. However, if the linoleic acid hypothesis is true, all of the PUFA I've consumed over my many years as a good American are what's causing my set point to remain so high in the first place. So for this self-experiment I'm going to deliberately purge most of my remaining fat stores, fill them up with a traditional Japanese diet, and see if my "natural weight" changes. 

It won't invalidate the lineolic acid hypothesis if the damage is just irreversible, but I can at least test out the hypothesis that the running composition of my fat is what causes my metabolism to freak out.

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I strongly recommend against water fasts exceeding 5-7 days, though I'm sure you've already heard many such objections. Even a small amount of calories from the modified fasting mimicking protocol (the easy version is just guacamole) + electrolytes is dramatically safer.

https://empoweredbeyondweightloss.com/fasting-mimicking-diet-do-it-yourself/

Unfortunately this particular meal plan is Right Out, because it includes large amounts of the acid I'm trying to purge (see https://fireinabottle.net/foods-highest-and-lowest-in-linoleic-acid-n6-pufa/). Regardless, I am taking electrolyte supplements; so far water fasting has succeeded at getting me to lose weight with no side effects besides the hunger, and I don't think it's a good idea to add food until that changes.

Maybe coconut milk, macadamia nuts, fruit, and vegetables?

I assume you have vitamins planned already and know some symptoms of malnutrition that would cause you to end early?

This seems to carry unnecessary risks for your health and well-being, and it's not clear how you'll be able to confidently conclude anything meaningful from the results.

If you don't end up gaining the weight back, what particular reason would you have to attribute that to this seed oil theory? You would be starting a novel diet consisting of mostly whole foods correct?

I don't see how this would provide any evidence regarding a specific mechanism where seed oils supposedly increase obesity above and beyond their quality as a highly refined calorie source.

Have you consulted any medical professionals?

Diesnt that hypothesis run counter to observed health benefits and lower obesity in say japan and countries that could broadly be described as engaging with the mediteranean diet?

Both with lots of linoleic acid / PUFA's

Water fasting strikes me as an inefficient way to do what you want to do. Sure, obviously, if you keep on getting no calories, eventually the body is going to burn fat, but paradoxically it prefers to burn protein from the muscles first (!) and the only way to stop that is with sufficiently intense exercise of the muscles, i.e., weight lifting, while trying to lose fat.

This next Andrew Huberman lecture describes how to burn fat via "using cold to create shiver", exercise, "non-exercise movements such as fidgeting", supplements and prescription drugs. I don't recall any mention of fasting in this lecture though it has been a few months since I listened to the lecture. To be precise, because I would not have been surprised to hear Huberman warn against water fasting, I probably would not have remembered that, but I would've been quite surprised to hear him recommend it, and almost certainly would've remembered that. (So, he almost certainly does not recommend it in the lecture.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqPGXG5TlZw

(Sadly, to burn fat using exercise, you have to exercise continuously for about 90 minutes IIRC.)

I did 6.5 days of water fasting once out of ignorance of the risks and disadvantages, and I'll never voluntarily go that long again without protein and without calories.

There's a natural human tendency to believe that if one is basically healthy, one's health interventions should be mild whereas if one is severely ill, drastic health interventions should be chosen. In reality, for most cases severe chronic illness, it takes great expertise or a heroic efforts of rationality sustained usually over years to identify or imagine any intervention that has more than a negligible chance of positively affecting the illness, and people dealing with severe illness should spend a significant fraction of their thinking time and mental energy on avoiding making the situation worse.

Happily for you, there are probably people with very deep expertise on fat loss although I don't know enough about the subject to tell you who those people are. (And the fact that the drug companies hope to make a lot of money on fat loss makes it much harder to identify the deep experts.)

I personally have had 2 friends who've killed themselves by being overly aggressive about trying to rid themselves of chronic illness: one was being prescribed an anti-coagulant and either took more than he should have because of a strong desire to return to his previous healthy lifestyle; the other was enamored of smart drugs, and one of the many combinations of drugs he tried gave him Parkinsonism.

I've stayed completely the hell away from seed oils for decades: it's just your plan for a long water fast that alarms me.

Water fasting strikes me as an inefficient way to do what you want to do. Sure, obviously, if you keep on getting no calories, eventually the body is going to burn fat, but paradoxically it prefers to burn protein from the muscles first (!) and the only way to stop that is with sufficiently intense exercise of the muscles, i.e., weight lifting, while trying to lose fat.

I don't think this is correct. What actually happens (AFAIU) is that your body burns a proportion of muscle and a proportion of fat. The muscle it burns is necessary to maintain a protein intake. This is the logic behind a "protein-sparing modified fast".

The problem is that I don't really want to do a protein sparing modified fast if I can, because it's just way easier for me to stop eating completely than it is to eat a small amount of food every day. I may attempt to switch if it becomes unbearable, but we'll see.

and the only way to stop that is with sufficiently intense exercise of the muscles, i.e., weight lifting, while trying to lose fat.

Weight lifting during a water fast will not help, even if it were practical; you will damage your muscles, but instead of being repaired your body will just clean up the damaged proteins and use them in the rest of the body. This would accelerate any muscle loss.

It definitely is easier to stop eating completely! A water fast trades convenience against a significant risk of permanent damage (e.g., never regaining all the muscle you lost) or death.

Are there any references you can give me about the permanent damage? I would attempt to move to a protein sparing modified fast if so. Doesn't need to be NIH links; would just like to see what you've read/watched.

According to my notes, what got me to resolve to avoid water fasting is the first .66 of this next interview with longevity researcher Valter Longo:

https://thedoctorskitchen.com/podcasts/62-fasting-and-medicine-with-prof-valter-longo

You can avoid the 90-second ads on that page by using yt-dlp to download the interview audio.

The next paragraph in my notes is the next URL, which describes what I replaced water fasts with, namely the fasting-mimicking diet.

https://kahn642.medium.com/265fc68f8e19

But the usual purpose of the fasting-mimicking diet is not fat loss. (It is autophagy.) It's low on protein. So maybe that last URL is irrelevant to you.

Please let me know if there's anything else I can do for you. You seem to have the potential to contribute to the desperate fight to save the world from AI, so I want you as healthy as possible.

Weight lifting during a water fast will not help

I agree! I was using the obvious unsuitability of strength training during a water fast as an argument against the water fast relative to the other ways to burn fat. (Weight lifting plus eating enough protein often enough is better at preserving muscle mass during an attempt to lose fat than eating enough protein often enough without the weight lifting.)

I've stayed completely the hell away from seed oils for decades: it's just your plan for a long water fast that alarms me.

Seed oils are in almost everything. Are you sure?

Yes. I basically cook everything I eat from scratch. I don't eat any seeds or any fats or oils except for coconut, avocado, olive oil and fat from cow's milk and lamb's meat.

Hmm. I was going to write, "cows and lambs which I know not to have been fed seed oils," but on second thought I do not know that to be the case. In particular, I use Kerrygold butter, which promises to be from cows fed on at least 95% grass, but as far as I know, the remaining 5% could include a large dose of seed oils. Kerrygold melts or more precisely gets soft at a much lower temperature than another brand of butter that claims to be 100% grass-fed, which means that the fatty-acid composition is much different than the other butter. The addition of seed oil to the cows diet could explain the difference.

My BMI is under 25. My motivation in entering this conversation is to try to talk you out of the water fast, not to learn how I might lose fat.

Anecdotal stuff: started doing daily yoga in the morning lost 12kgs in 3 months without any change in my diet