In 2009, I lost 60 pounds in six months, and I thought I was a badass, because I'd seen people go on Oprah and similar shows to brag about how they lost less weight than that in twice the time frame. But after a while I got lazy and stupid, and I started eating the way Americans normally eat, and I soon re-acquired the weight problems that Americans normally have. So eventually I got a hold of my senses, and in the past two months, I've lost 32.5 pounds, which is a very swift rate of weight loss. In fact, most of the weight loss comes from one week in February, when I lost 20 pounds, and the past two days, in which I've lost 9 pounds.
In February, I fasted for 7 days, and as of right now, I'm on day four of my second fast of the year. "Fasting" in this context means no food, only water, and limited amounts of water; I do not consider a "juice fast" to be a real fast. (In fact, strictly speaking, I don't even consider the phrase "juice fast" to be semantically meaningful, since it's a contradiction in terms, but that's a huge digression.)
I prepared for these fasts with a few tiny fasts (one day or two days) in 2010. I underwent my first serious fast, in February, after extensive research, but with no medical supervision. I plan to eventually do a month-long fast under medical supervision, for reasons I've already explained in another blog post. But I'm only doing a four-day fast currently, maybe five days at absolute maximum, so I'm not operating under medical supervision this time either, although I did consult with a doctor first. The doctor in question was an apprentice, of sorts, to a doctor who has consistently achieved incredible results with fasting and nutrition; for instance, in the area of heart disease, his track record surpasses that of literally every cardiologist in the United States, which is somewhere between 8,000 and 20,000 doctors. He's also had similarly remarkable successes in several other areas, such as autoimmune diseases, but I haven't investigated those in similar depth.
Caveat time: I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice. This is my own opinion and personal experience only. There's also the fact that fasting is very much easier for me than for most people, because I eat a very strict nutritarian diet which does not contain meat, processed chemicals, or white flour. (The diet has other restrictions but these are the restrictions which, as I understand it, make fasting easier, because those substances affect blood sugar stability, and induce various forms of frequent, mild toxic shock.)
Most important caveat: the process I'm using is not simply to stop eating. The process looks more like this: 1) spend a few hundred dollars on Amazon buying every book on heart disease which looks as if it might be worth a damn; 2) find the one book which actually is worth a damn; 3) read literally every word that the author of that particular book has ever written; 4) consult directly with a doctor under his personal training. And technically, the process is even more involved than that. I evaluated the "worth a damn" criterion after developing an entire career around the judicious application of structured logic to business problems, aka software engineering, as well as studying classical languages, philosophy, and logic continually from the ages of 14 to 20. If you make logic the focus of many years of your life, "worth a damn" implies high standards of logical rigor and supplementary research.
That being said, I'm visibly overweight, and when I just stop eating for a few days, I lose weight. It doesn't take a genius to see the connection. It does, however, take some epic research into nutrition to avoid packing the weight back on again once I resume eating. So perhaps I should say "rapid weight loss is hard," or "rapid weight loss is easy in context," or "rapid weight loss is easy, if you are already conforming to strict dietary rules which make your blood sugar remarkably more stable than the average American's," but that's kind of wordy. I've always felt that five words is the optimum length for a blog post title, and I don't mind passing along the implicit assumption that all people, everywhere, should use research, logic, and self-discipline by default, because I can mostly agree with that assumption in principle, and I can absolutely agree with it in the context of a programming blog.
Before I discovered how easy fasting can be, or the work of this incredible doctor, I took a very fatalistic attitude towards my weight problem. If that sounds like you, I want you to understand that you can obliterate your weight problem easily, as long as you can muster the necessary research, logic, and self-discipline. (And if you're weak in any of those areas, you can cultivate discipline by studying martial arts or musical instruments, while studying either software engineering or classical Western languages will strengthen both your capacity for research, and for logic.)
One final caveat: although I am still overweight, I might not actually be visibly overweight any longer.