A Bizarre Weight Loss Story – Year Without Food

By Anupum Pant

Background

What this grossly obese man did in the year 1965 is probably one of the most stupidest things you could emulate to lose weight. Doctors, and I would advice you totally against it. Yet, I felt that it’s good to know a stupid thing once in a while, in order to avoid it (maybe). Luckily, the man who did it, ended up fine and also lost several dozens of kilograms in the process. Here’s what happened…

Story time

A man who weighed 207 kg decided to go on a fast to lose weight. His fast lasted for 382 days. For the whole 1 year and 17 days, this man ate nothing. He only consumed “non-energy-containing fluids”, multi-vitamin tablets and potassium tablets. It’s important to know that he whole thing was monitored closely. It’s probably the longest reported fast. (A much much longer claimed fast – which they say lasted more than 70 years – is probably fake and pretty interesting too)

By the end of his fast, the man had lost around 126 kg of weight. That’s about 61% of his initial body weight! For the whole time, his body had used up the stored fat to power him. It was incredibly lucky for him that he did not face any adverse conditions while he was doing this. A slightly gross thing to know is that, since he wasn’t eating anything, he felt a need to use the bathroom only once in 40-50 days.

The Science of it

Normally if you don’t eat for a couple of hours, the human body is able to extract energy from the glucose in your bloodstream and liver. After about 8 hours, you no longer have any of the glucose left in your body.

Once the glucose is finished, the body starts burning a bunch off glucose molecules stuck together – known as glycogen, stored in muscles and liver. This source finishes off in about 2 days’ time. After that the body starts breaking down muscles. But that can be avoided by taking up a few defined exercise routines.

Next the body starts using up fat molecules into glycerol and free fatty acids. Everything in your body can run from this good source of energy. And that is how the fat gets lost. Surely, you don’t want to do that because you’ll end up sick, weak, depressed and cranky. You might even die if you try this.

[Source]

Bonus

Here’s an account of a person, who recently tried fasting for 11 months. Below is an image of what the fast did to him. Yes, he’s the same person (with a gap of 11 months of course). It was clearly a very bad experience. [Link]

before after

Weight of the Copper Tube with a Falling Magnet

By Anupum Pant

Remember I talked about Copper tube and a magnet a couple of days back? Turns out the same happens when you use an aluminium tube too. In short, a magnet (a strong one – neodymium magnet) when dropped into an aluminium or copper pipe falls very slowly, as if gravity stops acting on it.

It is due to the opposing magnetic forces generated by the electric field which is in turn generated by the magnetic field of the magnet (more in the link above).

That said, have you wondered what happens to the weight of the tube when the magnet is falling? Does it increase, decrease or remain the same? Just give it a guess and watch the following video.

The Royal Institution Explains:

Hit like if you learnt something today.

Consuming Fat Can Have Exceptional Health Benefits – Whale Fat

By Anupum Pant

Blubber Crash-course

Blubber is thick layer of fat that is present under the skin of many sea dwelling animals which helps them withstand the cold sea temperatures. It is found in animals like dolphins, whales, seals etc. Since fur fails to insulate once the animal is inside water, blubber is what helps them stay warm in there. Depending on the size of the animal, the thickness of this fat layer can vary from 2 to 12 inches. Look at a minute-long Sick Science experiment (Video) that demonstrates this particular function of a layer of fat (shortening in this case).

The other important use of blubber for these animals is that it can act as a buffer stock of energy. During the times when sea animals aren’t able to find food, they burn up the fat for energy. It helps them last for a long time without food. Also, blubber helps them float better in water.

Eskimos eat this

Inuit, a group of people living in parts of Arctic, Canada, Greenland and USA, commonly known as Eskimos, love to include blubber in their food because it is a great source of  omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. They consume raw, dried and boiled blubber with meat regularly, either with soya sauce or sea oil.

The positive health benefits of blubber, as Wikipedia puts it, can be observed in Greenland, where people consume it regularly. As a result, they are less likely to die due to Heart diseases. It says, not a single person died in that region in the 1970s due to cardiovascular diseases. Someone needs to study the same for the present decade.

It cites the following a source that no longer exists. However, another source clarifies it (source):

In the 1970s there was not a single death due to cardiovascular disease in the hunting district of Uummannaq with about 3,000 inhabitants. The average 70-year-old Inuit with a traditional diet of whale and seal has arteries as elastic as those of a 20-year-old Danish resident.

That is a pretty incredible health benefit, given hardening of arteries due to build-up of fat has become such big killer in developed countries.

Is Blubber really that good today?

Today, whales and other sea animals that are a primary source of blubber for Eskimos, come across huge amounts of toxic chemicals in the sea – mostly through food. They consume these industrial wastes, and with time carcinogens build up in their bodies. These carcinogens ultimately enter the traditional food items of Eskimos through blubber.

So, heart disease might not be a widespread phenomena in Greenland, but in a few years, cancer could be. But, that is just the poor human logical brain talking.

According to current studies, blubber based diet has is indeed been credited to the Inuit health and longevity.

Also read –

  1. Sharks Are Not So Bad After All
  2. Ambergris – Whale Vomit Can Make You Rich