After about two weeks of daily fasting, your stored glycogen will be depleted. Your fat-handling enzymes will be fully activated, increasing your body’s ability to metabolize fat, because that’s all there is for it to run on for 19 hours out of the day. As your fat metabolism increases, so will your production of ketones. Ketones are a family of naturally-made chemicals that have a scent described as fruity or sweet. As your fat-metabolizing machinery gears up, those around you may notice this unusual aroma on your breath. Consider it a badge of success, because it is evidence that you are burning fat instead of glucose, and you are on your way to your goal weight. As your body improves its ability to use the ketones as fuel, the presence of ketones on your breath should diminish. The ketone smell can be masked using non-caloric breath fresheners. Once you adapt to the fasting conditions, you may lose about one pound or more per week, but the best measure of success is relative. Every week you should weigh measurably less than the week before. As long as your weight is going down from one week to the next, you’ll eventually reach your goal. Getting to your goal and staying there is far more important than getting there quickly. Do not expect to see loss every day. There is too much variation in water, salt retention, and other factors to reliably compare one day to the next. You can still measure daily, record your weight on pages 57-58, then look at the numbers you’ve entered in one column to see how the weekly trend is going. You can then predict how long it will take to reach your goal. To track your progress and provide encouragement, it is very helpful to have a scale that is both accurate (it reads your actual weight) and precise (when loaded with the same weight at different times, it gives the same reading). Some digital scales vary by as much as half a pound with each measurement, making them useless for daily or weekly measurements. To test a scale for precision, step on the scale and get a weight reading. Step off the scale, then step back on. A precise scale will read the same weight every time. The Salter 905 and Soehnle’s Alpha and Gamma models, available for around $45-$75, do a nice job of delivering reproducible results. For consistent tracking, you should weigh yourself each morning upon awakening, without any clothing and after urinating. During the Active Loss step, you eat what you want in the five-hour period after your break~fast. Is this license to eat candy and ice cream for dinner every night? No, but doing that once in a while is not a problem. The unlimited variety and flexibility of personal choices within the Fast-5 diet make it a diet you can maintain indefinitely. You may have binges that add up to all the food or more that you didn’t eat during the day. Stay on track with the diet and things will stabilize. Typically, your break~fast consumption will gradually decrease, and you will feel fine on a fraction of the calories you would have consumed in a day prior to starting the Fast-5 diet. If you want to maximize the health benefits of your fasting, make your break~fast and any food consumed until 10 pm a balanced mix emphasizing fruits and vegetables. Getting into the fasting groove gives you the willpower you need to pass by the doughnut box left open at the office. You can leave the candy in the candy jar or drive by the burger joint. Limbic hunger doesn’t get the chance to take control, and the invasive, distracting nature of somatic hunger becomes a milder sensation that reminds you that you’re doing something good for yourself. Not only is the weight loss good, you also save time and money on breakfast and lunch. Exercise can accelerate your Active Loss and help preserve your muscle mass (so you’re burning fat, not muscle, for fuel), but make changes gradually. It is not a good time to abruptly take up a highly strenuous exercise program. If you are accustomed to some pattern of exercise, by all means, keep it up. If you don’t exercise at all, add some light exercise like walking a little at lunchtime instead of eating. If, during exercise, you experience nausea, light-headedness, dizziness, changes in vision, or feel unsteady, make the better-safe-than sorry choice. Back off or stop your exertion and eat something, and if you don’t start feeling better promptly, seek medical attention. Even though it is a common complaint and a common explanation for these symptoms, true hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is extremely rare in non-diabetics. You may want to check your blood pressure now for comparison later. When you’re well into the Maintenance phase, you can check it again to see whether Fast-5 is having a detectable beneficial effect on your cardiovascular health. If you decide to measure your blood pressure, use an automatic device rather than a person. By using the same device when you measure again in a month or two, you’ll have the best chance of getting consistent measurement technique. Sit still for a few minutes before measuring, then measure three times and take the average. If the results are widely different, wait a few more minutes, then take another three readings.