4

votes

Has fasting in the paleo community gone mad??

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 05, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I read a lot on this forum, and I've been really trying to get my pre and post work out nutrition right , and a lot of what I come across is about IF. Fasting all day until the evening., having 1 meal a day , naturally these are the extremes but seems like this is a trend that's growing in popularity.

It makes me think are there any real athletes on this forum who follow paleo , who are concerned with performance and health, or just lots of skinny ripped people.

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on August 07, 2012
at 10:05 PM

I didn't say any of that. You know most of the research is made with rats, not humans. And also that studies with humans would probably be observational, not controlled (which is a huge limitation if you want to prove causation).

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 07, 2012
at 02:41 AM

@foreveryoung, my comment was regarding why people refer to 16/8 feeding windows as IF; because that is what Martin calls it, not because they are illiterate.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 06, 2012
at 08:05 PM

There are many studies that do point to the optimal number of hours to go without eating actually. 14-16 is the number. Beyond that and you dont see much in the way of improved fat metabolism etc. Research is valuable and reading it does not make one crazy.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 06, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Yeah I never hear people say one meal per day. Besides Ori.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 06, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Ie never read anyone espousing one meal a day. not here. 16/8 seems popular here. I do it. All it means is not eating breakfast. This is not really a big deal. All it means is eating more food at lunch and dinner because you skip breakfast. People do this all the time without calling it IF. It's not a big deal. Try it. If you like it go for it. If not, keep eating three squares a day. All we're talking about it 2 meals versus three per day - who'd have thought it'd become such a major issue.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on August 06, 2012
at 05:20 PM

If you fast daily, then your practice should be called "daily fasting." If you fast intermittently (i.e., at irregular intervals) then your practice should be called "intermittent fasting."

3ba7a9972345a27c04d593949ae88df5

(20)

on August 06, 2012
at 04:40 PM

Yes, intermittent means irregular. You have to keep your metabolism guessing, so it doesn't habituate to anything. Survival means mixing it up and keeping your body guessing.

3ba7a9972345a27c04d593949ae88df5

(20)

on August 06, 2012
at 04:35 PM

The same people who go overboard with IF, probably go overboard with exercise. It's more about personality than health sometimes. All things in moderation, people, but for me, someone who is still trying to lose weight, IF (now doing JUDDD - Up day down day) is the only way to get control of my calories. At 63 years old, it's all about calories for this female! Exercise is very tricky as it's easy to hurt myself - I have a frozen shoulder now - and it's difficult to find the right balance of weight lifting.

7fd66706a1bb1d5612dbb166ff98a708

on August 06, 2012
at 04:15 PM

I've only been doing this since the beginning of May. I play rugby, but athleticism is relative I suppose. I still have more than enough bodyfat to go through, but you left out the twice-daily BW workouts as well. And that's just the daily routine, I'm not going to go through listing my entire set of activities. Do I spend all day on the go? No. Am I a professional athlete? Also no. I try to frame my days with fitness but I'm a deskjockey by day. Madness seems a little harsh. Unorthodox, maybe, and as I said, anecdotal to be sure but it's working for me.

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:24 PM

No crashes, James. And stop worrying, man. Be aware of the worst case scenario, but always expect the best.

2f6ef8ed84e943285c1386254d3c66ea

(195)

on August 06, 2012
at 09:45 AM

I totally agree with that, very well said. But people appear to be torturing them selves with it, almost forming an obsession.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 06, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Well said !

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:37 AM

@Whirl - if that is your opinion that is fine, but could you please provide reasons as to why you think that fasting/1 meal a day is so bad? (I don't do it myself, BTW, just curious about your reasons.)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:28 AM

sage, I have zero disrespect for Martin and the lean gains approach. Just want to make that clear. I've done 16/8 in the past and had decent results with it. I've done 1 meal a day too, but cannot maintain my weight on it. 1 meal a day is insufficient to support high level, competitive activities in most cases.

2f6ef8ed84e943285c1386254d3c66ea

(195)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Your daily routine is a recipe for disaster, this is a perfect example of madness.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Martin refers to his Lean Gains style of feeding as IF- he probably calls aluminum foil tin foil. we are all so much smarter than he is.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 05, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Thanks for this. I was given a dressing down here for arguing that regular, routine daily fasting at the same interval was not "intermittent" at all. By my critics' definition, sleeping qualifies as intermittent fasting.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 11:21 PM

Exactly. I'm not at all saying it is not an effective strategy for getting/staying lean. I am mostly saying it is incompatible with persistent high volume, high intensity work that goes along with virtually every competitive endeavor. Right, I doubt a single olympian eats 1 meal a day. Most do not have to watch what they eat too closely, but are still health conscious (although may be following some misguided advice in regards to nutrition).

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 05, 2012
at 11:11 PM

I think the "conventional wisdom" is very good at driving performance. Look at the athletes at the London Olympics. I doubt many of them are Paleo/Primal, let along IF'ing during their training/competition. The appeal of IF (and paleo) IMHO is the optimization piece. IF may disrupt cancer formation, promote cellular repair, etc. also, it happens to be a pretty handy way of maintaining body composition (in my case at least) without much, if any, discomfort.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I mean, to be fair running 4 miles and doing 30 minutes of weight lifting every other day does not require any sort of admirable athleticism.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Oh, and are you lean?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:14 PM

HOw long have you been doing this for? Do you compete sports? Are you athletic? Are you doing this to lose weight or have you been maintaining this strategy for an extended period?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:10 PM

Are you athletic? Are you lean?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 05, 2012
at 09:53 PM

This is an example of a case where semantics count. :) Totally agreed on the "intermittent" misuse.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 09:38 PM

Great question- I have noticed this too, though I doubt even 50% of them would considered ripped. I can think a couple- FED and Raise.

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9 Answers

10
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:40 AM

Simply put, yes! People do seem to take IF too far. They read that a little IF is good for you, so they extrapolate and say a lot must be better. I don't know how many questions I've seen in the form of: "I fast 3-4 days a week while doing 5 days a week of crossfit and I'm not leaning out and my performance is terrible! Help!"

I totally buy into the IF arguments, but it's only something you should do as a microtweak once everything else is dialed in and you're not killing yourself with insane intensity in your activities. I'll IF, but it's truly "intermittent" not "scheduled". If I get busy at work, or am traveling or something like that and I miss a meal here or there, I don't worry about it. That's IF.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 06, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Well said !

3ba7a9972345a27c04d593949ae88df5

(20)

on August 06, 2012
at 04:35 PM

The same people who go overboard with IF, probably go overboard with exercise. It's more about personality than health sometimes. All things in moderation, people, but for me, someone who is still trying to lose weight, IF (now doing JUDDD - Up day down day) is the only way to get control of my calories. At 63 years old, it's all about calories for this female! Exercise is very tricky as it's easy to hurt myself - I have a frozen shoulder now - and it's difficult to find the right balance of weight lifting.

2f6ef8ed84e943285c1386254d3c66ea

(195)

on August 06, 2012
at 09:45 AM

I totally agree with that, very well said. But people appear to be torturing them selves with it, almost forming an obsession.

8
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on August 05, 2012
at 09:51 PM

This is a good question. I think that lean gains (i.e. 16/8) should not be considered intermittent fasting, as it is by many. It is not intermittent if it is implemented in the same manner on a daily basis. Intermittent means "occurring at irregular intervals," so if you're eating in a certain window everyday, that would be a regular eating interval. People are very lax and imprecise with language, either out of laziness or ignorance, and I don't know which one is worse.

I recently got ragged on because I said I ate a small breakfast (between 50 and 250 calories) after I get back from my morning run. I also workout 2-3x a day, am active, and do things that require significant amounts of mental energy and concentration. Some people seem to think that if it's anything like conventional wisdom, it must be inherently wrong, so the extreme opposite must be better. But honestly, there are only a handful of people who I pay attention to on this website, and every one of them (save 1) has a gravitar. I'd also be very surprised if there were many "ripped" people eating just one meal a day. I can think of a couple who eat 2 meals a day and could be considered ripped (speaking of males here), but that's two , and I haven't even met them in real life.

I've been involved in some from of sport practically my entire life. I can tell you that I would not be able to compete in swimming, soccer, or lightweight crew if I were eating one meal a day.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:28 AM

sage, I have zero disrespect for Martin and the lean gains approach. Just want to make that clear. I've done 16/8 in the past and had decent results with it. I've done 1 meal a day too, but cannot maintain my weight on it. 1 meal a day is insufficient to support high level, competitive activities in most cases.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 05, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Thanks for this. I was given a dressing down here for arguing that regular, routine daily fasting at the same interval was not "intermittent" at all. By my critics' definition, sleeping qualifies as intermittent fasting.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 05, 2012
at 09:53 PM

This is an example of a case where semantics count. :) Totally agreed on the "intermittent" misuse.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on August 06, 2012
at 05:20 PM

If you fast daily, then your practice should be called "daily fasting." If you fast intermittently (i.e., at irregular intervals) then your practice should be called "intermittent fasting."

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Martin refers to his Lean Gains style of feeding as IF- he probably calls aluminum foil tin foil. we are all so much smarter than he is.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 07, 2012
at 02:41 AM

@foreveryoung, my comment was regarding why people refer to 16/8 feeding windows as IF; because that is what Martin calls it, not because they are illiterate.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 11:21 PM

Exactly. I'm not at all saying it is not an effective strategy for getting/staying lean. I am mostly saying it is incompatible with persistent high volume, high intensity work that goes along with virtually every competitive endeavor. Right, I doubt a single olympian eats 1 meal a day. Most do not have to watch what they eat too closely, but are still health conscious (although may be following some misguided advice in regards to nutrition).

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 05, 2012
at 11:11 PM

I think the "conventional wisdom" is very good at driving performance. Look at the athletes at the London Olympics. I doubt many of them are Paleo/Primal, let along IF'ing during their training/competition. The appeal of IF (and paleo) IMHO is the optimization piece. IF may disrupt cancer formation, promote cellular repair, etc. also, it happens to be a pretty handy way of maintaining body composition (in my case at least) without much, if any, discomfort.

3ba7a9972345a27c04d593949ae88df5

(20)

on August 06, 2012
at 04:40 PM

Yes, intermittent means irregular. You have to keep your metabolism guessing, so it doesn't habituate to anything. Survival means mixing it up and keeping your body guessing.

2
7fd66706a1bb1d5612dbb166ff98a708

on August 05, 2012
at 10:07 PM

I also don't see the problem. I eat sometime between 6 and 10pm daily, and follow a pretty steady schedule of :

  • 6am wake up
  • 30 oz of icewater
  • body weight workout (bridges, squats, elevated decline pushups)
  • 2 mile interval run
  • 9 am coffee (sometimes with 2tbsp of coconut oil)
  • 12 pm body weight workout (Hindu squats and pushups)
  • 3 pm green tea
  • 5pm 2 mile interval run
  • daily groceries
  • every other day weightlifting (Stronglifts 5by5) style.
  • if workout day wait 60 minutes, otherwise eat.
  • asleep by 12-1.

All in a fasted state. I've only seen gains, the few fail days I've had on the workout have been tied directly to getting less than 4 hrs sleep. So far I haven't seen any adverse effects.

I'm never hungry, and I'm only getting stronger and more fit... Anecdotal to be sure, but 'fasting' or limited eating window works for me!!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:10 PM

Are you athletic? Are you lean?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Oh, and are you lean?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I mean, to be fair running 4 miles and doing 30 minutes of weight lifting every other day does not require any sort of admirable athleticism.

2f6ef8ed84e943285c1386254d3c66ea

(195)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Your daily routine is a recipe for disaster, this is a perfect example of madness.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 05, 2012
at 10:14 PM

HOw long have you been doing this for? Do you compete sports? Are you athletic? Are you doing this to lose weight or have you been maintaining this strategy for an extended period?

7fd66706a1bb1d5612dbb166ff98a708

on August 06, 2012
at 04:15 PM

I've only been doing this since the beginning of May. I play rugby, but athleticism is relative I suppose. I still have more than enough bodyfat to go through, but you left out the twice-daily BW workouts as well. And that's just the daily routine, I'm not going to go through listing my entire set of activities. Do I spend all day on the go? No. Am I a professional athlete? Also no. I try to frame my days with fitness but I'm a deskjockey by day. Madness seems a little harsh. Unorthodox, maybe, and as I said, anecdotal to be sure but it's working for me.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:37 AM

@Whirl - if that is your opinion that is fine, but could you please provide reasons as to why you think that fasting/1 meal a day is so bad? (I don't do it myself, BTW, just curious about your reasons.)

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 05, 2012
at 11:39 PM

Doing one meal a day has great benefits. It's not about weight for me. I'm no longer an athlete though. I do it for health and because it does not negatively effect my HIT workouts that I do about 2x/week.

Oh, and I use to be a collegiate wrestler. This included extended fasting and working out in a fasted state. The old school would tell you it makes you mentally and physically tougher. The new school can confirm the train low compete high sort of physiological benefits.

1
39ef07e149e0333bd5cb7a98bb0d4e39

on August 05, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Pre and post workout nutrition has its importance but the most important thing overall is calories and proper macronutrient consumption.

I don't see how fasting has "gone mad" though. I 16/8 fast everyday, still get my calories in and fast maybe 24 hours once a week depending on a cheat meal. I get all the exact same calories, plus the added benefits from fasting.

Any real athletes? What do you mean by that? IF can and is followed by some paleo athletes.

0
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on August 06, 2012
at 12:43 PM

Have you actually heard people suggesting 1 meal a day or a "feeding window"? I haven't seen anybody suggest 1 meal a day, personally.

And I have been following the 16/8 Leangains program for a few weeks now. I'd say it's pretty awesome. I lose weight if I eat good/maintain weight if I eat crap in the evenings, I save money by not eating out during the day, I don't stress over what I will eat at breakfast or lunch... I get a lot more water than before.

Then I break my fast when I get home in preparation for either muay thai or weightlifting. I eat right before leaving for it, and then I eat again when I get home from working out.

It works out perfectly all around. I don't see any 'madness' about it.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 06, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Yeah I never hear people say one meal per day. Besides Ori.

0
2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

on August 06, 2012
at 12:36 PM

I think we may have gone mad, but not because IFing is actually stopping us from getting better performance and better health. I think we've gone mad because we have developed a lot of protocols for IFing, something that should be much simpler than this. Who knows what is the optimal duration of a feeding window for each one of us, or how many times we should eat during that window?

It's been a while since I started eating only when I'm really hungry (if the hunger doesn't go away after I drink some water or coffee) or after my workouts. Since I spend most of the day studying nowadays, I'll only eat if my hunger is really getting in the way of my studies.

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on August 07, 2012
at 10:05 PM

I didn't say any of that. You know most of the research is made with rats, not humans. And also that studies with humans would probably be observational, not controlled (which is a huge limitation if you want to prove causation).

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 06, 2012
at 08:05 PM

There are many studies that do point to the optimal number of hours to go without eating actually. 14-16 is the number. Beyond that and you dont see much in the way of improved fat metabolism etc. Research is valuable and reading it does not make one crazy.

0
Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

on August 06, 2012
at 09:42 AM

Does anyone have any bad experiences from IF? Do you eventually crash and burn like some do on a keto diet? Because it's been going good for me the last few months so I'm kind of expecting a crash. I usually do the 16 hour fast from 10pm til 2pm the next day.

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on August 06, 2012
at 12:24 PM

No crashes, James. And stop worrying, man. Be aware of the worst case scenario, but always expect the best.

0
C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on August 06, 2012
at 12:31 AM

I compete (Muay Thai kickboxing) & have been doing IF for about 2 months now. I typically break my fast 2hrs before training. I haven't experimented training thai boxing in a fasted state yet.

I've been reading a lot about training low competing high. But it seems like the majority of message boards I visit are 50/50 about it & from the research it doesn't seem to have any carry over for competition. I think it might have some carry over when it comes to mental toughness. So I'm going to experiment with the concept.

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