2

votes

Those of you who IF - do you "crash"?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 10, 2011 at 8:41 AM

If you do IF, let's say, lunch and dinner, 2 meals a day, do you usually get an energy crash in between these 2 meals, or even before lunch? I'm not saying a sugar crash, just an energy crash.

What would it mean to be experiencing a crash, but after you start nibbling and eating you suddenly feel better, and some hours afterwards you seem to go low energy as well, even though you are very satiated and satisfied and not hungry at all in those periods?

On the other hand, could it be lack of sleep if you do? Or irregular cortisol levels at those times?

BONUS QUESTION: for people who want to gain or maintain weight, can you get enough calories on 2 meals alone or do you recommend a 3rd meal, ie, breakfast to pack on calories?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on October 30, 2011
at 03:13 PM

I did that as well. I had the problem where I would get super hungry an eat my 2pm lunch with my 12pm breakfast. That made my meal too big and I would get crazy tired at 2pm anyway. So watch out for that.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Well, I've since went to 3 meals a day and I'm feeling better this way. I'm considering adding a snack or a real 4th meal.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Basically this cheating does not include protein or carbs to not cause an insulin response.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:45 PM

One thing I do to help if I am getting hungry while fasting is to cheat with some coconut fat (either eating some oil, or drinking some coconut milk). You get many of the same benefits of fasting, while giving your body a bit more energy.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Are you eating at the same times daily? This is important as grehlin hormone will regulate when you are hungry. If you stick to the same schedule you and grehlin will be in sync, otherwise your body won't know when the next meal is, so you end up being hungry. That being said, it took me awhile to adjust. I am definitely a mental eater, so there are time when I think I am hungry, or I want food, but really there are no physical symptoms. This is one reason I have a lot of interest in the food reward concept.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 25, 2011
at 04:39 PM

The only time I ever crash is after a high-carb meal. When I IF, which was my natural mode long before I ever heard of primal or IF, I eat one or 2 large meals. When it's one meal, usually in mid-morning, I can exercise the next morning and I feel "lean and mean" rather than weak.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on October 25, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Hey pbo. I'm two weeks into the LG program and think it's going well. Two observations: my weight has stabilized (not as many fluctuations) with no major change yet; and I'm definitely hungrier IFing on rest days. What was your early experience?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:47 PM

See myth 8 on "Top ten fasting myths debunked" http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html Cortisol is not increased in short-term fasts. Cortisol is increased during prolonged fasting (he references a pubmed study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3080766 in which the subjects didn't eat for 3 weeks)

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 11, 2011
at 01:11 PM

160, when I started I was as low as 147. I was running over 10 miles a day, and my body was eating itself.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 10:05 PM

I know the approach and have a ton of experience with it. How much do you weigh?

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:52 PM

About 6 foot, started around June, although I have been more strict with the IF the past month and half. Once again leangains.com is a great resource, and this is the whole approach of Martin Berkan.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I could b wrong though, if all you do is workout 3 times a week and rest the rest of the time maybe it could work? It definetly doesnt work that well when your active

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:13 PM

You've put on 10 pounds of lean mass while if'ing? Whats your weight on height? how long did it take?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:11 PM

You've put on 10 pounds of lean mass while if'ing how much do weigh? height?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:03 PM

@jonas if you can tolerate wheat and the cake doesn't have vegetable oils or wierd ngredients thats a start. I definetly think you could do similar stuff without te wheat though which will defintly be better imo. Flourless choo cakes, milkshakes, ice cream, big starch/fat heavy savory meals etc.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:58 PM

his protocol is to lean out his already muscular body. He typically eats thing like a whole cheese cake, if you do stuff like that it might be succesful not with paleofoods though.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:58 PM

his protocol is to lean out his already muscular diet. He typically eats thing like a whole cheese cake, if you do stuff like that it might be succesful not with paleofoods though.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:54 PM

I find that I have more even energy if I eat a big breakfast, but skip lunch. If I skip breakfast I just feel a little apathetic until I get around to cooking something. Could just be what I'm used to though.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Don't agree Cliff. Just ask Marin Berkhan of lean gains (http://www.leangains.com/). He does a daily IF, and he had no issues gaining muscle while staying lean. In fact that is his whole protocol.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 04:38 PM

I had chocolate cake (conventional wheat-based) at lunch (and an array of nut butters). Yes, gluten is evil but it doesn't affect me much. I hope the combination is fattening enough.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I'm just not hungry for a third meal. However, if I did added in a third meal in the 8 hour window, wouldn't I have a harder time going back to 2 meals due to ghrelin (since the body was used to that 3rd meal, whether you're satiated or not)?

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Matt...hehe... If you eat so much that you're satiated in each of your meals (especially lunch for me), I suppose it'll be a matter of time until I can stop losing weight, or either maintain or gain weight, which is what I need at the moment.

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10 Answers

2
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Bonus answer: YES. I have trouble NOT eating more calories than I need in even just my two meals. People that can't eat 1.5 pounds of meat in a sitting might not agree?

As far as the energy crash... YES this has happened to me. I fixed it in two ways:

1: I make the lunch meal a bit smaller than I would like. I eat 1000kcal or less in that meal. Any bigger makes me sleepy.
2: I make lunch relatively low carb.

This solves the issue in two directions. Eating a huge amount at once definitely leads to more processing by the stomach and less blood for cognitive function in my experience. In addition, the lower-carb nature of the meal means I have less of a 2pm sugar crash.

If I STILL need something to get me through the 2pm-3pm hour, I generally drink a non-caffinated tea or coffee. I find that eliminates any latent hunger and makes me feel more alert.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Well, I've since went to 3 meals a day and I'm feeling better this way. I'm considering adding a snack or a real 4th meal.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on October 30, 2011
at 03:13 PM

I did that as well. I had the problem where I would get super hungry an eat my 2pm lunch with my 12pm breakfast. That made my meal too big and I would get crazy tired at 2pm anyway. So watch out for that.

2
489477a914ef84ea1acad38cd3a488bd

on October 10, 2011
at 01:22 PM

Daily Intermittent faster, here! (Good lord, that's a mouthful.)

I've eaten 2 meals pretty much every day of the week for nearly a year. My energy levels have been consistent for the majority of this time, even throughout the occasional long-term (40-hour) fast. More recently, however, I had a significant lifestyle change: work.

I started work about a month back and my sleep immediately started to suffer. It turns out my body needs a minimum of 7 hours to maintain energy throughout the day, while anything less (especially for multiple nights in a row) has me crashing by early afternoon. Now that I've forced myself into bed earlier and started grabbing 7 or 8 hours more consistently, though, I'm back to where I was: happy, not super hungry, and energetic well into the evening.

Food for thought!

BONUS: Yep. Definitely doable. And you'll have the immense pleasure of two big meals, which is a perk like few others.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Matt...hehe... If you eat so much that you're satiated in each of your meals (especially lunch for me), I suppose it'll be a matter of time until I can stop losing weight, or either maintain or gain weight, which is what I need at the moment.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 25, 2011
at 04:39 PM

The only time I ever crash is after a high-carb meal. When I IF, which was my natural mode long before I ever heard of primal or IF, I eat one or 2 large meals. When it's one meal, usually in mid-morning, I can exercise the next morning and I feel "lean and mean" rather than weak.

1
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:49 PM

I do 16/8 IF daily, which usually translates to 2 meals a day, and sometimes 3. I rarely snack, and when I do because of hunger / low energy I take it as sign from my body that I did not supply it enough during my last meal.

I love J. Stanton's "Eat Like Predator, Not Like Prey" stance - http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-guide/.

When I eat, I eat big meals with as good a source of protein as I can get, and the add good fats for taste, and starchy carbs on days I work out.

BONUS - no problem gaining weight - put on about 10 pounds of muscle. Checkout leangains.com for a great protocol for fasting to improve your muscle gain, fat loss goals.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:52 PM

About 6 foot, started around June, although I have been more strict with the IF the past month and half. Once again leangains.com is a great resource, and this is the whole approach of Martin Berkan.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:13 PM

You've put on 10 pounds of lean mass while if'ing? Whats your weight on height? how long did it take?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 10:05 PM

I know the approach and have a ton of experience with it. How much do you weigh?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:11 PM

You've put on 10 pounds of lean mass while if'ing how much do weigh? height?

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 11, 2011
at 01:11 PM

160, when I started I was as low as 147. I was running over 10 miles a day, and my body was eating itself.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on October 25, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Hey pbo. I'm two weeks into the LG program and think it's going well. Two observations: my weight has stabilized (not as many fluctuations) with no major change yet; and I'm definitely hungrier IFing on rest days. What was your early experience?

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:45 PM

One thing I do to help if I am getting hungry while fasting is to cheat with some coconut fat (either eating some oil, or drinking some coconut milk). You get many of the same benefits of fasting, while giving your body a bit more energy.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Are you eating at the same times daily? This is important as grehlin hormone will regulate when you are hungry. If you stick to the same schedule you and grehlin will be in sync, otherwise your body won't know when the next meal is, so you end up being hungry. That being said, it took me awhile to adjust. I am definitely a mental eater, so there are time when I think I am hungry, or I want food, but really there are no physical symptoms. This is one reason I have a lot of interest in the food reward concept.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Basically this cheating does not include protein or carbs to not cause an insulin response.

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:33 PM

I do 2 meals per day: lunch and dinner. The first month or so I???d feel pretty hungry and kind of slow in that last 1-2 hours before eating my first meal. Nowadays I do not, though. I think it???s simply a matter of adjusting?

In between meals I get kind of low energy, as far as I like to just chill out and have my work done by then, etc. Still though I train jitsu in the evening (in between meals) and I perform well in there. I find it???s a mental game: if I have no training and no to-dos that day then I???ll feel lazy and semi low energy and just lay around and chill out, run errands yknow. But if I know I train that day I feel good and ready to roll no worries.

I sleep 8-9 hours daily so I don???t think I have sleep issues. I don???t know much re cortisol but I have to think that going 16 hours with no food must cause cortisol release to some extent, no? I just don???t care. I think the benefits of the fast outweigh anything cortisol-related.

Bonus: you can get enough calories with one, two, or three or whatever meals in your window.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:47 PM

See myth 8 on "Top ten fasting myths debunked" http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html Cortisol is not increased in short-term fasts. Cortisol is increased during prolonged fasting (he references a pubmed study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3080766 in which the subjects didn't eat for 3 weeks)

1
D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I suppose it can't be due to low calorie if you're (or I'm) ingesting 2000 calories per meal.

I probably just did +3000 calories at lunch with loads of fat cottage cheese, coconut oil, cashew butter and coconut butter (along with the rest of the lunch, which was lamb, banana, coconut milk etc).

0
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on October 10, 2011
at 10:59 PM

i work rotating shifts and have been lc IF for the past six weeks hoping to improve my energy levels during my evening shifts. it works well since i don't need to adjust the meal times with each shift change.

i am still working on fat loss and find it really easy to not eat enough. i don't have an energy crash, but my sleep suffers.

the only time i don't do well is the days i purposefully add more carbs. the cravings are hard to ignore and feel a lot like low energy.

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Bonus question answer: Yes

I am LC-VLC, I naturally IF as I listen to my body. I can go 48 hours + sometimes. I never crash. I work at a physically demanding job outside and I work circles around the guys 1/2 my age lol (I am 46 btw)

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 02:30 PM

If you want to gain IF isn't that great. Maybe if you don't restrict and eat highly rewarding food it could work.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I could b wrong though, if all you do is workout 3 times a week and rest the rest of the time maybe it could work? It definetly doesnt work that well when your active

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:58 PM

his protocol is to lean out his already muscular diet. He typically eats thing like a whole cheese cake, if you do stuff like that it might be succesful not with paleofoods though.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:58 PM

his protocol is to lean out his already muscular body. He typically eats thing like a whole cheese cake, if you do stuff like that it might be succesful not with paleofoods though.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 04:38 PM

I had chocolate cake (conventional wheat-based) at lunch (and an array of nut butters). Yes, gluten is evil but it doesn't affect me much. I hope the combination is fattening enough.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:03 PM

@jonas if you can tolerate wheat and the cake doesn't have vegetable oils or wierd ngredients thats a start. I definetly think you could do similar stuff without te wheat though which will defintly be better imo. Flourless choo cakes, milkshakes, ice cream, big starch/fat heavy savory meals etc.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Don't agree Cliff. Just ask Marin Berkhan of lean gains (http://www.leangains.com/). He does a daily IF, and he had no issues gaining muscle while staying lean. In fact that is his whole protocol.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:38 AM

I do the 2 meal a day thing about 3 days per week right now. If my energy drops and I sense hunger I immediately make a full meal and just assume my energy needs are higher for that day (I'm still breastfeeding though, and my seeking more calories seems to be attached to a 6th sense regarding my sons growth spurts, I've stopped questioning that feeling because it has been right every time).

I know what you mean about low energy vs. stomach rumbling hunger with both being cured by eating though. I experience the low energy without classic hunger signs when I meet my fat requirements before I meet my protein and veggie needs. I know this is going to sound weird, but I find that making sure to include at least a small amount of "high Pranic energy" (for lack of a better term) really fresh, like right out of the garden parsley or leafy green seems to erase that feeling.

0
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:09 AM

BONUS ANSWER: Yes.

On my work out days I typically consume 2 x 2000 calorie meals, which is enough calories for me to put on weight.

Also if you have an 8hr feeding window you can have 3 meals, have one when you break your fast, one 4 hours later and another 4 hours later, just before you start your fast.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I'm just not hungry for a third meal. However, if I did added in a third meal in the 8 hour window, wouldn't I have a harder time going back to 2 meals due to ghrelin (since the body was used to that 3rd meal, whether you're satiated or not)?

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