3

votes

Fasting...is it helping or hurting me?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM

So I posted a question yesterday about how I am still stuck on my plateau and how part of my eating regimen is a fast from the night of one day to the afternoon of the next and what I started to think while I ate during my eating hours is that maybe fasting is hurting me more than helping me? Basically, I used to graze all day then decided to try the IF thing and fast each day/night and whatnot because I heard it was good for you, but it hit me yesterday that I may eat MORE eating because I'm just so damn hungry by the time I can eat.

Anybody have the same experience. Any feedback on IF would be great. Thanks in advance for your help (and thanks to those who answered my question yesterday!!!)

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 22, 2011
at 03:00 AM

It doesn't aid in fat loss much directly since the intensity is so high. If you are fasted and depleting glycogen, you're increasing the amount of glucose that you need per day, which means you either eat that glucose or you get it from dietary or muscle protein. If you want to accelerate fat loss, do a lot of low intensity exercise fasted instead. Takes more time, but it definitely works and it's far more enjoyable. If your weight has been dropping you may not need to make this change, but if things have ground to a halt, give it a try.

40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 22, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Hi Travis, when you say that CrossFit is helping much, does it help at all? CrossFit is my primary source of physical activity while training fasted and am now concerned. Would you mind elaborating? Thanks in advance.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Paleo2.0: When you fast without activity you allow for the possibility of fat burning, but not necessarily its occurrence. It doesn't have to be 5 miles, and really, it doesn't have to be all part of the same fast. All that matters is that activity occurs before meals and that it is done at low insulin levels. 2 miles before breakfast and 2 miles before dinner is highly effective.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Michelle: Crossfit isn't helping because it consumes mostly glycogen, though there is likely a long-term benefit for resisting future fat accumulation due to greater lean body mass. As far as getting leaner faster, I think it's better to skip weight lifting and concentrate on low to low-moderate activity. If your job requires a lot of walking, then IF is great for you and you may not require additional exercise. IF is perfect for someone like a mailman who is walking 15 miles a day. If you can ride the horse before breakfast, you should do that.

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Hey Travis, what do you think of the idea instead of doing low intensity walking of doing “moderate” intensity walking for 40 minutes or so first thing in the morning, and then no calories for 2 to 4 hours afterwards. Would your body continue to oxidize the fats? I would be interested in an alternative approach that doesn’t require as much time as walking 5 miles.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:05 PM

what do you consider a 'short fast' in comparison to a 'long fast' i d crossfit 4xs a week and may run once and my work (i work with Auburn's football team) requires me to do A LOT of walking and lifting. i also ride my horse 3-4 times a week....what would you suggest? someone mentioned not eating 4 hrs before i sleep then trying to get about 8 hours in....totaling a 12 hour fast. should i work out fasted like this?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 21, 2011
at 03:02 PM

I'm six weeks in to the reset and only eating breakfast and dinner. It's interesting how the body gets used to when it is fed. A couple months ago it would have killed me to only eat twice a day. Now I often don't want to eat all I should at the two meals. Not that I don't have a hunger pang or two mid day.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 21, 2011
at 02:55 PM

I think you are exactly right about no snacking or eating in the evening. If someone does that well and comfortably, then maybe IF is a good idea. But the need to eat frequently while awake indicates a liver and metabolism that has not been well trained to go without frequent food. Three meals a day and no snacks is a good place to start.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 21, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I 2nd Justin's mention of Dr. Kruse Leptin reset protocol and everything else he said. I am only on day 4 but I have no hunger and by default of eating 4-5 hours before bed you end up fasting. I never would have eaten that much in the morning without the protocol and I suspicion I was definitely underfeeding with my IF.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 21, 2011
at 12:52 PM

I did the 16/8 IF style for months. I liked it OK. It didn't change the world for me or anything. But I would indeed agree that for some people you may just end up eating more food. I'm think the Leangains site guy recommends tracking cals, or at least having a good understanding of how much you are actually eating energycal-wise, for exactly this reason. You still must maintain a slight caloric deficit if you want to lose, all other things being equal.

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8 Answers

5
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on September 21, 2011
at 12:01 PM

It seems to me if you have symptoms noted above you are not in fat burning mode and IF will probably not work well for you. From my experience I have to be in fat burning mode for fasting to work. I don't have the grumblings from the stomach nor the fuzzy light headed feeling I used to get if I went long periods with no food. I can go 24 hours or more in fat burning mode with no negative symptoms. I don't think you can get into fat burning mode while eating much in the way of carbohydrate. If I eat over 50 grams a day I will no longer be in fat burning mode and will get very hungry. For me eating meat and water is the best way to get into fat burning mode. There can be a quite lengthy period of adaptation from being a sugar burner to a fat burner and the period in between can be pretty rough as far as how you feel and perform.

4
Medium avatar

on September 21, 2011
at 05:37 PM

It's crucial that we understand why it is biochemically that fasting is effective for fat loss. By not eating during the day, you're lowering insulin enough that your adipocytes are unrestricted from releasing free fatty acids into your blood stream and your muscle mitochondria are able to run on their preferred energy substrate (lipids). Now, if your fat cells release this fat and it doesn't get burned due to inactivity, your body will just reesterify the fatty acids into adipocyte triglycerides. Sure, your heart will burn some and you'll burn a little moving around but it won't be that noticeable.

On the other hand, if you are highly active (doing large volumes of low intensity activity like walking) in the fasted state, you will liberate those fatty acids and actually burn a lot of them in muscle mitochondria. Therefore, a shorter fast with more activity is more effective than a longer fast with less activity. If you wake up and walk 5 miles, you may as well eat right afterward no matter how long the fast has been.

Good luck.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Paleo2.0: When you fast without activity you allow for the possibility of fat burning, but not necessarily its occurrence. It doesn't have to be 5 miles, and really, it doesn't have to be all part of the same fast. All that matters is that activity occurs before meals and that it is done at low insulin levels. 2 miles before breakfast and 2 miles before dinner is highly effective.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 22, 2011
at 03:00 AM

It doesn't aid in fat loss much directly since the intensity is so high. If you are fasted and depleting glycogen, you're increasing the amount of glucose that you need per day, which means you either eat that glucose or you get it from dietary or muscle protein. If you want to accelerate fat loss, do a lot of low intensity exercise fasted instead. Takes more time, but it definitely works and it's far more enjoyable. If your weight has been dropping you may not need to make this change, but if things have ground to a halt, give it a try.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:05 PM

what do you consider a 'short fast' in comparison to a 'long fast' i d crossfit 4xs a week and may run once and my work (i work with Auburn's football team) requires me to do A LOT of walking and lifting. i also ride my horse 3-4 times a week....what would you suggest? someone mentioned not eating 4 hrs before i sleep then trying to get about 8 hours in....totaling a 12 hour fast. should i work out fasted like this?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Michelle: Crossfit isn't helping because it consumes mostly glycogen, though there is likely a long-term benefit for resisting future fat accumulation due to greater lean body mass. As far as getting leaner faster, I think it's better to skip weight lifting and concentrate on low to low-moderate activity. If your job requires a lot of walking, then IF is great for you and you may not require additional exercise. IF is perfect for someone like a mailman who is walking 15 miles a day. If you can ride the horse before breakfast, you should do that.

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Hey Travis, what do you think of the idea instead of doing low intensity walking of doing “moderate” intensity walking for 40 minutes or so first thing in the morning, and then no calories for 2 to 4 hours afterwards. Would your body continue to oxidize the fats? I would be interested in an alternative approach that doesn’t require as much time as walking 5 miles.

40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 22, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Hi Travis, when you say that CrossFit is helping much, does it help at all? CrossFit is my primary source of physical activity while training fasted and am now concerned. Would you mind elaborating? Thanks in advance.

4
5489f67c05ca5fc68f2b984e48b6da5e

on September 21, 2011
at 02:12 PM

I had been doing IF, only eating in the noon to 8pm window, for at least 6 months. It was alright for me. It was easy. I didn't need to eat until noon, heck even 5pm some days. But I was still overfat.

Then I tried Dr. K's Leptin Prescription along with his Leptin Rx FAQ and it's working much better for me. I eat around 50g of protein along with animal fat within 30 minutes of waking up. I'm actually losing fat off my torso. I also added starchy tubers every couple of days, when I feel like it.

You can still IF if you want to using this protocol. You just have to change your definition of IF from "ONLY FROM NOON TO EIGHT" to "any time, besides breakfast first thing in the morning, that you don't want to eat". Sometimes I eat breakfast and lunch, sometimes I eat breakfast and dinner. Sometimes just breakfast. I'm really digging it.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 21, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I 2nd Justin's mention of Dr. Kruse Leptin reset protocol and everything else he said. I am only on day 4 but I have no hunger and by default of eating 4-5 hours before bed you end up fasting. I never would have eaten that much in the morning without the protocol and I suspicion I was definitely underfeeding with my IF.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 21, 2011
at 03:02 PM

I'm six weeks in to the reset and only eating breakfast and dinner. It's interesting how the body gets used to when it is fed. A couple months ago it would have killed me to only eat twice a day. Now I often don't want to eat all I should at the two meals. Not that I don't have a hunger pang or two mid day.

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Fasting is NOT ok if you are leptin resistant. It can make things worse. Please read what The Quilt has to say about fasting before you continue.

2
De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on September 21, 2011
at 12:47 PM

Yeah, I totally agree. I tried the leangains IF approach for a few weeks and it was tough. If you are trying to trim down I think VLC/Keto is easier to maintain longterm (at least for me.)

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 21, 2011
at 11:49 AM

I did IF few times and I always felt worse and nearly got sick. Its pretty cool after 8 or so hours when ghrelin kicks in to boost your intelligence and energy, but after that it becomes not so interesting. Constant stomach noise is annoying too.

If you continue to do IF make sure you optimize supplementation - i.e. CRON (calorie restriction with optimal nutrition) or you may do more harm then good.

If you are aiming for the weight loss, I think absence of snaking and not eating 4 hours before sleeping is better option. If you sleep 8 h then you will effectively have 12 hours fast each day which is enough for benefits of fasting (i.e. low insulin, high ghrelin, autophagy).

About overeating after IF, its probably not good idea, you may try to eat something little like 2 eggs, then wait for an hour or two then do a regular meal.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 21, 2011
at 02:55 PM

I think you are exactly right about no snacking or eating in the evening. If someone does that well and comfortably, then maybe IF is a good idea. But the need to eat frequently while awake indicates a liver and metabolism that has not been well trained to go without frequent food. Three meals a day and no snacks is a good place to start.

1
324bf94d3d6f9322d6e4dba4becfaab1

on September 21, 2011
at 09:07 PM

It does take some getting used to, but I have found fasting to be very useful, not just in losing weight but also with saving time. I can devour 2 lbs of steak and some potatoes in 30 minutes now that I've been doing so for a few months, and I could probably do it even faster if it was a race. 6 days a week I fast for ~23 hours, then once a week I fast ~47 hours.

In my experience the biggest hurdle to IF is boredom. Bored people tend to eat unless they feel full. When IFing you go pretty much the whole day not feeling full (but not hungry either), so if you're sitting around doing nothing you're going to feel a strong temptation to eat. Eating too much, however, is not a problem that I've run into with IF.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 21, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Maybe try IFing for a shorter period or every other day. IFing has it's benefits but it's also different for each person, you have to keep that in mind and tweaking what you are doing for the best results for you.

I IF every day for up to 16 hrs, it helps my digestive issues. I do not feel starved nor over eat and if i need to go off the path, I do so. I never let myself feel bad or deprived in any way.

Tweak different time frames, alternate, do over a week period of time until you figure it out. It could also be that it doesn't work for you, but you'll know after trying several different ways.

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