1

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Clarification on IF

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 30, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Okay, so I've been reading up a lot about intermittent fasting and I think I'm ready to try it.. But one question: after fasting for a certain number of hours of the day, are you supposed to then eat as many calories as you would've during the day, or only eat one meal, or what? I hope this makes sense.. like, let's say these are the options:

Wake up at 7am Fast for 16 hours First meal at 11pm: ~400 calories Go to sleep; eat normally next day

OR

Wake up at 7am Fast for 16 hours First meal at 11pm: ~400 calories Next meal at 2am: ~500 calories Next meal at 4am: ~300 calories Go to sleep

Or... something? The reason I ask is because I read a blog post that a guy did about IF and he basically did it the latter way, which to me seems totally counter-intuitive because I thought the point was about restricting calories. HMMMM?

Any help appreciated :p

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Perfect! That's what I needed to know. Fat loss is desirable but not my main goal. Thanks for the answer!

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:29 AM

Is weight gain an issue for you? That is, are you seeking to lose weight via IF, as in a "cutting" or "leaning out"? diet? Conversely, are you interested in "bulking up" (getting muscular)? If yes to the former, "eating to hunger" will probably not get you there. If yes to the latter, that approach is the right direction to take — but you'll probably want to be mindful of macronutrient choices. Not that one had to be fastidious, but a certain protein range is optimal. Depends on individual goals and stats. Good luck.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Thanks for the links guys, but those two pages seemed to be in contradiction; responses in the paleohacks thread indicated that a day's worth of meals/calories should be consumed after the fasting period, whereas the other link suggested fasting completely for an entire day. With all due respect, I'm a little more confused now than I was when I posted!

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Wow.. I feel a little silly. I didn't consider sleeping as part of the fasting period. It definitely it starting to come together now (:

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 30, 2011
at 12:55 AM

This may help too: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting/appendix-a

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 30, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Maybe this will give some help. http://paleohacks.com/questions/61456/calorie-protein-requirements-and-intermittent-fasting#axzz1f8gbKQD6

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3 Answers

best answer

1
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 30, 2011
at 07:19 AM

To actually answer your questions: yes, you're supposed to eat a regular amount of calories during the eating window. IF is not only for cutting and fat loss, but since most people are fat that's what it's mostly used for. So if you want to cut, you should cut calories as well.

You can eat more than one meal, it's up to you. Most seem to like a big first meal, and one or two other meals - that's what I do.

A typical fast is 16 hours per day, say, from 8pm to noon the next day. Then your eating window is from noon to 8pm.

Good FAQ here; it's for Leangains but answers most questions about IF.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Perfect! That's what I needed to know. Fat loss is desirable but not my main goal. Thanks for the answer!

3
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on November 30, 2011
at 12:48 AM

16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating is the usual thing I see. It sounds like you're making it more complicated than it has to be:

0700: Wake up

1200: Workout if it's a workout day

1300: Eat first meal. Eat until you're full.

1300-2100: Eat if you feel hungry until you feel full.

2100: Stop eating.

If you're trying to hit specific macronutrient ratios or calorie targets, then you of course would track that sort of thing. But the basics of IF are just "fast then eat to hunger then fast again."

If you're not hungry after your first meal again, well, then don't eat until your next eating period. Your body will train itself to be hungry appropriately eventually and you'll be set.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:29 AM

Is weight gain an issue for you? That is, are you seeking to lose weight via IF, as in a "cutting" or "leaning out"? diet? Conversely, are you interested in "bulking up" (getting muscular)? If yes to the former, "eating to hunger" will probably not get you there. If yes to the latter, that approach is the right direction to take — but you'll probably want to be mindful of macronutrient choices. Not that one had to be fastidious, but a certain protein range is optimal. Depends on individual goals and stats. Good luck.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Wow.. I feel a little silly. I didn't consider sleeping as part of the fasting period. It definitely it starting to come together now (:

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I like LARGE meals. 300-500 calories is a snack to me and leaves me more frustrated than anything else. So, I have one nice meal (think large) of fat, protein and carbs (usually non-starchy plants and fruit). I don't count calories but I dish out a nice portion of each food type and I won't hesitate to stop eating if I don't want any more. If I still feel a little hungry, I wait an hour to see if I really need more.

One meal's it for me. If you like smaller meals, you can have them as close/far apart as your personal eating window allows.

And yes, sleep is an important part of the fasting--I'm convinced that's when I burn my body fat because I don't wake up hungry since I'm in fat-burning mode.

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