14

votes

Daily, scheduled fasting vs. random fasting, benefit?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM

I've been adhering to a Leangains style IF protocol for about 6 months now, and following it regularly for the last 4 out of those 6 (Hence RFing - regularly fasting). It's really blasted away most of the bodyfat I've always had as a skinny-fat dude. I've been in the process of slowly modifying my body comp from skinny and weak, to lean and muscular, and I've made massive progress. Paleo eating has certainly revealed to me that I DON'T have to be a hardgainer, and that with the right attitude, plans and nutrition I can add muscle while burning bodyfat.

With all that said, I know the purported benefit, and replication of ancestral circumstances such as famine, unsuccessful hunts etc., is the ultimate goal of IFing. It has certaqinly worked for me, however, I've been wondering whether or not RFing negates any of those benefits, and if they are, indeed, based on the randomness of the IF protocol?

Anyone care to chime in? Anyone also RFing like me? Have you noticed a plateau/stall of loss of bodyfat? How do you combat this effect?

EDIT: I guess there is some misunderstanding of my question. Let me clarify: I'm wondering if there's a loss of benefit from regular (i.e. scheduled) fasting versus intermittent/random fasting.

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 14, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Yeah, I'm in the same situation. Coffee fasts. I need a coffee first thing in the morning, and then I have to get out of the house to keep from breaking my fasts. Coffee places with wi-fi are ideal for long stays and getting work done, meaning I pound back even more coffees. I get the lethargy, the need for sleep (12 hrs if I don't set an alarm), and feeling shitty in the mornings.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 13, 2011
at 10:30 PM

yeah I go full caf in the morn; and then go half caf in the afternoon and another late afternoon...maybe a decaf in the eve. I think that the fast might be kind of pounding my adrenal glands, I'm getting leaner but there are other factors that may point to adrenal fatigue (dark circles under eyes, feeling a little lethargic afterwards, typical cortisol stuff).

67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on November 13, 2011
at 04:32 PM

Decaf or half-caf?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 13, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Again with the anonymous downvoting...really, really lame. At least have the guts to show yourself, and explain why.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 13, 2011
at 03:47 PM

People around here really struggle with the meaning of the word intermittent. I'm not sure why that is as the definition seems very clear to me. Something that occurs at intervals (starts then stops) is intermittent. It does not matter if the intervals are regular or irregular. They only need occur. The question the OP asked is still valid but it's worded incorrectly so it's confusing. It should be "is there a benefit to regularly scheduled IF vs. irregularly scheduled or more randomly occurring IF."

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 13, 2011
at 10:45 AM

I think your right in your edit, I do see a benefit in refeed days but what your doing would still be considered intermittent by many. It's an argument based on semantics as stated.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 13, 2011
at 10:39 AM

My findings also, I don't always adhere strictly on weekends but when I falter I'm definitely more hungry.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 13, 2011
at 10:37 AM

The definition you stated says "Regular or irregular; periodic" that contradicts your statement of "an INTERMITTENT fast happens once or twice a week or when schedules allow."

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:32 AM

What you are doing, since it's every day, would be Regular Fasting, rather than Intermittent Fasting...hence RF.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:45 AM

Great question. I am considering RF instead of IF as well..

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Stefan brought up a good point elsewhere, that too much fasting, from an evolutionary standpoint might signify a dangerous, or depleted environment, thus raising cortisol and interfering with fat-loss.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 26, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I eat during the same narrow window every day and fast 18 hours or so every day, so I guess you could say I RF. Regardless of how we label it, giving my body plenty of GI rest time with no appetite limits during the eating window somehow shifts me into normal metabolism and a downward weight curve (have lost about 25, 40 or 50 more to go.)

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Yes I understand that a CONTINUOUS fast would a) be all day, everyday, and b) kill you. A REGULAR fast happens every day at a scheduled time. An INTERMITTENT fast happens once or twice a week or when schedules allow. I am at peace.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Look. If you fasted *continuously* for 40 days (no food at all)-- during those 40 days you would NOT be intermittently fasting. But if you fast every day for 18 hours/day during those 40 days & start your fast at the same time of day, then you are intermittently fasting at regular intervals. Peace out.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Whatever. It's *still* intermittent.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:54 PM

This is what I take continuous to mean: I tend to view each day as unit, therefore if I'm fasting on a set schedule every day, it's regular, and not intermittent. There are no intervals of non-fasting between any days. Therefore it is NOT intermittent, NOT random...it is regular.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:53 PM

This is what I take continuous to mean: I tend to view each day as unit, therefore if I'm fasting on a set schedule every day, it's ragular, and not intermittent. There are no intervals of non-fasting between any days. Therefore it is NOT intermittent, NOT random...it is regular.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:53 PM

This is what I take continuous to mean: I tend to view each day as unit, therefore if I'm fasting on a set schedule every day, it's ragular, and not intermittent. There are no intervals of non-fasting between any days. Therefore it is NOT intermittent, NOT random...it is regular.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:45 PM

It's about it being in intervals *rather* than continuous.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:45 PM

I guess there is some misunderstanding of my question. Let me clarify: I'm wondering if there's a loss of benefit from regular (i.e. scheduled) fasting versus intermittent/random fasting.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:43 PM

Thanks for the downvote anonymous.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:43 PM

"at regular OR IRREGULAR intervals..." How does that not mean random??

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Intermittent does NOT mean random. Sorry to be picky, but I am getting a bit tired of seeing this word used incorrectly.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:09 PM

to me, "intermittent" is more indicative of randomness or irregularity.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Technically, yes you are correct, although I find this: "intermittent (ˌɪntəˈmɪtənt) —adj occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals; periodic"

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6 Answers

4
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 05:47 PM

First of all, Intermittent means: "coming and going at intervals : not continuous" :-)

So whether you IF on a regular schedule or a random schedule is up to you. I was doing it regularly at first & now I do it more randomly. Both have worked for fat loss for me, though I enjoy the random IF more, since it feels more natural and works with my changing schedule.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:45 PM

It's about it being in intervals *rather* than continuous.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:53 PM

This is what I take continuous to mean: I tend to view each day as unit, therefore if I'm fasting on a set schedule every day, it's ragular, and not intermittent. There are no intervals of non-fasting between any days. Therefore it is NOT intermittent, NOT random...it is regular.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Technically, yes you are correct, although I find this: "intermittent (ˌɪntəˈmɪtənt) —adj occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals; periodic"

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:54 PM

This is what I take continuous to mean: I tend to view each day as unit, therefore if I'm fasting on a set schedule every day, it's regular, and not intermittent. There are no intervals of non-fasting between any days. Therefore it is NOT intermittent, NOT random...it is regular.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:43 PM

"at regular OR IRREGULAR intervals..." How does that not mean random??

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:53 PM

This is what I take continuous to mean: I tend to view each day as unit, therefore if I'm fasting on a set schedule every day, it's ragular, and not intermittent. There are no intervals of non-fasting between any days. Therefore it is NOT intermittent, NOT random...it is regular.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Whatever. It's *still* intermittent.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:09 PM

to me, "intermittent" is more indicative of randomness or irregularity.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Look. If you fasted *continuously* for 40 days (no food at all)-- during those 40 days you would NOT be intermittently fasting. But if you fast every day for 18 hours/day during those 40 days & start your fast at the same time of day, then you are intermittently fasting at regular intervals. Peace out.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 26, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Intermittent does NOT mean random. Sorry to be picky, but I am getting a bit tired of seeing this word used incorrectly.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 26, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Yes I understand that a CONTINUOUS fast would a) be all day, everyday, and b) kill you. A REGULAR fast happens every day at a scheduled time. An INTERMITTENT fast happens once or twice a week or when schedules allow. I am at peace.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 13, 2011
at 10:37 AM

The definition you stated says "Regular or irregular; periodic" that contradicts your statement of "an INTERMITTENT fast happens once or twice a week or when schedules allow."

2
61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on October 26, 2011
at 06:19 PM

I find it's easier to IF every day from 6pm to 11am. It fits well into my schedule, and it keeps me regular. If I try to change the schedule around, say eating at 7am and 7pm, I get hungry during the day. I have been doing this about 6 months and broke a stall, but now weight is very slowly coming down, although I have only 5-10lbs left to lose. I will keep doing this as long as it fits my schedule.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 13, 2011
at 10:39 AM

My findings also, I don't always adhere strictly on weekends but when I falter I'm definitely more hungry.

1
9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 13, 2011
at 12:53 PM

I can see that you're keen on the term RFing, but IFing on a regular basis is still IFing. Intermittent fasting means you juggle fasting with periods of not. You fast or don't intermittently. It explains the protocol pretty well, and the term "intermittent" is what seperates the practice from just "fasting," and specifies.

Regularly Fasting, however, isn't an optimal term to describe IFing on a regularly, continual and consistent basis. As an acronym it's a bit confusing. Also, your practice doesn't really need its own term to draw itself apart from the leangains protocol, which recommends a short fast errrday.

I think this is more a question of IFing versus Eat Stop Eat or spontaneous fasts.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 13, 2011
at 03:47 PM

People around here really struggle with the meaning of the word intermittent. I'm not sure why that is as the definition seems very clear to me. Something that occurs at intervals (starts then stops) is intermittent. It does not matter if the intervals are regular or irregular. They only need occur. The question the OP asked is still valid but it's worded incorrectly so it's confusing. It should be "is there a benefit to regularly scheduled IF vs. irregularly scheduled or more randomly occurring IF."

0
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 13, 2011
at 09:44 AM

I've been fasting for 24 hours every Thursday (my leg workout day) and end the fast by downing about 120 g of protein in the form of whey protein and wild caught salmon. Seems to be working; I'm gaining lean muscle and I'm maintaining bf %.

I'm a little concerned because on my fast day, it's basically a coffee fast, and I don't like consuming that much caffiene because I don't want raise my cortisol levels and strain my adrenal glands but I make sure I get at least 9 hours of sleep on my fast days.

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 14, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Yeah, I'm in the same situation. Coffee fasts. I need a coffee first thing in the morning, and then I have to get out of the house to keep from breaking my fasts. Coffee places with wi-fi are ideal for long stays and getting work done, meaning I pound back even more coffees. I get the lethargy, the need for sleep (12 hrs if I don't set an alarm), and feeling shitty in the mornings.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 13, 2011
at 10:30 PM

yeah I go full caf in the morn; and then go half caf in the afternoon and another late afternoon...maybe a decaf in the eve. I think that the fast might be kind of pounding my adrenal glands, I'm getting leaner but there are other factors that may point to adrenal fatigue (dark circles under eyes, feeling a little lethargic afterwards, typical cortisol stuff).

67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on November 13, 2011
at 04:32 PM

Decaf or half-caf?

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Not sure what you mean. I fast every day for about 16 hours, have a recovery meal then fast till 6. I do the Warrior Diet style IF.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:32 AM

What you are doing, since it's every day, would be Regular Fasting, rather than Intermittent Fasting...hence RF.

0
6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on October 26, 2011
at 06:32 PM

I fast everyday until dinner time (breakfast time?) which is usually around 9pm at night. I Lost a lot of body fat this way ( i know weight loss is from fat-loss because I've maintained or gained strength in my lifts). I leaned out a lot in my mid section.

I suspect it's a combination of reduced calorie consumption combined with hormonal effects. For me, it was definitely the former since I always tend to overeat. Now I feel as though I can't eat as much as I used to - stomach shrinkage?!?!? oh noz.

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