4

votes

Does anyone feel IF doesn't work for them?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I'm a 21-year-old woman, tried IF, and ended up eating just as many calories as I normally would at the end of the day. I actually feel like I end up stuffing myself, like my body is trying to make up for the calories I didn't eat during the day. And even if I try to have a smaller meal at dinner (trying not to make up for all the calories) I end up getting hungry later at night. It doesn't seem to work for me....Thoughts? Similar experiences?

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 17, 2012
at 04:13 PM

I wish I had checked Paleohacks earlier. Maria we can talk about semantics all we want. You obviously know what I meant, and yes women and men were not made the same or equally or equivalent, or whatever synonym you want to use. It does not matter. What matters is physiologically women can't do what men can do. That's a scientific fact. Saying that, like MathGirl stated, does not mean women are any less valuable then men. We're talking evolution and biology here, not civil rights or intellect.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 16, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Wow, nthmost, what the hell are you talking about? How could my choice of name possibly affect anything? Or were you trying to insult me? Either way, FAIL.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 15, 2012
at 08:46 PM

I guess I can't help but over-do it. Some people binge on food, maybe I binge on fasting? :) Like I said, I don't do it intentionally or with a goal in mind - I just get distracted and don't eat. I'm not looking to start IF/scheduled feeding windows. It seems like a great tool for some, but I don't think it is right for me and my goals.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2012
at 05:59 PM

I'm pretty much fat adapted from diet having been low carb for quite a while.

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on September 15, 2012
at 02:55 PM

When it comes to women and IF, I think it's important to remember that tolerable and optimal are two different things. This is all speculation on my part, but as women, it seems to me, that perhaps one of our mechanisms of dealing with famine is non-optimal fertility and hormone function, which would make sense since famines are generally not great times for having healthy babies. It doesn't mean we should be living this way now.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:17 AM

It takes some time to adapt. Once you notice that you have more energy and no longer are interested in food, you're probably burning fat stores, and so are adapted away from carb burning. If you notice any detrimental effects: racing heart, anxiety, dizziness, it's time to eat.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:16 AM

Going far beyond 16 hours will start to get catabolic, but not on fat tissue as much as muscle - including heart tissue! You can do IFs for longer if you want to, but don't do them regularly - i.e. maybe limit the long IFs to just once per week/month.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:14 AM

Right, it's been found that calorie restriction (CR) works for mice, but not higher primates. While we're not monkeys, it's likely that long term CR is detrimental to us as well as to them. So IF doesn't mean eating less/day, it means same calories per day, but shifted to specific meal times, with times of no food consumption so as to invoke autophagy.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:13 AM

Right, it's been found that calorie restriction (CR) works for mice, but not higher primates. While we're not monkeys, it's likely that CR is detrimental to us as well as to them. So IF doesn't mean eating less/day, it means same calories per day, just shifted to specific meal times.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:11 AM

Well, yeah, feeling energetic (as you put it, a little manic), and feeling good for a few hours and ignoring food is what ketosis does. It's working as advertised. If you over do it, you'll get the negative side effects - the insomnia (and if you've noticed it rapid heart rate/anxiousness), lack of fat loss, all mean you've done it for too long and you should eat something - or try for smaller IF windows, or either a protein sparing modified fast, or one where you consume some fats.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:07 AM

While there are differences, I'm not so sure that after millions of years of evolution that both sexes don't have mechanisms for dealing with starvation, and periods of light famine, especially in the winter. IF women were not capable of surviving fasting, we, as a species would not have survived. So I don't buy the while women shouldn't do IF, perhaps they're going to react slightly differently, but we're still the same species.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 15, 2012
at 06:02 AM

If nothing else, a bit of extra space between meals (provided it isn't enough to cause a big cortisol spike) will help with insulin sensitivity. Although if you are running a lot, I'm guessing you're just fine on that front.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on September 14, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Also, it's my understanding that you're supposed to eat the same number of calories, just in a compressed feeding window. I don't do IF myself, so I could be wrong, but I do remember reading that somewhere.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on September 14, 2012
at 11:53 PM

http://www.paleoforwomen.com/shattering-the-myth-of-fasting-for-women-a-review-of-female-specific-responses-to-fasting-in-the-literature/

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on September 14, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Why can't we all just get along? Ohmmm

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 14, 2012
at 07:52 PM

What on earth is wrong with calling yourself [something]Girl? Is she not a human being who can refer to herself as she likes?

E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on September 14, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Well, MathGirl72, I was going to argue that Maria was disputing Rob's turn of phrase and that it's an issue of enculturated semantics, and that it's not crazy at all. Then I despaired at getting through to someone who names herself [something]Girl. I just hope Maria sees the irony.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on September 14, 2012
at 04:26 PM

i'll second the no fruit, helps tremendously

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 14, 2012
at 04:00 PM

Well, Maria, you definitely are one of the crazies. Rob did not say you were less valuable than a man.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:56 PM

"not made equally" =/= "not made the same." Feminists do hate to hear that men and women were not made equally, but we (mostly; crazies excepted) don't have an issue hearing that we weren't made exactly the same, because that's obviously a fact. There's no reason why "different" has to mean "unequal." I'm not less valuable than a man because my body doesn't adapt well to IF; that's not a legitimate basis for a value judgement.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:20 PM

Based on your string of questions posted, it sounds like you have a bad relationship with food and some of the problems you are experiencing are psychological. Are you honestly hungry later or is it emotional?

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:15 PM

There were significant problems with the study that Stefani used. So, you are basing it on hearsay. The truth is there are no effective studies to date. So know one actually knows. Stupid male based science.

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16 Answers

3
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:33 PM

There are a ton of IF topics on here already. My best advice before considering IF is to define the WHY you are doing it. Fat loss? Health benefits? Adaptation? Another reason? From just discussions with others, forum posts and general experience, the biggest reason for problems on IF is people are just doing it to do it, without a goal in mind. This makes it impossible to determine whether "it works." Generally, it takes someone who is very in-tune with their body and typical responses to many things to really be able to make determinations with IF. That's why most people will recommend you don't jump right into it.

2
A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

IF did not work well for me. I wasn't hungry most of the time and despite my calorie intake decreasing I gained almost 10 lbs in 6 weeks. It just didn't work well for me. I know there are others who rave about it but sadly I just ended up with some extra junk in my trunk.
There are a couple of threads on here adressing fasting and women you might want to look into those.

2
90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

on September 15, 2012
at 05:31 AM

I'm not sure how long you've been paleo, but I'm wondering if you're rushing it. It can take a while to become fat-adapted. I had been paleo for nearly four months before my body began to not want food for long periods of time. If fasting isn't working out for you, I say take some time off from trying. I never tried to fast (and still don't). I just went to bed one night and realized I hadn't eaten dinner...and never even missed it! Even now, I'll go weeks between fasts. Your body will initiate fasting when it is ready for it. Just be sure you're listening when your body speaks to you.

Also, as time wears on I'm realizing a lot of my eating every day is psychological. I'll snack because I'm bored at work, or sit down to lunch because I always have around that time. I've found in recent days that when I choose not to snack, or delay my lunch by a couple of hours I'm just fine. All I have to do is get through a few minutes of hunger before my brain's reward center stops pestering me to eat for the wrong reasons.

Rather than thinking of not snacking or IFing as depriving yourself of happy, happy food, think of it as giving your body a chance to burn stored body fat. Every time you wait until you are genuinely hungry to eat a meal, your body gets to practice the transition from burning food calories to burning body fat. Every time you let your body practice, it gets better at the transition. Soon you'll barely notice it.

One final note: your user name (Born to Run) suggests you are an endurance athlete. If this is the case, you probably burn a fairly high number of calories in a day. Perhaps fasting is difficult because you are not eating enough on a regular basis?

2
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 14, 2012
at 09:36 PM

You are supposed to eat your full daily allotment of calories in your eating window. If you are looking to do this for calorie reduction, you might try doing it only once a week and going for a 23 hour fast rather than try to do it every day. Every day can be crazy-making for some people. What also works is to have a shorter fast so you are eating two large meals rather than one huge one.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:14 AM

Right, it's been found that calorie restriction (CR) works for mice, but not higher primates. While we're not monkeys, it's likely that long term CR is detrimental to us as well as to them. So IF doesn't mean eating less/day, it means same calories per day, but shifted to specific meal times, with times of no food consumption so as to invoke autophagy.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:13 AM

Right, it's been found that calorie restriction (CR) works for mice, but not higher primates. While we're not monkeys, it's likely that CR is detrimental to us as well as to them. So IF doesn't mean eating less/day, it means same calories per day, just shifted to specific meal times.

2
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:18 PM

I'm doing a 14/10 for no other reason than the cortisol awakening- insulin thing.

http://www.leangains.com/2012/06/why-does-breakfast-make-me-hungry.html

It just happens with my normal daily schedule that I have a 14 hour fasting window.

I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever. Not gaining, not losing. Pity on the last one.

2
61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:34 PM

I can't cite the sources right now, but there is rising trend in the belief that IF simply is not a good idea for women because of their complex hormonal underpinnings.

I'm sure feminists hate to hear this, but men and women were not made equally. What works for one gender might not work for the other and vice versa.

E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on September 14, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Well, MathGirl72, I was going to argue that Maria was disputing Rob's turn of phrase and that it's an issue of enculturated semantics, and that it's not crazy at all. Then I despaired at getting through to someone who names herself [something]Girl. I just hope Maria sees the irony.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:56 PM

"not made equally" =/= "not made the same." Feminists do hate to hear that men and women were not made equally, but we (mostly; crazies excepted) don't have an issue hearing that we weren't made exactly the same, because that's obviously a fact. There's no reason why "different" has to mean "unequal." I'm not less valuable than a man because my body doesn't adapt well to IF; that's not a legitimate basis for a value judgement.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on September 14, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Why can't we all just get along? Ohmmm

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:15 PM

There were significant problems with the study that Stefani used. So, you are basing it on hearsay. The truth is there are no effective studies to date. So know one actually knows. Stupid male based science.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 14, 2012
at 07:52 PM

What on earth is wrong with calling yourself [something]Girl? Is she not a human being who can refer to herself as she likes?

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on September 15, 2012
at 02:55 PM

When it comes to women and IF, I think it's important to remember that tolerable and optimal are two different things. This is all speculation on my part, but as women, it seems to me, that perhaps one of our mechanisms of dealing with famine is non-optimal fertility and hormone function, which would make sense since famines are generally not great times for having healthy babies. It doesn't mean we should be living this way now.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 14, 2012
at 04:00 PM

Well, Maria, you definitely are one of the crazies. Rob did not say you were less valuable than a man.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:07 AM

While there are differences, I'm not so sure that after millions of years of evolution that both sexes don't have mechanisms for dealing with starvation, and periods of light famine, especially in the winter. IF women were not capable of surviving fasting, we, as a species would not have survived. So I don't buy the while women shouldn't do IF, perhaps they're going to react slightly differently, but we're still the same species.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 17, 2012
at 04:13 PM

I wish I had checked Paleohacks earlier. Maria we can talk about semantics all we want. You obviously know what I meant, and yes women and men were not made the same or equally or equivalent, or whatever synonym you want to use. It does not matter. What matters is physiologically women can't do what men can do. That's a scientific fact. Saying that, like MathGirl stated, does not mean women are any less valuable then men. We're talking evolution and biology here, not civil rights or intellect.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 16, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Wow, nthmost, what the hell are you talking about? How could my choice of name possibly affect anything? Or were you trying to insult me? Either way, FAIL.

2
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:26 PM

IF doesn't work for me for all the reasons you articulated. I also think it's unwise for anyone with a history of eating disordered behaviour, since it too closely risks the restriction/binge pendulum of an eating disorder.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2012
at 05:37 AM

Not sure I am having huge benefits from it but it isn't hurting anything for me. It's possible my nutrient partitioning is better with more of the food going to muscle. It certainly isn't making me gain and it is helping me learn to relax and let the hunger "slide away". So generally positive but not a convert yet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2012
at 05:59 PM

I'm pretty much fat adapted from diet having been low carb for quite a while.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:17 AM

It takes some time to adapt. Once you notice that you have more energy and no longer are interested in food, you're probably burning fat stores, and so are adapted away from carb burning. If you notice any detrimental effects: racing heart, anxiety, dizziness, it's time to eat.

1
6da8b7adece8a89453906b7f1a7625ab

on September 15, 2012
at 04:24 AM

IF works best if you first accept the concept that human beings did NOT eat three square meals a day in their natural state, that you are NOT starving while not eating, and that feeling hunger, true hunger pangs/pains is a GOOD thing, and not a sign of distress.

Once you've accepted all of these natural processes you will breeze through IF periods. The longer the IF, the better you will feel...IF...and only IF...you accept the concept.

1
E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on September 14, 2012
at 07:47 PM

Hunger hormones are partially controlled by circadian rhythm, and you can change what times you are hungry based on what times you eat regularly.

Most people do much better with IF when they realize that it will take a few days for the body to stop producing hunger signals during the times that they want to be fasting.

I wonder if, for women, the daily hunger rhythm is much harder to shift, especially at night.

I have only been able to do a 16/8 pattern when I delay the FIRST meal of the day as long as possible but leave myself unrestricted in the evening. In effect what I do is calculate what time I will go to bed (say 11pm) and then schedule my first meal of the day to occur 8 hours before then (at 3pm).

This frees me from the psychological games involved in portioning out what I will eat during the 8-hour period and makes me much more likely to follow my natural hunger/satiety signals rather than rationalize myself into states of overeating (which I am VERY prone to).

Also, as the evening draws on, you have less energy for making will-power / self-discipline types of decisions. The brain really does "run out" of energy as you make decisions and exert self-discipline throughout the day. (Check out Dr. McGonigal's book on Willpower.)

You are far more "willpowerful" in the morning and early afternoon. Use this to your advantage when deciding how to sculpt your diet.

1
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 14, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Regarding feeding windows - it definitely doesn't work for me (though weight loss isn't really a goal of mine). I do it pretty often when I'm not at work, partly on accident. It sends me a little manic, which feels good for a few hours and is probably why I get zoned out and distracted from eating. But it kills my appetite completely, makes me nauseous, gives me insomnia, and sends me to Crazy-town. And there is no weight loss.

I haven't actually tried IF, but I don't think I would do well on it since the feeding window thing doesn't work.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 15, 2012
at 08:46 PM

I guess I can't help but over-do it. Some people binge on food, maybe I binge on fasting? :) Like I said, I don't do it intentionally or with a goal in mind - I just get distracted and don't eat. I'm not looking to start IF/scheduled feeding windows. It seems like a great tool for some, but I don't think it is right for me and my goals.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:11 AM

Well, yeah, feeling energetic (as you put it, a little manic), and feeling good for a few hours and ignoring food is what ketosis does. It's working as advertised. If you over do it, you'll get the negative side effects - the insomnia (and if you've noticed it rapid heart rate/anxiousness), lack of fat loss, all mean you've done it for too long and you should eat something - or try for smaller IF windows, or either a protein sparing modified fast, or one where you consume some fats.

1
2336245491a87ee15d4fb8f8f8283909

(1173)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:20 PM

My wife and I do IF in cycles.

The first time we tried it, it didn't work out as well. My wife was hungry a lot....So we went to a low carb, almost ketogenic diet, for several months and then tried again. It gets easier but you may need to make adjustments. There are always ways to adjust for almost any problem.

This time We are doing an 18-19 hour fast, followed by a 5-6 hour eating window with few, if any, problems with hunger. Here are some adjustments we made.

  1. No sugary foods (including most fruit and all sweeteners or anything with added sugar)....fructose consumption seems to cause problems with hunger, especially for my wife.

  2. More starches...GF grains and potatos.. with added fat (butter or ghee) they are very satisfying. Very low carb eating just isn't as satisfying with IF.

  3. Lots of veggies...Go ahead and use vegetables to fill yourself up.

  4. Fatty, not lean, meats or eggs fried in ghee, raw cheese, nuts, anything that is satisfying.

  5. We don't worry about eating too much...neither of us seem to be able to put on bodyfat with a 18/6 eating pattern.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on September 14, 2012
at 04:26 PM

i'll second the no fruit, helps tremendously

1
De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:26 PM

I fasted intermittently (16/8) for several months earlier this year. I leaned out a little, but I really only noticed it when I went closer to 24 hours. Now I find that six days low-carb with a slight calorie deficit is providing the same effect. My body comp is good, mental focus is great and I eat when I feel like it.

I do one day higher carb, higher calorie to regulate cortisol and maintain proper thyroid function.

Now I just look at IF as an option when there is no better option.

0
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on September 15, 2012
at 03:24 AM

IF is not a calorie cutting strategy. It may be 'working' for you as intended. Just feeling strange because of the schedule weirdness. I have done a bit of IF, 17-18 hour fasting, I don't know if it made much difference because I haven't tried doing it for a long enough stretch.

I do find that the urge to stuff myself went away pretty soon.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:16 AM

Going far beyond 16 hours will start to get catabolic, but not on fat tissue as much as muscle - including heart tissue! You can do IFs for longer if you want to, but don't do them regularly - i.e. maybe limit the long IFs to just once per week/month.

0
8d83a9c9f7c9e1c9fd94bb4c26c6b8c2

on September 14, 2012
at 09:23 PM

You may want to eat additional meals on the end of a fasting period so you don't feel like you have to cram it all into one meal. For example, start a 24-hour fast in the early evening of day 1. Fast until early evening of day 2. Eat 2 meals that evening instead of 1 large one.

0
74d3afd30ebc0d604d56c6de897bb9a8

(100)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:02 PM

i couldn't do the 16 hr/8 hr thing. i'm better with 10 hrs eating window. also "fast" doesn't mean no food - perfect health diet says <600 calories could still be considered fasting... maybe that's your problem? because when i tried it, i was the same. so you're doing 60 miles/week (other post) and intermittent fasting? i would guess your cortisol is high...and that's why you get more hungry, not less.

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