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Intermittent Fasting Question

Answered on January 21, 2014
Created January 20, 2014 at 9:29 PM

I've been eating Paleo (plus dairy.. Primal?) for 2 1/2 weeks now and already have lost 10 pounds. Started at 228 lbs and am now 218. Initial goal is 180. Aside from my bout of "low-carb" flu for a couple of days, I'm doing quite fine.. No cheating, no cravings, no snacking, not really ever hungry. I can tell when I need to eat.. I feel slightly weaker, light-headed, but not the classic empty-feeling-in-pit-of-stomach feeling that causes normal dieters to cheat. According to my Ketostix, I'm somewhere in between 'Small' and 'Moderate'.

I've hit the dreaded weight-loss plateau and am hovering around the same weight, so I started thinking about intermittent fasting and have been skipping breakfast and lunch for the last couple of days.

When I feel that I could benefit from some food, and it's not quite time to eat, I've been having a small (8 oz) cup of coffee with half-and-half (I know.. both of these aren't strictly paleo) .. I'm talking about two cups a day, max, during my fasting period. After this, I feel completely satisfied and can last several more hours.

My question: Am I helping myself here, by doing this in place of eating? Or am I defeating the purpose of fasting by the small amount of fat that keeps me satisfied? Is this 'snacking' ??

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 21, 2014
at 03:22 AM

+1 from me as well raydawg. nice answer. i get the feeling you have just summarised a lot of what you have learnt re diet in one compact answer. cheers

Medium avatar

on January 20, 2014
at 10:26 PM

@raydawg you are the best, great info i needed to hear also, thanx for that

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3 Answers

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on January 21, 2014
at 07:20 AM

My understanding is that there are different approaches to IF. The one that made most sense to me was not skipping any meals, just eating all 3 meals a day but compressed into a narrower window of time, say a 6 hour window. Thereby you get all the nutrition you need, but habituate the body to longer fasting periods where fat may be burned for energy. In general though, also being 2.5 weeks into this myself, I recognise the trap of starting to tinker too soon as I've been doing it myself. I think adapting what you are doing to suit your body is wise, just try to be measured about it and not punish your body or else you will not be able to exercise as effectively.

0
8fc1d7a8dc2318f960450a0de632bfe6

on January 21, 2014
at 02:30 AM

I would cut out dairy first, or at least I would stick to only grass fed organic whole milk, greek yogurt and butter. Everything else is crap and will stall your weight loss.

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96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 20, 2014
at 10:08 PM

The 10lbs you've lost is water weight, 2.5 weeks is not a long time on the paleo diet - that's not a plateau you've hit, take your time and establish good clean habbits for a while before you jump into IF. If you must, go for it, but be careful that you do get some carbs, at minimum 50g/day, but 100g is preferred - either that, or do a carb refeed day after you work out.

Ketostix are nearly worthless - if you're getting results through them, it means you're not using the ketones but rather peeing them out. Once you start to burn ketones, you won't have the low carb flu, no acetone breath, and the ketostix will say you're not making much. If you really must know, get a blood ketone meter, but beware it's a lot more expensive. You can continue to use ketostix for a while, but keep in mind, as soon as you're fat adapted and are using ketones, you won't pee them out anymore.

Going low carb and doing IF is a sure way to failure - adrenal fatigue and plateaus. Either do low carb or do IF, but not both. When you go too low and deplete glycogen stores from the liver, your body will need to make glycogen via gluconeogenesis. If you're not consuming enough protein to cover this (and we don't store protein except in muscle tissue), then cortisol will be signaled, and muscle tissue will be catabolized to create glycogen for your brain.

So, if you want to stay on the low carb side, get more than enough protein each day, and don't go beyond 15-16 hours total of IF. Either way you'll need some carbs, whether you make them yourself via gluconeogenesis, or by consuming them. The problem is the cortisol signalling. It can happen at night and prevent sleep or wake you in the middle of the night, or if done for a long time, cause adrenal issues.

Being woken up or not getting enough sleep will cause insulin resistance, which will cause you to gain fat. There is another type of insulin resistance that happens when you go low carb - this is to prevent the muscles from consuming the small amounts of glucose intended for the brain. But, losing sleep will cause the other kind - not the protective kind, but the kind that you read about in studies saying if you sleep less than 5 hours each nigh night, or go one night without, you become as insulin resistant as a type 2 diabetic.

Consuming fat while doing IF or VLC is the same as not eating anything in terms of insulin response, or autophagy... it's not much different than burning fat from your own fat stores.

Coffee does indeed turn off our hunger - one of the wonderful things it does. When consumed without food/sugar, (i.e. insulin not being triggered) it helps adipocites let go of fat stores, something that you do want. But avoid it after say 2pm, it's half-life is about 10 hours, so it will interfere with sleep. 2 cups in the morning is perfectly fine, eat lunch at 12, and have your dinner before 8pm with no snacks, and you'll do fine on IF. But again, take your time, be sure you dial in your diet right, get plenty of meat, good fats, eggs, greens and veggies - and at least 2 portions of organ meats once a week (i.e. liver). Once that's all squirreled away, you can introduce IF.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 21, 2014
at 03:22 AM

+1 from me as well raydawg. nice answer. i get the feeling you have just summarised a lot of what you have learnt re diet in one compact answer. cheers

Medium avatar

on January 20, 2014
at 10:26 PM

@raydawg you are the best, great info i needed to hear also, thanx for that

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