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Types of Intermittent Fasting

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 16, 2010 at 7:36 AM

At what level do you engage in Intermittent Fasting? Complete avoidance of consumption, or do you allow yourself to drink non-caloric liquids (ie. coffee/water/tea). Anyone take vitamins during a fast? Was just trying to get a baseline for how people defined their intermittent fast, and what practices were seen as generally acceptable. Personally, I just go with the flow and don't worry about it too much, but someone may benefit from a series of strict fasting sessions during beginning Paleo (to cut weight). Thanks!

6500192c72230f31629a43e3d9dcb696

(5)

on March 15, 2010
at 11:31 AM

David- How do you feel about decaf drinks though? I drink decaf coffee/ tea during a fast and find it much easier as a result. Does this undermine the effects you describe?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 16, 2010
at 10:39 AM

Hi Methuselah (longtime fan of your blog!). My reasoning is that caffeine forces stored energy into the bloodstream and so artifically undermines precisely the point of the fast. More precisely, we want the fasted body to be forced to increase lypolysis, reduce catabolism of muscle protein,increase insulin sensitivity and evade the metabolic harms we get post-prandially/from high blood sugar. Caffeine removes the first 2, creates temporary insulin resistance and undermines the latter by artificially releasing stored energy into the blood stream.

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3 Answers

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2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 16, 2010
at 08:05 AM

I normally intermittently fast less than 24 hours, so I feel comfortably getting my day's nutrients in the short block when I am eating and so don't feel compelled to take vitamins. I wouldn't have thought they'd do any harm, but you'd absorb them less efficiently on an empty stomach anyway.

I certainly drink water during a fast, but nothing caffeinated. Drinking caffeine would certainly make the fast easier, but I figure that releasing stress hormones and forcing stored energy into the bloodstream probably reduces the benefits of the fast. I might sometimes drink herbal rooibos tea, which seems safe enough.

I think one of the main reasons for undertaking a strict fast at the beginning is to lower triglycerides and reset hunger, so you get used to eating when your body actually needs it, rather than because of habit etc. There are doubtless other physiological benefits. As I recall, didn't Atkins used to start induction with a fast? Emptying the liver of glycogen would probably be a good place to start if you were aiming for weight loss. If you're doing relatively LC-paleo (i.e. will be in ketosis) then it might be more comfortable to begin keto-adaption with a quick fast than with a slow reduction.

2
3b02763fb15458f8ea006ddbec018152

on February 16, 2010
at 10:25 AM

When I drink coffee during fasts it feels like cheating because it makes it much easier. I share David's view that doing this probably diminishes the benefits, although I have no concrete rationale beyond what David says. Fundamentally, fasting is for me about denial, so drinking coffee to mitigate the effects of the deprivation takes away the sense of achievement and the fun of breaking the fast.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 16, 2010
at 10:39 AM

Hi Methuselah (longtime fan of your blog!). My reasoning is that caffeine forces stored energy into the bloodstream and so artifically undermines precisely the point of the fast. More precisely, we want the fasted body to be forced to increase lypolysis, reduce catabolism of muscle protein,increase insulin sensitivity and evade the metabolic harms we get post-prandially/from high blood sugar. Caffeine removes the first 2, creates temporary insulin resistance and undermines the latter by artificially releasing stored energy into the blood stream.

6500192c72230f31629a43e3d9dcb696

(5)

on March 15, 2010
at 11:31 AM

David- How do you feel about decaf drinks though? I drink decaf coffee/ tea during a fast and find it much easier as a result. Does this undermine the effects you describe?

0
118c80acf27cc770098c489e98de17a1

(118)

on February 16, 2010
at 08:07 AM

I drink coffee during the fast, and it doesn't seem to have any adverse effects.

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