4

votes

IF/2 meals a day work for you?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 06, 2013 at 8:06 AM

I want to try out eating 2 meals per day. I am a female, aged 22, 5'4 and 170 lbs.

My main reasons for wanting to do this is because:

a) when i tried out the whole30 protocol (clean eating, no snacking, 3 meals a day) this was the best I have eaten in a long time and I felt like it really regulated my appetite.

b) I have diabetes (type one) so the less I eat, the less I have to worry about regulating my blood sugar levels.

c) I want to lost weight, but I don't want to diet.

d) seems like it would be way more convenient to worry about eating 2x as opposed to 3x or more a day.

I have been reading about IF and some sources say its not good for women, some say its good for everyone and some say not good at all. I figure that 2 substantial meals per day can't be that much of a difference on eating 3 meals a day for the system.

But my big question for people who have experimented with IF or are still eating 2 meals daily.... did it help you become less obsessed with food? regulate your appetite? help with significant weight loss? Does it work for you? Also what time do you have your 1st meal of the day? Do you exercise?

I'm thinking waking up 630ish to have a huge breakfast, then having a second substantial meal at around 4pm. I don't know if I should also have something post w/o though? I work out 3-4 times a week.. but my main goal right now is to have my diabetes under good control, my appetite regulated and weight loss, Im not aiming to build muscles/gain fitness... although I wont be unhappy if either of those occur :P

I suppose in the end the only way I am going to find out what works for me is experimenting, but I am still interested in how other people have done with IF.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on March 19, 2013
at 09:51 AM

To be honest, I am very bad at tracking. I used to be good, when I was trying to get into ketosis. Now I don't bother, I just eat fat with everything and I can tell when I am in ketosis. The ketostix are fluctuating in their response to me but my ketone breath is pretty constant! I don't know how many grams of fat I would eat but I would say my carbs are <30g a day and I try to keep my protein to ~80g which is ~ my weight (kg). The rest is fat. I fry my veggies in fat or pour olive oil over them. I eat fatty meat and eat avocados, olives with leaner cuts. Oh and LOTS of bacon. :)

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 12, 2013
at 07:38 PM

wow crazy, Im 5'4 and it said I can lose weight at 2100 cals a day... but im 170lbs so alot bigger than you.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 12, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Ah good to see some still have dairy, now I don't feel so bad hahaha yes Im the same with cheese so I limit as-well. Like you I think I will keep the cream at the moment, but I recently changed to ghee from butter and will never go back!! (well not any time soon :P)

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 12, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Thanks for that... How much fat do you eat per day? I seem to have been going from 150-200g a day for the past week and around 70g carbs per day. Perhaps I should drop my carbs a bit and see how I feel again?

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on March 09, 2013
at 12:41 PM

I personally eat dairy, but mostly just cream and butter. I eat very little cheese, since when I get going I can eat a block just like that. The more dairy I eat, the more I am a "mouth breather" at night, so I have to limit anyway (if I like to keep my teeth).

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on March 08, 2013
at 06:35 PM

You don't even have to totally fast during the 16 hours. You can eat coconut oil or very small snacks.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on March 08, 2013
at 03:27 PM

fat category and I started to feel much more satiated - I didn't know I could! I felt even better and then started weight training which compounded (pardon the pun :) ) the weightloss benefits. I am now ketogenic, feel much more in control of my disordered eating (ie it is no longer disordered) and feel stronger and generally healthier. Maybe I'll play around with my macros again if I hit a plateau in weight training but I don't want to at the minute. I'm happy and so is my body. Oh and now I've played around I can do much higher fat without dairy. I'm off dairy for lent and I'm surviving! :)

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on March 08, 2013
at 03:23 PM

I agree completely! I first trasitioned to paleo and felt great. I suffer from Raynauds and was always cold, I just thought it was me. After transitioning to paleo I was NEVER cold and my raynauds went away completely. Downside was I was putting on weight but I also wasn't eating high fat, I was probably 40/30/40 and had no idea how to get higher fat. That's when I went primal. I started reducing carbs as I didn't feel them necessary as I wasn't needing to replenish glycogen stores from any exercise etc. Being able to eat cream and butter really helped propel my ratios into the low carb high

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on March 08, 2013
at 11:41 AM

I smoked when I was in my early 20s so my appetite is a lot bigger now! (I quit over 3 years ago.) I'm also a small female (5'0) on a low-calorie/Zone regimen so I don't need many calories--even with working out. I looked up the calories to maintain my weight if I worked out TWICE a day and it's only 1800! So for me, the only way to lose weight is to cut out a meal and not add the calories to the other meals. That said, I think you need a "cheat day" every so often :)

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:19 AM

So far I have been feeling better, but 2 days is probably too early too tell. I most definitly watch my hinger signals. If I don't my body tends to let me know, by method of uncontrollable pigging out on paleo and sometime un-paleo food hehehe. Also im pretty sensitive to hunger- e.g I can't actally get to sleep even if slightly hungry.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:16 AM

Thanks, yeah I will try out 10/14 and see how that goes for me and all going well will reduce to 16/8 :)

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:15 AM

Thanks for you input. Ive been trying it out the past 2 days and have already realized that I feel like putting more effort into the 2 meals I do cook rather than always having to worry about that next meal + countless snacks as-well...

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:13 AM

Wow, I have def. had to increase my meals. If I did that + working out I know I would end up pigging out at some stage. Im 22 though.. my mum always told me her appetite settled down in her early 30's has this happened for you too? Or maybe my meals were just too small to begin with?

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:11 AM

Thanks for your advice! Hehe I'll have to work my way up to 16 hours I think... maybe my meals are not big enough... :P

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:09 AM

PS do you eat dairy? I have just seen alot of the comments here where people are saying they don't eat dairy...

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:08 AM

Thanks :) Yes I think I will start off small and increase the length of time once I master the 13 hours. Good to know it gets easier as you go. Its so crazy how so many people tell you, no you need to snack and eat 6 meals and blah blah blah... I most definitely like you feel alot better with big solid meals.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:05 AM

Thanks for this! I feel like you gave me some really good advice. I have experimented a-lot with carbs etc and right now I feel like my body runs better on 50-100g per day. I feel really crappy and can't sleep well, get cold etc when I eat very low carb. But I have actually had a few people suggest a high fat diet is very helpful for ending binge eating behavior (which i've had trouble with... much less so since i went paleo :D) and over the last few days I have added alot more fat to my diet (ditched the extra carbs, keeping it towards 50g not 100g) and have felt alot better :)

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10 Answers

1
4b7e828232c7d6a5aab2265814647530

(10)

on March 07, 2013
at 06:40 PM

I started years ago with two meals and now frequently only eat one meal and I have no energy problems or huger issues. Even on days that I exercise I have no problems. Maybe its just something you can train your self to do? It helps to stay busy so you don't bored eat. Don't know how that would effect diabetes though.

1
0f6f5440163056aeeffcc7ec0425a837

on March 07, 2013
at 05:59 AM

I am also female and recently started experimenting with IF, so I don't have any long term results to share. I'm not completely fasting, but having some miso soup with bone broth and a little kefir in the morning, along with tea with coconut milk. Then I eat a real lunch at around 12:30 and dinner around 7, and try to make sure I eat enough calories. I think women are especially prone to not eating enough when they IF. Studies they've done with women usually find they don't eat enough calories.

I'm not diabetic but I am prone to reactive hypoglycemia and occasionally get pretty high BG numbers if I'm not careful (not diabetic high, but higher than I'd like, like up to 175 when I ate too much tapioca-crust pizza).

So far, IFing has really helped my blood sugar! Even though I'm eating more carbs per meal, in order to get enough in, my blood sugar doesn't go up as much in response. It's great! I'm hoping it will last.

I'd say, keep a close eye on your hunger. Sometimes I get hungry in the morning, but it's mild and easy to ignore. If you feel really hungry, or shaky, or you can't stop thinking about food, you should definitely eat. That's your body trying to tell you something. Also watch out for less obvious symptoms, like anxiety, anger, or stress. Those can also be signs that your body is having a stress response to your diet and the last thing you want to do with diabetes is stress your body more!

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:19 AM

So far I have been feeling better, but 2 days is probably too early too tell. I most definitly watch my hinger signals. If I don't my body tends to let me know, by method of uncontrollable pigging out on paleo and sometime un-paleo food hehehe. Also im pretty sensitive to hunger- e.g I can't actally get to sleep even if slightly hungry.

1
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

i prefer IF and two meals a day just because it makes me feel like i'm eating like a king. i just eat until my heart's content and then do it again. i keep my eating window around 6-7 hours a day. your eating window seems kind of large to me (10 or so hours) but try it out and see if that works for you. the most common fasting/eating schedule i've seen is 16/8.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:16 AM

Thanks, yeah I will try out 10/14 and see how that goes for me and all going well will reduce to 16/8 :)

1
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 07, 2013
at 01:09 AM

Male, 38, been on IF for over two years. I eat two meals per day, one large warm meal, and one or sometimes two large snacks. My feeding window is around six hours. I foresee myself doing this for the rest of my life, it fits my lifestyle perfectly, and since I don't like eating food it gives me less time to worry about it.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:15 AM

Thanks for you input. Ive been trying it out the past 2 days and have already realized that I feel like putting more effort into the 2 meals I do cook rather than always having to worry about that next meal + countless snacks as-well...

1
0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on March 07, 2013
at 01:01 AM

I've only been IFing for about a week and a half, but I really like it so far! If I workout (which is usually first thing in the morning), I eat breakfast, then fast until a late dinner. If I don't workout, I wait until lunch to eat.

At first, I felt hungry while fasting, but it's more slightly uncomfortable than anything else. The hunger seems to go away after a few hours and as you get more used to fasting.

I haven't weighed myself, but my clothes already feel a bit looser. However, I have not increased the size of meals to compensate for fewer meals so I am eating less calories overall.

I'm a 33 year old female BTW.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:13 AM

Wow, I have def. had to increase my meals. If I did that + working out I know I would end up pigging out at some stage. Im 22 though.. my mum always told me her appetite settled down in her early 30's has this happened for you too? Or maybe my meals were just too small to begin with?

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on March 08, 2013
at 11:41 AM

I smoked when I was in my early 20s so my appetite is a lot bigger now! (I quit over 3 years ago.) I'm also a small female (5'0) on a low-calorie/Zone regimen so I don't need many calories--even with working out. I looked up the calories to maintain my weight if I worked out TWICE a day and it's only 1800! So for me, the only way to lose weight is to cut out a meal and not add the calories to the other meals. That said, I think you need a "cheat day" every so often :)

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 12, 2013
at 07:38 PM

wow crazy, Im 5'4 and it said I can lose weight at 2100 cals a day... but im 170lbs so alot bigger than you.

1
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on March 06, 2013
at 09:08 PM

I'm female, 40+, 5'2, 117 lbs. I started IF/2 meals per day 3 weeks ago after reading Perfect Health Diet. I lost 5 lbs. Since I started and don't miss breakfast. Too hectic in the morning trying to get my family out the door on time. If feel hungry, I might have coffee with coconut milk or snack on chicharrons (fried pork rinds). I usually eat lunch at 1p and dinner around 7p. According to the Jaminets (PHD Diet), between 12-16 hours of fasting is where your body is detoxing best. After 16 hours, detoxing slows down significantly. If you only eat within an 8 hour window at least a couple of days per week, your body will be healthier.

Since starting the IFing 3 weeks ago, my severe seasonally allergies are gone and I can go outside everyday with out using several antihistamines simultaneously so somethings working. Restoring my health was my primary concern but not complaining about the shrinking skinny fat belly. Good luck, I hope you find what works for you.

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on March 08, 2013
at 06:35 PM

You don't even have to totally fast during the 16 hours. You can eat coconut oil or very small snacks.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:11 AM

Thanks for your advice! Hehe I'll have to work my way up to 16 hours I think... maybe my meals are not big enough... :P

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 06, 2013
at 07:47 PM

It doesn't sound like a bad plan, but have some paleo foods squirrelled away in case things go wonky. Low blood sugar + someone bringing a cake into the office can = unfortunate things.

1
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on March 06, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Male, so YMMV. I love IF with two meals per day, no snacks. It was hard getting there though, in that at first I often felt "hungry". Hungry in quotes because it took me a while to figure out that if I did something else, I'd "forget" to be hungry. So once I powered through a week or so of using willpower to stick to the program, it became easy. For me it was important, because left to my own devices I'm a grazer. Getting down to two meals a day somehow taught me how to not snack. Was it "learned"? Was it hormonal? I don't know, but for me if I eat even three meals per day I really want to snack as well.

Personally, I eat lunch and dinner. I'll eat breakfast when the occasion arises, but then I revert right back. It's comfortable for me since I'm usually busy in the morning and don't miss it.

Yes, IF isn't for everybody, and perhaps for women it's more commonly a problem than for men. But you can try it out and see. Also, you are proposing relatively short fast of only about 13 hours per day, so that might ease any issues.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:08 AM

Thanks :) Yes I think I will start off small and increase the length of time once I master the 13 hours. Good to know it gets easier as you go. Its so crazy how so many people tell you, no you need to snack and eat 6 meals and blah blah blah... I most definitely like you feel alot better with big solid meals.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:09 AM

PS do you eat dairy? I have just seen alot of the comments here where people are saying they don't eat dairy...

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on March 09, 2013
at 12:41 PM

I personally eat dairy, but mostly just cream and butter. I eat very little cheese, since when I get going I can eat a block just like that. The more dairy I eat, the more I am a "mouth breather" at night, so I have to limit anyway (if I like to keep my teeth).

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 12, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Ah good to see some still have dairy, now I don't feel so bad hahaha yes Im the same with cheese so I limit as-well. Like you I think I will keep the cream at the moment, but I recently changed to ghee from butter and will never go back!! (well not any time soon :P)

1
C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

on March 06, 2013
at 11:59 AM

Hi Sarah, I am 26, 5ft 10 and 170lbs. I have been eating paleo since September with a few shakey moments but in the past month I have been strict and feel great for it. I am a 2meal a day IFer who sometimes even goes one meal a day. It works for me in every way you ask: I feel I have more control over my eating (I come from a background of very disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food), I am not obsessed with thinking about food in I am not constantly thinking of my next meal, I am not really ever hungry and I have found a passion in my food I thought I had lost. For me the key is fat. I eat a high fat, medium protein and very low carb diet, macros being around 75/20/5. It's ketogenic. I have played around with different portions and macros but find that ratio being the best. I start the day with bulletproof coffee (although I am off dairy for lent so my coffee is coconut oil with coconut milk/cream) then wom't eat until around 2/3 when I have fatty meat or lean meat with lots of oil and some veggies cooked in coconut oil/ghee or just somethered in olive oil. I then have dinner around 8/9 which is the same idea. Sometimes I don't even have lunch I just have dinner and keep myself topped up on coconut products through out the day, be it oil, cream or milk. I may or may not also snack on macademias. As for exercise, I lift heavy three times a week and would ideally throw in some sprinting or low level cardio once or twice a week in addition but I am very busy so as long as I lift heavy 3x a week I don't mind. Need to keep the cortisol levels down!! :) My exercise more often than not isn't in the morning like nearly everyone else, but in the afternoon or evening. I like the idea of fasted training but my body hasn't woken up sufficiently in the morning and I feel I get the best out of it later in the day so I aim to hit the weights room for a session just before I have my evening meal.

My best advice for you is just to play with your food and just do what you feel like you want to do as long as it's paleo: eat clean, sleep if you need it, lift heavy, don't stress and enjoy life. If you want to fast then I would definitely reccommend a high fat diet. I have found it works for me and has effectively eliminated hunger pangs, which was always a problem when I fasted on a higher carb diet.

EDIT: As for the woman aspect of IFing, you won't know until you try it. If it doesn't work for you after trying it and sticking it out for a few weeks then don't force it. It's to do with hormone levels and their ratios, some females just aren't wired for it and there's nothing wrong with that. You just won't know until you try it.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 08, 2013
at 08:05 AM

Thanks for this! I feel like you gave me some really good advice. I have experimented a-lot with carbs etc and right now I feel like my body runs better on 50-100g per day. I feel really crappy and can't sleep well, get cold etc when I eat very low carb. But I have actually had a few people suggest a high fat diet is very helpful for ending binge eating behavior (which i've had trouble with... much less so since i went paleo :D) and over the last few days I have added alot more fat to my diet (ditched the extra carbs, keeping it towards 50g not 100g) and have felt alot better :)

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on March 08, 2013
at 03:23 PM

I agree completely! I first trasitioned to paleo and felt great. I suffer from Raynauds and was always cold, I just thought it was me. After transitioning to paleo I was NEVER cold and my raynauds went away completely. Downside was I was putting on weight but I also wasn't eating high fat, I was probably 40/30/40 and had no idea how to get higher fat. That's when I went primal. I started reducing carbs as I didn't feel them necessary as I wasn't needing to replenish glycogen stores from any exercise etc. Being able to eat cream and butter really helped propel my ratios into the low carb high

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on March 08, 2013
at 03:27 PM

fat category and I started to feel much more satiated - I didn't know I could! I felt even better and then started weight training which compounded (pardon the pun :) ) the weightloss benefits. I am now ketogenic, feel much more in control of my disordered eating (ie it is no longer disordered) and feel stronger and generally healthier. Maybe I'll play around with my macros again if I hit a plateau in weight training but I don't want to at the minute. I'm happy and so is my body. Oh and now I've played around I can do much higher fat without dairy. I'm off dairy for lent and I'm surviving! :)

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 12, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Thanks for that... How much fat do you eat per day? I seem to have been going from 150-200g a day for the past week and around 70g carbs per day. Perhaps I should drop my carbs a bit and see how I feel again?

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on March 19, 2013
at 09:51 AM

To be honest, I am very bad at tracking. I used to be good, when I was trying to get into ketosis. Now I don't bother, I just eat fat with everything and I can tell when I am in ketosis. The ketostix are fluctuating in their response to me but my ketone breath is pretty constant! I don't know how many grams of fat I would eat but I would say my carbs are <30g a day and I try to keep my protein to ~80g which is ~ my weight (kg). The rest is fat. I fry my veggies in fat or pour olive oil over them. I eat fatty meat and eat avocados, olives with leaner cuts. Oh and LOTS of bacon. :)

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:59 AM

I've done fine with it. Dropped inches and got a better sense of my hunger signals.

50, female, 130. 5'6".

I eat when hungry, so sometime between 8 and 10 am and again between noon and 4 pm.

I walk 1-2 hours daily, body weight resistance work 2x per week, dancing once a week.

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