4

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Intermittent Fasting Skeptic

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2012 at 1:08 AM

I have read a lot about intermittent fasting and I have tried it a few times, but I am still a little skeptical about it. Obviously if I skip meals and don't make up the calories elsewhere I will lose weight. Is there really an additional benefit I can gain just by not eating for 14 hours? That doesn't seem like a lot of time; it's equivalent to having dinner at 6:30 and having breakfast the next day at 8:30. That's not exactly mind-blowing stuff.

Is the aforementioned 14 hour "fast" really superior to, say, skipping lunch. If I skip lunch it could be only 10 hours (from breakfast at 8:30 to dinner at 6:30), but I'm more active during those hours than I am between dinner and breakfast during the 14 hour fast.

When I'm fasting, should it feel like I'm starving? 14 hours may not be enough to get that hungry - should I wait 18, 20, or 24 hours so that my body is telling me it really wants food? What are the body queues I should listen for to know I'm doing it right?

Thanks

30082ec1256954012471d4372b78335f

(45)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:47 PM

I have a similar problem! i often wake up at 3-4am starving when i try IFing. Its pretty hit or miss with me as sometimes i can get through a night and other times i cannot. Not too sure what to do about this since i'd really like to make IFing part of my routine a few times a week!

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:24 PM

I'm not sure if IFing while you need to be studying is the best idea. But to answer your question, in my opinion the best 'snack' to have would be fat only, so butter, or maybe a few brazil nuts, something that won't cause an insulin spike and isn't protein.

Medium avatar

(393)

on March 20, 2012
at 06:46 AM

Hi Animal eater! Have you tried Kruse's Leptin RX? Helped me a lot with my nocturnal sleep related eating syndrome.... Don't wake up in the middle of the night, hungry, anymore.:)

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 20, 2012
at 05:33 AM

But Bill, a large part of the benefit of fasting comes from turning on autophagey from restricting protein. Adding in protein defeats that purpose, though it will spare muscles from being broken down

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:52 AM

What will happen if you add in say 25 grams of protein from whole foods (or powder) somewhere in the middle of the fast? Nothing bad necessarily, BUT you will get hungry as all heck bc your body is like wtf? Where is the 'energy' that normally comes with these aminos brah?!

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:50 AM

the key, is not just the fasting, its the fasted workouts followed by eating healthy food, carbs+protein on workout days, and protein+fat on non workout days, 3 workout days, and 4 rest days, why do people fail to see the ripped bodies fasting+proper workouts+proper food equals? I can picture people getting confused, fasting for 14 hours, then doing their version of 'crossfit', then eating carbs+fat , carbs+fat, then carbs+fat on rest days too. THAT will produce sub optimal results at minimum but it has nothing to do with the fasting part.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Yes, I think that definitely varies between individuals. Any routine I maintain for more than 2 weeks invariably becomes maintenance or I see the return of cravings. Random variation keeps cravings at bay and seems to encourage fat loss--for me.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:24 AM

IF worked for me on its own to lose bodyfat, and I'm not the only one. Also, many IF proponents recommend to keep a consistent patter due to hormonal adaptation - your body expects food at a certain time when you have a rough schedule.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:22 AM

1500 on off-days, 2300 on training days.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:09 AM

@Sam, sorry to give a yes and no answer BUT ... if you eat the chocolate you're probably still in a light fast mode, and why not if you enjoy it, but when I'm in a deep fast my energy is sky-high even though my blood glucose is sitting at 70. In the "skipped a meal" mode similar to IF my bg is probably high 80s to high 90s and unsweetened chocolate wouldn't affect that. If your chocolate is "dark" as in mildly sweetened it could knock you out of fat-burning temporarily.

D3a2d467b716905ef1c1e181ee77069f

(0)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:04 AM

some interesting stuff here: http://www.leangains.com/2010/06/intermittent-fasting-and-stubborn-body.html

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:29 AM

How many calories are you eating (roughly) in your 8 hour window?

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Does it need to be 0 calories to be considered a fast for IF purposes? If I'm up late studying and have a piece of dark chocolate to help maintain concentration do I need to reset the clock?

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:25 AM

I enjoy a full day fast. No food after dinner until 2 mornings. If you are fasting to lose weight you're missing the point. Fasting releases hormones in your body that allow it to do a self cleaning, where dead cell material is broken down for amino acids. It also just makes food taste better. Think of eating paleo as what, when, and how a hunter-gatherer would eat.

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6 Answers

4
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:19 AM

Part of it can be thought of like exercise for your liver. In people who eat every 3 hrs, their ability to redulate blood sugar (via gluconeogenesis) can be pretty bad, and that's why they turn into lunatics if they can't get food constantly.

With IFing, your ability to burn fat and make blood sugar should be improved.

Your liver should be the regulator of blood sugar, not the pancreas which is constantly working to lower our blood sugar.

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Does it need to be 0 calories to be considered a fast for IF purposes? If I'm up late studying and have a piece of dark chocolate to help maintain concentration do I need to reset the clock?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:09 AM

@Sam, sorry to give a yes and no answer BUT ... if you eat the chocolate you're probably still in a light fast mode, and why not if you enjoy it, but when I'm in a deep fast my energy is sky-high even though my blood glucose is sitting at 70. In the "skipped a meal" mode similar to IF my bg is probably high 80s to high 90s and unsweetened chocolate wouldn't affect that. If your chocolate is "dark" as in mildly sweetened it could knock you out of fat-burning temporarily.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:24 PM

I'm not sure if IFing while you need to be studying is the best idea. But to answer your question, in my opinion the best 'snack' to have would be fat only, so butter, or maybe a few brazil nuts, something that won't cause an insulin spike and isn't protein.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:03 AM

I agree with josh; I don't think weight loss is/should be the point of fasting. If you aren't succeeding with weight loss without fasting you're likely to adapt to fasting and not achieve sustained loss that way either. If you ARE ready to lose, then fasting may allow you to have at least some days when you can eat more generously and still lose fat overall.

For me, it's not just about fasting--it's about random variation. Many days I eat moderately and I happen to feel best if I eat one main meal. If you do best with 2, why not? Some days I decide not to eat at all and it's challenging but I also find it generates sharp mental focus and high energy. When I do eat finally, it is an amazing experience--my senses seem more vivid and everything tastes WONDERFUL. I've found I don't eat a larger meal than usual, I just enjoy the food more.

Along with the moderate days and the fasting days I have a few feasting days. My experience has been that eating an unusually large meal will produce positive status the next day as long as it's good food (junk will just cause physical mayhem.)

Why bother with random variation? I have never had such a friendly relationship with my body as I do now. Hunger is no longer something to be vulnerable to; it's just another sensation that can be ignored until it's convenient to respond. I've learned I have a calm mode, an alert mode and also an "unleashed" mode that only surfaces at 24-30 hours of fasting.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Yes, I think that definitely varies between individuals. Any routine I maintain for more than 2 weeks invariably becomes maintenance or I see the return of cravings. Random variation keeps cravings at bay and seems to encourage fat loss--for me.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:24 AM

IF worked for me on its own to lose bodyfat, and I'm not the only one. Also, many IF proponents recommend to keep a consistent patter due to hormonal adaptation - your body expects food at a certain time when you have a rough schedule.

1
C83b45b9c5e97498bf3a14d36c07fe10

on February 14, 2013
at 04:45 PM

I think you are all coming at IF from the wrong point of view - its not a diet, which is designed to make you loose weight, although obviously this will occur if your calorie intake drops because of this approach. The point of IF is to gain the health benefits of an altered metabolism (increased insulin sensitivity and a better lipid profile), as well as increased autophagy (clearing out the dead cells in your body), which hopefully will lead to increased energy levels all the time, lowered morbidity and hopefully a longer life. Thats just my take on it anyway....

0
D2c2027f4456b61627d5241cc15be67c

(70)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:35 PM

I like what Rob said, IF can aid in weight loss or fat loss but it's main purpose should be to increase health through autophagy and to increase ketones, metabolism, etc. I have been doing it about 5 days a week for 6 weeks now, and I am losing inches and feeling great! I am also doing the bulletproof paleo diet and drinking bulletproof coffee in the morning. I wrote a blog post about my experience starting the IF and paleo diet here: http://bulletproofcoffee.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/starting-the-bulletproof-diet-and-bullet-proof-coffee-w-intermittent-fasting/

0
Medium avatar

on March 20, 2012
at 02:42 AM

My problem has been waking up at 3-4am starving hungry with my heart beating out of my chest. I used to me a slave to meals every 3 hrs. Since going VLC paleo, I can eat at 9-3-9 and stay functional though hungry for 6 hrs. I keep a schedule. My night hunger is 90% better, but still wake up with a higher heart rate once per night @3-4am, just not feeling hungry and can actually go back to sleep. BUT, if I try fasting at all, I wake up STARVING and can't sleep anymore. Miserable. I'd love to do IFing, but can't seem to escape this problem. Best I can do is eat at 8-9am, then have a HUGE meat feast at 5pm, then I'm fine till 9 the next morning.

Medium avatar

(393)

on March 20, 2012
at 06:46 AM

Hi Animal eater! Have you tried Kruse's Leptin RX? Helped me a lot with my nocturnal sleep related eating syndrome.... Don't wake up in the middle of the night, hungry, anymore.:)

30082ec1256954012471d4372b78335f

(45)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:47 PM

I have a similar problem! i often wake up at 3-4am starving when i try IFing. Its pretty hit or miss with me as sometimes i can get through a night and other times i cannot. Not too sure what to do about this since i'd really like to make IFing part of my routine a few times a week!

0
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I've been doing IF for over a year. 16 hrs fasting, 8 hours eating window, 7 days a week.

I consistently lost some weight although I made no adjustments to my diet for the first 7 months (the original and main reason to go IF). LeanGains improved the pace further. Paleo did not, but I suspect it was because I was eating too much (I count calories now).

I still get hungry in the last four hours of my fast every once in a while. My tolerance to hunger has always been high (poor appetite) so it doesn't bother me at all.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:22 AM

1500 on off-days, 2300 on training days.

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:29 AM

How many calories are you eating (roughly) in your 8 hour window?

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