1

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Pseudo-Fasting?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 07, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I haven't tried IF, but wonder if anyone thinks this might be a suitable substitute.

I haven't tried it because I can relate to people who say they gorged so much at the end of it that they didn't think it worthwhile.

Instead of IF, a couple days per week (never two days in a row) I don't count calories but do purposely eat light: maybe a couple eggs for breakfast, 6 or 7 oz of salmon on spinach for lunch, and a modest dinner of maybe 5 oz of hamburger or lamburger. I haven't figured calories on this, but I'd be surprised if it's 1,500 calories (I'm 6'4 and weigh 218, down from 255 at Thanksgiving). The next day I go back to my usual diet consisting of a goodly amount of saturated fat and at least twice as much food as my "light" days." Whether I'm right or wrong, I do feel this has contributed to my weight loss.

I am not super hungry those days, but do definitely have some hunger pangs and desire more food.

Anyone see a problem with this? Is it any substitute for IF? I believe it is totally sustainable over the long-haul because I don't feel overly deprived.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 07, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Thanks, David. Very helpful.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 07, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Totally, but I can imagine that for a lot of people losing the (possibly great, but ill-defined) benefits of autophagy, but reducing protein/muscle breakdown, while still keeping the increased insulin sentivity, leptin sensitivity, fat oxidation, decreased IGF etc would still be worth it. Alternatively, adequate (satiating) protein but reduced calories would be what a lot of people are aiming for for the sake of weight loss (like a PSMF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Sparing_Modified_Fast)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 07, 2011
at 05:50 PM

benefits, but not full autophagy unless those low calorie days are also very low protein days.

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10 Answers

6
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 07, 2011
at 03:09 PM

This is alternate day calorie restriction. It's good. Studies here and here.

The effect on health of alternate day calorie restriction: eating less and more than needed on alternate days prolongs life.

Restricting caloric intake to 60-70% of normal adult weight maintenance requirement prolongs lifespan 30-50% and confers near perfect health across a broad range of species. Every other day feeding produces similar effects in rodents, and profound beneficial physiologic changes have been demonstrated in the absence of weight loss in ob/ob mice. Since May 2003 we have experimented with alternate day calorie restriction, one day consuming 20-50% of estimated daily caloric requirement and the next day ad lib eating, and have observed health benefits starting in as little as two weeks, in insulin resistance, asthma, seasonal allergies, infectious diseases of viral, bacterial and fungal origin (viral URI, recurrent bacterial tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, periodontal disease), autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, symptoms due to CNS inflammatory lesions (Tourette's, Meniere's) cardiac arrhythmias (PVCs, atrial fibrillation), menopause related hot flashes.

This study looks at whether alternate day calorie restriction is worse than true alternate day fasting. From the abstract (which I can't manage to get PH to include as a quote: ADF didn't reduce bodyweight. It brought about slightly less reduction in cell proliferation than calorie retriction, but little difference between alternate day calorie restriction and alternate day complete fasting. IGF was only reduced in the complete fasting or calorie restriction groups.

So all in all, there are pretty good benefits, though probably a bit less than complete fasting. But, in practise, this may well be substantially more sustainable (and doable more frequently) and will probably result in some calorie reduction over the long term anyway.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 07, 2011
at 05:50 PM

benefits, but not full autophagy unless those low calorie days are also very low protein days.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 07, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Thanks, David. Very helpful.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 07, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Totally, but I can imagine that for a lot of people losing the (possibly great, but ill-defined) benefits of autophagy, but reducing protein/muscle breakdown, while still keeping the increased insulin sentivity, leptin sensitivity, fat oxidation, decreased IGF etc would still be worth it. Alternatively, adequate (satiating) protein but reduced calories would be what a lot of people are aiming for for the sake of weight loss (like a PSMF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Sparing_Modified_Fast)

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 07, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Good responses already. I'd only add that I do something similar but with macros as opposed to overall calories. Cyclic low carb is what people call it in the lifting world I've come to learn. it's just high carb around lifting times and then on rest days and just non lifting days it's lower carb and higher fat.

1
6e24575aafccf63e02172715b3cd60ef

on April 07, 2011
at 04:41 PM

The Jaminets (Perfect Health Diet) Think you can get the benefits of autophagy even when consuming fat because of protein restriction. I've been able to consume 1/4 of double cream in the morning (6am) and go to 7pm without much hunger, but eating carbs in the morning will make me hungry.

1
C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on April 07, 2011
at 03:23 PM

My experience has been that hunger pangs during IF tend to decrease significantly, in both severity and number, after having adjusted to a lower carbohydrate (<50g/day) diet.

When I ate carbs, those pangs were just awful. Now, an 18- to 20-hour fast is nothing. Can only conclude that, at least for me, excess carbohydrates made me want to graze.

Maybe try lowering your carb count for a couple of weeks and see if that doesn't make your IF a bit easier.

1
0546e3c7b9ae81ab38ac5b589e6adf45

on April 07, 2011
at 03:17 PM

There are several types of IF. What you are describing is one type where you cycle caloric intake, another method is to keep your caloric intake at the same levels, but compress the time period in which you consume them. From what I have read on the subject, it definitely seems to help in increasing insulin sensitivity and balancing other critical hormones. For good info on the subject I recommend Robb Wolf, Brad Pilon, & Ori Hofmekler.

1
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on April 07, 2011
at 03:06 PM

This is similar to diets I have seen where people alternate high / low calorie days.

Not sure if it counts as fasting, because you're just eating when you're hungry. I mean, theoretically, you should only be eating when hungry ALL THE TIME.

Try to get out of the 3/meals a day mentality and just eat when you're hungry all the time. Then, when you're ready, you can skip breakfast some days. Good enough to start!

0
Bb42dbb28995dafcb26f4ef04b4448ae

on October 13, 2011
at 07:02 PM

This is an excellent plan, but you won't get ALL the benefits of IF. There's nothing wrong with what you're doing, and if it helps you keep off the weight - keep at it.

If you feel that IF would result in eating too much, then I encourage you to continue with this plan. Great job.

0
01e177ee190ae5b4f07199756eefd615

on October 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

I don't think you'll gain all the benfits of IF.

In simple terms, many of the benefits of IF come from the fact that your cells have to react to conditions where they "run out" of supplies. A total fast pushes you to the "run out" situation quickly.

Traditional CR (30% less calories every day) gets a similar effect by running you so lean that your cells are always on the verge of "running out" - in fact, the may actually "run out" just before a meal, and almost certainly "run out" daily during the overnight fast of sleeping.

Your approach of Intermittently doing Calorie Restriction is unlikely to push you far enough towards "running out" to cause all the reactions at the cell level which you'd want.

The specific food you're consuming on your CR day sounds rather like PSMF - it's mostly protein, albeit too high in calories to be a true PSMF. There's reason to believe that even a true PSMF will inihibit beneficail effects like autophagy, because the cells are unlikely to sense conditions of protein deprivation.

That having been said, it may very well be a more tolerable way of reducing your average calorie intake, as long as you're not going way above maintenance on your non-CR days. Bear in mind that in alternate-day-fasting experiments with mice, the mice adapted to consume DOUBLE the normal calories on eating days, which compensated for consuming nothing on their fasting days. It may be hard to adapt to gorging at first, but the body CAN get used to it, over time! It's even easier if you're not doing true fasting. You'll find that on your schedule, after you body drops some weight, your "natural" hunger on eating days will probably lead you to eat more than what would otherwise be "normal," and your eating days will compensate for your CR days... and weight loss will stop.

So let's say your CR days really are 1500 calories... and your maintenance level is 3000 calories. If you do three CR days a week at 1500 calories, and the other four days you stay at 3000, you should successfully lose weight. But if, on the other four days, you eat more like 4100 calories, you're making up the deficit. And extra 1100 calories a day sounds like a lot, but it's all too easy if you're allowing a lot of fatty foods, especially if you have an appetite because of eating light the day before.

Conclusion: if you manage to keep the maintenance days at maintenance, this could be a more tolerable way of reducing calories to lose weight, but I don't think you'll be getting all the benefits of IF.

-1
368712635a54d64a3464af89f67b2c47

(-28)

on April 10, 2011
at 07:42 PM

The Every Other Day Diet is one of the best diets currently on the market...learn how to get back into shape!

-1
368712635a54d64a3464af89f67b2c47

(-28)

on April 07, 2011
at 09:44 PM

Once you choose the EODD or Every other Day Diet you will be provided a chance to purchase the 7 minute muscle. This is for those that want to have a built body!

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