Getting Stronger: Discussion Forum

Discussion Topics => Diet => Topic started by: HungryGuy on February 28, 2010, 10:12:44 PM

Title: Intermittent fasting
Post by: HungryGuy on February 28, 2010, 10:12:44 PM
I've tried IF with some success.  I haven't lost that much weight yet, maybe about 5 pounds.  I usually skip breakfast, and maybe skip lunch on certain days.  Still, I find that I always am getting hungry around dinner time.  But I never thought of it in terms of "conditioning" before.  So maybe I should mix it up a little, just to see if that works.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: HungryGuy on March 27, 2010, 10:42:53 AM
I've tried IF with some success.  I haven't lost that much weight yet, maybe about 5 pounds.  I usually skip breakfast, and maybe skip lunch on certain days.  Still, I find that I always am getting hungry around dinner time.  But I never thought of it in terms of "conditioning" before.  So maybe I should mix it up a little, just to see if that works.
I've been doing IF for about a month now. Also using some of the tips from the deconditioning diet page.  And I am down 10 pounds from where I started, to 187 pounds, plus I am wearing a smaller pants size, so I've lost a lot of fat around the middle.  Unlike previous diets, I am never hungry, and I have more energy. I am skipping breakfast and lunch on most days but about once or twice a week I have lunch instead of dinner. I think this helped me to avoid getting hungry around dinner time.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on March 29, 2010, 03:46:43 AM
Congratulations on your weight loss progress, HungryGuy! I'm glad IF is working for you.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: HungryGuy on April 02, 2010, 06:30:21 AM
Thanks, Jaye.

Another week, and down another 5 pounds, to 172!  I'm just eating dinners most days, but on Tuesday and yesterday I ate lunch instead of dinner just to keep my body confused.  Although it really wasn't that confusing.  I would never have believed that I could get by on so little, I've probably cut my intake from 2500 calories to maybe 1200-1500 calories a day, but I don't feel deprived.  It really makes me wonder how much of our eating is just habit.  Why do we think we need to eat 3 meals a day?  So many of our wants are just conditioned.  Well, I better not get too cocky about this, let's see how it goes.  I will probably reach a plateau soon because I can't just keep losing at this rate, right?
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on April 03, 2010, 06:53:12 AM
Hi Hungry Guy: You may need to change your screen name! I'm glad you are continuing to experience great weight loss, and I think the awareness you are gaining is really noteworthy too! I don't think you said what your goal was, but as you get closer, things are likely to slow down. I hope you don't get discouraged if you hit a plateau. I have found that staying involved with an online community (here and at sethroberts.net) has helped me persevere through the dribs and drabs of weight loss I'm experiencing as I zero in on my goal. I'm about 4 lbs. away from a BMI of 21%, and when I get there, I'll re-evaluate whether I need to lose more or just try and maintain. I feel good about the process even when I don't see progress on the scale. I think that's a first for me! As for what you said about our wants being conditioned, I totally agree. Besides the notion that we should eat three times a day, I'm also struck by how we are encouraged to think we need to have infinite variety. Ever since I got a dog, I've been struck by how he is happy eating exactly the same thing every day. He eats when he's hungry, usually twice a day. Eating isn't a big production, and he maintains a perfect weight. He's happy, healthy and full of energy. I really try to think about that when I'm preparing meals, and while I don't plan to be eating kibble anytime soon, I try not to overthink things and keep it simple. Congratulations and continued success! Jaye
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: SUGARDUDE on April 09, 2010, 02:22:07 PM
I just skimmed Eat Stop Eat.  I'm going to try Pilon's recommendation of a 24 hour fasting period 1-2 times a week. What i like about that is that I can plan ahead for which days I'm going to do it.

I'm going to start next Tuesday night and try to repeat every three days.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Todd Becker on April 11, 2010, 08:47:51 PM
Sugardude,

My first experience with intermittent fasting was following Eat Stop Eat just as you are planning. And for exactly the same reason -- that I could plan ahead and fit it into my schedule.  I eventually went to fasts of up to 48 hours just to see what I could do, and it was no problem.  Actually the anticipation and fear that I would not be able to complete the fast were worse than the reality.  I then heard about fast-5 from Kirk over on the SLD (sethroberts.net) forum and tried that, and found it also works quite well, but I use it less rigidly, eating 1 meal most days, but sometimes 2 or 3 smaller meals, and occasionally going to a full 24 fast.  But I always try to "plan ahead" and pick my "schedule" in advance", because I think that part of what makes this work is "giving yourself directions" rather than than responding to spur of the moment whims. And I like the freedom and flexibility of being able to constantly vary my routine to fit my needs.

I think it is interesting to see the variety of approaches that work to deconditioning eating from becoming a rigid habit. Skipping random meals may work for HungryGuy, whereas Eat Stop Eat may work better for you.  I also agree with Jaye's advice not to get discouraged if you don't see steady weight loss, but to hang in there. Many people, myself included, see weight loss as only one benefit, perhaps not the biggest one, of IF.  I think that gaining insight and control over your eating patterns may be a bigger benefit than weight loss itself.

Good luck with your experiment!

Todd
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: SUGARDUDE on April 16, 2010, 02:00:55 PM
I didn't get very far with doing a 24 hour fast. I think I'm going to go back to deconditioning. It worked very well for me last time except I tried to fast too much...too soon.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: HungryGuy on May 14, 2010, 01:38:12 PM
Well, here it is about 2 1/2 months after I started intermittent fasting.  I weighed in at 162 lbs. this morning.  That's 25 pounds down from my starting at 187 at the end of February.  I think I'm where I want to be.  Lost a lot of belly fat and have had to buy new clothes.

I'm pretty much stabilized at eating 2 meals most days (lunch and dinner) and on 2 days a week I eat only dinner.  I tried the random eating time thing but that didn't seem to be necessary, plus I like having a bit more of a schedule.  I didn't really have strong cravings to decondition.  What took conditioning was just being able to build up to going most of the day without eating.  But now it is very comfortable.

It really is amazing how you can adapt.  I started out thinking that 3 meals a day is necessary, but it really isn't.  Your body adjusts and finds a way to feed itself off of stored fat.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Moonbeam on May 20, 2010, 06:59:22 PM
That's great HG, and I'm glad to hear that it isn't that hard to maintain.  I started on eating only six hours/day this week.  I thought it would be harder than it is too.  I think you're right that it's partially psychological--for so long we've read that we should eat little meals more often, and eat after we exercise to build muscle.  A few counter-arguments and a success story makes a big difference. 

Anyway, congrats on a huge success.  I guess you'll stabilize at some point or you will have to add back some meals.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on August 27, 2010, 05:15:54 PM
I've been posting on IF under Challenges, but I'm copying what I wrote in that section and will continue posting about my experience with IF here, since I no longer regard it as a one-time experiment but as a way of life:

After repeated attempts to get to 24 hours without any calories, I kept hitting a wall around the 18 hour mark, so I decided
to just go to the Fast-5 approach, which I had decided I'd like to try. I used to eat this way but when my hypoglycemia was diagnosed,
I was told I should be eating every few hours. Yesterday was my first day of formally embarking on Fast-5, and I'm really
happy with the results. I noticed in my fasting attempts how much I enjoyed the light, focused, energetic
feeling I had during the day, and I like eating at night, so this really seems perfect for me and is adaptable if I need to have a business
lunch. I can just change my eating window for that day.  I'm several pounds lighter than when I started my fasting experiment last week and somehow feel more comfortable in my skin. I find my mood is the opposite of what I would have expected. I'm less irritable and reactive to situations that would normally set me off. I feel more laid back. Some of this, I'm sure, is due to giving up caffeine, but when I first gave up caffeine, I still wanted it. Now I don't even think about it, just as I don't think about food during the day. It's already not a mental option, which is amazing. Yesterday I did some cooking during the day and wasn't even tempted to taste what I was making, just packaged it up for evening meals over the next several days. It's really changed the rhythm of my day, and I actually feel like cleaning and doing other chores that I would procrastinate about to fill the extra time. Now the only thing I'm procrastinating about is eating! Definitely eager to continue with this and will check in with my experiences. I know some of the people on the Shangri-la blog had done this but were using oil or other flavorless calories during the day. I'm attempting to be calorie-free during the fasting period.

Day 3: I think this new way of (not) eating is readjusting my sleep cycle. I had a kind of delayed sleep phase problem and would sleep best from 1 a.m. till 9, even though I would prefer to go to bed and wake up much earlier. The only way this ever happened was on the West coast (I'm on the East coast). I've noticed the past couple of nights I feel tired at 10 and am actually in bed by about 10:30. The past two mornings I've been waking up really early, full of energy and eager to start the day. I also don't need as much sleep. I was up around 5, went over to feed some dogs I'm taking care of and am going on a long bike ride soon with a neighbor. I really think Fast-5 is the answer for me. I guess my hormones needed readjusting. I actually don't know the science behind this and need to read up on it to understand what's happening, but I know intuitively that this is right for me. I sensed all kinds of bothersome things regarding mood, food, sleep, focus, etc. were related, but I never discovered the underlying mechanism that would help everything fall into place. This seems to be it.

Day 4: Yesterday I ended my eating window after 4.5 hrs instead of 5. The Fast-5 approach encourages shrinking the eating window/expanding the fasting period from time to time, so I will continue to play around with the 5-hr. eating window. Tomorrow is challenging because I have a business lunch so will make my 5-hr. window from around noon till 5. That means a longer fasting time till I get to the regular eating window the next day. I feel so motivated that I think I'll be able to manage these occasional shifts in my schedule. I'd been avoiding checking my blood glucose levels because I didn't want to feel alarmed by low numbers, but I took a reading at 20 hrs. of fasting with nothing but herbal tea and water and it was 91 (and this was after an hour of swimming and another hour of brisk walking), so I'm really convinced this is the right approach for me.

Day 5: Yesterday and today did 4-hour windows. I had to start the window much earlier today because of a business lunch, so the challenge will be to see how long I can go tomorrow before starting the eating window. I expect it will be somewhere between 3 and 5.

This is day 9 on Fast-5 and I never even question whether I want to continue with this as a way of life. I feel I've discovered what works for me, and the results are so positive that I don't see why I would ever want to do things differently. I'm going to be visiting my family over Labor Day weekend so there will be three days when I won't be able to eat the way I do when I'm on my own, but my plan is to eat low carb during that time, which also keeps my blood sugar on an even keel.

Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: JC on September 09, 2010, 06:23:46 PM
Hi Jaye,

I'm just tuning back into the forum pages, nice to see your recent posts.  I haven't really tuned into the diet pages here, because I don't need to lose weight, but I'm interested in your experiments with fasting. Are you doing this primarily as a way to lose weight or control blood sugar, or do you see other benefits?   Also, do you recommend fast-5 as the best program, or are there other ways to do this?

Take care,

JC
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on September 13, 2010, 06:50:43 PM
Hi JC: Thanks for your questions. Re: my motivation, I wasn't officially overweight, but I wanted to lose some weight. With Fast-5 I lost weight more easily and painlessly than ever before. I started on Aug. 19 at around 128, and I weighed 122 this morning. I'm 5'4-1/2", so that's a good weight for me, and I'm wondering whether I should just try to maintain or see if I continue to drop. It's unusual for me to feel comfortable with my appearance, but I admit I do now. That alone enhances my mood, but I feel like fasting during the day has improved my mood more generally as a result of evening out my blood sugar and maybe other biochemical changes that enhance my energy and focus as well. I also feel calmer. I have all kinds of emergency work projects flying at me from all directions, and I feel like the quiet center of the storm. I even feel I'm having a therapeutic effect on my frazzled clients by calmly assuring them I'll get them what they need on time and they don't have to worry. I feel like I have all the time I need to do everything I need to do and nothing distracts me. Eating used to be a distraction or a way to take a break. I find it very liberating that I don't think about food, count calories, etc. My mind was always obsessing about what I should have and in what amounts and what diet to follow, etc., and I basically don't think about food or eating at all. Food is way in the background of my consciousness now. I love that! I also made other changes before I started Fast-5 that I think are contributing to my positive experience, chiefly having quit caffeine. I also started adding chia to food every day. I used to have it at breakfast and now I usually have it with something when I start eating during the eating window. Today I had a heaping large spoonful mixed into Greek yogurt, for example. Fast-5 is just one of many ways to try intermittent fasting. There is also the Eat-Stop-Eat method, the Warrior Diet, and others. There are links to some of these on the Getting Stronger homepage. This method fits me like a glove, and I have no interest in trying anything else. I hope that answered your questions, but feel free to ask more.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Todd Becker on September 14, 2010, 06:13:12 PM
Jbird,

These are great results! Your post points out what many people don't realize about IF -- it's not just about weight loss, it's about overall health, including mood and outlook. The sense of calm you describe is exactly what I feel. And you've also pinpointed another benefit: the liberation from thinking about food.  Moving food "to the back of your consciousness", as you say, frees up your energy to focus on the rest of life. You still have the freedom to enjoy good food every day, with great variety and flavor, and no particular restrictions, but eating becomes a much smaller part of the day.

Todd
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on September 16, 2010, 07:41:07 PM
Today I hit my ideal weight (120) on the nose, and it didn't even seem all that exciting because I had quiet confidence that Fast-5 would take me where I wanted to go. It's like I got on the Fast-5 express train and it dropped me off at my destination. All aboard! Seriously, it's really become second nature, not something I have to consciously commit to each day. I've never been able to stick to diets, but I don't think of this as a diet. I think of it more like sleeping. I go to bed at a certain time, give or take an hour or two. Now I start eating at a certain time, give or take an hour or two. Just as I don't nap during the day, I don't eat during the day. Every day it seems I discover some additional fringe benefit. Today's observation: Less garbage and fewer trips to the dumpster!
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Sanchiaza on September 16, 2010, 10:21:33 PM
Hi everyone

I've become more and more interested in IF the more I read about it and I just have some (really) random thoughts and questions.

I know that fasting is technically defined using calorie restriction, but I have been wondering whether an additional component is insulin response restriction. Actually, what I've been wondering is whether it would still be considered a fast, with all the benefits of fasting, if I were to have a "snack" that did not produce an insulin response at all (i.e. oil - I'm an SLDer). Any ideas/research that anyone knows of?

I'm also wondering about the fast/feed windows - I know that there are various windows "out there", but the one thing they all have in common is a continuous fast for more than 12 hours and then a continuous feed window. Are there any benefits to an intermittent IF - i.e. eat, fast for 6-8 hours, eat, fast for 6-8 hours?

In between looking at the research around CR and IF, I can't help thinking about the Ancel Keys study on the effects of starvation and wondering about a whole lot of stuff - here's a link if anyone's interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment

And then I've been ruminating on the nature of what constitutes "common knowledge" and how something makes it into the public domain and suddenly everyone is doing it. Of course, what I'm talking about here is the meal-snack-meal-snack-meal-snack way of eating that has been punted for at least my lifetime. "Common knowledge" would have us believe that fasting is dangerous and bad for a person and those of us practising IF could perhaps be considered somewhat, umm... eccentric in our beliefs. Of course I know that different people will respond better to different things, but if I think about my path to SLD, IF and, finally, here, it was the result of an offhand remark made by one of my lecturers - serendipitous at best.

I like to think, of course, that we are the groundswell of a revolution rather than the lunatic fringe  :D
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Todd Becker on September 18, 2010, 11:18:44 AM
What a great series of questions, Sanchiazza -- from the physiological to the sociological!  I'll chime in here with my thoughts:

I've been wondering is whether it would still be considered a fast, with all the benefits of fasting, if I were to have a "snack" that did not produce an insulin response at all (i.e. oil - I'm an SLDer). Any ideas/research that anyone knows of? I'm also wondering about the fast/feed windows - I know that there are various windows "out there", but the one thing they all have in common is a continuous fast for more than 12 hours and then a continuous feed window. Are there any benefits to an intermittent IF - i.e. eat, fast for 6-8 hours, eat, fast for 6-8 hours?

Strictly speaking, a "fast" means no food, only water.  But there are many less stringent versions of fasts, for various purposes.  For example, many "cleansing" or "detox" fasts allow fruit or vegetable juices, which is surprising to me, because these can contain many calories and even sugars. They may have some benefits, but insulin reduction is not among them. So you have to define the purpose of the fast.

For most people practicing IF, the purposes are: weight loss, hunger control, modulation of swings in insulin and blood glucose levels, etc.  For those purposes, I see no problem with small doses of oil, with intervening intervals sufficiently long to prevent significant variation in blood glucose or insulin.  For this purpose, I recommend coconut oil, because it has the unique feature of actually lowering blood glucose, but other oils are typically neutral.  I don't know of research on this -- other than about 4 weeks of self-experimentation I did on myself using a blood glucose monitor and diary about my energy and hunger levels.  You might try it on yourself!

I think that fasting intervals of 6-8 hours are certainly useful.  You don't have to extend the fast to 12-18 hours to get a benefit, although the longer the fasting interval the better.  But especially for a beginner, I would start short and very gradually build up.  Your chances of success are much higher that way, because an episode of reactive hypoglycemia, hunger or weakness can dissuade you from trying IF.  Your metabolism takes days to weeks to upregulate the hormones and enzymes necessary to easily break down stored fat and glycogen reserves. In that respect, occasional small oil doses actually help you adapt to fat burning and glycogen breakdown. With time, you will get better and better at doing this and will eventually experience very even energy levels (as well as very constant blood sugar and fatty acid levels) whether fasting or eating.  But be patient, and approach this gradually!

In between looking at the research around CR and IF, I can't help thinking about the Ancel Keys study on the effects of starvation and wondering about a whole lot of stuff - here's a link if anyone's interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment

The Ancel Keys study is famous for "showing" that a "very low calorie" diet led to intense, raving hunger and behavioral problems.  And it is supposed to be a warning to all of us not to fast or restrict calories significantly. As your Wikipedia reference details, the results were profoundly upsetting:

Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment
Among the many conclusions from the study was the confirmation that prolonged semi-starvation produces significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis as measured using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a standardized test administered during the experimental period. Indeed, most of the subjects experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression. There were extreme reactions to the psychological effects during the experiment including self-mutilation (one subject amputated three fingers of his hand with an axe, though the subject was unsure if he had done so intentionally or accidentally).[1] Participants exhibited a preoccupation with food, both during the starvation period and the rehabilitation phase. Sexual interest was drastically reduced and the volunteers showed signs of social withdrawal and isolation. The participants reported a decline in concentration, comprehension and judgment capabilities, although the standardized tests administered showed no actual signs of diminished capacity. There were marked declines in physiological processes indicative of decreases in each subject’s basal metabolic rate (the energy required by the body in a state of rest) and reflected in reduced body temperature, respiration and heart rate. Some of the subjects exhibited edema (swelling) in the extremities, presumably due to the massive quantities of water the participants consumed attempting to fill their stomachs during the starvation period.

But the study was flawed in at least one major respect: It was not so much a low calorie diet as a very high carbohydrate, low protein diet! Take a look at exactly what constituted the 1560 calorie per day "starvation" diet"

Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment
During the 6-month semi-starvation period, each subject’s dietary intake was cut to approximately 1,560 calories per day. Their meals were composed of foods that were expected to typify the diets of people in Europe during the latter stages of the war: potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, bread and macaroni.

(Italics added for emphasis by me).

This is almost pure carbohydrate, very poor in protein or fat.  There is very little in the diet to sustain muscular lean mass, or provide essential fatty acids and other oils needed for cell membrane synthesis, particularly for neural tissues in the brain and CNS.  It is not surprising that the participants had great difficulty adhering and maintaining their sanity. In this way, the design of the study was poor, because it did not merely reduce calories, but simultaneously distorted nutrient composition in an extreme manner.  So it provides no answer to whether cutting back calories, but allowing for adequate nutrition, is healthful or sustainable. The main take-away for me is that if you want to cut calories, be careful what type of nutrients you cut! Contemporary practitioners of caloric restriction are typically much more careful to ensure adequate nutrition, as in the so-called "CRON" diet:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRON-diet

This leads directly to your "sociological" question:

I've been ruminating on the nature of what constitutes "common knowledge" and how something makes it into the public domain and suddenly everyone is doing it. Of course, what I'm talking about here is the meal-snack-meal-snack-meal-snack way of eating that has been punted for at least my lifetime. "Common knowledge" would have us believe that fasting is dangerous and bad for a person and those of us practising IF could perhaps be considered somewhat, umm... eccentric in our beliefs. Of course I know that different people will respond better to different things, but if I think about my path to SLD, IF and, finally, here, it was the result of an offhand remark made by one of my lecturers - serendipitous at best...I like to think, of course, that we are the groundswell of a revolution rather than the lunatic fringe  :D

What is most unfortunate is how the designer of the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, Ancel Keys, was able to parlay these results, in combination with grossly misleading interpretation of diet-heart heath relationships in his famous "Seven Countries Study", into a long lasting consensus that promotes high-carbohydrate low-fat diets, as well as other shibboleths such as the advice to eat frequent meals and avoid fasting.

The compounded errors of Keys and his associates are skewered in Chapter 2 ("The Inadequacy of Lesser Evidence") of Gary Taubes' book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.  Taubes' book is as much an investigation of the "sociology of science", of how consensus is often developed on false premises, as it is a recounting of the science itself. It's a great read.  A long book, but it reads like a mystery novel, and the science is explained in terms that an intelligent layperson can grasp.



Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Sanchiaza on September 18, 2010, 11:50:49 PM
Hmmm, I must get hold of the Taubes book. Been meaning to read it for a while now.

Nutritionally, you're absolutely right about the Keys study - and isn't it funny how it is almost a cousin to the high-carb low-fat way of eating that has been "common knowledge" since forever! Of course, the nutrition is the most significant consideration in the results, but I have also been contemplating the context in which the study was done and wondering how that may also have influenced the eventual behaviour of the participants.

Thank you so much for the info regarding fasting, it is really useful, especially the idea of defining the nature and aim of the fast. My aim is lowered insulin levels and greater insulin sensitivity and having defined this, I now know in which direction to go.
 
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: jared33 on September 23, 2010, 08:34:17 PM
Today I hit my ideal weight (120) on the nose, and it didn't even seem all that exciting because I had quiet confidence that Fast-5 would take me where I wanted to go. It's like I got on the Fast-5 express train and it dropped me off at my destination. All aboard! Seriously, it's really become second nature, not something I have to consciously commit to each day.

Jbird, your experience is very interesting to me.  I tried Eat-Stop-Eat a few years ago, which is a kind of intermittent fasting where you eat some days and don't eat at all other days.  It was interesting, but I couldn't sustain it, because it was too much on-and-off again.  But your fast-5 diet seems more doable because its more of a daily routine.  How long did it take you to get adjusted to it?  I'm thinking of trying it based on your experience.  It might be easier to stick with than Eat-Stop-Eat.

jared
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on September 24, 2010, 05:22:40 PM
Hi Jared: I could never do an Eat-Stop-Eat approach. I like knowing I can look forward to eating every day, just later in the day. I actually didn't suffer through any type of adjustment period. I was originally trying to do a 24-hour fast (I wrote about this under the Challenges section on this site), and I would hit a wall each evening and cave in and eat something. After several days of this, I realized that while I was failing at completing a 24-hour fast, I was succeeding at something I wasn't even trying to do--Fast-5. It's funny because I never even thought about doing Fast-5, but I was aware of it. So I decided that would be my approach, and I adapted to it very quickly and realized how much I preferred that eating pattern when I visited family and ate more regularly spaced meals for 5 days. I couldn't wait to get back on track. It doesn't feel like a diet or deprivation at all to me. It seems to regulate my blood sugar much better than the conventional wisdom about eating small, protein-based meals 5-6 times a day, which is what I'd been told when my reactive hypoglycemia was diagnosed (at age 20). I hope you give it a try and let us know how you're doing!
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Moonbeam on October 14, 2010, 06:43:51 PM
A late congratulations, Jbird.  I have settled into doing something very similar.  I planned on eating only six hours per day, then four, and now it often ends up being less than that, one big meal eaten over an hour's time.  It's hard at first, but once you get used to it, it's actually a very good way to live, and really the way I naturally ate when I was younger but somehow lost the habit.  I think you settle in at your best weight easily too, as you have found.



Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on October 19, 2010, 07:47:57 PM
Hey, Moonbeam, glad to see you and Jared posting about your Fast-5 and exercise experiences. It's encouraging to see others experiencing similar benefits from this way of eating. Like you, it was my natural pattern when younger, and I wish I'd just followed my own instincts all along.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: JC on November 11, 2010, 05:04:36 PM
Jbird and everyone, I finally had some time in my schedule to ponder making changes to my way of eating, so I tried fast-5 and WOWW!  The first day wasn't even hard, and SOO much energy.  And when I ate around 5:30 p.m. I thought I would pig out, but my appetite was so small. I filled up on less than a normal dinner.  I have done this now for 3 days and I just don't believe it.  Why does eating less REDUCE your appetite.  And I'm just floating all day.  I'm hoping that this is not temporary, because I think I can continue with this way of eating.  Why don't more people know about it.

You learn something new every day. Thanks Jaye for the suggestion.

JC.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on November 11, 2010, 07:08:15 PM
JC, thanks so much for sharing your experience. It makes me really happy to see you and others having the same positive experience
I've had. Don't worry about the good effects wearing off. If anything, it's the opposite. You begin to notice more ways that your life improves as a result of following this approach. It's too bad more people aren't willing to give this a try. Let's hope others who read this blog and discussion board will be sufficiently curious to give it a go and report on their experience. Looking forward to reading more about what you're doing!
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: JC on November 18, 2010, 07:26:44 AM
Jbird, the fasting experiment is turning into just a normal way of eating.  I think my appetite is permanently less. I haven't lost more than a few pounds, but I didn't really need to.  The most interesting thing is how I go through 2/3 of the day not even thinking about food. Good stuff!  I hope others try it too.  :)  JC
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on November 19, 2010, 07:45:47 PM
That's exactly how I feel about it. It's the new normal!
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Micheal Jackson on November 30, 2010, 02:20:30 AM
you should not skip your lunch or breakfast completely , eat some but eat less or eat that what your body needs to run you till next meal , have a search , consult to a personal trainer around you .
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: BadMonkey on December 15, 2010, 04:47:41 PM
MJ,
Am I reading this correctly that you are saying not to skip breakfast or lunch.   I find that skipping breakfast and lunch has been the secret to my weight loss and return to health!  My position is that breakfast is a relatively recent (last few hundred years) invention started by the upper class and has only contributed to increase in weight and preventable diseases of modern society. 
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on February 04, 2011, 01:51:38 PM
Here's further support for skipping breakfast. The study about breakfast just adding to the day's calories without reducing caloric intake later in the day (as conventional nutritionists would have us believe) has been in the news lately, but for anyone who may have missed it, here's the New York Times report. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/health/research/01diet.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=breakfast&st=cse
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Todd Becker on February 05, 2011, 07:22:08 AM
Here's further support for skipping breakfast. The study about breakfast just adding to the day's calories without reducing caloric intake later in the day (as conventional nutritionists would have us believe) has been in the news lately, but for anyone who may have missed it, here's the New York Times report. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/health/research/01diet.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=breakfast&st=cse

That's a very interesting study, Jbird.  Thanks for posting it. It does resonate with my own experience that on those occassional days I eat breakfast, I don't necessarily cut back on the later meals.

I read the full paper in Nutrition Journal (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-10-5.pdf) that was linked to the New York Times article.  Their conclusions for the two-week study are pretty compelling.  And yet, the authors are also honest  enough to acknowledge that there are contradictory results found in other studies on breakfast eating and breakfast skipping.  In particular, they suggest that long term effects may be different as body's metabolism adjusts, or that even just a change in dietary habits, in and of itself, might cause weight loss.  I liked this quote from page 13 of the study:

Quote
On the other hand, the only interventional study of the role of breakfast in the treatment of obesity came to mixed results. Baseline breakfast eaters lost more weight when assigned to the no-breakfast treatment group. On the other hand, baseline breakfast skippers lost more weight when assigned to the breakfast-eating treatment group. It should be kept in mind though, that the study population was very small and these very interesting data clearly deserve confirmation in a larger population.

Thanks again for posting this.


Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Renfred on February 08, 2011, 10:57:02 PM
I've tried IF with some success.  I haven't lost that much weight yet, maybe about 5 pounds.  I usually skip breakfast, and maybe skip lunch on certain days.  Still, I find that I always am getting hungry around dinner time.  But I never thought of it in terms of "conditioning" before.  So maybe I should mix it up a little, just to see if that works.

Hi fellow, In my opinion you will not skip the breakfast and lunch because in this sense you feel weakness and got fell down you health. You in this era not making  a good deal with your health. Take some amount of the food in both the times and use some diet food's like fresh fruit juices and bread with yogurt etc.......
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jbird on April 04, 2011, 01:56:34 PM
This appeared in the NY Time's Well blog today, an article on fasting being good for heart health:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/regular-fasting-may-boost-heart-health/?ref=health

This is on 24-hr. water fasting, but hopefully the findings have some bearing on intermittent fasting too.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Todd Becker on April 05, 2011, 07:07:04 AM
This appeared in the NY Time's Well blog today, an article on fasting being good for heart health:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/regular-fasting-may-boost-heart-health/?ref=health

This is on 24-hr. water fasting, but hopefully the findings have some bearing on intermittent fasting too.

Jbird,

Thank you so much for this intriguing article on the two fasting studies. The caveat to the conclusions for the first study is that it was an observational study and not an interventional study, so it shows only association and not causation. But nevertheless a 58% reduction in coronary disease in the fasting group is pretty dramatic. Wouldn't a drug company or diet like to claim that!

The second study was an interventional study.  Here the results were equally dramatic:

Quote
Among other changes, they found that levels of human growth hormone, or HGH, surged after fasting — increasing 20 times in men and 13 times in women. The hormone is released by the body in times of starvation to protect lean muscle mass and trigger the body to start burning fat stores.
“There is a lot more to be done to fill in the research on the biological mechanism,’’ Dr. Horne said. “But what it does suggest is that fasting is not a marker for other healthy lifestyle behaviors. It appears to be that fasting is causing some major stress, and the body responds to that by some protective mechanisms that potentially have a beneficial long-term effect on risk of chronic disease.”

Again, how many other interventions can claim to increase human growth hormone 13-20 times!  And doing it in an intermittent, pulsatile manner is known to have benefits.  Horne's comment that fasting benefits derive from a "major stress" that induces "protective mechanisms" aptly identifies fasting as a form of hormesis.

So this research is a big boost for intermittent fasting, and adds to the panoply of other documented benefits, such as the elevation of BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) and the increase in autophagy, both of which are cardioprotective and neuroprotective.

Todd

Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: stephenmarklay on April 24, 2011, 05:16:10 PM
I can't wait to get fully into the IF pattern.  I am working right now on eating 2x (late breakfast or lunch and dinner) with the goal of just dinner as tolerated.

I am starting to train some endurance for cycling so I will see how energy is.  I am training low intensity and I never need to eat on the bike or after.  After a couple of months on a Ketongenic Paleo diet I can at least burn some fat.  Now I just need to burn the fat I have not what I am eating!

Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: shadowfoot on April 24, 2011, 05:36:02 PM
I don't think anyone has mentioned this, so I want to mention an interesting personal anecdote on intermittent fasting from my at least three or four months eating only breakfast and dinner most days. It has been my experience that under those contitions the body will adapt to only get hungry at those times and skipping lunch is no longer something unusual. However, if I wanted to avoid lessened energy and coldness during extended times like that then I ahd to eat enough. As long as I could have two massive meals each day I was fine. Perhaps that is why some people find it so effective for weight loss -- because it is so diffucult to get the daily number of calories in two sittings or less.

On a side note, I no longer eat that way. I decided it was getting to monotonous and no longer provided a challenge for my body. So I know eat three meals most days and two or three times a week I only take one or two meals the whole day.

-shadowfoot
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: stephenmarklay on April 25, 2011, 04:58:28 AM
I think that whatever works applies.  I am going to way my energy with my eating.  I am going to do 1-2 meals per day starting today but WHEN I get to my desired weight of about 160 I will likely go to 2 meals (skipping lunch like you) and just dinner if I need to modulate my weight a bit.

Today is the first day with just dinner -wish me luck!

EDIT:  First 24 hour fast was a breeze.  Actually a lot less mental duress than having to try and not eat too much.  I think I will just do 1 meal for a while and see how it goes.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: ankylosaurus on May 09, 2011, 05:14:34 AM
do you guys think it's possible for IF to reverse aging?

I'm 22 but I seem to be aging extremely fast compared to other people my age. I already have fine lines on my face.
I'm hoping IF will not only stall, but even somewhat reverse this. Is that too much to hope for? ;D
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: SkiPK on May 10, 2011, 03:44:21 PM
I'll just add my experience with IF on here and hope it is helpful.  Started reading about IF 16-20 months ago, as a 32 year old male I was looking for the best way to get back to my fighting weight.  At 5'7", I felt best around 146-148 but was currently hovering around 160 for several years.  I stumbled upon Eat Stop Eat and gave it a shot.  I have always lifted weights and stayed pretty active.  I run several days a week, race in 5k, 10k, and half-marathons, and play beach volleyball every weekend for several hours.  That said I also eat pizza a couple times a week and enjoy sandwiches and an occasional soda and chips for lunch.  The rest of my diet is fairly healthy - meats, fruits, eggs, Greek yogurt, Veggies (greens, peppers, onions mostly) and nuts. 

ESE style Intermittent Fasting and then later Leangains style eating windows got me down past my target to between 140 and 144 depending on the day and whether I buried a pizza the night before.  I love it, I feel great, no longer think too hard about it and I still feel fine on my runs, whether it's fasted weight training, fasted sprints, and fasted longer runs.  The only time I feel the need to eat before a run is when I'm trying to hit my race pace for an extended period.  I can still play 3 plus hours of beach volleyball as long as I'm hydrating enough.  Hope this is informative and or a little helpful.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Todd Becker on May 10, 2011, 07:37:10 PM
do you guys think it's possible for IF to reverse aging?  I'm 22 but I seem to be aging extremely fast compared to other people my age. I already have fine lines on my face.  I'm hoping IF will not only stall, but even somewhat reverse this. Is that too much to hope for? ;D

Hi ankylosaurus - welcome to this forum!  To answer your question, while you can't stop or reverse aging, you can slow down its effects, and you can become healthier in specific ways, such as improved strength, fitness, endurance, immunity and mental clarity.  Certain signs of aging, like grey hair, may not be reversible.  The question of skin aging is an interesting one, and has spawned an entire cosmetic industry.  I don't know much about cosmetic treatments, but certainly there are skin nutrients like Vitamins C, A and D, zinc, dietary oils (particularly omega-3 oils like fish oil or flax seed oil, and medium chain triglycerides like coconut oil) which can dramatically improve skin texture and tone, plump it up, and reverse or at least soften wrinkles.

I also think that cutting down on sugars and reducing insulin seems to help skin texture.  One effect I noticed from IF (perhaps helped along by fish oil) was the total disappearance of rough skin I used to have on my elbows.  Now the skin there is smooth and shiny.

ESE style Intermittent Fasting and then later Leangains style eating windows got me down past my target to between 140 and 144 depending on the day and whether I buried a pizza the night before.  I love it, I feel great, no longer think too hard about it and I still feel fine on my runs, whether it's fasted weight training, fasted sprints, and fasted longer runs.  The only time I feel the need to eat before a run is when I'm trying to hit my race pace for an extended period.  I can still play 3 plus hours of beach volleyball as long as I'm hydrating enough.  Hope this is informative and or a little helpful.

Welcome, SkiPK!  Sounds like you have found a way to harness IF very effectively to stay fit and feel great.
Title: Re: Intermittent fasting
Post by: Jertive on May 31, 2011, 04:06:52 AM
Hey congrats to all of you who have reduced so much weight with IF.But in my point of view IF is not good for health.May be it works but sometimes it makes our body weak so try to avoid it and always prefer natural ways to reduce weight like with exercise and diet food.