Author Topic: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?  (Read 25672 times)

Offline jared33

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Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« on: November 27, 2010, 11:45:24 AM »
I've been practicing IF, fast-5 style for many months now and I like it quite well.  I eat either lunch and and early dinner, or I shift this later if I know I'm going out for dinner or want to eat later.

I posted an article earlier about what happens to glucose, fat, ketones and insulin levels when you start fasting, and the discussion suggests that the pattern is quite similar in some ways to low carb, except that with low carb you are supplying amino acids from the protein in your diet that can be used to make fresh glucose (gluconeogenesis).  Here it is again: http://www.medbio.info/Horn/Time%203-4/homeostasis1.htm

My question to the readers of this forum is whether IF has similar benefits to low carb, and which one you prefer. They both seem to reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance, from what I've read.  But the pattern of eating is quite different.

Or maybe you combine them.  I'm interested in what everyone is doing.  I've not been really into low carb, but I have no problem with it and I might try to combine the two if it makes sense.   

Offline Micheal Jackson

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 02:13:26 AM »
combination of both is good .
have a diet plan and stick to it .

Offline Ari

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 07:16:46 AM »
Hi there.  I'm new to this forum and came here from one of the low carb sites (Livin La Vida Low Carb).  I think that it is interesting that low carb and fasting might have similar effects. I have lost over 50 pounds on Atkins, but I am still about 40 pounds from my goal weight and I am having trouble losing any more weight and even maintaining.  I'm interested in intermittent fasting, but I'm worried that it could mess up my metabolism and permanently slow things down.  Do you have any information about that?

Offline Jbird

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 06:16:03 PM »
Hi Ari: Congrats on your weight loss and perseverence with Atkins! In the current homepage article on this site on Fasting, Todd says: Many of the Diet Links listed in the right-hand panel, such as fast-5 and Eat-Stop-Eat, amply document the safety and health benefits of fasting, dispelling the myths about “starvation mode”, slowing of metabolism,  and loss of lean muscle mass." I'm an advocate of intermittent fasting, specifically Fast-5, and I encourage you to check out the links on the homepage. I think the fact that you are already low carbing should make the transition to some type of fasting relatively easy. Good luck and please post on your experiences! Jbird

Offline jared33

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 10:06:25 PM »
Ari, welcome.  Jbird is right that fast-5 type short term fasting is quite safe.  Those who have studied it have found that fasting does not decrease lean body mass  significantly for several days.  And as far as metabolism goes, IF does not seem to slow things down, there may be even be some evidence that it speeds up metabolism a bit.  I certainly have not noticed a slow down. I naturally end up eating less this way, and I have more energy than I used to, so I don't think my body is not trying to conserve energy or anything like that.

I would take a look at the articles on Todd's blog about 'Learning to fast'  and 'Calorie restriction and hormesis'  if you haven't already read those, and definitely look at the fast-5 website for good information about how to do IF and why it works so well.  You can download their e-book for free - it's a breeze to read, very clear.  There is also a forum there. 

I'm coming to this question from the other side as you.  I've latched on to fast-5 that is not really low carb, but am wondering whether or not I should combine the two.  I'm not sure I really need to, and one thing I like about IF is that there is no restriction on what you cannot eat.  But I'm interested in whether anyone else has combined IF and low carb and finds any benefit to doing that.  Or a preference for one over the other. 

Good luck and keep posting!

jared

Offline BadMonkey

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 04:41:18 PM »
I have been at this for about 6 months and am down about 70 lbs as I write this.   I am not sure where I will end up (current weight = 245, height = 6'3") but I think it will be between 180 and 200.   I started IF without a specific diet in mind and saw consistent weight loss for a few months (about 2 lbs per week).   On October 1st I started eating strict Paleo (lots of non-starchy veggies and meats / no grains, sugars, legumes, dairy).   The interesting thing is that for the next week I saw a sharp decrease in weight (about 10 pounds in one week) and then my rate of weight loss returned to the same rate as it was before I started Paleo.  My assumption is that the reason for the spike in weight loss was my body shedding water due to the diuretic effects of high protein consumption.   

For me IF and low carb(ish) seems to be working well.   I would definitely recommend it.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2010, 11:13:49 AM »
Hi BadMonkey, welcome to the site. Looks like you've had very good success so far losing weight.  I think you are right that the combination of LC + IF is magical.  LC reduces the insulin spikes and average insulin levels, and IF bottoms out the insulin.  The result is to remove the insulin's inhibitory effects on both fat burning and glucose production by the liver.  With time and adaptation, the access to both glucose and fatty acids is enhanced.  This tends to balance out blood sugar and eliminate hypoglycemic symptoms, so your energy levels become more consistent.

I'm not a low carb absolutist -- I like to indulge in certain carb treats now and then -- something small every day, or a splurge like pizza or dessert a few times a week.  But I keep it in check. I would add to this formula two other elements:  HIIT (high intensity intermittent training) and CS (cold showers).  Both of those seem to kickstart fat burning and an energized feeling, at least in my case. 

So the equation is FL (fat loss) = LC + IF + HIIT + CS !

Offline BadMonkey

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 01:00:18 PM »
I would add to this formula two other elements:  HIIT (high intensity intermittent training) and CS (cold showers).  Both of those seem to kickstart fat burning and an energized feeling, at least in my case. 

So the equation is FL (fat loss) = LC + IF + HIIT + CS !


I work out about four days a week with kettlebells as well so I get in a lot of HIIT.  One thing that I have not been able to start yet is the cold showers.   I tried to do it one morning but it was just too cold in the house.   The thermostat turns down to 55 at night and the house hadn't warmed up yet when I started to take my shower.   I briefly turned on the cold water but that was more than I could bear.   I had to immediately turn up the heat again.  That was a couple weeks ago.   I am still working up the courage to do it again.   :)

Offline aspen2cody

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 05:52:07 AM »
My background with Low Carb, the last 3 years I had been eating Paleo and Ultra running (running around 40 to 80 miles a week). I was training for a 100 mile trail race in Colorado. My weight stayed around 150lbs at this time. Since last August, I retired from running but continued eating low carb. Much less carbs and lots of fat. (coconut oil, raw cream, grass fed butter). My weight has ballooned up to 175lbs. My new approach will be IF and less fat and more carbs in the form of roots and potatoes. Exercise will be weight training.

Offline Esmond

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 01:59:39 AM »
Hi jared33,
Combination of bot h will definitely brings better result but I will advice you to have low carb diet.
Do count carbs before taking any meal and I will advice you to break meal in 5/6 small meals rather than intermittent fasting.

Offline aspen2cody

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2011, 04:44:17 AM »
I would like to inject my experience so far with intermittent fasting and low carb. 1st of all I gained about 26 lbs trying to eat low carb and high fat. I was eating grass fed beef, coconut oil, grass fed butter and cream and local yard eggs as if they were going out of style. I have never been above 170lbs. I was trying low carb because I thought I could get below 150 that way without counting calories. It backfired on me. Then I heard Todd on the Jimmy Moore show and began IF. I have lost 16lbs and it has not been low carb. Although it has been fairly high in protein. I have quite a few protein bars or shakes when I break my fast, I even will eat a turkey sandwich on sprouted grain bread. I would like to add that I also run ultra distances. I am currently in the buildup phase of training where my mileage is over 60 miles along with weights 3 times a week. Even though I exercise that much, I cant eat anything (amount) I want. As my weight drops, I get faster. Its my new secret weapon this year. Cant wait till fall to race on the trails. Training is going great again.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2011, 08:47:03 AM »
aspen2cody,

Thanks for sharing your experience with IF.  It's interesting that you gained weight with a low carb, high fat diet, especially given the high content of grass fed beef and coconut oil.  It is, of course, possible to gain weight even with low carb if the calories are high enough, since fat can be stored via ASP even at low to moderate insulin levels.  But I would have thought it hard to gain 26 pounds, even eating a lot of calories.  Did you feel stuffed?

At any rate, I'm glad that IF is working better for you, has allowed you to eat a more varied diet, and has benefited your running.  Please do check in here from time to time and let us know how the training and races are going.

Todd

« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 04:53:04 AM by Todd Becker »

Offline aspen2cody

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2011, 06:03:16 AM »
Thanks Todd,

Yes I did feel stuffed eating that much fat.I was drinking the kool-aid from all the Jimmy Moore Podcast. Eat as much fat as you can and you will still lose weight was the mantra.I came from a vegan diet background before my Paleo/low carb experiment. I didn't restrict the calories at all as I gained the weight. In fact I tried to purposely increase the amount of fat at each meal. I also had stopped running and switched to weight training. At first trying IF with low carb, it seemed I couldn't sleep at night, I felt wired. I am down 20lbs now.

I am fully back into endurance training about 70 miles a week. Currently training for (3) 50 milers in October/November. My diet has evolved to eating more carbs such as oatmeal and beans. I still am eating only once a day after my 10 miler in the evening. Sunday after my 26 to 30 mile run I break my fast during my run and eat much more traditionally the rest of the day. I do still have a little trouble falling asleep at night, not sure if it is my training so late in the day or my IF. any thoughts?

Has anyone else out there had success eating a vegan/mostly vegan diet and IFing?

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2011, 08:15:05 PM »
aspen2cody,

IF in combination with a large amount of exercise can raise cortisol and catecholamine levels.  That's bad only if these levels are chronically elevated.  If they remain elevated in the evening, this can result in poor sleep. To bring yourself "down" in the evening, consider upping the protein level of your dinner meal or even eating a late evening protein snack.  If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you could add some eggs or diary like cottage cheese.  If not, I'm sure you have your favorite sources of vegetable protein.

Todd
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 04:53:19 AM by Todd Becker »

Offline aspen2cody

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Re: Low Carb vs. Intermittent Fasting -- or both?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 05:38:36 PM »
my vegetarian IF experiment failed miserably. After about 3 weeks, my body got very weak and caught the 1st cold I have had in 5 years. Felt good for the 1st 2 weeks due to amount of carbs (I guess) I was eating. training 20 hours a week eating just grass fed beef and fat just wasnt cutting it for me either. I have found a better combo. I am back to eating somewhat low carb (grass fed beef and wild caught salmon, cocounut oil, grass fed butter and green leaf veges) but have increased my intake of Japenese yams, sweet potatoes or even russets if I have too. I have even included white rice too, as long as I get at least 500 calories of safe starches (perfect health diet) per day. This has really helped. My work schedule has changed that my workout schedule to that where I lift weights for 15 minutes a day Monday thru Friday early in the morning and evenings I run trails about 7 miles a day. Weekends are 30 to 40 on Saturday and Sunday 20 miles. I will see how this goes for the next few months.