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Intermittent Fasting OT

Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#1
Intermittent Fasting or IF has been a recent health protocol that has gained popularity in the fitness industry via the work of Martin Berkham of Lean Gains.

[The Leangains Guide | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health](http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html)

Fasting is something humans have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years. Initially, prior to the Agricultural Revolution, fasting was common, although involuntary when food was scarce. Later voluntary fasting became common in religious traditions, still to this day. Jews, Christian, Muslims, have recommendations to fasts in their religious texts. You also find it many other religions. You don’t have to be religious to fast as there are amazing health benefits outside of a spiritual discipline.

Recently, there has been some research on the benefits of fasting beyond just body composition, including the retardation of tumorous cancers. Most of these are animal models. New research is obviously needed. There are way more observed benefits in animal models. See resource links below.

I’ve been doing IF for a few years now. I find it incredibly convenient. My “breakfast” is usually coffee, without sugar or cream.

Types of fasting program.

16 hour fast/8 hour eating window daily.

You can have fluids, but they must not have any calories. Water of all kinds, coffee, tea, etc. Fasting here refers to liquid only (non caloric) consumption.

Your daily sleep is included in the fasting time, so it’s not as bad it sounds. A daily fasting schedule can look like this.

Skip Breakfast—Black coffee or plain tea is fine. No caloric sweeteners or dairy or plant milks added.
Lunch at 12PM
Dinner at 6-8PM.
Sleep at 10PM

So counting sleep and missing breakfast, that’s 16 hours. It would be 18 if you eat dinner at 6. I wanted to keep Dinner flexible. You can snack in between Lunch and Dinner. The key is to constrain your eating to an 8-hour eating window,

One or Two Full Day Fasts. 24 hour fast

You can do water fasts for one or two days. Two is pretty hardcore. Never got to that, but one day is rather easy. Here’s how I would do it.

Have breakfast on Saturday at 10 AM. Do not eat until Sunday at 10 AM.

Simple.

If that would kill your social life, just modify it. Have Dinner on Friday. This could be nice dinner with friends, family, coworkers, SO, etc. Don’t eat again until Saturday night. Full 24 hours.

There is also a fasting mimicking diet created by Valter Longo one of the big researchers in the field of fasting and its benefits.

https://prolonfmd.com/fasting-mimicking-diet/

This apparently mimics the benefits of fasting without the long times between meal times.

What about fat loss?

Calories still matter here. However, I did find myself easier to adhere to lower calories while fasting. Why? I don't know, but it seems that fasting helps with appetite regulation. This has been observed.

Right now I mostly fast out of convenience and the long term health benefits observed. Moreover, I still consume the same amount of calories, but it's nice having a bigger meal instead of splitting my caloric load across three meals. I only split it around two meals and some snacks. I also do 3 day water fasts seasonally

Fun fact: The longest human water only fast recorded was 382 days. The patient in question was monitored daily and received IV fluids with vitamins. He lost over 300 pounds.

Resources:
Interview with Dr. Longo:
[Valter Longo, Ph.D. on Fasting-Mimicking Diet & Fasting for Longevity, Cancer & Multiple Sclerosis - YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PyyatqJSE)

There’s an App for that! This is what I use:
[Zero - Fasting Tracker on the App Store](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zero-fasting-tracker/id1168348542?mt=8)
There’s an Android app called Vora. I haven’t used so I can’t comment on it, but it has a high rating in the Google Play Store.

*Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor if you are interested in starting a fasting protocol. This is not medical advice. Don’t implement such a huge change without consulting professional medical advice.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,849
#4
Ive been intermittent fasting for 2 months now and its been great. Today is my sister's bday and I may be required to eat past my 8 hour window. Will I be ok?
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#5
I do this as well and it is so much easier to control my weight.
Same. I also like not worrying about food all the time. It's particular nice in busy work days.

What's funny is that I noticed how much I used to eat out of boredom and routine instead of real hunger. I really understood hunger when I started fasting.
 

gigaslash

User requested ban
Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,122
#6
I love fasting. I try to do 24h at least once a week/10 days, and from time to time I attempt 72h, though that tends to have a varying degree of success. But great stuff anyways.
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,823
#8
Been doing IF just about 5 years now. I would argue that it doesn't really have any advantage over normal CICO in terms of body composition (I've done both extensively)... but it does stop me snacking at work, so in reality it makes it far easier for me to eat less.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#10
How long did it take for your body to get used to eating within that 8hr time frame?
A good week. Everyone is different though.

What happened is that my appetite compensated rather quickly. I had a bigger dinner, so that left me rather full and breakfast looking not that appetizing.

Fasting is great on weekends since errands and stuff aren't slowed down due to needing to eat at a set time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
723
#11
Calories still matter here. However, I did find myself easier to adhere to lower calories while fasting. Why? I don't know, but it seems that fasting helps with appetite regulation. This has been observed.
Honestly, I don't think fasting is a good idea, since I ended up having the reverse issue.

I just end up eating big meals when I could finally eat because I was starving, which stretched my stomach. This results in continually bigger and bigger meals as the stomach grows every day, until you can eat massive dinners without even remotely feeling full. I was there at one point in my life with 15-20 hour fasts for various reasons, and it was disgustingly obvious when I went from eating half a certain brand frozen pizza and getting full, to being able to eat two of the same product with change to spare.

If you've got the willpower and fortitude to not do that, then you may as well just eat normal spread out meals. It's better for your body, you're burning calories all day over time, you lower your glycemic load, you avoid hunger related issues (hanger is a thing, it is for me), and you keep your stomach small.

Maybe it works for some people, but it didn't for me.
 

Carfo

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,857
#12
I started doing this, and like the OP for breakfast all I have is a black iced coffee (hot coffee and/or milk upset my stomach). Something about the coffee lowers my appetite a lot because when I don't think the coffee I get extremely hungry to the point where I feel nauseous. I'll eat something light like soup, salad, or smoothie for lunch, then for dinner I usually eat whatever. The hardest part for me is to not eat before bed because it's something I have done for so long. To the OP, is it bad to still eat something really small before bed like sunflower seeds?
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,051
#13
I have been fasting at least one day a week for the last 3 weeks. I have lost 6 lbs doing that. I am fasting this week, Thanksgiving until Sunday. Usually, my last meal will be on Friday around 5 PM. I won't eat until 8 AM on that Sunday.
 
Oct 25, 2017
771
Brazil
#14
I usually have a decent meal for lunch and not eat anything until the next day.
I don't really control it, tho. It's more that i've gotten used to it.
 
Oct 26, 2017
62
Austria
#15
Started doing this a couple of month ago. I started with three 24h hour fasting days a week and was actually surprised by how easy it was for me. My girlfriend was finding it more difficult. We've now reduced it to one to two days because it's socially difficult to keep up so many days. There are too many occasions where one of us or we both are meeting people and it wouldn't be cool to not eat/drink whatever.
For us both though it's easier to just skip eating for a day instead of trying to eat less. I also feel really great on the days I don't eat.

I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I'd recommend everyone to at least try it.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#16
Honestly, I don't think fasting is a good idea, since I ended up having the reverse issue.

I just end up eating big meals when I could finally eat because I was starving, which stretched my stomach. This results in continually bigger and bigger meals as the stomach grows every day, until you can eat massive dinners without even remotely feeling full. I was there at one point in my life with 15-20 hour fasts for various reasons, and it was disgustingly obvious when I went from eating half a certain brand frozen pizza and getting full, to being able to eat two of the same product with change to spare.

If you've got the willpower and fortitude to not do that, then you may as well just eat normal spread out meals. It's better for your body, you're burning calories all day over time, you lower your glycemic load, you avoid hunger related issues (hanger is a thing, it is for me), and you keep your stomach small.

Maybe it works for some people, but it didn't for me.
Looks like you were eating terrible food too. Food choice still matter. Frozen pizza? That's very high food reward.

Look into food reward theory.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/10/case-for-food-reward-hypothesis-of.html
 
Oct 29, 2017
130
#17
I've been doing IF for a a year or two now. It's just second nature - honestly it's nothing more than skipping breakfast. Black coffee is an excellent appetite suppressant too.

I had my blood work checked a few months ago and my blood glucose and cholesterol was perfect. Whether this is attributed to IF is unknown although my diet hasn't been great!
 
Oct 27, 2017
898
#18
Ive tried IF before and it definitely shed the lbs like crazy. However, I felt lousy before breakfast, and I think it contributed to either an ulcer or at the very least gastritis, so I stopped.

What's the scientific verdict on its effectiveness? Are there any well-regarded peer reviewed sources out there?
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,685
#19
I lost about ten pounds in two months doing this, and then I went on vacation and I gained like 7 pounds hahaha. I'm now trying to get back into the swing of things.
 
Oct 27, 2017
723
#20
Looks like you were eating terrible food too. Food choice still matter. Frozen pizza? That's very high food reward.

Look into food reward theory.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/10/case-for-food-reward-hypothesis-of.html
That was just an example food that I remember knowing how much I could eat before and how much I could eat after. I didn't eat frozen pizza everyday. It was a rare treat on weekends because it was expensive. I stuck to unbreaded chicken and fish back then since I wasn't a veg.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#21
Ive tried IF before and it definitely shed the lbs like crazy. However, I felt lousy before breakfast, and I think it contributed to either an ulcer or at the very least gastritis, so I stopped.

What's the scientific verdict on its effectiveness? Are there any well-regarded peer reviewed sources out there?
Check the resource link. The Youtube interview has tons.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,235
#22
i've skipped breakfast all my life because i never felt hungry in the morning, i just thought it's a waste of money, so it's actually good for you? lol
 

FireSafetyBear

Banned for use of an alt-account
Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,248
#23
I used to hate IF but ever since taking my adderall every day it’s been making it much easier.

Works well on making sure you don’t go over calories.

i've skipped breakfast all my life because i never felt hungry in the morning, so i thought it's a waste of money, so it's actually good for you? lol
Healthy in the sense that you don’t eat as much. Not healthy in the sense that two people eating the same food but one eats once a day the other eats throughout the day, there wouldn’t be a difference.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#26
That was just an example food that I remember knowing how much I could eat before and how much I could eat after. I didn't eat frozen pizza everyday. It was a rare treat on weekends because it was expensive. I stuck to unbreaded chicken and fish back then since I wasn't a veg.
Ah gotcha. Yeah, you will be eating more per meal by design since you're eating less frequently. Your body is gonna want the same calories it's used to and calorie theory still matters.

What I do is eat higher satiety foods, foods higher in fiber like lentils, beans, potatoes, whole grains and so on.

I love food way too much to do this. GL to those who try it though.
I love food too. I prefer this since I can have nice, big meals daily for dinner, instead of snacking or eating throwaway meals like breakfast.
 
#27
With my work schedule I'm forced to fast for 11-12 hours.

Eat before bed at midnight

Get up at 5am, get to work at 5:40, no time for breakfast or coffee

Energy drink at 8am for break

Lunch at 11am

Never noticed any health differences, never gained/lost weight before or after but was nice to know prolonged tummy growlies won't kill me
 
Oct 29, 2017
130
#28
With my work schedule I'm forced to fast for 11-12 hours.

Eat before bed at midnight

Get up at 5am, get to work at 5:40, no time for breakfast or coffee

Energy drink at 8am for break

Lunch at 11am

Never noticed any health differences, never gained/lost weight before or after but was nice to know prolonged tummy growlies won't kill me
Weight loss is contingent upon your weekly caloric intake, not how many hours you fast.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,235
#30
Healthy in the sense that you don’t eat as much. Not healthy in the sense that two people eating the same food but one eats once a day the other eats throughout the day, there wouldn’t be a difference.
So the purpose is to eat less? It's an honest question because the OP doesn't say what the benefits are, so I just assumed it's good for you because you don't eat over a certain period of time.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,348
#31
Damn I've been having protein shakes and apparently they are considered to break the fast. Looks like I have to go to the gym earlier. Bah!!
 

FireSafetyBear

Banned for use of an alt-account
Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,248
#32
So the purpose is to eat less? It's an honest question because the OP doesn't say what the benefits are, so I just assumed it's good for you because you don't eat over a certain period of time.
I’ve always read it as that. A lot of people do it to help control their eating when on a deficit.

When you eat multiple meals you’re eating less at a time and you get hungry so it can add up and at the end of the day if you have 200 cals left but you’re starving, you won’t be able to eat as much to fix it.

With IF your body will eventually get used to it so at the end of the day you can eat a big meal and feel full and not be hungry til the next day and you didn’t go over your daily limit.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,958
#33
I never eat breakfast and drink mostly water anyway so I am doing this basically almost every day of the week
 

Tesseract

Banned
Member
Nov 11, 2017
2,644
#35
i've been doing this for years, although i push myself into 3 day fasting territory because i like my meals to be big.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
14,334
#36
So the purpose is to eat less? It's an honest question because the OP doesn't say what the benefits are, so I just assumed it's good for you because you don't eat over a certain period of time.
Benefits are gone over in the video posted, but I didn’t want to put anything definitive since it research is rather new.

The most obvious benefits are appetite control and body composition.
 
Oct 25, 2017
271
#38
So the purpose is to eat less? It's an honest question because the OP doesn't say what the benefits are, so I just assumed it's good for you because you don't eat over a certain period of time.
The small eating window does purposely limit the amount of calories you can eat without feeling overburdened, however there are physiological differences between Fasting vs. just Eating Less (low calorie diets). For example, those that will eat 1,200-1,500 calories a day may feel like they're constantly hungry whereas you'll actually feel less hungry if you don't eat anything at all. Sounds crazy, but it's explained in the video below. I highly recommend anyone watch this video:


Personally I've been doing 16/8 IF such as in the OP for 5 years now and can NEVER go back. Lifestyle and social benefits, morning productivity and clarity, meal prep time saving -- and that is just from a convenience perspective compared to eating every 2-3 hours and having 4-6 meals a day. Not to mention the additional health benefits fasting provides such as autophagy (the body's ability to self-clean by hunting and eating old, diseased, and worn-out cells).
 

BarryAllen

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,432
#39
The Monday after Thanksgiving I always don't eat for a week. I know it's unhealthy but like I don't care. Then I do the don't eat for 3 days thing every week.
 
Oct 27, 2017
48
#41
Been doing this for a bit and so far I've lost 10 pounds and feel great. It' also true that I feel less hungry overall and I just feel leaner
 
Oct 26, 2017
754
#47
Trying to hop back on the bus.

Going to aim for a 16/8 for this week and eventually get to 20/4 next week. I'm also going to try to be as low carb as possible. Not 100% sure if I will aim for keto tho. My only planned sugar intake is going to be dextrose after I lift.

This should lead me right into Christmas where I'll feast of tamales like a mf.
 

appaws

Banned
Member
Oct 30, 2017
153
#48
Glad to see this thread.

I've been reading and watching the work of Dr. Jason Fung and incorporating IF into my life.

I've felt really good, especially when I have extended my fasts up to 5 days. By day 3 I feel no hunger or cravings, and my mental clarity becomes great at day 4. I swear to God I have beaten lots of levels of Cuphead when fasting.
 
Oct 27, 2017
372
#50
IF is amazing. I'm currently at around 100 lbs lost since April, primarily due to Tim Ferris' "Slow Carb Diet" and increased gym activity, but IF turned out to be gas on the fire. I lost exactly five pounds every single week (well where I didn't screw up) until I got down to a weight which is healthy for my height. Now I keep the diet and IF around to remain in a holding pattern while I try to turn body fat into muscle.

It was difficult initially honestly, but once I saw a month of it through it just became part of my life. I wake up extremely early almost every day, so skipping breakfast would be a no-go for me. I just feel.. sick and disorganized if I don't eat fairly soon within waking up. My current window is 8am-4pm, which obviously is kind of an early dinner but having an empty stomach seems to improve both my sleep and oddly my dreams.