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Thread: Intermittent fasting

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    Default Intermittent fasting

    I've recently read a number of articles on the benefits of intermittent fasting (specifically, 24 h periods of fasting rather than Ramadan-style daily cycles of eating/fasting).

    In animal models and in some limited human trials, alternate day fasting seems to have an effect on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, oxidative stress and cancer. Most interestingly to me, it appears to be a better alternative to calorie restriction for weight loss/fat reduction. I'd rather not eat for a day than constantly be holding back. (if you search Google Scholar for "intermittent fasting" you get lots of interesting results.)

    I've started trying out once-a-week fasting, but I'm hoping to increase it to twice a week (more doesn't look feasible with my exercise/work schedule).

    Has anyone tried it? Everyone I've told has been flabbergasted at the idea of me not eating for any extended period of time.
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    I haven't done a full-on fast (I have done a short juice fast) but I've read about it, and I think it sounds like a great idea. If you think about our ancient ancient ancestors, they would have had periods of time on a pretty regular basis without food, so it seems like a very natural way for our species to live, and I feel like the more naturally we eat, maybe the better we're doing.
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    It also helps to heal IBD

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    I've eaten 21 stuffed jalepinos and drank 3+ liters of orange juice in the last 36 hours. my butthole is on fire.
    Last edited by bg; 02-06-2012 at 03:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slacker View Post
    If you think about our ancient ancient ancestors, they would have had periods of time on a pretty regular basis without food, so it seems like a very natural way for our species to live, and I feel like the more naturally we eat, maybe the better we're doing.
    I don't know how convincing that is... I'm not sure I want a pre-Medieval life expectancy, even if I'd be thinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by bionicgerbil View Post
    I've eaten 21 stuffed jalepinos and drank 3+ liters of orange juice in the last 36 hours. my butthole is on fire.
    for some reason I am now imagining the hamster in your avatar with a fiery butthole
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    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octo View Post
    I don't know how convincing that is... I'm not sure I want a pre-Medieval life expectancy, even if I'd be thinner
    nothing taste better than thin, octo. not even your life expectancy. die young, stay beautiful
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

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    Sounds kinda bad unless your levels of physical activity are really low
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    I fast for sixteen hours daily and eat in an eight hour window of time.

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    Also, I read this study about this man that was morbidly obese and
    did not eat solid food for an entire year and he lived. His body had
    so much stored up fat to use as energy he didn't really need to eat,
    he just had to stay hydrated.

    /me tries to find study.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octo View Post
    I don't know how convincing that is... I'm not sure I want a pre-Medieval life expectancy, even if I'd be thinner
    I don't know if fasting was the cause of that, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Yeah, I can't imagine being physically active and not eating for 1-2 days out of the week. I'm pretty sure any physically active person would become emaciated in short order under caloric conditions like that. Along with other potential issues like malnutrition, etc. I really can't conceive that being very sustainable except for relatively sedentary persons.
    That's what I thought at first, but most of the non-academic info I've read on intermittent fasting is actually from bodybuilding forums, because it's an easy way to lose fat without sacrificing muscle gain:

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fast...-protocols.htm
    http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com/b...ru-of-fasting/
    http://jimmysmithtraining.com/traini...t-warrior-diet
    http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-n...ttent-fasting/
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    I've done some vegetable/juice fasting into full on fasting for a few days. If you can get into it, I think its a good way to go. Honestly it didn't really bother me. Ramping it up slow like your doing would be good. It's supposed to help activate certain repair/longevity genes, pushing your systems to adapt for more efficient short term uptake of nutrients, and improving those mechanisms etc. I've read about it some on the immortality institute forums and it seems to be promising. Not as good as calorie restriction for longevity but more tolerable. Sedentary days at the office/job/school would be perfect for it. (well almost, depends on if u have a test etc, small snacks high in glucose might be perfect then. )
    You don't actually end up eating much less calories or less at all, the condensed window is a sorta training mechanism.You can eat whatever you want 2x calories on the eat day if you on EOD fasting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octo View Post
    That's what I thought at first, but most of the non-academic info I've read on intermittent fasting is actually from bodybuilding forums, because it's an easy way to lose fat without sacrificing muscle gain:

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fast...-protocols.htm
    http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com/b...ru-of-fasting/
    http://jimmysmithtraining.com/traini...t-warrior-diet
    http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-n...ttent-fasting/
    Ehm, having tried some of the diets and strategies described in body-building forums, I believe they are tendentially useful if you want to become shredded quickly, but generally they have zero medium-term sustainability, just like a ketogenic diet, or running on an empty stomach right after waking up. Nevertheless, if you're trying to lose weight, it might be a good strategy.
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    As long as the fasting doesn't get carried away and you're trying to
    burn fat and you've plateaued at a weight using cardio, fasting one
    to two days is not going to harm you overall as long as you eat a
    good amount of calories the days that you do eat. If you're restricting
    and fasting I can see the beginnings of an eating disorder occurring
    but if you're being responsible and not freaking out because you ate
    a piece of pizza and now you're going to have to spend an extra hour
    on the treadmill, you should be physically alright and not deplete yourself
    of needed nourishment/energy. I did a little more research on this after
    you posted that you read this on body building forums. They have good
    tips and advice but not all of their techniques are healthy, this one doesn't
    seem too bad as long as you eat between 1800 - 2300 calories the day
    you do eat. OR you eat around 800 - 1300 depending on what foods you eat.
    1300 calories in vegetables is a shit ton of vegetables. I realize that 800 calories
    is like one double cheeseburger or whatever but if you're diet mostly consists
    of veggies/fruits, 1000 - 1500 calories can go a long way. If you eat more
    breads and meats and dairies you should aim for a caloric intake of 1800 - 2300.
    I also suggest saying good bye to almost all transfats and artificial sugars and salts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrangea View Post
    As long as the fasting doesn't get carried away and you're trying to
    burn fat and you've plateaued at a weight using cardio, fasting one
    to two days is not going to harm you overall as long as you eat a
    good amount of calories the days that you do eat. If you're restricting
    and fasting I can see the beginnings of an eating disorder occurring
    but if you're being responsible and not freaking out because you ate
    a piece of pizza and now you're going to have to spend an extra hour
    on the treadmill, you should be physically alright and not deplete yourself
    of needed nourishment/energy. I did a little more research on this after
    you posted that you read this on body building forums. They have good
    tips and advice but not all of their techniques are healthy, this one doesn't
    seem too bad as long as you eat between 1800 - 2300 calories the day
    you do eat. OR you eat around 800 - 1300 depending on what foods you eat.
    1300 calories in vegetables is a shit ton of vegetables. I realize that 800 calories
    is like one double cheeseburger or whatever but if you're diet mostly consists
    of veggies/fruits, 1000 - 1500 calories can go a long way. If you eat more
    breads and meats and dairies you should aim for a caloric intake of 1800 - 2300.
    I also suggest saying good bye to almost all transfats and artificial sugars and salts.
    Why do you put line breaks in what you write?

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    Creepy-male

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    Lol I've unintentionally fasted when I've concentrated on things very deeply, never for more than a day. If I'm not hungry I don't eat, idk, I don't like all these new trendy diets and health advice bs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octo View Post
    I've recently read a number of articles on the benefits of intermittent fasting (specifically, 24 h periods of fasting rather than Ramadan-style daily cycles of eating/fasting).

    In animal models and in some limited human trials, alternate day fasting seems to have an effect on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, oxidative stress and cancer. Most interestingly to me, it appears to be a better alternative to calorie restriction for weight loss/fat reduction. I'd rather not eat for a day than constantly be holding back. (if you search Google Scholar for "intermittent fasting" you get lots of interesting results.)

    I've started trying out once-a-week fasting, but I'm hoping to increase it to twice a week (more doesn't look feasible with my exercise/work schedule).

    Has anyone tried it? Everyone I've told has been flabbergasted at the idea of me not eating for any extended period of time.

    Tried it years ago. Didn't like it. Never really got used to eating once a day. I'm pretty sure most of the benefits are temporary. The way I look at it, IF stresses the body. The body responds to the stress by increasing catecholamine levels in order to sustain blood sugar levels within an acceptable range. Elevated catecholamines can produce mild euphoria and aid in the mobilization fat storage into usable energy, which explains why some ppeople try IF and love it -- early on the they feel good and lose weight. Longer term, however, adrenal burnout and metabolic down-regulation are realistic risks.

    The case can certainly be made that moderate amounts of stress can improve health and resilience. Exercise is the perfect example. Exercise is a form of stress which, in moderate quantities, is beneficial for most people. Like exercise, the extent to which IF can contribute to a healthy lifestyle depends upon the person practicing IF and the extreme to which he takes it. It probably isn't smart for most people to practice the more extreme varieties of IF on a prolonged basis for the same reason it wouldn't be wise for a 90 year old to deadlift four times his weight-- too much stress; something's gonna break sooner or later. In fact, my reading, experience and observations indicate that most people are happier and healthier eating the standard 3 square meals daily on a prolonged basis than following IF protocols. There may be some benefit to leaving 10-12 hours between dinner and breakfast, but habitual fasting beyond the 12 hour mark seems more likely to do harm than good.
    Last edited by chrisalys; 02-15-2012 at 08:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Why do you put line breaks in what you write?

    Personal preference.

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    I'm pretty much trying to get rid of surface abdominal fat, and possibly some thigh fat too, but I can't face a steamed-chicken-and-vegetables-no-carbs regime. I want to have some visual evidence of my six-pack instead of having to make people feel me up

    One day a week hasn't been too much to handle so far, but it requires a fair bit of planning to make sure I have adequate time between fasting and exercise, since I have 4+ days of exercise each week - I tried exercising while fasting and while I wasn't tired out during it, it took me a whole two days to recover. Going to try a post-workout can of tuna...
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
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    30 minutes of mildly taxing aerobic exercise a day should kill all the fat you could possibly want gone, all the while ramping up how much you can eat. If you're already doing that, working with weights in the areas you want to improve works just as well. Since you're female, you'll want at least 10-15% of your body fat not gone anyway. I was also under the impression that depriving the body of food causes it to suck up that many more calories when exposed later.

    You probably knew all that, but fwiw I would vote fasting down and that up because it seems to have so much more return for your efforts and has definite measurable benefits besides.

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    Uhm, a woman fasting while exercising 4+ times a week in order to lose fat on her stomach and tigths...doesn't really sound like a sustainable diet imho. More like a body-building ripping diet, maybe doable for one month, followed by 2 months of rebound.
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    I vote for sustainability over looking shredded.
    Not that what I vote matters, heh.

    One thing I wanted to mention to you is to maybe check out 'nose breathing while exercising'. Doesn't matter the type of exercise. Breathing through the nose helps with deep breathing. Deep breathing calms the body. (short, chest breaths triggers fight/flight stress, which triggers using sugars as fuel rather than fat). Deep breathing puts the body in a "zone" state that most exercises and sports enthusiasts aim for...which helps to make the exercise enjoyable. But also, deep breathing means that while doing the exercise, the body is more in the fat burning zone rather than the sugar burning zone. (I know...not technically written, aim for meaning.)

    When you push the body to get more done, while being in a calm state, you still improve cardiovascularly, but without the stress damage.

    It's claimed that most exercise enthusiasts have found that when they first make the switch, they can't do as much as when mouth breathing. But that it only takes a month or two of training while deep breathing before they not only get back to their original level, but surpass it as well, while reaching "the zone" more often than had before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Uhm, a woman fasting while exercising 4+ times a week in order to lose fat on her stomach and tigths...doesn't really sound like a sustainable diet imho. More like a body-building ripping diet, maybe doable for one month, followed by 2 months of rebound.
    In fairness, IF is not supposed to be about reducing total caloric intake, but simply it is about compressing intake of the same amount of food one ordinarily eats into a shorter window of time. I would agree though that hard exercise in a fasted state is neither enjoyable nor productive.

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    I don't understand why everyone is so hung up on sustainability... a weight loss diet is never going to be sustainable, unless you're significantly overweight to begin with.

    Fat people: intake > output
    Sustainable: intake = output
    Fat reduction: intake < output
    Quick fat reduction: intake << output

    Obviously the energy stores you have in your body aren't infinite, so any long term intake < output is going to end up in failure.

    As I've said, I can't and don't really want to increase my output, which means I need to decrease my input. At the moment I think my intake = output since I haven't really been gaining or losing weight. The main options are changing my diet completely (too much effort, too little time), reducing my intake overall (not enough self control, I also hate wasting food so I'd have to take whatever portions I don't eat home in a bag or something), or some variation of fasting (what appears to be most viable).

    At the moment with IF, I'm aiming to fast one day a week without changing my intake on the other days (which requires some self control during the beginning of the first day after fasting, which I think I can deal with, better than the other options anyway). This should put my intake at approx. 6/7 of what it was before. When I get to the stage I want, then I'll concentrate on restoring a sustainable intake = output.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atlast View Post
    30 minutes of mildly taxing aerobic exercise a day should kill all the fat you could possibly want gone, all the while ramping up how much you can eat. If you're already doing that, working with weights in the areas you want to improve works just as well.
    I have all the muscle I want, the issue is reducing the fat on top without changing my exercise schedule. Afaik, you can't spot-reduce fat without surgery.

    I do realise the futility of asking about this sort of thing on a socionics forum... but fitness forums are scary places.

    Quote Originally Posted by anndelise View Post
    nose breathing while exercising
    Thanks for that
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
    Nobody here...besides me, seems to know what SLE is except for maybe Maritsa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octo View Post
    I don't understand why everyone is so hung up on sustainability... a weight loss diet is never going to be sustainable
    +1

    Besides, "sustainable" is boring, and people with +-0 in weight over a longer period of time are all skinny/semifat people without physical strength or endurance.

    Everything that is not improving is deteriorating. There are no constants.

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    I've been meaning to try it. I've heard that it can reset a lot of things. For instance if one eats chocolate ice cream all the time and then they go on a 7 day fast they may discover afterwards they don't really have an interest in chocolate ice cream these days and what were they thinking with eating all of that chocolate ice cream anyway.

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    I've done this. For four months, I followed Martin Berkhan's LeanGains program. I did lose fat. However, it also made me lethargic, bloated, and cause my muscle gains to plateau. I was hoping the balance would fall more on the "gains" part of the equation than the "lean" part. I'm a natural ectomorph and lose weight much faster than gaining it. I'm following a bastardized adaptation of the Caveman Diet nowadays, and have had a lot more luck. I feel much healthier, am gaining muscle mass at a satisfactory rate, and I don't need to be so obsessive about what food and when.

    The trouble I see with you looking for advice on bodybuilding forums is that: (1) most of them are men who have different metabolic make-ups, different energy outputs, and different goals, and (2) bodybuilders, male and female, are some of the most obsessive-compulsive people ever. They micro-manage their macronutrient ratios, caloric intake, and gym time like no other. Some people might even compare it to having an eating disorder. And so, when you go in with your lay attitude and try to apply their principles to your life... you're likely to end up failing. Because for those principles to be successful, you have to really be on it -- you have to keep a food log and really be keenly aware of what you're putting into your body and what you're putting out when you exercise. Most people don't do that. And so most people see initial results, but aren't scrupulous enough to see it through to its end.

    By all means, go ahead and try it. I did. It might work for your purposes, which does not include gaining lean muscle mass as it did for me. But realize that in order to keep those visible abs, you will ultimately have to resort to that sort of "steamed-chicken-and-vegetables-no-carbs regime" (which, incidentally, is basically what I'm eating... although I do take in a considerable amount of carbs).
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    I feel like this would be bad for your metabolism..
    And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    What foods do *you* use according to this diet? How much money do you spend on food?
    Basically, my staples are: chicken, occasional fish (tilapia, salmon when I can get it, canned tuna, trout when I can get it), frozen veggies (cheaper and longer lasting than fresh, and same nutrient value; broccoli, spinach), some fresh veggies (kale, squash), eggs, and lots of fruit (kiwi, bananas, grapes, pineapple, persimmons, anything that's in season and cheap). The "bastardization" part comes in because I eat legumes (canned chickpeas, beans, etc.) and grains (oatmeal every morning), which you're not supposed to. Other stuff I include is yogurt (the plain kind you can buy in tubs, I blend it into my protein shakes to mask the awful aftertaste), nuts, pasta, and sometimes lamb. (I don't eat pork or beef, except very occasionally.)

    I spend about $100/month, sometimes a less ($70-90ish) because I've stockpiled so much, lol. I save money buy buying generic brands, buying frozen, being flexible (whatever is in season, whatever is marked down, etc.), not buying boneless cuts, and cooking stuff myself. You can really save a lot by avoiding eating out. I eat out rarely... maybe once every few months, actually. Also, living out in the suburban sticks is much cheaper than living closer to the city.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    It works for me, but not with 24 hours. Much more - 3-4 days. I read it's the best option to reach that ketosis which is the key to both health+weight benefits. Apparently it's only after 48-70 hours that the body starts consuming its "bad" cells and/or burning fat.

    I practice it 1-2 times per month.

    **not total fasting : lots of water/tea and the usual coffee, ofc. .

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