Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
30 Dec

Fasting Makes You Active

couchpotatoIt’s a familiar image we might attribute to stereotype: a sluggish, maybe portly individual lying prostrate on the couch, his/her front littered with Dorito crumbs. Could there, however, be truth behind the picture? Is there indeed a connection between incessant snacking and chronic slothdom? Or considered another way, is there a connection between fasting and being active? As a long-time fan of intermittent fasting (and a believer in the research behind it), I’m convinced. A study out this month sheds even more light on the relationship between lethargy and continuous eating.

For decades now, conventional wisdom has told us that we should eat regularly throughout the day to keep our blood sugar steady. With three regular meals and at least two snacks, we’re counseled to keep our bodies in a perpetual postprandial state. However, newer research, including this month’s study from ETH Zurich, questions this assumption. Scientists focused on the opposing relationship between a transcription factor, Foxa2, and insulin. Foxa2 is found in both the liver and the hypothalamus, the central command for hunger regulation. It has a hand in the expression of two eating and physical activity related neuropeptides, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and orexin. When insulin is present, as it is during and after eating, Foxa2 and the related MCH and orexin are reduced. However, fasting mice showed consistently high levels of Foxa2, MCH and orexin. The researchers then found that “hyperinsulinemic, obese” mice showed reduced Foxa2, MCH, and orexin, regardless of whether they had eaten or not. When the scientists bred mice with continually active Foxa2 (immune to the counter effect of insulin), these mice showed high levels of MCH and orexin – and a correspondingly high level of physical activity whether they had eaten or not. The specially bred mice had low body fat as well as higher muscle mass.

Consider this study another nail in the coffin of conventional wisdom. (It also goes a long way in explaining the snacking couch potato association.) Fasting, even short, between-meal breaks, promotes the activation of Foxa2 and the resulting formation of MCH and orexin – as well as their activity-inducing effects. A simple survival principle explains this: a hungry animal needs to get up and move to find food. On the other hand, if we are constantly swimming in the insulin of eating and post-eating states, we’re undermining our own motivation (and biochemical stimulus) to get up and burn off what we just ate.

CW encourages us to never skip breakfast, bring along a mid-morning snack, make time for a good lunch, grab a mid-afternoon nibble and then have a good dinner. Oh, and if you can’t sleep, you’re supposed to have warm milk and a banana before bed. Our bodies are either eating or processing what we ate. There’s never a recovery period. Nary a resetting opportunity. We’re so focused on the hobby horse of “stable” blood sugar that we’ve forgotten that there’s more to the biochemical story of balanced energy. We make ourselves feel perpetually full to the exclusion of feeling anything else. (How about light, energized?) We continually raise our blood sugar and insulin levels and, in doing so, turn off the body’s chance to activate or upregulate other key substances that promote energy balance – and as this study shows, the physiological motivation to be active. Simple advice: skip the snack. (Besides, dinner never tasted so good as it does on a healthily empty stomach.)

Let me know your thoughts. IFers – have you found this principle to be apparent in your own experiments? Thanks for reading.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. “I find that when I fast I am more likely to curl into a ball and do nothing – no energy to do stuff.”

    “I gave IF a try once, and all I wanted to do was sleep.”

    DITTO

    That makes at least three of us.

    FDgreen wrote on December 30th, 2009
    • Me too. It felt like a sick day. Just AWFUL. I’m on board with the science, but in practice I had a hard time with it. I couldn’t wait to get up the next day and eat.

      fixed gear wrote on January 1st, 2010
  2. I fast at least once a week (24 hours), or sometimes 2 or 3 times a week.

    At first my energy levels were low and I was ravenous when I ate (something I soon discovered you don’t want to do!).

    Now after over a month of IF I find I do have more energy like this article indicates. I workout heavy too and love it.

    For me, fasting has been the magic bullet to weight loss, more energy, and control over my body. Love it!

    jfarley33 wrote on December 30th, 2009
  3. Mark,
    Today is day 5 of my primal diet program. I have ordered your book on amazon but I have been reading your blog for a while now. Based on that, I have been sticking to a very basic primal diet with no grains. I can tell you that I after my first meal (4 eggs, 1 cucumber, 2 strips of nitrate free bacon, 1 tbsp walnuts and 1tbsp olive oil), I don’t feel hungry till 3-4 pm. Even that hunger is very manageable and I seem to have more energy. During this time (just before meal time, I seem to be more active) My strength seems to have remained the same.
    My weight has dropped from 168 to 163 pounds. My ab circumference seems to have remained the same. Can anyone explain this? I definitely don’t want to be losing muscle!

    Sri wrote on December 30th, 2009
    • Well, it’s just a thought, but if you just started the diet 5 days ago the weight could be water or glycogen stores. These usually distort weight loss during the first week or two. If your strength is the same, that’s a good sign. Keep your saturated fat intake up, too – just fry those eggs in coconut oil or butter (or bacon drippings). It’s healthy and it tastes great, too. :)

      Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life wrote on December 30th, 2009
      • Thanks. I am eating a decent amount of saturated fats. I guess I’ll see if there is a change in a week or two.

        Sri wrote on December 31st, 2009
        • you eating saturated fats are crazy! that’s why you’re the fattest people on earth! Eat tons of palmitic acid which interferes with the feeling of satiety in the hypothalamus and causes insulin resistance. Food manufacturers have known this for a long time and feed you to palmitic acid all day and you eat all day, fast food, butter, milk, sweets and lots more is all full of palmitic acid (palm oil and animal fats) ! I’m not a terrorist, I would like to save millions of people from obesity and premature death that all these related diseases it carries. If you really want to lose weight healthy without starving continues ban oilio the coconut palm oilio and everything it contains, Ninte butter bacon bacon! Eat in the evening at 20:00 and then complete fasting only water until 11-12 days after protein meal with no saturated fat as olive oil, mayonnaise, eggs, fish oil also, light ham, dried fruit but no carbohydrates now! 20:00 to eat more carbohydrates you can. pasta with tomato sauce with Italian olive oil and fried onions found the rivets on the net! pizza bread with lean meat or eggs etc.. then stop until the next day .. 11-12 IF this diet is a cyclic dinner 20:00 – 15 hours fasting – 12:00 Lunch – 8 hours fasting – 20:00 dinner with low saturated fat and low simple sugars.
          TRY ONE WEEK, you lose weight without hunger forever is a promise from an Italian friend.

          Leopold wrote on November 10th, 2012
      • Elizabeth, I’m really impressed with your replies, very much agree with your ideas. been to your website, read all the book you recommend. very impressed!

        Diego Paparella wrote on January 1st, 2010
  4. IF rocks… I can go trough the day without any brain fog, mood swings, sleepiness feeling, even anxiety… My energy is on top and i feel really free..

    I think in the psychological aspect the fact you don’t have to put any attention to the eating and post-eating process gives you heap of time to get so many stuff done, it definitely makes my day longer so i can finish everything I’m supposed to.

    Mary wrote on December 30th, 2009
  5. I always feel more active on fasting days. At times I am almost wired. I think the advice about not missing meals applies to carb hounds only. If you have access to your fat you have the opposite, more active effect.

    jeff

    Jeff wrote on December 30th, 2009
  6. Jeff and Jenn,

    I eat pretty paleo, do intense lifting/calisthenics and plyometrics twice a week, and sometimes yoga. I’m pretty muscular. I’m 183 lbs and 6 feet. If you click on my profile, you can see my physique.

    I used to eat 6 or 7 times a day, but found that I look and feel better eating once or twice a day with high fat meat and leafy greens only. When I was downing smoothies and starches, I was in the 190s and less chiseled-looking as well as always feeling bloated.

    Rahsaan wrote on December 30th, 2009
  7. I’ve been dabbling with IF ever since I began the PB lifestyle about 8 months ago. It started as a couple of skipped breakfasts to a couple of 24 – 36 hr fasts here and there… It seemed to really spark additional fat loss and I didn’t find it too difficult to do. Then over the past two months, I’ve notice that I just don’t get hungry much anymore for breakfasts,.. and my lunches were getting pushed back further and further to a point that i just wasn’t hungry until about 4-5pm… at which point, i just decided to just wait til dinner around 6-7ish when I got home for dinners… basically i started to follow “just eat when hungry” type of mentality. I realized that I’m able to perform 19-24hour fasts during the weekdays, and eat brunch and dinners during the weekends when I’m with the kids more at home. I’ve felt no noticeable change in energy levels one way or the other… Probably a bit more active when fasted, but I can’t say for certain that it’s really elevated it that much more, as to when I was just eating 2-3 primal meals. I’m still able to work out intensely with weights, sprinting and playing intense sports, and feel pretty good overall. There are some days that I do get hungry around 2pm or if there’s an occasion at the office where people are going out to eat,.. then I just eat. I don’t really force the issue of IF, but it seems perfectly natural to just eat whenever you get hungry. I have noticed that I do feel a bit colder while fasting,..but wearing warmer clothes seems to get rid of that. From what I’ve read, I fast more for the added convenience of not having to eat all the time and the added benefits that come along with it.

    Christian wrote on December 30th, 2009
  8. I’ve always just eaten one meal a day, really. Big dinner with raw milk and a few egg yolks mixed in with it for breakfast. Since going low carb the thing that is somewhat concerning is how few calories I consume. I’m somewhere around 1500/day and I’m STUFFED.

    zach wrote on December 30th, 2009
  9. SENDING A STRANGE WAY SO —LET ME KNOW IF YOU GET IT — OK? IMPORTANT!

    Daddy Warbucks wrote on December 30th, 2009
  10. I think that when you eat mostly fat, your body gets used to converting its fat stores rather than relying on the constant doses of insulin-spiking carbs. So you can go quite a ways without eating and feel great. I base this on Gary Taube’s book as well as my personal experience. You have to eat this way for a while for your body to learn it. I’ve never purposely fasted; never set out to say “I’m gonna fast today” or “I’m gonna skip this meal.” Usually I am trying to gain weight, as my body does not digest carbs well and I really have no choice but to keep it at about 125 grams per day, almost no grains at all or sugar or dairy, and this level of carbs along with my level of activity makes it a bit hard for me to keep on weight. I eat when I’m hungry. But I’m almost never hungry until I’ve been up and moving for many hours. When I’m engaged in strenuous physical pursuits (mountain bike rides with thousands of feet in elevation gain, rock climbing, hauling heavy packs, etc) I’m often satisfied with just a bite of food here or there…and then I will power down thousands of calories later that evening. Sometimes I’m just not hungry even doing day to day stuff. But I usually end up with about 3,000 calories a day on average, for my 120 lbs 5′ 4 frame. A lot of times I scarf my meals standing up. CW says, very bad! I’ll bet Grok ate this way, and Ms. Grok too. I think this is more natural than 3 meals a day–even though people will treat ya like ur a freak for eating this way! I have no doubt that I can go for a long time on fat stores but sometimes I do wonder about hard anaerobic work when my carbs get low…the burst of power, limit-strength type of work. I think I biff sooner on that sorta stuff when my carbs are low, racing heartbeat and bonk. Muscle glycogen is critical–I’m still tinkering with how much I need and how to get it without my small intestine freaking out. Fat stores are not inert blobs, you know if you’ve read Taubes. Fat is always circulating through your system. Some of us have trained our bodies to use it. Some of us eat pears and oatmeal, and then the body uses those carbs instead and begs for more, stores the extra as fat, which eventually cannot be retrieved when the pancreas tires of squirting out all that insulin, then arteries harden from the excess fat, people are hungry all the time and have no energy. That’s the “too many carbs” negative spiral. PS I love a little bit of steel cut oats once in a while for a special treat, just 1/8 a cup with lots of cream and olive oil and blueberries.

    DThalman wrote on December 30th, 2009
  11. I have been IFing for 2 years now and it is my preferred approach to eating. My wife and I have just built a new house with a long period of moving furniture plus lots of landscaping. We have had plenty of people help out over this time. When a scheduled lunch break or whatever is taken – people have noticed I don’t stop and take a break. My answer – I will go to sleep and lose motivation to keep on moving and working. For me not eating during the day means a full day of endless energy where I can get plenty done. No peaks and valleys – just constant energy. But you can be rest assured that at the end of the day there will be plenty of eating in a primal manner to be done.

    Ryan wrote on December 30th, 2009
  12. I lift weights (intensely) during a 20 hour fasted state all the time… I have never, ever had energy problems. And there’s nothing better in this world than stuffing myself after it. :]

    Raphael S. wrote on December 30th, 2009
  13. Egads! I’ve did a 24 hour fast last Thursday, IF Sunday 15 hours, and IF for 15.5 hours today. I’ve taken 1 day off from Crossfit. On the fasted days i eat two full meals but am running short of my protein amount, eating 80 to 100g, trying to reach my supposed lean body mass of 138 lbs. I weigh 154lbs.Tonight I did a visual check of my BF. Yikes! I noticed more BF around my waist. Have not gained more than 1 lb. the past 6-7 days. Eating good fats (70-90 grams a day) avocado, nuts, almond butter, olive oil. Consuming good carbs, 99% vegetables…low starch or no starch veggies. Do use olive oil and other dressings on salad. Also, sleeping 6 – 7.5 hours a day.

    I am puzzled :(?? Thought fasting would help lose unwanted fat and by eating the PB way, would not lose muscle nor energy.

    Mark, or anybody else. Do you have an idea how I can reverse the BF increase?

    David wrote on December 30th, 2009
  14. Even though I’m a skinny guy (Octomorph) I still find myself eating sometimes just for the sake of it. I’m gonna skip some snacks today and see how I feel. It’s true about constantly eating not letting our body regenerate itself too.

    Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com wrote on December 31st, 2009
  15. Here in France, having snacks isn’t part of conventional wisdom. Advertisements for several kinds of non-primal products are even required to warn people against eating between meals.

    (Now, not skipping breakfast is part of the local CW).

    I am personally used to skipping meals, typically breakfast and/or lunch.

    Grop wrote on December 31st, 2009
  16. Jeff S and Jenn,

    To elaborate more… since eating primally, I’ve leaned out and still stayed muscular. Granted, I’ve lost some mass (probably fat and muscle), but from a purely aesthetic standpoint, everyone has commented that I look better. I know I feel better as for as not feeling bloated when I ate six times a day.

    Also, I never really wanted the bodybuilder look and when I was near 200 pounds, I noticed a decrease in my functionality (mobility and flexibility). I still do heavy lifting at times. I switch it up though. I never isolate body parts and always do total body, compound movements. I also use kettlebells and do a lot of body weight moves.

    By no means am I skinny-looking. I’m not sure why the paleo/CrossFit adherents you met were “skinny.” Maybe they’re not doing a fair amount of resistance. Did you happen to see them shirtless or in shorts? Maybe they looked “skinny,” but were ripped under their clothing. Seriously.

    When I first leaned out from eating strictly paleo and IFing, one of my friends thought I looked “small.” (ironic since I still weighed more than him at 183 to his 170, but I;m more muscular than he is so that makes sense sort of), but then when he saw me changing as we prepared to go for a workout, he remarked that I looked ripped and muscular and very defined. Also, he along with others have remarked that my face now looks more chiseled and my features more defined and masculine (not that they were effeminate before)

    All in all, I find that I feel better physically living this why, and that’s what’s most important. When I ate starches dairy and overabundant fruits, I was always hungry yet bloated and felt compelled to eat 6 times or I’d “get skinny.” Still not skinny, but have noticed that my body has dropped superfluous mass. Then again, superfluous is relative. Like I said though, when I start approaching bodybuilding dimensions, I note how mobility and flexibility suffer. I find a I like a balanced state of being aesthetically muscular and lean and svelte, but highly functional. Almost ever bodybuilder I know has zero functionality with their proportions.

    Rahsaan wrote on December 31st, 2009
    • Thanks for the detailed reply….it is helpful to hear/see your experience. Jeff S.

      Jeff Sakamoto wrote on December 31st, 2009
  17. Until recently I was a dyed-in-the-wool, dedicated FatBoy. (I’m still fat but every day dawns on less of me.) I worshipped daily at the altars of the great gods of Cheeseburgers, Pizzas, Cookies, and Ice Cream. I state, unequivically, that eating all day definitely slows one down. Eating several small meals does the same thing. As Mark notes, the body has no rest time, it is continually working at digesting the constant influx of food.

    I did my first fast almost two years ago. After the initial killer headache which are withdrawal pains, I believe, due to the sudden lack of refined carbs, everything has gone swimmingly. I managed to kickstart my weight-loss and I haven’t had even a single ounce of man-made carbs since. I now do two two-day fasts per month at random times. I always notice an increase in energy during and after the fasts.

    My job entails working 24-hour shifts. Usually taking three or four short naps during a shift is no problem but when I anticipate a tough shift with little likelihood of getting a nap or two, I start a fast before the tough shift begins. Staying awake for the 24 hours is still a bit difficult but not any where near as difficult as it would be if I had food in my stomach.

    Jamesf3i wrote on December 31st, 2009
  18. Any time, Jeff. If you do decide to fully jump in, I’d be curious to read how your experience goes. If you continue to do explosive total body movements (lifting, plyometrics, intervals as well as some suspension training with things like TRX, elite rings and straps), I think you won’t get skinny.

    Rahsaan wrote on December 31st, 2009
  19. Mark’s post fully confirms my experience of the last month. I started IFing somewhat sceptical of my own ability to take to it, and now, four weeks later, I am fasting 23-24 hours every other day. The days when I fast, I have as much if not more energy and clarity than the days when I eat. But unfortunately, you can’t not eat EVERY day…:)

    I am sure, based on previous, far more negative experience, that eliminating most cereals from my diet for a month before starting IF helped me adapt to the practice easily. (I still take oatmeal porridge with lots of almond butter and fresh cream on the days I eat, which I guess I must be adapted to, as it gives me perfect bowel movements and leaves me uninterested in sweet foods for the rest of the day).

    But the greatest gains for me from IF have been psychological. I realised quite quickly that I just don’t get hungry when I fast, not even after 24 hours (tho anticipation of food will make me look forward to it, physilogically as well as mentally). So for the past 45 years, most of the time, I was eating out of fear of being hungry, rather than from hunger itself. I find it hard to exagerate just how liberating this discovery has been.

    Thanks to Mark and all the other people whose exposition of the benefits of IF and the paleo diet helped me realise this before it was too late!

    peter s wrote on December 31st, 2009
  20. Who really understands the interactions within the human body (transcription factor Foxa2?). It is just far too complex and changing one thing affects many other downstream signalling factors. We do not really know all the compounds in the food we eat, etc.

    So many people “sold” on PB use logic. How did we evolve – that makes sense to me. And common sense says if you are active all day (tacking animals for example) – you didn’t take a granola bar with you! And here is another thought – it is 11-am on the West Coast, my 10-year-old has been up for a couple of hours. Is she at all interested in eating yet? Not at all. I think if you just let kids eat when they are hungry many would be surprised at the patterns they would adopt. Most of the way we eat is a learned response.

    OK that is my thought – now I have a question for experienced IF’s. Do you have tea or coffee or anything when you skip breakfast? I do find I need a cup of tea (admittedly a learned response – being brought up in England).

    Tony wrote on December 31st, 2009
  21. Hey Mark, LOVE the site, heard you on CrossFit Radio and have been training my clients (I own a healthclub) using crossfit and paleo (and readings on your site) for some time.

    If I may, I’m going to play devils advocate about fasting. I recognize that we’re talking about intermittent fasting but, indulge me.

    I’m I’m Grok, and I leave my cave in the morning to go hunt, if I walk past a bush with berries on it, I’m going to grab a handful. If I pass a tree with nuts or apples on it, I’m likely to grab some of those too. All of this as I’m spending my day hunting. That sounds, to me, like numerous small meals a day. Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

    Hope to hear back from you!
    -Hugh MacEachran

    Hugh MacEachran wrote on December 31st, 2009
    • Actually Hugh what you described is “undereating” which indeed is a form of Intermediate Fasting… which is fine to do because the amount consumed is and should be far less than the evening meal.

      Much of WHAT our Paleolithic ancestors ate is known, but WHEN is only speculated; however can be understood to be more logical to my recommended protocol. Of course one can deduce that they did not water fast every day and when they had a little bit of something they at it.

      One way to tell is by studying the cultures who still practice this lifestyle. Indigenous people in South America, Australia, and Africa still eat this same way even today. They don’t have the cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol as the Western World does. Of course they have other issues because they’re all inbred, but that’s another article topic altogether for another time.

      Bob

      Bob Garon wrote on December 31st, 2009
  22. Yes Mark I do believe there is wisdom in your post. Though I eat very primal I know my problem is grazing as you and I both call it. Healthy foods but all day = no BF loss. So it’s a New Year and Decade time to go with out in between meals. Should work great at work sense dinner break is at 9:30 pm and I get out at 2am (hey some times Grok had to stay up and guard the camp at night) if I go to bed a little hungry I think that will be a good thing. Let you know how it works out.

    David Timbro wrote on December 31st, 2009
  23. You don’t need breakfast or lunch. Once you eat it you’ll engage the Parasympathetic Nervous System which will lower your GH and Testosterone levels and spike insulin. You store fat and get tired.

    What If I Can’t Daily Fast?
    No problem, but keep in mind that this might simply be an excuse moreover an actuality. In reality you can do whatever you decide to do… as long as you have a plan. Some people believe or strongly feel that they absolutely need to eat during the day. This stems from years and years of doing this due to food being so convenient for us to acquire. I wouldn’t recommend going cold turkey on the water fast protocol unless you are the type of gung ho person who can do that. If that is not you then don’t force yourself to water fast. Eat small pieces of fruit such as berries and fist size fruits. If eating berries is what you want to do then go ahead.

    Whenever you eat something- even protein- you get an insulin spike and thus store a little or a lot of fat depending if you have excess blood glucose after breakdown. We want to minimize all insulin spikes by advocating only one primary insulin spike a day and that is in the evening. Therefore you use your body’s fat stores during the day. Instead of spiking insulin when eating you will have your glucagon spiked and thus using stored fat. Then eat when your body actually needs and uses the nutrients for repair and recovery. That is at the end of your day.

    There are two environments where the body increases its fat burning hormones and therefore uses its fat stores as fuel. That is while exercising and while fasting. If you can fast for 18-20 hours per day as well as exercise during your fasting period then you will experience amazing results very quickly.

    Bob

    Bob Garon wrote on December 31st, 2009
  24. Since really going full-on paleo, I noticecd that I didn’t need breakfast anymore. I could go until about 1:30 or 2:00 before eating lunch. And I was like buzzing with energy… no slumps. I think it depends a bit on what I ate the day before and how early I had dinner though. If I was carb-heavy then I seemed to get hungry for breakfast. It’s great for travel though. I’m not afraid of my sugar dropping suddenly anymore because it doesn’t.

    TrailGrrl

    TrailGrrl wrote on December 31st, 2009
  25. The whole IF topic interests me greatly considering I am a Strength and Conditioning Coach and involved on a daily basis with fat loss clientele. I personally have used IF for about 8mo with fantastic results. After an injury I came down from a stubborn weight of 245 to my more comfortable weight of 225. I also finally managed to get rid of my protruded gut! I’m convinced this was a direct result to the years of following what I was taught to do, eat every 2-3hrs!

    What’s interesting to me is that I believe that many “over fat” americans are over-fed and under-nourished. Then there are those others I’ve consulted with that under eat, are “over fat” and are essentially using an IF way of life and not knowing it. Why are these under eaters/non practicing Intermitent Fasters still fat? I honestly believe it’s because of poor macronutrient intake. I believe it all comes down to quality of food and there may be too much emphasis placed on frequency (5-8 small meals) of food.

    Now back to the macronutrients issue… Conventional wisdom and the mainstream push low fat dogma. Let’s not forget that the majority of bodybuilders use low fat and this is where Americans originally adopted the concept of eating every 2-3hrs. Why? Because when you eat low fat, you’re always hungry! Eating a low fat diet not only forces you to eat at regular intervals throughout the day it also causes people to crave simple sugars and poor quality carbohydrates. By switching to a Paleo/lower carb type of lifesyle your macronutrient ratio’s switch from a hyper carb (high sugar) to hyper fat (high satiety). This not only elliminates the need for multiple meals it more importantly elliminates sugar cravings, sweet tooths, balances blood sugar and allows people to choose foods of higher quality when they do decide to eat. Let’s also not forget the benifits of better insulin sensitivity, lower risk for ALL degenerative diseases, increased vitality and improved quality of life…

    In conclusion it’s probly safe to say that eating less and moving more works after all but… It all DEPENDS on what type macronutrient ratio’s you’re consuming. What’s funny is that you’re really not eating LESS calories, you’re eating LESS frequently! I guess it all just depends. Food for thought.

    Matt wrote on December 31st, 2009
  26. Is there anyone on this forum that is or has practiced IF and is hypo-glycemic?

    Matt wrote on December 31st, 2009
  27. I found out about IF from Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat. I started immediately, doing one 24 hour fast on tuesday and one on friday. At that time I was also switching to PB. The first couple of weeks were a real slog, I was so focused on food and where my next meal was comming from, not surprising considering I had been following a 6-8 meal a day body building diet for years. Around about week 3 it got a lot easier and I’ve become more active (in fact I usually now workout only on my fasting days) and each week that goes by it becomes easier and more enjoyable.

    stevehtcyl wrote on January 1st, 2010
  28. Why not make it MUCH simpler!

    Ask, act
    Ask, act

    Am I hungry? No (don’t eat)

    Am I hungry? No (but you ate anyway.. ask why?)

    Am I hungry? Yes (eat the correct food for YOU)- not for the next Grok.

    Forcing ANYTHING is never good.

    That’s easy.

    baj wrote on January 1st, 2010
  29. I have been doing IF for over 2 weeks 6 days a week. Eating only in a 4-5 hour window. I feel a lightness to my mind, more focused and on task for my day. I started this after coming off of a 3 day fast of water and tea only. During that fast, I split wood at a cabin, had no issues of needing a nap. I have lost 10 pounds and feel great.

    Ranrobe wrote on January 1st, 2010
  30. To Matt, Hypoglycemic Question:
    I have been myself. Many days waking up at 49 to 70 on the glocometer years ago. After simple carbs it would drop a few hours later. The secret for me is protein, with fat. If I eat them before going to bed, I have normal sugar levels in the morning.
    If you are really resistant, you may need more time to get adjusted. My wife is diabetic and is no there yet herself.

    Ranrobe wrote on January 1st, 2010
  31. This is so cool. I fast typically for three days at a time for religious reasons and I’d always thought it curious that I was never really zapped of all my energy until about the third day. Then I could expend energy but couldn’t recover as quickly. Great Post!

    mike wrote on January 1st, 2010
  32. It’s funny how when the word “fast” is mentioned most people immediately go into this brain fog that says “OMG, I’m going to be hungry. Or I’m going to starve until my next meal.” That’s what CW mind control has done to us.

    Have you ever been so busy that you didn’t have time to eat or even think about eating? You’ve run around doing this, that or the other and never really feeling starved or hungry.

    Guess what – you were fasting. Did you notice how much energy you had while doing all those things? Did you notice how much clearer your thinking was and when your body finally was ready, you noticed, now it’s time to eat.

    Of course if you don’t practice PB you might have eaten a little too much or not but the point is you went hours without any harmful side effects.

    Until I discovered IF and the science behind it (sorry Mark, Brad Pillon turned me on first), I was eating six meals a day and eating even though I wasn’t hungry because I believed what the “norm” was suppose to be.

    Now with PB and IF I am totally liberated and happier. No calorie counting or clock watching and I truly eat food (minus grains) that I love.

    I am even switching, I mean suggesting to clients how wrong I was and how the benefits of living a PB life and IF can be more beneficial.

    I even started to switch up the regimented workouts for my boot camp. We played kick ball last Saturday (plus I’m still in recovery) and I never saw such a happier bunch of people. Watching them “sprint” around the bases, run down balls and dive for them was just amazing.

    Can’t wait to play with them next week. ;-)

    neighborhood fit wrote on January 1st, 2010
  33. My first fast was 3 or 4 months ago and it was hard. Headache, feeling shaking, etc. The 2nd one a few days later was so much easier and I have been doing IF once or twice a week now regularly. It has gotten to be so easy. I am so much more in tune with my hunger levels.

    I love lifting heavy on the days I IF. I have tons of energy. There may be one hour during the day when my body expects food and I feel kinda “hungry” but it passes soon and I feel amazing the rest of the day.

    I seem to have one problem though: I love breaking my fasts with a good beer (like an IPA). I am not trying to lose weight, so I can afford the carbs. And I don’t drink more than one or two, but boy, I just crave a beer at the end of the fast. I don’t drink a beer everyday either, usually just when I fast! Weird?!?

    MamaSofi wrote on January 1st, 2010
  34. Hi all,
    - I have I have been zone paleo for about 1 year solid now,

    - I am a moderate gainer,

    - My Body fat % is never any more than 8ish and never lower than six.

    - I am training pretty hard at the moment and i keep reading more about fasting.

    Do you recommend it when training?

    If so when should i fast?

    I really would appreciate you impute and advice.
    Thank you

    Brendan wrote on January 2nd, 2010
  35. IF takes a bit to get used to, I got used to it in college when I had work/class 2 days a week solid from 8:00a-5:00p. Since I was so busy I would fast without wanting to, but after a while I stopped getting hungry. Now if I have to skip a meal or eat late it is no biggie. Its a real bonus.

    KRG wrote on January 2nd, 2010
  36. Mark — weren’t you on CW’s side when they recorded the DVDs for Tony Horton’s “P90X?” You were the supplement consultant on that workout/diet program and you recommended that we make sure to eat six small meals a day so our blood sugar doesn’t drop. When did you change your mind?

    Nate wrote on January 3rd, 2010
    • I knew I’d seen Mark somewhere before! Haha I wonder what Tony Horton would have to say about the PB’s defiance of conventional wisdom? He seems like the kind of guy who’d take a fit if he saw what I ate in a day (or lack of things on an IF lol)

      David wrote on January 5th, 2010
  37. I have been living primally for somewhat less than a year.
    Two weeks ago, I rode my bike 40 miles on one cup of coffee and 3 pints of water and did not feel like eating for at least 12 hours afterward with no Ill effects whatsoever and felt wonderful.
    I’m a 70 year old male.

    Barry Brenner wrote on February 17th, 2011
  38. I have been living primally for about six weeks now. I do find that I feel satiated for longer periods than ever before, though some days I still get hungry between meals. I’m trying IF (whole day) for the second time, and I find I feel good, plenty of energy, no issues, except I’m really hungry. I know the advice is, if you’re really hungry, eat so you don’t stress yourself. Does this mean I’m not cut out to fast?

    Diane wrote on February 22nd, 2011
  39. Hi, I’m new to IF – going on my 2nd week. I do struggle with hunger occasionaly, but I find when I drink water with a splash of lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper (for kick), I’m good until my window at 5:00. I feel incredible! So in control, and knowing that I am no longer controle by food. This is the longest I’ve stayed on a “diet”. I still have to incorporate better food into my diet, right now I’m eating pretty much what I want, but I know this has to change in order to be at my optimum health, and not to mention my ideal weight. I have about 73 lbs. to loose to be at my desired weight. So far I have lost 6 lbs. and I truly believe this time, with IF, I will reach my goal. So glad to have found this site! If anyone would like to “buddy-up”…I’m all for the support and encouragement!

    Joyce wrote on February 27th, 2011
  40. Now THIS explains why Jack Bauer can go 24 hours without eating! If he DID eat, he wouldn’t be able to go 24 hours at all!

    Flitcraft wrote on March 9th, 2011

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