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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 15, 2012

Why Fast? Part One – Weight Loss

By Mark Sisson
543 Comments

“When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do.” – Herman Hesse, Siddhartha.

I like that quote. It’s making (non-caloric) lemonade out of lemons, and for all the transcendental insights contained in Hesse’s book, this line strikes me as a really cool, no-nonsense way to make the best out of a bad situation. No doubt about that. But how useful is it, really, to today’s readers? Very few of us ever have “nothing to eat.” On the contrary, food is ever at our beck and call, with very little effort required to obtain it. Actually, that’s not completely true. Processed junk and fast food is readily available, while the good stuff – fresh meat and veggies, actual, you know, food – requires prep work, cooking, time, and the doing of dishes. But the main point stands: we rarely go without.

That doesn’t mean the quote is useless. In fact, with a few slight modifications, it becomes extremely effective weight loss advice. Check out my version:

“When a person has had too much to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do.” – Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple.

If that sounds harsh or even unrealistic, consider the story of the Scotsman. Back in 1965, an obese Scotsman of 27 years and 456 pounds came to the Department of Medicine in Dundee, Scotland, with a problem. He needed to lose weight. A (1/8 of a) ton of it. The doctors suggested maybe not eating for a few days could help. It was just an offhand recommendation, but our Scotsman (known only as “AB”) really took to it. He stayed at the hospital for several days, taking only water and vitamin pills while undergoing observation to ensure nothing went wrong. When his time was up, he continued the fast back at home, returning to the hospital only for regular monitoring. After a week, he was down five pounds and feeling good. His vitals checked out, blood pressure was normal, and though he had lower blood sugar than most men, he didn’t seem particularly impaired by it. The experiment continued… for 382 days.

Yes, AB fasted for 382 days, drinking only water and taking vitamin, potassium, and sodium supplements. All told, he lost 276 pounds, reaching his target weight of 180 pounds and maintaining the bulk of his weight loss. Over the five following years of observation, AB regained just sixteen pounds, putting him in excellent, but underpopulated territory (at least 80% of dieters eventually regain all the lost weight). Other doctors paid attention. Maybe it was the fact that it was the 60s, and all sorts of crazy stuff was going on – rebellion in the air, good music being made, a war in Vietnam, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters blazing across the U.S. in a beat-up school bus, spreading the good weird word, Kevin Arnold and a young Marilyn Manson coming of age in Anytown, USA – but for whatever reason, placing obese patients on extended and short-term fasts became relatively common practice.

But could this work for the average person looking to lose weight without submitting to constant medical observation?

Absolutely. Study after study shows that whatever you want to call the protocol – intermittent fasting, fasting, alternate day fasting, or alternate day caloric restriction – it works very well for weight loss. A few recent ones:

So, yes: it works. But does fasting work solely through caloric restriction, or is it doing something special?

That’s the real question. There’s no question that fasting causes weight loss through caloric restriction. Obviously, when you don’t eat anything, your body turns to its own stored energy reserves, reserves that take up physical space and have mass. Depletion of those energy stores reduces mass and thus weight. Total and absolute caloric restriction. That’s elementary stuff and the studies from the 1960s show that.

To dig a bit deeper, let’s look at how weight loss occurs during a fast. I’ll stick to research involving humans only (sorry, rodent personal trainers).

Secretion of growth hormone, one of the premier fat burning hormones, increases during a fast. In a five-day fasting protocol, men experienced increased GH secretion on day one and day five (the only two days where GH was measured). A later study showed that during two-day fasting sessions, growth hormone secretions increased in both frequency and intensity in men. They experienced more frequent GH bursts and each burst secreted a higher mass of GH. A more recent study found that 24-hour fasts increased GH by 1300% in women and almost 2000% in men.

Fasting decreases fasting insulin levels. The presence of insulin inhibits lipolysis, the release of stored triglycerides (body fat). Without lipolysis actually releasing stored body fat, it’s rather difficult to, well, burn that body fat for energy. During a fast, fasting insulin decreases and lipolysis increases. This insulin-blunting aspect of fasting quite literally allows the fast to be successful, because without the ability to access stored body fat for energy, making it through a period of zero caloric intake will be nigh impossible.

Fasting improves insulin sensitivity. 20-hour fasts were enough to improve insulin sensitivity in men.

Fasting increases the catecholamines, both adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Both catecholamines increase resting energy expenditure during a fast, and guess where your fasting body finds the energy to expend? From body fat. Catecholamines activate hormone sensitive lipase present in adipose tissue, spurring the release of said fat. This makes intuitive sense, doesn’t it? If you’re hungry in the wild, you need to hunt (or gather, or fish, or somehow procure food) and you need energy to do it. The catecholamines help provide some of that energy while burning fat in the process.

Hmm, notice anything? All those mechanisms dealt with fat burning specifically. While there may be some weirdo out there who’s interested in reducing bone mineral density and muscle mass while maintaining fat tissue, I would wager that what most people mean by “weight loss” is “fat mass loss.” From the stuff I just linked, it looks like fasting burns fat, rather than just weight. But what about Conventional Wisdom which claims that fasting increases muscle wasting – maybe because your body will totally recognize the lethal nature of all that arterycloggingsaturated animal fat and choose to break down muscle instead? Is it true?

Let’s go to the research:

In one study, normal weight subjects ate just once a day without reducing overall caloric intake. Weight didn’t change, which isn’t really surprising, but body composition did change – and for the better. Body fat decreased and lean weight increased (in addition to a bunch of other beneficial changes) without an overall reduction in calories.

recent review of the relevant literature found that while fasting and caloric restriction are “equally as effective in decreasing body weight and fat mass,” fasting is “more effective for the retention of lean mass.”

Conventional Wisdom strikes out again.

In closing…

It appears that fasting “works” in several different ways:

1. It decreases caloric intake. In order to lose weight, you need a caloric deficit. That really isn’t in contention here, folks.

2. It increases fat oxidation while sparing lean mass. Since what we’re trying to do is lose fat (rather than just “weight”), the fact that fasting increases hormones that preferentially burn fat and decreases hormones that inhibit fat burning is extremely desirable.

3. It improves adherence. In most of the studies surveyed, participants found fasting to be an extremely tolerable way to diet, especially when compared to outright caloric restriction. Even AB, the fasting Scotsman, reported very little difficulty throughout his 382 day fast. If fasting is easier for you than trying to laboriously count calories, fasting is going to be the more effective weight – er, fat – loss method.

All in all, fasting is an effective way to lose body fat. It’s not the only way, and it isn’t “required” for Primal weight loss, but many in the community have found it to be very helpful and the literature backs them up. If you’re looking to jumpstart your fat loss, fasting may be just the ticket. To get some ideas, be sure to check out my post on various fasting methods.

In subsequent installments, I’ll highlight some of the other benefits of fasting. There are a ton, and new research is being released all the time, so I expect I’ll have a lot to discuss. Until then, I’d like to hear about your experiences with fasting for fat loss. Has it worked? Has it failed you? Let us know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Here’s the entire series for easy reference:

Why Fast? Part One – Weight Loss

Why Fast? Part Two – Cancer

Why Fast? Part Three – Longevity

Why Fast? Part Four – Brain Health

Why Fast? Part Five – Exercise

Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method

Why Fast? Part Seven – Q&A

Dear Mark: Women and Intermittent Fasting

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542 Comments on "Why Fast? Part One – Weight Loss"

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Joanna
4 years 6 months ago
Very interesting article, especially since I am trying to lose some weight. It seemed to me that I read somewhere that you told people not to fast until they had their weight under control, but obviously I must have that wrong. I personally have found that fasting happens almost effortlessly once you start eating Primal. I often have coffee for breakfast and then start getting hungry and notice I’ve worked right through lunch, and since it’s usually about 4 or 5, might as well wait and have an early supper at 6. Haven’t tried fasts of any longer than that… Read more »
Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago

Good observation. It’s very easy to go from Primal/Paleo to fasting because both rely on lipolysis to fuel the body. With these fat-burning enzymes already up-regulated, going from lipolysis while eating to lipolysis while fasting is seamless.

You can imagine how many people eating a SAD (standard American diet) might try fasting and have a terrible experience because their body just does not have enzymes needed for lipolysis in the fasted state because their bodies have up-regulated enzymes to run on glucose (sugar fixes) and not fat.

Kamal Patel
4 years 6 months ago
There is another concern for fasting among those who aren’t primal/paleo. Sympathetic tone (aka fat burning hormone influencers) goes down with fasting. This happens at a quicker rate in those without experience missing meals. Because of this decrease in sympathetic tone, people may feel more lethargic than just their altered brain fuel mix may lead to. And if you try to buzz yourself with some coffee to increase sympathetic tone, lightheadness may crumple you! Not to mention that SAD dieters are more likely to eat things that contain artificial sweeteners, which for some may act as excitotoxins in the brain… Read more »
luckybastard
luckybastard
4 years 6 months ago

very astute observation, sir.

Kelekona
Kelekona
4 years 6 months ago

I was wondering about how fasting went against common wisdom and studies that showed how muscle and bone wasting happened faster than fat loss.

I’m also wondering if the faster muscle loss was for people who used their brains more than their bodies. Doesn’t the brain need fat, while the other systems can use any fuel, making the fat the most valuable resource to keep the brain going?

Wild speculation on my part, but worth looking into further.

Lojasmo
Lojasmo
4 years 6 months ago

Actualy, the brain relies purely on glucose for energy. Glucose can be synthesized by protein intake (during fasting muscle catabolism is used for this)

Todd
Todd
4 years 6 months ago

Only a fraction of the brain’s cells require glucose. I think I have read that it’s around 20%. The long, thin nerve cells in the brain have sections that don’t have mitochondria, so they need glucose for fuel.

jake3_14
jake3_14
4 years 6 months ago

The brain can run on a mix of ketones and glucose. Up to 60% of the brain’s function can be supported by ketone bodies, the product of lipolysis alone; the remaining 40% requires glucose.

cancerclasses
4 years 6 months ago
Lojasmo: Wrong. Just like the rest of your body, the brain runs on glucose ONLY IF YOU FEED IT GLUCOSE from carbs. If you cut carbs completely out of the diet, which has been done MANY times for up to a year or more with NO negative effects, your brain runs just fine on protein and fats. The most famous of these experiments was done in 1930 by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. Click on reference #12 to go to the original published paper here: http://goo.gl/Ex5PE “Once again, the “experts” have misled us. First, they told us that our brain wants to run… Read more »
Frankie
4 years 6 months ago

Your brain does need a little glucose but you don’t need to ingest that. The liver makes just enough glucose out of protein to keep the brain happy (gluconeogenisis). Ketones take care of the rest of the brain’s needs.

Elenor
Elenor
4 years 6 months ago

Hi can I fast for 3days straight and then eat? At what point will I screw up my metabolism? I don’t want that to happen! What fruits must I avoid?

Jeremy
Jeremy
4 years 5 months ago

No, don’t believe any of the things Mark says about fasting and weight loss. It is HORSESHIT HE PULLS OUT OF HIS ASS AND MADE-UP STUDIES THAT ARE CONTRADICTED BY OTHER STUDIES AND THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT. Eventually, people will get hungry and feel the need to eat–a basic biological function–and trotting out anecdotes like the Scotsman in 1965 are scientifically worthless. Besides, how is it possible to get nutrients without eating REAL food, since vitamins have not been tested by the FDA or anyone else for proff that they really do get aabsorbed and digested?

Alvaro
4 years 5 months ago

Jeremy, no need to be disrespectful, if you don’t like what you read, go elsewhere.

Jim
Jim
4 years 5 months ago

The FDA is part of the problem with todays diet!

MVALITON
MVALITON
1 year 10 months ago

I AGREE 100% THE FDA IS THE BLAME NOT ONLY FOR CRAP FOOD OUT THEIR BUT FOR CRAP MEDICINE THAT CUASE THOUSANDS OF DEATHS EACH YEAR !

Thor
Thor
4 years 3 months ago

You seem like you have just enough knowledge to get yourself into arguments, but not quite enough to win them.

Irais
4 years 1 month ago

An answer from an expert! Thanks for cotnribtinug.

Lauren
Lauren
3 years 11 months ago
Hi Jeremy, I didn’t believe that vitamins were approved by the FDA either, until a pharmacist recommended taking a prescription vitamin called prenate essential or prenate elite because their vitamin c, folate etc content is higher. These vitamins are FDA approved which must mean they aren’t a waste of money. They are just more expensive. I believe prenate essential is over 100$ without insurance.I pay 50$ each month for the vitamins, because my insurance, anthem/ blue cross, pays the rest. My co-pay for meds and doctors is 30 percent, so maybe the vitamins are more expensive. I don’t know if… Read more »
Terri
Terri
3 years 4 months ago
If interested, take a moment to look up “Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days’ duration” by W. K. STEWART, M.D., F.R.C.P.E., M.R.C.P. Lond., and LAURA W. FLEMING B.Sc., published in Postgraduate Medical Journal (March 1973) 49, 203-209. The Abstract of this scientific article written by the doctors of the above mentioned experiment reads: Summary. A 27-year-old male patient fasted under supervision for 382 days and has subsequently maintained his normal weight. Blood glucose concentrations around 30 mg/100 ml were recorded consistently during the last 8 months, although the patient was ambulant and attending as an out-patient. Responses… Read more »
Susan
Susan
2 years 11 months ago
After three days you are no longer hungry. Hunger comes back only when its critical to eat. I fasted for 90 days on just water. It was really easy. I walked 5 miles a day and worked in the garden. I only lost 60 pounds while most people would lose 90. I was 179 and ended up 119. I went up to 135 and kept that weight for four years. Stopped exercising and it all came back. Easiest way to lose weight that there is if you have the time to be off work. I have done several short fasts… Read more »
Parker
Parker
2 years 9 months ago

This idea is actually incorrect. The feeling of hunger quickly goes away if ignored because it s based heavily on daily routine. If you eat very early in the morning your body will want to eat then because it has become accustomed to doing so.

Gringo61
Gringo61
4 years 5 months ago
Eating Primal has removed the need to eat at set times. I have different work/play hours every day, so going several hours between meals is no issue as I don’t have the cravings I used to while eating SAD and taking metformin. I have cut my metformin in half, sugars normalizing so will be able to come off metformin completely soon (started one month ago), weight loss 20 lbs so far, not starving, loving the food, don’t miss carbs. When I don’t have “good quality” food around, I just don’t eat. In addition, I now recognize true hunger, which peeks… Read more »
Carlos Morales
4 years 6 months ago

Every part of me wants to be wary of this, even though the evidence is pretty solid. I guess my semi-irrational concern, comes from meeting many anorexics who use this kind of info to justify very long “fasts”, i.e. the scary “ABC” diet. Then again, any information can be used for good or bad. Great article

Cheers

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago

I come across this stigma all the time. People think of gaunt, zombie-like, figures when they hear the word fasting. I practice IF and I have gained strength and muscle, while losing fat. Check out my website, at the bottom of my “about me” page, and you will not find a picture of a gaunt zombie. I promise. In fact you might even say I look very healthy. 😉

mimi
mimi
3 years 5 months ago

Yup Its true I have a friend that does IF and he looks like a Spartan lol

John
John
4 years 6 months ago

I understand where you’re coming from on this, but IFing and anorexia are different. Do a google search on anorexia, and read some of the stories. One I read was about a woman that would drink a coke or two and smoke, but not eat anything else during the day. That is NOT what paleo or primal folks do when they fast! I would drink coffee, tea, or lemon water during the fast, and always break it with a decent sized meal (at least a half pound of meat, veggies, maybe some starch thrown in).

Tracy Seman
4 years 6 months ago
An anorexic doesn’t need articles like this or any other to justify their actions. IFing is not close to being anorexic. When you suffer from anorexia you don’t ever had a “re-feeding” period. When you do eat, its so small and not much substance. When your feeding window opens for IFing you EAT and in my case eat a lot. I have been following a 16 hour fast/8 hour feeding window for almost 5 weeks. During my 8 hour feeding window I still only eat two meals, maybe 3 if its a hungry day. On average, just two Primal meals.… Read more »
Linds @ Linds Eat
4 years 6 months ago

This is exactly how I feel as well. I’ve been dabbling with 24 hour fasts once or twice a week with the ocassional 16-8 (when I forget to eat) and I’ve never felt better. My workouts have improved and so has my body!

Amy
Amy
4 years 4 months ago

Hi Tracy – could you please specifically describe the 16hr/8hr fast you do? I’m on hour 11 of my fast. I need to cut fat but need to keep strenght up for my training.

Team Oberg
Team Oberg
4 years 6 months ago

I know what you are thinking, I am recovered from an eating disorder and I keep my IF between my husband and myself since I do not want anyone else labeling me or lecturing on how bad it is. The whole key to this is only fasting intermittently. You do not just fast indefinitely and then eat as little as possible. The key is to eat regularly and break up that pattern with the occasional fast.

Michelle
Michelle
4 years 6 months ago

Just remember that anorexics tend to eat almost nothing all the time – nothing with substance or real nutritional value. They have weights that are dangerously Lowe…but their bodies finally fail, but their brains are the last to drop out, coma etc. Worth noting? And it is extreme, abnormal. IF is not extreme.

NWPrimate
NWPrimate
4 years 6 months ago

Nice job Mark!

Jerry
Jerry
4 years 6 months ago

Inspired to do a 20 hour fast…starting…now! (Note to self: wife’s turn to cook dinner, so I should let her know I won’t be eating tonight.)

A couple of questions, though.

What about impact of caffeine during a fast? The idea of no food AND no coffee really strikes terror in me.

Workout intensity? Should I just be a slug during the fast, normal activity (long, slow walks or bike rides), intense workouts? Intense workouts usually make me hungry shortly after.

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago
Caffeine will actually increase catecholemine levels, and burn even more fat. So drink up. Black is best, a “splash” of milk won’t hurt, and sugar will hurt. You should keep activity low to moderate. Walking is great and will help to burn even more fat. Extended sessions of “cardio” will only be detrimental. Intense activities are great in the fasted state. Some anecdotal evidence supports increases in strength, probably because of the epinephrine. However, you should eat after an intense workout, because you may experience a drop in leptin, which will slow your metabolic rate and cause you to burn… Read more »
Erika
Erika
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve heard (and kind of experience) that coffee holds off hunger too. Why is that?

Roanne
Roanne
4 years 6 months ago

Caffeine is an appetite suppressant.

Paul
Paul
4 years 5 months ago
You’re describing my regime to a ‘T’! I started experimenting with IF recently having followed a primal diet for three years, but loaded a bit of extra weight over last Christmas which wouldn’t shift. At first I was worried about ‘lightheadedness’ or hunger, which was apparent during the first couple of goes. But it disappeared quickly and now I don’t notice that I haven’t eaten. In fact what I do notice is a heightened alertness and awareness which doesn’t necessaarily mean caffiene (although I drink @ 4 cups of black coffee a day), I’m buzzing before I have a cup!… Read more »
einstein
einstein
4 years 6 months ago

I just did a 20 hour fast and had a good workout 4 hours before breaking it. I felt great all the time. Felt like I could go on like this for a very long time, but moderation is better than fanaticism, so I broke it and will repeat in a week or so. I’ve been primal since 3 months, so it came very easily and naturally to me.

Debbie
Debbie
4 years 6 months ago

Did the 20 hours include night time?

Team Oberg
Team Oberg
4 years 6 months ago

I prefer to workout intensely during a fast since it boosts the body’s production of growth hormone. Read Mark’s articles about fasting after workouts for reference. Of course this is all about personal preference, but it can help you get the most out of your fast. As a bonus, pushing past hunger helps you appreciate your food much more.

Jessica
Jessica
4 years 22 hours ago

Hey I start my fasts after lunch usually counting it from about 6pm to 6pm ..for ex lastnight to now about 21 hrs into my fast i weigh 4 pounds less… but i do exercise everyday which accounted for 2 extra pounds of weightloss and i have been eating primal for almost 2 weeks before this fast so my body isnt in shock to the fasts anymore… hoping to lose a good 15 pounds before i stop the fasting ..hopefully by sunday for football party lol

Jessica
Jessica
4 years 22 hours ago

point was i always have coffee! it kickstarts my metabolism so i workout for an hour after 2 cups and like i said i continued to lose 2 extra pounds after the coffee and workout

vivienne
2 years 5 months ago
While caffeine may suppress appetite and help to burn fat – you should be reminded also that it places a lot of strain on your internal system and especially liver and kidney. If you must take caffeine – take the green coffee extract and/or guarana. It appears that many seem to view weight management and nutritional supplements as an activity that can utilise individual approaches. We need to bear in mind that the human body functions via an intricate relationship of complex systems that ideally work to maintain homeostasis. For this reason alone there are always pros and cons of… Read more »
Pasi Hautala
Pasi Hautala
4 years 6 months ago

I have been IF:on on and off for almost a year now but recently I was told that long term fasting raises cortisol-levels which stress the body if done for to long. I remember it having something to with the circadian rhythm.

If somebody could shed some info on this it would be appreciated.

cpb
cpb
4 years 6 months ago

I am also interested in thoughts on this. I do the occasional IF or or restrict eating to an 8 hour window, but have been told that anyone suffering from burnout or thyroid issues shouldn’t do this as it raises cortisol levels and puts more pressure on the body.

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago
I’ve read that the study this information came from was taken out of context. Cortisol will increase during the fast, which is natural and a part of keeping blood sugar stabilized. However, mean cortisol levels did not increase. Only “short-term” increase were found. Due to the circadian rhythym, I find that fasting is best in the morning and early afternoon, and eating is best saved for the late afternoon and night. This way eating patterns will be in-sync with the diurnal rise and fall of cortisol. Cortisol is high in the morning and drops at night. Fasting in the evening… Read more »
Emma
Emma
4 years 6 months ago

This reminds me of The Warrior Diet philosophy. It’s been forever since I read the book though, but I do recall it speaking about this way of eating. Have you read that book?

Victor Venema
4 years 6 months ago

Intermittent fasting was one of the changes that helped me get rid of my (admittedly minor) asthma. Thus I would expect that it actually helps to reduce long term cortisol-levels or at least inflammation.

Lita
Lita
4 years 1 month ago

I don’t know if anyone answered you yet, but what your talking about is the actual fast. Like a 48hr fast vs a 16-20h fast. If you break your fast within even 24 hours you don’t have to worry about that. 🙂 VERY long fasts are what raise cortisol levels.

Berivat
3 years 9 months ago
I’ve been very interested in and have pealrnosly conducted fasts on my own for the past 25 years. I am currently an alternative health practitioner and have helped people work through many health issues using fasting. For these reasons, I buy every book I can find on the subject. Juice fasting, has been my favorite type of fasting so I was particularly interested in this book prior to receiving. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as enthusiastic after reading it. I found this book in congruent, disjointed and incomplete. It had a lot of anecdotal and miscellaneous information that might be interesting for… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
4 years 6 months ago

“They were also monitored while eating a normal diet during an additional 24-hour period.” I’d love to know what this “normal diet” consisted of.

Also, it mentioned the increase in HGH after the fast. Did these people exercise fasted at all? Is it recommended to break your fast THEN exercise?

Team Oberg
Team Oberg
4 years 6 months ago

Exercise fasted, it further boosts your HGH production. In fact, people who don’t participate in regular fasting should always train in the morning before they have eaten. I always work out before I eat. Check out the website “Lean Gains” for fasted training information

Joletta
Joletta
4 years 6 months ago

So much of the fasting information I’ve read has to deal with weight loss or body fat loss. Are there benefits of fasting for a lean, athletic female (or male for that matter) that doesn’t have trouble staying lean in their current primalesque lifestyle?

Carlos Morales
4 years 6 months ago

I’m guessing that the Part 2 will go into that

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago

The study Mark referred to as improving insulin sensitivty was done on young men with who were not obese. It also includes results that show increases in other bio-markers as well.

Joletta
Joletta
4 years 6 months ago

I understand that the study was in non-obese men but it still measured fat oxidation and weight loss. If anything, I trend toward too lean and I don’t need to lose any weight. The study on the non-obese men also mentions that they were hungry during the fasting days. I also don’t like being hungry!

So I was referring more to the benefits of fasting in lean people at a healthy weight that they have maintained for years that don’t have fixations on meal timing and quantities.

Wendy
Wendy
4 years 6 months ago

Hi all – can anyone recommend the best book about diabetes and primal diet? my co-worker is so sure he needs to constantly eat to keep his “blood sugar” up so he doesn’t “pass out” that he would never consider fasting. I am doing my best to educate him about primal wisdom (and maybe he will read PB if I shove it at hiim), but I will buy him a book if it specifically in detail discusses diabetes and carbs! thanks!

Tim
Tim
4 years 6 months ago

Google this article, you can access it free on-line:

“Role of glycemic index and glycemic load in the healthy state, in prediabetes, and in diabetes.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;87(1):269S-274S.

Paul
Paul
4 years 6 months ago

Fiber Menace by Konstantin Monastyrsky (http://gutsense.com/fibermenace/about_fm.html) discusses, among other topics, diabetes and it’s relationship to carbs/fiber. I read this book before I found MDA & the Primal way of life and I found it enlightening. LOTS of parallels with the Blueprint…

EmmaSofia
EmmaSofia
4 years 6 months ago

I also have some fine tuning questions about Primal and diabetes, but on the whole I’ve found that the primal lifestyle has been good for me and helpful in keeping blood sugars more regulated. Gary Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories addresses the issues pretty well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Calories,_Bad_Calories

Tim
Tim
4 years 6 months ago
I can tell you from the personal experience of managing my son’s type 1 diabetes mellitus that the primal lifestyle is absolutely an option and a good one. The key is to watch the insulin levels carefully because you’re going to have to adjust them downward, and fast. My son went from using nearly 55 units total per day to now being in the low 30’s, almost half, which is great from two perspectives 1) more insulin means more fat storage and more hunger pangs and 2) the law of small numbers means that injecting for 10 carbs at a… Read more »
Galina L.
Galina L.
4 years 6 months ago

There is web-site http://paleodiabetic.com/.
Did your friend read the book by Dr. R.Bernstein “The diabetes solution”? I am sure he would find the story of Dr. Bernstein quite remarkable and inspiring and probably it is better to get the book first (from any public library) or even free on-line http://www.diabetes-book.com/

Casey
4 years 6 months ago

The possible implications of the GH increase during a 24 hr fast are very interesting.

Burn
4 years 6 months ago

I like intermittent fasting, but I think you’ve gotta really be adapted to a primal type of diet for it to work. You’ve gotta have good blood sugar control, and stress and sleep under control for it to work well in my opinion.

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago

A normal metabolism would be helpful, but just extending the time about 30 minutes every morning before eating is an easy way to break into fasting with a bad metabolism.

Cori
4 years 6 months ago

I find intermittent fasting to be so easy to do compared to calorie restriction.

Also, if there isn’t anything Primal around to eat, I have no fear that my muscles will wither away if I simple don’t eat until I can eat Primally!

PaddyMac
PaddyMac
4 years 6 months ago
I have been eating one meal a day (dinner) and I found after a few days, that I felt more energized and stronger. I workout 6 days a week and have not felt weak, tired, or dizzy because of it. I found the hardest part about it is enduring to constant barrage of CW and explaining why what I’m doing is ok. But its easier when I look in the mirror or when I visit the doc and my resting BP is down. The key for everyone is to try and see what works for their bodies. This works for… Read more »
Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago

Isn’t funny how people with metabolic and health ailments can look you in your healthy face and say what your doing is going to kill you? It’s sad that some people are so bound by stigma.

Greg
Greg
4 years 4 months ago

I could not have put it better been doing the same for a month now lost 22 pound in two months and have never felt so good when exercising but it’s not for everyone I’m a shift worker and it’s the only eating routine that has ever worked all the best Greg rees

IniQuity
IniQuity
4 years 6 months ago

I fast 16/8 pretty much every day. Sometimes my fasts extend to 20/4 or something like that… definitely don’t be scared of fasting.

However, I have not ever, not once, gone over 30 hours. I’m basically at my ideal weight, so I really have no desire to do it for fat loss, but I would consider it just as an experiment of sorts — however, I largely enjoy eating, so I’m not sure if I will at this point in time.

Lastly, Marilyn Manson wasn’t on The Wonder Years – per snopes.com

Joe
Joe
4 years 6 months ago

+1 on the Marilyn Manson comment.

Wendy
Wendy
4 years 6 months ago

I am trying more/longer fasts now – but without getting too crazy about it – what happens if you have ONE handful of nuts, or one slice of raw cheese, or some kombuchka – does that entirely elimiate all the benefits of the entire fast????

Tim
Tim
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t think so, since foods lacking carbohydrates will have little to no effect on insulin levels and sensitivity. It may blunt some of the effects, but probably not all of them.

Carlos Morales
4 years 6 months ago

Protein and dairy have a large effect on insulin.
http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=319

Raquel
Raquel
4 years 1 month ago
Fasting is fasting. The whole point is to give your digestive system a break. Even coffee is not ideal because it tells your body food is coming – digesting coffee is using digestive system. If you want to experience the full benefits of fasting, it needs to be done for at least 24 hours at least once a week. It gets easier every time. READ what Mark has written. Stop asking foolish questions and take the time to read what he has prepared. Another wonderful writer on this subject is Brad Pillon of Eat Stop Eat. Thank god for Mark… Read more »
Drumroll
Drumroll
3 years 8 months ago

I doubt you’ve actually READ a WORD of Pilon’s writings about fasting. If you had, you’d know that he drinks black coffee daily on his fasts AND he says it is ok for people to drink unsweetened teas and coffee on the fast.

Paul
Paul
4 years 6 months ago

+1 about the kombucha! I’m in the middle of a 20 hour fast right now and I have a bottle of kombucha right next to me… Calling me… Begging to be consumed…

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago

Your insulin levels will still rise, definetely not as much as if you eat ice cream though. Depending on how much or how little you ate it would probably take a few hours before insulin levels fell back to fasting levels. For further advice contact me via my website.

Heidi
Heidi
4 years 6 months ago

I recommend checking out leangains.com for more information about the 16/8 fast – it suggests a splash of cream in your coffee is ok, but anything even getting around to 50 calories is not good for the fast. I would not risk eating the handful of nuts or cheese, it’s not going to temper your appetite at all and will probably make you hungrier. Snacking is more of a psychological mechanism, just don’t do it 🙂

Primal Texas
4 years 6 months ago

The guys sitting next to me at Mark’s presentation just mentioned the same site… And it seems to line up with Mark’s bullet points on shifting/conforming eating patterns to your body (eat when you’re hungry) as opposed to a set of societal/customary norms (“Breakfast is the MOST IMPORTANT meal of the day”… “Eat 6 small meals a day”… etc.)

Steve H
Steve H
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve been doing daily 16 hour fasts with a relatively low-carb paleo diet during my 8 hour feeding window. Is this long enough of a fast to get the fat-loss benefits or should I try alternating days like in some of the studies mentioned?

Thanks!

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago
Alternating days can be hard if you are trying to maintain muscle or train in the Primal context. You will start to burn almost entirely fat after 12 hours of fasting, however, after 18 to 20 you will start to break down protein to stabilize your blood glucose. Not a significant amount, but it’s something to think about. If you want to split the difference you could do a 20 hour daily fast, but you should eat about an hour after you workout. The 20 hour fast would give you 8 hours of pure fat burning time everyday. Of course… Read more »
TJ
4 years 6 months ago

I’m currently eating in an 8 hour window that changes from day to day. Sometimes I reduce the window to less than 8 hours. Seems to be working well so far. However, when it’s time to eat, I really enjoy eating at least 1 lb. of grass fed beef or 8-12 pastured eggs! I absolutely could not do it (I don’t think) if I wasn’t eating at least 1 pretty big meal per day.

Steve H
Steve H
4 years 6 months ago

Awesome reply! Thank you kind sir.

2THDOC
2THDOC
4 years 6 months ago

Worked like a charm for me to lose the stubborn fat. Esp when combined with low intensity exercise in the fasted state. The high intensity stuff on the otherhand left me feeling a little less inspired.

Randy Hagenstein
Randy Hagenstein
4 years 6 months ago

One of the best benefits of fasting is that you learn that you can decouple yourself from the 3 meal a day norm and not have your world come crashing in. Fasting can help establish a different relationship with food that makes you realize that you are in control of the Sara lee frozen cheesecake rather than the other way around

2THDOC
2THDOC
4 years 6 months ago

Wendy, from personal exp I find that snacking during the fast only seems to stimulate my appetite and complicates what is typically an effortless fast.
You’re bound to inhibit some of the hormonal benefits as well.

Stevemid
Stevemid
4 years 6 months ago

Did anybody else picture Fat ‘B’ from Austin Powers when reading about the obese Scotsman?

Tom Bassett-Dilley
Tom Bassett-Dilley
4 years 6 months ago

LOL “Get in my belly!!”
Having been primal for 32 days, I find my hunger is usually much less insistent (which is really liberating)… but I haven’t tried IF yet. Does the hunger stay mild? Does energy stay OK if you don’t get too strenuous? Thanks Mark, and for all the info Matthew Caton, I’ll check your site next.

Grokitmus Primal
4 years 6 months ago

1 meal a day has worked for me for years. Low Carb Paleo w/IF I call it. Keep setting them straight Mark!

EmmaSofia
EmmaSofia
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve given alot of thought to fasting but am not sure how/whether to proceed since I am diabetic (type II) and take daily long-term acting insulin injections. I’ve suspected the insulin is inhibiting the positive effects of the primal lifestyle. Any thoughts and suggestions would be most welcome.

Ed
Ed
4 years 6 months ago

Just a question – one of the related posts was Ten Sure Ways to Sabotage Weight Loss, and it includes things like skipping breakfast and eating one meal a day as ways to sabotage your weight loss. That seems inconsistent with the post here.

Jeff
Jeff
4 years 6 months ago

I’m confused about this too. I struggle to eat something for breakfast each day. Now I read that it’s better to skip it? Put us on the right path please!

Tim
Tim
4 years 6 months ago

The association between breakfast and weight loss is just an association – as we saw in the previous post about red meat, associations cannot prove that A causes B.

The observation is that people who eat breakfast tend to lose more weight than people who don’t. Why is that?

*Maybe breakfast helps weight loss.
*Maybe the people who have time to eat breakfast are less busy and less stressed than those who don’t eat breakfast.
*Maybe the people who don’t eat breakfast at home tend to snack on bagels and doughnuts instead.

All valid explanations as to why there is an association.

Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson
4 years 6 months ago

I think that post was from 2006 (the year May 22 was a Tuesday). Marks thinking has evolved. Unfortunately, he doesn’t year mark his posts, so it’s hard to tell sometimes what his latest thinking is.

Miranda
Miranda
4 years 6 months ago

He doesn’t year mark, but the first comment will have a year on it.

Michael Custer
Michael Custer
4 years 6 months ago

I’m doing John Romaniello’s Fat Loss Forever diet (lifestyle) and having success… check it out

semir
semir
4 years 6 months ago

Fasting is DA BOMB! 🙂

Jake
Jake
4 years 6 months ago

just started tinkering with 1 meal a day and its been great…. sleep is prolly the aspect of my life that benefits the most from fasting

Nick
Nick
4 years 6 months ago

When do you have your meal? I am interested because I would like to mess around with fasting, but I don’t want to eat such a large meal near my bedtime.

Jake
Jake
4 years 6 months ago

Usually around noon or 1 pm… by the time I’m ready for bed I start feeling a little hungry but its not a problem and I fall asleep much easier and get into a really deep sleep

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 years 6 months ago
I appreciate that you are writing for what you think is a relatively mentally healthy group, but please consider the ramifications of what you are saying on the unhealthy, in particularly, people with eating disorders. These sick folks want any excuse to think that they are doing the right thing by starving themselves. That story of the Scottsman just scares me because I’ve learned a lot about anorexia and it is a deadly disorder when people of a healthy weight starve themselves for months on end or severely restrict their calories. It is a serious mental disorder and I know… Read more »
bbuddha
bbuddha
4 years 6 months ago

Intermittent fasting is not in any way related to anorexia. (I didn’t go to your link so this doesn’t directly address that) I was aquainted with a women who suffered from anorexia. She didn’t IF….she starved herself. Allowed herself a couple of bites of food over the course of the entire day and then would work out like a fiend. As you said it is a serious mental disorder. The concept of an intermittent fast doesn’t create anorexics

Joshua
Joshua
4 years 6 months ago

You can’t keep truth away from people because someone might misuse it. I think conversely, an anorexic reading this might find a little education about how to reach their desired end in a healthy way. If anorexia nervosa really is a mental condition, they don’t need an excuse and pointing to someone saying an occasional fast in the context of natural eating will produce optimal health, would not really be reading this anyhow. You can’t control how people will misunderstand your message.

Daniel Wallen
4 years 6 months ago

Awesome, Mark. I used to fast once a week (the feed/fast approach advocated by John Romaniello). I loved the increased energy during my fasts, so I have stepped it up and now do a “mini-fast” of 16 hours on workout days and 24 hours on rest days. Conventional wisdom be damned–it hasn’t hurt my workout intensity, muscle mass, or energy/productivity. If anything, I’m more productive and energetic during my fasts. I’m happy to see the “4 meal a day” recommendation be debunked, because in retrospect it was a *total* pain-in-the-ass.

Lee
Lee
4 years 6 months ago

I’m a little over 400lbs, and have been just eating one large meal a day for a few weeks now. Not due to weigh for a week, so no idea about weight loss yet, but I now have much more control over my food – I had been really struggling with craving, but somehow eating one meal a day gives me more self control – not sure why, but as its working, who cares why!

Tee
Tee
4 years 6 months ago

What does your one meal consist of?

Matthew Caton
4 years 6 months ago
I have been using intermittent fasting with great succeess to lower and maintain my bodyfat percentage. My last measurement from skinfold calipers was 7.3%. I’m actually in the fasted state as I type this. If you have never tried fasting you will notice the effects of the catecholemines almost immediately. The catecholemines epinephrine and norepinephrine will reach a plateau after around 12 hours of fasting and will remain elevated after that. As Mark said the epinephrine will give you energy, but I would like to add that you will also feel very focussed. Coupled with the mentally calming effect of… Read more »
MadMav
MadMav
4 years 6 months ago

Last year I went on a 10 day water fast in an attempt to find out if I had food/sugar allergies. After the first 48 hrs the hunger pains went away and it actually got easier and easier as the fast progressed. More to the point, the catecholemines release caused a clearing of my mind that was almost spiritual. I now have zero qualms regarding IF and have had great strides forward in my health after fasting.

Tim
Tim
4 years 6 months ago

That’s great MadMav. But do you have a website we can contact you through?

ealachan
ealachan
4 years 6 months ago

You beat me to it, Ed…;)

Chris
Chris
4 years 6 months ago

Love it!!:)

David Crowther
David Crowther
4 years 5 months ago
After reading an article in ‘Harper’s’ magazine a month or two ago, entitled, “Starve yourself to vigor”, I embarked on a 7 day fast. I am 56 years old, have been a vegan for 7 years, take exercise very seriously, both cardio and some weights and am not overweight at all. I felt euphoric from day 2 on and had boundless energy, doing all my normal activities, including running, playing tennis and doing weights. On the morning of the fifth day I decided to call off the fast because I had lost 13 pounds and thought that was enough. I… Read more »
Emma
Emma
4 years 6 months ago

You fast every day?

I would love to learn what a good fasting routine would be for me but I can’t pay for a consultation. It’s great that there are people like you out there that can provide real help though. Thanks.

DFH
4 years 6 months ago
Matthew- No, it’s not such a bad thing that people are a little slow to hop on the latest bandwagon. I skip meals myself, and it does work, but I waited until I knew metabolic markers were in line, like rT3, leptin, insulin, and some others. People who love their IF just need to realize that it can be a very foolish thing to do if one has a lot of weight to work on and their metabolism is wrecked. Everyone is a bit different. I just wish Mark would be a bit more responsible and tell the whole story… Read more »
trackback

[…] I like that quote. It’s making (non-caloric) lemonade out of lemons, and for all the transcendental insights contained in Hesse’s book, this line strikes me as a really cool, no-nonsense way to make the best out of a bad situation. No doubt about that. But how useful is it, really, to today’s readers?  Read More » […]

Ed
4 years 6 months ago
Okay I have been always weary of fasting from my past history with conventional wisdom. I always thought it was for those people you see on Oprah with eating disorders. My coworker and I were just talking about this topic last night! I swear Mark can hear us talking and posts with all the information we need (and the points to pretty much prove that everything I was saying was wrong haha). Also, this post uses science, which I am very found of being a biologist. All in all, I think I am going to give intermittent fasting a go.… Read more »
Nance
4 years 6 months ago

For most of the past year I thrived on IF (intermittent fasting) and in the past month I have experimented with ADF(alternate day fasting.) For me, fasting is very calming. My gut is very quiet and the other bodily systems follow suit and yet I have high energy. I don’t suffer any weakness at all and the only “weird” comes in realizing just how much time I typically spend preparing, eating and cleaning up after meals.

Brian
Brian
4 years 6 months ago
I’ve been paleo for about a year now and have lost about 30 pounds… pretty typical story. But it seemed like I had stalled out, with some obvious fat yet to burn. I came across Richard Nikoley’s book “Free the Animal” and was reminded of intermittant fasting. I’ve been doing a 24 hour fast 1-2 times a week for the last month, and have found this very effective in burning fat that I have been having trouble getting rid of. I’m down about 5 pounds, but aside from that, I can see a big difference in how I look. My… Read more »
Jeffrey of Troy
4 years 6 months ago

Congrats on the action and results.

Not sure what you mean by “24 hour fast”, but if you don’t eat from, for example, Sun night to Tues morning, that’s actually more like a 36 hour fast. I would recommend one meal – either breakfast or dinner, NOT lunch – on fasting days, as it is after about 24 ours that you start losing muscle.

Eating in Orlando
Eating in Orlando
4 years 6 months ago

Yes…actually that is strangely similar to my experience. I’ve been primal for about a year, and lost about exactly 30 lbs. I have to give credit to the leangains program for outlining a sensible approach to IF. It’s easy, I just skip breakfast and make a big lunch. It drives me crazy when I hear that a paleo diet is hard to maintain. How hard is it to skip breakfast, and have bacon for lunch?

Benjamin
Benjamin
4 years 6 months ago
Fasting is absolutely helpful. I first got serious about fasting after I had an eating disorder and gained a bunch of weight (I got over the ED first, mind you, that’s the first step). I lost the excess fat effortlessly, and as I experimented more and more with fasting, I found that a fasted state made me feel better, more alert, and more productive. Nowadays I try to fast for at least 12 hours overnight, every day, with occasional 18-24 hour fasts thrown in on a really good day. I also do all exercise fasted, except for Kung Fu. I’m… Read more »
Steve
Steve
4 years 6 months ago

I tried a 24 hour fast for the first time yesterday and my enegery was through the roof! As soon as I got home from work I began my workout and then waited an hour before eating my meal. I plan on doing this from now on every 3 days, which will also be my workout days. Every other day I fast 16 hours and eat 2 meals in a 8 hour window.
I’ve lost 40 pounds since late December following the Primal Blueprint and I love it!

outlookishazy
outlookishazy
4 years 6 months ago

OK, so I am not opposed to intermittent fasting, or any fasting, per se … but where do you draw the line between fasting and anorexia?

HillsideGina
HillsideGina
4 years 6 months ago

Anorexia is a psychological disorder. If you have or are prone to such a disorder, you may glom onto any information such as this to bolster your rationale for your disorder.

But this post isn’t about folks who are sick with anorexia.

Alyssa
Alyssa
4 years 6 months ago

Anorexia is continuing to lose weight through extreme dietary measures when one is at 85% or less of their ideal body weight. So, as long as you aren’t underweight, by this definition you can’t be anorexic.

Mary Titus
Mary Titus
4 years 6 months ago

TRUE

HillsideGina
HillsideGina
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve always felt the “three meals a day” mantra was a bogus modern construct not based on any science.

We are so over-fed and food-obsessed in Conventional Wisdom that we call any period of not eating a “fast” and not a normal behavior. But we really don’t know shit.

Those of you asking how to fast, when to fast, wanting a plan layed out for you – go experiment on yourselves. Do it your way, see what happens.

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
4 years 6 months ago
Here here! We tend to fast on the weekends. We cook food in the morning and just let our kids graze as they wish. It amazes me at ages 2 & 5 how in tune they are with their bodies. Many nights they just don’t feel like eating dinner–so they don’t! For me, fasting was more getting over the mind-set that I had to eat. Having been a diagnosed hypoglycemic since I was a kid, I had trained myself to eat every 2-3 hours to prevent low blood sugar. Was I ever a slave to the clock! My first time… Read more »
Topshelf
Topshelf
4 years 6 months ago
I also switched over to the “Warrior Diet” of 1 meal per day several months ago and find it to be the most liberating choice I can remember. Depending on mood I might have 1 or 2 very small snacks, but almost all of my calories come in the form of one giant 4 hour feast at the end of the day. Took a little while to adjust to eating that much, but it was well worth the effort and it’s so nice not constantly worrying about my next meal during the day. A Primal based Warrior Diet is something… Read more »
John
John
4 years 6 months ago
Without a doubt, fasting is one of the things that really helped me drop about 40 pounds of fat last year. I first tried a full day fast in June (I think it was about 36 hours), and really took to it. I did feel hungry, but at the same time, felt better when doing it. I started skipping breakfast during the week and doing at least 1, sometimes 2, 24 hour fasts in a week. Not sure, but I think I may have been overdoing it a bit toward the end of last year, and I’ve been eating more… Read more »
Dave, RN
Dave, RN
4 years 6 months ago

Ok… Paul from the Wonder Years is not Marilyn Manson…

Jenn
Jenn
4 years 6 months ago
I water fast every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I eat a light lunch around 2pm on my eating days, and eat a substantial dinner around 8pm or so. I may have a few macadamia nuts or a bowl of kefir in between lunch and dinner. So essentially, my fasts are about +/-42 hours and my every other day eating window is about 6ish hours long. Sometimes the fasting period is a couple hours shorter, and I’ll eat lunch earlier (or eat a bigger lunch) depending how I feel. I feel fantastic! I laugh when people say it “isn’t sustainable” or… Read more »
John
John
4 years 6 months ago

Um, to everyone pointing out the Marilyn Manson wasn’t really on the Wonder Years, you do realize Mark was joking right? I also feel compelled to point out that Kevin Arnold didn’t REALLY live in the 60’s either, seeing as he’s a CHARACTER. How did you let THAT get past you?

knifegill
knifegill
4 years 6 months ago

I have one meal a day, most days. It’s making a huge difference in strength gains, fat loss and mood stability. I also love not having to pack anything for lunch.

Kay
Kay
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve always heard if you fast you put your body in starvation mode-so when you do eat it hoards those calories and converts them into fat (to store for the next potential fast). Is that true? What happens to the body after breaking the fast?

Cecilia
Cecilia
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve also head this as well. I think Mark has covered this before, but I can’t find the article. I’m also very interested in what happens to the calories you consume after a fast.

Brian
Brian
4 years 6 months ago

It works! been applying intermitent fasting (one two hour window) 5 or six days per week for the last year. I am down 110 lbs and have more muscle then ever! I’m hardly ever hungry too! Nice post mark can’t wait to read part 2!

Nash
Nash
4 years 6 months ago

People who want to lose weight commonly, and first of all, think about reducing the amount of food they eat. This may be quite a solution but not exactly the best there is. In fact, depending on the amount you reduce in your food intake, it may even be dangerous to one’s health. So how does one lose weight effectively and safely? Here are some points one should consider when trying to lose weight:

http://www.tutstuff.com/pointers-on-losing-weight-safely/

Dan
Dan
4 years 6 months ago

Anyone reading this post do bulletproof coffee? I’ve started drinking coffee with unsalted butter, coconut oil, and cinnamon in the mornings as Dave Asprey (bulletproof exec) claims it will not ‘break’ your fast. Seems some others on here who have posted would disagree?

Erika
Erika
4 years 6 months ago

I intend to try Bulletproof soon! It sounds great! I’ve already blended grass-fed butter into my coffee and it’s way thicker and richer than milk. Mmm!

cancerclasses
4 years 6 months ago
Yes! That butter coffee thing is the BEST nutritional tip I’ve ever found. On two 16 ounce mugs of butter coffee per day I can eat every 2 or 3 days whether I need to or not. NO fatigue or cravings for food of any kind because butter IS food, just a pure, concentrated fat type of macro nutrient. For each 16 ounce travel mug of coffee I add 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter at 100 calories per and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil at 110 calories per, so my total fat intake for 2 – 16 ounce travel mugs… Read more »
cancerclasses
4 years 6 months ago

Here’s a reference for that ATP info from UCLA:
http://goo.gl/sxH3d

John
John
4 years 6 months ago

That butter coffee sounds great! I have the grass fed butter already and will pick up some good coconut oil today.

Mary Titus
Mary Titus
4 years 6 months ago

It won’t break your fast depending on what you are fasting for. If you are fasting for the ketogenic affects of fasting then fats added to your morning coffee or tea supports, not detracts from this. I think MCT oil is a better choice for producing ketones than coconut oil. You will notice a big difference if you use MCT oil.

Milla
4 years 6 months ago
Please, please, please be careful before doing this. I generally wouldn’t recommend it if you’re young, especially young and active, easily stressed; and unless you’re overweight, I wouldn’t recommend it at all. I know this is the point of this post and that Mark has posted cautions about fasting before, but some people might just decide to recklessly jump into it ‘for the benefits’. The way I did. I feel better when I eat regularly; have a look at this: http://www.cheeseslave.com/how-intermittent-fasting-caused-my-insomnia-and-belly-fat/. I personally didn’t gain fat, but IF caused a myriad of problems for me – it wrecked my appetite… Read more »
Mary Titus
Mary Titus
4 years 6 months ago
WHat was your diet??? This is very important. Did your diet support fasting? Also, ketosis results in a lack of appettite because your body needs less food. I have been doing intermittent fasting for years and I have a healthy appetite. Not like the insane appetite I had 11 years ago but an appetitie that I can manage without overeating the wrong food. I also fasted many times naturally when I was in college and that scared me. I thought there was something wrong with me because I went 30 hours without eating…It is normal to go 20 hours without… Read more »
James
James
4 years 6 months ago

What actually counts as “fasting”? Can I drink green/herbal tea? Take multivitamins? Black tea with a bit of milk? Clean my teeth with toothpaste!?
I’ve always though eating under, say, 50 calories in a day is as good as fasting (assuming those calories come from those similar to above, not food).

John
John
4 years 6 months ago

I think that your 50 calorie rule is pretty close. I drink coffee (no cream or milk), tea, and lemon water during fasts, and had great results. I’ve heard of people using a bit of milk or cream in their coffee and still seeing good results. I would take a magnesium malate supplement as well, but I take any other vitamins with meals. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day and don’t take in ANY liquids. If you’re mainly fasting for health, and not religous or other reasons, water and tiny caloric intake is fine.

Erika
Erika
4 years 6 months ago

This may be a silly question, but is it a sign that I should avoid fasting if my stomach is growling?

I’ve only been going Primal for just over a month now, so maybe my body hasn’t adjusted enough yet?

I also have experienced days where it was easy or unintentional to skip a meal, and felt fine if not great! But today is not one of those days.

John
John
4 years 6 months ago

Not silly at all. I’ve noticed hunger and some stomach growls during a fasting and continued to do it. It really is about intensity. If it’s just mild hunger, you can fast right through it. But if it’s GNAWING at you, you should break your fast. I think benefit of fasting is getting more in tune with your body. Break your fast early, but certainly try again if you want to. Also, you can start by skipping a meal, then two meals, then 12 hours, then 18 hours over a few weeks.

John
John
4 years 6 months ago

Another thing I and some friends have noticed… fasting is much harder after a “cheat” day. Try eating 100% primal for a day or two before starting a fast, and it may be a lot easier.

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