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

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?

If only I weren't so skinny!

One thing is certain in the field of health: what is common wisdom today can easily become “misapplied science” tomorrow. What’s “in” this year may be “out” next year. Often it’s hard to arrive at the right answer.

For example: Oily fish is good for you because the Omega-3’s are so healthy, but oily fish is bad because it can be contaminated with heavy metals, but oily fish is good because recent tests prove it’s not actually very contaminated, but oily fish is bad because the fishing industry paid for those tests…you get my point.

The Fats vs. Carbs argument is another. So when a reader recently asked about regular fasting as a means of maintaining good health, I had to re-evaluate my point of view slightly. What I found surprised me and convinced me to add a new twist to my ongoing health-and-anti-aging regimen. It’s called Intermittent Fasting – or IF.

Twenty years ago, as I was first forming my Primal Health point-of-view (based on a model of how humans evolved), I found it very easy to embrace the concept of “grazing” that seemed to represent the collective conscious of the weight-loss-and-health movement at the time. After all, eating several small meals a day – grazing to maintain even blood sugar and to avoid having your body go into starvation mode and start hoarding gobs of fat – seemed to fit my picture of early humans roaming the plains of Africa foraging for roots, shoots, nuts, berries, grubs and the occasional road-kill leftover from a hyena feast. The explanation that we in the weight-loss business gave the public was that by maintaining this steady supply of protein, fats and carbs throughout the day we would never experience a wild swing in blood sugar due to rapid rises and falls in insulin, therefore we would be less inclined to store fat and more inclined to burn off our existing fat stores. Heaven help us if we skipped breakfast, overate or starved ourselves periodically. That would surely wreak havoc on the delicate hormonal systems keeping us in homeostatic balance.

Well, maybe not.

The truth is, many people have succeeded in losing weight and keeping most of it off using this simple grazing method, which consists of eating 5 or 6 small meals or snacks spread evenly throughout the day, with no single meal exceeding 600 calories and where each meal or snack contains a little protein. This grazing method is the ultimate in portion control: take the 2400 (or more) calories you might otherwise scarf down in 2 meals and simply spread them evenly throughout the day. I think it’s reasonable to project that many more have avoided or postponed getting type 2 diabetes using the same method.

But like many behaviors in the fitness and health world, there comes a point where the benefits decrease and we find ourselves on the dreaded plateau.

The first thing most people will tell you about their attempts at grazing is, while it usually works well if you are diligent, it’s pretty difficult to stick with, since you need to be near a source of quality food every few hours. If you work at home most days as I do, it’s not a problem, but it can make life difficult if you work in an office setting or happen to be a road warrior.

The next common issue is that after a few months of progress, you arrive at a frustrating point where the weight stops coming off, the initial high energy levels decline or you stop building muscle. That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, since the body is so well-tuned to adapt to any situation – including a perfectly even flow of nutrients. In this case, the body’s reaction to this steady supply of nutrition is to actually decrease insulin sensitivity. It “knows” there will always be food, so it “down-regulates” insulin receptors, and probably down-regulates other metabolic systems as well.

In my Primal Health articles here at MDA, I am always looking at ways we can harness our DNA blueprint to maximize health. I like to see how we can shake things up a little and trick the body into burning more fuel, creating more lean muscle, repairing cell damage and staying injury- and illness-free. So when my 79-year-old buddy Sid at the gym started raving about his weekly 24-hour fast over a year ago, and my friend Art started writing about his own fasting experiences, I decided to look into it further.

The results were surprising and impressive.

Numerous animal and human studies done over the past 15 years suggest that periodic fasting can have dramatic results not only in areas of weight (fat) loss, but in overall health and longevity as well. A recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gives a great overview of these benefits which include decreases in blood pressure, reduction in oxidative damage to lipids, protein and DNA, improvement in insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, as well as decreases in fat mass.

How can you argue with results like these? And it all makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, because our predecessors almost certainly went through regular cycles where food was either abundant or very scarce. The body may have established protective mechanisms to adapt to these conditions by sensitizing insulin receptors when it was critical that every bit of food be efficiently used or stored (as in famine), or by desensitizing them when there was a surplus, so the body wouldn’t be overly-burdened by grossly excessive calorie intake.

Beyond insulin sensitivity, it appears that caloric restriction and intermittent fasting may “turn on” certain genes that repair specific tissues that would not otherwise be repaired in times of surplus. One could surmise that this adaptation serves to allow certain cells to live longer (as repaired cells) during famine since it’s energetically less expensive to repair a cell than to divide and create a new one. That might help explain some of the extended longevity seen in animal studies using caloric restriction and/or intermittent fasting (read about here, here, and here). Intermittent fasting has also been shown to reduce spontaneous cancers in animal studies, which could be due to a decrease in oxidative damage or an increase in immune response.

So, what are the practical applications of this research?

It depends. There’s probably no right answer (remember what I said at the beginning!) Art suggests mimicking the experiences of our ancestors, which is to say don’t plan any fast, just surprise your body every once in a while with 24 hours of little or no food. My friend Sid does his fast every Tuesday like clockwork, so he has a light final meal on Monday night and doesn’t eat again until Wednesday breakfast. He does drink water and a little juice on his fasting day. Some fasting programs suggest you take a two-week “cleansing” approach where you eat regularly every other day and fast (or eat 40% of normal) on alternate days for two weeks twice a year.

One thing that is most interesting about the intermittent fasting studies is that slightly overeating on the non-fasting days (to make up for the lack of calories on fast days) yielded similar results, so it wasn’t so much about total calories as it was about the episodic deprivation.

As for me, I’m going to try the once a week deal, but I’ll start by no longer agonizing over a skipped breakfast or late dinner. What I used to think was the end of the world might just be the beginning of a new one!

Let me know of your own fasting experiences.

UPDATE: See this post on Women and Intermittent Fasting.

Further Reading:

My Carb Pyramid

Healthy Recipes

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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. Well what I have been doing lately is, every monday I wake up and just fast until dinner time. So whatever time I get done with dinner on Sunday night until dinner the next night which is usualy not quite 24 hours. I drink lots of water but force myself to drink a lot of water always. The first thing I do when I wake up every morning is drink a tall glass of water then for for the coffee ect. Not tues through Friday, I eat healthy. 3-5 smaller meals a day with veggies, meats, good complex carbs. I discovered something called almond milk that you can buy which only has about 40 calories and it takes the edge off of things cause it tastes kind of sweet and is an enjoyable treat in the evenings to drink a glass of the unsweetened vanilla kind. I try to work out 3 days a week lifting, and two days a week doing cardio on a bike and maybe a run instead ect. I am getting amazing results. On weekends I let it go and eat some junk, pasta ect. But anyway I am getting much bigger in muscle, and the weight is coming off nicely. I have almost a 4 pack right now. so keep on keepin on! I do lift and spin on my fast day and have NO problems.

    Jeff wrote on March 18th, 2010
  2. Hi guys! I stumbled upon this website whilst researching intermittent fasting. I have been trying the fast 5 approach for just over a week now and it’s great apart from one thing. I work in a rather active job which starts at 7am. As the morning goes on I begin to feel very fatigued and weak. This isn’t accompanied by dizziness or faint feeling – just a feeling of “can’t be bothered”. I feel like I’m running on empty – which I kind of am. Previous to this i was eating a lot of fruit for breakfast and mid-morning snack (Im vegetarian by the way). I guess my body is used to using these quality fruity carbs as fuel and not it’s own fat stores. Any ideas on what I should do? Eating a piece of fruit usually sorts me out enough to keep going but then I have triggered the “limbic hunger” and also lose the hormonal benefits of fasting. Any ideas on how to combat this fatigue or what would be the best thing to eat if I really have to?

    Lindsay wrote on March 20th, 2010
  3. I am a faster who consumes fat during her fasting hours. I put coconut oil or MCT oil in my coffee along with heavy whipping cream. This gives me a boatlad of energy. I feel that oils or fats are perfect to consume during thr fasting hours because, like fasting, fats are ketogenic. When it comes to fats or oils, I do not count the calories. Sometimes I put MCT oil in my drinking water. If you are not accustomed to injesting oils like this, don’t use too much, you will regret it. Just take a small amount but do try to increase it. But do remember, fasting is ketogenic so you need to keep your ketones at higher levels. Don’t neglect that. My weight is much more manageable with the help of MCT oil and coconut oil.

    Also, make sure that you don’t do this cold turkey. Your body needs time to make adjustments.Consuming a lot of fruit is very high in sugar. Your body needs the time to switch from using sugar as fuel to fat burning mode.

    mary titus wrote on March 20th, 2010
  4. I have just started using fast days. I have been doing primal for a couple of months but was wanting to kick start things as I hadn’t yet lost many lbs. So I did a 24hr fast twice two weeks ago and another a week ago. I have also been keeping my carbs low. The only thing is I am starting to feel strange side effects. My pupils are dilated and I feel wired. My head is so active at the moment. I seem to be reading voraciously and I actually feel more intelligent. But I also feel like I am on drugs. I have so much energy but it seems to be collecting in my head. I am also finding it hard to sleep because my mind is soooo busy. I think my brain just running on ketones and caffeine. I had to eat an apple just to stop me tripping out.

    I also have been doing high intensity workouts and did a spot of sprinting, so I don’t know whether I am feeling a genetic response to that. I doubt that I would actually feel myself changing.

    Theeditor wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  5. I would guess that since you are fasting and doing low carb, both support ketosis especially if you are consuming fats.MCT oil wil especially give you a jolt of energy. You probably are experiencing ketosis which is superior as an energy source. Ketogenic energy feels like you could take off running without moving a muscle. At least that has been my experience. Your brain is also running on ketones and that is probably what’s keeping you up at night.
    is my experience.

    mary titus wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  6. Okay, as long as this is normal. I thought it may be ketones, but tested my urine with ketostix and it didn’t really change colour. My girlfriend did notice the old breath thing though. I ate some boiled eggs and dried beef, feel a bit better now.

    Theeditor wrote on March 24th, 2010
  7. The reason you see no evidence in the ketostix is because you are probably keto-adapted. In other words your insides are using the ketones which would keep them from being washed into your urine. It is a good sign to “feel” kketosis without seeing them in the test strips.

    Mary Titus wrote on March 24th, 2010
  8. Thanks Mary I am glad it is ketosis. I found myself looking up hypoglycemia and all sorts of stuff just incase it was something else

    I wonder if I had a bit of a biological tipping point where my insulin sensitivity increased quite rapidly. Due to implementing a lot of principles simultaneously. Hence it felt more powerful than I was prepared for.

    Theeditor wrote on March 24th, 2010
  9. Oh and I seem to be 2lbs lighter today than yesterday. I know it can easily fluctuate but it is a lot lighter than I have been in a long time.

    Theeditor wrote on March 24th, 2010
  10. As a Mormon, I have fasted monthly for forty years. The only problem with that is that it’s common in Mormonism to abstain even from water. More recently I have “discovered” fasting like Mark. I no longer agonize over missing any meal, and I have fasted for days with complete comfort and enjoyment. And, like a lot of others who’ve commented, I see important benefits from my nightly fast that is often long enough (12 hours) to start ketosis.

    A side benefit is when I have the time and setting to eat, I can truly enjoy it without counting calories or measuring portions. My only eating limit is how I feel afterward.

    Tom Haws wrote on March 30th, 2010
  11. I’d love to try this. Can anyone recommend a “schedule”/plan for a beginner? Or should I just give the 24 hour fast a shot right off the bat?

    John V wrote on March 30th, 2010
  12. John whenever anyone asks me how they should do this, I always say to take it slow. But stay consistant. I began IF just by making breakfast progressively later each day. For example, I normally ate at 6:00 AM. Then I changed that to 8:00 A.M. then 10:00 etc. Eventurally I was able to go until 2:00 or 3:00 PM before I broke my fast. Now, I may not even eat until 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM if that is my heart’s desire.

    mary titus wrote on March 30th, 2010
    • Thanks for the advice. I think I may just try it for 24 hours (dinner to dinner) and see how it goes.

      Would you suggest not working out during that fasting period? It’d suck to go for a run and pass out or something.

      John V wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Well, I am not an athlete. My physical activity is primarily hour-long walks. I walk when I am fasting and try not to eat until an hour after the walk. I plan to progress to running since I want to participate in a 5K run in November during my fast. Fasting kicks up your body’s ketogenic abilities and once you are keto-adapted, the ketones will be used as fuel.

        It surprises me that I have been able to remain physically active and feel just fine. Being that fasting is ketogenic I add fats during my fasting hours. For example, I will add MCT oil or coconut oil to my coffee. I have also added MCT oil to my water. MCT oil is an instant energy boost.

        John, you know body best,try some physical activity but don’t go trying to
        hunt buffalo or bench press a walrus. But see just what your body will allow you to do without over doing it. I find that my body responds best to exercise when I am fasting.

        mary titus wrote on March 31st, 2010
        • “I find that my body responds best to exercise when I am fasting.”

          Very interesting, I am excited to give this a shot.

          John V wrote on March 31st, 2010
        • In that last paragraph…I mean to write. John, you know YOUR body best…

          But anyway, I have done IF for 3 years and everything that I write has been my honest experience. This is what i do everyday.

          mary titus wrote on March 31st, 2010
  13. Mark, what do you think about Martin Berkhan and Leangains?

    Just recently discovered his blog He’s held in high regard by a lot of people that I respect such as Robb Wolf, Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon. I also saw him mentioned on Nikoley’s site recently.

    Tons of clients and testimonials on the site. Seems very competent. Anyone here tried his method? It involves a shorter fat (16 hrs) than the norm and then an overfeeding phase after training. Just curious if anyone here or Mark had an opition of this fellow or this particular approach.

    CD wrote on March 30th, 2010
  14. I hope someone can help me answer this question. I grew up on the Canadian border (the Great White North, as we affectionately call it), but now I live down south. I’ve always found that when the temperature breaks about 75, my appetite drops to effectively zero. I will feel like eating maybe once every day or two. I do consume treats like frozen berries to cool down, but other than that, I’m almost never hungry. Should I embrace this as an IF opportunity in the spring/summer/early fall, or should I continue to eat on a normal schedule even when I don’t feel like it?

    Erin wrote on April 6th, 2010
  15. Personally, I believe that if your body is telling you to fast, as you describe, that is the best time to do IF. This is probably what your body wants and it won’t fight you on it. I do encourage you to eat the healthiest of foods, which includes the right fats, and IF will carry you a long way.

    mary titus wrote on April 6th, 2010
  16. Has anyone experienced marijuana IF?

    FrankieB wrote on April 7th, 2010
  17. and* IF

    FrankieB wrote on April 7th, 2010
  18. My only question is: why are many IF plans very strict when it comes NOT eating during the fast period? I can understand a feast every one or two days, but it would also seem that Grok would eat whatever he came across — small game, nuts, berries — whenever possible, sort of like snacks.

    adion wrote on April 8th, 2010
  19. Although Grok would probably eat every opportunity that he got. The problem is he didin’t get that many opportunities especially during the winter months. Even though IF might seem to be strict, I would be willing to wager that IFers still eat way more food than Grok, Moogie,Leeba, Deeba and Mark put together.That being said, I do think that fats such as MCT oil should be perfectly fine to consume during the fasting period because of your question. Realistically Grok did not fast out of choice. Grok fasted because he had no other choice.So when the opportunity arose, Grok took advantage of it. I put MCT oil and heavy cream in my coffee during my fasting hours to enhance ketogenic qualities of IF. I go until 3:00 P.M. before breaking my fast.

    mary titus wrote on April 8th, 2010
  20. Anyone have a respond to IF and Marijuana? That’s the whole reason I started my IF lifestyle.

    FrankieB wrote on April 8th, 2010
  21. Hi. just my pennysworth; I have been doing Brad Pilon’s eat/stop/eat since January, and have been basically fasting from supper to supper 2 days a week, with coffee (unsweetened, naturally) only in the fasting period. I have lost about 1kg a fortnight with no problem; as of April, I kicked it up a notch by going uber-paleo (Ice Age Paleo); only meats and lots of fats, eggs, little bits of green salads – NO fruit. the weight loss increased to 1kg a week.

    in the last fortnight, I have started taking 1 teaspoon of flax oil + 1 teaspoon of hempseed oil in the morning of my fasting days; since doing this, my weight loss is now 1.5kg a week for the last 2 weeks. Adding the fat seems to have “turbocharged” my weight loss, and certainly has killed any hunger till supper. I think it helps that I only eat fat and meat when not fasting, because that puts me in “fat burning” all the time, so the fast is effortless (I fast on my busiest work days, when I would struggle to find time to eat anyway).

    thought I would share what is working. by the way, my blood work is BETTER since cutting the fruit and veg – higher HDL, lower Triglycerides – and I have no fatigue at work.

    I work as a Family Doctor, and reckon this diet would be fantastic for a Type 2 diabetic – with all the usual caveats of making sure you discuss it with whoever is helping you with your healthcare (in case you are on prescribed meds).

    best in health to you


    bill wrote on April 30th, 2010
  22. Bill, thanka for sharing your results.I like the fact that you have drastically cut your fruit and vegetables and that you eat so paleo. I too believe that it is the ideal diet for T2 diabetics. I am pre-diabetic and it is helping me with glucose control.

    mary titus wrote on April 30th, 2010
  23. Linda, I do not see your post on this blog, but I did get it in my email. Just to let you know fats will help lower glucose, at least for me. I have done extensive experiements on this and I know it to be true. The fats I use are butter, MCT oil and coconut oil…all saturated gats. I beleive that they lower glucose by improving the cells to become more receptive to glucose, similarly to chromium.

    mary titus wrote on May 3rd, 2010
  24. I am confused by all the things I hear about low carb/high carb, low fat/high fat, vegetarian/meat. I did it all and my triglycerides/obesity/glucose is awful now. Presently I am losing weight by eating a good sized meal every 48 hours. Fats raise my morning glucose level but then I had a carb with it so maybe it is delayed carb absorbtion. If I eat carbs I am better off not having the fat or meat. I can’t seem to do both. Fruit is deadly for raising my glucose and so is wheat. I do ok with nuts, seeds, soy, green vegetables, protein analogs, and lemon for vitamin C. On the days I don’t have a meal, I have bullion at supper. Last week I went into ketosis and I felt weak and bad. So this week I might allow a cup soymilk and a few crackers at bedtime. I did that last night and my glucose was 100 this morning and my energy good. I ate every 48 hours to lose weight after children in my 20’s and it worked very well. Then fasted one or two days a week for maintenance. Then at 40 became disabled and hypothyroid and packed on 100 pounds. I’m 52 now and rediscovering IF. I am very happy to not have to worry about what to eat all the time and enjoy when I do eat without all the guilt. I am free to not feel I will die without a meal. I no longer feel ostracized for having to eat “diet” foods around other people. Thanks Mary Titus for your comments. Maybe I can tolerate fats better when I am no longer obese. At the moment I am still confused about food groups. I only know one thing IF works for weightloss and glucose control. Ya’ll pray me skinny. I’ve got one week down and probably a year to go and I need people like ya’ll to have people who do not go against my progress as most people are against fasting. But it is the only thing that ever helped me in the past. Calorie counting, measuring is just too much work. Fasting naturally causes portion control anyway because I can’t eat as much after a fast. I also don’t have asthma when I fast.

    Linda wrote on May 3rd, 2010
  25. Hi linda

    I am sure you already have Mark Sisson’s excellent “primal blueprint” book – but I would also recommend a complementary book, “primal body primal mind” by Nora Gedgaudas. I am pretty sure you are sabotaging your efforts by allowing too many carbs and too few fats in your diet – her book spells it out nicely and dovetails with Mark’s carbohydrate curve.

    Many people try to use IF as a standalone solution; it works SO much better when your diet puts you in fat-for-energy mode 24/7. Your body has NO requirement for carbohydrate. Zip. Nada. Zilch. You just need moderate protein (a portion of flesh food/eggs/cheese the size of your hand) and enough fats (mainly saturated fats for energy and some flax/hemp/fish oil for the essential oils) to satisfy you. Ask any Eskimo, veg and fruit is not necessary for health. Include them for variety or taste once you are healthy again, but till your weight/ sugar issues are normalized – regard them as nonessential.

    Most confusion comes from people cutting carbs and trying to eat lo-fat : it cannot work! IF on a high fat, mod protein, lo carb diet simply ROCKS.

    Try it & let us know how you get on

    best wishes

    Bill wrote on May 3rd, 2010
  26. Ketosis will make you feel weak because you are using fats for energy. Your body has to adapt to the new energy source by producing the right enzymes. This takes time. Don’t ask how much because everyone is different, but once the right enzymes kick in, energy will return. So by raising carbs you will reduce ketosis and the enzymes needed for “carb” energy will return quickly because they had not have the chance to “die”.Stick with ketosis long enough to produce the enzymes needed to kick those ketones into fuel. Do not fear fats, unless they are transfats. Fat will make you thin because it is a natural energy source. It is more than an energy source, ketones girds your bodies tissues including heart, brain and muscle cells.It doesn’t matter if you are obese or not fats are not idle, they have a job to do if you allow them. Eat carbs, and your body will store fat so that the body will have energy for those “lean” days.Just FYI, soy is bad for healthy thyroid function, coconut oil is good for thyroid function.

    You should also seriously begin taking vitamin D3.Read about vitamin D, get tested before deciding how much to take.

    mary titus wrote on May 3rd, 2010
  27. Hi again Mary (and all)
    I am in agreement regarding the medium chain triglyceride oils/fats… I was doing what you suggested and having coconut oil in a morning coffee with double cream and it certainly acts as an appetite suppressant – I recently started to have an aversion to coffee though and it’s terrible in tea… so now I mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with a teaspoon of almond paste, peel a carrot and make sticks out of it and dip it in the coconut/almond mix… I’m usually moving around getting everyone ready in the morning so I can take half an hour over eating it… I enjoy the satisfaction this gives me until lunch time – for the rest of the day I eat low carb as possible… I feel great – weigh 56 kilos and have stabilised at that now for over six months… I support the “ask the native alaskans” theory about whether we actually need carbs or not… I’m very conscious of eating as much fish as I can and green vegetables… I do eat some potatoes but try to limit white foods generally… I’m now thinking I should even cut the small amount of potatoes I eat as I may be sabotaging my body’s efforts to create the right enzymes… Mmmmm… thoughts would be appreciated…

    it’s hard to work through the stage where we are teaching our body to get it’s energy from fats… it hurts… also I encounter lots of opposition from friends and family which I find is a daily combat…

    wyngem wrote on May 3rd, 2010
  28. I got a lot of oposition too…don’t get it no more though…I wonder why? My family suffer from metabolic issues, namely diabetes.I don’t eat potatoes but I do enjoy turnips and cauliflower. I eat them both mashed and I make french fries from them. I also eat pumpkin which is an excellent replacement, nutritionally, for orange vegetables. Bell peppers of all colors are also a wonderful choice for healthy veggies and/or fruit.

    I eat a very limited carbs all day.For example, today I broke my fast with steak and eggs a few slices of tomatoes. For dessert, I had few pieces of cantalope and strawberries. I snacked on some peanuts. I

    mary titus wrote on May 3rd, 2010
  29. Thanks for the feedback Mary…
    Are you still aiming for weight loss or are you at your goal weight already?

    wyngem wrote on May 4th, 2010
  30. I do hope to lose 10 more lbs. I also plan to run in a 5K in November. If I do this, it will be while on a low carb diet and I will be fasting at the time. Two ideas that go totally against the grain.

    mary titus wrote on May 4th, 2010
  31. I really feel great fasting until dinner 2-3 times per week. It simply gives my digestive system a rest & I’m full of energy.

    My tip: If you do decide to do intermittent fasting, don’t eat a huge meal for dinner (like the Warrior Diet recommends)…better to eat a regular size dinner (like Eat Stop Eat recommends).

    This is a simple way to create a calorie deficit over the week and lose weight. It also gives you some wiggle room to have a few higher calorie days while still losing weight.

    Great topic,

    -George D

    Gain Muscle Now wrote on July 9th, 2010
    • I have been doing the 16/24 fast for three weeks now. I feel great. I eat at night. The problem is, I work out vigorously when I get up in the morning do to family and job commitments Before my work out I drink 8 oz of skim milk. After the workout I drink a protein shake. I count this in my daily calorie and protein intake. I then fast the rest of the day till the evening. Is this a good way to IF. Or should I just not eat at all around my work out.

      Robert wrote on July 23rd, 2010
      • Personally, I believe that fasting is what you make it. But personally, from my experience you do not need the protein drinks in the morning…especially the skim milk.ANd you will be surprised at how well your energy levels stay at optimal levels without any additional help. The dawn phenomenon is a process in where the body’s glcuose levels increase overnight. In general these levels are highest in the AM showing that the body prepares itself for morning activiities without eating. That being said, I usually have a little MCT oil in the morning to kick up the ketogenic qualities of fasting.

        mary titus wrote on July 23rd, 2010
        • Mary

          The reason I work out is to build muscle. I am not concerned with my energy level. I do have enough energy in a seated state to work out pretty hard. I am just worried that if I don’t have protein around my work out, I will lose muscle. So are you saying that I will still build muscle without a recovery drink? I know people will say to work out right before I break my fast. That is mostly not an option for me. And eating all my calories in the AM would be very difficult for me. I would want to sleep in the afternoon. Or wouldn’t be able to eat with my family.

          Robert wrote on July 24th, 2010
        • Not seated state, I ment fasted state. My iPhone likes to make the wrong corrections sometimes. LOL

          Robert wrote on July 24th, 2010
        • Robert, from what I have learned is that the best time to workout is while you are in a fasted state…and you really should not eat until an hour has past following your workout. Hopefully,you ate enough protein the night before to easily sustain you until your next eating window. What this does is ressurect the production of growth hormone which maintains muscle. I learned this in Dr. Mike and Mary Eades book “Protein Power”. Eating just before and/or soon after a workout kills the natural growth hormone ESPECIALLY if that meal is in the form of carbohydrates,( for those out there who believe that carbohydrates are so important ). I do understand how your schedule can get in the way of your IF goals. I face the same problems. Use your knowledge to balance your schedule and IF. But I will stick to the ideal of eating too soon around a workout is detrimental.

          SOmething else to consider are ketones which are very potent when it comes to maintaining muscle. That is the purpose of ketosis in the first place.Fasting enhances ketosis as does MCT oil which is like instant ketones. I would consume ketones in the form of MCT oil, a derivitive of coconut oil. MCT oil blends quite well in water or tea.

          Hope this helps.

          mary titus wrote on July 24th, 2010
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    px90 exercise program wrote on July 13th, 2010
  33. Something for all to concider, The new Twilight series is a major hit. Now Jacob in the movie has an 8 pack and is in unbelievable shape. Brad Pitt in The Fight Club, Jason Statham, the transporter ect. Ryan Reynolds, Blade trinity, amityville horror. All of these celebrities worked out at least 5 days of week with at least 1 day of cardio and they ALL ate 5-6 small meals a day while rotating carbs or fewer carbs. And look at ALL of them. They are in GREAT shape!!! Are we sure that they aren’t living proof that that is not a bad system??

    Jeff wrote on July 24th, 2010

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