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  • Fasting

    I have always been led to believe that for people with existing weight issues that fasting is a great big no-no.
    Cavemen used to eat when food was plentiful then not eat for periods of time when food was scarce, but during these periods their metabolism lowered to accommodate for the lack of calories so they could function day to day and to keep them alive. We no longer struggle with food shortages and fasting could help promote further weight gains for people who already have weight issues, such as myself.
    If I eat heaps on Mon/Tues then nothing on Wed my body holds onto everything from Mon/Tues (by lowering my metabolic rate to use up less fuel) as it's not sure when the next meal is going to arrive so it becomes not very condusive to my weight loss for me to do this. I prefer to eat very small regular meals every 3 hours as my body then always knows there is food around the corner and feels more comfortable letting the weight drop whilst my metabolism increases.

    Just wondering if anyone else has struggled with this or if not it may help someone who is struggling to lose weight

  • #2
    I haven't tried IFing myself...but I've lost 16 lbs just by cutting out the sugar, grains and processed crap. Oh, and I barely exercise as well. I eat when I'm hungry.

    How long have you been "primal" and what sorts of things are you eating?
    Ramblings of an Unamused Mouse (Lots of Food Porn, Too!)

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    • #3
      I am finding the same as you. I lose weight by cutting out the junk and I would walk about 10,000 steps per day, so not much strenuous exercise.

      I am following a hunter/gatherer type program but fruits are confined to breakfast only (due to insulin spikes and therefore sugar cravings), no nuts or seeds at this stage as they are a bit too calorific for weight loss. I eat mainly all type of proteins eggs, meats etc and all fibrous veggies/salads (but avoid the starchy ones). Also very limited dairy. I have only just recently resumed this way of eating as I find it makes me feel alot more "alive"!

      I also make sure I go no longer than 3 hours without eating (to avoid the starvation response kicking in) so I am never hungry. All of my snacks are also protein only.

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      • #4
        i hit a weight loss wall until i started fasting. it can be a great way to help your weight loss by getting cravings under control. if you are eating correctly, you can go 15-16 hours without food without getting hungry. fasting helps you realize the difference between physical hunger and psychological hunger--if you are eating every three hours you are definitely working on your psychological hunger.
        regarding metabolism...if you look around sites like leangains, you'll see that your metabolism won't lower until 48-72 hours into a fast. additionally, you will likely be burning more fat from fasting, have more energy, and still eating the food you love. i got into fasting with one long fast a week, but now i fast for 16-18 hours every day--i never get hungry, i have plenty of strength and energy for playing and working out.
        read up on fasting at leangains if you're curious, and if you want to try it, give it a go for a week or two. that length of time is long enough to see if you like it, but short enough not to affect you negatively if you still think there are negative effects
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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        • #5
          Www.Leangains.com

          Go there. Your body isn't "smart" enough to know what you're going to do two or three hours from now. It doesn't go into starvation mode "just in case" it only does so when you're literally starving which can take more than two days from your last meal. Eating so frequently is detrimental to weight loss. Start skipping breakfast twice a week. Your meals look fine. Who starves in there hours?! We would have never made it as a species if we depended on food that much. Our bodes don't work like a furnace and you can't speed up your metabolism by eating more frequently.

          Go read Leangains right now. The latest article in particular should be of interest to you.
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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          • #6
            I'm still not sure about this IF thing for people who are new to primal. I see so many people use it as a punishment or a compensation for non-primal eating. It takes the fun out, and makes them rebel, because they aren't yet stable enough in the primal lifestyle to cope with hunger on a non-emotional basis. I think IF should only be used once you're very comfortable with all the other aspects of primal.

            So far I've only IF'd accidentally, when I've not been hungry enough to feel like eating or because I've been out somewhere where the food choices were awful. It's been wonderfully freeing to not have that panic feeling of "Oh no, I've missed a meal, DISASTER!" but I still have no ambition to formally IF.

            If eating three times a day is working for you, and you are moving toward your health goals, I don't think you should have to fast if it feels wrong to you.
            Liz.

            Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
            Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TARNIP View Post
              If I eat heaps on Mon/Tues then nothing on Wed my body holds onto everything from Mon/Tues (by lowering my metabolic rate to use up less fuel) as it's not sure when the next meal is going to arrive so it becomes not very condusive to my weight loss for me to do this.
              How do you know that's what's going on?

              Maybe you weren't losing weight because you were eating heaps.
              You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lizch View Post
                I'm still not sure about this IF thing for people who are new to primal. I see so many people use it as a punishment or a compensation for non-primal eating. It takes the fun out, and makes them rebel, because they aren't yet stable enough in the primal lifestyle to cope with hunger on a non-emotional basis. I think IF should only be used once you're very comfortable with all the other aspects of primal.

                So far I've only IF'd accidentally, when I've not been hungry enough to feel like eating or because I've been out somewhere where the food choices were awful. It's been wonderfully freeing to not have that panic feeling of "Oh no, I've missed a meal, DISASTER!" but I still have no ambition to formally IF.

                If eating three times a day is working for you, and you are moving toward your health goals, I don't think you should have to fast if it feels wrong to you.
                I agree with you. The poster though is eating every three hours thinking that otherwise his body will enter starvation mode. This is completely erroneous.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                  I agree with you. The poster though is eating every three hours thinking that otherwise his body will enter starvation mode. This is completely erroneous.
                  Dang, I read it too fast....thought he was saying three times a day. Every 3 hours...man, what a crippling lifestyle being that tethered to food!

                  I dropped most snacking, actually pre-primal. Zone worked better for me if I didn't snack as a routine thing. 3 GOOD meals a day now.
                  Liz.

                  Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                  Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                  • #10
                    fasting works when you have the mentality for it. even with leangains youre eating 8 hours of the day...say 11am-7pm...thats not exactly punishment, however if you set yourself UP FOR it to be seen as punishment and go in it with the 'gotta eat heaps because i cant eat again for 16 hours" then i think you run into problems. your body works off your feelings and your mentality. it all starts there. if eating 3 meals a day keeps your mind uncaring about food then i say do it. if eating 6 times keeps you stable, do it. if onl eating 8 hours a day because your psychologically CAN without as sencond glance of thought, then do it. i think VERY few people who are starting primal should even consider this until they have down the 'eat real food' thing without having second thoughts....and very few people have that
                    Get on my Level
                    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Fasting could also be helpful if you plan to quickly shed the extra pounds. Fasting is a useful weight loss practice as it aids you in getting rid of the extra pounds and, at the same time, it helps to detoxify your body. In the long run, fasting is very effective in terms of eliminating the physiological appeal of unhealthy foods that generally causes the weight increase.

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                      • #12
                        I've always IFd because it felt right to me.. long before I discovered the PB.

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                        • #13
                          Fasting is easy. I follow the leangains approach and do 16 hours fasting and 8 hours feeding. I have been doing it for at least the past year and have shed 4lbs and 1.5" from my waist line. First you need to get all the CW and preconceived notions out of your head and approach these things with a clean slate. Your body does not go into starvation mode in 3 hours. Your metabolism doesn't change in a matter of hours, it won't even budge for 24 hours without food. At the end of 72 hours without food your body will respond by lowering your metabolism and begin going into starvation mode. You can tell when you metabolism is dropping because your heart rate will drop.

                          The funny thing is that when I was eating grains and sugars I always felt like I was starving. I did a 24hr fast yesterday without missing a beat. I am in better shape today then I have been in my entire life eating far less and exercising far less then I ever have.
                          Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                          • #14
                            I am a firm believer in IF, having done so for the last two years...

                            I have read several studies on the merits of intermittent fasting, and finally decided to go for it at age 40. Through fasting and eventually, eliminating carbohydrates in order to control serum insulin got me this:

                            Before:
                            http://lh4.ggpht.com/_UYDkSxhditY/TI...%20Cropped.jpg

                            After:
                            http://lh4.ggpht.com/_UYDkSxhditY/TI...s400/Front.JPG

                            Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to lower serum insulin ( since you're not eating, there is no reason for your body to secrete insulin ) and conversely boost your natural growth hormone levels. This below study found that growth hormone levels increase 5 fold during a two day fast for men ( which is why I fasted 2 days a week for quite a while )

                            http://mljohnson.pharm.virginia.edu/pdfs/167.pdf

                            After 32 hours of fasting, the free fatty acids in the blood stream had increased by a factor of 3. Since the subjects were not eating, where do you think these fatty acids came from? If you said adipose tissue, you win yourself a shiny new, svelte waistline!

                            Not only does growth hormone mobilize adipose tissue, it spares protein, so you won't be consuming the muscles you worked so hard to get during your fast. And before anyone starts down the "starvation response" path let's do some quick maths:

                            A 225 lb individual is approximately 100 kg ( which is actually 220 lbs, but close enough ) Assuming that this person has 10% body fat ( which is quite lean, actually ), that means that they are carrying around 10 kg of fat. Fat has 9 calories per gram, so this individual has a 90, 000 calorie energy reserve ( 9 calories/gram * 1000 grams/kg * 10 kg). Assuming a rather large caloric requirement of 3000 calories/day, then we have a 30 day reserve of energy (90000 calories / 3000 calories/day). Two days out of 30 represents less than 7% of this hypothetical individuals energy reserves in the form of fat. It seems rather dubious that drawing down to 93% of the energy reserve would constitute a critical situation from a physiological perspective.
                            My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

                            Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

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                            • #15
                              I wouldn't say that "fasting is easy". I would say that you can get used to it. I do the Leangains approach of about 16-18 hour fasts, and occasionally longer. I like it because I can eat 2-3 big, satisfying meals in a shorter window of time. However, IF will only help one lose weight if the intake is less. You can gain weight on IF if you eat more than you burn.

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