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Is there such a thing as IF'ing too soon?

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  • Is there such a thing as IF'ing too soon?

    Hi everyone,

    Just had a question about intermittent fasting. Is there such a thing as doing it too soon? I've been primal for a few days over a month and want to start 16 hr IF'ing on a daily basis Monday through Friday starting aRound 8pm and ending around noon.

    The reason I ask is it seems a lot of if'ing is put into play when people start to plateau with weight loss. I am trying to lose weight, but if'ing sounds like it would be very healthy regardless of when you do it. Any advice, pros or cons of starting at this point in my primal change would be greatly appreciated.
    David DC's Progress Journal

  • #2
    it's probably a good idea to take some time and get your nutrition under control before thinking about IFing. if you're really curious about it, give it a try one or two days a week. also, check out and theleansaloon to learn more about IF, it's reasons, benefits, etc.


    • #3
      I was eating healthy for a couple months before I went fully Primal. I had more dairy and some grains, like quinoa and spelt.

      I've been fully Primal since November. During the past three months I started 24 hour fasts, starting with one time a week and increasing up to twice.

      And just this past week, I started the daily 16/8 hr fasting schedule as outlined by Leangains. It's been a little over a week and I'm doing absolutely fine. Better than fine - great, actually! I think it has to do with my transition into it all.

      So you can get into a schedule like this relatively quickly, but I'd definitely echo primalrob in advising you to learn about IF if you haven't started already. If you IF a couple times a week and are fine with it I don't see why you couldn't start trying to fast every day very soon!

      "The Way We Do Anything Is the Way We Do Everything"
      ~ Kancho Cameron Shayne

      Blog - The Primal Pantry
      My Leangains/Primal Lifestyle Challenge to begin 2/7/11!
      Check out the Blog for Daily Progress


      • #4
        UThanks for the advice guys. I have done 4 fasts in just the month ive been primal. First one was 36hr which was rough towards the end, the second was 24 hr which wasn't nearly as bad, the third was a 16hr which was a breeze this past Friday.

        I started the 4th, along with my test run of a 16 hr if per day for 5 days last night. I think I'm eating pretty good.

        Big ass salad for lunch around noon consisting of 3 cups,of greens, a hard boiled egg, 1 oz of crumbled goat cheese, 4 oz of dark
        meat chicken, 2 oz of chopped tomatos, 1 oz of cut olives and 1 sliced up avocado with 2 tsp of oil and vinegar dressing.

        Around 3 pm I eat 2 eggs with a some mushrooms and diced tomatoes and 3 slices of bacon

        And for dinner around 7:30 I have been eating eating either 2 fillets of fish, an 8 oz steak, or a hunk of meatloaf.

        Drinking Lots of water and 1 cup of black coffee in the morning. Habe pretty much cut out all dairy and all sugar. Haven't been hungry at all so I figured I'd try the IF on a daily basis
        during the work week.
        Last edited by David_DC; 02-08-2011, 09:16 PM.
        David DC's Progress Journal


        • #5
          I would just follow your own body's lead. I started IF'ing pretty soon after I started PB, but it was always body-led. I eat when I'm hungry, and IF when I'm not.
          --Trish (Bork)

          FOOD PORN BLOG!


          • #6
            I say go for it. You don't have to be a nutritional master to "not eat" for any period of time. ;-)


            • #7
              Mark Sisson just addressed this issue on his blog the other day.

              He said newbies are not supposed to be IFing.
              "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


              • #8
                Originally posted by TigerLily View Post
                Mark Sisson just addressed this issue on his blog the other day.

                He said newbies are not supposed to be IFing.
                I'd still say it's different for everyone. I have a fair background in fasting for other reasons, so IF actually didn't bother me much and I did start pretty much my second week of Primal the first time I did primal.

                I've even done it while not eating LC. But it was harder - carb cravings can make fasting miserable.

                This time around I'm eating VLC and I find I can breeze through fasts without hardly thinking about them (am in the middle of my third week primal).

                My advice for anyone new would be to prepare / have handy some good primal food and go for it. If you get hit with the woozies or just feel voraciously hungry, break your fast, your body is still adjusting. Otherwise go for it. But I can't emphasize enough that you should be sure to have good primal food ready to fill that void - don't just trot off to work with nothing if you don't know how it's going to affect you yet.


                • #9
                  Be careful if you have any additional stress(not 100% primal, not enough sleep etc) Fasting can produce cortisol and can have negative effects. If everything is in K
                  Line give it a try. If not wait til it is.


                  • #10
                    Okay, brahnamin, if you think you know more than Mark Sisson about all this, go for it.

                    He specifically said IF would not work if attempted prior to three weeks Primal.
                    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                    • #11

                      I was wondering about that. I poured through that blog several times and couldn't find anything about noobs being told not to do IF =/


                      I believe my diet is about as primal as can be. I listed it a few posts above. Opinions or thoughts? as far as everything else, all is good. I did not sleep well LAST night but have been getting about 7 hrs on a regular basis. Wonder if last night was due to me adding black coffe to my diet? It was only half a cup at around 9am yesterday morning, but I went to bed around 11:30 was up around 5 am.

                      3rd IF day in a row and I'm feeling good. No hunger, no dizziness etc.
                      David DC's Progress Journal



                      • #12
                        Personally, I don't think anyone should plan to IF when they're first starting, David. Let it come naturally. Believe me, it will! After it starts to happen and you're just not hungry for whatever meal you'd normally have (so you skip over it), then starting thinking about fasting windows or methods and how to make them part of your life. Or just let it keep happening naturally.
                        August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

                        I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)


                        • #13
                          Perhaps I need to go re-read the thread. But I do know my own experiences. And I lost 6 lbs when I started three weeks ago and I was using intermittent IF - generally not starting eating until 1-2 pm and stopping by 8-9 pm. And I don't presume to know more than Mark or his mind. I was only giving my impression of his tone in the things I had read on the subject.

                          *wanders off to re-read the latest IF post (if I can find it again)*


                          • #14
                            I also think that an IF plan is a good idea for anyone regardless of whether or not they eat a primal diet. I draw a lot of my IF ideas and I frequently recommend and Martin Berkhan isn't primal and doesn't hold paleo references in high regard at all. He knows a lot about IFing and fasted training though.


                            • #15
                              David and brahnamin, it was a reply to a reader's question, to be found down in the comments section. This was from last week. I can't recall if it was the Dave Parsons entry or the day prior to that. But it was definitely last week.

                              I am into IFing, and am a believer in its multiple benefits beyond even weight loss, but I didn't begin until I'd been Primal for a while.
                              "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates