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Intermittent Fasting - A Primer ( Part 3 )

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  • PK....thank you for the wonderful post(s). You are an amazing and informative inspiration. I experimented for the first time with IF this week. Fasting from 6pm to 1pm the following day and it was easier than I had thought since I am truly a breakfast person...but I feared hunger pangs in the later part of the day so I chose to skip the am meal. I have read through half of part 3 responses and questions thus far, and I have gathered that IF'g does great things for your metabolism, fat burning process, and allows a new eating habit to be formed....should I shoot for daily practice? And would every other day throw me all off balance with my levels... and fat burning... and metabolism....and you get the idea...I'm sure. I'm so very new here and I'm just thrilled to be here. I will continue the "trilogy" reading tonight....so funny that reference that someone made to StarWars. Thanks again.

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    • I also want to say thanks for the post! Super informative stuff, especially the 4 hour absorptive phase which I had not considered in my fasting times.
      Right now I'm in the middle of a 40 hour fast- I had a late dinner last night and I will have lunch tomorrow afternoon.
      I am considering making the 40 hour fast a weekly event, I have been doing weekly 24 hour fasts for about a month with occasional 16/8 fasts during the week. But having one giant weekly fast really appeals to me- Then I can enjoy more (clean) food on other days than I normally would.

      The only downside to fasting? It always makes me REALLY cold (just have to wear extra sweaters, scarves and tights under my jeans, and hot tea is a must in the evenings), I have also occasionally had some lower GI symptoms or nausea after breaking a fast. I don't know if that would be influenced by how I choose to break it? I find it's best to just eat slowly at first, let your body adapt.

      I find fasting really informative: I get hunger pangs around the times I usually eat but they pass quickly, which just shows how much the experience of hunger is to do with your body being conditioned to maintain homeostasis (in preparation for food) and less to do with actual energy deficits!
      But in the end I really love cooking and eating, I'm looking forward to my big lunch tomorrow after class! For now I will just eat away my saddlebags! (Hopefully)

      Comment


      • Love this thread! When I read the description of people's reactions to IF being, " if I had just revealed that I was a Satanist and about to head to the nearest tattoo parlor to get a pentagram on my forehead." I had to laugh because this is my experience, too! Nevermind that I am in the best shape of my life, I am always nervous to mention IF - it's like I can see people trying not show how startled they are since clearly fasting = starvation = eating disorder, right? IF is my new best friend (and something that would have been tortuously impossible before becoming strict paleo, so maybe that's why people are freaking?). IF has given me both liberation from eating and thinking about eating ALL THE TIME, while making me feel completely satiated when I do eat, something I've never really felt before IFing.

        I have the same question as the previous poster: I'm sure it's somewhere on this thread, but seeing how it's epically long, I probably missed it: How do people feel about taking BCAA either on a daily basis or during longer fasts?

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        • I've been so much colder this year than I've ever been. LOL I don't know if it's because i'm 125 pounds lighter than i was last winter or beccause I'm not always digesting food. Prob both, but I think it's mostly from eating once a day.

          BTW, I still love it and I have no plans to ever change. I know I said it before, but PK, thank you again for being one of those instrumental people (you're in the boat with Mark Sisson, J Stanton (gnolls.org), Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet (perfect health diet)) that helped me to understand my body and gave me the science and courage to do what is right (even though it's so far out of bounds from what is considered normal). I really do consider how I eat to be "normal" now and the "right way" (at least for me).

          Jenn, those timely hunger pangs go away after a period of time and you'll learn to get hungry again on a new schedule. (and get new hunger pangs at your new eating times...took about 4-6 weeks)

          Oh yeah, I noticed on an extended fast (>36 hours), my saliva glands hurt when I start eating and the roof of my mouth feels raw. Just an observation. It passes halfway though the meal, but it's an interesting sensation.



          I'll take a crack at Q7haeGe1's question:

          leucine (one of the AA in the BCAA mixture) will trigger an insulin response with very little dosage (I read someplace 1mg, but I'm having trouble finding it on the fly). I train just before my dinner (breakfast? lol) and take BCAAs 15-20 min prior to training (and then eat my meal 15-30 min after working out).

          If I'm in the middle of a 48 hour fast, I either don't work out or I don't take BCAA. Bottom line is once you take your BCAA, you are no longer fasting.

          <0

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          • PK! Your muscles must be made out of pure genius! Thank you for all your information and insight regarding intermittent fasting. Your logical expression and reasoning is exactly the type of encouragement I needed to interpret what simply "feels" right into what irrefutably MAKES SENSE. While I'm new to IF, I've definitely experienced the benefits and look forward to seeing continuing daily improvement. I'll be sure to refer anyone who challenges/disputes this method directly to your threads. Let their jaws hit the floor.

            The light in me bows to the light in you.

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            • Originally posted by tandemlogic View Post
              PK! Your muscles must be made out of pure genius! Thank you for all your information and insight regarding intermittent fasting. Your logical expression and reasoning is exactly the type of encouragement I needed to interpret what simply "feels" right into what irrefutably MAKES SENSE. While I'm new to IF, I've definitely experienced the benefits and look forward to seeing continuing daily improvement. I'll be sure to refer anyone who challenges/disputes this method directly to your threads. Let their jaws hit the floor.

              The light in me bows to the light in you.


              -PK
              My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

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

              Comment


              • At age 46 I was diagnosed w/ mild T2DM (HbA1C 6.9). Within 2 years and without any Rx, I lost 60 lbs and am now ~12 to 13% BF thanks to a LC/Gluten Free/Paleo diet (3 squares a day w/ an evening snack) and some smart exercise. My HbA1C is now 5.8. So far so good..

                For 20 years prior to the diagnosis I fell into what was basically a 20/4 IF eating schedule b/c of my daily schedule and because I wasn't really hungry until late afternoon/early evening, but much of my diet consisted of "junk food", and I also neglected exercise. I'm looking forward to seeing how going back to 20/4 will work for me, this time eating well and exercising.

                I started the 20/4 schedule this past Monday and luckily it's been real easy so far (actually I've felt great!).. PK - any tips specific to T2DM that you could give to help me make this as effective as possible? Thx.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by DaveJF View Post
                  At age 46 I was diagnosed w/ mild T2DM (HbA1C 6.9). Within 2 years and without any Rx, I lost 60 lbs and am now ~12 to 13% BF thanks to a LC/Gluten Free/Paleo diet (3 squares a day w/ an evening snack) and some smart exercise. My HbA1C is now 5.8. So far so good..

                  For 20 years prior to the diagnosis I fell into what was basically a 20/4 IF eating schedule b/c of my daily schedule and because I wasn't really hungry until late afternoon/early evening, but much of my diet consisted of "junk food", and I also neglected exercise. I'm looking forward to seeing how going back to 20/4 will work for me, this time eating well and exercising.

                  I started the 20/4 schedule this past Monday and luckily it's been real easy so far (actually I've felt great!).. PK - any tips specific to T2DM that you could give to help me make this as effective as possible? Thx.
                  Dave,

                  With respect to T2DM, I really don't have anything specific to say. Type II diabetes mellitus is characterized by hyperinsulinemia, and the one thing that we know we can expect while fasting ( from way back in part one of this thread ) is a lowering of insulin levels.

                  Even with T2DM, every meal causes an insulin pulse, it's just that since one is insulin resistant, you get a rather large pulse. Decreasing the number of meals necessarily decreases the number of insulin pulses which decreases the average insulin level.

                  It sounds to me like you are on the right track, and the only thing that I can add is to give yourself time. The results will come, but at their own pace. In terms of dietary changes, I think evaluating about four weeks into a new regime is about right.

                  Good luck and keep me posted on how you get along.

                  -PK
                  My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by pklopp View Post
                    Dave,

                    With respect to T2DM, I really don't have anything specific to say. Type II diabetes mellitus is characterized by hyperinsulinemia, and the one thing that we know we can expect while fasting ( from way back in part one of this thread ) is a lowering of insulin levels.

                    Even with T2DM, every meal causes an insulin pulse, it's just that since one is insulin resistant, you get a rather large pulse. Decreasing the number of meals necessarily decreases the number of insulin pulses which decreases the average insulin level.

                    It sounds to me like you are on the right track, and the only thing that I can add is to give yourself time. The results will come, but at their own pace. In terms of dietary changes, I think evaluating about four weeks into a new regime is about right.

                    Good luck and keep me posted on how you get along.

                    -PK
                    Thanks! I should have added earlier that I eased back into IF by doing a 16/8 for three weeks prior, and that alone improved my fasting BG levels a bit. My current trial is basically "Leangains" except on a 20/4 IF schedule instead of 16/8 (w/ fasted training before the evening meal instead of lunch). That fits my schedule to a 'T' and skipping lunch let's me leave work sooner too .

                    Here's another motivatation for me to take the leap "back" to 20/4 for anyone interested: Lee Shurie

                    - Dave

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                    • Hello Guys, what you think of a 40h fast 2-3 times a week?
                      I did it twice this week and find it pretty enjoyable ...
                      Actually any health benefits or doubts? (If we say that the week ends with a caloric deficite of approx. 5000 kcals.)

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                      • Hi,

                        Any testimonials from those following PK's protocol? Tip/tricks for adjusting to the schedule?

                        Thanks!
                        Last edited by PrimalFocus; 07-13-2012, 02:05 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by PrimalFocus View Post
                          Hi,

                          Any testimonials from those following Pklopp's protocol? Tip/tricks for adjusting to the schedule?

                          Thanks!
                          I would love to know as well!

                          -PK
                          My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

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

                          Comment


                          • Still eating once per day here. I love it. It's a waste of time eating in the middle of the day and it make me slow/stupid

                            Easiest way to adjust is to push out breakfast until you're not eating it anymore (you'll find that if you really think about it, you're not hungry at breakfast anyways).

                            Lunch is the hard one. It's almost more of a social thing and you'll be "weird" for not eating with everyone else. Even weirder is that other people are uncomfortable eating in front of you when you're not...even when you're not hungry. <chuckle> You have to just push it all aside and do what's best for you and not everyone else.

                            oh, second day of fasting is easier than the first.

                            Let's see...oh, push through when your stomach gets tight/upset/cramped/growly/shrinking, etc. That hunger you think you feel will pass in a minute and after it goes away, you're not as fat as you were a few minutes ago.

                            I've maintained my weight (and lost a crapload) pretty easily doing this. I won a smallish weight-loss contest where I was immediately disrespected for 'starving' myself (despite being stronger at the same time).

                            PK, again...thank you for all of the great advice. Now I need to get up off my lazy butt and get into even better shape. I still have about 25 pounds to lose or so (my own fault for stalling/gaining that bit back), but you've given me so much more than just weight loss; you gave me time. Not one other person in my life has ever given me time.

                            oooh....I see you have a blog! Adding your blog to my read list. You're on my short list of folks who gave me so much of my life back.

                            -Josh

                            Comment


                            • I already skip breakfast, this just comes naturally to me. I have never been a big breakfast eater. My primary concern is really just that I won't be able to ingest enough calories in one sitting. That being said, my goal is weight loss so I guess if I create too large a deficit I will know from too rapid a loss and rabid hunger the next day. I also fret over what to do with offers to have lunch...

                              LessThanZero, how much did you lose and over what time frame following PK's protocol?

                              Thanks!

                              Comment


                              • Here are my IF observations. (46yo/M/5'11/168lbs).

                                I have been following a 16/8 eating schedule for about a year. My weight stabilized at about 168 nearly 6 months ago. After reading Mark's fasting posts How Fasting Aids Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple a few months back, I decided to add in a weekly full day fast. So, every week for the past 3 months, I have stopped eating on Wednesday at 6pm and not eaten again until Friday at noon, a 42 hour fast roughly.

                                Before the fast, and upon completion, I am very cognizant not to eat more than I normally would for the given meal. This should be taking about 2500 calories out of the equation weekly. In the CICO sense, I should have lost about 1.5 pounds every 2 weeks on this schedule. In fact, I have not lost any weight eating like this, but meticulous weighing shows a very repeatable trend:

                                Weight after last meal - 171
                                Weight upon waking next morning - 168
                                Weight after 24 hours of fasting - 166
                                Weight after 42 hours fasting - 164
                                Weight after eating normally 24 hours - 168 - 171

                                It appears the long fast depletes you of hydration and maybe glycogen (water weight), but the fat loss doesn't seem to follow the "3500 cals=1 pound of fat" that is often touted. Basically, skipping an entire day's caloric intake causes me to lose about 4% of my total weight, which I quickly regain about 12 hours upon resumption of normal eating.

                                According to Mark, the health benefits of a periodic fast like this far outweigh the fat loss potential, so I will keep doing it. I find myself more in control of my hunger since I started this and my weight is very stable.

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