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Intermittent Fasting - A Primer ( Part 3 )

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  • Okay, reread your reply several times, and I really appreciate the time and detail you put into it! Excellent analysis.

    I've got another fasting-related question/theory I'd love to hear your take on.

    My husband came up with a theory that my adrenergic receptors might be downregulated. I'm wondering if this is something that
    1) Is likely, given the evidence/symptoms
    2) Can be tested
    3) If true, can be reversed using beta blockers (or some other method)

    Here's the situation (and how it relates to fasting):

    1) I had been IFing for months with ease. Standard was 8/16, but often did 24 hour dinner-to-dinner fasts (and a few 40 hour fasts) with no hunger issues. When my IBS started flaring really bad and frequently, I decided to try an extended fast to give my digestive system time to heal. My original intent was to fast 3-5 days. However, once I hit the 48 hour mark, my normally low (60) pulse dropped into the 40s, I started getting arrythmias, and my normal lowish BP (100/65) dropped low (86/58). I tried taking electrolytes, coconut oil, and bone broth, but these things had no effect. My vital signs didn't normalize until I had sugar (fruit and honey). Then, I was fine.

    I repeated this fasting attempt, and always between the 24-48 period the same thing happened. Now, my vitals seem to drop super low once I hit the 24 hour mark.

    2) Things that are supposed to be stimulating don't have that effect on me. For example, i have a rx for both Dexedrine and Adderall (which I take VERY sparingly, perhaps 2x/month, so there's no possibilty I have a tolerance.) Neither of them suppress my appetite OR raise my pulse or BP. In fact, I recently took 20 mg of Dexedrine and there wasn't even a slight increase in pulse or BP. Similarly, caffeine has no effect on me.

    3) I had my cortisol tested a year ago, and it was slightly high, so I know I'm producing plenty of cortisol.

    4) i have a history of chronic stress (I'm assuming this could lead to the downregulation of receptors)

    5) I have chronic fatigue that isn't related to lack of sleep or diet (I've experimented with every combination of fats/protein/carbs, including some very high sugar/carb days) or supplementation that is supposed to improve CFS (d-Ribose, L-Acetyl-Carnitine, Co Q10).

    It was my body's response that to extended fasting that prompted the downregulation theory, because it really seems like my body just isn't able to mobilize the stored fat I've got; it really seems like my body is beginning a shutting-down conservation process rather than accessing adipose tissue, and it's my understanding that adrenaline is key in this process. However, if my receptors are downregulated, that might explain why the adrenaline can't get the job done (right?)

    If this is the case,
    1) Do you think beta blockers could upregulate the receptors (I'm a little hesitant to try this because my normal BP is around 95/60, which means either I'm already to low for beta blockers to affect my BP, or I could send myself into cardiac arrest).

    2) Do you think IF is a good idea for me/someone responding the way that I do.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, due to my IBS issues, I now tend to eat small meals, but I sometimes still try to keep them in an 8-10 hour window, so it's still technically IF.

    I'm very interested to hear your take on this!
    Last edited by BestBetter; 07-21-2012, 03:42 PM.

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    • Originally posted by dommers
      How do you feel about taking bcaas even when not training during the fast. Do you think it would mess up the normal process of fasting and how your body responds to it?
      BTW I think this is a spam bot repeater....correct me if I'm wrong.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Inksplat View Post
        But the calories I'm getting are ridiculously low.
        How many days in a row have they stayed this low? I'm 5'9 and 165. I easily hit 2000 calories with my single meals, but I always use fatty meat and am very liberal with butter both to cook and on my meal.

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        • I rise and fall a bit. Some days I do manage to eat more, but I don't think I hit 2k very often. I used ghee to cook in, but I never really factor those calories in. I also take about 150-400 calories worth of coconut oil a day, but I do try and factor that in.

          I eat mostly meat, so its not like I'm stuffing myself with leafy greens or anything. I just fill up on a meal of 800-1100 calories, and then don't really get hungry again. This hasn't been going on for too long, but its still something I wonder about.

          I mean, with 315 pounds on me, I've got plenty of fat to burn. But I even worked out between these two meals today, and still I'm not hungry. If it wasn't for worry of getting enough protein, I'd probably be thrilled to be able to only eat 1000 calories and be full. That's like a dieter's dream. But I also don't want to lose a whole heap of of muscle.

          Though, after watching...I forget the name. That documentary about Juicing. He did it for 90 days and lost waaaay more fat than muscle, but still a considerable amount. I mean, I'm sure my appetite will kick back in once I've got less fat, but still. I'd like to get stronger during the process.

          I feel like my only alternative is to force myself to down a protein shake, but all the powders I find have soy and taurine and junk, so that doesn't seem like the best option.
          SW: 324.6 ----- CW: 310
          Primal Journal

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          • Inksplat...to put it into perspective as to how much protein you need what do you approximate your lean mass to being at this time?

            And those things you say you don't count do actually count . So 1100 + your call it 4-600 worth of coconut oil and ghee gets you up to 1700 respectable calories.

            When I said I ate 2000+ with ease that was counting every bit of butter and cream that I use in cooking and to flavor.

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            • Well, I do count the coconut oil. Problem is I'm just estimating, as I don't measure, so I might be doing it a bit low. Like, if on a day I had a 950 calorie steak, plus 150-200 from coconut oil, that puts me at about the 1100-1150 mark. Maybe another couple hundred from my side dish.

              Still feels crazy low. And then there are days like today. About 750, but with no coconut oil. I'll probably take some later along with a protein shake. But still, I'm almost always below 1400-1500.

              As for my lean mass, when I did one of the things, it put me at like 190lbs of lean body mass. Which seems a bit crazy, but whatever.

              Even in a 1lb steak, I'm still only getting like 90ish grams of protein. So that's still weeeell below the .7 grams if that's all I'm eating in a day.

              Edit: And I mean, I'm fine not getting stronger necessarily, so long as I can keep my current muscle while losing mostly fat. I can always work on muscle later.
              SW: 324.6 ----- CW: 310
              Primal Journal

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              • Originally posted by Inksplat View Post
                Edit: And I mean, I'm fine not getting stronger necessarily, so long as I can keep my current muscle while losing mostly fat. I can always work on muscle later.
                No doubt. I'd be very concerned with retaining lean mass while you lose. Seems like you already know that protein and high intensity strength training are the best ways to retain lean while you lose the fat. Personally I was doing 2 meals a day about 6 hours apart for over a year. I just switched to 1 meal a day this last week. I wouldn't stress about it. Maybe you need 2 meals a day yet. You could read part two about slowly switching over rather than diving right in. I like it, but I do have a fairly easy time getting in all that food.
                Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-21-2012, 04:48 PM.

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                • And to add to it, I just went downstairs and my wife was eating a piece of pizza. And, immediately I thought "Oh yeah, I could polish off a few pieces of that no problem." And I could have. Didn't repulse me at all.

                  But then I made a shot of coconut oil and nearly gagged on it.

                  Its so weird. My body is like "Yeah, sorry, all the seats for fat and protein have been taken. Come back later."

                  But grains? Aaaaalllaboard!

                  >.<
                  SW: 324.6 ----- CW: 310
                  Primal Journal

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                  • I'm pretty low carb, but I have been eating one potato with my single meal. I use like a half stick of butter on it.....maybe that would help, unless you are relentless about staying in ketosis. Then that would not be an option.

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                    • Nope, Ketosis isn't a big deal. I love sweet potatoes, but haven't been making them a staple, simply because I'm paranoid about cravings coming back, I guess.

                      But that definitely might help get some extra calories in, since my body seems to react totally different to the thought of eating carbs or sweet things than meat and vegetables. Like right now, I could totally down some candy or a sweet potato or a cake. Doesn't sound bad at all. But more meat and I'd just stare at it, I think, unless it was like lunch meat or something.

                      Hm. Maybe I could try cottage cheese too. That still sounds appetizing.

                      Man, this is weird. I've never felt myself turn off to an entire food group, but still be hungry for others.
                      SW: 324.6 ----- CW: 310
                      Primal Journal

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                        BTW I think this is a spam bot repeater....correct me if I'm wrong.
                        Might have been but I enjoyed reading the reply The Bulletproof dude talks about BCAAs when doing his extreme weight loss plan, I forget what he calls it, so sometimes I take some when I "think" I will do a longer fast, but I usually end up breaking it at 24, or one time 36 instead of a couple of days or more.

                        Pklopp, I dont think I have asked you before, but one other blog dude talked about eating fermented foods like sauerkraut while fasting (cant remember who offhand) and he got his information from the Perfect Diet. What is your take on that? Maybe I should read back, I might have already asked you that.
                        65lbs gone and counting!!

                        Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                        • Figure I'd mention that if your protein source (steak) is too lean that will definitely put a finite limit on how much of it you can eat. The leaner it is the less I can eat. We had some 75/25 ground beef....that is actually like 75% fat by calorie! I can eat a ton more of that than I can some lean round steak. If you wanna eat lean steak put a pat or two of butter on it....guaranteed to help you eat more . This goes to some research showing that in even a lean male our make up is approximately 75% fat and 25% protein by calorie. Eating in that ratio seems reasonable to me based on our makeup. Then the tator thing if it suits you. Good luck! I'm sure Pklopp will pop in at some time with some info.

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                          • Thanks a bunch for help, I really appreciate it!

                            I feel fine, so I know I've got nothing to worry about in the short term, but its still something I'd like to correct if I can.
                            SW: 324.6 ----- CW: 310
                            Primal Journal

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Inksplat View Post
                              I rise and fall a bit. Some days I do manage to eat more, but I don't think I hit 2k very often. I used ghee to cook in, but I never really factor those calories in. I also take about 150-400 calories worth of coconut oil a day, but I do try and factor that in.
                              You cook with a highly saturated source of fat ( ghee ) yet you do not factor that into your caloric intake?

                              Try weighing your ghee and see how much of it you use. I would expect you to be using in the vicinity of 40 - 50 grams of it, which adds about 400 kCal to your daily intake.


                              Originally posted by Inksplat View Post
                              I eat mostly meat, so its not like I'm stuffing myself with leafy greens or anything. I just fill up on a meal of 800-1100 calories, and then don't really get hungry again. This hasn't been going on for too long, but its still something I wonder about.

                              I mean, with 315 pounds on me, I've got plenty of fat to burn. But I even worked out between these two meals today, and still I'm not hungry. If it wasn't for worry of getting enough protein, I'd probably be thrilled to be able to only eat 1000 calories and be full. That's like a dieter's dream. But I also don't want to lose a whole heap of of muscle.

                              I feel like my only alternative is to force myself to down a protein shake, but all the powders I find have soy and taurine and junk, so that doesn't seem like the best option.


                              In terms of your appetite for pizza, you are actually describing the difference between satiety and satiation among other things. I would attempt to break it down for you, but J. Stanton over at gnolls already posted a multi part article on this, and rather than try to summarize / plagiarize him, you should just head over there and check it out. Here's an interesting snippet:


                              Originally posted by J. Stanton
                              A Summary Of The Components Of Hunger
                              • Likes (scientific usage) = the pleasures we experience from eating, known scientifically as “hedonic impact”.
                              • Wants = desires at a specific moment. A measure of our motivation to attain a reward. Our “appetite”.
                              • Satiation = absence of motivation to eat more. The absence of attainable wants. An estimate of future satiety, based on the sensory experience of eating.
                              • Satiety = a signal from your body that it is replete with nutrients.

                              Note that satiation can be manipulated by the mere manner in which you eat, so, if you break your food down into smaller pieces and spend more time chewing the food, satiation occurs at a lower caloric intake. Satiety is driven by metabolic processes that kick off during the absorptive phase of digestion and these are pretty much determined by the nutrient content of the chyme that enters your small intestine from the stomach. You can't game satiety.

                              On a personal note, the one thing that kept me from achieving my transformation was my neurotic fear of losing muscle mass. You can see where "preserving my muscle mass" got me:


                              When I finally let go of that, I dropped 45 lbs. of what I assumed to be mostly fat. I don't know that I didn't lose some muscle mass, but I do know that of the muscle that I retained, it sure as hell is a lot more visible now that it isn't muffled by all that fat.

                              Lastly, keep in mind that as you lose weight / mass, your support systems will down regulate. Your organs will lose mass, as will some of your muscles. The mass of a calf muscle needed to move about 315 lbs. is significantly larger than one for 240 lbs. This will provide an endogenous source of protein that does not require you to forcibly down godawful protein shakes.

                              I would say that if you are not hungry, don't eat, and don't worry about the muscle mass. That is a premature optimization. Drop the excess fat, then re-evaluate.

                              -PK
                              My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

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

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                              • Thanks PK!

                                I was reading this guy's success story, Jay Wright, the other day and what jumped out at me was his IF protocol which is exactly as you suggest, one meal daily with weekly 48 hour fasts. For him at least, calories mattered as he restricted those as well... He had impressive results.

                                Intermittent fasting with one meal a day worked best for my schedule; I coconut oil fasted earlier in the day and 1 day per week. After the first month, I coconut oil fasted for an entire week since I figured I should clean out my system. Then I dropped the calories to only 1200 to get some faster results early on to help my back. I thought I would readjust the calories up or the eating schedule according to my hunger, but I did not experience any hunger and had great energy so I left the plan alone. What little hunger I did experience was very mild and just meant it was time to drink another bottle of water or swig a tablespoon of coconut oil before the evening dinner.
                                Later!
                                Last edited by PrimalFocus; 07-25-2012, 04:22 PM.

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