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Are you addicted to IF? Is IF really for you?

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  • Are you addicted to IF? Is IF really for you?

    I've been doing the 16/8 hour IF with 2 meals a day for some months now, and some people tell me I'm being stubborn with only eating lunch and dinner. Least they know some people do pretty well on just one meal a day but anyway the point of this is...

    I eat lunch at around 1pm and dinner at around 9. A few to some hours after 1 I feel kind of sluggish, my pulse rate usually drops and I'm reasonably low on energy. Sometimes I seem to "wake up" near dinner time, when the body senses it's time to eat. Maybe this explains why, when I go to bed at 10.30pm I usually wake up in consciousness at 4am. Jeez... I usually stay in bed up to 6 am but still... it's taking it's toll.

    On the morning of the next day I may be a little better, but I'm cold (pretty normal for people IF'ing from what I've read), I just thought I'd share this with you.

    Feels weird admitting this... from a satiety stand point I'm perfectly fine going from lunch to dinner, and dinner to lunch of the next day... perfectly fine. Now the issue is if my energy levels are being affected between lunch and dinner. Yet here I am, "unable" to move away from the 2 meals (or experiment 3 meals or snacks or what have you). Maybe i'm having an IF disorder (yikes)...

    Could it be a problem with blood sugar or something like that?

    Who else is doing 1, 2 or 3 meals a day while IF'ing similar to my own experience? What has been your experience? Am I just being a little bit paranoid?

  • #2
    I do 1 meal a day and I do feel strange when I think about having breakfast or something on the weekend. Like I'm violating some kind of code. So to counteract that, I try not to refuse food (ie. real food) if it's offered to me at any time during the day.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


    • #3
      It's an individual preference. However, I can't see how IF can be detrimental to health if a person is eating enough and enough of the right things.

      My experience has been great so far. I used to do the 5-6 meals per day religiously for years. I was constantly hungry in anticipation of the next meal, to the point of shaking and irritability if the next meal was delayed. Now, life is much easier, and the hunger is gone. I usually go till midday before my first meal, and then have a second big meal in the evening. Sometimes I have a healthy dessert.

      It has really helped me manage my food intake and get leaner than I have ever been. I am sure I could have done it without IF, but IF makes it easier, especially since I like big meals.


      • #4
        Mate if you keep a 16/8 fasting/feeding schedule then there is no evidence that shows 2 meals are superior to 3. Btw you're going to adapt to any regular feeding schedule and start expecting food at certain points of the day, be it one or 3 meals. I do 2 big meals a day, 3 meals if I'm working out in the morning. My feeding window is anywhere from 11-19 to 13-21 and my hunger is actually more dependant on how early I wake up and if I'm distracted.

        Also can you elaborate on your low energy? I may get low energy in the afternoon, but I'm sure this is a result of me sitting in front of my computer for hours.


        • #5
          JPA.... just a thought.... maybe start checking your blood sugar when you feel sluggish. You might actually be a bit hypoglycemic in reaction when you eat that first meal. I only offer this because I've been IF for a long time (Not knowing it had a name) because I wanted to get most of my meetings at work out of the way before I ate anything. I turned out to be a severe reactive hyopglycemic (you're probably NOT this). I still use the same eating schedule but I just add in a small salad now right when I used to be hitting my lowest. Salad has protien added which is key for me.

          Eating PB has helped quite a bit with my energy drop but its still there and just sounds like yours.


          • #6
            I don't IF on a schedule anymore. I do keep my eating window to 6-8 hours. Some days I start eating at 10 am and some days at 2pm.

            I eat when I feel hungry during that window and I eat to satiety. Usually it's 2 meals, sometimes it's 3--who cares?

            You may be dehydrated. I often forget to drink now that I'm Primal. Sometimes a glass of water is all I need.

            Just eat some protein/fat when your energy drops and see what happens. You can do it!

            Honestly, if you really feel you are "unable" to change, I would go see a therapist specializing in food disorders.
            Last edited by Dragonfly; 06-18-2011, 11:08 AM.
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            • #7
              I'm off IF at the moment, but I enjoyed it while I did it - typically ate 2 meals comfortably, but sometimes worked in 3. Occasionally I'd only do a single meal - but that was a rarity.


              • #8
                I do IF and I'm working towards not planning it at all. I'm pretty much at the point where I eat when I feel moved to eat. Sometimes that is 6 hours and sometimes it can reach 24 hours between meals. I'm trying to let my body dictate the times. Obviously higher expenditure of energy will require higher intakes and occasionally more often. It seems to be working well. What I think affects my energy level more is the lack of sleep or quality of sleep I am able to get from the night before. I'm trying to perfect my 15-20 minute "cat nap" so I can recharge if I feel that lethargy coming on. I've only tried it twice successfully so far.
                "If a man has common sense, he has all the sense there is."

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                • #9
                  I have no issues eating more than twice a day, or not fasting at all on weekends (unless it just so happens that my breakfast is delayed) or whatever. I don't feel like I've wasted an opportunity to burn more fat or whatever.

                  I don't have breakfast mon-fri cus I'd rather sleep another 10-20 mins than have to make anything, lucky for me I don't get hungry till 1, sometimes 2pm... I do drink fluids in the morning. I'm always drinking water, tea or coffee so it could be that being well hydrated also helps keep me from feeling any hunger.

                  I never ever skip a meal with friends/family in order to fast, or because it's outside my "window" or anything like that.

                  All that being said, I believe in the science behind skipping meals, the nutrient partitioning, the autophagy, etc etc, which is why during the work week I like to do 16/8 fasts.

                  The most important thing at the end of it all though is to eat right, I've been hanging on to the same jiggle for MONTHS now, despite IF or whatever, and it's mostly because I don't always eat clean/primal. A person that doesn't adhere to a fasting schedule but strives to eat clean will do infinitely better (from a weight loss standpoint at least) than a person that eats once or twice a day but doesn't always emphasize food quality (yours truly) so the fasting I do has little to do with a desire to eat less and a lot more to do with time management/no real desire for breakfast during the week.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                  • #10
                    you're having a pretty textbook hypoglycemic reaction. maybe IF isn't for you right now.


                    • #11
                      I forget but you DO eat starches right? I experienced something similar to yours when I was keeping carbs very low (no potatoes, rice, etc, mostly meat really) others do just fine but whenever I flirt with ketosis I don't feel so stellar.

                      Don't be scared to eat more often, see how you do, if you start gaining weight (in a ridiculous fashion.. not like a pound or two) I would then keep the same 3 meal deal but reduce the serving size of one or two of them.
                      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                      • #12
                        I don't IF, really. Maybe unintentionally because I don't have time to make breakfast (and I'm not hungry) so I'm up at 4:30am and finally tossing back a boiled egg around 8am, so I guess that's around 12 hours without eating.

                        But I do have a question for all of you. How do you get enough calories in when you're only eating maybe 2 meals? I seem to be eating constantly, never very hungry, and I end up under 1000 almost every day. I'm not trying to do that, and I'm actually not happy about it, but it's just what happens. How do you guys handle getting enough food?

                        Sorry if it's a lame question...


                        • #13
                          It's not a lame question, but I can't readily answer it for myself because:

                          a) I don't count calories and because of that
                          b) I don't know what my calorie "requirements" are so I have no number to "shoot for"

                          What I do really is just serve myself a plate, not always too big, and I do that twice a day. It VERY rarely ends up being a one-meal-a-day thing, that's only if for some reason I couldn't eat lunch and for another equally strange reason I can't have a meal after dinner. It wasn't pleasant when I purposely experimented with eating just once a day. I was dragging ass.

                          Eating twice a day though "works" for me perfectly. I'm not tired, don't feel like I'm under-eating, have good energy, etc. It's not a magic number (the 2 meals) or anything like that, just what happens to fit best with my lifestyle. One meal around 1pm or so as a break during work hours, another when I get home around 7pm or so. If I feel like eating something after that 7pm meal I don't stress it, but it doesn't happen very often.

                          Edit: forgot to mention, on weekends I usually do have breakfast around 10 or 11am, sometimes I'll eat again at 2-3 sometimes as late as 5-6 and another meal might follow it. I don't strive for 2 meals a day on weekends but similarly don't go out of my way to eat 4 or 5 times or anything like that. I really just eat when hungry, it just so happens that my hunger now comes at "specific" times.
                          Last edited by iniQuity; 06-18-2011, 04:20 PM.
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                          • #14
                            How do you guys handle getting enough food?
                            Definitely not an issue for me!

                            Giving myself permission to eat to satiety (and eating 60-80 gm of carbs/day), means that I can easily eat 1000 calories in one meal.

                            Mostly I eat one big meal and one smaller one 4-5 hours later.
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                            • #15

                              I'm definitely eating until I'm full (my friends say I "eat like a fat girl"), but at the end of the day, it's just not much food.

                              I'm not calorie-counting per se, but I work outside in the heat in the desert, so I don't always feel hungry until I get home. I would get home maybe 10 hours later and realize I hadn't eaten hardly anything, so I started bringing a cooler with me (eggs, roast beef, turkey, dill pickles, an apple, pork rinds, leftover meat from the night before, coconut flakes) just so I could grab a bite or two during the day. I think having to drink so much water also fills me up. Either way, it just didn't seem healthy to be eating so little and moving so much.

                              Crap, I'm going to have to start another thread.

                              Sorry for the off-topic! Back to your regularly scheduled program...