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1 Week of IF to overcome a plateau.

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  • 1 Week of IF to overcome a plateau.

    Hi all, I am just after a bit of advice. And to use your expeirience as a soundboard.

    I am a 42yr old male I am very active sports/weightlifting/Mountainbiking/Trail walks & MOVNAT stuff. I have always eaten primal/paleo even though it didn't have a name back then. However around three months ago I came across Primal blueprint and decided to ramp up my nutrition to the next level. I have always been fairly muscular and have fluctuated between 8-15% BF most of my adult life.

    I have recently hit a plateau on the way towards my BF goal of 10% I am stuck at 12%ish and I was wondering if including 7 days of IF into my routine would overcome this sticking point as I have never deliberately used IF before as a nutritional manipulation tool.
    My idea was to: IF from 2000hrs - 1300hrs for 7 days. I always train before 1300hrs on a normal working week. I do an 8 mile cycle commute to work also.

    I am 82kgs (180lbs) 5'8" BF12%. physical capabilities range between a 200kg Deadlift & a 17.37 3 mile run. I get plenty of quality sleep and quality of food is not an issue.

    Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appriciated

  • #2
    Do 2100hrs - 1300hrs. 16 hours fasting is the sweet spot.


    • #3
      It worked for me! Last week I made sure I was out of the house/away from the kitchen until 6-10pm, inducing a 20-24 hour fast for three days in a row. It also meant it was much easier to avoid my weaknesses: butter, cheese, nuts - which I'm sure was a contributing factor.

      I didn't lose much scale weight, but there was a significant change in my ever-present belly fat bloat! Unfortunately on Day 4 I was around a kitchen and couldn't keep to it, but I fully plan on getting into the habit next week.

      Try it for a week. If it doesn't work, ditch it!


      • #4
        If I can steal the thread for a few seconds...=)

        Quote: "If it doesn't work, ditch it!"

        Is it in any way bad to eat in terms of IF as your regular meal-routine? I too wants to loose some body fat, but I have found that eating from specific times, when you IF, really helps me with my feeling that I have to stay so disciplined in order to eat "right", and not too much. Eating bigger, fewer meals feels much better than eating normal, or smaller, meals more often. I become a little obsessed by food, but when I IF I totally forget about it and therefire become less hungry.
        I dont watch the clock "Ok, in a few hours it will be ok to eat, hope I didnt ate too big meal last time, what should I eat now?"... When I for example planned for the day to eat one big, satisfying meal late, like in the afternoon only for the day, I dont think of food at all and if I do I feel confident I can eat how I feel and still dont get too many calories or badly balanced in terms of nutrients... I know Im over-thinking but I do my best. Im bad at eating little food, Im good at eating nothing.

        Would be very nice with some advice, or an example of a good IF-scheme for regular use. Or similar experiences and successes. Thanks!
        Last edited by 888erkan888; 06-26-2011, 03:04 PM.


        • #5
          IF may help in a number of hormonal ways but also to create a caloric deficit unless you completely over-eat during eating window. You could instead cut daily calories if they are high.


          • #6
            I've done a bit of IFing to try and break through a plateau, but I'm not sure I'm doing it just right and maybe that's why I always lose and regain the same 2.5lbs. Generally, I'm not organised about my approach to IF. It tends to take the form of - I can't be bothered to make a packed lunch for work and skip lunch altogether. The same goes for skipping breakfast or dinner. I've got 2 inches from my belly that I'd dearly love to lose and I'm getting frustrated now. I've been doing RKB a few times a week plus IFing as described above here and there during the week.
            The weekends tend to be a bit more difficult. I tend to have late nights out (without alcohol most of the time) and eat later in the morning and often just one big meal for the whole day. I don't feel like I eat more during the weekends than I do during the week, but by Monday I'll have gained the 2.5lbs that I lost in the week....and by Friday I'll have lost it again.
            How can I structure IFing into my routine better to break through this plateau? I feel so close to exactly where I want to be, but so far as well..

            5' 5"
            BF% about 25


            • #7
              RezH seconded and more:

              Since you are fairly active and open to experimentation, I would suggest to push a little further in order to actually see results in the mirror and motivate yourself. That is, do daily fasts for at least 3-5 days. By daily fast I mean not eating from dinner to dinner (basically, a little less than 24 hour fast). It can be tough but it's not THAT tough or hard.

              Start with a day, if it isn't unbearable, repeat the next day, strive for at least 3 in a row.


              • #8
                Thanks rezh & trippplez

                I will give that ago dinner 2 dinner. I think I will be fine with that for three days. I have gone longer without food unintentionally!!!
                Motivation is great.


                @ Aamonty: the clue might be late nights and drink!!!


                • #9
                  IF'ing isn't magical...

                  It's very simple: calorie restriction.

                  Calorie restriction. Eat less, lose weight. Don't go overboard.


                  • #10
                    Ok I have done 3 days of dinner 2 dinner IFing and I have dropped another %1 BF. I enjoyed the IF and did it with no issues at all, so for the next 7 days I will build in a 16 hr daily IF pattern, approximate 2100 - 1300hrs and I will do below 100gm carbs daily for that period and see what happens? I think my main hurdle to the last of my fat loss has been fruit? As I eat a hell of a lot!!! so no fruit for 7 days.

                    Update in seven days... Current BF 11%ish


                    • #11
                      So, it works for you then ... we want photos before-after


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bootneck View Post
                        Ok I have done 3 days of dinner 2 dinner IFing and I have dropped another %1 BF. I enjoyed the IF and did it with no issues at all, so for the next 7 days I will build in a 16 hr daily IF pattern, approximate 2100 - 1300hrs and I will do below 100gm carbs daily for that period and see what happens? I think my main hurdle to the last of my fat loss has been fruit? As I eat a hell of a lot!!! so no fruit for 7 days.

                        Update in seven days... Current BF 11%ish
                        Yes, that 50 kcal apple is really going to hinder your progress.

                        Less calories will make you lose weight, more calories will make you gain weight.


                        • #13
                          IFing is magical in that you get the benefits of increased levels of catecholamines and GH in the fasted state (when glucagon is dominant over insulin).

                          Fasted caloric deficit is better than fed caloric deficit in that the hormones present during fasting better spare muscle. IFing, adequate protein intake, and lifting heavy stuff spares muscle while in caloric deficit, as determined by a bunch of studies I'm too lazy to find.

                          We know that adequate protein intake and putting tension on muscle spares a lot of muscle. But we also know that throwing in some IF spares more. Again, this is due to the presence of hormones that wouldn't otherwise be there.

                          Yes, one needs to be in caloric deficit to lose weight, but insulin inhibits lypolysis, and eating stuff plays a pretty large role in insulin production. If you want to lose weight, restrict your calories. If you want to lose fat while sparing every last fiber of your muscle, IF.

                          To anyone considering it, don't be afraid to give it a shot. I'm doing it and think it's pretty sweet. Do you have a band-aide? Cause I'm cut. Seriously, though, I think it has helped.
                          Last edited by Meat; 07-04-2011, 12:56 AM.


                          • #14
                            Good Job!! Good to know it works.

                            Can you see the results in the mirror? I have have a couple party weekends in a row for friend's grad parties/birthdays so I may have gained a bf %. I had planned to implement some IF days for the next 2 weeks before I go to the beach.


                            • #15
                              Wow. really? Everyone here is agreeing on this too? I thought this was the primal blueprint forum, not the conventional wisdom forum. Has anyone ever read anything by Taubes?

                              I would argue that calorie restriction causes nothing more than starvation. Restricting calories will not aid a person in losing weight and conversely eating more calories will not cause a person to gain weight. If you accept the belief that reducing your daily caloric intake will cause weight loss, then what do you do at the end of your diet? You go back to eating the same calories right? Then how does that weight not come back? And if it does, what can you do other than just keep reducing calories, right? People do not get fat because they eat too much, but they do tend to eat too much because they are fat or because they get a lot of exercise or even because of a health issue affecting their hormones. Just generally eating less to lose weight is setting yourself up for failure.

                              To the OP, you haven't described much about your diet here but you sound like you've been +100g carbs on average, and all from fruit, so my suggestion would be that you cut your high sugar intake to maybe a max of 2 servings of fruit a day for now, and don't eat any sugar from anything else! Not sure what kinds of fruit you're eating but it sounds like you could have a huge fructose intake and fructose, being a toxic chemical to the human body, is sent to the liver to immediately start converting it to fat, the only non-toxic substance our body knows, which can then be safely stored as adipose tissue. Maybe that's the only reason behind your plateau? And since you also sound like you're extremely active you'll prolly need to get carbs from "safe" starch sources instead, like root veggies or maybe some white rice (100% glucose). To see weight loss though you may want to experiment with very low carb days <80 carbs, and mostly from starches. Some people will claim they see the most weight loss when they go thru carb eating cycles. So you could also experiment with days of 100+ carbs, though still mostly from starches. Personally, I find that eating very low carb works best for me and focusing on mostly meat for a high protein and high fat intake makes me very lean. I easily maintain single digit bodyfat (I've tested below 5% before) by eating high fat, moderate protein, low carb, and little to no sugar.

                              As for IF, it's not about restricting calories and I don't see it as a tool for weight loss. IF is a tool for making your body healthier and you have to be careful to not starve yourself when you fast regularly. I fast for 16hrs everyday but I still eat 2-4 meals in that 8hr feeding window (around 2500-3000 calories) and I eat until Im satisfied. I go to bed stuffed full every night. But I could just as easily wake up and eat a huge breakfast every morning (of the right types of foods) and still maintain (or lose) weight and lean out. My point is, if you're not seeing the weight loss that you expect, then take a deeper look at what type of food you're eating and worry less about eating too much. If you are healthy, and you're eating the right foods, eat until you're satisfied and your body will take care of the rest.