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  • Problem with IF

    Yesterday I took my first shot at trying IF. My plan was to wake up at 7:30 and have my feeding window from 12:00-8:00. I had some hunger pangs throughout the morning but nothing extreme. I imagine it would have been way worse without the coffee. I didn't feel particularly alert or energetic like I've heard about.

    I wan't hungry at 12 but I had class at 12:30 so I ate a salad with chicken and olive oil. All throughout that class I felt like hell. I was tired, hungry, and just generally felt like shit. I had a lab afterwards and was practically falling asleep until 4:30 when I had eggs and white rice. I felt better, and lifted about two hours later. My last meal was around 7, after lifting. Afterwards I felt pretty normal.

    Any insight on why I felt so crappy? Has this happened to anyone else? I was thinking low blood sugar maybe? I usually do eat breakfast and since I doubt that first meal would do much to raise it. Any other possible explanations?

  • #2
    had exactly this problem early on. I've experimented with having more carbs the night before the fast and having carbs on the first meal to break the fast which worked out well.
    Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

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    • #3
      Well, could there have been other factors that made you feel off? IS this a single data point, or have you done it more? I wouldn't toss the concept because of one off day. If I did that, I wouldn't be doing yoga, with all the viewing benefits that has.
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      • #4
        NowhereMan, you're definitely describing the symptoms of low blood sugar. Our bodies can manufacture plenty of glucose from protein and fat through gluconeogenesis, but if you haven't used that pathway much (and few of us do on the SAD), it will need to be strengthened just like atrophied muscle needs exercise to grow.

        The usual way is through a low-carb diet, enduring the "low-carb flu" (low blood sugar really) for a couple of weeks, after which fasts come easily because your body has grown accustomed to fat as its primary energy source.

        Some people have found that consuming coconut fat speeds the process. Coconut oil goes straight into the bloodstream with little need for enzymatic processing, making it a quick source of energy, similar to carbs without the insulin. Perhaps you could try some of that the next time you're feeling woozy.

        Good luck building your metabolic flexibility!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by davem View Post
          Well, could there have been other factors that made you feel off? IS this a single data point, or have you done it more? I wouldn't toss the concept because of one off day. If I did that, I wouldn't be doing yoga, with all the viewing benefits that has.
          I'm not tossing the concept, otherwise I wouldn't have made this thread. It was my first try, so yes just one data point but I have a rigid schedule meaning it was pretty much exactly like any other Monday. I'm not ruling out something else, I just really can't afford to crash during the week so I want to figure out what works best for me as soon as I can.

          Originally posted by Timothy View Post
          NowhereMan, you're definitely describing the symptoms of low blood sugar. Our bodies can manufacture plenty of glucose from protein and fat through gluconeogenesis, but if you haven't used that pathway much (and few of us do on the SAD), it will need to be strengthened just like atrophied muscle needs exercise to grow.
          I've been primal for about 5 months so my body should already be used to using fat as its main energy source. Plus, during a fast there isn't any protein or fat to fuel gluconeogenesis. Unless I have to adjust to making glucose from my own body fat?

          I guess I'll take another shot at it tomorrow, then try adding more carbs to that first meal if I crash again.

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          • #6
            Just keep it up. You will get through it.

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            • #7
              You might consider simply eating when you're hungry, and fasting when you're not -- if you regularly eat breakfast and feel deprived/fatigued if you skip it, then by all means, eat breakfast! Really, ideally IF just involves skipping a meal or two because you *don't* feel hungry. If the health benefits of IF have convinced you that you want to try it, then I'd suggest playing around with your mealtimes, food quantities & macronutrient compositions; I bet you'll find a combination that eventually allows you to go for 16+ hours with no hunger pains or low blood sugar. My advice is to eat a lot of fat in the meal preceding the fast! Before you know it, you'll be *forcing* yourself to eat something after 24+ hours of IFing.
              Last edited by healthseekerKate; 09-27-2011, 08:36 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by healthseekerKate View Post
                You might consider simply eating when you're hungry, and fasting when you're not -- if you regularly eat breakfast and feel deprived/fatigued if you skip it, then by all means, eat breakfast! Really, ideally IF just involves skipping a meal or two because you *don't* feel hungry. If the health benefits of IF have convinced you that you want to try it, then I'd suggest playing around with your mealtimes, food quantities & macronutrient compositions; I bet you'll find a combination that eventually allows you to go for 16+ hours with no hunger pains or low blood sugar. My advice is to eat a lot of fat in the meal preceding the fast! Before you know it, you'll be *forcing* yourself to eat something after 24+ hours of IFing.
                This is exactly my experience with fasting. Other than the mindless urge to snack I rarely feel hunger during my fasts. I fast from 6 pm to somewhere around 11 am or noon. If I am eating pretty high fat, this is so easy that I feel silly calling it a fast. However, I go through times when my body does not want to fast. If I experience what I believe is true and persistent hunger I simply eat whenever I want that day.

                I know there are mixed results out there, but I really enjoy fasting this way. I sleep better and feel much clearer and more energetic during the day. In addition to the hormonal benefits of fasting, I also think that the lack of snacking during my fast period is a painless way to create a caloric deficit.
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                • #9
                  I've been loosely following the leptin reset protocol that's been floating around the forum and I tried a 24 h fast for the first time in a few months. Easiest fast ever: no hunger pangs, plenty of energy, no urge to cheat, no problem making it to 24 hours.
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                  • #10
                    I don't IF, but I'd suggest that you change your 'window' and eat breakfast, since that's what you're used to doing.

                    Here's how that works for me. Some years ago, I had to take meds with food first thing in the morning, and I began to be a big breakfast eater. Now that's my 'main meal' of the day. Before I ever yeard of "leptin reset," I was eating 30-40g of protein first thing in the morning. That keeps me fairly satiated throughout the day, and I rarely eat dinner. I may have a small snack (say 150 cal) about 4 or 5 pm.

                    It's not IF, but my body seems to thrive on this schedule, and I think that's the key--learn what works best for you. I also eat very low carb.

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                    • #11
                      I haven't given up on IF yet. I didn't try again today because I was awoken early this morning by super intense hunger. I'm usually not hungry when I wake up, so I ate. Either way, the really important thing is that I had that exact same salad again for lunch and I crashed in class same as before. So while the that meal was the cause of my problems, I don't think the fact that I hadn't eaten prior had anything to do with it.

                      Now I get to try two experiments...
                      1. Intermittent fasting with a different meal to break the fast.
                      2. Eating each ingredient in that salad individually to see which one gives me trouble.

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