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Is Intermittent Fasting appropriate for beginners?

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  • Is Intermittent Fasting appropriate for beginners?



    I need a lot more info. about this IF business. I just started this "diet" two weeks ago and my hunger has decreased dramatically. It's wonderful, and this is coming from a guy who's regularly eaten 5000 calories/day, and still often felt unsatisfied, for almost 5 years. Considering that I'm in the early stages of my transition, and that I have about 100lbs to lose, is IF appropriate for me? I feel like I'm capable of doing it as I'm no longer tempted to binge. If so, for how long and how often? My main concern is the loss of lean body mass as I'm well-muscled and would obviously like to maintain as much as possible through this journey.

    I began this Primal journey on December 30th, 2009 and in that time I've lost over 125 LBS.

  • #2
    1



    I'd say make IF a second priority. Make first priority getting switch to a consistent primal style "diet". Make it through the carb withdraw if you have it.

    For me getting to a point where you are no longer plagued by hunger is key to long term success. I say this as temptation was key problem for me when I started.

    Once your confident in your primal way of eating, skipping meals should be a natural thing, you just won't be hungry. Once that happens I would say IF when you want.


    For me, IF usually consists of skipping breakfast about 50-75% of the time. 1-2 times during a week skipping breakfast and lunch. I usually don't do anything over 12-14 hr of fasting. I guess I use a "eating less frequent" approach.


    There are other strategies for IF, others will mention I'm sure.

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    • #3
      1



      If your main concern is the loss of lean body mass then I suspect that you know that fasting sends the famine signals that that will cause your body to save the fat and instead burn your lean mass for energy.


      I further suspect that's why it's called "intermittent", as in not long enough to trigger that response. Since I'm not a health professional or as knowledgeable as some here, I'll defer to Mark and the members as to whether it's possible, when and how, and if it's wise at this point in your program.


      I CAN say from my own experience that MY optimal nutrition, fitness and health is made from many elements, not just whether or not to eat, or what to eat, but also when, where and how to eat. For myself the "when" seems to be more important, to eat like a baby every 2 to 3 hours on schedule, and protein loaded, to fuel the metabolic fires and burn my fat off. Brefkast-SNACK, lunch-SNACK, dinner-SNACK. Not another meal or enough to be a meal, a SNACK as in a small grip of nuts, or other low glycemic fruit and water. Just enough to stoke the fire and keep the hungries just below the edge until the next meal that my body knows is coming.


      I try not to slack off the regular food intake schedule or I have a hard time dropping weight, or plateau. Gotta keep the fire hot, so I tend not to worry about I.F. until after I feel like I'm getting back in control and the plan becomes habit-becomes lifestyle, which for me is the key to keeping the weight off.


      If you want some good science watch this http://www.dhslides.org/mgr/mgr060509f/f.htm


      Why are the poor and minorities overweight?? They're not fat because they over eat, they over eat because their fat tissue demands to be fed.


      Gary Taubes says: "By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.

      The fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be."

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      • #4
        1



        My experience with IF is that it really has done nothing for me other than make me realize I can go an entire day without food and not die or pass out.


        It did not make me lose weight (I'm not trying to anyway) and it did not affect my muscle mass in one direction or another (I have been strength training hard now for almost a year).


        I don't really do it much. It has its place, I suppose, and it's fun to do for kicks occasionally, but I don't make a habit out of it.

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        • #5
          1



          Start by skipping a meal, when you don't really feel like eating ;-).


          Later will come times that you feel confident skipping two meals.


          In the place I am living (south india), there is a traditional saying

          one who eat once is a yogi (somebody who does not have cravings). One who eats twice is nirogi (healthy). One who eats thrice is bhogi (enjoys life). One who eats four times is rogi (sick).


          The moral is that you will be healthy by the time you are able to live on eating twice.

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          • #6
            1



            Agreed with Anand.


            Let it come naturally. IF should come naturally as eating primal does a couple of things, regulates your blood sugar and keeps you satiated, which should allow you to skip a meal here or there.

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            • #7
              1



              I agree with everyone say to eat primal first. The beauty of it is, eating primal will naturally transition you to start eating IF. Least for me, because you'll be satiated longer and have more energy. protein and fat will keep you full longer, so naturally you'll eat less if you eat say 3 times a day. Eventually you'll say "I'm not hungry" at lunch, and just go through to dinner. Don't worry so much about it. There is a site similar to this one, hell it's how I found MDA, called "The IF Life". Here is an article:


              http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2010/01/13/benefits-intermittent-fasting/


              And to see IF done in a more athletic/bodybuilding sense, look at www.leangains.com . Definitely has it's benefits, but once again start off eating right first, then "tweak" with IF. Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                1



                Lean gains is a great site.


                A little on the CW side of carbs though.


                You may want too check out www.theleansaloon.com for a more paleo/primal approach.

                Don't be a paleotard...

                http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...oxidation.html

                http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...torage-qa.html

                http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...rn-fat-qa.html

                http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...-you-need.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  1



                  Yeah Lean Gains promotes a lot of CW, which is a bit ironic, but oh well it works for them. The warrior diet is also one similar to eating more paleo/primal like. I like that lean saloon site, probably start reading it.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Thanks for the comments, guys. I'll start reviewing those websites ASAP and continue focusing on my diet.

                    I began this Primal journey on December 30th, 2009 and in that time I've lost over 125 LBS.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      I didn't do any IF until several months after starting a primal eating style. However, I can say without a doubt that IF put the final nails in the coffin of my lifelong food addiction. Once you learn you don't *have* to eat, making the right choices becomes infinitely easier.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1



                        Hi Jokaman,


                        Some quick and dirty information about IF:


                        - More frequent, smaller meals do not increase metabolism or thermogenesis over fewer big meals a day of equal calories.


                        - Studies show that Intermittent Fasting actually increases metabolism up to 48 hours and even up to 72 hours... contrary to popular belief. The mechanism responsible for this increase is likely the release of catecholamines, such as norepinephrine and growth hormones.


                        - Catecholamines stimulate fat release from storage.


                        - If you're new to fasting, the hormone ghrelin is released, which stimulates hunger, but only temporarily and dissipates after a few minutes. But after using IF for a period, the body seems to adapt and suppresses ghrelin.


                        - IF helps to decrease insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity, thus improving nutrient uptake. This may trigger positive nutrient partitioning, where the calories you eat are shuttled to lean mass rather than fat mass.


                        - IF does not necessarily cause hypoglycemia. The body has a robust system that prevents a drop in blood glucose -- it will first draw on stored glycogen to maintain blood glucose level, and, if needed, on stored protein (but this does not necessarily decrease long-term muscle mass because muscle mass is dependent on gene expression and average turnover balance, and not necessarily on acute protein turnover to meet immediate needs.)


                        - IF may help you re-establish your recognition of true hunger, rather than being fooled by psychological and habitual hunger.


                        - IF has been said to increase mental focus, and due to the release of catecholamines IF'ers may experience increased energy.


                        - IF helps protect the brain by stimulating the release of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factors).


                        - IF can have an appetite-suppression effect, despite occasional but transient hunger.


                        - IF can free you of obsession about food, or of thoughts about when the next meal is coming in three hours. It can also free up time otherwise taken to prepare frequent meals and to eat frequently.


                        I don't see why you shouldn't give IF a try, whether you have only 10 pounds to lose or 100. Having said this, IF may not be for everyone -- but you cannot deny the accumulation of research showing the many benefits of IF.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          I've been doing daily 20 hour IF's (Warrior Diet style) and I'm looking to bulk up regardless of fat gains... So is IF suitable for bulking?

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Raphael,


                            So long as the minimum calories are met to support basal metabolism and physical activities, and sufficient mechanical stress is applied to muscles, then you should experience hypertrophy, regardless of meal schedule.


                            However, it may help to lift weight right before the end of a fast, and then consume your first meal after the workout. The increased insulin sensitivity induced by the fast may improve protein uptake and protein synthesis.


                            But, according to some great info on Brad Pilon&#39;s blog, increased protein uptake does not necessarily result in more muscle mass.


                            My recommendation, however, is that you still give IF a shot, making sure you eat sufficient calories within the feed window, and eat your first meal after a workout.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              Yep, doing all that for two months and so far everything is great. I was just wondering if I was going the right direction. My calories are very high; in fact, I gained a lot of fat, but I don&#39;t care.


                              Thanks.

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