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Thread: When is IF not recommended? (insulin resistance related questions) page

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    dsohei's Avatar
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    When is IF not recommended? (insulin resistance related questions)

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    Hello All, I'm seeing an alternative doc - did blood tests and he diagnosed me as insulin resistant - i'm supposed to eat a protein/fat meal every 2-4 hours to stabilize blood sugar. he is adamant against any type of fasting whatsoever.
    what i've read on leangains.com and robb wolf's site, etc seems to indicate that IF increases insulin sensitivity (thus healing insulin resistance)
    so is my doc just uninformed, or are there certain cases where IF is contraindicated?

    i eat a low carb paleo diet, all grass fed pastured, low fiber, low fruit, low dairy, no grains or beans. and honestly, i find it difficult to eat more than 4 meals a day spaced about 4 hours apart. its easier to eat more if i do more physical activity, but even regular exercise is contraindicated because it induces more stress into my system and triggers lower immune function and a post nasal drip cold. (yes i know, exercise is #1 for increasing insulin sensitivity!!!)

    any ideas? thanks!

    (p.s. should i have posted this in the nutrition section?)
    Last edited by dsohei; 09-09-2010 at 12:47 PM.

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    It sounds like your Doctor is thinking CW diet. If you eat grains and carbs that would be the answer. If your body is now burning fat as its energy source instead of a steady stream of carbs IFing can help. PB matabolism is suppose to work defferently thatn CW. I am insulin resistant as well. and just started 18 hour IFing 5 days a week. I finally lost 3 more pounds since I started doing this. I was stuck for a couple of months until I started IFing.

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    doghead's Avatar
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    From my understanding, absolutely anyone that has followed CW SAD has some level of insulin resistance - thats the source of all the problems.

    I second the idea that your doctor is thinking along a CW mindset. Just continue eating only when hungry, and your body should eventually level itself out. Don't worry too much about exercise yet - in my opinion, exercise is not a means of becoming healthy, it is something that you do to increase your health when you are already there. How you fuel your body is number one.
    - If it was cute and cuddly at some point, eat it. Ignore everything else. -

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    You doc seems a bit misinformed about IFing... Either way, your diet sounds like it'll help with your insulin resistant issues regardless of meal frequency. It'll actually make you more insulin sensitive if you do IFs, not the other way around.

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    You hit the nail right on the head when you say that your doc's misinformed - he most certainly is! I've read leangains.com, but not Robb Wolf's site, but I have Brad Pilon's eBook Eat, Stop, Eat and he states that IF is an excellent way to INCREASE insulin sensitility and DECREASE insulin resistance.

    Your doc's singing from the same hymbook as the stupid woman I saw: - "Eat little and often, keep your blood sugar stable" when, in fact, the reverse is actually true; by eating "little and often" you're causing the release of more insulin into your bloodstream, causing greater resistance. Pilon quotes a study by a Dr Halberg (a link to which can be found here http://http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/01/intermittent-fasting-improves-insulin.html) in which people were asked to fast for 72 hours, their insulin levels dropped dramatically, causing increased insulin sensitivity (which is what we want - the body to have a heightened awareness of how much insulin is needed when we do it; keep it constant and the body doesn't know.)

    Sorry this isn't very well explained (I'm too tired to do that adequately (there are people on here with more knowledge of this than I have)) but what I'm saying - I think! - is that IF is the 'cure' for insulin resistance, not the cause of (damn, ending an sentence with a preposition - very poor grammar! <slaps hand!>)

    I can bet you anything you like every single nutritionist, nutritional therapist, dietician, GP, et al will all trot out the same old tired lies (at least your doc told you to eat protein and fat (though how he expected protein and fat to stabilise your blood sugar, when neither have any effect on it, I've no idea. That alone should have told you that he was talking out his backside!) My NT told me I should be eating starchy foods every 3-4 hours (I think she must have shares in Ryvita, as that was what she kept banging on about!) She told me to snack on crispbreads, oatcakes, toast, Dutch toasts, that kind of thing - and I was to eat grains at every meal ("Why don't you have some nice brown rice for dinner tonight...?" was her parting suggestion to me).

    Can someone make sense of the muddle I've just typed for me, please? Brad's eBook's well worth a read, though.
    La tristesse durera toujours...

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    Eating every few hours it seems to me would stabilize your blood sugar more than fasting but I don't think that would do much to change your insulin resistance. Fasting and losing weight (I'm not saying that you have an issue with that, but if you do) should help. The important part there would also be how you feel when you fast. In general though, I would never expect any doctor to be an advocate of fasting. Fasting is a fairly non-conventional concept.

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    While I enjoy IFing and tend to agree with most of what others have said already, I don't think it's best for everyone, all the time.

    As Robb Wolf has noted, IF is suited for those who already have all the basics (diet, training, sleep) "dialed in." Adding the demands of IF to an already stressed body can do more harm than good (cortisol release, etc).
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    I think that advice is well suited for people with severe hypoglycemia, like me. Until I started following it, I was failing on primal diet. Now I eat protein every 2-3 hours and am doing quite well. Insulin resistance is a whole other thing. Fasting seems to work quite well for it, and from what I've read, IR people feel quite good when fasting. I would not be able to get up from the couch, but it's changing. Seems like your dr is confused/misinformed, you should do what makes you feel good.
    Adding minerals wherever I can.

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    dsohei's Avatar
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    @Classic: the doc is in line with low carb paleo, just no fasting or carb-heavy or carb-dominant meals.

    @shrinkingviolet: yes, i've read ESE and most of the other online IF authorities. the method that seems to work best for me is leangains eating window, although sometimes i have to extend the 8 hour window.

    @BarbeyGirl: i agree with the concept of cumulative stress factors. i feel my diet and sleep are right, but training is obviously not, as when i do exercise i have terrible DOMS and lowered immune function the next day!

    @ farmerjess: it seems like i have insulin resistance and hypoglycemia (though not severe). the IR being causal, and the hypoglycemia being a symptom of it, along with reduced thyroid uptake.
    Last edited by dsohei; 09-09-2010 at 01:30 PM.

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