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Thread: Intermittent Fasting - A Primer ( Part 3 ) page 2

  1. #11
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    stephenmarklay is offline Senior Member
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Don't get caught up by paralysis of analysis. I always fall back onto the fact that what "we" know is a fraction of won't we don't know.
    No eating sometimes is much more natural than eating all of the time. Evidence points to fasting and calorie restriction appears to increase lifespan and my guess is quality of life. Everything else is just a bit of noise that you can ignore.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by imasin View Post
    Cool series of posts, thanks for the info.

    You say that the slight upward trend in cortisol is not too proteolytic, but it is somewhat so. So are GH and cortisol kind of antagonistic to each other? In that the former encourages liver glucose production and the use of stored adipose tissue. Or is it that cortisol can encourage gluconeogenesis so that GH can then stimulate the liver to make glucose from those substrates?

    Is the slight increase in cortisol anything to be worried about for those concerned about the cortisol-belly fat connection? Or, if the abdomen is the place of stored subcutaneous fat, would the benefits of longer fasts outweigh the potential negatives?
    You have to be very careful with language because to define something is to limit it. That is, the linguistic framework we build around something restricts our ability to think about it. A perfect example of this is the notion of "antagonistic" hormones. Antagonism, for most of us, suggests that these hormones are at cross purposes with each other. But that is not what we mean at all. Rather, what we are trying to say is that, in general, when we sample cortisol and GH in an individual, we observe that they are inversely correlated, so when levels of one are high, the levels of the other are low. But this is a much weaker statement than "antagonism", because it allows for the existence of specific circumstances when we may observe high concentrations of both, like say, during prolonged energy deprivation.

    When the body detects that there is an energy shortfall, it will do several things:

    • It will attempt to reduce the amount of energy it discretionarily expends, which will necessarily impact thyroid hormones, and ultimately, thermogenesis, which is quite expensive in terms of energy consumed. So, during a prolonged fast, expect cold hands and feet, and better make sure you have a heavier blanket.
    • It will attempt to conserve blood glucose and to do this it needs all tissues that do not require glucose to stop trying absorb it from the blood. Luckily, GH inhibits the use of glucose by the muscle. But that leaves us in the position of having lost a source of energy for muscular activity. Doubly luckily, GH is lipolytic which increases FFA availability as an alternative energy substrate for the muscles. But what about those tissues that cannot use FFAs and resulting ketones for energy? For those tissues:
    • It will attempt to produce new glucose via gluconeogenesis. In this case, the inputs to this process are amino acids, so the body will need to find a supplier for these that does not require food. Luckily, we carry large pools of amino acids in all of our proteinaceous tissues. The trick is to liberate them, and this we achieve via the action of cortisol. So, during the course of a fast, cortisol levels increase to ensure that we can rely on gluconeogenesis as a source of glucose.


    All of this is to say that actually, GH and cortisol are acting synergistically to provide the body with adequate energy from internal sources.

    The cortisol belly fat connection is a marketing ploy to attempt to sell you some particular pharmaceutical or herbal cocktail that presumes to fix it. This is very similar to what happened with cellulite, which is nothing more than subcutaneous fat, but if I can sell you the disease, cellulite, then I can sell you the cures: anti-cellulite creams, exercise programs, and magic bracelets.

    I am extremely fond of my proteinaceous tissues, especially my muscles. If there were some way to direct my cortisol to take some protein out of my nose, to make it more petite and button like, that would be great. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that, so I am extremely wary of pushing my system into a situation where it will start to cannibalize hard earned muscle to keep my silly brain alive. So now, we have a tradeoff. How much muscle am I willing to give up for less subcutaneous fat? Not very much, so I advocate keeping fasting in the range of 40 hours in accordance with my priorities. If you really want to burn more fat, fast longer, realizing that you will be sacrificing more muscle tissue along the way. I do not recommend that you do this, but, it is ultimately your reality, and your decision.

    -PK

  3. #13
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    I'm currently on a 22 hour fast (attempting it) as I usually just do a 16/8 feed window with lunch and dinner. And a couple of things popped my mind.

    Both in a 24 hour fast (or more) and in the 16/8 - 2 meals a day IF, if I want to consume a decent amount of carbs to have a good day and good restful night, where should I have more of them, in lunch or dinner? Maybe lunch have a couple of sweet potatoes, salad and veggies (or other carbs) and at night just meat/fish/eggs and a salad and cucumber?

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    Thanks for all of this pklopp.

    I am past 32 hours and aiming for 40 before I break the fast. The hardest part was at about 20-22 hours, but I drank a lot of water and fell asleep very fast. Not sure if that had anything to do with the fast or not, but it is nice since I don't do it very often.
    Woke up this morning and feel great. Not hungry at all and going the last 8 hours or so should be a breeze.
    I did not train yesterday, I have pushed it off until today where at lunch I will go split a chord of wood while drinking a protein shake. After, I plan on having 1.5lbs of beef heart, avocado and a salad. In case anyone cares. LOL.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

  5. #15
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    I used to do a once-a-week 40 hour fast way back when I found MDA through Art Devany's site. Now I am probably mature enough dietwise to do it again successfully, so I'll give it a shot.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  6. #16
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    I'm in the middle of a 22 hour fast - about 13 hours through. I've read Eat Stop Eat and was looking to implement at least one 22-24 hour fast per week. Has anyone found this beneficial for stalled weight loss or weight loss when you're very close to goal weight (within 10-15 pounds)?

  7. #17
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    pklopp,
    I'm currently doing a 16/8 fast/eating approach and am doing one to two 24 hr fasts a week (like today, for instance -I won't eat until dinner). I read and understand the benefits of pushing it to 40 hrs. I have a couple of questions. First, if I try this once a week or even once every two weeks but still eat the 16/8 approach will I see the same benefits as eating only once a day all the time (20 -24 fasts) with the occasional 40hr fast? Do you, pklopp, think that doing 16/8 with the 24 hr one to two times a week is pointless because it's not long enough or do you think that it's at least a step in the right direction? I'm currently pleased enough with my leanness, as is my wife, and I don't want to push it to the point of obsession just to get that "ideal body comp." Would I like to be crazy ripped - sure, who wouldn't? Is it worth it for me and my family? Debatable.

    I know that my wife would have a lot of issues with the 40 hour fast (she already doesn't like my 24 hr - makes her nervous despite what I've said). It would take some convincing on my part to get her to go along with it. Also, if I did the 20 hr fast daily I would only be eating dinner with her (not a bad thing) which would mean, as she is not primal, my fare would not be as primal as it could be (not the best thing). By eating lunch on my own each day (other than the 24 hr days) it allows me to get pure primal food at that time so if dinner has some "20%" elements I can't remove it's not as big a deal. I would be worried that only eating her dinners everyday would mean my "20%" would actually be 20% as opposed to closer to only 10%. I will say that only eating dinners and skipping one of those once a week would save us lots of money because grocery shopping would only be food for dinner 6 days and we wouldn't have to buy me any food for other meals. Just would need to make sure all dinners had lots of food.

    Sorry for kind of rambling in that post but it's my way of "digesting" the info and trying to decide if I want to try it. Any answers to the questions I raised would be appreciated!
    Strength and Honor

  8. #18
    pklopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcarianVX View Post
    Thanks for all of this pklopp.

    I am past 32 hours and aiming for 40 before I break the fast. The hardest part was at about 20-22 hours, but I drank a lot of water and fell asleep very fast. Not sure if that had anything to do with the fast or not, but it is nice since I don't do it very often.
    Woke up this morning and feel great. Not hungry at all and going the last 8 hours or so should be a breeze.
    I did not train yesterday, I have pushed it off until today where at lunch I will go split a chord of wood while drinking a protein shake. After, I plan on having 1.5lbs of beef heart, avocado and a salad. In case anyone cares. LOL.
    Anecdotally, the best sleep I ever have is during a 40 hour fast. This I attribute almost entirely to my lowered body temperature! I don't know about beef heart, but I love liver! I like your plan.

    -PK

  9. #19
    pklopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
    pklopp,
    I'm currently doing a 16/8 fast/eating approach and am doing one to two 24 hr fasts a week (like today, for instance -I won't eat until dinner). I read and understand the benefits of pushing it to 40 hrs. I have a couple of questions. First, if I try this once a week or even once every two weeks but still eat the 16/8 approach will I see the same benefits as eating only once a day all the time (20 -24 fasts) with the occasional 40hr fast? Do you, pklopp, think that doing 16/8 with the 24 hr one to two times a week is pointless because it's not long enough or do you think that it's at least a step in the right direction? I'm currently pleased enough with my leanness, as is my wife, and I don't want to push it to the point of obsession just to get that "ideal body comp." Would I like to be crazy ripped - sure, who wouldn't? Is it worth it for me and my family? Debatable.

    I know that my wife would have a lot of issues with the 40 hour fast (she already doesn't like my 24 hr - makes her nervous despite what I've said). It would take some convincing on my part to get her to go along with it. Also, if I did the 20 hr fast daily I would only be eating dinner with her (not a bad thing) which would mean, as she is not primal, my fare would not be as primal as it could be (not the best thing). By eating lunch on my own each day (other than the 24 hr days) it allows me to get pure primal food at that time so if dinner has some "20%" elements I can't remove it's not as big a deal. I would be worried that only eating her dinners everyday would mean my "20%" would actually be 20% as opposed to closer to only 10%. I will say that only eating dinners and skipping one of those once a week would save us lots of money because grocery shopping would only be food for dinner 6 days and we wouldn't have to buy me any food for other meals. Just would need to make sure all dinners had lots of food.

    Sorry for kind of rambling in that post but it's my way of "digesting" the info and trying to decide if I want to try it. Any answers to the questions I raised would be appreciated!
    The fasting approach is a continuum. If you recall the discussion on hormesis and the efficient frontier in part 1, what we are trying to do is hit the hormetic sweet spot of inter-meal frequency. If you get to extend your fast by a few hours, that's great, more time spent oxidizing FFAs. If, on the odd day, you wind up with breaking your fast a few hours earlier, no need to worry, as long as it doesn't become a habit. Accordingly, any 40h fast that you get to include in your schedule is a good one, with the proviso that you do not do this too frequently! Once per week would be the maximal limit. So, once every two weeks, sure!

    If both you and your wife are happy with your results, I wouldn't meddle too much. On the other hand, if you want to collect looks at the beach, this might get you there. Fair warning, if you do start garnering looks at the beach, this may very well be a bone of contention for your wife!

    In the interest of full disclosure, I started fasting because it is easy. Much much easier than the alternatives. Rather than neurotically count calories, obsess about macronutrient ratios, frantically rush to get my "carb re-feed" in with my protein shake X minutes after a workout, I simply reset my metabolism every week with a 40 hour fast. When I started down this road three years ago, I really did nothing with respect to my diet apart from the fasting. Nothing. Same meal frequency, same meal macronutrient breakdown, same, same, same. I lost weight, I lost inches. I kept reading, researching, and then started tweaking, and that got me into considering meal composition after reading GCBC. Once I started taking into account insulin management, things accelerated quite a bit.

    -PK

  10. #20
    JPA's Avatar
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    On a 16/8 hour window, if you wanted to keep carbs reasonable, where would you have them, earlier in the day (lunch) or later in the evening (dinner)?

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