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Thread: Isn't Intermittent Fasting just Calorie Restriction and isn't that ... bad? page

  1. #1
    Corj's Avatar
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    Isn't Intermittent Fasting just Calorie Restriction and isn't that ... bad?

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    I know the subject of IF has been broadly discussed but I can't seem to get the answer I'm searching for. When I first read about IF I thought you ate the same number of calories you would normally eat in a day but just eat them in a shorter window of time, depending on the length of your fast. That weight-loss had to do with insulin levels/hormones... But as I'm reading more about it through other websites as well, it seems that IF is more of a calorie-restricting tool where you end up eating considerably less calories in that feeding window.

    I understand the logic behind calorie restriction as well as IF from a primal point of view (access to food & whatnot) but I thought restricting calories sets you up to a vicious cycle where you end up cutting & cutting while storing more and more fat. As a woman it's been preached to me that I should eat more, not less to encourage lasting weight loss. "Calorie restriction leads inexorably to long-term failure" ?

    Also since starting IF (16/8 ish), all my clothes feel like they shrunk even though I'm eating less....?

  2. #2
    New Renaissance's Avatar
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    I don't eat less, I just eat less frequently. I get a very large number of calories in between 11am and 8pm (but the times vary). My breakfast alone is usually 1500 calories or more. When I was tracking such things, I was averaging a 3000+ calories a day. I was lifting heavy, taking long weighted walks and still workout fasted, with improvements on all levels still improving after 8 months of fasting. None of my clothes fit.

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    Dragonfly's Avatar
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    There is a difference between conscious calorie restriction and having a calorie deficit.

    Severe calorie restriction is a problem, certainly. Grapefruit diets, etc!

    For a lot of folks Primal eating naturally results in a natural calorie deficit, due to both hormonal changes and the higher satiety of Primal foods. They are not restricting calories, simply eating to satiety.

    For some of us (especially when we are within 10 lbs of ideal body weight) the addition of IF or counting (restricting!) calories to assure a small calorie deficit (300-500 calories a day, generally) is useful.

    I IF daily. After 6 months of easing into it slowly, I am now eating one meal a day. I eat to satiety. My meals generally end up being 1350-1600 calories. This affords me a small calorie deficit and I am losing body fat at approx. .25 to .5 lbs a week. Very slowly, since I am now about 20% body fat (female, 48.)

    IF also has additional benefits, as you have read.

    Here are some recent posts that may be helpful:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread27894.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread28459.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29011-3.html

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    Dragonfly's Avatar
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    Also since starting IF (16/8 ish), all my clothes feel like they shrunk even though I'm eating less....?
    Oh~~ IFing doesn't guarantee a calorie deficit! When I was IFing with an 8 hour eating window (10 am to 6 pm), I still found to very easy to overeat--largely because I eat dairy.

    Cheese is an easy way to eat a lot of calories quickly. I needed to shrink my eating window down and now it's not a problem!

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    Calorie restriction isn't automatically going to set you up for failure. Assuming you are metabolically healthy to begin with, you can lose weight on a reduced calorie diet if you:
    • keep a small caloric deficit
    • get proper nutrition
    • strength train
    • have periodic refeeds

    If you're not eating or moving enough, that's when you start dealing with muscle loss and other metabolic adaptations that can lead to rebound weight gain.
    The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

    You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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    Yes, IF is not necessarily caloric restriction, since the usual (but not required) intention is to still eat the same number of calories over a set period of time, say a week or so. The difference as you said is that caloric consumption is spread into particular timeframes that can even be 24 hours apart.

    Now there are many many ways to do IF and it can easily result in overall reduction in calories consumed. But the key thing is how does your body handle is, are you still energized? Or slowing down and tired? If the latter, you probably are taking it too far...

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    Fasting should not be used for weight loss. IF is meant to reset you're system (leptin/ghrellin levels) and only used when it feels natural and not hungry. If you're goal is a certain bodyfat % calorie restriction to some point is required (which is certainly more beneficial then oxidative damage caused by aerobic exercise), IF is a tool, nothing more.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Personally I eat the same amount of calories in a day when I IF than on the days I don't. The eating window is just shorter. I almost always do a body-led IF. If I wake up in the morning and I'm not hungry, then I don't eat (easy IF), if I'm hungry, I eat (no IF). If you listen to your body, and only eat when hungry, you will fall into an easy and natural IF pattern.
    --Trish (Bork)
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    Dragonfly's Avatar
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    Fasting should not be used for weight loss.
    I beg to differ! IF works very well indeed for fat loss. It's easier for me to create a calorie deficit this way than to count calories (which I did for 6 weeks and found utterly boring!)

    Have you read the LeanSaloon blog?

    Or any of the links I posted?

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    I deffinatly do am not restricting my calories and i only eat once a day. I just eat alot so i manage to put down 3-4k calories in a meal. I'm also loosing body fat doing it. I say bodyfat because my actual weight hasn't changed but i am getting leaner.
    "Live Free or Die"

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