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Thread: IF questions & fears page

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    Annika's Avatar
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    Inspired by Mark's recent post (Fasting Makes You Active) and its many comments, I tried a mini-IF today. Dinner last night was at about 6:30, and I skipped breakfast and ate lunch at 12:00. I also had a cup of coffee with whole milk at 9:00. My fasting period was 17.5 hours. Is that enough to have any benefit? It was easy, I was pretty hungry by noon but nothing I couldn't handle. However, I slept late, so it wasn't that many awake hours without food.


    On weekdays I leave the house at 6:20, usually (but not always) have a 15-minute break somewhere around 9 or 10, then a 30-minute lunch break around 11 or 12. I'm scared to begin my workday without something in my belly, not knowing exactly when I would get a chance to eat something or how I would function at work on an empty stomach. I know there are plenty of people who do it, but I'm still nervous about it! There are days that my workday is lighter and I can predict that I will certainly get a morning break. Maybe I will try it one of those days first and see how it goes.


    How much will the coffee with milk affect the IF? Going a morning without food is one thing, but without coffee??? *shudder*

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  2. #2
    NorthernMonkeyGirl's Avatar
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    Well done you!


    I'd go for one of the easy work days to try it out - maybe have something with you to snack on if you need?


    FWIW, I find it easier to IF if I'm doing lowcarb->carnivore. Just a personal quirk! I seem to be very carb sensitive. Having said that, after a non-primal Xmas it has only been 2 days back on track, and I went from 8pm last night to 4pm today no problem.


    If you'd told me that last year I'd have laughed so hard! I was one of those who couldn't function without breakfast.


    Anyway, enough waffling!

    I don't "count" the splash of milk in tea or coffee, but I think others might. Maybe try it with coffee first, and if it doesn't seem to work out after a couple of tries then cut it?


    As for the time-frame, it seems that any length is beneficial, but the longer the better (up to a point!!). Ease into it slowly.


    Don't put too much pressure on yourself - it isn't for everyone, different people suit different times (18hr, 20hr.....etc).


    Most of all, if you're genuinely hungry, for gods sake eat! It's not about starving yourself into submission


    Oooooor, what about trying a weekend fast first? No pressure, you can break it whenever you like?


  3. #3
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    I find the best way to get into IF is to slowly stretch out that "breakfast" so that it turns, essentially, into a late lunch.


    When I started playing around with this stuff a year and a half ago, I took two weeks to get to a noon/1:00PM first meal, then started doing that daily soon thereafter.


    Once you hit 15 - 18 hours, you're definitely getting benefits. It also takes a while to really get used to, so treat it, as Melissa Urban says, as an advanced technique in your paleo toolkit. Take time and experiment. The toughest thing will be figuring out how your work schedule and your body get along in fasting mode -- give that plenty of time, and you should do fine.


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    You had milk. It's not a fast.

    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    Annika's Avatar
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    Milk in my coffee negates all the benefits?

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  6. #6
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    A little milk is not going to negate all the benefits. I do a 24 hour IF every 3 days. I do have a latte every morning. I have plenty of energy, spend a lot of time in Ketosis. And the amount of food my body is not processing has drastically been reduced. Maybe I'll drop the milk on a fast day one day, but I don't want to be so extreme that I'm not enjoying myself. I think Primalchild is a strong proponent of 20-80 rule. Some people drink juice in a fast. You need to be more concerned about the time you go without food.


  7. #7
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    If you are concerned about starting your day without a meal, what about making breakie your only meal of the day on IF days? Have a nice big awesome breakfast, and then go about your day.


    I find I do better with dinner being my only meal of the day, or having a late lunch, late dinner on two meal days, but my hubby prefers to have a big breakfast and then nothing else on IF days.


    My husband, who is a diabetic, has always done IF naturally. His mom used to harp at him about his unhealthy eating patterns, and I used to give him trouble for "skipping meals". Sigh... I feel SO bad now when I would urge him to eat because it was "so unhealthy" to eat once a day or not at all. LOL

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    Maybe not all benefits are negated, but most are. You have the benefit of reduced calories, at least. But the hormonal response in the body after 18 hours with zero calories is different than 18 hours with some calories. It's why people who go 30 days eating far too little food are generally much worse off at the end than those who have eaten nothing. You do some reading on the subject and you begin to see juice fasting as a complete waste of time compared to water fasting.


    Anyway, this isn't about 30 days and it's not about juice fasting. It's nice that you skipped breakfast without trouble, and milk isn't so bad if you can handle it, but let's be honest; ingesting calories breaks a proper fast.

    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  9. #9
    Annika's Avatar
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    lil_earthmomma, I have found that if I eat a big hearty breakfast (veggie-cheese omelet & bacon, for example), I'm not hungry until well after lunchtime, but making it until bedtime seems a lot tougher than skipping breakfast. I don't see that working for me - but who knows? Maybe I'll give it a shot. Skipping dinner would be difficult from a psychosocial aspect as well - we all sit down for a family dinner every night, and I think it's an important family time for us.


    Dr. Eades had this to say about coffee with milk during an IF:


    Well, I would tell you to just buck up and be a man and drink the coffee black. Except for the fact that MD is the same way; she canít (wonít) drink her coffee without cream. Iíve tried without success for years to get her to see the light. When we did the IF, she drank her coffee with cream on her fasting days, so even if I wonít, she will give you dispensation to do the same. (She drank one or sometimes two cups of coffee with cream in the morning, but no more than that.)

    Hmmm. Sort of inconclusive. I would like to see some data on this, if it exists. Anyone?

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  10. #10
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    As PrimalChild put it so succinctly - when you consume calories you are breaking your fast. However, if you use cream you are consuming approx. zero carbs, zero protein - it's almost pure fat = very easy on your system. Second, the calories are very low, I'm assuming. I'd sally forth, carry on & not fear! Otherwise, if you want to be 'pure' then have dinner, maybe a little more fat than usual, next morning have your coffee then fast until dinner - maybe this could become a routine for you after awhile. I know that when I increased my fat to proper ratios with regard to protein & carbs I spontaneously fasted - IF wasn't even on my radar & suddenly I had no hunger, didn't eat & it'd be @ 18 hrs or so before another meal...and that's my daily thing. Hope this helps!


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