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  1. #1
    Hector's Avatar
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    IF and Low Blood Sugar

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    I have a question about how I should proceed on my IF routine. Here is a little background.

    I've been IFing for just short of a year now on a roughly 24 on/24 off eating pattern. I eat Lunch and Dinner only one day, then Breakfast only the next day, and repeat the pattern. I eat large diverse meals when I do eat ~1000 cal/meal and never eat (or drink calories)between meals (well a few times early on, but I broke myself of that). During the last year I have moved from 255 to 180 lbs (5'11"). As I'm getting closer to my goal (six-pack, but still have a little belly fat to go) I have eased the IF on the weekend up by eathing 3 meals on Saturday, but starting back up 24/24 after sunday breakfast.

    Although I'm strict on the IF, I'm not so strict on the purely primal nutrition. I still eat a bit too many carbs, but not totally terrible. I'd estimate at worst this is near the high end of the maintenance range (~150g/day)

    Here is my problem though. I've been having slight boughts of light headedness especially on the mornings of the days I eat lunch/dinner. This has never been a problem until recently. I have a friend at work who is diabetic so I tested my blood sugar this morning before I ate lunch and it was only 47 mg/dL - quite low. An hour after Lunch (Pot Roast w/ carrots, brocolli, and some strawberries for dessert) I rechecked it an hour after I ate and my sugar was up to 110. After two hours it was 102.

    Besides lowering the fasting period of my IF, are there any suggestions for controling the lower blood sugar levels?

    Thanks in advance for you insights.
    Last edited by Hector; 05-26-2010 at 12:40 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
    Daemonized's Avatar
    Daemonized is offline Senior Member
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    I think IFing is a lot more beneficial and easier when you're eating VLC or ZC. Carbs are what makes your insulin spike, so if you want your insulin to stay even during IF then you probably want to stick to mostly fat and protein. I'm eating once or twice a day these days in the evenings and am a big fan of IF. I keep my carbs pretty low though and I'm mostly carnivorous.

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    Mike Alzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemonized View Post
    I think IFing is a lot more beneficial and easier when you're eating VLC or ZC. Carbs are what makes your insulin spike, so if you want your insulin to stay even during IF then you probably want to stick to mostly fat and protein. I'm eating once or twice a day these days in the evenings and am a big fan of IF. I keep my carbs pretty low though and I'm mostly carnivorous.
    +1 to that. I view IF as something to do when you already have your diet, sleep, and exercise dialed in.

    I'm not saying it's bad by any means, but I think you will get more return on your investment by getting everything else in line first.

    According to Robb Wolf: "After more than 7 years of thinking about and tinkering with IF it seems that it’s at best a good fit for 50% of folks. Any kind of sleep deficit or excessive stress will make IF ineffectual, possibly even detrimental."

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    Hector's Avatar
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    Interesting. It's not like I'm carbing out or anything - at worst I'm eating the equivlent of the Zone diet (~30% carbs). Also, I'm in much better health now than I was when I started, but haven't had any issues until recently. I get 7.5-8.5 hours of sleep a night and my stress level has been constant.

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    tangentrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Alzen View Post
    +1 to that. I view IF as something to do when you already have your diet, sleep, and exercise dialed in.

    I'm not saying it's bad by any means, but I think you will get more return on your investment by getting everything else in line first.

    According to Robb Wolf: "After more than 7 years of thinking about and tinkering with IF it seems that it’s at best a good fit for 50% of folks. Any kind of sleep deficit or excessive stress will make IF ineffectual, possibly even detrimental."
    This is why I stopped listening to all the kind folks who kept recommending IFing to break through my plateau: I was stressed from school, not sleeping enough, and was consuming too much dairy. Instead of IF, I have begun increasing my sleep and have drastically cut dairy (only butter and heavy cream remain). And the plateau is officially broken: 5 pounds down and still moving.
    Started PB late 2008, lost 50 lbs by late 2009. Have been plateaued, but that thing may just be biting the dust: more on that later.

  6. #6
    MalPaz's Avatar
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    my suggestion....

    - sleep more
    - lower carbs

    consider that from your starting weight your goal may already be met, and it may be detrimental(your already at 180 standing 5'11) i.e. the blood sugar problems for you to lose more weight IF style. losing weight effects much more in the body than blood sugar- hormones, cortisol, mentality, mood SOSO much...

    also, consider ending your meal with MCT, like coconut products...may be beneficial to you blood sugar problems as your body will get immediate energy and stabilization and then get to your other food.

    one more thing...when blood sugar dips as low as yours, and a not-so-carby as you say meal raises it like yours does it may be a sign of malnutrition and starvation by the body...so like, when you feed it it's almost like you initiate fight/flight response

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    Mike Alzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hector View Post
    Interesting. It's not like I'm carbing out or anything - at worst I'm eating the equivlent of the Zone diet (~30% carbs). Also, I'm in much better health now than I was when I started, but haven't had any issues until recently. I get 7.5-8.5 hours of sleep a night and my stress level has been constant.
    If it's working for you, run with it. I think you would be doing just as well, perhaps better, from cleaning out those last remaining carby food choices, but my experience is limited and what works for you may be different.

    Quote Originally Posted by tangentrider View Post
    This is why I stopped listening to all the kind folks who kept recommending IFing to break through my plateau: I was stressed from school, not sleeping enough, and was consuming too much dairy. Instead of IF, I have begun increasing my sleep and have drastically cut dairy (only butter and heavy cream remain). And the plateau is officially broken: 5 pounds down and still moving.
    Congrats on breaking your plateau! Dairy and sleep are huge.

  8. #8
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    Yes, you're eating too many carbs. Your body is still reliant on them as you're causing insulin spikes which later causes your bs to get too low. You need to steady your blood sugar by lowering your carb intake before you fast regularly.

  9. #9
    Hector's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll work to lower my carbs some more and see how it goes.

  10. #10
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    RSL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemonized View Post
    I think IFing is a lot more beneficial and easier when you're eating VLC or ZC. I keep my carbs pretty low though and I'm mostly carnivorous.
    I'm interested in this. What is your reason to be "mostly carnivorous"? I'm not trying to be confrontational - I am really interested. I know that there are a few carnivores around here, but I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Is it that you think primal man ate no veggies? Is it that you don't like them? I heard that Mark said that the only way to get the nutrients you need are from either eating veggies along with your protein and fat, or else eat whole animals, including the offal and the stomach contents.

    What are your thoughts?

    I am so low carb right now, it's ridiculous (less than 40g per day) and around 1400 calories with 70% fat, and I'm still not losing. As a matter of fact, I have started to gain a little again. I have been wondering if going ZC is the answer for me... By the way, I eat around 600 cals for breakfast, 100 cals for "lunch" and 700 cals for dinner.

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