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Thread: Confused about when to eat and fasting etc page

  1. #1
    spursberry's Avatar
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    Confused about when to eat and fasting etc

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    Hi

    I know a big thing in Paleo is fasting. I've started to get to a point where I can now do this and not crave bad food where I'm so hungry.

    However - I'm really getting into fitness and training etc. I've always been in researching so thats what I'm doing about this at the moment - and I've come across something that stumps me:

    Fasting is good
    Fasting is bad

    This is a 50/50 things from what I can tell in which people believe actually works.

    My initial goal - first and foremost - is to loose weight. I've been doing this for 4 months, it's been going well and I've been paleo for a month. However i 'm now plateauing and desperate to keep up the 4 months of loss thats been happening

    Exercise is not an issue.

    So that leaves the food - I'm eating paleo.

    BUT soooo many websites and people say eat six small meals a day. Or eat big in the morning, average at lunch, pauper in evening - with snacks inbetween when needed etc

    or Paleo

    Which I think is eat when hungry - and fasting is good.


    So today for example I didn't eat until 11:30am when I had left over paleo turkey burgers (from Mark's recipe) from last night.

    Now I've just been researching again and keep coming across sites and people saying fasting won't help in fat loss - it will halt it etc

    So this is a long way to say:

    Is fasting while on paleo good for weight loss or should I eat regular and save the fasting until I'm slim(mer)

    Thanks

    All the best

    C
    UK PBer

  2. #2
    MaceyUK's Avatar
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    Intermittent fasting is good, long term starvation is bad. Try 16 hours of not eating out of every 24 for a while. Eat from noon until 8 but nothing apart from drinks outside of that. Be sure to get enough nutrition during th eeating window. Eating 6 times a day makes people fat and sluggish unless they are on pure glucose.
    Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.
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  3. #3
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Probably not the right board for this … but I guess the mods will move the thread if they see fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by spursberry View Post
    Hi

    I know a big thing in Paleo is fasting.
    It can be a topic. But I don't think Prof. Cordain, who has been the moving force behind the Paleo Movement, has anything to say on it in any of his books. (But Art De Vany who has some loose connections with the movement is keen on it.)

    The main Paleo idea seems to be to err on the side of not eating foods that weren't available to people throughout most of the human past on the grounds that we're probably not evolutionarily adapted to them. But, in practical terms, Cordain (and others) doesn't take an absolutist position and says have a little of this or that — if you can tolerate it — just don't do it all the time.

    All this seems sound to me.

    But skipping a meal — or a day's meals — now and then, if you're not hungry (and even perhaps if you are) probably also mimics that long human past. And it would be strange if we couldn't do without, since we must often have had to. There are likely some specific advantages to doing so, too. First, fat-burning will likely be ramped up; secondly, after a certain point, your body will have to meet its protein needs from its own tissue. It's said that it does that intelligently, and will eat up tissue that's going wrong (pre-cancerous, say) first. Maybe … be good if that did happen.


    However - I'm really getting into fitness and training etc. I've always been in researching so thats what I'm doing about this at the moment - and I've come across something that stumps me:

    Fasting is good
    Fasting is bad

    This is a 50/50 things from what I can tell in which people believe actually works.
    There are various opinions. How well they're founded is a different matter. As I understand it, there's some evidence that fasting doesn't always work that well, and may even be counterproductive, for many women, but most men seem to do well on it.

    My initial goal - first and foremost - is to loose weight. I've been doing this for 4 months, it's been going well and I've been paleo for a month. However i 'm now plateauing and desperate to keep up the 4 months of loss thats been happening
    What metric are you going by? Weight? Or waist measurement? Or some method of body-fat measurement? Maybe you are still making ground if only you measure it in the right way.

    BUT soooo many websites and people say eat six small meals a day. Or eat big in the morning, average at lunch, pauper in evening - with snacks inbetween when needed etc
    The multiple meals idea seems to be coming out of two mindsets. It can be either (a) a bodybuilder myth or (b) a dieticians' move to keep blood-suagr up. I don't think (a) needs worrying about; (b) only features when you're essentially running off sugar — which you shouldn't be.

    or Paleo

    Which I think is eat when hungry - and fasting is good.
    Probably something like that — with the earlier provisos born in mind.


    So this is a long way to say:

    Is fasting while on paleo good for weight loss or should I eat regular and save the fasting until I'm slim(mer)
    It seems likely that 2 to 3 meals a day was normal for most hunter-gatherer societies — and later types of society. (However, Vilhjálmur Stefánsson records 4 among some Eskimo.) That's likely a "normal" pattern, although disruption to that — in the short-term (failure to kill game) or in the long-term (seasonal dearth) — would have broken up the pattern a bit. It would be strange if we were not adapted to that.

    If you feel comfortable skipping a meal, or a day's meals, now and then, there are likely some advantages to that. But I doubt you positively need to, and it may not work some individuals, particularly some women it seems.

  4. #4
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    I think you're confusing fasting with calorie restriction and skipping meals. The point of fasting is not to go for long stretches of time without food and being "starving". Its more about eating intuitively. If you're not feeling true hunger, don't eat. (and if you're not sure if you're hungry, then you're not truly hungry) And when you're truly hungry and ready to eat, eat REAL, nutrient dense food to the point of satiety. Then don't eat again until you're truly hungry. That's fasting. For me, that could mean eating 2 substantial meals a day, around 11am and 6pm.

    If weight loss is your goal, consider this... food you eat for reasons other than hunger, is food your body didn't ask for. This is the essence of overeating.

    Oh, and that 'eat every 2-3 hours' concept is bullshit. Who has time for that all day long?
    Sandra
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  5. #5
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    I had great success with intermittent fasting, combined with the Paleo/Primal diet, with regards to losing weight (just check out my signature).

    Fasting is excellent for weight loss.

    Not so excellent for building muscles, etc. It's not really my field of expertise, but during the first couple weeks of fasting, I would feel weak and 'spaced out' towards the end of my fasting period (I would fast typically between 9am and 8pm, with of course fasting/sleeping between dinner and breakfast--some people have even larger fasting windows, which amazes me). This was most definitely fatigue, and a fatigued body does not do well exercising. I once went unprepared for a rigorous hike: I ate a large breakfast of eggs, spinach and sausage, and though that would tie me over in combination with two 32-oz Nalgene bottles of water, with about 6 oz of blueberries and two bananas along for the hike. I was sorely mistaken, as the hike was far more difficult than I thought it would be (1000 foot elevation gain per mile) and ended up lasting about 9 hours. I was exhausted and stopped like every 20 feet climbing to the top. Then I got to the top, and could not figure out how I was going to get back down (it was so steep that you had to go slowly, tip-toe, and yes, hammertoe was inevitable, as standing facing down the slope, my feet were at point like a ballerina). Basically I dragged myself down the mountain, took about 4 hours to get down, and dragged myself home. I went to bed at 8pm that night, passed out with nausea and a migraine, and woke up about 14 hours. I was sore for weeks following. Exercise+fasting=no bueno. I doubt I gained any muscle mass.

    I think you need food and nutrients to build muscle, and fasting taps into a sort-of system where your body uses your fat reserves, but only to power you for the bare essentials-no 'unnecessary' muscle building as that takes up a lot of energy (which you don't have when you're fasting, because you aren't eating).

    So short answer...

    Goal to lose weight? yes, fasting is good.
    Goal to build muscle? highly recommend against fasting.

    You could wait until you get to around your target weight, then start working on muscle when you're eating more and have more energy. Maybe some of the fitness experts have better things to say about this, but this is all personal experience for me so I thought I'd chime in.
    Last edited by kathleen; 10-24-2013 at 01:43 PM.
    Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

    Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
    Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
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    26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

  6. #6
    MaceyUK's Avatar
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    16-8 works to build muscle but longer periods without food would possibly be detrimental. Difficult to tell without trying it. I'm sure lots of peeps on here have used extended fasts to cut bf % and accepted a small amount of lean mass loss as part of the deal.
    Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.
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    Not fasting doesnt explain failure to lose weight. For that, you may have to consider that you are still recovering from the effects of your past lifestyle. Only when you are sufficiently recovered does the weightloss become effortless. Be patient

    Also make sure you're getting adequate protein

    The 6 meals a day malarkey is based on the idea of avoiding insulin spikes and crashes. However is increases your daily insulin load, directly inhibiting weightloss

    When you are comfortable eating 3 primals per day with no snacking you'll be ready to give fasting a go and enjoy the incremental benefit

    Sent from mobile
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    When I use to diet by calorie counting (huge pain in the ass) and plateaued id usually up have a blow out cheat meal which got me moving in the right direction again.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
    eats.meats.west's Avatar
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    Best thing is to try it. I do 16/8 and adapted to it instantly as I was eating breakfast but not really hungry for it. Habits are hard to break. As soon as I started IF I also added High Intensity sprints on an elliptical (TABATA) and broke through a plateau and dropped 10lbs. I'm a believer. It certainly helps shrink appetite and therefor creates calorie restriction which leads to loss.

  10. #10
    spursberry's Avatar
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    Guys - thank you all so much! This is really really helpful stuff and has helped me make my decision - to fast when needed and ignore that eat every cpl of hours stuff!

    LEWIS - a special mention, thank you for your detailed answer and the time spent. Most kind and helpful
    UK PBer

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