Intermittent Fasting ( IF)

fox2star

Cathlete
Hi,

anyone try this? I am on day 6 of the 16:8 method, ( eat all your days food in an a 8 hour window and fast for the other 16 hours) and so far it has been keeping me at my calorie goal.

Would be interested to hear from anyone that has done this long term, and any results.

Deb
 

lizh

Active Member
I tried eating in the 8 hour window and didn't have any results. A guy I work with did though and lost weight.
My husband did 5:2 (2 low calorie days a week) and lost about 20 pounds. I haven't tried it (I was doing weight watchers and wanted to stick with one thing at a time) I heard that it worked better for men. :)mad:)
Liz
 

complik8td

Cathlete
Your effort is truly commendable, fox2star. :) Dr. Mercola is a huge proponent of IF for many reasons. I did try the same method you are employing. I lost some weight and felt great, but I have not done it since last year. Sometimes, the way my schedule goes, it can be difficult for me to stay within that 8-hour window. Now I just eat 3 meals per day. Good luck with your regimen. Keep us posted on your progress.
 

CeciFifi

Cathlete
I started this two weeks ago. I find it pretty easy cos I never eat after dinner. I push back my breakfast to 10am and stop eating by 6pm. I feel a bit trimmer so its working. I am sleeping better too - not sure why. I am liking it. Way easier than changing my diet.
 

fox2star

Cathlete
that's great! keep us posted on how you are doing. I got distracted and stopped doing this over the summer, but want to go back to it. It takes some discipline for me, not eating breakfast is hard since it's my favorite meal of the day.
 

Connie07

Cathlete
I'm very interested in this. I found the book called "The 8 hour Diet" on a clearance rack. I need to lose at least 40 lb, but my main reason for wanting to try this is hoping it will help with my digestive disorders. I feel SO much better when I go several hours without food in my stomach. I know this goes against the experts of "clean eating", I truly believe there are some of us that do not need to eat every few hours.
 

complik8td

Cathlete
As I posted in this thread earlier, Dr. Mercola is a major proponent of IF. Here's an article from his newsletter that I received this morning that I thought might be of interest. I don't know if I could adhere to this regimen as strictly as he suggests (especially with weight training), but I intend to try and implement some of his strategies.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/intermittent-fasting-calorie-restriction.aspx?e_cid=20150921Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150921Z1&et_cid=DM86127&et_rid=1132115802
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/intermittent-fasting-calorie-restriction.aspx?e_cid=20150921Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150921Z1&et_cid=DM86127&et_rid=1132115802
 

desertambrosia

Cathlete
Thanks for the article, Carol. I have been using IF for about the last four weeks. For me, It's not a diet, it has become a way of life, because it fits so well with my schedule. I workout very early in the morning, on an empty stomach. During my workout, and after the workout I drink a mixture of BCAAs and water. I don't have my first meal until 10 or 11am, using a five hour eating window. I always finish eating at around 3:00pm. The scale has only moved down about three lbs, but I didn't start this to lose weight. My core is much tighter, and my abs are back. My legs have definition again. I love this way of life. Will never go back to three meals a day. I have been doing Horizontal Conditioning, and Mark Lauren's EFX and YAYOG, very core intense, adding in other work as I see fit. My routine may have something to do with the definition. I love IF, when I'm done eating, I'm done eating for the day. I can't count calories, it stresses me out. I just eat what I want, but it's always clean. Highly recommend! Oh, and I am never hungry!
 

complik8td

Cathlete
Karen, you never cease to amaze or impress me!!! Wow! A five-hour window! I am ravenous when I get up in the morning and need to have at least a small meal (homemade protein bar) or a glass of (homemade) almond milk before I hit the gym. I have done fasted cardio in the past, and I am okay with that, but then I am beyond ravenous when my workout is complete. I can't imagine not eating past 3:00 in the afternoon, but I presume you go to bed fairly early if you're up and at 'em at an early hour to workout. If I did cut back on my meals, I'd save money on food and wouldn't have to spend so much time in the kitchen!! Ha! I'm always concerned about meeting my nutritional requirements for the day, most specifically achieving the recommended number of servings of veggies. I'm with you on counting calories. I detest doing so and Dr. Merola touched on that topic also in his article. Thanks for commenting. You've certainly given me something to think about. :)
 

complik8td

Cathlete
Quick update: Karen, you totally inspired me to give IF a try, aaaand..... I'm happy to say that so far, I really like it! For the past three days, I've kept my food consumption within a 7 to 8-hour window. My next lab appointment is November 30th, so I'll be anxious to see if there is improvement in the values of the markers for which I'll be screened. Here's hoping! Thank you! :)
 

Gobias

Cathlete
This is an interesting thread. I have never heard of IF. I have several questions:

Is this thread talking about TWO different diets?
1) Eat how much, whatever and whenever you want as long as it is within an 8 hour window and clean.
2) Eat two MEALS per day within that 8 hour window as long as it is clean. (This seems to be Mercola's theme)

What is the reasoning behind this? To force your body to burn fat? Give your gut a rest? Restrict calories?

What books/articles would you recommend? I would like to read up on this.

How do you make sure you get enough nutrients? I am not a calorie or macro counter, but I have a vague idea of what I eat and my biggest concern would be to make sure I get enough nutrients so I don't need supplements.

Mercola mentions to eat two MEALS per day, as long as one of them is lunch - why? I could see me eating breakfast and dinner and skipping lunch, but I just can't see me skipping either breakfast or dinner to make sure I eat a lunch.

Whether you do the Mercola plan (two meals per day) or the 8 hour plan, do you just make sure you eat A LOT to get all of your nutrients in? I would have to train myself to eat really large meals to get my needs in.

How does this eating plan work when you lift heavy and do cardio? Is your body getting enough nourishment?

Can this be stretched to a 12 hour plan? I get up at 5am to work out and usually go to bed around 11pm-12am. My stomach actually growls (loudly) if I don't eat. And I am sluggish. That is why I am thinking I could skip lunch, but just not breakfast or dinner. I wouldn't make it through my workouts.

I currently eat super clean and (mostly) only eat when hungry. My only set meal is usually dinner with family, but other times it is just when I am hungry. It averages to be an early breakfast, later lunch and several snacks (cup of soup, fresh juice, nuts, plate of veggies, etc). My breakfast and lunch meals usually seem to be about the same size, or a bit bigger than my snacks. So....I guess I just kind of "snack" several times a day and then have a dinner with family (which is also about the same size or a bit larger than my snacks).

I guess my goal of doing this would be to get/stay toned, prevent a fat layer on me (Karen mentioned muscle tone). I am not concerned with gaining/losing weight.

Thanks.
 

angie_nrs

Cathlete
I know I am very late to the IF party but I've been doing it for over a month now and love the ease of it, along with some good results for me.
I find this way of eating kind of like a Hiit workout......get in, give it your all, get it done, and move along. Combining Hitt with IF has been a magical combo for me. I just love how much tighter my core is and am seeing more muscle definition everywhere:)
I was wondering if any of you who did it a couple of years ago are still doing it? Why or why not?
 

complik8td

Cathlete
@angie_nrs Good to hear that IF is working well for you. Cathe just posted this article on her blog regarding not eating after dinner. I don't practice IF regularly per se, but I try my best to not eat after dinner. That is sometimes a struggle for me, but I definitely feel better/leaner for it.
 

Gobias

Cathlete
I remember this thread, I even posted in it! I had never heard of IF until this forum (I had never even heard of "Clean Eating" before this forum - tells you how little I knew).

I tried IF way way back at the beginning of this thread and the first day I just couldn't handle it and caved at dinnertime. I had tried a 24 hour fast and felt too run down and foggy. I don't believe I tried it again for a long while. I then started the IF where I only ate between 10am - 6pm. I had teas outside of that window and could easily follow along with that schedule. I workout about 5-6am and it was rough to not eat in the mornings, but not undoable. I liked that schedule and continue to do it today on my eating days.

As a side note, IF interests me for gut and metabolic health, not so much weight loss (although I did notice my more fatty areas tighten up nicely). I have had gut issues for decades and finally this seems to be the only thing that is helping.

About a month ago, I read Jason Fung's book "The Complete Guide to Fasting" (I recommend it - fast, easy read), along with Mercola's "Fat for Fuel" (he has a chapter on IF) and several blogs and interviews and tried their methods. I did a full 36 hour fast and to be honest, it just wasn't that hard. I then tried to go as long as possible and made it to 44 hours twice, and 40 hours once. This was while doing my normal intensive workouts. (I think my body is using the FAT stored as energy rather than the glucose readily available....read the books)

I work from home a lot and have so many temptations to graze all day, especially when I am frustrated. I eat totally clean, but I still eat a ton (it is snap pea and cherry tomato season here and those are my two favorite foods!). I am from the mindset to eat all you want if it is clean, but wanted to try the IF for my gut issues.

I am now trying a M-W-F fast to see if that will work for me. This is my first week and so far so good. It just is not hard for me, even being at home surrounded by fresh produce! Like Angie above said, get in, do it, and move on. I thought I would be thinking about food all day, but when I put my mindset that "Monday I will fast", it is easy for me to just fast. In fact, I find it much harder to do the fasts based on specific times of the day, meaning, for example, "Today I won't eat until 4pm. I will then have a 4 hour eating window, and then resume my fast." I find in that instance, I am constantly looking at the clock wondering if it is 4pm yet....seeing it is 3pm and cheating by eating just a bit early. Instead, I know I won't eat on Monday - then I don't even think about it.

I notice I am tighter and my gut issues go away. The clarity and energy the books talk about are also there (and I didn't even realize I wasn't at optimal clarity and energy...it wasn't like I was sluggish or foggy). For me, when I do the 6pm-10am fast, I don't get the above benefits. I only get them when I do the 24+ hour fast (ideally 36+ hour fast). I am going to continue to play with IF to see what works for me. I have extensive travel coming up and will see how that goes. I also notice my aches and pains are practically gone. When I started to eat clean several years ago, my gut issues and pains significantly improved, but now with IF, they are practically gone (and remember, I just started IF on a regular basis).

I would recommend this if starting IF:
*Read Jason Fung's book
*Fast on your "hard" workout days (that way you still have the caloric energy from the day prior in you). Then the next day do your "easier" workout since you won't have the caloric energy from the day prior in you.
*Your first meal after fasting should be a smoothie or soup, so extensive digestion is not required - this helped me a lot, but remember, I have gut issues.
*Know and prep what your first meal out of fasting will be PRIOR to the fast. I found that if I didn't prep, then I would just grab a handful of whatever was readily available, rather than plan. I also found that if it wasn't prepped, cooking during the fast knowing I wouldn't be eating it until several hours later was just too much temptation for me. My first fasting day I made a crab curry stew and while making it, I knew I wouldn't be eating it for 10 hours...that was just too much for me, I was salivating like crazy and couldn't stop thinking about it.
*While fasting, I try to only consume mineral water, citrus water, teas with cinnamon and ACV and citrus. However, as a backup I will have chia water, MCT oil and bone broth. I find that I get better results without the back-ups, but I am OK with using the back-ups when needed. I did do an extremely hard workout earlier this week and the back-ups just weren't doing it - I felt like I hit a wall and wanted to complete the workout. I had 2 spoonful's of coconut butter and was immediately energized. That is the first time I had to do that.
*Realize that you don't need to "eat small meals every 2 hours or you will die!" It had been so ingrained in me to eat constantly and to not miss a meal or I would wither away.

I really wish I had read the research on this years ago and tried it correctly - even though I am brand new to IF, the results so far have been wonderful. I love food and I love to cook, so I thought this would be extremely difficult, but it just isn't, once you find a schedule that works for you.
 

112toGuru

Cathlete
Not limited to 8 hours but a window. I would just not eat after 4 p.m. everyday, and I was pretty religious about it. I was also limiting calories to 400-500 less than normal, working out alternating strength & step cardio 5-6 times a week. I averaged about 1/2 lb. a week but the weight came off, about 25-30 pounds in 15 months. It can be done. I also ate quality foods, even if it wasn't all completely clean, it was very nutritious and sustaining. I'll add, make sure whatever it is, it is sustainable, you're chances for success will be much higher. I should really restart that :p
 

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