Controlled Fasting

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Ben Gash CLF, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I found Intermittent works well for me, especially since I work 24hr shifts and can easily also not have a break till quite deep into my work day. But, I find that when I'm NOT at work, I don't get morning hunger pangs. I think it's when I wake at 5am, then the body starts ticking away - telling me, I need food around 5 hours later.

    Next thing I know, I'm inadvertently doing the 16/8 times scales (16hr no food / 8hrs eating).

    However, the diet that best worked for me was basically calorie deficits, with a plan given to me by a former MAP Mod.*

    *temporary measures
  2. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    It's really weird how mindset effects food consumption.
    I can go a whole day on a small breakfast and a big dinner when I'm busy doing a big DIY job or something physical at home. The odd cuppa through the day and I barely feel hungry.
    But sat at a desk all day at work and the slightest hunger pang becomes almost impossible to ignore so I snack all the time.
    Dead_pool and Mushroom like this.
  3. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Very true. I graze a work. Which makes my colleagues think I am an eating machine .."yet, how do you stay so slim?" . But at home I'm a Lunch and Dinner person and barely graze at all. Apart from the odd coffee.

    Crisps are my vice. And chocolate.....Jaffa cakes, cake...muffin..
  4. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    Not what I just read.
    This study has found that while overall gluten consumption in people without coeliac disease may not be related to heart disease risk, avoiding whole grains (wheat, barley and rye) in order to avoid gluten may be associated with increased heart disease risk."

    The study also goes on to claim the links are insignificant and doesn't consider other factors.
  5. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Is that from the study or from the article I posted about the study?

    Low-gluten diet linked to heart attack risk

    The article ends thus

    This study has found that while overall gluten consumption in people without coeliac disease may not be related to heart disease risk, avoiding whole grains (wheat, barley and rye) in order to avoid gluten may be associated with increased heart disease risk.

    This study has several strengths, including its large size, the fact that data was collected prospectively and diet assessed at several time-points, the long period of follow up, and that it took into account a wide range of potential confounders.

    As with all studies of this type, it is possible that other factors may affect the results. However, the researchers took into account as many potential confounding factors as they could in their analyses. This increases confidence in the results, but it is still possible that these or other unmeasured confounding factors are having an effect.

    The researchers noted that they did not specifically ask participants whether they were intentionally following a "gluten free" diet or consumption of gluten-free substitute foods.

    It is important to emphasise that this study was only in people who did not have coeliac disease. People with coeliac disease need to eat a gluten free diet to control their symptoms, and it is thought that this diet may actually contribute to the reduction in risk of heart disease seen after diagnosis in this group. So people eating a gluten free diet for this purpose should not be concerned by the findings in this study.

    The study collected data from 1986 to 2012. Diets over this period have changed, and avoidance of gluten is likely to be more common nowadays. It would be interesting to repeat the study now to see if the same results are found. While it would be good to have these findings confirmed by other studies, carrying out similarly large scale and long term research will take time.

    Ideally, if you don't need to avoid gluten for medical reasons, then this study suggests it may be beneficial to continue including whole grains in your diet for their cardiovascular benefits."
    ned likes this.
  6. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    Today is my third day of Intermittent Fasting. I'm using the 16/8 method. This is an absolute first for me. I've heard so many people talk about having success with it, I decided to give it a try.

    It's going well so far, but it's really hard not to over eat within my 8-hour eating window. Especially if I'm ravenously hungry after a workout. I'm also not looking forward to doing Saturday morning Karate class on an empty stomach.

    I love how it simplifies my life. If you've seen my training log, you know how I usually eat when I'm trying to get in better shape: Jaydub's training log All of that meal prep and planning can work very well for me, but it's hard to sustain in the long-term. This 16/8 is so simple that I could make it part of my regular lifestyle.
    AndrewTheAndroid likes this.
  7. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I'm having great results so far; down 3.6 lbs my first week.

    I used to watch the clock a lot during the first couple days, waiting to eat at exactly 12:00 pm, and having my last snack at exactly 7:59 pm. I probably consumed more calories than I should have during this period. The hunger has become much easier to control. There's no clock-watching anymore. Sometimes I don't eat until 12:30/1:00 PM because I simply forget to eat. I rarely snack after I eat dinner at 6:00ish, even though my window to eat closes at 8:00 PM.

    My only issue is that I don't have a ton of energy in the mornings. While this is fine for desk work in an office, I'm going to be doing some intense field training later this month. I will have to come off of the program during this time, and other times where I need to preform and operate to a high standard. At the very least, I will need to eat breakfast.
  8. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    There is a period of adapting usually around 3-4 weeks where the mornings are not so easy due to years of your body expecting some sort of food, this goes away with time and can be helped with apple cider vinegar or adding a pinch of sea or pink salt to your water. If you add more healthy fat to your diet you will find it much easier having your body "fat adapted" and more efficient at burning fat for energy rather than depleting your glycogen levels. I'm on a very heavy fat/protein diet and I basically have zero hunger and lots of energy. But I'm in ketosis most days. Thought I'd add I started off with 16-8, moved down to 18-6 and then 20-4 and OMAD (one meal a day). Now I don't fast intentionally and have periods of "feast" followed by maybe 36-72 hour fasts.
  9. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I was hoping to get some thoughts on people’s view of what counts, or does not count, as fasting.

    I have fasted before with a reasonable measure of success. The way I have always understood it to work, I could only consume calories during my eight-hour eating window, but calorie-free beverages were okay at any time. I usually drink black coffee first thing in the morning, and green tea or mint tea in the evening.

    My friend insists that I am doing it incorrectly, and anything other than water counts as breaking your fast. I’ve done a bit of research and found convincing arguments from both schools of though.

    What are your thoughts?
  10. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    It really depends what your goals are--what are the specific bodily responses you are interested in? (Or a particular religious or cultural tradition?)

    If you want to lose weight, drinking calorie-free but artificially sweetened things may be detrimental--one of the benefits of fasting for weight loss is the reduced insulin levels (and if you do it consistently, the reduced insulin resistance). But just putting artificial sweeteners in your mouth triggers some insulin release. I may be misremembering, but I think when they are eaten they also can trigger more insulin release, even without actual sugar.
    Black coffee can have a calorie or two from coffee oils. This won't materially affect your insulin levels, but 'technically' you are consuming a little bit of calories. It shouldn't affect weight loss.

    Interested in autophagy? Black coffee helps with that.

    If you are a 'water fasting' purist, then sure black coffee breaks it.
    But unless you are trying to stick to some particular tradition, I'd say evaluate what effect the thing you want to consume has on your body during a fast, and check if those affects interfere with whatever benefits you are trying to achieve.
    Jaydub likes this.
  11. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    Thanks for your insight.

    I’m fasting mainly for weight loss. I’ve also read that it helps with building lean muscle mass and improving endurance.

    I will occasionally drink a Diet Pepsi, but I avoid pop in general and would never consume it outside of my eight-hour window. Right now, I mostly just drink coffee, tea, and lots of water.
  12. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Training (weight lifting, running, etc) in a fasted state, especially after 24 hours, boosts your natural HGH (human growth hormone) production.
    If you are doing 16/8 intermittent fasting it won't have a strong effect on your HGH levels though.

    The other thing that happens is as your liver depletes its store of glycogen (takes about 24 hours to deplete, faster if you are burning more energy via exercise), you start to adapt to be better at burning fat. (Takes a few weeks to not feel pretty harsh though, IIRC.) Basically you limit the sugars available to muscle for energy, and your body adapts by building more fat-burning muscle than it would otherwise.
    Tipping the ratio to favor fat-burning a little more than normal, can help you maintain energy output longer--fats tend to be an essentially limitless source of fuel for a particular session, unless your body fat is really low. This means you would be burning less sugars (which are not limitless in a particular session) to produce the same energy output.
  13. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Sorry just to clarify--it is the fasting that boosts your HGH, not the training.
  14. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I know some people that follow the 16/8 method also include one or two 24 hour fasting windows a week.

    Is that advisable for my situation, considering my goals?
  15. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Have been using the 16/8 daily protocol for a while now with good results. Hovering for a few weeks now but that's I think down to some holiday extra calories and that I've reached a weight I'm fairly happy with though less fat is still a goal. At this point though I think I want to be careful I minimize any potential muscle loss that goes with any weightloss.

    I was losing a bit of weight beforehand maybe 5-6 kilos with sensible eating/ exercise, and since I switched to IF lost a further 6. I started by counting calories for I think must be the first time ever.

    Have drunk tea coffee and diet drinks. Even including a bit of milk. It's worked ok. The source I followed said a bit of cream (he speaks american obviously) was fine..
    Had the following helpful guide too.

    For faster weightloss multiply your weight in LBS x 10
    For slower loss/ maintenence multiply by 14
    For gaining weight multiply by 18

    Once I got in a groove, I found I didn't have to count the calories (I went with x10), as I was having week after week of fairly small but regular weightloss (between 0.3- 0.5kg per week/ 1 kilo on a really good week which happened couple of times). I think I'll have to look again at starting calorie counting. At my age (47) I think I'll have to step up my game for further gains/ improvements. Like better nutrition for example.
  16. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Based on the reading/research I've done, this is what I've done to lose weight, and it works so long as I stick with it:
    - Basically: insulin and insulin resistance are the problem. The more insulin resistance you have, the higher your insulin levels will spike when you eat things that trigger insulin. Insulin levels are the main regulator of whether your liver is in fat burning vs fat storage mode. Having consistently high insulin levels due to eating things that cause big spikes and eating frequently will keep your liver in fat storage mode. Insulin resistance compounds this effect, making the insulin spikes even bigger and longer lasting (which in turn increase insulin resistance more).

    - Have long periods where you aren't eating. This will lower insulin levels, which will lower insulin resistance over time.
    - Make sure you get enough calories. Calories don't work the way most people think; if you adjust your calories taken in, your body will adjust how many it is burning. The calories you burn daily is not independent of the calories you eat daily.
    - Limit or eliminate highly processed foods, particularly highly processed carbs (though research seems to be showing highly processed meats are bad for you in various ways too). The issue is that our bodies metabolic processes evolved in an environment where carbs are packaged with fiber. Eating whole grains and fruits does release insulin, but the fiber in them has a suppressive/smoothing effect on the insulin spike. Removing the fiber from them makes for a bigger and longer lasting insulin spike. Protein also causes insulin release, but has a built-in regulator (similar to fiber's effect on carbs).

    My basic plan right now:
    - Eating 2 meals a day, with an optional snack if I feel I need it for a tiny 3rd meal.
    - Try to compress my meals to be as close together as I can, for a longer fasting period.
    - Eating lots of fiber, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. (Whole fat, unsweetened yogurt is great, so are avocados, olives, etc.)
    - I don't go out of my way to avoid fats or calories. I usually add more fats to my meals to make sure I have enough calories.
    - Incorporate 24+ hour fasts as desired. I find it easiest to do it somewhat like this: eat first meal of the day, hard exercise sometime later, eat 2nd meal of the day, then fast until I want to stop or up to the day of the next hard exercise. If doing longer fasts (> 24 hours or so) I find breaking the fast gently helps my stomach not freak out. So on days I break it, I will typically have 3 meals instead of 2, starting with a very light breakfast with a bit of yogurt & fruit (I usually skip breakfast).

    E.g., this is what I ate yesterday:
    Meal 1 (~2.5 cups of food, volume-wise): refried kidney beans, refried black beans, quinoa & lentils, sour cream, cheese, chicken, guacamole, pico de gallo, red salsa (guessing ~800-900 calories, but its just a guess. I don't skimp on the sour cream or the cheese, and tend to use a lot of guac.)
    Meal 2: salmon, cream of mushroom & rice mix + chickpeas, beef, and vegetable chilli (~1200 calories total)
    Snack: 2 large apples

    I find getting away from thinking about calories, and instead thinking about the content of the food (i.e., avoiding processed carbs) + limiting # of times I eat a day, leaves me just naturally eating a roughly appropriate # of calories. (Well, generally less calories than I should, especially if exercising, which is why I tend to go out of my way to add extra fats to a meal. Olive oil, avocado, butter, etc)
    cloudz likes this.
  17. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Great information Morik thanks for sharing it.
    Found too that IF fits my lifestyle really well and the easiest and most convenient weight loss I've tried.
    And have fallen into a similar routine of a couple of meals a day with a snack somewhere in between.

    I have too noticed a few issues around exercising/ training over the weekends (mornings) and generally mornings at work are easier than at weekends. As you say ideally you want to have a meal in your belly that day before a workout. If training early evening, a snack or something is perfect.
  18. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    I’m currently 16 hours into my first 24 hour fast. It’s particularly brutal because I’m sitting in McDonalds while my daughter is eating a Happy Meal.

    My intention is to break my fast with a large meal at 8:00 pm, and fast again until 12:00 noon tomorrow. Seamlessly rolling back into my 16/8 program with my usual eating window of 12:00-8:00 pm.

    I usually start my work out at 10:30/11:00 am and break my fast with a protein smoothie at noon. The only issue is my routine is going to be a little disrupted next week, and I’m going to have to work out before work at 5:00 am. Is it healthy to wait until noon for post-workout nutrition, or should I make an exception next week and eat right after my workout?
  19. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    The fast was successful. I didn’t actually find it too difficult. I just drank lots of water. I was a little lethargic and irritable for the last three hours, but no major issues.

    I’m considering attempting a 36 or even a 48 hour fast next.
    axelb likes this.
  20. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Wanted to follow up on this thread.

    I fell off of fasting for a while. I hurt my ankle May 2019 and, unfortunately, I have this issue where I have mentally tied healthy eating to exercise & martial arts training.
    I was unable to train for a while and just abandoned fasting. (I was still doing some exercise, e.g., a walking treadmill while working on my laptop at work, but when the covid lockdown hit, I stopped doing pretty much any exercise for a while...)

    My ankle got its final round of cortisone just before the pandemic lockdown hit. It is much better now and I'm training in my home gym.
    I've started fasting again.

    After reading more material on the effects of various lengths of fasting, I decided I want to ideally be fasting for 3-5 days at a time.
    I am not sure if this will work out once the pandemic is over and I start going to classes again, but in my own workouts, surprisingly, I do not find energy to be an issue.
    E.g., I can be 40+ hours into a fast and still go work on kicks on my heavy bag for 30 minutes, fairly hard workout, no lightheadedness/other issues.
    Now, part of that is that my fitness level is fairly low (I had months of basically no physical activity), so the workout intensity isn't super high (even though it is 'fairly hard' for my current fitness level).

    I plan to experiment with this. When I do go to BJJ or Muay Thai to train, I typically train for 90-120+ minutes at a time.
    The most I've done while fasting 24+ hours is a light 1 hour strength/stability workout, followed by a moderate to high intensity 30 minutes hitting my heavy bag.
    I'll want to start pushing this sometimes, and seeing if I can manage a 90+ minute more intense workout.

    The main thing with heavy workouts while fasting, for me at least, is electrolyte balance. If you fast multiple days and don't do any hard exercise, it is likely fine--apparently our bodies use our bones as an 'electrolyte bank' in some ways (if I recall something I read a few years ago correctly...). That is, when you don't have enough electrolytes coming in from food, your body will obtain them from your bones. When you eventually eat, your body will refill what it took from your bones. The only issue is the speed at which this happens--if you do a very hard workout and sweat intensely while fasting, you may deplete your electrolytes too quickly and end up with dehydration (even if drinking plenty of water). So I do tend to take some electrolytes prior to hard workouts while fasting.

    My long term plan is to keep fasting as part of my regular routine, forever. Whether that ends up being shorter fasts (if I'm unable to handle going to martial arts classes while fasting) or longer fasts, I don't know. Ideally longer fasts (3-5 days) for the cell-protective effects (over 5 days doesn't really add any new effects from fasting, but it would require closer medical supervision, so not something I am really interested in as a regular thing).

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