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Questioning Intermittent Fasting

kakitiskakitis Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
I am on IF for bit over a week now, and must say - I love it so far! Probably, easiest weight-maintenance plan I've come across. Mind, I've never really been a breakfast-person, so I alternated my plan to 19:5 schedule. I fast from ~9PM-15PM and break fast ~15PM-8PM. Sometimes changing the hours to later, if I have a workout.

However, although this helped me to lose excess water-weight over the week, I am still questioning the point of the IF in general... If you starve yourself (that I guess is why you lose weight) and then basically are allowed to binge for 8 hours (not binge really, but eat all your macros) that can be a lot of food! And also normally in the evening, before sleep... how the hell does that even work, lol?

Of course, I do make smart choices and still base my food on higher protein intake, less carbs, etc.. but still?

Anyone else on IF and what are your reviews in a longer run?
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Replies

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    It works because if you do it properly you have a calorie deficit over the course of a week. I wouldn't consider a short-term fast starving oneself, and I would avoid the method if I had tendencies toward bingeing, personally, but I don't think having a window for eating=bingeing. I'm most familiar with the 5:2 method, though, as I've read about it and considered trying it (haven't yet).
  • Annie_01Annie_01 Posts: 2,993Member Member Posts: 2,993Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    It works because if you do it properly you have a calorie deficit over the course of a week. I wouldn't consider a short-term fast starving oneself, and I would avoid the method if I had tendencies toward bingeing, personally, but I don't think having a window for eating=bingeing. I'm most familiar with the 5:2 method, though, as I've read about it and considered trying it (haven't yet).

    I played around with the 5:2 at one time. I found that 500 was a little low for me. What I did was raise it to 800 and then on the other 5 days I just ate slightly below maintenance. I found that doable and enjoyed it actually.

    I am thinking about doing it again.

    OP...in my way of thinking as long as you get your weekly deficit in and eat a balanced diet how you do that is up to you.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    I have a marathon on Sunday so don't want to change anything up before that, but I might try it starting next week.
  • StealthHealthStealthHealth Posts: 2,418Member Member Posts: 2,418Member Member
    I have used 5:2 and later IF when losing weight. I am now eat based upon my training and so do not restrict calories as much (but monitor them as I have a tendency to overeat).

    I love IF because:
    • It allows me to have some epic evening meals
    • I've never been that much of a breakfast person
    • It simplifies my food prep

    What I would say about using it long term is that, if you like it, it is sustainable when employed sensibly and with an overall calorie balance at maintenance.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    For the short time I was doing it, it worked because it was not much different than what I kind of do anyway.

    1) I can skip breakfast easily - in fact, if I have something to do, I don't even realized I haven't eaten anything until lunch
    2) I can skip lunch with some effort - again, if I have something to do it's easier. On the other hand, this is one of the worst times of day for me to overeat. I get to coding and start snacking and it's all over. If I can't snack, no more problem.
    3) I'm always hungriest at night. Smallish early dinner, and then at least one more meal after that. I can't go to bed hungry or I don't sleep.

    Only reason I didn't stick with it is that my schedule is not my own on the weekends and I'm not free to change that. Switching from IF during the week to three same-sized meals on Sat. and a large brunch and small dinner on Sun was really screwing me up.
  • kakitiskakitis Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    stealthq wrote: »
    2) I can skip lunch with some effort - again, if I have something to do it's easier. On the other hand, this is one of the worst times of day for me to overeat. I get to coding and start snacking and it's all over. If I can't snack, no more problem.
    3) I'm always hungriest at night.

    This is another reason I love IF - helps to keep yourself under control. Its actually easier to wait for a certain time to eat, instead of snacking, which ends up to grabbing another one, another one.. and another one. I think, IF can be seen as a kind of self-discipline plan, rather than actual, scientifically-based diet :smiley:

    On the other hand, I start noticing, that the longer I'm into IF, the more hungry I feel during the day. Its hard not to grab a nut or lick a spoon of honey before actual fast-break. Yet again - as a tool for self-discipline, IF does help to stay in track and ''wait juust a little bit until break'', while Id simply give up on a normal plan..

  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    I use IF intuitively. Mainly because I don't want my brain to be confused when I eat when it is already aware I am not hungry :-p
    Is that commonly an issue you seek to avoid?
  • nowldgnowldg Posts: 5Member, Premium Member Posts: 5Member, Premium Member
    I do IF off & on LOVE IT. The trick to curve appetite is drinking ONLY black coffee or Tea. Both curve your appetite. After it is time to eat NO MORE coffee or Tea. One should do IF for 16hrs then have an 8hr feeding window. If you can NOT hold out for 16hrs at the 12hr *mark eat 1 apple, It will curve your appetite. ONLY 1. I would take a caffeine pill, lift weights, get a GREAT PUMP, then start my 8hr eating window. Eating I would TRY to eat my suggested calories. I would eat 2 large meals, 1 like a king the 2nd meal more strict. Body-fat drops FAST.
  • FunkyTobiasFunkyTobias Posts: 1,776Member Member Posts: 1,776Member Member

    I use IF intuitively. Mainly because I don't want my brain to be confused when I eat when it is already aware I am not hungry :-p


    Step away Tobias. Just Step away.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,257Member Member Posts: 15,257Member Member
    IF definitely should not be starving and binging!
    It's just not eating for a period and eating in another period.

    I've done 5:2 (losing and maintaining), 6:1 (losing and maintaining) and also intraday IF (effectively just skipping breakfast) when maintaining.

    Useful tools to make adherence to a calorie goal easier (for some people) and can help reveal what real hunger is as opposed to habitual eating or just plain greed.
    edited February 2016
  • helengetshealthyhelengetshealthy Posts: 171Member Member Posts: 171Member Member
    Hello! I do 16:8 at the moment and find that the biggest change it has helped me with is stopping my habit of snacking in the evening. My eating window is 12 noon and 8pm, and I stick to my calorie goal in that time; if I was eating after 8pm and before midday, I would be going over my limit, so it has helped me immensely :smiley:
  • V_Keto_VV_Keto_V Posts: 342Member Member Posts: 342Member Member
    I've been doing IF 5+ years now (before being fad, mainstream).
    Benefits I've noticed: improved body composition likely from being in a fat loss state for prolonged periods of time & improved insulin sensitivity from having regular/consistent fed states.

    IF Disadvantages: GERD & GI upset from cramming in so much food in a short window of time...there's no way you can eat 2500kcal+ "clean" food in say a 4 hour time (it's like being a competitive eater; just too stressful on the abdomen). To ameliorate this issue, I eat high density (high-fat) foods. The other issue is the whole "you can only absorb so much protein in 1 meal/sitting/interval of time"...yes, I would agree IF is not ideal for gaining, but superior for fatloss or achieving a lean body composition.
  • CollieFitCollieFit Posts: 1,683Member Member Posts: 1,683Member Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    IF definitely should not be starving and binging!
    It's just not eating for a period and eating in another period.

    I've done 5:2 (losing and maintaining), 6:1 (losing and maintaining) and also intraday IF (effectively just skipping breakfast) when maintaining.

    Useful tools to make adherence to a calorie goal easier (for some people) and can help reveal what real hunger is as opposed to habitual eating or just plain greed.

    That sums it up nicely for me and also summarises my experience.
  • kakitiskakitis Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    Based from what I've read and own experience - snacking on apples to curb appetite is a bad idea, as apples tend to boost your appetite. Proven fact :(

    I've also read on leangains that you are supposed to do the ''recharge'' periodically - eat full day, to recharge metabolism in order to boost the IF effect. Anyone does that? I think there is full plan description once you buy his book, but I'm not planning on doing that..
  • FunkyTobiasFunkyTobias Posts: 1,776Member Member Posts: 1,776Member Member
    kakitis wrote: »
    Based from what I've read and own experience - snacking on apples to curb appetite is a bad idea, as apples tend to boost your appetite. Proven fact :(

    I've also read on leangains that you are supposed to do the ''recharge'' periodically - eat full day, to recharge metabolism in order to boost the IF effect. Anyone does that? I think there is full plan description once you buy his book, but I'm not planning on doing that..

    I wouldn't concern yourself with the "IF effect "

    The basic plan is solid, but some of Martins later claims were overblown.

    His early stuff was solid and reasonable, but then he went full guru, lost his mind, and rage quit the internet.
  • kakitiskakitis Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    kakitis wrote: »
    Based from what I've read and own experience - snacking on apples to curb appetite is a bad idea, as apples tend to boost your appetite. Proven fact :(

    I've also read on leangains that you are supposed to do the ''recharge'' periodically - eat full day, to recharge metabolism in order to boost the IF effect. Anyone does that? I think there is full plan description once you buy his book, but I'm not planning on doing that..

    I wouldn't concern yourself with the "IF effect "

    The basic plan is solid, but some of Martins later claims were overblown.

    His early stuff was solid and reasonable, but then he went full guru, lost his mind, and rage quit the internet.

    I don't have a tendency to rage over any diet plan. Keeping my head cool, and you can tell from subject title- still questioning the reasoning behind:)
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
    You don't starve yourself if you eat all your calories (and macros/micros) every day, or at least week, and calories can't tell time :p

    Apples as a snack has to be among the least helpful advice out there - all my meals have protein, fat and vegs, THEN I add starch and fruit.

    Restricting in a way that doesn't feel restrictive to YOU - I think that is important to make healthy eating a lifestyle.
  • FunkyTobiasFunkyTobias Posts: 1,776Member Member Posts: 1,776Member Member
    kakitis wrote: »
    kakitis wrote: »
    Based from what I've read and own experience - snacking on apples to curb appetite is a bad idea, as apples tend to boost your appetite. Proven fact :(

    I've also read on leangains that you are supposed to do the ''recharge'' periodically - eat full day, to recharge metabolism in order to boost the IF effect. Anyone does that? I think there is full plan description once you buy his book, but I'm not planning on doing that..

    I wouldn't concern yourself with the "IF effect "

    The basic plan is solid, but some of Martins later claims were overblown.

    His early stuff was solid and reasonable, but then he went full guru, lost his mind, and rage quit the internet.

    I don't have a tendency to rage over any diet plan. Keeping my head cool, and you can tell from subject title- still questioning the reasoning behind:)

    I didn't think you did. Martin just got a little loopy towards the end.

    Leangains is a solid plan, just don't worry about the minutiae (hormonal benefits, etc). IIRC it's pretty flexible and customizable to your training schedule.

    I did it for awhile and had decent results (dropped a weight class and improved both my lifts) but it wasn't something I could do permanently.
  • ryry_ryry_ Posts: 4,966Member Member Posts: 4,966Member Member
    kakitis wrote: »
    I am on IF for bit over a week now, and must say - I love it so far! Probably, easiest weight-maintenance plan I've come across. Mind, I've never really been a breakfast-person, so I alternated my plan to 19:5 schedule. I fast from ~9PM-15PM and break fast ~15PM-8PM. Sometimes changing the hours to later, if I have a workout.

    However, although this helped me to lose excess water-weight over the week, I am still questioning the point of the IF in general... If you starve yourself (that I guess is why you lose weight) and then basically are allowed to binge for 8 hours (not binge really, but eat all your macros) that can be a lot of food! And also normally in the evening, before sleep... how the hell does that even work, lol?

    Of course, I do make smart choices and still base my food on higher protein intake, less carbs, etc.. but still?

    Anyone else on IF and what are your reviews in a longer run?

    As far as the point of IF in general, people can use it in various ways.
    - Provides an eating schedule that is more convenient without as much prep work.
    - Avoid hunger at certain times
    - Provide more energy at certain times of the day

    Any of the claims of metabolic advantage and the like are suspect at best.

    The main advantage I gained from it is that it gave me more calories to play with during periods where I commonly overrate (ie. Night time).

    I don't really do any formal IF anymore, I mainly just try to delay my breakfast until i feel genuine hunger and then eat which allows me to push my other meals later and later to avoid hunger as much as possible.
  • dubirddubird Posts: 1,854Member Member Posts: 1,854Member Member
    I'm not as knowledgeable about IF as a lot of people, but my understanding is it's just shifting your calories around to a specific time period in the day. You would get the same effect on weight loss as spreading it out over the course of the day, so it's not really 'starving and binging'. I personally can't do IF, my blood sugar will crash. I do best on eating several times a day, just smaller amounts. But there are people that do better consolidating their calories for the day. To me, it's just a different way to organize your diet, and if it works for you, awesome.
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