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Do we intermittently fast already?

FiberousJFiberousJ Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
I hear about how intermittent fasting is so beneficial. But people who skip breakfasts are already fasting unintentionally, right? Just imagine if someone goes to sleep around 11 pm. They ate their last meal around 8 pm. Then they wake up and have no time to eat, so they head to work and then have their first meal around noon.

That's already 16 hours of fasting without trying. So how is intentionally fasting for 16 hours different than fasting for 16 hours just because you were busy?
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Replies

  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,725 Member Member Posts: 6,725 Member
    Not eating for 16 hours by skipping breakfast or not eating for 16 hours by deliberately practicing some eating window schedule - no different.

    Except, I suppose, the 16 hours doesnt have to mean skipping breakfast somebody might have breakfast and lunch and then not eat dinner or something and that way not eat for 16 hours.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,210 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,210 Member
    There isn't. Which is funny because you'll have people that say don't eat after 7pm or food will turn into fat. There's really no difference of eating to 7pm and then not eating again till 7am versus eating till 11pm and not eating again till 11am. The time spacing is the same. I eat that way. No morning food for me till about after 12pm (due to schedule and because I have plenty of glycogen from storing it the night before).

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  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 633 Member Member Posts: 633 Member
    It isn't different. I've been skipping breakfast since before 16:8 was a thing. It works for me, so why not?
  • Sheila00000Sheila00000 Member Posts: 92 Member Member Posts: 92 Member
    It isn't different, but for someone like me who loves to eat, I have to purposely, mindfully and with great effort not eat after 6:00pm and before 10:00am to get an 8 hour eating window (16 hour fast). It's not easy when I wake up at 6:30am too, I get hungry quicker in the morning but have to work like heck mentally and drink lots of water to wait until my eating window.

    On days when I'm busy, it's easy to forget to eat anything until 1:00pm sometimes, but of course, that's not everyday.
    edited May 10
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,374 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,374 Member
    Intermittent fasting is way cooler than skipping breakfast, that's why it has a separate name.

    (I'm joking. Others have already answered: Not eating for X hours is not eating for X hours, no matter what a person calls it. The physical effects would be exactly the same. Words have power, but not in that particular way. Calling it something different could affect how the person feels about it, and have psychological impact on compliance, or something. I suspect that would be individual.)

    Also, it interests me to hear that people who skip breakfast are doing that unintentionally. Hmm.
    (I know, that's not what you meant OP, I'm still joking. Apologies if it's inappropriate!).
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,306 Member Member Posts: 39,306 Member
    FiberousJ wrote: »
    I hear about how intermittent fasting is so beneficial. But people who skip breakfasts are already fasting unintentionally, right? Just imagine if someone goes to sleep around 11 pm. They ate their last meal around 8 pm. Then they wake up and have no time to eat, so they head to work and then have their first meal around noon.

    That's already 16 hours of fasting without trying. So how is intentionally fasting for 16 hours different than fasting for 16 hours just because you were busy?

    It's not...

    I rarely ate breakfast in my 20s and most of my 30s...but there wasn't a cool name for it.
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Member Posts: 1,568 Member Member Posts: 1,568 Member
    I’m a natural breakfast skipper, always have been since I was old enough to have autonomy over such things. Lunch is generally about 1:30pm, because that’s when I get hungry enough that I need to eat. Dinner around 7pm and I’m not a snacker. So, yes, I’m unintentionally ‘intermittent fasting’ on a roughly 18:6 schedule. 🤷‍♀️

    But reading through this thread made me wonder - what’s the difference in that and just living a ‘normal’ life of 3 meals a day.

    Very few everyday meals take longer than 20 minutes to eat, so doesn’t that amount to only an hour spent actually eating per day on a 3 meal schedule?

    Hence that’s effectively a 23:1 fast! Do people really snack constantly? Probably not.

    In terms of the alleged ‘benefits’ or ‘magic’ of any fasting protocol it puts it in perspective. Zero difference in the overall result if the breaks between eating are spaced out or artificially lumped together for some perceived ‘advantage’.

  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,725 Member Member Posts: 6,725 Member
    that's not a 23:1 fast by my understanding.

    23:1 would mean you don't eat for 23 continuous hours and only ate within 1 hour.

    Not you spent 1 hour cumalative total eating and 23 hours total not eating.
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Member Posts: 1,568 Member Member Posts: 1,568 Member
    That was kind of the point!

    Since we mostly agree that there is no magic to IF other than for those who find it an easier way to restrict their calorie intake, then it makes no difference if the total hours spent ‘not eating’ are contiguous or not.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,242 Member Member Posts: 2,242 Member
    That was kind of the point!

    Since we mostly agree that there is no magic to IF other than for those who find it an easier way to restrict their calorie intake, then it makes no difference if the total hours spent ‘not eating’ are contiguous or not.

    It's a lot easier/more practical to say "I won't eat between 7PM and 11AM, than to say "I will spend max. 1 hour eating per day". I have no intention of timing my meals :mrgreen:

    (PS: the number of hours actually spent eating aren't really what's being counted when looking at the intermittent fasting schedules. I agree fasting isn't 'magic' but the implications of fasting/eating windows and time spent eating are different)
    edited May 12
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,316 Member Member Posts: 7,316 Member
    I actually think it's not that different. Mostly IFing seems to be about controlling an urge to snack or mindless eating outside of a specific window. When I was losing weight, I had a personal rule about only 3 meals, no snacking, and that achieved the same thing. I'm currently eating only 2 meals most days (that normally fall into a common IF pattern), but it's not meaningfully different in effect than eating the 3 meals.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,242 Member Member Posts: 2,242 Member
    Well, the number of meals/snacks is different than the time spent eating though. I agree that limiting the number of mealtimes can help control calories, it's a strategy I use currently as well.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,725 Member Member Posts: 6,725 Member
    That was kind of the point!

    Since we mostly agree that there is no magic to IF other than for those who find it an easier way to restrict their calorie intake, then it makes no difference if the total hours spent ‘not eating’ are contiguous or not.


    Yes I agree there is no magic to it - but I also think we should use a term to mean what it means.

    Intermittent Fasting is about continuous hours of not eating - it isn't about how long is spent actually eating each meal.

  • neanderthinneanderthin Member Posts: 7,657 Member Member Posts: 7,657 Member
    18:6 for me which starts at 4pm.
  • mariek1072mariek1072 Member, Premium Posts: 15 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    It isn't different. I've been skipping breakfast since before 16:8 was a thing. It works for me, so why not?

    For sure, right?
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