intermittent fasting.... how long? and how often? what benefits have you seen
cjjh123 Posts: 21 Member
I am on my second 24 hr intermittent fast did one on Saturday and felt like doing another today. I do drink bone broth, tea and coffee. what benefits have you seen if you have done this before? does it really help speed up weight loss? How often should I fast? My regular eating days I am around 20-40 grams of carbs 100-120 of fats and protein between 70 -90.
IF itself doesn't speed up weight loss, but it can make a deficit more sustainable for some people, which leads to more average weight lost over time.
You should fast often enough to get the benefits without having your weekly deficit be too aggressive.
I do "daily shortened eating window" style of 16:8, with a 24h fasting period thrown in every couple months or so.
Check out the dedicated IF board here: community.myfitnesspal.com/en/group/discussions/49-intermittent-fasting1
I am 16:8 IF...I basically skip breakfast, and have lunch, a snack, and dinner...honestly the biggest benefit for me is that I get to eat and get my belly full and still keep to a calorie deficit...
if you are doing a 24 hour fast, I think the average protocol is to do them once or twice a week non-consecutively1
@cjjh123 as you know there are many ways to do to help to get weight loss moving quickly or restarted after eating at maintenance for a while. I think the 18:6 is good in my case but being a day person I often just keep it simple by stop eating calories after 5 PM. Welcome to MFP forums and any way that IF works for you is fine. Before I started LCHF I would get so hungry doing IF but LCHF addressed that issue nicely.1
codename_steve Posts: 255 MemberI also do both. It has helped me with hunger/cravings a ton! Can't really say much about losing weight, because I've been maintaining for about 6 months, but it makes maintenance really easy.
ETA: I do 16:8.1
M-F I do 16:8 fasting schedule. I will do a 24 hr fast about once every 2 wks. I don't fast at all on weekends.
Basically I am just not that hungry in the mornings. I am so busy that I don't think about eating.
I have more free time on weekends so that means more time to think about & prepare food.0
Studies show that the same amount of calories taken in in a shorter amount of time, in other words if one eats during a shorter period of time, results in more weight loss.
I try to only have bpc coffee a little after I wake up and I try not to eat till 4pm (I sleep later and wake up later). I try to finish eating before midnight though I wish I finished eating at 10pm or so. I would eat more later if I didn't have the fat in the morning with bpc. I think it's easier to not eat earlier in the day and that immediately helps with overall goals considering I used to eat more because I thought one needed to eat in the mornings. I feel absolutely fine not having breakfast or lunch sometimes. I do think mentally switching to a no food hours perception makes things easier.0
I use to eat only one meal a day for most of my life. And here I am trying to lose 60 pounds after having quit smoking. Of course my one meal a day fasting was low calorie and very low fat. I know it slowed my metabolism and I tended to lose muscle mass very quickly despite my military exercise routine. If I had to do it over again, I would not do it that way. I would do low carb high fat and eat when I'm hungry so I don't eat when I'm not hungry.
It just didn't work for me as a weight loss technique. It might work for others but Stephen Phinney quoted several studies that show slowing metabolism and loss of muscle mass after 24 hours of fasting and he suspects, as I believe from my experience, that even small fasts can cause slowing metabolism and muscle mass loss. But as even low calorie low fat diets work for some so will fasting work for some...but not me.0
I do a 20- 24 hour fast daily. I have pretty much have been doing this all my adult life. wake up not hungry have coffee go to work. don't eat lunch get hungry a round 4 get home at 5 eat. I still managed to gain a crap ton of weight. when I first started keto and I read about IF I thought this is a joke right? I was like wait what I have been doing for the past 25 years has a name? hell it didn't stop me from becoming obese. now a days I think maybe IF kept me from T2D and it fits in with keto it's what I have been doing all along so I didn't have to start eating in the morning which I don't feel like doing anyway and now I can name it so back to your question no it doesn't make me lose weight but what it does do is manage my calorie deficit better. it's a lot harder to eat 1530 kcal in one meal so I usually top out at 700-900 and I'm full I have to add a butter coffee to get over 1100 because I put it in a contigo cup and can sip it for 2 or 3 hours. my weight loss has been about 2 lb a week but it would probably be the same if I ate 3 meals a day. I've been monitoring my blood glucose for the last 4 months I'm low 90s in the morning over 100 in the afternoon on an empty stomach and low 80s late afternoon before eating and around 83 2 hours after I eat. sometime around 1 am it starts climbing towards 100 I'm very low crab not sure what my liver is doing. I guess I should go get some blood work done.1
sorry most of the times I think things and don't quite convey them into my ramblings, the point of the BG #s is that I don't see any change after 4 months of IF and keto. maybe in another 4 months and another 30 pounds down things will change0
I think there are many benefits of IF. It stabilizes insulin. Many doctors are thinking this may be the key to weight loss. It boosts your metabolism. If you have dieted for a long time with calorie restriction, IF gives you a boost. And has a long term impact on your metabolism. It will put you right into ketosis. It makes food so delicious. It also helps you know when you are really hungry. I was a clock eater. Now I only eat when I'm hungry. So it's nothing to skip breakfast or dinner sometimes. There is a phycological benefit too. Once you've fasted, it gives you a positive feeling of accomplishment. This is really evident when you do longer fasts. Being a little hungry won't hurt you. Think about it. Our species would have died long ago if we got weak and couldn't function when we were hungry. Hunger told us it was time to hunt food. It increases our alertness and adrenaline. I like to switch things up to keep my metabolism on it's toes. I did a long water fast for 6 days. Now I'm eating 3 meals a day. I'll switch to only one meal a day for a while. Then two. Then go back to 3. Then maybe a longer fast. If you want to read a good book on obesity check out the Obesity Code by Dr Fung. It's a fun easy read and he talks about all of this.
FB : )4
I looove IF. Actually spent most of my life skipping breakfast, cause the thought of food in the morning is nauseating to me. I love never being hungry anymore, being able to do fasted training, mental clarity and feeling wide awake.
Under the hood, I think extending non-eating hours helps systemic insulin sensitivity and gives the body time to rest from digestion, enough time to actually burning from stored body fat (lipolysis) and start healing tissue by removing junk cell debris (autophagy).
BUT, IF is not magic! One still needs an energy deficit to lose fat. However, for someone like me who's a big eater, I'm more satisfied with one giant or two decent sized meals. Trying to follow the "eat many small meals" made me feel hungry and craving for more to eat. I haven't experienced any muscle fiber loss doing this for over 2 years. YMMV. It's not for everyone, but for me it's been a great enhancement5
@Foamroller, would you please explain what you mean by "energy deficit?" Does that mean exercise or food---or both? I did a 24 hour fast and ended up being full after eating a dinner of 510 calories (meat, olive oil and brocc/cauli). But no exercise. I do an 18 hour fast most days, but gave 24 hrs a try. It really went quite well, so plan to try it maybe 3x week in hopes it will dig into this huge store of fat I've got going.1
@Foamroller, would you please explain what you mean by "energy deficit?" Does that mean exercise or food---or both? I did a 24 hour fast and ended up being full after eating a dinner of 510 calories (meat, olive oil and brocc/cauli). But no exercise. I do an 18 hour fast most days, but gave 24 hrs a try. It really went quite well, so plan to try it maybe 3x week in hopes it will dig into this huge store of fat I've got going.
My interpretation of that is just not supplying all the total energy your body needs through your food. Which IF makes very easy. Even on my hungriest days, I'd have a really hard time eating over 1500 calories in one meal and it's very easy to stay under that in 2 meals too.
I guess you could use exercise to increase your calories out too but be aware it might also increase your hunger...2
Basically been doing a 16:8 IF kind of by accident lately just because I have my BPC in the morning and not hungry until later. I have noticed the scale is moving faster than it was before.....2
Personally I don't like the term calories, because the body is a biochem furnace...not a stupid water heater. Meaning, how the body INTERPRETS the food is a much, much more complex process than the old CICO misleadingly wants us to believe.
- Then there's the problem with the variance in online calculators for caloric intake. Most of them uses 3 different equations...With slightly different calorie results.
- Then manufacturers have a margin of up to 10 or 15 % from stated in nutritional values...
- Even using USDA or verified sources for nutrition has potential errors. How do you know that the bacon or ribeye on YOUR counter has exactly the same marbling of fat registered in USDA ? Or the apple isn't sweeter (higher sugar) due to longer season ? You really don't.
So when people on the interwebz claim CICO is an "exact science"...I'm amused. Just think of it: If EVERY food item you log on MFP varies 10% between highest and lowest...it would add up to a considerable margin of error during a week.
On top of all this, the online calculators are based on average numbers. If you happen to be an outlier in "calories out"...the calcs are even worse as guides. Based on my experience, the calcs totally overestimated my BMR. It may have changed now, cause repaired some insulin resistance, better gut health etc. But I often see people on boards say they are "eating a deficit, but don't lose weight". I think slavishly following online calc numbers may be a waste of time if one has any metabolic problems.
So to make things simpler, I call it energy deficit. Cause one still needs less energy than using to be able to tap into stored fat. (Un)fortunately we have a measure of truth. The body will gain adipose tissue in energy surplus and will lose fat in energy deficit. How and why to achieve that deficit varies a great deal. It's also about hormonal balance. No one size fits all. That's why the fitness and dieting industry is just a crazy jungle!
That being said: For most dieters counting "calories" still gives an approximate number on intake and can be a useful tool to shed light on how much one is eating. I don't think only macros count. I believe meal frequency, volume and micronutrients are vital for fat loss too. Note that I consistently talk about fat loss, not weight loss
I like this video by Dr. Jason Fung, cause he explains why getting to burn stored body fat is so much harder than burning off easy access energy floating around in the bloodstream. Hopefully I answered your question.
Really helpful, thanks so much!1