Not sure I necessarly want this topic in the Weight Loss forum but I can't think of a reasonable alternative place to post......so.....
And sorry for so many words.
I have been introducing intermittent fasting over the last couple of weeks. Primarily as a method of weight control, but also out of .....curiosity. I have always been suspicous of fasting as a method of weight control, but after talking to someone who has been doing it for several months and after doing quite a bit of reading, I decided that it could be a good fit with my psychology and current eating patterns. I have decide on a 19/5 regime (19 hour fast per day then 5 hour feeding window). This means, practically for me, that I eat from 5pm to 10pm and therefore fast all day from waking up until 5pm. I have previously been a light eater during the day anyway, preferring my main meal at night so it didn't seem a stretch for me to just eliminate all eating before 5pm. I usually work out in the gym or run after work so that means I can have a pre-workout refeed.
So far all has been OK. I am finding that I am not getting the usual post meal/snack "vagues" that I used to get during the day. My workouts have been really high energy and I have had no evidence of poor performance with weights or running. And I don't find I have compensatory over-eating at night. I feel hungry by the time evening comes round but not stupidly so. I actally dont feel the need to eat any more in the evenings than I did previously.
So.......what's the problem? Well......I find that I still get hunger pangs during the day. In reallity, this doesn't bother me per se. I find they come in waves and I just "ride through" them. I don't feel ravenous like I HAVE to eat something.......I just feel like I have an empty grumbly tummy.
What I AM worrying about is if this could set me up for any "issues" by destroying my ability to intuitively eat. ie I am ignoring hunger cues. I have always read theory that this is one reason why strict diets (ie diets telling you when and what to eat exactly with no room for argument) fail eventually- because they can cause you to lose touch your own body's ability to determine its own nutritional requirements and therefore lose the ability to inuitively feed.
Has anyone got any experience or sensible comments on this? I am also interested generally in experiences on intermittent fasting amongst the Calorie Count community.
There have been a couple of threads about this recently if you search the topic in the forum.
I have been intermittant fasting for a couple of months now. I have a 16 hr fast and approx 8 hour feeding window. I usually have my first meal around noon or 1 PM. I have found that yes, I do have some "hunger pangs" during the morning but basically ignore them. I do enjoy being able to eat more later in the day as that was always my problem time, snacking, etc. My weight loss had stalled for over a year because I couldn't get a handle on my cal intake later in the day. I also switched my diet to primal/paleo back in Jan and this has helped a lot with sugar/junk food cravings. Over all I have been able to lose another 10 lbs or so with these changes and I can see it working long term for me as a weight control strategy.
Intermittant fasting is not for everyone. You really need to have a healthy relationship with food and good nutritional habits established before you try it.
This guy did several different experiments with different feeding windows, etc and his results.
I'd say if you are hungry during the day then you ought to eat. You could just break the fast earlier in the day. I don't know anything about this topic, but isn't the fasting window supposed to be smaller? Like 16 hours?
Original Post by tina0367:
This guy did several different experiments with different feeding windows, etc and his results.
"I lost 6% body fat: I dropped my body fat % from 10% to 4% (as measured via ultrasound device)."
Thanks for your replies guys. There is alot to think about in them
@herbaltea: Thanks for relating your experience. I am sorry it hasnt worked for you. I suppose I will not know yet if it will work for me in the long run either. Can you tell me why you think you started to overeat in the evenings? Did you feel so hungry that you had to eat everything in sight? Or was it because you lost the ability to feel hunger and therefore didnt know when you had had enough? Or another reason?
BTW. My understanding is that the Sumo wrestler example has been debunked. They eat two main meals a day.........and lots and lots of calorific snacks as well. The snacks were not counted as meals in the study that most people quote , but of course contributed massively to their calorie intake. Even though they only had "2 meals"
@tina: Thanks for the link. A very interesting summary of one man's experience. Like you, I too enjoy the freedom to eat a large meal in the evening, and am, so far, able to "sacrifice" eating during the day for it. I don't mind the hunger pangs but I do want to avoid losing my hunger signals for ever! I feel I have a reasonable relationship with food, but have a habit of "non-hungry" eating which is much easier to control if I just know I cant have anything, rather than trying to decide the "least harmful" snack. I may try other fast/feed ratios other than the 19/5 I am currently on, but feel that my previous pre-lunch food consumption was so small anyway that a 16/8 window wouldn't really be much of a reduction in food consumption. Out of curiosity, before you started your 16/8 regimen, did you used to eat alot in the morning? Do you think the 16/8 has changed how much you eat overall, or do you think the weight loss is from other metabolic changes/adaptions?
@solid: 16/8 seems to be the most common, but there are as many variants as there are hours in the day. I am trying to find a fast/feed ratio which fits with my daily activities and as close to my normal habits as possible. Big changes never go down well or stay around for long. And Yes, I could eat earlier, but I dont think I will get enough of a calorie reduction in my day's eating that way. I tended to eat very lightly pre lunch anyway.
To answer your question - for me it was definitely a matter of losing what true hunger meant. I would eat dinner to well beyond full not even appreciating this because my body was just trying fuel itself for the next day. This went on for years! I used the excuse of being too busy during the day for breakfast/lunch an enjoyed eating large dinners ... but slowly (slowly!) under the advice of a dietician i started eating something - anything (a small yogurt, half a banana etc...) during the day and sure enough I started craving more food at breakfast and lunch and less at dinner. The idea of going without an night snack was unthinkable --- these days I rarely even want one! (crazy! Lol)
If anyone is interested, I just thought I would update my post and report on my progress with my IF regimen. I have been on a daily (Monday to Friday) 19/5 IF (Saturday and Sunday I usually have lunch with friends so it tends to be a 16/8 IF) for a month now. Some days are harder than others with hunger pangs, but generally I am still finding they pass without too much bother or any stress. Concentration during the day is good. Better than pre IF. I still find my after work weight and/or run workouts (immediately post fast break) to be energetic and strong. I feel and look trimmer but have not weighed myself. My eating window is in the evening from 5-10pm. I do not feel the need to eat any more for dinner than I would compared to what I ate before I was doing IF (I have been tracking my cals still). So no compensatory over eating even though I have always had my largest meal at the end of the day.
So far, so good. It is working well for me so far. No apparently deleterious effects.
I'm interested! Thanks for posting an update. I'm so intrigued by IF, I'm not sure I'll ever have the guts to try it though. I think hearing other peoples experiences will help to make it seem less daunting. So thank you! :)
If you don't mind me asking - why don't you think you will have the "guts to try it"? What/who is stopping you?
I guess it's only my anxiety (which has gotten pretty bad now that my depression is so much better, sometimes it feels like I can't win! :)) stopping me. So it really doesn't seem to matter that I like what I've read about IF, because for some reason the idea of only being able to eat within a small window of time fills me with serious dread. Maybe it's a fear of having to eat such large meals, and the last thing I want is to revert to my old habit of over eating to the point of being sick all the time. I'm not totally sure.
I know I only need a little push to try it though, so if I ever hit a big plateau I'll try IF for sure. And I'm thinking of doing IF if/when I try to get pregnant to increase my odds of having a baby girl. I'm thinking of doing three weeks IF and the week right after ovulation regular eating, just to be on the safe side. :)
It's really hard for me to try new things. I envy you your courage! And I'm glad it's working for you!
@innipie: I understand your worries now. Seriously, I would be sure you have completely resolved your issues regarding food before you try IF. This method of eating takes some major readjustment about how you deal with food and the psychology of hunger. Sounds like it may not be for you right now.
And also, I would be VERY VERY cautious about having such a drastic change in diet during or pre pregnancy. Speak to a doctor first please!
thanks herbal. I will keep you all posted then!
Thank you for your concern, furrybelly! Of course I will talk to my doctor first, although there is a huge misconception with fasting to begin with that I already know she will say don't to it, I can almost guarantee she will say that it's best to eat 5 meals a day (I hate that misconception, too). I most likely won't do IF -- I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something I did ended up harming my baby.
But at the same time I won't be fasting while pregnant but only maintaining with fasting right before. I'm not convinced that any studies have looked at people fasting but also not eating at a deficit while pregnant. I know a couple of friends who observe Ramadan and I know that they tend to eat less and less, so...
I used to have this real "fear" of hunger, especially when I was actively trying to lose weight. I had to have all these snacks/plans in place when I was on the go, at work or whatever. IF has helped me totally overcome all that. So what, I get a little hungry now and then, no big deal. It's changed my perspective on food a great deal, which has been a good thing! Now if I could just get over my sugar addiction that easily! ;)
I'm glad to hear it is working well for you. I am still doing it as well with the 16/8 plan. If I have issues, it's not the IF, it's the darn sugar, LOL
Tina: yes, one of the things i really like about the IF is that I have learnt that I wont die if I get hungry. Such freedom. It has been quite a revelation actually.