Post # 1
I gained a couple pounds after my wedding that I’m trying to get rid of…I am exercising and eating a lower calorie diet. Unfortunately the lower calorie diet makes me so hungry! I’m drinking more water to stay fuller but it doesn’t help that much. Especially at night because I can’t really drink water before I go to bed if I want a good night’s sleep lol.
I read on a website about intermittent fasting…where basically you fast for a certain amount of hours and then eat a couple larger meals rather than several small, unsatisfying meals. I want to try it but I’m not sure about it really…I have a pretty fast metabolism so I’m not worried about speeding my metabolism up by eating a ton of times a day.
Anyone ever done intermittent fasting or heard about it?
Post # 3
I intermittently fast and it’s not healthy. I don’t suggest it. I do it due to bowel issues.
Post # 4
I have been known to “IF” especiallyw when I ate “primal” ” Paleo”. I enjoy it because I think snacking is a killer for your liver and blood sugar. I also was surprised that when properly fueled with protein and fat, you really can skip a meal or go 24 hours without a big emotional starvation break down.
Its worth giving a shot if you can manage the food!
Post # 5
My suggestion is to consume more protein or have a small snack before bed.
Post # 6
It’s a shame it’s called intermittent fasting because it gives the impression it calls for starving yourself.
In reality, with IF you consume the SAME calories you do otherwise (which means if you are maintaining your weight you eat your maintenance calories, if you are dieting you eat reduced calories). The only thing that changes are the timing of your meals. Fewer meals in a shorter time span, rather than tons of small meals throughout the day.
Critics say it’s bad for blood sugar and all that… when in reality the grazing all day is a very modern behavior that humans have adopted. Our ancestors ate whenever there was food or a kill- which may have only been once a day. The body is very good at regulating blood sugar on its own and keeping energy levels up even if it hasn’t eaten in a while.
In other words, our concept of a “fast” today (such as the 12-16 hours IF calls for) is skewed… that’s not really fasting, that’s just waiting a longer time between meals
There is VERY promising evidence that IF helps regulate blood sugar (if you aren’t eating all the time you aren’t producing insulin all the time), fat loss and muscle maintenance, etc. Google intermittent fasting + New York Times- there are some good articles on that.
I have been IFing for around 10 months now and really like it. I never liked eating in the morning and I’m much happier if I can have a very large full lunch, a snack in the afternoon, and a medium sized dinner.
The best thing about IF in my opinion is it helps us listen to true hunger cues and get fuller when we actually need to get full. If I start eating at 9 AM i graze all day, and consume more calories. If I start my meal at 12 PM and get very full, I’m satisfied until normal diner time comes around.
All this to say it’s just another way of spacing meals, an alternative to the “eat 6 meals a day!” that just doesn’t work for some of us.
Post # 7
@indiblue: Not sure I agree with this: “The body is very good at regulating blood sugar on its own and keeping energy levels up even if it hasn’t eaten in a while.” I suspect this is something that varies from person to person, much like other aspects of metabolism. For me personally, I am absolutely miserable if I don’t eat breakfast. And I will absolutely notice the effects of low blood sugar if I go more than six hours between breakfast and lunch; I get tired, cranky, distracted, a little light-headed, and will often start to get a headache. But on the other hand, I’ve found that I can sometimes go a much longer stretch without eating during the second half of the day; occasionally I even skip dinner without any ill effects.
I’m not saying I think IF is bad–some people have good results with it, and so if you’re interested, you should definitely research it and try it out. Just pay attention to your how body responds, and don’t try to force it if it isn’t working for you. I’ve done a bit of reading on the paleo-eating lifestyle, and I’ve found a fair amount of “if you don’t do this then you’re an idiot and you’re eating wrong and you’re totally unhealthy!!” type of rhetoric (not you MrsA, just on the blogs I’ve seen). I think it’s absolutely beneficial for many people, but not all; some people’s bodies behave in different ways and I think some of the more evangelical folks who are into this stuff occasionally forget that.
Post # 8
Yep agree with everything you said! Everyone’s body is different. If I implied in my post everyone MUST IF, I apologize. That wasn’t my intention.
My point was simply that a different spacing of meals that works great for some people. Six meals a day works equally well for others. People get in a tizzy over the idea of “skipping meals”- when is warranted if the indvidual is simply eating way too little each day to be healthy. But eating a proper amount of nutrients in fewer meals is not inherently “bad.” Not everyone’s body is the same, and humans have a much more diverse range of needs when it comes to meal spacing (some fewer, some more) than people remember.
Post # 9
I think it sounds promising for me and plan on trying it. I’m not a breakfast eater and eating all the time makes me hungrier lol
Post # 10
@indiblue: no I totally didn’t think you were implying that! And I agree that IF can work really well for some people. I just wanted to say that the OP should pay attention to how she feels when she tries it, and not feel bad, or like she’s missing something, if she finds she needs nutrients on a more regular schedule.
I think I was partly basing my response on this paleo blog that my friend reads, which is really hard-core “carbs are poison!” It has zillions of success stories from people who adopted the paleo diet and feel 100 times physically better, or they talk about how sick they feel whenever they go back to carbs for even a day or two. Everyone was so gung-ho about the health benefits that I excitedly tried the diet… and found that when I don’t eat carbs, I feel exactly the same as when I do. I don’t gain weight when eating a carby diet, unless I’m not working out at all. And so reading this blog I kept being like, “but… but… but… what am I doing wrong?” And then my friend sent me a long article from another no-carb-diet researcher that basically said, “carbs are bad for most people, but some people actually do metabolize them just fine, and if you can, then you’re just lucky, and go enjoy some pasta.” So I guess I just meant to tell the OP that it’s OK if she tries IF and hates it, cause it might just not be right for her body!
Post # 11
@kate169: That’s actually a horrible way to try to lose weight. You might even get yourself sick. I used to do something like this in high school. I would go all day without eating then eat a fairly heavy dinner which would cause me to throw up (I wasn’t intentionally throwing up it was just wait too much on my stomach and got me sick). It was nice because I lost weight but as soon as I started eating again I gained it back plus more.
The best way to lose weight is to eat 5-6 times a day and always eat at the very latest 1 hour after waking up (it’s called breakfast because you are breaking your fast). The reason you’re feeling hungry is because your body is using the food you are giving it. Once it’s out of it, it needs more. If you’re not eating regularly, your body will think that you don’t have any food available and will store any food it gets to use for energy when you don’t have any food (it’s all instinct from caveman days, our way of living might have changed, but the way our body functions has not) and cause your metabolism to go into starvation mode.
If you’re feeling hungry constantly, you might not be getting enough calories.
Post # 12
You mean eating 5-6 x a day is the best way for YOU to lose weight. It is NOT the best way for everyone. IF has a lot of health benefits- improved heart health, more regulated blood sugar for diabetics, etc. It is NOT a method to lose weight, it’s a method to keep hunger in check so that you can eat the proper amount of calories.
Our ancestors didn’t eat 5-6 times a day. That came with modern refrigeration techniques and untested claims by the diet industry that we need to eat constantly.
Please don’t take my word for it, there is a growing body of research conducted by the NIH and other medical research programs:
“Intermittent fasting (IF; reduced meal frequency) and caloric restriction (CR) extend lifespan and increase resistance to age-related diseases in rodents and monkeys and improve the health of overweight humans.”- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15741046
“The Danish Food Administration recommends eating three main meals and three small meals a day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, there is little research to support this concept- moreover, many studies shows that fasting can have a positive impact on our health.“- http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01378208
“Regular Fasting May Improve Heart Health”- http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/regular-fasting-may-boost-heart-health/
I am not saying there is ANYTHING wrong with the fact that eating 3x a day or 6x a day works well for you. If that’s best for you, go for it! But please don’t bash IF on unfounded claims that it’s also bad for your health. There is no evidence to back that up, and a lot of evidence against it.
Post # 13
@indiblue: No actually that’s not what I meant. I meant exactly what I typed. The human body gets hungry for a reason and the reason is because it needs fuel. Like I said its instinct. Yeah they may not have had food constantly and were not able to eat 5-6 times day, but that is why the human body will go into starvation mode and store food as fat for days when it doesn’t have food. IF is basically replicating this famine period where the body won’t be getting any food for a period of time which will then send signals to the body that it’s a time of famine, slowing the metabolism causing it to store food it has as fat to use as an energy source for times when it has none. Just think if they had food constantly, the body wouldn’t go into starvation mode.
I’ve looked at Paleo and think it’s great (I have actually thought about trying it) but I, from both experience and extensive research, also know how instinctually the body works and runs and know it’s not about working against it (hunger control) but working with it (supplying it with good fuel).
@kate169: This is what I know and you can take or leave the information I give you. I just suggest researching it (or any form of diet/weight loss) a bit more before you try it and, at the very least, research how the human metabolism works.
Post # 14
Yes, we agree that metabolic slowdown (or “starvation mode”) is real. The debate is how long between meals it takes to hit this. As the studies I posted demonstrate (and anthropological studies on our ancestors reinforce), metabolic slowodwn doesn’t happen until two or more days without food. Eating from 12 PM – 8 PM each day, or going 24 hours without food and then eating twice the caloric intake the next day (Eat-Stop-Eat, as it’s commonly known) is NOT going long enough without food to go into “starvation mode.”
Most hunger we feel is not a genuine need for food. It’s what happens when the body expects food it’s used to getting at a certain time. What the OP said earlier is true for many people- eating earlier in the day makes us hungrier throughout the day. If the body is accustomed to only eating in the afternoon, or only in the morning, hunger doesn’t occur outside those times. If the body is accustomed to eating 6x a day then yes, it will get hungry 6x a day.
If you feel better eating 5-6x a day and want to continue that, do it! But the OP has said that doing so isn’t working for her (it promotes hunger, like it does for me) so she should try a different way of timing her meals.
I agree the OP should do her research on human metabolism. If you want to continue to have this conversation, please at least glance at the abstracts of the studies I’ve posted from the army, NIH, and medical institutions. That is the highest quality research available, and it all supports IF.
Please feel free to share the research you’ve done on the harmful effects of not eating 3+ meals a day. From what I understand there are no peer-reviewed double-blind studies that have ever been conducted on the subject—it’s just a common belief- but please feel free to share if it helps inform this debate.
Post # 15
@noenyu: Thanks! I know a little bit about how the human metabolism works…my husband is actually a personal trainer part time and we have taken several classes on nutrition and read books and studied together on it. So I do know that eating smaller meals is recommended for a faster metabolism. HOWEVER, I am fairly small (right now I weight 118 and I’m trying to get back to 110) so my recommended caloric intake is only about 1200 a day. So splitting that up between five meals is very difficult for me since I don’t like breakfast or eating in the morning and am unsatisfied by eating a 240 calorie meal every 3 hours. I found out about IF during a search on coping with hunger on a diet and found that it may help smaller women such as myself who have a smaller amount of calories to eat in a day. Personally I’d rather eat 3 satisfying 400 calorie meals or two 600 calorie meals.
I think everyone is different and all of these things are studies and none of it is proven fact. If all of these things were 100 percent true for everyone there’s no way I’d be as small as I am with the terrible diet I was eating previously.
@indiblue: Thanks for posting these links. I was looking for something from a reputable source to read up on IF 🙂
Post # 16
This has been a huge topic of debate on Myfitnesspal as well (you should check out their community boards). I agree with PP that it is a totally personal situation. Every body is different. For me, if I don’t eat breakfast, I never get hungry…and then I get nauseaus and cranky later. My husband HATES eating breakfast because he said he can’t get full for the rest of the day. IF works for some people, but not for others. My blood sugar does NOT do a good job of regulating itself, and drops really low if I don’t eat every few hours. I also have low blood pressure, and get dizzy if I’m not eating throughout the day. Eating big meals makes me lethargic and, ahem, constipated.
HOWEVER, I know lots of people that prefer to eat large meals only 1 or 2x a day. I say, give it a try, and if it doesnt work, try something new! No harm done.