General Diet Plans and Questions - First IF - Anything I should know?

07-12-2011, 11:45 AM
So after being completely against IF, I did A LOT of research and pretty much retract everything I've said :). This Friday I plan to do my first IF, an 18-19 hour one. I hope to only do one a week and my primary reason is actually not really weight loss related but more to help with my issues with binging on Friday's and Saturday's. That may sound counterintuitive, but I have recently switch from eating 6xs a day to 3-4xs a day and that has been a lifesaver. I no longer CONSTANTLY think about food, I'm no longer stressed and obsessed and I'm LESS hungry because I'm eating these tiny meals all day long. So I just want to do a little experiment with IF and see what 1x a week would do for me. I'm going 12pm - 8am. I would rather do a 8pm to 12pm, but no. 1 that wouldn't work for me because I have a Saturday morning walking and breakfast group and no.2 I'm also am a coffee addict and can't drink it black.

Anywho, I'm nervous and excited and I just wanted to hear from anyone else who does IF what their experiences are, and if there are any tips, tricks or pearls of wisdom they might like to share.

07-12-2011, 12:09 PM
Ncueno-- good luck. I enjoyed IF for the very reason that it takes away the constant opbsession with food

HOWEVER-- the resulting small window to eat left me in a constant state of being bloated, so i physically felt larger.

ALSO. im concerned this may lead to MORE binging on the weekend, because you ARENT fasting anymore, youre hungry becasue you WERE fasting, and psychologically, its like " well, i didnt eat anything, so i deserve this" kinda mentality.
IDK, just food for thought :)

07-12-2011, 12:27 PM
I hear ya MK, I think that's why I want to start with just 1 small fast as an experiment. Just see what I think and see what it does for me. I'm completely prepared for the fact that it might do the exact opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish and that's ok too. I mean really, it can't get much worse than it is now ya know. Last weekend was the first time I tried omitting snacks and that was really successful, of course it's that time of the month for me when I'm a few weeks out from TOM and really in control of my eating :). I didn't expect that omitting snack would be that freeing so I'm just wanting to test the waters of IF and if it doesn't work - oh well! I've made a lot of progress with my binging and I'm just really looking to get it all dialed in and get into a serious maintenance groove that is balanced and unobsessed!

07-12-2011, 12:28 PM
I honestly am not sure how it's going to work out with only doing one day. You're body is used to eating at certain times and you're probably going to feel hungry most of the day especially when you normally eat. When I started IF it took a couple days for my body to get over not eating the small meals I'd usually had earlier in the day. My body has adapted to eating in my window now (2pm to 8pm). You wont be giving your body anytime to adapt so I think if you continue to do this every week for just the one day you will have real issues with hunger. Not trying to be negative, but I don't really think it will be IFing, more like testing your will power.

07-12-2011, 12:29 PM
I have no IF experience, but I am finding eating the 3 meals a day and eliminating snacks has been a lifesaver. Snacks make me want to binge. I figured I could do snacks at 1800 calories a day, but now that I'm down to 1500-1600, I should eat three satisfying meals of 450-550 calories each.

07-12-2011, 01:22 PM
You're story sounds very much like mine OP. Totally against IF until I did the research on my own. I've been doing IF for a little over a month now and love it. I do it daily though and my food windows are from 6-7:30am and 3-7pm. I do those hours because they are convenient for my lifestyle. It is the perfect way for me to control my eating and I do it more to specifically control my food intolerance than for weight loss purposes. It's almost impossible to consume the bad foods that trigger reactions when you always eat at home where there are no bad foods lol. My biggest tip; use your food windows for all they're worth. I made the mistake like the 1st or 2nd day of trying to consume 1000 calories of healthy food (which is waaay more actual food than the unhealthy stuff) in one sitting and just about threw up lol. I've learned to utilize that 4 hour time period in the afternoon/evening to spread out my food consumption. Good luck to you.

07-12-2011, 02:12 PM
I'm not sure what you will see with doing IF for just one day. I've been doing IF daily (9 pm to 2 pm) since May 30th and it takes your body a little while to get used to it. I don't think you can do it for one day and then determine whether it works. Also, if you have binging tendences, I can see where you could get into trouble with IF.

I'm not sure what IF has done for my weight loss, but it works great for me because I never liked eating breakfast and I absolutely hated thinking about food/snacks and eating when I wasn't even hungry because "I needed to keep my metabolism" up. I was hungrier eating every 2-3 hours than I am on IF.

07-12-2011, 02:30 PM
You might binge the next day, after your first try, but I'd say don't judge success or failure solely by the first attempt. I did whole days for awhile, and it took a couple of tries to work up to that, more psychologically than physically, even.
It's really interesting to sit back and see when your body and mind ask for food without reacting to the urge. Taking a 'personal growth' approach to the all day fasts really helps me to finish well.
Also, eating a good amount of protein and no refined carbs as your last meal before the fast helps me to not be too munchy during or right after.

07-12-2011, 02:53 PM
Ncueno- exactly as has been posted.... i understand you are experimenting right now, BUT if you want to do the "eating window" style of IFing, than it really is supposed to be done EVERYDAY like that.
The OTHER form of IFing, which you do once or twice a week (or so) as was originally designed by Brad Pilon in Eat stop eat, is to go a whole 24 hours without eating (ie from 8 pm to 8 pm, and NOT 8 pm one night than all day next day, then eat the next morning)... this seems more suited to the goals you are trying to accompolish........ what you are doing, is, essentially "skipping breakfast" once a week.. thats not going to do anything, kwim?

Just constructive criticism..... trying to help

07-12-2011, 03:31 PM
hmmm....sounds like if I want to get serious about it I may need to do a little more research. I thought I had read that doing a once a week 18-24 hour fast does has benefits.

Like I said, I'll try this out and if it does nothing but stop me from binging on Friday's I'll be really happy. If it doesn't accomplish that I may scrap the idea all together or research other methods. Part of the issue is that I am training and fasted workouts may be difficult for me AND I don't think any of my friends or family would be supportive so I would have to be very covert about it and I don't really need that stress either.

07-12-2011, 04:02 PM
Maybe you would like calorie cycling? Most cycles are more gentle, but you could do a more extreme one.

Day 1 - 1600
Day 2 - 1400
Day 3 - 800
Day 4 - 400
Day 5 - 800
Day 6 - 1200
Day 7 - 1400

It might ease you into and out of the lower calorie days. When you have a low calorie day, focus on eating only those foods your body needs - lean protein and something with vitamins (maybe a high protein shake or bar). You will still feel like you are fasting because the food you take in will be more like medicine than enjoying a meal. But, you won't miss out on getting some nutrients in on those days. I don't know. Just a suggestion. Try out the IF and see how it goes for you. If you love it, go for it!

07-12-2011, 04:50 PM
Actually Ncueno-- i think the idea of a 24 hour fast once a week is a GREAT maintenance tool for you! :) It will "allow" you to eat as you please on the weekend, due to the SUBSTANTIAL deficit you create by not eating at all one day a week...... like 2500 + cal deficit....... i think you may have found your golden ticket... and a 24 hour fast os NOT as hard as it sounds...... you realy just dont think about food... it really works. Trust me, i think about food ALL THE TIME..... the reason i stopped, like i said, was because it left me feeling bloaty all the time from the huge influx of food at one time..... and you really want to TIME your IF corrrectly if you are going to do the eating window. Your BIGGEST meal, when you break the fast (ideally 50% of your cals) should be right before or after your workout, and each subsequent meal should taper smaller and smaller.... but again, that is an everyday sort of thing... i DID notice TREMENDOUS strength gains while i was doing it though... instead of always being in a depleted state, my muscles had the chance to fill up and that energy was used during workouts.....
food for thought

07-12-2011, 05:21 PM
GREAT maintenance tool for you! It will "allow" you to eat as you please on the weekend, due to the SUBSTANTIAL deficit you create by not eating at all one day a week...... like 2500 + cal deficit....... i think you may have found your golden ticket

This was my exact thought!

07-12-2011, 07:55 PM
Ncuneo - Please let us know how it turns out. I'm curious to see how this once/week thing works. Rootin' for ya!:carrot:

07-12-2011, 08:17 PM
Sure thing! I'll check back over the weekend or Monday. I'm still in shock how awesome dropping the snacks has gone. I've been eating 5-6xs a day for probably 5 years now. It worked famously while losing, but durning maintenance it has been ****! I was thinking about food ALL the time, I was starving ALL the time and just miserable. It's probably too early to tell, but so far - AWESOME! Oh and just to be clear, dropping snacks has not meant dropping cals, but if I needed to to balance out an overeating episode it sure makes it easier.

Anywho, this is the first time since entering maintenance that I really feel like I'm starting to get that it's continuous work, but it can be constructed to be flexible and easy. I'm not really sure how to explain it, it's just been a continuous experiment to find what works for me.

07-12-2011, 08:38 PM
Just another item to mull over: I tried IF, and while I really like the concept, I found that it just didn't fit in well with my social eating schedule (i.e., a couple of times a week my husband and I go out for breakfast and we eat dinner together every night). However, what I have been successful with at times is eating just two meals a day. Sometimes, I'll have a nice breakfast (e.g., 1/2 a bagel, smoked salmon, cream cheese, side salad---I have this at one of our favorite breakfast places). Then I don't eat anything until dinner. If I get hungry during the day, I'll drink some ice water or I may even have a cup of coffee w/ just 1 tbsp. of half and half (20 calories). I find that once the initial strong hunger passes (and it does pass), I'm fine until dinner time. Then, I really have a good appetite for dinner, enjoy what I'm eating more, and tend to get full more quickly. Also, I don't have to obsess over calories as much. I eat about 600 - 700 calories per meal (I'm in losing mode), or more since I cycle my calories (so it averages out to be about 1400 per day). I've known my husband for 22 years, and this is the way he typically eats, and he has never had a weight problem.

Whether you try IF or not, one thing that has been helpful to me is to realize that the feeling of hunger is natural and that I won't die if I don't eat something immediately when I'm hungry. I just think to myself, "So, I'm hungry? So what? I'll just ride it out." The other great thing about being hungry before eating is that I can usually pinpoint exactly what I want to eat, and when I get it, it tastes fabulous. When I'm in a constantly "fed" state, sometimes it's difficult for me to tell what I really want to eat.

07-17-2011, 01:58 PM
Ok, so I failed miserable...alright I didn't fail I should never say that, but I cracked at around 8pm. It was going pretty well the hunger wasn't really a problem, but I was really struggling with the emotions of it which was actually a good thing because I really discovered a lot about why I eat, a lot of it was already known, but I learned a few new things.

So I'm not totally giving up yet. I'm going to give it one more try, but I think dinner was the wrong meal for me. Next Friday I'm going to try breakfast with the option of ditching lunch too. I think this will work better for me in the end. I'm not sure what to do about my daily caffine habit, but I think I can get by with some unsweatened tea and advil to get past the withdrawl.

I think the most startling thing I learned was how much I rely on eating to occupy my time on Fridays and how much it comforts me in the evenings. I really need to deal with this I think.

So I'm continually tweaking and persisting, I know I will figure out a system that works for me in maintenance land...I am SO close. M-Th are flawless, Saturdays and Sundays are really close and I'm at a point where I think I can accept the way I eat on those days, now I just need to get a something together for Fridays. If IF proves to be a complete failure I have a couple ideas, so there is still hope.

07-19-2011, 04:09 AM
i dont calorie count but ive been doing IF daily for about a month. im losing weight ALOT faster than i was before. the hardest part was my body adjusting to the no food before 12pm or after 7 pm. i used to have terrible hunger pangs, but now i dont notice them. i weirdly kinda like to feel it (if that doesnt sound weird ) the only thing i have to be careful with is when i exercise. if its too late into the night or too early, i get sick to my stomach. i dont eat whatever i want but i make a mental note of all the things ive had in the day and i couldnt EVEN tell you what calories i consume but im sure its normal. i have breakfast when i enter my window then halfway thru i have a snack then near the end i eat dinner =)