General Diet Plans and Questions - Questions for IF people




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banananutmuffin
09-20-2011, 11:39 AM
Not sure where this fits in the forums, but this section seems to get the most activity, so thought I'd post here.

I've become interested in IF recently. First, it fits my lifestyle. Second, I like to eat pretty big portions in the evening. Third, I don't really like to restrict my favorite foods.

So here are a few questions:

1. Do you have to maintain the same time-frame for fasting every day? I prefer to eat dinner at 9-10 pm, but about 3 days of the week I have lunch plans around noon or one o'clock. Could I fast some days for 14 hours and some days for 18 hours, or should I be consistent every day?

2. Is "controlled fasting" as effective as total fasting? I am thinking about the warrior diet, which uses controlled fasting or "undereating" during the day.

3. How important are food choices during the feeding phase? Must I choose brown rice? Will white rice dramatically affect my results?

4. What about alcohol? Can I drink wine during the feeding phase? While I understand this will slow results, will it actually completely stall me?

5. What kind of results should I expect? I am willing to give this a test run for about a month. What should I expect to see, assuming I am exercising (HIIT cardio, moderate lifting) regularly? If it matters, I am a 116 lb female, 5'0" tall, mostly fat, some muscle.

Thanks for ay and all advice!


Raven132
09-20-2011, 12:43 PM
What works for me is an 18-20 hour fast two or three days a week, and I work out in a fasted state. This has started the scale moving for me again after it slowed to a crawl for a month. I also eat very, very low carb so I can't give you any input on what to eat or if brown vs white rice matters. On my non-fasting days I just eat when I'm hungry and don't worry about it. Give it a try, it may work for you and it may not. I don't get near the results when working out after eating, when I fast I feel great. Once again, I don't eat carbs so going into ketosis isn't an issue (induction flu and all that.)

JohnP
09-20-2011, 01:16 PM
1. Do you have to maintain the same time-frame for fasting every day? I prefer to eat dinner at 9-10 pm, but about 3 days of the week I have lunch plans around noon or one o'clock. Could I fast some days for 14 hours and some days for 18 hours, or should I be consistent every day?

You don't have to be consistent. It might be easier from a hunger standpoint but otherwise it doesn't matter much if at all.

2. Is "controlled fasting" as effective as total fasting? I am thinking about the warrior diet, which uses controlled fasting or "undereating" during the day.

Effective for what? The health benefits of IF in humans are theoretical at this point so how long one must fast to receive said theoretical benefits is unknown. If you're talking about fat loss - calories are what matter, not timing.

3. How important are food choices during the feeding phase? Must I choose brown rice? Will white rice dramatically affect my results?

Calories matter. Assuming you eat the same number of calories it will make little difference. Of course the fiber content of brown rice makes it more difficult to over consume and it will digest slower adding to your saiety so those are things to consider.

4. What about alcohol? Can I drink wine during the feeding phase? While I understand this will slow results, will it actually completely stall me?

Calories matter.

5. What kind of results should I expect? I am willing to give this a test run for about a month. What should I expect to see, assuming I am exercising (HIIT cardio, moderate lifting) regularly? If it matters, I am a 116 lb female, 5'0" tall, mostly fat, some muscle.

Calories matter. IF is just a way to help limit calories. When you get down to being quite thin (and you're pretty close to this point) IF can help to mobilize stubborn fat due to the adaptations your body during the fasting period but the primary factor to consider is not meal timing but calories. IF changes nothing in this regard.


banananutmuffin
09-20-2011, 03:23 PM
Hm. So is IF basically just calorie counting? I guess I was hoping it would be less tedious. I've tried calorie counting, but it seemed liked I was constantly looking up the calories in various foods, and it made eating out difficult. I could certainly see myself eating WAY over my "ideal" caloric intake even with IF. So if IF really only serves as a way to limit calories, rather than having any other metabolic advantage, I'm not sure it would work for me.

lin43
09-20-2011, 04:42 PM
I don't IF, but I've tried it in the past, so maybe I can offer some input. I completely agree with all that John wrote, and I must say that I believe almost any plan you go on will be about calories in/calories out. The difference is that with IF, you probably can be a bit looser with counting or even just use common sense guidelines (e.g., moderate portions, no all-out "pigging out," etc.) because you have a "built-in" calorie counter: The fact that you will get full sooner on less because you're eating during a shortened time frame.

There really is not magic program for weight loss. Whether it is low-carb, low fat, points, intuitive eating, or whatever, the basic equation of calories in/calories out still applies (although w/ low carb, you also don't tend to retain water so you lose more scale weight with low carb). It's about finding whatever works best for you. IF may work for someone who doesn't like crunching the numbers by calorie counting since, as I mentioned above, you'll get full quicker because you're eating within a shortened time frame so, ideally, you'll probably end up eating less.

I, too, like the idea of IF. The only reason I didn't stick with it is that I have too many social eating activities that would fall outside the time frame of my "fasting window." However, sometimes, I will eat just two meals a day (waiting until 11 a.m. or Noon for my first meal).

ddc
09-20-2011, 05:42 PM
If you need an example, here's mine:
At noonish, break the fast with lunch. My lunch is usually a tortilla wrap with deli meat and cheese. Mid afternoon, a snack if I want one. Supper with my family at 6pm. Usually a meat and couple of veggies. After supper, no more eating until noonish the next day.

Morning workouts are in a fasted state.
After a few days of eating this way, your stomach shrinks enough that you're not so hungry and you wind up eating less because you get full easier.
So, I did not actually count calories, but it is a calorie restricting diet in that you are eating less food in less hours of the day.

Hope that makes sense :)

JohnP
09-20-2011, 09:25 PM
Calories are always going to matter, regardless of what anyone tells you. Even if the person telling you has a PhD or has written several best selling weight loss books. (Taubes comes to mind) There is no metabolic advantage to any diet as far as I am aware dispite the claims of many dieting books.

You've got it right that IF primarily serves as a way to limit calories in the context of fat loss. For example Eat Stop Eat suggests a 24 hour fast 2-3 times a week. If you only eat one meal in a day, it is hard to go over your caloric limit unless you're making some pretty poor food choices.

I suggest you try IF because it can be combined with any way of eating. It saves you time and during the fasting period most people find themselves in a nice calm mood. Also, there are most likely some health benefits. If nothing else you will become more adept at recognizing what hunger actually feels like.

JohnP
09-20-2011, 09:28 PM
I should point out that in my own personal case I took about 8 months off of dieting and just maintained. I followed a 18/6 fasting routine and while I wasn't a glutton I didn't count calories either. I simply ate a little less one day if I ate a little more the prior.

If I was not intermittent fasting I doubt I would have been able to do this.

indiblue
09-20-2011, 11:24 PM
As others have said, IF is a) a means by which to help the body eat less and b) a means by which to (as JohnP said, theoretically) burn fat as opposed to lean tissue.

It is NOT a method of losing weight in and of itself. Only reducing the amount of food (i.e. calories) can you do lose weight.

I use:
- a reduced calorie diet to lose weight
- high protein/moderate carb to preserve muscle tissue
- lifting to preserve muscle tissue
- cardio to promote fitness
- IF to reduce appetite/ideally help with a little fat reduction/body recomposition.

It works great for me, because it helps reduce my appetite during my eating window. I also *think* I tend to lose more fat than muscle when I IF, though I have no way of proving that.

I usually have 1 cup of coffee + 1 tsp sugar + 1 tbs milk and water during my fasting state. I work out in this state with no problem. When I eat, I consume 1200-1300 calories (or at least, I try :)). I'm 5'2 at 124.

Like others have said, it could be worth a shot to see if you get some body recomposition results out of it. Good luck!

Wannabehealthy
10-19-2011, 11:09 AM
This was a very informative thread! I think IF will help me to control night-time eating and also keep me from eating as soon as I get up just because it's time for breakfast. I will try this and see how it works for me. Feeling hungry doesn't bother me as long as I don't get weak/shaky due to my diabetes.