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General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

Intermittent fasting

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Old 07-11-2010, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Intermittent fasting

Fast5/JUDDD/alternate-day diet/Eat Stop Eat/etc.

More and more research is being done on these diets, finding that intermittent fasting has some of the same effects as CR on longevity and cancer risk, and some of the same effects as low-carb diets on insulin resistance.

I'm on Fast5 now, and this is the first diet plan I've felt like I could stick with long-term. I have more energy when I'm fasting during the day (as long as I remember to stay active!), and my eating window (5-10 PM) falls during a time when most "social eating" (the main cause of me breaking other diets in the past) occurs anyway, so I don't cheat.

The insulin charts in the book make sense, but even without that, just limiting eating to five hours a day helps me to restrict calories. I do tend to eat larger portions than I should, and trying to curb that tendency in the past has been extremely difficult (trying to eat a small portion just wakes up my stomach and makes me hungry!), so not (over)eating three times a day means I can have the big portion I naturally want once a day without eating more than my daily calorie requirements.

...and instead of increasing my tendency to binge, it's decreased it -- I do still occasionally binge and do something like have an entire pizza for dinner (something I also did before the diet), but now when I do it spiking my blood sugar from "fasting" to "wow, look at all those carbs" makes me feel physically ill, and my brain is starting to associate eating badly with feeling bad and not want to do it any more. (Just smelling doughnuts is enough to make me queasy now... I'm starting to get cravings for fruit instead!)

I've only been on the diet for two weeks so far, but it's feeling like it's going to work out really well for me.

Is anybody else here doing some form of intermittent fasting diet? How has it gone for you?
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
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Interesting proposition, raccoon; I have subscribed to this thread to follow your progress. I have no knowledge of it, but am interested. Glad you are willing to be a our Guinea Pig, raccoon. :-)
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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I find the idea of fasting intriguing, less from a weight loss perspective and more from a spiritual one. People in many different cultures have used fasting for centuries for spiritual purposes... I'd be so interested to know if it does have physical benefits too.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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That did not last long.

I could handle a 36-hour fast when I was on JUDDD, which allows limited calorie snacks, but I can’t handle a 19-hour “don’t eat at all” fast on Fast5 — I get tired and weak and spacey, and I’ve had a few scary experiences behind the wheel (I’m a fairly new/inexperienced driver, so anything that makes me not able to concentrate is very not good).

But the social pressure to eat, plus the hunger that tends to hit in the evening, make it very hard to stick to JUDDD now that I’m back with my family (it was much easier when I was living alone).

So I’m going to take what I learned from both diets, and from what my body told me on those diets, and create a diet of my own.

I felt *fantastic* on my JUDDD down days — eating veggies and string cheese instead of starting my day off with a mega-dose of carbs left me clear-headed and energized and just felt really really good. Until evening, when my body would decide it was “time for a meal” and I’d start getting really really tempted to cheat and break the fast.

Fast5 made managing calories really easy, because not eating until 5 PM meant I could eat *all* my calories for the day then. As someone who is naturally inclined to eat large meals, that suited my eating patterns very well, because I could eat a filling meal without it pushing me over my daily calorie limit.

So I’m going to combine the two. Only low-carb low-calorie snacks until evening (try to keep it under 300 calories total), then one meal of whatever I want, as long as it doesn’t put me over my daily limit of 1400 calories.

It’s not a fasting diet, so I won’t get the insulin-related benefits of fasting, but since tests are showing I’m *not* insulin-resistant/pre-diabetic, I don’t need a diet that helps with that anyway.

It’s just plain old “eat less calories than you use”, which has worked for me for weight loss in the past… but which I never stuck with because eating multiple limited-calorie meals a day just made me feel hungry and deprived. I think structuring it this way, so I can have the nice energizing “JUDDD down day” feeling during the day and a big satisfying meal in the evening will make it much easier to stick to long term.

Last edited by raccoon : 07-15-2010 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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I may have been reading with a jaundiced eye but I think Mark Sisson in "Primal Blueprint" recommends a well planned approach to IFing which includes starting with short fasts like skipping breakfast.

There might be some ideas for you at "Mark's Daily Apple".
... Susan
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
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Raccoon, the plan your describing sounds a lot like Richard Heller an his wife's plan called Carbohydrate Addict's Diet. It has been around a long time. Can't think of her name but the wife lost over one hundred pounds, I think, eating low carb foods until evening and then eating a sensible meal of all food groups. She figured all out when she had to fast one day for a medical test. Her book is interesting and you can probably get it for a penny plus shipping on Amazon.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:36 PM   #7
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I was just thinking the same thing. That's what the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet is. You eat very low carb through the day, then you basically have one hour in the evening to eat whatever you want. According to their book,(If I remember correctly, it's been many years since I read it), you have to be sure to keep your eating within that one hour timeframe. The book does have a lot of good information in it, and it was popular for a while.
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