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Okay to "fast" tomorrow?

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Okay to "fast" tomorrow?

So I just had a big meal because I had a dinner out with clients. And Friday/Saturday is my sister's rehearsal dinner/wedding so I know I won't be on plan. Is it okay to just ... take a day off from eating tomorrow? I read so much about IF so I know in theory it is okay to fast for a day. But is it bad to do it randomly? When IF isn't your usual plan? Obviously I would eat something if I felt faint or something.

Sorry if this is a dumb question ... I just want to be sure that if it is legitimate for me to rationalize "fasting" tomorrow.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Is it going to harm you? No. One day of fasting isn't going to deprive you long-term of nutrients, etc. However, if it were me, and I fasted for one day leading into two days were I knew I was not going to be as strict on plan, it would probably cause me to eat that much more at the rehearsal dinner and wedding. They are going to be busy days, going into them hungry would just be setting me up for disaster. But again, this is just me and I'm not good with fasting.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
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You can fast for 48 hours without really causing any problems. Longer than that and your body will start to slow down your BMR pretty quickly.

Also - as and experienced short term faster - it is unlikely that you're going to feel extra hungry for several days following a 24 hour fast.

On the other hand - if your body is used to getting food on a regular schedule it might not be easy to even do a 24 hour fast. Just be flexible with yourself. If you're feeling really hungry go ahead and eat. I always suggest people ease into short term fasting.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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I routinely fast for 24-36 hours before/after a day not so on plan.

I don't ever feel extra hungry afterwards... but I do avoid that gross feeling I used to get from eating a little too much.

I am used to fasting, though, so it may be different for others. I fast for 19 hours most days.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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I love IF. I regularly do 24hr fasts, starting with dinner and ending with dinner the next night. I have absolutely no problems eating on plan on the other days, and occasionally when I have an indulgent day, IF helps to balance how many calories I eat otherwise. There are so many proven benefits to IF. Go look it up!
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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I just came across Eat Stop Eat a couple weeks ago and did my first fast from dinner Saturday until dinner Sunday. And I am doing my second now, finished dinner a few hours ago and will fast until dinner tomorrow. I've only done one fast, but it was not that difficult because I was busy. Also it was a relief to not have to think about food at all the entire day! I'd love to do it 2 to 3 times per week.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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Yes, it's okay, to answer your question. It's an adjustment, getting used to feeling hunger without doing anything about it, but it's not going to hurt you. I find I have more energy and I'm more alert on the days I fast, and it does help offset extra calories on regular eating days.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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It's OK from a health standpoint. The question is, will fasting affect your willpower? I know it puts a serious dent in mine, which is why I never fast.

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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Personally, I don't like fasting as a weight loss aid. When you fast, your body is forced to breakdown YOUR MUSCLE as a protein source. So then, when you're done your fast and go back to regular eating you have LESS MUSCLE even if you worked out hard during those days. Not worth it to me. I want to be toned and healthy...not thin and sickly. I also think this is worse for a woman to do than a man because it takes men a LOT less time and effort to quickly rebuild any lost muscle because of their testosterone.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepino View Post
Personally, I don't like fasting as a weight loss aid. When you fast, your body is forced to breakdown YOUR MUSCLE as a protein source. So then, when you're done your fast and go back to regular eating you have LESS MUSCLE even if you worked out hard during those days. Not worth it to me. I want to be toned and healthy...not thin and sickly. I also think this is worse for a woman to do than a man because it takes men a LOT less time and effort to quickly rebuild any lost muscle because of their testosterone.
This is not true.

http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top...-debunked.html

"6. Myth: Fasting causes muscle loss.


Truth

This myth hinges on people's belief it's important to have a steady stream of amino acids available to not lose muscle. As I explained earlier, protein is absorbed at a very slow rate. After a large high-protein meal, amino acids trickle into your blood stream for several hours.

No studies have looked at this in a context that is relevant to most of us. For example, by examining amino acid appearance in the blood and tissue utilization of amino acids after a large steak, veggies and followed up with some cottage cheese with berries for dessert. That's easily 100 grams of protein and a typical meal for those that follow the Leangains approach. We are left to draw our own conclusions based on what we know; that a modest amount of casein, consumed as a liquid on an empty stomach is still releasing amino acids after 7 hours. With this in mind it's no stretch to assume that 100 grams of protein as part of a mixed meal at the end of the day would still be releasing aminos for 16-24 hours.

Few studies has examined the effects of regular fasting on muscle retention and compared it to a control diet. None of them are relevant to how most people fast and some are marred by flaws in study design and methodology. Like this study which showed increased muscle gain and fat loss, with no weight training or change in calorie intake, just by changing meal frequency. While I would love to cite that study as proof for the benefits of intermittent fasting, body composition was measured by BIA, which is notoriously imprecise.

Only in prolonged fasting does protein catabolism become an issue. This happens when stored liver glycogen becomes depleted. In order to maintain blood glucose, conversion of amino acids into glucose must occur (DNG: de novo glucogenesis). This happens gradually and if amino acids are not available from food, protein must be taken from bodily stores such as muscle. Cahill looked at the contribution of amino acids to DNG after a 100 gram glucose load. He found that amino acids from muscle contributed 50% to glucose maintenance after 16 hours and almost 100% after 28 hours (when stored liver glycogen was fully depleted). Obviously, for someone who eats a high protein meal before fasting, this is a moot point as you will have plenty of aminos available from food during the fast."
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:10 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I've been thinking about doing a 24 hour fast once a week, rather than the "time window" style of IF, so tomorrow might be my opportunity to give it a shot. As I said, if I feel starving, I'll eat a little something. Right now I'm still so stuffed that the idea of not eating tomorrow actually sounds very attractive!
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:46 PM   #12
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If you've never done a 24 hour fast before, consider keeping a granola bar or a package of nuts with you, just in case of emergency. You probably won't need them, but "feeling faint" from low blood sugar can come on quite suddenly.

If you don't have blood sugar issues, it probably won't be a problem, but you can have blood sugar issues and not know it, so if you've never fasted for 24 hours before, it wouldn't hurt to have something handy, because low-blood sugar (to the point of fainting) actually can come on pretty suddenly.

If you're prone to hypoglycemia (which you may or may not know, if you've never gone 24 hours without eating), you can feel fine one minute and be in danger of passing out the next.

I have had issues with feeling faint (and actually fainting) in the past with very low-calorie diets and/or going too long between meals (for me only a few hours in many cases). In most cases I get irritable and have a headache first, but that can sneak up on me, and I don't always notice that the headache and anger are fasting-related. Often it just seems like my hubby is giving me a headache because he's decided to be a big jerk for some inexplicable reason). If he doesn't notice (and remind me to eat something) I can suddenly feel like my knees are going to buckle and I'm going to pass out, just minutes after thinking I'm fine (if a little crabby).


I've been experimenting with IF and have been able to decrease my eating "window" but to do it, I have to keep carbs low (but not too low) and calories consistent, and activity level low until after eating, and I always have to keep a 150 to 200 calorie carb (ideally carb/protein) snack just in case I suddenly feel faint.

Hubby hasn't been too thrilled with my experiments though because he thinks I'm "playing with fire," (because he's usually been the brunt of my hypoglycemic rages in the past), so he's constantly nagging me to eat breakfast (because he says when I don't, HE suffers for it).

Again, probably not going to be a problem, but if you've never fasted for that long, it can't hurt to have an emergency snack handy. Passing out is no fun, and (at least for me) it leaves me feeling nauseous and weak (and usually wiped-out exhausted and sleepy) for several hours afterward.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepino View Post
Personally, I don't like fasting as a weight loss aid. When you fast, your body is forced to breakdown YOUR MUSCLE as a protein source. So then, when you're done your fast and go back to regular eating you have LESS MUSCLE even if you worked out hard during those days. Not worth it to me. I want to be toned and healthy...not thin and sickly. I also think this is worse for a woman to do than a man because it takes men a LOT less time and effort to quickly rebuild any lost muscle because of their testosterone.
Depends on how long you fast and what your diet consists of. Meat is releasing amino acids into the blood stream for 6-8 hours after you eat it which the body can covert to glucose. Beyond that liver glycogen can provide what your body needs for around 14-18 hours. So if you don't fast for longer than 24 hours you're not in danger of muscle catabolism.

If none of that made sense to you that's ok. Simply take a look at this page.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:59 AM   #14
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I think that fasting feels good sometimes. It gives your body a break. Not sure if it's a good weight loss strategy, though. I sometimes skip meals for a day or two and drink just water and tea instead, but I've found that I lose weight more consistently when I eat a reasonable number of calories in well-spaced portions and exercise, too.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:59 AM   #15
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Morning all! Kaplods, no worries, I have a protein bar in my purse for that exact case! Still so full from last night's huge dinner that breakfast isn't attractive, just having some green tea.
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