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Fasting: I find it easier to "not eat" than to "eat less"

 
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Chris Wang wrote:Are their any benefits of longer fasts that you don't get by eating once a day? I don't have any trouble losing weight, are there other advantages to fasting 2+ days?  

Yes!  All kinds of benefits, but the one  I am most interested in is it can cause your body to shed dead cells and then rejuvenate by activating stem cells.  Explained way better here:   https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/zero-fasting-qa

The podcast also talks about a 5 day fast mimicking diet whereby you get to eat limited calories in very specific macronutrient radios.  The easy way to do it is to buy the prolon food package mentioned in the podcast, but I preferred the challenge of making my own food.  

I created my own modeled after this guy: https://www.quantifiedbob.com/fasting-mimicking-diet/#resources.    I did do a little more calories than I was supposed to.  I did the same calories as Bob, and he weighs 172 pounds (I only weigh 120).   Mainly because I was scared.  :)    But it wasn't bad and next time I will scale it back.  

My plan is attached.

Your other question: google food combining.

Filename: Fast-Mimicking-Diet-2-19.pdf
File size: 25 Kbytes
 
pioneer
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I just did a 23 hour fast today that I broke at 6 this evening.  I found it really easy this time.  I could easily have skipped dinner and extended it until tomorrow when i get to work which would have added another 14 hours.  I'm convinced the first day or two is more mental than physical. I havent gone past 36 hours so I can't comment on that but I think I'll try 48 soon just to see how it goes.  I find that going from dinner one day to dinner the next is very easy if i stay busy.  If i get bored i want to eat,  so i try not to let that happen.
 
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Chris Wang wrote:Are their any benefits of longer fasts that you don't get by eating once a day? I don't have any trouble losing weight, are there other advantages to fasting 2+ days?



Other than accelerated weight loss, benefits of longer fasts include a decrease in IGF-1 (see my post on the first page of this thread) and autophagy.  Autophagy is literally "self eating," and it refers to the body doing a general deep clean and internal declutter.  When you go days without eating protein, the body does NOT want to lose useful things like muscle, so it looks hard for things to use that won't be missed.  Bits'n'bobs that aren't serving any useful purpose get munched by the body's own internal cleanup system.

Dr. Fung reports that his fasting patients never have loose and floppy skin, even when they lose extremely large amounts of weight.  This is attributed to autophagy.  They never need to have plastic surgery to remove redundant skin, although folks who lose weight via multiple smaller meals and exercise often need this.

Some cancer experts recommend a yearly week long water fast as an anti-cancer strategy.  Little bits of tumor have no useful purpose and will be consumed when the body goes into deep clean mode.  Cancer is generally dependent on glucose and you move into a super low glucose state in an extended fast - the brain starts running on ketones.

Beyond that, lots of people attest to mental clarity and increased energy during an extended fast.  Others describe spiritual awakening and other effects.  Most major religions have traditions of fasting.
 
pollinator
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I think intermittent fasting would be very beneficial, but I have one problem.... I don't know what effect it might have on afib (also high blood pressure).  I suspect it would be beneficial, but can't find evidence to support my 'hope'.  Anyone know of any, one way or the other?  Thanks : )
 
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My blood pressure dropped 20 points during/after my first week long fast. And stayed down when I resumed eating. It is the primary reason that I have continued the practice on a yearly basis.
 
Julia Winter
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nancy sutton wrote:I think intermittent fasting would be very beneficial, but I have one problem.... I don't know what effect it might have on afib (also high blood pressure).  I suspect it would be beneficial, but can't find evidence to support my 'hope'.  Anyone know of any, one way or the other?  Thanks : )



I'm not an adult doctor, I'm a pediatrician, so I've not treated anybody with atrial fibrillation.  I can't imagine how spending some time hungry would mess with that, unless you found it very stressful or upsetting.  I would start with a 16 hour fast (limiting your eating to between noon and 8pm, for example) and see how that goes.  It's not unreasonable to put a call in to your doctor to say that you are considering 16:8 intermittent fasting and what does he/she think.  Certainly if you found going without a meal to be stressful or upsetting then I'd recommend some other strategy for health.

I'm realizing I need to stop telling people that I'm eating one meal a day - they tend to become alarmed.  I'm working with a personal trainer (along with my 12 year old - it was a Christmas present as gyms won't allow 12 year olds to use the fitness equipment) and when I told her, she exclaimed "you'll go into starvation mode and then you can't burn any fat!!"  

Which is nonsensical.  

Firstly, waiting 22-23 hours to eat is not going to starve anyone but a baby (I don't want newborns going more than 4 hours between feeds).  Secondly, if you were starving, that's exactly when your body burns the fat.  That's what it's for.  Duh.
 
Julia Winter
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I still haven't tried to go longer than 23 hours or so, but I am doing a pretty good job of sticking to one meal a day.  (OK, I'm having milk at 1pm, and then dinner with my family.)

Sometimes if I'm at work late (well after 6pm) I will have a handful of mixed nuts before I get in my care to go home.  If I have a rough day I will have three handfuls of mixed nuts.  Other than the latte during my 1-2pm lunch hour, I'm having nothing but water and tea, maybe black coffee with a tiny splash of half'n'half.  My office mate is eating hot lunch at our shared desk (it's side by side, it's really something to see).

Weight loss has been just OK.  I dropped 5 pounds pretty quickly, then plateaued forever, and more recently have starting losing again. I'm about 7 pounds down at the moment.  I'm fitting into smaller pants (but I feel like I still have a ways to go on this.)

I continue to prefer this as a strategy.  It's still much easier to simply amputate any thoughts of eating as they occur (I just think "nope") . . . up until dinnertime.  I was on an inexorable weight gain pattern, so even slow weight loss is good.  I really enjoy eating, and I'd rather have one awesome meal than three sad ones.
 
pollinator
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I am the same way. If I notice my jeans getting too snug, the easiest way for me to lose weight is to eat fewer meals. It is much harder for me to drop weight if I just try to eat smaller portions but keep on eating 3 meals per day. I think that just slows down my metabolism, but my weight just doesn’t seem to drop.

What I do is to have a fried egg in the morning with my coffee - there is something about that shot of protein and fat that helps me to make it through until dinner. Then I won’t eat again until evening. I get hungry at noon, being used to eating lunch. So I drink a big glass of water or 2, and the hunger goes away. Then I can eat a normal evening meal. And pretty soon my jeans feel loose again. 😸
 
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And I think it is worth mentioning a little note of moderation, because I tend to go all out to both extremes before I find a happy medium, with almost everything I do. And I found what Jakob Lund Fisker said, in Early Retirement Extreme, to really hit it home for me about how to appropriately view and apply diet and exercise in my life.

What it boiled down to was- eat according to your lifestyle. And Jakob made a few classifications- runner, bodybuilder, farmer, and warrior.

The farmer and warrior lifestyles kind of made it easier for me to understand when it would be better and okay for me to eat three meals and when it would be better and okay for me to eat just one meal. Jakob described a farmer as a person who spends the entire day doing manual labor, which is exactly what I did at Wheaton Labs when I visited for a weekend, so I believe that to be true, and I ate three meals a day there, and I was fine. I didn't gain or lose any weight, and my body composition stayed roughly the same.

Whereas, at college, which is mostly sitting in lectures or sitting doing homework, is occasionally interspersed with exercise, like walking, or the high intensity workouts I do twice a week. That fits into what Jakob called the warrior lifestyle, which is accompanied by one meal a day. I have been eating roughly one meal a day, at college, for the past two semesters, so about six to seven months, give or take a month, and my body weight and composition are staying steady and are where I want them to be. So, I think it is useful to consider what one's lifestyle is when applying different types of eating.

And at college, I may throw in a full day fast once a week, but again, I am tempering that with how my body feels and what I am doing that week and the weather. I also find it useful to remind myself what Sally Fallon says about fasting, that fasting is basically applying brooms and mops to a temple-- it helps to clean up the temple every now and then, but brooms and mops alone don't make a temple. So, I am taking a little more consideration before I do a full-day fast, instead of my usual 23-hr fasts. Now, I am more of using the full-day fasts as a way to handle sicknesses, colds, or when I am in general need of healing, because at least in my experience, I have noticed that I heal much quicker on during the times spent on full-day fasts, which when combined with an intermittent fasting routine, leads to a minimum gap of 48 hours between two meals (e.g. one meal on Wednesday, nothing on Thursday, one meal on Friday).
 
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I'm on day 22; down about 30# and my chronic symptoms have either vanished or mostly subsided. Going to resume with a "vitamin" A depletion regime (free info @ https://ggenereux.blog/my-ebooks/ ) to see if that WAPF diet I've been favoring has chronically poisoned me. It's an interesting theory worth investigating, conceived by a guy unaffiliated with either allopathic or naturopathic medicine and their inherent biases. We'll see what happens.
 
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Yes! Fasting is excellent for you. One thing people usually don't even realize is that one of the biggest risk factors for colon and GI cancer in western cultures is the amount of food we eat. I'm a certified oncology nurse, and it blows my mind that we still push a 3 meal a day health recommendation as a culture, when its so much healthier for the pancreas, the GI tract, and the cardiovascular system to frequently fast.

Want to reduce cancer risk significantly? Eat food without pesticide use, and fast. Round-up contaminated food increases cancer risk by 41%. 41%!!! And eating 3 meals a day increases GI cancer risk by.... I'll check my book and get back to you all on the number, lol!

Kelly B.
 
Victor Johanson
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It is interesting (and tragic!) that our culture expects us sit down and feed our faces thrice per day, whether we're hungry or not. I have a friend who told me his doctor (apparently a rare practitioner more enlightened than most) gave him a simple rule: don't eat unless you're hungry. It is salutary to give our digestive infrastructure a break, instead of forcing it to work nonstop to process what we inflict upon it. Ignoring the body's inbuilt signals is a recipe for trouble.
 
Trace Oswald
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Julia Winter wrote: I'd rather have one awesome meal than three sad ones.



Well put.  I feel the same way.
 
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Victor Johanson wrote:I'm on day 22; down about 30# and my chronic symptoms have either vanished or mostly subsided. Going to resume with a "vitamin" A depletion regime (free info @ https://ggenereux.blog/my-ebooks/ ) to see if that WAPF diet I've been favoring has chronically poisoned me. It's an interesting theory worth investigating, conceived by a guy unaffiliated with either allopathic or naturopathic medicine and their inherent biases. We'll see what happens.



Hey Victor - this is something I literally came across a few weeks ago and the book was so fascinating. I think there's an automatic instinct to dismiss it (at least, in some people) because the author isn't a doctor or scientist or anything, but he is THOROUGH in his research and I can tell he really did his homework.

I haven't found much information on how reducing the retinol has helped people, have you heard of any success stories? I personally went on a carnivore (zero carb, mostly meat & water) diet a year ago and it drastically changed my life for the better. I also practice fasting, skipping 1-2 days a week usually. But when I read that, it clicked with me that many other zero carb-ers report a reduction in autoimmune symptoms and I wonder if it's because of retinol depletion since the carnivore is inherently very very low in Vitamin A, often completely absent in those who stick with a beef-and-water-only routine. Anyway I was just curious if you had talked to anyone who had successfully been able to reverse autoimmune symptoms with retinol depletion?  
 
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IF combined with a low carb diet has been a  life saver for me!! I am much healthier and feel so much better! I find it really easy and natural.

I found an 18hr daily fast worked really well and then I would often go up to 21-24 a few days each week but some weeks maybe only once.

For me the IF isn't enough for weightloss, I need to combined it with a low carb diet. Currently I'm breastfeeding and on a 16/8 and very occasionally go up to 18hrs if the day just works out that way. I'm not truly low carb but I do my best to keep the carb total as low as I can while still having some oatmeal or a sauce or some sprouted bread, etc. Carbs are often a quick, easy food to prepare and that is really handy with a baby.

When my baby was born I just ate whenever I was hungry and that was right for me but after the baby got a bit older I started feeling bad and was gaining weight on top of the leftover pregnancy weight, so I started the 16/8 again and within a few days was feeling much better and started losing the extra fat.

I feel really good and I produce more than enough breastmilk. Baby is plump, perfectly healthy and is consistently at the top of the growth chart for her age. I eat as healthy as I can and I don't restrict calories or skimp on nutrition.

It's working for us so I will keep with it and make any needed adjustments as we go along.
 
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I usually only eat once a day though, if I'm not busy I find myself snacking after, but I only snack within 4 hours of eating, so I'm getting about 18-20 hours of fasting each day.  I ended up doing this on my own before I found Dr. Fung's site Intensive Dietary Management because I switched to Paleo and found I only got hungry once a day.

I'm T2 diabetic and I tried to follow all the conventional advice about eating, but I kept putting on weight.  One specialist I was referred to made on offhand comment about how impressed he was that I could lose any weight with the meds I was on.  That made me read up on the meds I was on and I stopped taking the ones that lowered blood glucose by increasing insulin production.  I lost a decent amount of weight just by doing that.  It didn't solve my issue, but it helped.  Just over 2 years ago I got two wake-up calls.  The first was my dog dying of diabetes complications brought on by my ex, who caused him to get pancreatitis TWICE, and it played out just like the vet said it would.  I had been able to get his weight to a good level and he was, I thought, in great shape, so it was shocking when it happened.  Less than a week later my doctor called for an emergency appt after my last A1C results came back.  She wanted me to start insulin injections right away but I had already experienced weight gain from several drugs that increased insulin, so I felt injections would make it even worse.  That made me put on my engineering hat to try to figure out what was actually happening in my body.  I did a tonne of reading and very quickly got back on the Paleo diet while I kept reading.  I found out about Dr. Tim Noakes from South Africa, who's a research physician.  I watched all 80ish parts of his malpractice hearing (he was exonerated) for commenting on High Fat, Low Carb diets for nursing mothers and it was quite informative.  I then stumbled across Dr. Fung's site and it put the whole picture in place for me.  I've done a lot of R&D in my time and I've taken both undergrad and grad engineering statistics courses, so I've got a basic understanding of experiment design, inherent bias and significance.  Dr. Fung provides citations for pretty much everything, so I read all the studies he pointed to instead of just taking his word, but I never found any reason to doubt his reasoning.  I think that Dr. Fung's biggest strength, among many, is his ability to provide metaphors that illustrate what's actually going on in our bodies.  

I immediately (after weeks of reading) started 24 hour IF and then started to fast for longer periods.  I was already in ketosis as I had gone Paleo a few weeks before, so I didn't find it hard to fast.  I've done several fasts of 5 days or less, two periods of 7-8 days, and one 11 day fast.  I was about 235lbs when I started and I dropped down to 155lbs at the rate of about 4 lbs/week with fasting and eating HFLC when I did eat.  I never stepped on the scales at my heaviest because I couldn't face it, but I'm sure I maxed out over 275lbs at 5'6".  

The studies that Dr. Fung points to say that your IGF increases with each day of fasting, hitting about 4X after a week and more than that as you go longer.  My fasting coincided with starting a job milking when I was really out of shape.  The 'farm' was poorly set-up and run, so I had to do a lot of very heavy work.  I'd be so sore at the end of the day and I was worried about how I'd feel the next two days, but I found that I woke up the next day feeling almost no pain and stoked to get back at it.  In my case, I am completely convinced that the claims of IGF increase and autophagy are real.

In all, I dropped at least 120lbs and I don't have any loose skin.  It's been a revelation to me.
 
Timothy Markus
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I didn't talk about what I do during fasting, so here it is.  I don't drink coffee, but I drink at least a gallon of tea a day, usually black tea during the day and green or chamomile in the evening.  I usually drink my tea clear, but I'll often add cream to the black tea.  I take ACV every day and I drink broth, preferrably bone broth, but I'll use bullion cubes or something if I'm out of bone broth.

Everything I've read on keto and fasting indicates that carbs cause you to retain water, so cutting out the carbs causes you to lose water, which can be good to an extent, but bad if you lose too much, and I've found this to be the case with me.  I've found that my BP drops when fasting or on keto, due to less water in your blood.  To counter that effect, I increase my salt intake, usually through the broth.  When I transition to keto or fasting I pee a lot more, which sucks at night.  I think this loss of water is the cause of some people's headaches, but I've found added salt helps very quickly.

Someone asked if you can eat a little and still be fasting, which is a question I've had for a couple of years.  Some fasts allow up to 500 calories a day, not carbs, so I've always figured that you could eat your fill of LC greens and be fine, but that was just a guess.  I just found a video on the IDM site, where Dr. Fung addresses that very question.  In short, as long as you aren't eating carbs, he says you can eat up to 500 calories without 'breaking' your fast, but I'd try to stay well under that.  Looking at the calories of LC veggies, I think you could eat as much lettuce as you can and not hit that mark, or quite a bit of other veggies.  Here's the vid.

 
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Hungry wolfes are the best hunters and people too I think.IF is perfect to me.All my senses are much stronger and I am much more effective in my work.I can smell what my neighbour is cooking and she lives 1.5 miles from me.
 
Julia Winter
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Good to hear from some more fasters!  

I'm still eating one meal a day.  By the scale I've not lost much weight, maybe 15 pounds, but I'm going into my storage space and pulling out smaller sized pants now, so I know things are changing.
 
Julia Winter
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To be more precise, I'm limiting solid food intake to between 6pm and 9pm.  I'm making a latte with whole milk and I drink that at 1pm or later.  I'll have a few ounces of nuts (a home made mix of walnut, pecan, salted almond, salted pistachio, roasted hazelnut and salted macadamia nuts) after work at 6pm.  

My family of four often doesn't have dinner until 7:30pm or even after 8pm, and we don't have dessert every day, but when we have dessert, I have some.  Last night I had an ice cream milkshake with hazelnuts, chocolate and banana.  

Unlike the "6 miles to supper" lady, I'm doing this 7 days a week.  I'm also not getting in 14,000 steps a day (not even close!  I think the most I've clocked is 10,000 steps, or 4 miles).  

I am allowing my new/old (Series 2, but new for me) Apple Watch to run my life in that I try to get up at ten 'til the hour and I try hard to complete the "exercise" and "move" circles every day.  I will check my watch after dinner, or after getting the kids to bed and then go downstairs and get on the treadmill to finish out the rings.

I'm still overweight, but much less so and I feel like I could continue like this indefinitely, which is nice.  I'm still working up the nerve to try a longer fast.
 
Timothy Markus
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Julia Winter wrote:
I'm still overweight, but much less so and I feel like I could continue like this indefinitely, which is nice.  I'm still working up the nerve to try a longer fast.



The feeling that you can live it is, to me, the biggest factor in success.  If you're losing weight, and you're happy with how things are going, you don't have to do a longer fast.  

From what I've read, exercise isn't a big contributor to weight loss.  If it was, all the letter carriers would be thin.  What it's good for is general health, range of motion, aerobic capacity, and strength, not to mention the endorphins.
 
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I have a very simple eating protocol that works so well for me. I eat only when hungry. Everyone is unique what works for me may not for you. But our senses, in this case our tummy, is our best teacher. When I am away home, normally when I am at work I very seldom eat sometimes non in a day. I am lazy cooking. Sometimes I eat only coconuts which is everywhere here. And another thing I avoid process foods as much as I can. When I am home I tend to eat 12:12. But the best eating system for me is like 6:18 just going with what my tummy dictates.
 
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Julia Winter wrote:I'm entering my third week of OMAD (one meal a day) and I'm feeling pretty optimistic.  That's a change!

Like most people, as I entered middle age I started to gain weight, slowly.  In the past year I've been struggling with plantar fasciosis (I'm calling it that because the problem is not inflammation) and the inhibition of activity made the weight gain accelerate.  2018 was the year of not doing anything, or at least it seemed like that.  I hardly gardened, I couldn't go on hikes, hell, I couldn't go on walks.  I tried to control my weight via "portion control" and pretty much failed.

Then I watched a presentation by Dr. Jason Fung:



He explained that fat deposition, and fat burning, are controlled by insulin levels.  You're not going to burn fat until your insulin levels are low.  You've got glycogen stored in your muscles and liver, and that's like your refrigerator - it's easy to get to.  You've got a lot more energy stored in fat, but that's like the deep freeze in your basement or garage - it's hard to access.  Basically you need to burn through ALL the glycogen before you break into the fat stores.  If you don't eat, this will happen at about 10-12 hours of fasting.

If you try to lose weight by eating less, but keep eating on a regular basis, the intake of food stimulates insulin release, and as long as there is insulin circulating you're not going to break into the fat stores.  Instead, the body will decrease the resting metabolic rate - you feel cold and crappy.  You can try to overcome this with vigorous exercise through amazing strength of will, but that will give you almost unstoppable hunger.  It's nearly impossible.

The easy version of this is 16:8 eating, which I would recommend to just about any adult (pregnant and nursing moms excluded).  You just fit all your eating into an 8 hour period, say, from 11AM to 7PM.  But I'm an overachiever, and so at the moment I'm doing more like 22:2 eating.  I eat between 6:30pm and 8:30pm most days.  (I do have a latte' in the morning, so it's not a real fast - there's whole milk in there.)  I move from the latte' to tea, water and other no or very low calorie drinks for the rest of the day, up until dinner which I eat with my family.

What I like about this is the simplicity.  I haven't changed my life much.  I already wasn't having a sit down breakfast, but I was eating nuts (walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts) that I have in my desk at work, and I was eating lunch.  Various treats show up at work and I've been pretty good about avoiding them.  Now it's simple.  I only drink at work, I don't eat.  When I get home, I eat dinner with my family like always.

Hunger comes in waves, it doesn't grow and grow endlessly.  If you can get through the wave of hunger, you can get on with your life.  For sure, this is easier on days I'm in the office.  Monday is my day off, and I've broken from the pattern on two Mondays: one because I was doing some elaborate cooking and it's hard to cook without tasting and more recently because for the MLK holiday my husband went to the French bakery and bought pastries.

I haven't tried going longer than 22,23 hours, but I hear that's not as hard as it sounds either.  I'd love to hear from other people who have tried this - what was your experience?



Yes, this can be a big one for pregnant/expecting moms. You are normally advised to each as much as you are hungry simply for the best health of the baby at end day. I have shared a link below with safe ways to stay hleahty during a pregnancy.

https://menstrual-cycle-calculator.com/ear-infection-during-pregnancy/
 
Julia Winter
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I have now gone longer than just a day three times.  The first time I was out busy in the garden, got hungry about 5:30pm and texted my husband, but got no response.  Both kids were eating with friends so I just kept working in the garden (I can get a bit obsessive with the ol' chop n drop) until I noticed it was getting dark.  Here in northern Oregon that meant it was 9pm, so I just decided not to eat.  I was a little concerned I'd have a hard time at work the next day, but I was fine.  This almost 2 day fast dropped my weight about 3 pounds.

I noticed that according to my fancy scale (it tells me my total weight and then it tells me how many pounds of fat I have) I am burning 3-4 pounds of fat every day, and then re-making that fat at night after eating.  So I suppose it makes sense if I can go two days, I will drop 3 pounds.

I'm at a retreat at the Omega Institute in the Hudson River Valley (beautiful).  I ate dinner with friends in New York City Saturday, then spent Sunday traveling north.  I decided not to eat Sunday as I didn't have any really good options.  Then this morning I noticed that breakfast is the only meal here where they offer animal products (eggs and cheese).  So, I've decided to switch my single meal to breakfast.  We'll see how it goes!  I'll probably feel hungry tonight at 6pm, but there's lots to do here, I should be fine.  Hunger never goes on and on, it just pipes up for a while and then settles.  At least, that's what it does for me, since I've got all this fat to burn.  That's what it's for, after all.
 
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I can't really fast as I'm hypo glycemic and will faint. I do the "Eat Fat Get Thin" thing. Basically meat and veggies is all you can eat. I do add dairy in by choice. I always feel healthy and full and just good while doing that. The problem is my penchant for donuts and pasta.
 
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Sometimes I feel like no-eating fits me, but I cannot stay on this diet for too long. Especially if I dring certain amounts of water.
 
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I've been doing paleo consistently for almost 3 months now and have noticed that my stomach seems to be more sensitive now than when I was eating gluten/dairy every day. I wanted to try the paleo diet because I do think it has a lot of beneficial aspects (no processed foods, no grains, etc.) at the same time I am also worried about lack of fiber-rich food such as dairy, legumes, and whole grains might increase my chances of suffering through cardiovascular disease.
https://www.myhealthyclick.com/why-paleo-diet-could-be-bad-for-your-heart-health/
 
Julia Winter
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Just to keep updating this thread, I'm generally down 20 pounds now, sometimes up to 23 pounds of weight loss from January.  I've had one meal a day (or less) ever since January.  I've gone two days between meals a few times, never more than that.  On Wednesday I ate too much (I brought a bunch of leftover Chipotle food home from the office to feed my family, and after dinner my 16 yr old had a long talk with me during which I finished off ALL the guacamole, on chips).  On Thursday, when I got home from work, my 13 yr old was heating up leftovers and burning a bagel, but there was no sign of an organized meal, so I went up to my bedroom to work on charts.  When my husband came up to say hello, I said I was thinking about just not eating, and I did.  He ended up cooking steaks for himself and the 16 yr old, but I declined.

I'm impressed with how easy it was.  (Maybe it helped that the kitchen smelled of burnt toast, but later on it smelled delicious.)  I just stayed away from the kitchen and worked on my computer, then went to bed.  The next day, yesterday, I was fine.  I noticed hunger a bit more, like when I drove my 16 yr old to a sewing lesson I was noting restaurants that looked good (crepes!) but nothing terrible.  Then we went out to eat last night to celebrate a birthday.  

Today I'm at 21 pounds down, so I think the extra day of fasting mostly just helped to counteract the overeating on Wednesday (and Friday).  Oh, and I wore a sundress yesterday that I haven't worn in probably 10 years, so that was cool.  My clothes hoarding tendencies are now useful, as I just transition back into smaller clothes that I had packed away.

I've been fighting some terrible summer cold (it felt like influenza, in the first week) and my exercise routines have sort of fallen apart, but since I'm still doing intermittent fasting, that hasn't led to any weight gain.  I think exercise is good for your health, but it's unlikely to lead to weight loss.  I'm continuing with two yoga classes a week, but I haven't been on the treadmill since before my trip to New York.

I'm still pondering an extended fast.  I'm out of PTO for the year, so I will likely be alone for a week or more in August when the rest of my family travels to California to see relatives.  I'm thinking that would be a good time to do a longer fast.  I have a bunch of bone broth in the deep freeze, which I could have instead of dinner.  I would add salt to the broth, that seems to minimize side effects of longer fasts, according to those with more experience.  I could easily lose another 10-20 pounds and still be a healthy weight.  When I was young, I weighed 40 pounds less than I do right now.  I was also ridiculously skinny, despite eating all the things, all the time.  I don't really want to get that thin again - I'm not any taller than I was then, but I am bigger.  People's bodies, particularly their rib cages, do continue to grow.  But, losing more weight would be nice - I'm enjoying it thus far.

I can't believe it's this easy to lose weight.  I know it sounds really hard (not eating) but the simplicity makes it easy.  I get a bit of hormesis every day, and that's a good thing.
 
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My doctor suggested I read the book The Obesity Code and see if intermittent fasting is for me.  She suggested the 16:8 method, where I eat between 11 am and 7 pm, would be the best method for me and might help me with weightloss and several health issues.

I've been at it for nearly three weeks and I love it!

It matches my body's natural hunger/unhunger cycle.  I do best on a large lunch and a small snack in the afternoon.  The rest of the time, I'm not hungry anyway, so it's very easy for me to skip meals.  I normally have to force myself to eat breakfast and dinner  - which makes me feel ill - and it's nice to have permission to miss these meals.

Observations
  • Crohn's is much better since I started intermittent fasting
  • I have more time in the day to do stuff
  • I have more energy in the day to get stuff done
  • my stomach is calmer.  I no longer heave my breakfast up and down my oesophagus while doing my morning chores.  
  • I have more time to cook more delicious food.  Whereas before I was reaching for pre-fab food because I didn't have time to cook.
  • I'm drinking less alcohol.  
  • I'm eating a lot more homegrown fruit and veg.  


  • Yesterday I broke my fast early for social reasons.  I immediately regretted it because I was so hungry for the rest of the day.  It was difficult to stop eating at 7, so I went outside and kept on eating garden things - beans, kale, chard, blackberries...  I figure my body wants to eat extra today, so I'll put it in a situation where it wants to eat healthily.  It worked.  I'm back on the fast cycle today.

    During the fast time, if I have any liquid with callories then I start feeling hungry.  But without it, I don't feel hungry.  Tea and lemon juice works well for assuaging my habit of eating in the morning.  I'm looking for a warm drink I can have in the evenings with less caffeine.  
     
    r ranson
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    I found this video helpful.  It has suggestions on how to improve intermittent fasting results:



     
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    Julia Winter wrote:Anybody out there who has gone longer than a day?

    I'm continuing with my current pattern, which isn't a true fast since I have at least 8oz of whole milk in my morning latte.  I put my latte' off until 9:30am this morning so I know I went over 12 hours, but I still had one.

    I made a beef stew - it is hard to cook without tasting!!  I kept it to a minimum, just to taste for seasoning.

    I'm curious about a longer fast, but I think it would be disruptive for my family to miss multiple meals with them.  I'm not losing much weight, but I'm doing a fair amount of exercise and I *think* my waist may be smaller (pants are looser).  I should have measured my waist....  Anyway, I'm definitely not wasting away.



    yes i have fasted for weeks at a time, well excluding juice/water/tea and sometimes broth.

    doing this several times over a year is the one thing that i did that helped me enormously when i started having significant health issues and digestive problems. it worked so much better than every other thing i was trying at that point, was the thing that really worked for me, and i felt surprisingly so much better at the end of it.

    in the midst of it not so much, it brings...well a certain very heavy and intense state of mind i would say, it can mess with your emotions. it's the sort of thing you have to carve out a space in your life to do....like it would be hard to do this and go about your normal routine...outside of homestead chores or whatever...like you have to be basically mainly focussed on the fasting, and healing.

    i lost some weight but not very much, but weight loss was not my aim anyway, not then. i didnt have a lot of excess weight back then, but was at my common weight for most of my life...about 40 lbs lighter than these days.

    i havent done a solid fast for weeks in a long time, and surely i can use it. i too have been packing on the pounds every year after 40, and now its gotten me down. i feel heavier, like i am dragging myself around. most of my issue for a while has been less activity.....i've been doing more and more sitting work and not enough gardening and physical work.

    i think doing long fasts is very healing, and doing short fasts, or even "dirty keto", half assed fasts is good too...and more for weight issues...though also healing.
    half assed fast in this case being something like...spending a week or so of mostly fasting...with a simple meal  every other day or so, when you cant stand not eating anymore...no carbs/wheat/sugar/little dairy.

    after a bit of that...it is weird how you just stop being hungry. as i said you can get into a very intense head space with longer fasts, and your emotions can be very out of control. you sort of have to be...ready to go into that kind of space...have the time and place to do that...
     
    r ranson
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    Today I'm watching the BBC documentary: Eat, Fast and Live Longer



    Michael Mosley has set himself a truly ambitious goal: he wants to live longer, stay younger and lose weight in the bargain. And he wants to make as few changes to his life as possible along the way. He discovers the powerful new science behind the ancient idea of fasting, and he thinks he's found a way of doing it that still allows him to enjoy his food. Michael tests out the science of fasting on himself - with life-changing results.



    He learns about a calorie-restricted diet, multi-day fasting, alternate-day fasting, and ageing.  It's very much focused on overall health and ageing and the benefits that different types of fasting have on these issues.  

    here's an article by the same guy on the power of intermittent fasting

    I would love to see a follow-up documentary - how is he doing 8 years later?


    What I'm getting out of this the most is that there are a lot of different meanings of the word 'fasting'.  
    Some fasting is water only
    some fasting allows food consumption.



     
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    yeah, IF is very different from what i think of as fasting. i generally think of fasting as being more like 24 hours or longer, but this is just my take on it, having done long fasts.

    IF (Intermittent Fasting) is good way to go, so not at all down on it, its a good long term strategy that can be maintained and get some of the benefits of fasting.
    i think long term fasting is for when someone is in a serious health crisis, where IF and OMAD (i like theres an acronym for this now =), are better for weight loss and generally maintaining health.

    if you do a long term fast it is good to have very small amounts of food, although generally liquid food, like broth or juice.

    i think too fasting for a long time is very difficult, and theres an internal pressure to do it perfectly, to battle a bit with yourself to do it authentically...but this shouldnt be important.

    you dont fast to impress people or yourself, you fast for the healing benefits. which is why i say the half assed fast is ok too...if thats what you can pull off. dont eat for as long as you can...then have something simple, then go back to not eating for as long as you can. rinse repeat.

    you dont have to do it perfectly for it to work.

    this is also a good way to test yourself for your own personal problem foods. when you do "cheat" . try out potential problem foods, like wheat, sugar, dairy, or anything else you think might be an issue. try out food in cans, for instance.....if theres a problem with that food (or the metal in the can) you will know it right away...as you have been cleaning out your system and any reaction will be majorly amplified.

    then coming off the fast...add things back into your diet one at a time to isolate what are your problem foods...
     
    Julia Winter
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    r ranson wrote:Today I'm watching the BBC documentary: Eat, Fast and Live Longer

    [snip]

    I would love to see a follow-up documentary - how is he doing 8 years later?

    What I'm getting out of this the most is that there are a lot of different meanings of the word 'fasting'.  
    Some fasting is water only
    some fasting allows food consumption.



    I watched that documentary months ago, when I was first researching fasting, but I just watched it again and it's still super interesting.  I want to get my IGF-1 level checked!  (I don't think that's a routine blood test, however.)  I am also interested in seeing what Michael is doing 8 years on.

    It does seem like there are many ways to define fasting - it could be zero calories, or it could be 25% of normal (that's what the goal was on the alternate day protocol).  I find it comfortable to do the same thing every day, but I wonder if I'm missing out on some effects that come from longer fasts.  (I have done a few almost 2 day fasts.)  

    I definitely feel like I've lost the fat in my belly the most, and that's terrific, and I think that's because of the fasting.  
     
    Julia Winter
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    I googled Michael Mosley and it looks like he wrote a book about 5:2 fasting and made a bunch of money.  He's now pushing a new book where you do a couple of weeks of 800 calories per day, then I think follow up with 5:2 for maintenance.  He looks thin and healthy, so there's that.
     
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    I have done keto for several years. I ran into a problem when about 2 years ago hubby brought home a kid who was a psychopath with real bad ADHD. He lived with us for almost a year. It was like living in hell. Even tho my food choices didn't change, I probably ate more. Not too much more tho' because I track my diet on chronometer. I gained back about 20-25 of the 70lbs I'd lost. I developed adrenal fatigue and had to stop doing I.F. I'm getting better but still have days of total exhaustion and weepyness. I am back to doing I.F. I take some natural heart health stuff in the morning, then water with ACV, then tea with 2 tbsp MCT and stevia. I eat lunch around 12.and use various supplements recommended for me. I also battle chronic lymes.I know that My Creator made us to heal. I know that 1 of God's names, which show who and what He is, is Jevohah Rophe, that is the Lord God who heals. I know that God is a God of love and life, not nasty like most religion makes Him out to be. So I can totally believe that this too shall pass!
     
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    What i do to maintain my weight is i break the eating into small meals and try not to eat more every time. Simple 3 small meals at gap of 3-4 hours.
     
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    I’ve been experimenting with different diets over the last 6 months. Adding bulletproof coffee and intermittent fasting, reducing carbs.

    So far the biggest benefits for me have been more energy and mental focus. Now I wake up at 5:30 everyday without an alarm and have several hours uninterrupted to myself. I have only lost about 5 pounds, but have noticed significant slimming around my waist. Most recently, I stopped eating gluten, and it has been amazing. I’m having very few food cravings, and before I had a major sweet tooth.
     
    Julia Winter
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    I've had a similar experience: my waist has gotten thinner even when my weight has held steady.

    I'm finishing my 10th month of eating "one meal a day."  To be more precise, I'll have coffee (with half and half) in the morning at work, a latter (with whole milk, made at home and brought to work) for lunch, but I don't eat any solids until 6pm.

    On work days, I usually have some mixed nuts after 6pm.  Our family eats dinner pretty late, usually not until 7pm and sometimes not until 8:30pm.  I eat dinner with my family.  Sometimes I make myself a sweet thing after dinner - this was brownie in a cup for a while, more recently decaf black tea with honey.  Then I don't eat again until the next day at 6pm.

    Still working great.  I went to New Orleans for three days, had three very nice meals, and actually lost half a pound (because I really did walk almost 6 miles each day).  Travelling is easy when you don't have to worry about feeding yourself.  It's good to know you could go a whole day without eating and you'll be fine.
     
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