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MEEKA71 SparkPoints: (57,743)
Fitness Minutes: (115,816)
Posts: 221
3/25/14 2:28 P

I've been doing the IF 5:2 method for a little over a year now, and it's been working fantastically for me. I do two non-consecutive 24-hour periods of fasting, four days of eating within healthy calorie ranges, and one "treat" day for eating outside (but not TOO far outside) normal calorie ranges.

Just remember to plan your pre- and post-fast meals carefully - I've not had any problems binging after fasting, personally, but I can see where one can easily fall into that trap.

My favorite thing about intermittent fasting is that, for me, it feels both effortless and sustainable - I can easily see myself continuing to do this for the rest of my life. I never feel deprived or restricted during a fast - I do indulge in caffeinated tea and coffee with a teeny bit of 2% milk while fasting, though. I'm not sure I could get through 24 hours on water alone!

SCIFIFAN Posts: 1,119
3/25/14 11:07 A

I am doing my own form of this. I have two low days, nonconsecutive, of 650 calories each. I am a nightowl and prefer to eat most of my calories in the evening. On those days, I usually eat my last snack around 1 AM and then don't eat again until 2 the next day. I don't get weak or hungry or seem to have any bad effects.

3 days a week I eat right at the 1500 calorie range. Two days a week I eat higher; usually one day at 2000 and one day kind of unlimited (I don't track that day), but I don't binge-eat on that day.

I'm 68, 5/3" and currently at 129--I need to change my tracker. I'm losing about a pound a week, which I consider great for my size. I am also doing fairly hard weight workouts 3 times a week, sometimes with cardio segments, and just cardio on the alternate days. I take one to two days off a week.

I don't think this is for everyone, but it seems to work for me.

Edited by: SCIFIFAN at: 3/25/2014 (11:08)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/25/14 10:41 A

lol....why don't you just do normal calorie cycling? It's less restrictive, and much healthier, and gives the same results.

Think of your calorie intake on a weekly basis, not a daily one.

So, for 4 days, you eat 1200 - then one day you eat 1600, then back to 1200 for 3 days, then back to 1600 for a day and so on and so on (or whatever your numbers are).

No days of severe deprivation - but the one up day jolts your metabolism. The up day does not consist of junk food, or processed foods - it's not a "binge day" - its one day of planned controlled eating - with more healthy food.

Never deprive your body.

Edited by: EELPIE at: 3/25/2014 (11:14)
WRHUNT0 Posts: 11
3/25/14 10:17 A

I'm giving it a try for the first time to see how it goes. I've been stuck at a plateau for a few weeks now and am trying to break it. In the first day, I've actually seemed to be past the plateau. I'm going to roll with it for a few more weeks and see how it goes. I'm not really hungry in the mornings, and I work out at night (so it doesn't really fit the leangains system). But I do a lot of crossfit and follow the paleo diet plan... We'll see where it takes me....

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
9/5/13 9:40 A

I've seen so many variants and recommendations for IF... I can say it does (or at least has) worked for me... but I don't do it for extended periods of time. Some "plans" call for days of fasting, followed by what looks to me like overeating.. and I'm sure that wouldn't be beneficial for me (or perhaps anyone).

I follow a restricted-carb, primal lifestyle. For me, that means I eat only when I'm truly *hungry*. That's a thing I had to learn, since all my life I've been eating at "mealtimes" and when I THOUGHT I was "hungry" (which turns out is only appetite). So now, IF is more a normal way of eating, when I do it. I don't really intentionally go that route - but if I'm not hungry, I don't eat. So there are times I will go many more hours than are usual for "mealtimes" before I eat. Some days, I eat breakfast and don't even think about food again until after the usual "dinner" hour, or even on toward a late evening "snack." Of course, that "snack" isn't a snack, it's a meal. But there's plenty of non-food hours in my days sometimes. It does seem to be appropriate for my lifestyle. It works, seemingly "by default."

Would it/does it work as an intentional method? I don't know. I suspect that would be an individual process each person would have to work out for themselves. If it leads to insatiable hunger that causes you to overeat at the end of the fast, I would think probably not! But there's good info out there on people who do it purposefully, and it evidently works for them. I guess, just try it. It's not going to harm you for a few hours or a day. I don't think I'd take it up on a longer basis than that, though.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,294
9/5/13 9:06 A

idk. If you "eat regularly" (and exactly what does that mean? At a caloric deficit? At a maintenance level? Like you've been used to eating, which might actually be too many calories?) for 4 days, and in between eat only fruit/veg and drink water.... that's 3 days a week where I'd wonder about your general nutritional needs. Calcium, for example. Iron. Protein. Healthy fats.

I think the 8 hour eating/ 16 hour fasting would work really well for someone who had digestive issues or a work schedule or something (like pp have mentioned), where it fits in well.

But to arbitrarily do it... it's like imposing a set of strict external rules, which very well could backfire on you. It's like holding your breath under water.... and when you come up for air, you're gasping and dragging in as much air as you can get. Can you fast, and not then be "gasping for food" on the non-fast days? And what do you do when Thanksgiving falls on a fast day. Or your birthday or your cousin's wedding. Can you realistically say that the fasting could fit in well with your lifestyle.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
9/5/13 8:42 A

I wouldn't say it's most effective for *everyone*. What's most effective to you is finding a way of eating that doesn't deviate too far from the way you eat naturally and including nutritious and filling foods in your diet.

There are different methods of IF. Like the PP, I basically follow the Leangains method where you eat all your calories in an 8 hour window. This would be similar to a person who eats dinner at 5pm and eats breakfast the follow day at 9am. 16 hours of "fasting" which isn't a far stretch for most people. I'm a late eater and consume the majority of my calories before bed. I am not a breakfast person and also find eating hampers my performance when I work out.

But here's the thing... I've always eaten that way, most of my life. I didn't know there was a "plan" out there for it. When I first started losing weight and trying to become healthier, I thought that it goes without saying that you include breakfast in your plan. I never adapted to "breakfast" even after a year of including it and always found myself starving in the evening. Eventually, I succumb to binge eating and even sleep-eating when I was semi-conscience in the middle of the night. So recently, I went back to IF. I even wait as long as 2-3pm to break my fast. Then I tank up in the evening before bed. My last meal is usually around 10 or 10:30pm. No more binge eating at night and no more sleep eating. I sleep full and content. So that's why IF works for me it helps me to consume less calories. This is not going to fit everyone though. You are an experiment of one and need to find a plan that works for you.

I continue to gain LBM while losing fat through strength training. My body fat percentage has dropped considerably in the last couple months. I gained weight back from my binge eating and went up to 122 lbs from 107 lbs. I still had a huge belly in proportion to the rest of me at 107 lbs but even in the 3 lbs I've lost in the last couple weeks... my stomach is the flattest it's been... even flatter than at 107 lbs which is my main goal right now. I'm not sure if IF had anything to do with it but it sure isn't inhibiting my goals either. I have far less belly fat than I did at a smaller weight but my measurements are larger in my chest and hips (which is what I want!) at 107 lbs I was 33-26-33, at 119 lbs my measurements are 34.5-26.5-35. I may be .5 inches wider in my stomach than I was at 107 lb but my belly is looking flatter, there's far less fat on it and it's now much smaller in proportion to my other measurements.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/5/2013 (08:53)
NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
9/5/13 7:46 A

I have 12 months experience of doing Leangains style IF. That means eating all my food for the day in an 8 hour eating window. The rest of the time I drink water, tea, etc (no sugar or milk added). I've been doing it non-stop for a year and the reason I continue to do it is actually because it fits my schedule and my body perfectly. I work out in the morning and I find that if I eat before I work out, I get nauseated. So I get up, go to the gym, and then get on with my day without eating anything, and this has worked out great for me for the whole year. I break my fast at noon with a small breakfast, then have my main meal of the day (lunch) at 2:30pm, followed by a light snack at 6pm and dinner at 7:30pm. So I'm done eating by 8pm. This also works great for my body because I have some digestion issues where basically my digestion is fine all day, but if I eat after 8pm, I don't digest as well, my body seems to "shut down" after that! So IF for me is about my own schedule and lifestyle, more than about losing weight.

However, I've also been eating in a consistent caloric deficit and doing intense weight lifting workouts 5 days/week in a fasted state for 12 months. During that time I've lost 40 lbs of fat and built some muscle (not a lot) and strength (not a lot, but some). I've heard it said that IF is thought to be less effective for women than for men, and that women are better off with the 900 small meals per day style of eating, but I have no idea if that's true. Like I said, I do IF because it's what I need to do to make it through the day without getting sick! And I can't say whether it's helped, hindered, or had no effect on my weight loss / fat loss / muscle building, etc. But I CAN say for a fact that it does NOT make me tired, hungry, sluggish in the morning, or whatever else one might think. I actually feel completely normal all the time on IF. It's not a "scary" kind of diet like a cleanse or something like that.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
9/5/13 6:41 A

seems 'diet' information goes in cycles.

Apparently this is the 'newest' one that's likely been explored before (like fibre, or low carb, or whatever the idea of the day may be).

Not to be judgmental or negative, but I haven't really seen enough research to determine whether this is an effective way of eating.

Now, I know some religious groups eat perhaps only one meal a day, and swear by it, so whatever works for you, I guess.

NINAM128 SparkPoints: (78)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 19
9/5/13 4:42 A

Look at leangains. A much easier way of getting all the benefits of intermittent fasting! You eat all your calories in an 8 hour period, and fast for the remaining 16 - for me this means eating breakfast at 9.00am, lunch at 1pm, dinner at 5pm. The upside is I can eat more at each sitting and feel more satisfied. I really don't feel hungry in the evening.

Someone said it best when they said 'it's a TOOL for weight loss, not the method'. Calories still count :)

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
9/4/13 11:47 P

There isn't research that I'm aware of which shows intermittent fasting to be the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. Did your doctor say where she got this idea? It doesn't sound like something that came from a bunch of peer-reviewed studies published in respected journals.

My personal opinion is that it sounds like a great way to start a cycle of fasting and binging after fasts.

KELLYK1027 SparkPoints: (7,570)
Fitness Minutes: (6,492)
Posts: 236
9/4/13 11:21 P

I've heard a lot about intermittent fasting recently and I was wondering if anyone has tried it? It doesn't seem safe, but according to my doctor, it is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. She suggested eating regularly 4 days a week and in between that, do a day of fasting with only fruits/veggies and water.

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