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Thread: Intermittent fasting

  1. #1

    Intermittent fasting

    I have been reading about intermittent fasting and the one model I am thinking of is the 16hr fast for men. So basically nothing after dinnertime till around lunchtime the next day.

    While I want to lose weight (about 10kg) I also do not want to lose what limited muscle I have. The other bit I would like to do, is to 'train' my body to use the fat (as I would like to do some long distance cycle rides).

    So is the intermittent fasting the way to go to both lose weight and get my body to burn fat and not muscle?

    Also, I am restricting my calories to about 1800 a day, although on the days I cycle I up that a bit to around 2000.

    thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    I know a few folk that do the 5/2 fasting diet. Seems to work pretty well from what I've seen. Basically restrict to 600 cal on a fasting day. So light breakfast to get metabolism started and then calorie controlled evening meal.

  3. #3
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    I've been doing something similar to this, more through circumstances than intention. I never eat breakfast, and found myself never having much time at work for lunch so I binned both. First meal is 5.30pm, though I do eat a granola bar some mornings, or maybe an apple. Sounds extreme, but after a week it was plain sailing. I'm never hungry until about 4pm.

    I eat what I like at the weekends, takeaway if I wish, and drink what I like on weekends too. I'm not really a snacker so that helps I suppose.

    My weight is steady now at a lean 10st give or take a pound. Started off at 12.5st. I feel much better, all aches and pains are gone and I'm that extra yard faster at football :-)

    From what I've read since, fasting is supposed to be very good for the body.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    I've been doing something similar to this, more through circumstances than intention. I never eat breakfast, and found myself never having much time at work for lunch so I binned both. First meal is 5.30pm, though I do eat a granola bar some mornings, or maybe an apple. Sounds extreme, but after a week it was plain sailing. I'm never hungry until about 4pm.

    I eat what I like at the weekends, takeaway if I wish, and drink what I like on weekends too. I'm not really a snacker so that helps I suppose.

    My weight is steady now at a lean 10st give or take a pound. Started off at 12.5st. I feel much better, all aches and pains are gone and I'm that extra yard faster at football :-)

    From what I've read since, fasting is supposed to be very good for the body.
    This is my eating habits pretty much exactly too. I was eating for just because of the time of day not because I was actually hungry. The girls at work think I'm mad and the wife seems to think I have a eating disorder haha.
    I topped out at 15.5 stone about 5 years ago and now maintain a steady 12 stone. I hardly exercise though and until I get the urge to it seems to work for me!

    Joe

  5. #5
    I'll say straight away that I'm not expert but I have lost and kept off 10kg over the last three years: I always believed you had to "eat yourself thin" and by that I mean if you aren't satiating your hunger with food your metabolism will slow down to hang on to the reserves that it has. I solved the intake problem with fruit, veg and salad and felt a lot better to boot, more inclined to get out and do some exercise, take a walk, grab the bike and go out for a spin. Hang on - double benefit! Feeling better and getting more exercise to burn the fat.

  6. #6
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    I believe the difference between long term calorie reduced diets and fasting is that your body never goes into conservation of reserves mode. It will continue to use energy as and where it can get it.

  7. #7
    Master
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    was chatting to a client yesterday that swears by the 5/2 diet and has lost a couple of stones and maintained it for over a year, his wife has lost about 4 stone and looks fab compared to previously. they are also both in their 60's and do no exercise, so not the easiest people to lose weight.

  8. #8
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Just accept you need to change your diet - and forever - and forget the fads that come and go - it will be the 5/2 this month, something else will come along the next month, I use to be obese and am no longer and haven't been for years. It is both simple and hard at the same time:

    * We don't have crap in the house, there are no chocolates, no crisps, no biscuits, no fizzy drinks. So if I fancy some crap, it just isn't to hand.

    * We eat very little processed food - pretty much everything is made from scratch - which sounds time consuming but we make in batches and freeze so we actually cook less than in the past. You eliminate a hell of a lot of sugar and other junk.

    Beyond that we eat pretty much what we like.

  9. #9
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    There was an interesting Horizon programme on the BBC recently which suggested that there were 3 different categories of overweight people, and that the type of diet which worked best depended on which category you fell in to.

    Feasters - produce less of a gut hormone which tells them when to stop eating so they donít realise when they are full during meals.
    Constant Cravers Ė have Ďhungryí genes that increase their risk of obesity and can make them feel hungry all the time.
    Emotional Eaters - eat in response to negative feelings, such as unhappiness or stress.

    Find out which you are here:


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z2csfg8

  10. #10
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    Just accept you need to change your diet - and forever - and forget the fads that come and go - it will be the 5/2 this month, something else will come along the next month, I use to be obese and am no longer and haven't been for years. It is both simple and hard at the same time.

    100% agree. How long are you going to keep on the 5\2 diet? 3 years, 5 years? I have lost almost 30kg over about a 5 year period, I didn't do any fad diet, I eat carbs and have a blow out every couple of weeks. Diets don't work as you can't stay on them for the rest of your life (or aren't likely to), you need to change your lifestyle.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunman View Post
    100% agree. How long are you going to keep on the 5\2 diet? 3 years, 5 years? I have lost almost 30kg over about a 5 year period, I didn't do any fad diet, I eat carbs and have a blow out every couple of weeks. Diets don't work as you can't stay on them for the rest of your life (or aren't likely to), you need to change your lifestyle.
    What if you make the "diet" part of your lifestyle?

  12. #12
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    What if you make the "diet" part of your lifestyle?
    the odds are against you - which is why weightwatchers make so much money.

  13. #13
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    I've seen people on the 5/2 get great results. For them, it is a life style choice.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    What if you make the "diet" part of your lifestyle?
    Fair enough, but who would really commit to not eating for 2 days a week for the rest of their life? Anyone I know who is on this doesn't eat that healthily for the other 5 days either so I'd wonder how healthy you would be after a few years of it, even though you would be lighter. I can't see how it would be better than a balanced diet and exercise.

    I always say to people who ask me how I lost the weight that it isn't rocket science and that most sane and sensible people know what it is that's doing the damage.

    I have no doubt these diets would work, just I doubt how they will work long term. If they do, fair play to you.

  15. #15
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    I tried the fasting diet and found it uncomfortable and dangerous. Lack of concentration and dizzy spells. Dont operate machinery or drive whilst starving yourself.
    If you stop dieting, prepare to put on even more weight than you had before.
    A more active lifestyle is all you need. I now walk everywhere. Eat less fatty food.
    This will lose the weight and when you stop at christmas and on holiday, you pick up where you left off instead of bloating up and having to start again all depressed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblivion View Post
    I tried the fasting diet and found it uncomfortable and dangerous. Lack of concentration and dizzy spells. Dont operate machinery or drive whilst starving yourself.
    Not everyone is the same though. I drive myself to work quite safely each day and can concentrate adequately to run my own business. If anything, I wish I could wind down a little and concentrate less.

    I think "horses for courses" rings true here - my g/f for example would be dead by 10am if she didn't have her porridge before leaving home in the morning.

  17. #17
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    I like the IF approach. It's easier manage when you are trying to limit intake. It is easier to not eat at all sometimes than to try just eat a small amount.

  18. #18
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    * We don't have crap in the house, there are no chocolates, no crisps, no biscuits, no fizzy drinks. So if I fancy some crap, it just isn't to hand.
    We've spent the last thousand years fighting for the right to eat crap and you're throwing it all away. Shame on you!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblivion View Post
    I tried the fasting diet and found it uncomfortable and dangerous. Lack of concentration and dizzy spells. Dont operate machinery or drive whilst starving yourself.
    If you stop dieting, prepare to put on even more weight than you had before.
    A more active lifestyle is all you need. I now walk everywhere. Eat less fatty food.
    This will lose the weight and when you stop at christmas and on holiday, you pick up where you left off instead of bloating up and having to start again all depressed.
    Yes, I have to agree. I have found that juicing in the morning and sometimes at lunch two or three times a week has worked for me, but I have a "solid" meal in the evening and have increased my walking and some swimming at the local pool. I never really felt comfortable with the 5:2. You might like to read this:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...EL-MOSLEY.html

    Cheers
    John

  20. #20
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    Managing Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) is a problem with many of these starving diets. Hypoglycaemia is a common problem in the sports world and is often referred as "Hitting the wall" or "The Nock" or "the Bonk" or simply "blowing up" to name just a few. The body runs low on blood sugar and has to start to convert fat. This is a relatively slow process and in order to fill the gap you need sugars and other carbs. Many symptoms can include mood swings, weakness, dizziness craving for food with carbs (Snickers ad is a good example). I used to crave for chips after a cycle ride.
    Failure to bridge the sugar gap can be quite devastating depending on what you are doing at the time. Who remembers the days when you would see a marathon runner staggering to the finish zig zagging his way like a drunk.
    Of course the severity of all this depends on your individual metabolism. A dodgy diet regime can put you through this several times a day and sometimes all day!!

  21. #21
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    I have been following the IS method or Lean Gains approach for three weeks.

    I have found it great and am noticing a change in my body composition. Personally, I do not struggle with eating until 12 but others may be different.

    My calorie intake is 2200 on rest days and 2900 on work out days. Rest days are fine but on workout days the program requires me to eat nearly 1700 cals of clean food after my evening workout. This is the most challenging part!

    I now train a min of three days a week (1 x cardio, 1x HIT circuits, 1 x strength) with maybe an additional HIT session if I feel like it.

    Your intake looks too low to me, I would suggest to try to cycle it further.

  22. #22
    I love the IF diet. I find it really easy to follow and its generating great results..... I was 14st 10 and fat around the Middle, I'm now 13st, and reduced 3 belt holes in 4 months. I've also increased muscle mass by doing a relatively small amount of exercise too.

    I feel more alert and have more energy on my fasting days, but that tends to wear off around 7pm. On my fasting days I don't eat anything until 2pm and then it's usually a bowl of broccoli, and than around 8pm I'll have 2 boiled eggs and toast. I don't struggle in the slightest. My appetite is reducing too, so on my normal days I'm down to about 2000 calories on average.

    I'm not rigid on my days because life ain't rigid either, but I try to do a Monday and a Thursday to limit the social impact, and it helps if you have someone at home who mirrors your efforts.

    I'd like to think I'll do this for ever.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by samswatch View Post
    The other bit I would like to do, is to 'train' my body to use the fat (as I would like to do some long distance cycle rides).
    Use just plain water in your bottles for any ride under 2 hours and don't eat stuff. Far too many cyclists seem to take out a bottle of energy drink every time they go out the door. After a while you'll notice you can go much further on water alone if you wish. As you say, you have to train your body for it.

  24. #24
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    it helps if you have someone at home who mirrors your efforts.
    This also is Key! I would come home some evenings thinking about having a chicken breast, some veg and a small amount of spuds for dinner only to find my wife had prepared pizza and garlic bread for the family. It didn't always go down well when I said I wasn't eating it. It is so much easier when everyone in the house is of a similar mindset.

  25. #25
    thanks all. I think I will stick with the IF principle rather than anything else. I love my snacks so cutting them out has/ is difficult.

    I quite like the IF diet as it stops me eating junk after dinner and during workdays, its easy not too eat till lunchtime. Much harder on weekends when the kids sitdown for a large breakfast with pastries (another weakness).

    The 5:2 stuff is more difficult for me, as I find it difficult limiting myself to that low a calorie intake.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunman View Post
    Fair enough, but who would really commit to not eating for 2 days a week for the rest of their life? Anyone I know who is on this doesn't eat that healthily for the other 5 days either so I'd wonder how healthy you would be after a few years of it, even though you would be lighter. I can't see how it would be better than a balanced diet and exercise.

    I always say to people who ask me how I lost the weight that it isn't rocket science and that most sane and sensible people know what it is that's doing the damage.

    I have no doubt these diets would work, just I doubt how they will work long term. If they do, fair play to you.
    for people who struggle to make an overall change, just committing to 2 days a week can be seen as an easier option. hte couple i know vary what days they have their 500-600 cals to suit their work and social life and rather than adjust 100% of the time to a healthier diet they find this easier. as a result their overall diet has also improved anyway. if that structure can work for you then i think it's probably easier to maintain than a strict regime or a permanent improvement of diet if that is likely to fail.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by diver527 View Post
    I have been following the IS method or Lean Gains approach for three weeks.

    I have found it great and am noticing a change in my body composition. Personally, I do not struggle with eating until 12 but others may be different.

    My calorie intake is 2200 on rest days and 2900 on work out days. Rest days are fine but on workout days the program requires me to eat nearly 1700 cals of clean food after my evening workout. This is the most challenging part!

    I now train a min of three days a week (1 x cardio, 1x HIT circuits, 1 x strength) with maybe an additional HIT session if I feel like it.

    Your intake looks too low to me, I would suggest to try to cycle it further.


    I also use the 16/8 Lean Gains (everyday: eat for 8 hours, fast for 16. So finish eating at 8pm and start again at midday) and it worked extremely well. I found 5/2 difficult though I have done a couple of complete 24 hour fasts. Also, I'm interested in the autophagy bit you get from not consuming protein. The science is a bit sketchy in humans but in mice, it created new brain cells. And I need all I can get!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    I'll say straight away that I'm not expert but I have lost and kept off 10kg over the last three years: I always believed you had to "eat yourself thin" and by that I mean if you aren't satiating your hunger with food your metabolism will slow down to hang on to the reserves that it has. I solved the intake problem with fruit, veg and salad and felt a lot better to boot, more inclined to get out and do some exercise, take a walk, grab the bike and go out for a spin. Hang on - double benefit! Feeling better and getting more exercise to burn the fat.
    Agree, i'm well over 50 but swim a mile most days and just eat what I like when I like, although it is mainly "proper" food not processed and occasional glass of red wine.

  29. #29
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    Holy thread resurrection Batman!

    I'm about to start 16:8 fasting so will report back in a few weeks.

  30. #30
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    There was an interesting Horizon programme on the BBC recently which suggested that there were 3 different categories of overweight people, and that the type of diet which worked best depended on which category you fell in to.

    Feasters - produce less of a gut hormone which tells them when to stop eating so they donít realise when they are full during meals.
    Constant Cravers Ė have Ďhungryí genes that increase their risk of obesity and can make them feel hungry all the time.
    Emotional Eaters - eat in response to negative feelings, such as unhappiness or stress.

    Find out which you are here:


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z2csfg8
    F**k, I'm all three!

  31. #31
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    I'm intrigued with this 5:2 diet...think I will try it.

    Reminds me of a diet I tried back in the mid-70s. It was a "2:5" diet. I followed Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution for five days, then binged for two. I lost 25 pounds in 21 days.

  32. #32
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    IF is a great sustainable way to lose weight, I prefer to not over complicate it, so for me itís as simple as skipping breakfast, you could call it 16/8.

    OP, you said you eat circa 1800-2000 calories per day, so approximately a 500 calorie per day deficit, this will illicit a 1 lb per week of weight loss, thus you will achieve your 10 kg goal after 22 weeks on diet alone, obviously with what other calorie expenditure you can create through exercise and NEAT, you will see faster results.

    So as not to lose lean tissue, donít be tempted to eat less than what you do currently in terms of calories. Try to ensure you eat 1 gram of Protein per 1 lb of your body weight or 1.8g/kg of weight. Make sure you do some strength training a few times per week also.

    Best of luck, looks like you are already 9/10ths there, just have to stay committed now. As they say it takes 1 month for you to see a difference, 2 months for close friends and family to see a difference and 3 months for everyone to notice your weight loss.

    All the best.

    Darren

  33. #33
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    Bloody hell, that's some going!!

    Quote Originally Posted by pacifichrono View Post
    I'm intrigued with this 5:2 diet...think I will try it.

    Reminds me of a diet I tried back in the mid-70s. It was a "2:5" diet. I followed Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution for five days, then binged for two. I lost 25 pounds in 21 days.

  34. #34
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    I started the 5/2 'diet' on Monday. Already completed 2 fasting days without a problem. I'll check my weight next week to see if it's working.

  35. #35
    Master Lammylee's Avatar
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    I stopped eating anything I wanted when I wanted and just ate 3 healthy meals a day with no snacking. Lost 2 1/2 stone in under 3 months

  36. #36
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lammylee View Post
    I stopped eating anything I wanted when I wanted and just ate 3 healthy meals a day with no snacking. Lost 2 1/2 stone in under 3 months
    I am absolutely unable to do that.

  37. #37
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    Itís literally calories in v calories out.

    Dress it up however you want but thatís all you need to know.

    Eating breakfast to Ď fire your metabolism Ď and eating more frequently to burn more calories is nonsense.

    Just eat less, move more.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Drago View Post
    Itís literally calories in v calories out.

    Dress it up however you want but thatís all you need to know.

    Eating breakfast to Ď fire your metabolism Ď and eating more frequently to burn more calories is nonsense.

    Just eat less, move more.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Absolutely this. IF is just a strategy to reduce calorie intake at the end of the day.

  39. #39
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    I've tried 18 hour fasting, with the idea that it induces ketosis. But the reality was that I just at more on other days to make up.

    It really is about calories in and out. And it's a lot easier to reduce calories in, than to burn more calories.

    But doing both at the same time is most beneficial as exercise has other benefits other than weight loss.

    So a smaller but consistent lifestyle change is the way forward.

    Although if you reckon you can go more than a year without eating then you can lose loads of weight as this guy did: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_Barbieri%27s_fast

  40. #40
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    Iíve started my own diet this week and this thread makes me realise that Iím unwittingly following the 16:8 routine.
    Different diets work for different people - though I agree the overarching calories-in / calories-out principle. For me it helps not to wake up my stomach until a piece of fruit after 11am. A healthy lunch and evening meal finished by 7pm.
    So far so good with 4 lbs off in the first week. That will slow but Iím determined to get below 14.5 stones for a ski trip this winter.
    I also have an appointment with a hypnotherapist in a couple of weeks who I hope will help me with my fear of getting hungry.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    I've tried 18 hour fasting, with the idea that it induces ketosis. But the reality was that I just at more on other days to make up.

    It really is about calories in and out. And it's a lot easier to reduce calories in, than to burn more calories.

    But doing both at the same time is most beneficial as exercise has other benefits other than weight loss.

    So a smaller but consistent lifestyle change is the way forward.

    Although if you reckon you can go more than a year without eating then you can lose loads of weight as this guy did: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_Barbieri%27s_fast
    Sorry but IF will not create a scenario to put you into Ketosis, that is due to eating no carbohydrates. Itís not great really, mostly you will lose weight still through the basic premise of a calorie deficit, but in ketosis most likely faster as your body should metabolise fat for energy as a reserve as you will not be consuming carbs which are our standard energy source primarily, as a result of carb deficiency expect to feel tired, lethargic, grouchy, irritable, headaches and have stinky breath.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Bloody hell, that's some going!!
    The initial weight loss on carb low diets is often very impressive but is also due to lower water retention. So only sustainable as long as you are maintaining that diet.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  43. #43
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    In common with a few other posts I altered my eating habits with fairly significant and sustained results, now eat a large breakfast followed by a light second meal mid afternoon and that's it until the following day. No snacks. Worked really well for me, imo you need to find what works for you/your situation. There are a couple of posts in this thread I strongly disagree with and believe are factually inaccurate, but if it works for them, all's good.

    Understanding is the first step, this is my recommendation (and what transformed how I thought of food/food groups/calories)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypll...14uD0xOc-CiVlD

  44. #44
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    If the vet said your dog was overweight you would feed it less and take it for longer walks? Us humans seem to enjoy making things more complicated than need be I think. Keto, IF, weight watchers, cabbage soup diet, 2-5 plan and the rest all have one thing in common - Calorie deficit.

  45. #45
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    My lack of weight loss has been down to buying a 1+kg of mixed fancy nuts from Costco and eating them within 3 weeks.

    I stopped buying them, as I donít have an off switch when I grab a bowl / wander past them.

    I even put them on a high shelf behind other items in the cupboard like that would stop me.

    Will not be buying again, I convinced myself these things were for Xmas. They didnít last until October.

    On the plus side, being sick with a cold all weekend has seen 1kg drop off. But will likely bounce back.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Essexman View Post
    If the vet said your dog was overweight you would feed it less and take it for longer walks? Us humans seem to enjoy making things more complicated than need be I think. Keto, IF, weight watchers, cabbage soup diet, 2-5 plan and the rest all have one thing in common - Calorie deficit.
    Very true!

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Essexman View Post
    If the vet said your dog was overweight you would feed it less and take it for longer walks? Us humans seem to enjoy making things more complicated than need be I think. Keto, IF, weight watchers, cabbage soup diet, 2-5 plan and the rest all have one thing in common - Calorie deficit.
    This. 👍

  48. #48
    Grand Master
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    Two and a half weeks into 16:8 and absolutely zero change in weight. Iím definitely eating less than before. Frustrating to say the least.

  49. #49
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Two and a half weeks into 16:8 and absolutely zero change in weight. I’m definitely eating less than before. Frustrating to say the least.
    I like the idea of 16:8 as its more of a lifestyle rather than a strict diet, simply as others have said calories in vs calories burned is the target, no point doing the 16:8 if you smash down lots of sugar, carbs and fat during the 8 and sit around during the 16.

    The few days I have done this for I have gauged that I want to be really hungry by the end of the 16 but not go crazy with a big stodgy meal, ideally you want lighter digestible food near the end of the 8 so your body is not using lots of food to get through the 16 and of course keep yourself active during the 16.

    You cant put on weight or not lose weight if your intake is less than your energy output in calories.

  50. #50
    I think the reason IF works for me is because I simply eat fewer calories. What I am lacking is straight training and have noticed it more now, 7 years later. I think I may finally join a gym again.

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