#1  
Old 01-14-2019, 04:23 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,279
Intermittent fasting

So, my gf has started to follow intermittent fasting. Which is a kind of diet (although she states it isn't a diet) where you only eat during 8 hours and fast during 16 hours. She isn't overweight, and in fact is in great shape, since she's exercising a lot, but she has some belly fat she would want to go away. Basically, the idea is that after 12 hours or so of fasting your body starts to lack sugars and begins to use fat.

So, she would want to know what is the collective wisdom on this generally well informed board about intermittent fasting. Thanks in advance.
__________________
S'en vai la memoria, e tornara pu.
  #2  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:02 PM
ThisSpaceForRent's Avatar
ThisSpaceForRent ThisSpaceForRent is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: University City, MO
Posts: 1,427
Just jumping in to say I have a colleague that adheres to this method of "Fasting". He is mid 20's and in very good shape. It makes him happy so why would I care?

I don't get it, but if it is the way you wanna eat so be it! I typically only eat once a day, I run a Pizzeria so I do graze a bit through the day but not much.

ymmv,

thisspaceforrent
  #3  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:07 PM
justanothermike justanothermike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 385
There are many threads about this already. I'll just say that I love intermittent fasting. It helps me manage my appetite in a way that nothing else does. I just eat a tiny lunch of a few hundred calories and then whatever I want for dinner within reason at a reasonable time and fast until the next lunch. It's pretty easy really.
  #4  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:45 PM
Ambivalid's Avatar
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: In my head
Posts: 13,328
For some, it's an easier way to eat fewer calories, thus losing weight. There is nothing magical about it. IMHO
  #5  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:47 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 12,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
For some, it's an easier way to eat fewer calories, thus losing weight. There is nothing magical about it. IMHO
Yep.

Best case scenario is that it is just like reducing calories at normal meal times plus some marginal health benefits of fasting.

Worst case scenario is that it is marginally more catabolic of muscle compared to normal meal times without any health benefits.

I think the worst case scenario is more likely (though we don’t have enough evidence to say). So I wouldn’t recommend it unless diet compliance is a proven problem for the person. And if they do prefer IF, then they should really be resistance training to preserve muscle.
  #6  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:59 PM
SuntanLotion SuntanLotion is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: mentor ohio
Posts: 28
I can't do that. I haven't even been able to do a colonoscopy, I haven't gone more than 5 hours without wanting to eat something and doing so.
  #7  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:27 AM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 9,135
So, people typically go something like 12 hours between meals (dinner at 6 PM, breakfast at 6 AM, or something similar) and people are extending that from 12 to 16 hours and calling it a "fast?






Why not extend it to 18 hours and call it a hunger strike?
  #8  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:34 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,419
I have been doing it for a year and it's been great. Even before any weight loss benefits, I immediately found myself with increased energy during my waking hours.
  #9  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:25 AM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
So, people typically go something like 12 hours between meals (dinner at 6 PM, breakfast at 6 AM, or something similar) and people are extending that from 12 to 16 hours and calling it a "fast?



Why not extend it to 18 hours and call it a hunger strike?
As I understand it there are hormonal (?) effects that are operational while you sleep, which suppress appetite. So you should really only count continuous waking hours as 'fasting' hours. That would put 'intermittent fasting' about half way between normal eating (go about 4 waking hours between eating) and something like the Ramadan fast (go about 12 waking hours between eating)
__________________
It is easier to fall than to climb ... letting go for the fall brings a wonderful feeling of ease and power
- Katherine Kerr Daggerspell
  #10  
Old 01-15-2019, 10:31 AM
Cyros Cyros is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 2,645
I've been doing the 16/8 (more often 18/6}.since October. I started doing it to help control blood glucose during a time my doctor had me off metformin for a test or two. The results were better glucose control than the drugs were giving me. I've lost 7 or so pounds since then (unintentionally) and generally have more energy and less desire for naps during the day.

I certainly don't think it's for everyone but it works well for me.
  #11  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:18 PM
Ashtura Ashtura is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,734
I do 5:2. (600 calories 2 days a week, "normal" portions the other 5 days). I find it a better maintenance diet than weight lost diet (you REALLY have to strictly stick to normal portions to lose weight, a lot of people make the mistake of just eating whatever they want), but I've been doing it a long time (2 years or so), it's easier to stick to than any other think I've tried, and have had no ill effects so far that I know of.
  #12  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:37 PM
GreysonCarlisle's Avatar
GreysonCarlisle GreysonCarlisle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 572
My girlfriend started that, too. She's been at it for about a year, and she's lost quite a bit of weight. She's always showing off some article of clothing that no longer fits because it's too loose.

The first month or so was hard on her. I imagine that it takes a while to get used to. Now, she opens her window around 4, when she has a snack or a treat. She eats a big supper around 6, followed by more snacks in the late evening. Candy, usually.

She passed out from low blood sugar a few years ago, but--while I'm always harping on her to carry an emergency snack--she hasn't had any episodes during her fake fasting (as I call it).
  #13  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:39 PM
Figaro Figaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: in transit
Posts: 781
With a young kid at home I routinely finish dinner before 7pm, and I often don't get breakfast until 9:30-10:00 the following day. That puts me at 15/9 without knowing this kind of thing was a....thing. Curse you for making me aware, because now I'm going to have the urge to binge on late night snacks!

Last edited by Figaro; 01-15-2019 at 02:40 PM.
  #14  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:41 PM
GreysonCarlisle's Avatar
GreysonCarlisle GreysonCarlisle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 572
Oh, and yes--holidays are cheat days.
  #15  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:51 PM
Cheesesteak's Avatar
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashtura View Post
I do 5:2. (600 calories 2 days a week, "normal" portions the other 5 days). I find it a better maintenance diet than weight lost diet (you REALLY have to strictly stick to normal portions to lose weight, a lot of people make the mistake of just eating whatever they want), but I've been doing it a long time (2 years or so), it's easier to stick to than any other think I've tried, and have had no ill effects so far that I know of.
I tried the 5-2 thing for a couple of months. Then my gall bladder tried to kill me and I had to get rid of it.

I firmly believe that the stresses of the diet took out my previously (but unknowingly) messed up gall bladder.

I actually liked the diet, but if you have any gall bladder issues, I'd tread carefully with fasting diets, and at least discuss with your physician.
  #16  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:55 PM
GreysonCarlisle's Avatar
GreysonCarlisle GreysonCarlisle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 572
The drawbacks of her program:

If I (or her kids) want to be sweet, breakfast in bed is out. (I'm sure she would eat it, just as I'm sure she would appreciate the gesture, but it'd wreck her day.)

Coffee is fine for her to have at any time of the day, but I can't serve up her favorite wine or a beer any earlier than 4 PM, not even on weekends. Or, if I do, her window opens early, which means it closes early, and she has to give up munching on chocolate and chips while we watch TV later that night.

Lunchtime for me is lonely. I have to eat by myself (sniffle). "Honey, I'm making a sandwich, would you like one, too?" is no longer uttered in our house. Only took me about six months to stop asking. Going out for lunch together also never happens.
  #17  
Old 01-16-2019, 08:07 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard's Avatar
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 10,513
I started on January 1 doing 16/8. I eat only between the hours of noon and 8 pm.

It's not at all difficult for me in the morning since I rarely eat breakfast anyway. And it eliminates my night eating, which has long been a problem for me. I've dropped around 10 lbs. so far.


mmm
  #18  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:28 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 21,271
There are actually fairly few controlled human studies on "time-restricted feeding" (TRF) and those that there are generally are fairly small n. Moreover the studies are early-TRF, for example like this 2018 one in which prediabetic men were randomized into either a 12 hr period or a 6 hour period of feeding the latter with "dinner" done before 3 pm (and then crossed over). Total n was 8.

Still such is the data we have, but there is of note from the review portion of the article that the early part of the TRF is of importance.

Quote:
... TRF is a type of IF that extends the daily fasting period between dinner and breakfast the following morning, and, unlike most forms of IF, it can be practiced either with or without reducing calorie intake and losing weight. Since the median American eats over a 12-hr period (Kant and Graubard, 2014), we define TRF as a form of IF that involves limiting daily food intake to a period of 10 hr or less, followed by a daily fast of at least 14 hr. ... Surprisingly, the results of TRF in humans appear to depend on the time of day of the eating window (Carlson et al., 2007, Gill and Panda, 2015, Moro et al., 2016, Stote et al., 2007, Tinsley et al., 2017). Restricting food intake to the middle of the day (“mid-day TRF” [mTRF]) reduced body weight or body fat, fasting glucose and insulin levels, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and inflammation (Gill and Panda, 2015, Moro et al., 2016). However, restricting food intake to the late afternoon or evening (after 16:00 hr.; “late TRF” [lTRF]) either produced mostly null results or worsened postprandial glucose levels, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, and lipid levels (Carlson et al., 2007, Stote et al., 2007, Tinsley et al., 2017).

The circadian system, or internal biological clock, may explain why the effects of TRF appear to depend on the time of day.
Let me highlight one line of that:

"restricting food intake to the late afternoon or evening (after 16:00 hr.; “late TRF” [lTRF]) either produced mostly null results or worsened postprandial glucose levels, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, and lipid levels "

Their study even with the small n ended up showing some pretty significant results of early TRF on metabolic measures even without any, i.e. independent of, weight loss. Eating most of your calories fairly early and not having many late calories may be of real benefit ... but I'd make a wild assed guess that a good portion of those doing TRF because they've heard about it in some article or on the internet are restricting themselves by skipping breakfast and still having an evening dinner as the biggest meal of the day. And the evidence we have is that doing that may be of more harm than good.

Mind you going from eating lots after 8 pm to stopping by then, like MMM did, is still an improvement! And even if the late timing is a detriment if the time restriction causes calorie reduction then the net will likely be a positive.

Real life is that dinner is, for many of us, a family social time. The benefits of sitting down to eat with my wife, even as my fourth child is a senior in High School and rarely eats with us anymore, are so big that if that means I eat at 8 pm because one or the other of us is often working late, well it's worth the metabolic hit. But I do believe that disciplining myself to eat that as a small meal and eating more of my day's calories earlier would be a good idea. Even going outside a 12 hour window to do so.
  #19  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:38 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
Yep.

Best case scenario is that it is just like reducing calories at normal meal times plus some marginal health benefits of fasting.

Worst case scenario is that it is marginally more catabolic of muscle compared to normal meal times without any health benefits.
Could you elaborate on this?
__________________
S'en vai la memoria, e tornara pu.
  #20  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:46 PM
Jragon's Avatar
Jragon Jragon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 10,448
Be careful with this if you have any history of disordered eating patterns. The hunger can trigger binge behavior, and for me it made me hard lapse into full anorexia which I hadn't experienced in years.
  #21  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:47 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
There are actually fairly few controlled human studies on "time-restricted feeding" (TRF) and those that there are generally are fairly small n. Moreover the studies are early-TRF, for example like this 2018 one in which prediabetic men were randomized into either a 12 hr period or a 6 hour period of feeding the latter with "dinner" done before 3 pm (and then crossed over). Total n was 8.

Still such is the data we have, but there is of note from the review portion of the article that the early part of the TRF is of importance.


Let me highlight one line of that:

"restricting food intake to the late afternoon or evening (after 16:00 hr.; “late TRF” [lTRF]) either produced mostly null results or worsened postprandial glucose levels, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, and lipid levels "

Their study even with the small n ended up showing some pretty significant results of early TRF on metabolic measures even without any, i.e. independent of, weight loss. Eating most of your calories fairly early and not having many late calories may be of real benefit ..

Interesting to know. In fact, her main issue is that she doesn't have regular work hours. She starts working some days in the early morning, and other days in the afternoon. However, she follows this "non-diet" by not eating late, in fact, and has a breakfast. Which according to this, would be the proper way to do it.
__________________
S'en vai la memoria, e tornara pu.
  #22  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:48 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,279
Thanks everybody who shared their experience with intermittent fasting. I'm reporting the informations.
__________________
S'en vai la memoria, e tornara pu.
  #23  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:50 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jragon View Post
Be careful with this if you have any history of disordered eating patterns. The hunger can trigger binge behavior, and for me it made me hard lapse into full anorexia which I hadn't experienced in years.
Thank you for the warning. However, she has no such problem. In fact, she had already very good eating habits.
__________________
S'en vai la memoria, e tornara pu.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017