Anyone into fasting?

My gf and I recently have been on the Dukan Diet. I tend to be very competitive, so each morning our weigh-in became tension filled. She had 8 pounds to lose, I had 30. We both succeeded, but there was never a day when her losses exceeded mine.:wink:

Along the way, I would sometimes skip breakfast and lunch, then when my gf came home I would tell her I’d already eaten dinner. Pow, a fast day! It was much easier than I thought, although I would just do alternate day fasts.

Anyone here do any fasting?

I do Primal, and while I skip meals (mostly lunch) at least once a week, the longest I’ve gone is skipping breakfast and lunch, and that was due to needing blood work. I was just starting to get hungry at about 3:00 that day.

Today I skipped lunch, and I’m feeling it right now, but I have early dinner (6ish). My metabolism hasn’t repaired itself enough to react well to skipped meals–I tend to temporarily gain weight after them. I skip lunch mostly out of necessity–if I don’t have time to leave work to get lunch and our work cafeteria only has things I can’t eat.

Fasting is dangerous and irresponsible. If you want to lose weight, track your calorie intake and spread your eating evenly over the course of the day.

I think fasting is a bad idea.

I think competing over weight loss is an even worse idea. It leaves one person feeling like a failure even if they have a good plan and followed it faithfully. It’s never fair: there are too many variables in weight loss. This is especially true between men and women.

A shared interest in healthy living is fine. Competition is a recipe for someone to give up, and for someone else to give themselves too much credit.

Sounds like a good way to develop an eating disorder especially if you’re already fairly competitive.

Yeah. I think this is me. I have a lifetime of yo-yo dieting behind me and my losses were never quick enough for me, so I’d cut my intake to almost zero, surviving on coffee and diet soft drinks.

Rebound. <sigh> I reckon I’d never have been fat if it hadn’t been for extreme dieting.

I don’t know that I agree with fasting being ‘dangerous’ and 'irresponsible - I do a water fast for one day every 2-3 weeks. The proviso is that it’s on a day where I can just laze around and not do much. I fast my dog one day a week, and she doesn’t seem to mind!

Occasional fasting probably isn’t the end of the world, humans had to endure it pretty regularly so it’s not something we’re totally unprepared for, however being perpetually malnourished can lead to problems.

However, I do think it’s worth mentioning that while there have been some cursory studies suggesting caloric restriction may extend life expectancy I don’t believe any evidence has shown that fasting is required to reap any such benefits (just eating a low amount of calories.)

Further, any claims that fasting is good because it “purifies” or “cleans” or “detoxifies” is woo. The human body is designed to rip everything it can use out of whatever you put in its mouth and get rid of the rest without it tearing you up. Regular food doesn’t cause your body to enter a state where it needs to have a “toxin flush.” If you did have a build up of something toxic it’d probably be the result of something like eating lots of fish every single day that are high in mercury and in that case a single day’s fast here in there isn’t going to get the job done.

Also I’m really sad that I still see people talking about daily weigh ins and gaining after meals as if that is relevant to fat loss at all. One of the worst things that ever happened to people trying to lose weight is they came to the conclusion that well, they need to lose weight.

I’m not looking at anyone in this thread but just speaking generally, about something that is so commonly said so casually but just contributes to gross misunderstanding.

You need to lose fat, and weight is only a very rough measure of fat. If you’re 20 pounds lighter you’ve definitely lost some fat, if you’re 5-6 pounds lighter you may have lost some fat. Or maybe your ate more sodium the previous weigh in than normal and your body is now retaining less water as you went to a normal amount of sodium intake. A large bulk of the food you put in your mouth comes back out, also, so depending on whats in your digestive system that also will impact it.

Even on a pretty good diet losing 2-3 pounds a week many times the amount of fat you’re burning in a single day moves through your body in the form of undigestable matter and water. For these reasons weight just isn’t a good measure by itself of fat loss.

I can’t tell you how many times I get annoyed when I hear someone saying “wow, I can’t believe I gained 9 pounds after that party.” To actually gain 9 pounds of fat you’d have to eat over 30,000 calories. That’s like 15 large pizzas. Now, if you ate a bunch of food at a party and weigh in a lot heavier it just means you may have gained at most a pound of fat and your body is retaining a lot of water because you ate a shit ton of salty food and didn’t properly hydrate, and you still have a good chunk of food inside your digestive tract.

Likewise I think it’s funny how every time someone starts a diet they get excited because they lose 8 pounds in their first week. Again, if it takes something like 15 large pizzas in a single day to gain 9 pounds, how much caloric deficit do you wager you’d need to lose 8 pounds of fat in your first week of dieting? Well, to put it in terms of activity (for my guesstimation of an average overweight person), 8 pounds of fat loss means you’ve created an energy deficit equal to the energy expended by:

45 hours of shoveling snow
31 hours of vigorous use of a rowing machine
28 hours of vigorous swimming
15 hours of running at 10 mph (that’s over 5 marathons worth of running)

You did not lose that much weight.

I hope you’ve consulted with a vet. When I adopted my cat they told me to NEVER leave him without food because if he goes too long without eating he could develop fatal liver complications from his body metabolizing the wrong things for energy.

Maybe if he has some sort of disorder, but animals regularly go days without food unless they are domesticated.

Fasting is incredibly bad for you. Not a good idea.

That’s true…he said that liver problems are more common in fat cats who suddenly stop eating less. Anyway, I would imagine that most vets would recommend daily creature feeding as domesticated animals expect it and they probably don’t want to seem like they’re encouraging neglect.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with skipping a meal here and there. I do think there is something wrong with the idea that humans have to constantly graze to be healthy.

I’ve read a whole lot about intermittent fasting on the marks daily apple site and my experiences with it have been positive. ymmv.

I eat breakfast everyday. Sometimes my breakfast is at noon.

Agreed. When I see people walking around the streets, in shopping centres - practically everywhere - I wonder if they ever stop eating.

There’s a difference between skipping an occasional meal and fasting.

The former is perfectly normal behavior and not particularly problematic.

Fasting is almost never a good idea. As pointed out, the “detox” effects are woo. As a weight-loss technique, it’s terrible and will cause you to rebound for multiple reasons.

First off, there’s the whole “starvation mode” issue – if your body is undernourished, it’ll start absorbing calories more readily. Once you feed yourself again, the weight will come back.

More importantly (as far as I’ve seen), it’s an issue of habit. The right way to lose weight is to actually adjust your lifestyle to make slow, steady progress. You do that by tweaking your habits. You can’t make “fasting” a habit for fairly obvious reasons.

The “intermittent fasting” mentioned on Daily Apple is a slightly different animal. If you’re doing it as part of a strictly-observed schedule and are paying attention to the nutrition on your non-fasting days, that’s okay. A single day of fasting won’t be enough to cause starvation mode, and, in theory, you’re still keeping a healthy average intake.

At the same time, it does mean you’re basing your weight/health on a technique that requires a fair bit of planning and mental energy. For most folks looking to lose weight, I think “system” diets are much less effective than simply adjusting daily habits.

[slight hijack] Ah yes. Your concern that 1 day of fasting my dog with it’s undercurrent of “neglect” is noted, thank you CatherineZeta.

Unlike cats, dogs easily utilise fat stores as a source of energy - cats break down non-fatty tissue and can develop hepatic lipidosis, a life-threatening condition. This would be why your vet would have given you this useful advice. Dogs can tolerate fasting more easily than cats for a variety of reasons that are not relevent to this thread.

As scavengers, and as ladyfoxfyre mentions, a day without food does a healthy canine no harm. It is my belief that it is a highly useful, complemenary component to a natural raw diet. [end hijack]

Personally, my one-day fast just makes me feel better - regardless of the ‘woo’.

edI’m hyperthroyd. I forget to eat for days at a time. Dont do this voluntarily, its really bad for you. My health is messed up because I only eat when I’m hungry and I only eat a couple of bites before I get full.

Today, I went out with a friend and had breakfast. I ate a piece of toast and an egg. I brought the stuffed hashbrowns home with me and haven’t had anything to eat since. I should probably do something about that.

Please…don’t live like I do. Eat good meals on a couple times a day. It doesn’t matter how bad eating food makes you feel while you are eating it, the machine needs fuel.

I drink a lot of my calories. V8 and smoothies. I have a constant battle with my weight.

Anyhow…I do know people who fast. They do it for spirital reasons and seem to be happy, but they eat normally when they aren’t fasting. For your weight loss thing…I think putting your body into stavation mode will make your body try to conserve fat. At least…thats what my doctor keeps telling me.

It depends on the human in question some of use do it for our health. I’m Diabetic and “graze” rather than eat 3 regular meals to keep my blood sugar stabilized.
If Diabetes runs in your family fasting is not a good idea.

Over the season of lent, I have been fasting 2 (non-consecutive) days a week. However, because I am very active (on average, 2 hours exercise a day), I do take in some protein - a drinking yogurt for breakfast, and whey protein drinks post exercise. Otherwise, I drink water. I am very careful on the following days to not take in extra calories to compensate.

I have found it really easy to do, and reducing my calorie intake by [sup]2[/sup]/[sub]7[/sub]ths probably is not a bad thing. I am losing a bit of weight (about a kg a week), but I currently have a bit to lose, so it has been a win/win situation (spiritual as well as physical results). I’ll see how I feel after easter - I may continue with the regime, maybe dropping to 1 day a week if I keep losing weight.

According to research I have seen, extremely low calorie diets do prolong life expectancy. However, it has also been shown that similar benefits can be gained by alternating low calorie days with normal intake days. But I don’t want to live forever, particularly if I cannot eat half the time. I’ve already reduced my carb intake as far as I can tolerate.


You made a similarly misinformed proclamation in a previous thread. This was my response:

Some people never learn. :rolleyes:

Human beings did not descend from grazing herbivores. Only very recently in our evolution did we starting eating 3 big meals per day (or more).

I have absolutely no need to lose weight, nor am I spiritual/religious, and yet I fast 1-2 days per week. Interestingly I don’t feel hungry at all during these fasts.