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Neill Smith
10-15-2007, 09:21 AM
I'm doing two IF days per week, and the current CA WOD schedule (Sunday and Thursday are rest days). Should IF days come before, on, or after rest days?

Greg Battaglia
10-15-2007, 11:07 AM
IF should come before rest days. On rest days you should try to rake in the calories. How long are you IFing and on what days? I would try to IF on any of the 2 days that are not rest days. Use the positive physiological effects of IF to improve your workouts. They go together. Likewise, while your resting it makes sense to eat lots of food to help rebuild.

Neill Smith
10-15-2007, 07:39 PM
Thanks Greg, that makes sense. I'm planning on eighteen hour fasts. I can go longer, but I have a lot of trouble going a whole day--I find it impossible to sleep hungry.

Stuart Mather
10-16-2007, 07:32 AM
Thanks Greg, that makes sense. I'm planning on eighteen hour fasts. I can go longer, but I have a lot of trouble going a whole day--I find it impossible to sleep hungry.

Neill, I did 24/24 IF for few months earlier this year, and I ate dinner every day:

day1: fast from 7.00pm to 7.00 pm the following day after eating dinner at 6pm.

day2: Eat dinner at 7.00 and regular meals the following day until dinner at 6.00pm.

Repeat the above.

Why do you think you need to go without dinner if your fast is longer than 18 hrs ?.

Stuart.

Greg Battaglia
10-16-2007, 05:56 PM
I would go with what Stuart says, but if you feel as though you can't go that long than DO NOT force your body. It will do more harm than good. Listen to your body.

Stuart Mather
10-16-2007, 06:35 PM
I should add that I'm not actually recommending 24/24 to anyone. I never found it that comfortable to do, even after three months. The eat days always seemed to turn into an unseemly pig out(still low carb, just lots of it). But I was very accustomed to the 24 hr fast mind you. I far prefer 18 hrs every day with 20 hrs every third day. On this approach I've noticed the most remarkable drop in ad lib low carb calorie level with no loss in either performance or body comp. IF done this way really does seem to increase the efficiency of food utilization. And for some people 24/24 may well too. With me, it didn't.

I'm not sure the increase in food utilization efficiency has squat to do with metabolic rate change though. More like just a much cleaner burn.

My previous post was simply to point out that by timing the fast/ eat transition appropriately, it is no problem to do 24/24 and still always eat dinner.

Stuart.

Neill Smith
10-17-2007, 07:21 AM
Stuart:
I was referring to fasting between sleep cycles, not for a 24-hour period. I should have defined "a whole day".

My experience with three separate attempts at IF has been precipitous weight loss in all cases. Robb and I discussed this at the clinic two weeks ago, and he recommended trying it two days per week instead.

Stuart Mather
10-17-2007, 03:36 PM
Stuart:
I was referring to fasting between sleep cycles, not for a 24-hour period. I should have defined "a whole day".

My experience with three separate attempts at IF has been precipitous weight loss in all cases. Robb and I discussed this at the clinic two weeks ago, and he recommended trying it two days per week instead.

Fair enough Neill, although that would be at least a 32 hr fast (assuming sleep time of 8hrs) - which is a long time for a body to go without energy intake after a lifetime of much more regular meals.

Also, I take it that the 'precipitous weight loss' included LBM as well as bodyfat?.
And given my earlier comments about how long term IF seems to increase the efficiency of food utilization, I'm wondering why you (or Robb) think less frequent longer fasts, rather than daily fasts of only incremental extension of your customary overnight fast is the optimum way to realize the considerable health and body comp benefits IF confers.

In other words, precipitously embarking on much longer overnight fasts, however infrequently, seems like a sure way to stress your metabolism. Some individuals more than others of course. Many people seem able to move into daily at least 15 hr fasts with only benefits. Your experience with such a sudden transition into a much longer fast seems to indicate that you and I are both definitely in the 'gradual is far better' camp.

Whatever the overnight fast length you have been getting for most of your life - be it 8 hrs or 12, why don't you just extend that by half an hour a week/ fortnight? and see what happens, rather than just stressing it less often?

Stuart.

Steve Liberati
10-17-2007, 03:59 PM
Stuart: you sound way to smart for me...but I think the reason behind the less frequent fasts is so he can have more feed days to keep his bodyweight up and not lose weight as been the case with the other approaches. Unless I read it wrong too.

Stuart Mather
10-17-2007, 04:45 PM
Stuart: you sound way to smart for me...but I think the reason behind the less frequent fasts is so he can have more feed days to keep his bodyweight up and not lose weight as been the case with the other approaches. Unless I read it wrong too.

Steve, I was speculating that 'the other approaches' of precipitously longer fasts, were inevitably resulting in Neill's undesired weight loss due to the (relative to after long term IF) inefficient use of food. I'm just wondering why less regular longer fasts rather than daily shorter (but gradually lengthening) fasts are considered a better way to gradually realize the substrate utilization efficiency benefits of long term IF, as well as all the other health/bodycomp benefits? You talk about 'feed day's as if having a longer (than customary) overnight fast somehow makes it not a feed day. I mean I IF every day, and every day is a feed day too. Ramping up the daily (or of whatever frequency) fast length gradually has in my experience been the better approach than just using fewer fasting days to consume more food to 'cover' for the fasting days. I eat way less food now than I did when I started extending my overnight fast. And yet I continue to gradually gain muscle and lose bodyfat, with no change in exercise. But it's taken a year to gradually ramp up the fast length.

My concern with less frequent longer fasts is that this improved substrate utilization efficiency will never be realized. A concern that stems from my own experience of 24/24 IF'ing.

Btw. were you suggesting that I'm being a smartass, or just over analytical :)?

Stuart.

Steve Liberati
10-17-2007, 06:14 PM
Gotcha Stuart.
Just remarking on all the words in your sentence that fly right over my head like a Boing 747. "Substrate utilization efficiency." Thank god for google.

Stuart Mather
10-17-2007, 07:23 PM
Gotcha Stuart.
Just remarking on all the words in your sentence that fly right over my head like a Boing 747. "Substrate utilization efficiency." Thank god for google.

I should have just said food. You have to admit though, it sounds way less impressive. I think it's called word wanking.

Neill Smith
10-18-2007, 02:32 PM
First of all, I really appreciate the thoughtful comments.

My most recent attempt was a gradual ramp, starting at twelve-hour fasts and adding thirty minutes every week. By the end of the first month I had lost ten pounds, and much of it was LBM. Some of the problem is logistical. I have a hard time getting enough food in my eating window on a work day.

It makes sense that an occasional long fast would stress the metabolism more. On the other hand, you could argue that we're both doing IF, but your feeding windows are six hours while mine are three days. I don't know the biochemistry well enough to make an intelligent case on either side. Maybe Robb does.

Tyler Weir
12-06-2007, 07:38 AM
First of all, I really appreciate the thoughtful comments.

My most recent attempt was a gradual ramp, starting at twelve-hour fasts and adding thirty minutes every week. By the end of the first month I had lost ten pounds, and much of it was LBM. Some of the problem is logistical. I have a hard time getting enough food in my eating window on a work day.

It makes sense that an occasional long fast would stress the metabolism more. On the other hand, you could argue that we're both doing IF, but your feeding windows are six hours while mine are three days. I don't know the biochemistry well enough to make an intelligent case on either side. Maybe Robb does.

I think I'm in the same boat as you, I have an unpredictable schedule during the week that makes IF difficult to implement. The weekend is quite routine and this is when I fast. So a question for someone smarter than me is: is doing two days of IF reasonable if I'm looking for positive impact on body fat and performance?

I haven't been doing it long enough to say yes or no.

Mike ODonnell
12-06-2007, 07:55 AM
The great thing about IF...is it is "Intemittent".....18hours one day....12 hours another....20 hours...etc....Variable inputs will always have greater adaption and utilization rates than one set standard approach. In the end....it is what works for your lifestyle as I may do 18 hours weekdays...and completely feed up on weekends with no restrictions....then start 20hours the following Mon and Tues...then ramp into 18-16 hour cycles. Fun stuff. Also adds the element of macronutrient variation such as low carb days/high protein....to low protein and higher carbs on weekends (Beer and pizza!). Yet muscle growth is consistent (no loss) and fat loss is still attainable. Personally I cant and dont want to fast any longer than 20hours....otherwise I will chop off my hand and eat it.

Great discussion btw

Tyler Weir
12-06-2007, 08:07 AM
A follow-up question is if I can only fast on the weekends, will it positively impact my performance? Is 2 of 7 days of IF useful?

Nick Tirkalas
12-06-2007, 09:08 AM
This is a great discussion.
I was windering the same thing. I was recently on IF and saw a drop of LBM. I was on the 6 hr feed window. I too gradually went up to it and it still didn't seem to work. I am now intermittantly throwing it in. 1 or 2 days a week for only a 12-14 hr fast. I have the same question's as originally posed. Is 2 days ok and should you do it on rest days or workout days.

Scott Kustes
12-06-2007, 10:42 AM
I guess the true answer to is 2 of 7 useful is....no one knows. This is an ever-evolving experiment amongst all of us. Try it and see how it works.

Mike ODonnell
12-06-2007, 12:10 PM
This is a great discussion.
I was windering the same thing. I was recently on IF and saw a drop of LBM. I was on the 6 hr feed window. I too gradually went up to it and it still didn't seem to work. I am now intermittantly throwing it in. 1 or 2 days a week for only a 12-14 hr fast. I have the same question's as originally posed. Is 2 days ok and should you do it on rest days or workout days.

Of course the efficiency of an IF protocol is only as good as what it is compared to. Is 2 days better than none? Sure. Is 2 better than 7? Is 18 better than 20? Is 2 days at 24 better than 7 days at 18? Like Scott said....who the hell knows until you try it. Because my daily schedule is completely different from someone else's, (not too mention about insulin resistance, workouts, energy output and recovery needs), there are just too many frigin variables and no real studies to compare all your options....so you have to see and try. Like everything else...the best approach might be a complete daily randomization with no set protocol and it differs every week...that just might be the model for optimal results!

Chris Forbis
12-06-2007, 03:39 PM
Monday: break 23 hour fast.
Tuesday: break 13 hour fast
Wednesday: break 23 hour fast
Thursday: break 13 hour fast
Friday: break 20 hour fast
Saturday: break 12 hour fast
Sunday: break 12 hour fast

This is what I do, roughly. I feel like I gain benefits. I really like the Monday fast, because I tend to eat a little too much junk and drink a little too much alcohol over the weekend. My digestive system needs the break to repair itself. I'm looking to shorten the Wednesday fast to around 18 hours, as I need to add some calories.

Eva Claire Synkowski
12-08-2007, 09:26 AM
1) re: 2 versus 7 d/wk.

check out this thread, where robb notes some have found success on 2 d/wk fast.
http://www.performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=951

"Kelly Starrett of CF San Francisco did IF on tues and thurs. He waited to eat his first meals those days till like 1-2pm. He noticed improvements in body comp and performance. It was not that hard to do. he is wrapping up grad school, runs a CF facility and is a dad and husband. Good enough IMO! So the take home message is do what works for you. Start with that base of good paleozone nutrition and tinker form there. Start conservatively, especially since you are in school."


2) also, i wrote in on robb's blog re: length of fast (as in a PM article, he suggested the 15 hr "cutoff").

his response:

"There is no magic with the 15-16 hr fast other than it seems doable and folks report positives such as improved leanness and recovery. I think ANY move in the direction of fasting or intermittent caloric restriction appears to offer benefit. How much benefit? No one knows yet but on a daily level it appears to simplify ones eating schedule. Everything else being equal it may be worthwhile for that point alone."

in short, 2 d/wk will likely be better than none. try and see, add more days and increase fast window as its doable for you!

Tyler Weir
12-11-2007, 08:44 AM
in short, 2 d/wk will likely be better than none. try and see, add more days and increase fast window as its doable for you!

I'm giving it a shot, 16 hour fasts on Saturday and Sunday, only 2 weeks into it, so nothing to report yet.

I can't say if it was related or not but I felt like a million bucks at my indoor ultimate frisbee game last night. And that was after a killer Saturday CrossFit work out, and a 1/2 intensity Sunday workout.