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kevin mckay
03-11-2008, 10:08 AM
Saw this and was surprised at how divergent the data was to everything I had previously heard.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307084626.htm


The first study analysis showed that consuming a one-meal-per-day diet, rather than a traditional three-meal-per-day diet, is feasible for a short duration. It showed that when the volunteers were "one-mealers," they had significant increases in total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and in blood pressure, compared to when they were "three-mealers."

The changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors occurred despite the fact that the one- mealers saw slight decreases in their weight and fat mass in comparison to when they were three-mealers. Those findings were published in the April 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Further analysis of the study group showed that when the volunteers were one-mealers, they had higher morning fasting blood sugar levels, higher and more sustained elevations in blood sugar concentrations, and a delayed response to the body's insulin, compared to when they were "three-mealers." Insulin is required to lower blood sugar levels. Those findings were published in the December 2007 issue of Metabolism.

Mike ODonnell
03-11-2008, 10:12 AM
That's the old Mattson study. Nothing really shocking there....as eating a ton of food in one sitting is never good...and they don't say but it's been reported that it was heavy on the carbs. So a "carb bomb" once a day is a dumb idea. People who want to debunk IF use this all the time....but it's a study showing why eating a boat load of cal high in carbs once a day for 8 straight weeks is bad. That's not IF in my book.

I think I covered it more in the comments section of this post as we were talking about Dr Eades' latest IF article.
http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/03/03/dr-eades-and-tim-ferris-on-if/

So take home lesson....if you do IF....eat less carbs and more frequent meals. Nothing new to people here...but for the general population who eat junk already probably an important lesson as many might see IF a free pass to eat whatever they want once a day.

Ari Kestler
03-11-2008, 12:15 PM
Also, certain day IFing I make the mistake of gorging myself that first meal. Big mistake. Very uncomfortable for the next 3-4 hours and my 2nd meal is normally not as big and I only get 2 meals in. On good days, I eat a small meal (can of sardines) and an hour later if I have the same size meal, it isn't as uncomfortable, most times though, I end up having a more normal sized meal since I'm not in the mindset of FEED FEED FEED....I just need to keep telling myself, ok, don't gorge...gorge an hour later...unfortunately most times it's dictated by time and scheduling convenience...probably where longer fasts and more intermittent aspects of IF come into play....

Mike ODonnell
03-11-2008, 12:43 PM
The only time gorging on food ever works out....is if it is protein and veggies....overloading on fat or carbs is just too much for most people. (calorie wise and blood sugar wise) The only time I ever feel sick to my stomach is after big meals higher in carbs.

Ari Kestler
03-11-2008, 02:03 PM
hmm...I ate 2 cans of WAS, 2 large avocados, 2 TBSP of EVOO (it was all mixed in with spices) and 2 "bushels" of broccolini today for lunch and I felt like I was going to explode...the feeling only recently went away....so obviously I'm eating a can of sardines now...

Greg Battaglia
03-11-2008, 06:39 PM
Yup, unfortunately there is no way to completely gorge yourself and remain healthy.

I find that a lot of people go for the Fast-5/Warrior Diet style out of convenience. No time is required to prepare or eat meals during the days and one can enjoy as much food as desired at night. Convenient, enjoyable, and unhealthy!

The main reason why anyone would see benefits with this particular style of IF is due to CR. It's hard to get in enough calories in one large meal per day (believe me, I've tried). The dieter perceives there intake to be higher that what it really is because a full day of calories is consumed in such a small time frame.

I think the fast-5/Warrior styles could be effective when used in overweight subject since it promotes calorie restriction. That's fine by me as long as the dieter is aware of the fact that the reason they are benefiting from the approach is calorie restriction, not some magical metabolic advantage. Anyone who says otherwise probably has an agenda.

For those of us who are already lean and healthy an approach like this is likely to not only to be proven useless, but rather detrimental to health. Art D's is ideal IMHO.

If anyone does go for this approach it should be overweight folks, and it should only be used for however long it takes to get down to a lean body comp., then switching to a less restrictive approach.

Kevin Perry
03-11-2008, 08:04 PM
Yup, unfortunately there is no way to completely gorge yourself and remain healthy.

I find that a lot of people go for the Fast-5/Warrior Diet style out of convenience. No time is required to prepare or eat meals during the days and one can enjoy as much food as desired at night. Convenient, enjoyable, and unhealthy!

The main reason why anyone would see benefits with this particular style of IF is due to CR. It's hard to get in enough calories in one large meal per day (believe me, I've tried). The dieter perceives there intake to be higher that what it really is because a full day of calories is consumed in such a small time frame.

I think the fast-5/Warrior styles could be effective when used in overweight subject since it promotes calorie restriction. That's fine by me as long as the dieter is aware of the fact that the reason they are benefiting from the approach is calorie restriction, not some magical metabolic advantage. Anyone who says otherwise probably has an agenda.

For those of us who are already lean and healthy an approach like this is likely to not only to be proven useless, but rather detrimental to health. Art D's is ideal IMHO.

If anyone does go for this approach it should be overweight folks, and it should only be used for however long it takes to get down to a lean body comp., then switching to a less restrictive approach.

That was the issue I first had when I tried the IF approach for the first time. Working night shift 12 hours and not having time to prepare meals I fit everything into one meal andthe end result was so much mscle mass and weight lostthat it was unhealthy. Too many carbs in the meal and not enough protein.

David Culmone
03-12-2008, 07:35 AM
There's been a couple posts as of late which dismiss eating 1x/day as not a good idea. There's also some insightful research about how our ancestors gorged themselves after a kill. These 2 suggestions seem a bit contradictory.

If we have one daily lowcarb/paleolithic meal of reasonable quantity then what is the main concern here?
Do you think it overloads the digestive tract...or perhaps the huge rush of nutrients into the bloodstream is difficult to handle?

Mike ODonnell
03-12-2008, 07:56 AM
The body takes a long time to digest protein...so a boat load of protein will be digested over 4-6 hours. It's the carbs that mess it all up. It's hard to get a "whole days worth of calories" into a meal with just protein. Hence the study above was loaded with carbs....and the results was not good. I am sure anyone can maintain muscle with a huge protein meal once a day, but that is not going to really support an active lifestyle as well. Paleo man layed around for a day after eating a boat load of meat, most people don't have that luxery in modern day fast paced society. Paleo man also could of snacked during the day with nuts, seeds and fruits....so really he wasn't just doing 1 meal a day at times.

David Culmone
03-12-2008, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the response, Mike. You have a good point, and I agree that he wasn't always eating just once per day. However there may be more fat in animal flesh than you're giving credit for...those guys at the whole carcass, not just the lean muscle.

But let's jump to the present for a moment, if we can. My question is: if we exclude carbs from the large daily meal, keep the fat/protein ratio to say 70/30, and don't over-eat then what are the negative health implications? Do you think it overloads the digestive tract, or perhaps the huge rush of nutrients into the bloodstream is difficult for the body to handle all at once?

Mike ODonnell
03-12-2008, 10:39 AM
I don't think you overload the body....it will produce the neccessary digestive enzymes. You may feel a bit sluggish with a full stomach as digestion takes alot of blood flow. Protein also takes a long time to digest. Only health concerns I would see are an overload with fat and the gallbladder having issues producing enough bile (or getting a stone stuck in the ducts). Slow digestion is good, just look at a snake that eats a full animal and then spends time sleeping while it digests. For a more active lifestyle smaller more frequent meals (even in an IF window) would probably be a better option. The other negative I can see is a small amount of calories per day if done consistently leading to slower metabolism. But this goes along with the warrior diet mentality.

David Culmone
03-12-2008, 11:29 AM
That all makes sense...thanks. So what I'm understanding is that there isn't a drastic physiological downside in a single daily 2200 calorie low-carb meal. Especially if consumed in the evening when afterwards one can sit on the couch and doze off. And in that scenario some benefits of IF would be incurred because the fast would last well over 15 hours to more like 20 or 21.

btw, the warrior-diet promotes eating during the day. hofmekler calls it the undereating phase, and he recommends consuming fructose in that period. (WD, page 20)

Mike ODonnell
03-12-2008, 02:11 PM
2200 calorie low-carb meal?
Damn....good luck with that. Even with 100g of protein (x4 for cal)...that's 1800 cal of fat (/9) or 200g fat in one serving?? Health wise that just doesn't sound good.....gallbladder may not be happy with you.

There is the insulin response factor for a large meal too.....although low carb is lower insulin, I believe large protein meals still stimulates some insulin....hence the whole smaller meal theory for stable insulin.

Garrett Smith
03-12-2008, 03:29 PM
If one is eating so much that they feel disgustingly full or has to sleep it off, I don't think that's good in any way.

Greg Battaglia
03-12-2008, 06:05 PM
Another big issue with the one meal/day thing is that the eating window is far too condensed, especially is you want to mimic paleo eating patterns. Think about it.....if you eat moderately during that one meal in order to prevent digestive, insulin, oxidative effects you're going to end up with too few calories and you'll begin to waste lean body mass and elevate stress hormones. The stress becomes chronic rather than acute. Conversely, if you gorge in an effort to get all the calories you need to maintain lean body mass you're going to create issues with digestion, insulin, AGE's, and oxidation. You just can't win with this approach.

The solution? Larger feeding window with more evenly spread, moderate meals. I would go with an absolute minimum of 6 hours for a feeding window. But wait, then IF loses it's convenience! This is something I discovered the hard way. The take-home message is that eating healthy is going to take some sacrifice in our modern society. It's sad but true. This doesn't mean that we should scrap IF altogether. Some people, depending on their schedule, can design a good IF program that can work synergistically with their schedule to simplify their life. Others will find that IF actually makes life more complicated.

So, if you can make IF work for you then go for it. If not, then go with what will and take the message from all the IF literature as a plus when you miss a meal here and there.

Make IF work for you, don't work for IF.

Ari Kestler
03-12-2008, 07:14 PM
Make IF work for you, don't work for IF.


This is really profound and deserves some respect in it of itself...Even now, after doing this for the last few months, I still only feel that IF is working for me 2/3s of the time. The other 1/3 of the time I am definitely working for IF. Either I'm gorging on 2 huge meals in a 5 hour window and feeling bloated/uncomfortable and disgustingly full or I'm not eating enough cause I can't get the food in in time and then I have serious hunger pangs the following day while fasting... Definitely takes some playing around with variables...



Thanks for this quote.

Greg Battaglia
03-12-2008, 09:04 PM
Awesome, I'm glad it helped. Always glad to help.

Either I'm gorging on 2 huge meals in a 5 hour window and feeling bloated/uncomfortable and disgustingly full or I'm not eating enough cause I can't get the food in in time and then I have serious hunger pangs the following day while fasting.

This is exactly what I mean, prime example. I found the same thing through my experience. Check Art D's stuff. I think he's found a great way to IF without all the downsides. Basically: fast, then eat a good bit of calories spread out over a large time frame. Never stuff yourself.

Sort of ruins the convenience aspect in some respect, but it works.

David Culmone
03-13-2008, 01:24 AM
Wow, I didn't realize there was so much difficulty in getting enough calories in just 1 meal. In my case, I typically eat 1800 calories in a 150/100/40 gram distribution of fat/protein/carb. After a spinach salad w/nuts+cheese, a nice 10oz steak, and some eggs for dessert I feel full, but not stuffed or 'disgustingly full'. Mabye you guys' caloric needs are much higher than mine, I don't know, but I could easily eat even more than what I just mentioned.

And don't you think it's important to rest after eating? The energy used for digestion compromises other bodily functions, for example the immune system. How does that work when you're eating during the day?

Tracy Kay
03-13-2008, 01:56 AM
I am very new to IF, this is my third day, and I have been using a 19 hour fast with a five hour eating window. So far I have eaten at least twice in every window and have not felt stuffed or hungry and have not experienced unbearable hunger pains - really just a consiousness that I am hungry and haven't eaten yet for the day. I am not counting calories or grams of protien - I am eating primarily lean meats, tuna and vegetables, salads (have had a few a couple of oatmeal raisin nut cookies). So far no issues.

Based on what folks are saying above, you all do different lengths of fasting. What is the the range? Do you do it every day, M-F, eod, etc. I think I am going to be able to do this daily, since as I already said I have no issues - but maybe I am in the honeymoon phase?

Allen Yeh
03-13-2008, 04:46 AM
Wow, I didn't realize there was so much difficulty in getting enough calories in just 1 meal. In my case, I typically eat 1800 calories in a 150/100/40 gram distribution of fat/protein/carb. After a spinach salad w/nuts+cheese, a nice 10oz steak, and some eggs for dessert I feel full, but not stuffed or 'disgustingly full'. Mabye you guys' caloric needs are much higher than mine, I don't know, but I could easily eat even more than what I just mentioned.

And don't you think it's important to rest after eating? The energy used for digestion compromises other bodily functions, for example the immune system. How does that work when you're eating during the day?

Why 1800 total calories per day?

Allen Yeh
03-13-2008, 04:49 AM
I am very new to IF, this is my third day, and I have been using a 19 hour fast with a five hour eating window. So far I have eaten at least twice in every window and have not felt stuffed or hungry and have not experienced unbearable hunger pains - really just a consiousness that I am hungry and haven't eaten yet for the day. I am not counting calories or grams of protien - I am eating primarily lean meats, tuna and vegetables, salads (have had a few a couple of oatmeal raisin nut cookies). So far no issues.

Based on what folks are saying above, you all do different lengths of fasting. What is the the range? Do you do it every day, M-F, eod, etc. I think I am going to be able to do this daily, since as I already said I have no issues - but maybe I am in the honeymoon phase?


At first I did it very strictly 7 days a week, 18-20 hours fasts per day but I found that it seemed that my metabolism had slowed a bit(a couple of signs, lower body temperature when I'd wake up, feeling cold all the time...etc) and made my IF even more intermittent by throwing in a few days of normal eating hours.

In regards to the measuring thing, unless you pretty much can eyeball stuff and know that you are getting enough calories, I still find there to be value in measuring. I will respond more in depth on your question over in the other thread.

Garrett Smith
03-13-2008, 09:26 AM
I've definitely found the intermittency part valuable in making IF convenient for me. Here's a loose plan of how my IF week goes (at the moment):

Wednesday: I have a business networking lunch, so I always eat around 12:30pm, then I have adult gymnastics that night and follow that with dinner around 9pm, going to bed around 10pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Usually a big brunch/lunch around 10am-Noon, followed by a big dinner anywhere from 5-7pm.

The other weekdays are either ~15 hour fasts (eating lunch and dinner) or ~22 hour fasts (only dinner). I choose one or the other based on how I feel, how much I've been eating in general (more food over the weekend means more long fasts during the week), and my own convenience (ie. if I forget to bring lunch to the office, it's a long fast day!).

I have not lost any muscle. I am putting up PRs in my major lifts and gymnastics drills regularly. I don't ever feel stuffed unless I eat too much (I have my gorging tendencies), and I know when that is happening, sometimes I choose not to stop myself (dumb!).

It's the intermittency "options" of IF that make it convenient. It is exactly the fact that people are trying to make IF a specific pattern that they are finding it inconvenient.

There should be times of overfeeding, with underfeeding being a consistent/majority part. I'd guess that my current plan is accomplishing that pretty well, FWIW.

Greg Davis
03-13-2008, 01:37 PM
Garrett I can totally relate to how you describe your gorging tendencies. This has been a bit of a struggle for me too, but I think one of the "last steps" to getting this whole paleo/IF thing. Particular the way devany's EF model is described. Notice how he has repeatedly emphasized gorgeing goes against the tenets of the EF way.

What I've had to do (which I was so hesistant to do based on how I felt it was not in line with a paleo experience) is break my meals down to relatively small portions. A really big meal, paleo or not, is gonna leave you with the "gorge" feeling -> mainly lethargy. I suspect that the glycemic content of food is not the only factor in insulin control. Devany has alluded to this I think. [the recent research on artificial sweeteners also seems relevant]

Just this last week I've been (still in the context of partial IF) splitting a typical meal size into 2 parts, trying to eat until just before that full feeling. Even if I only wait an hour before having a bit more it makes all the difference. I think it falls into place when you finally let go of that last inkling of BB mentality telling you to concern yourself with how many calories to get in.

Energy levels seem to be riding high more consistently. And that is the most significant reason I am so interested in paleo/IF in the first place.

The way I see things is this: there is a "missing gap" between the evolutionary logic of seasonality, seasonal variations in insulin sensitivity. It just doesn't fit our modern lifestyles to adopt gorge eating habits. A hunter gather likely does gorge to extremes when food is plentiful, and lies around doing nothing after such meals. That is how their seasons rotate between high and low insulin sensitivity. But the EF model is much more elegant than that. One could even argue that it is "transhumanist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism)" in the sense that it deviates significantly from our "natural" lifestyle but manipulates our genes to enhance our hormone profiles to our needs.

Garrett Smith
03-13-2008, 01:55 PM
Nice post, Greg.

I think I might have made it sound like I gorge a lot more often than I do. Actually it is rare (especially with only meat and veg), and the times I feel the worst is when I deviate from the Paleo prescription (or have too many Paleo carbs with meat).

I'm going to start another thread on this today or tomorrow, but one thing I think no one is looking at is how non-Paleo carrying around giant containers of purified water is to sip at all day. I'll post more on this in another thread.

Mike ODonnell
03-13-2008, 02:14 PM
Also you can say that Paleo's man priority eat as much as he could in the summer....to make it through the winter (less foods available...burn more bodyfat to survive). Less fasting in the summer....more periods of fasting in the winter. That and activity level is higher in the summer...less in the winter? Plus I don't think he cared about walking around at 8% BF all day long to survive and flex at paleo women.

Garrett Smith
03-13-2008, 02:29 PM
MOD,
Wasn't the only motivation for Paleo man the Paleo women???

Gittit Shwartz
03-13-2008, 02:41 PM
Has anyone seen any data on BF% of paleolithic men and women? I've seen a lot of speculations, some of them quite romantic, but I don't know if a plausible estimate can be made from human remains.
I'm especially curious about the effect of seasonally varying BF% on women's menstrual cycles. One camp says women experienced few "periods" because they were more or less constantly pregnant and/or lactating during their fertile years. Another says that they were not even fertile year round as their BF% dipped low. I certainly don't buy that a woman has to have a monthly cycle or she is not healthy. Again, could not find any "data" on this.
Sorry if it's a bit of a hijack...

Greg Battaglia
03-13-2008, 02:57 PM
I don't think there is anyway way to know, really. Contemporary male H/G's are usually quite lean (below 10%) and muscular. The females are typically quite curvy and have higher body fat levels around 20% or so.

Not sure about the menstrual cycle though.

Gittit Shwartz
03-13-2008, 03:21 PM
The females are typically quite curvy and have higher body fat levels around 20% or so.

If you think about it, we women got a bum deal... Lofty athletic goals are just not in line with the Paleo ideal. I know I'm set on the former at this point, but I wonder what the price may be.
Yeah! I'll take six pack abs and back flips. Take that, Evolution!

Mike ODonnell
03-13-2008, 05:10 PM
MOD,
Wasn't the only motivation for Paleo man the Paleo women???

Yeah but back then they just looked for the biggest cave and nicest wheel.....oh wait...things haven't changed.

Tracy Kay
03-13-2008, 11:01 PM
Dr. G thanks for the info on your schedule. I agree that being too inflexible about schedule could cause failure with IF. I guess I am just trying to see how others do it so I can confirm to myself that flexibility is good.

I think initially though, I am finding comfort in the schedule, although, I am not having issues with the schedule I set up, either. So I will remember flexibility!

Thanks!

Gittit, while not directly on point with your question, there are many forms of oral, injected, implanted contraceptives that prevent a woman from having their menstrual cycle for months at a time. As I recall (commercials mostly) there is literature to support the notion that a female does not have to have a cycle monthly in order to be healthy. But I also seem to recall that women get warned not to get too thin because it may disrupt the cycle. I tell you what: I will take being active and thin to having a monthly cycle any day (maybe someday!) ;)

Scott Kustes
03-14-2008, 06:48 AM
MOD,
Wasn't the only motivation for Paleo man the Paleo women???
I think that "production capabilities" would've been more important back then. That is, can the man bring home the zebra bacon? Today nearly everyone can afford a pound or two of bacon, even if it's not nitrate-free, so we have to compete over other things like biceps and houses.

Garrett Smith
03-14-2008, 07:21 AM
Ah yes, Scott, but what was the motivation for bringing home the "bacon"? What was the payoff for Paleo men?

I think we know the answer to that one, right?

Bacon, biceps, houses...all means to an end for us simple creatures.

Scott Kustes
03-14-2008, 12:53 PM
I was concurring with you....the main motivation for man throughout history has been booty. I was saying that the means to acheiving that end had changed. Today it's Porsches, Maseratis, and 5000 sq ft houses. Then it was a steak.

Mike ODonnell
03-14-2008, 01:03 PM
I was concurring with you....the main motivation for man throughout history has been booty. I was saying that the means to acheiving that end had changed. Today it's Porsches, Maseratis, and 5000 sq ft houses. Then it was a steak.

and the #1 show on BTV (Bedrock TV) was "Caves"........

(if I have to go and reference that it's funny because it's the "Cribs" of the Paleo times...then it has lost all joke appeal....)

Garrett Smith
03-14-2008, 01:21 PM
Scott and MOD,
At least we're all honest about it, right? It's those in denial of what drives us to do any/everything that I think are funny (deluded?).

Tracy,
A schedule is good when beginning the IF journey, I totally agree. It's like anything else--at the start one learns form and structure, as time progresses and one becomes more confident/knowledgeable/capable, improvisation and flexibility come more into play.

Jason Naubur
03-14-2008, 01:51 PM
So is what I am doing worth anything?

I have been fasting from 7:00pm to noon or slightly later the next day about twice a week when I feel like it. I don't compensate for the bedtime snack I usually eat, but pack my breakfast and lunch / dinner, of which I eat almost all of after the 'fast' is over.

It sounds like I am not as 'into' it as some of you guys, and take it pretty casually. Is it worth my time like this, or should I move it up a notch?

My goals are, slightly lower BF (now ~8%), and hopefully better health long term. I eat zone proportions with nearly all carbs from veggies / fruits. I am also up to 3x fat or more as I feel like it.


Jason

Mike ODonnell
03-14-2008, 02:15 PM
8% is pretty damn low already....you should be plenty ripped....and as DeVany says, it just feels healthier around that level and not going too low.

IF...is Intermittent Fasting...whatever you make of it for your goals and performance levels. Although if you want maximum health benefits, longer fastings are key 24-36 hours to do the "deeper" cleaning on the cellular level. I enjoy the daily IF just because it keeps me sane and I don't worry about food all day long.

Garrett Smith
03-14-2008, 03:34 PM
Jason,
I'd say you're fine. Definitely go read Mike's blog posts on the subject if you haven't already, you'll likely jive with his stuff.

As some of us have found, the longer we go without food while still maintaining adequate nutrition when we do eat, the better we feel mentally and physically. Your mileage may vary.

David Culmone
03-15-2008, 04:48 AM
If one is eating so much that they feel disgustingly full or has to sleep it off, I don't think that's good in any way.

"If you read the reports of the Europeans who encountered the first free living hunting peoples, you will find them full of reports of these people gorging after a kill, almost to the point of not being able to move." -M.Eades

Garrett Smith
03-15-2008, 01:39 PM
David,
Interesting post.

David Culmone
03-15-2008, 02:04 PM
Garrett,
Whatever the facts may be concerning our ancestors, I totally agree with you that eating until 'disgustingly full' is not good. I would argue that just because we evolved eating a certain way doesn't mean that by default it is a pattern we should emulate.

Mike ODonnell
03-15-2008, 02:15 PM
Garrett,
Whatever the facts may be concerning our ancestors, I totally agree with you that eating until 'disgustingly full' is not good. I would argue that just because we evolved eating a certain way doesn't mean that by default it is a pattern we should emulate.

except on Thanksgiving....