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Steve Liberati
03-12-2008, 06:08 AM
Although our paleolithic ancestors often lived in areas teeming with game and wild plant foods, it is easily agreed upon that they faced periodic shortages from time to time. Mainly due to seasonal or local variations in the climate.
This got me thinking. Does EOD fasting accurately reflect the lifestyle of paleo hunters-n-gathers? Lets think about this for a minute. If they scored a hunt (touchdown), which was probably a big game beast like a bison, mommoth, woolly rhino or giant sloth chances were they ate for days, maybe even for weeks. After their supply dwindled down, they probably went back out on to hunt roaming the savanna for at least a day or two (fasted state) searching until they had something to return to camp for the rest of the tribe.

Of course, my modern-day evolutionary thinking which could be completely wrong (good chance!)...but it would seem like a long fast (upwards of a day or two) once a week for example (rather than EOD, every other day) closer resembles the eating patterns of our healthy and fit ancestors who quite successfully lived off the land.

thoughts?

Ari Kestler
03-12-2008, 06:35 AM
I like the concept of a week where a majority (4-5 days) are condensed eating windows, 1-2days are total fasts and 1 day is a gorge fest...don't know what the results would look like though....maybe i'll try it...

Mike ODonnell
03-12-2008, 07:39 AM
I would say:
- What about small game kills which they hunted daily, caught, and ate every night (although smaller) and repeated.
- Season issues with more light in the summer to hunt game....but isn't this also the time they are stocking up on fat by eating as many fruits as possible?
- Paleo man layed around alot and went to sleep when it got dark, so he could have an easier time fasting than most people today running around and burning more energy.

That and I just like food. :) All in all, I think longer fasts have huge benefits....but should be cycled in around shorter IF windows and occasional all you can eat days. EOD is not an accurate portrayal in my book.

Greg Battaglia
03-12-2008, 09:22 PM
I agree Steve, doesn't seem too logical. Things were probably much more erratic.

I think H/G's probably ate 2 meals/day on a regular basis with random periods of 1-2 days of fasting. Probably a moderate meal early in the day and a larger one at night (but definitely not a gorgefest). Possibly even some snacking between those two meals. I'm thinking that was the basic pattern, but inevitably there will be some oscillation from those guidelines.

I think this would be really good....

eat when hungry and stop when satisfied (not stuffed) most days of the week. Eat paleo of course (mostly veggies, meat and clean fasts). Then 1-2 days a week go hungry for the entire day to shock the system and improve insulin sensitivity

People have this perception of H/G's being just like most wild animals, roaming the forests feverishly scrounging for the next kill. In reality, H/G's are quite sophisticated and are intelligent enough to secure relatively consistent food sources, especially from plants. When hunting is lean, plants are the back-up. However, as noted, small game kills are quite frequent in H/G societies.

The main reason for fasting in H/G societies is inclement weather. Rain is risky because it makes hunting more difficult and predisposes H/G's to pathogens (weaken immune system from the cold) that could be a death sentence in nature. So when it rains, H/G's shack up and wait for it to stop until resuming hunting/gathering.

Evolutionary Fitness (AD) is a good place to start with this I think. His plan has you fasting 2 days a week. I don't even think a whole 24 hours is necessary.

Steve Liberati
03-13-2008, 04:37 AM
Evolutionary Fitness (AD) is a good place to start with this I think. His plan has you fasting 2 days a week. I don't even think a whole 24 hours is necessary.

Good stuff Greg!

Could be wrong, but doesn't Art D fast EOD?

Greg Battaglia
03-13-2008, 03:18 PM
Steve,
I haven't been follow his blog lately to be honest with you, but the last time I checked he stated that based on his calculations H/G's would be in "negative calorie balance" 1 out of every 3 days.

Based on that assertion an IF schedule might look like this....

monday- no fast
tuesday-no fast
wednesday-fast
thursday- no fast
friday- no fast
saturday- fast
sunday-no fast

Which leaves you with 2 days of fasting for that week and 3 days for the next week (since you'd start fasting on Monday of the second week, assuming you kept the 2/1 fasting scheme)

Also, note that he says "negative calorie balance" which doesn't necessarily mean no food at all. It may just indicate that you eat very sparingly on that day. AD also does 15 hour over night fasts quite regularly, so I'm sure that helps insulin sensitivity as well.

Of course, none of this stuff has been scientifically tested and probably never will be, as it's based on chaos and randomness. Nevertheless, I have personally found that everything AD says is spot on with the way that my body responds to diet and exercise. Even before I heard about AD I found through experience that his ideas and theories work.

In the end, I think the key is to improve insulin sensitivity through fasting. MOD has touched on this before and I think he's right. If we get our diet dialed tightly (low carb paleo) our insulin sensitivity will be pretty darn good. IF can be used as a finishing touch-used as a tool to tweak our insulin sensitivity for that last 10%.