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View Full Version : Intermittent Fasting: New Diet Solution or Passing Fad?


Allen Yeh
10-08-2008, 05:04 AM
http://ericcressey.blogspot.com/2008/10/intermittent-fasting-new-diet-solution.html

George Mounce
10-08-2008, 05:37 AM
IF followers will choose a day or two each week, and on those days, they simply won’t eat for 24 hours. It seems simple, and a lot of people like the idea of giving your body and digestive system a break.

Not true. I do 2-3 12-17 hour fasts a week, sometimes I don't fast at all. I don't like how almost right away its plugged on the articles author's definition of IF.

Here arises the problem. In the animal studies with rats, researches observed signs of depression and irritability.

Seriously, how does one define an irritable rat?

Research started showing that people following IF, or even purposefully skipping a few meals per day were developing insulin resistance, decreased glucose tolerance, and increased blood pressure.

Love to see the research on this, in fact everyone I know who IF's has had exactly the opposite effect. Of course the people in those studies probably were eating a typical American diet, which doesn't get mentioned here.

In most real world applications - especially because people were eating diets in a significant caloric deficit - the body downregulated its thermogenesis to such an immense degree as to not allow for almost any weight loss.

This is about the only part I agree with, I have noticed this effect in myself, after awhile I couldn't lose anymore weight because my body had adjusted. So what did I do? Change up fast times or don't fast for awhile. Simple as that.

So overall, one guy's opinion, backed up with no sources. I'll stick to MODs blog.

Allen Yeh
10-08-2008, 05:54 AM
Just putting it up there, typically I like a lot of the stuff that Eric Cressey puts out.

Mike ODonnell
10-08-2008, 06:33 AM
Ok....time to rant a bit....

After these initial animal studies, human researches jumped on the IF bandwagon. People were expecting big things. Unfortunately, they were very disappointed with the results. Research started showing that people following IF, or even purposefully skipping a few meals per day were developing insulin resistance, decreased glucose tolerance, and increased blood pressure. These problems were not tremendous problems and some might argue that in real world IF, where people don’t fast every other day (only once or twice a week), the studied health problems wouldn’t occur.
It's the same old Mattson study about 1-3 meals a day that gets dragged around.....been rehashed enough. Moral of the story, 1 big carb bomb meal a day will not get weight loss or improve insulin sensitivity. Smaller insulin controlled meals always a better idea (except if you are doing an infrequent carb load after a workout)

Even if this is so, there is another problem with which we have to contend. The largest problem is a decrease in thermogenesis. Essentially saying that these people, even though they purposefully consumed as many total calories on IF as the control group, had drastically suppressed their metabolisms. This is why so many people have found such little real world fat loss from IF. In most real world applications - especially because people were eating diets in a significant caloric deficit - the body downregulated its thermogenesis to such an immense degree as to not allow for almost any weight loss. This to me is the final blow.
To me this is people who are too sold on BB mantra to think the body can actually operate a different way. There is no proof IF (when done correctly) lowers metabolism (in fact it may increase metabolism due to increased SNS response). IF is not starvation or CR. Also to think a faster metabolism is the only way to burn fat is pure silliness. As if a person who burns 4000 cal a day and eats 3500 has a -500 cal a day deficit....now a person who burns 3000 cal a day and eats 2500 has a -500 cal a day deficit. Hmmmmm......looks pretty similar. Add in the fact that fat loss is hormonal and IF has dramatically shown lower insulin levels and increased GH output....well looks like a pretty good fat loss environment, add in some good intensity training and an active lifestyle, and fat will fall off.

I like Eric's stuff usually but have to give a thumbs down on this one. Eric (technically Eric didn't even write it so can't fault him...although it's his blog) is new to the IF game and just rehashing what most people first think about IF when they first hear about it (starvation...Ahhhhhhhhh)......but I'm sick of everyone pulling up the one study as proof IF doesn't work when you only eat one big carb meal a day (which they usually neglect to share in their IF bashing). Really? Shocker.

I expect nothing less from most people though....as it threatens everything they ever knew about fat loss and health and would mean that all their advice in the past could of been......wrong? Hey even I bought into the 6x a day meal thing in the past.....but I already went to consuling and got over it. I'll be the first to admit that you can lose weight eating 6x a day....10x a day....or 3x a day. It's still all about insulin control and calorie deficit. That and IF is a threat to the hundreds of millions of dollars in the whole bar/shake/meal replacement industry. Imagine the horrors if people could lose weight just on real food!

Rant done.....I've already gone over this in more detail in the past when Eades came out with the same post about IF not working (mainly because he used it as a pass to pig out on carbs once a day). Now IF + lower or controlled carb is a different story. I went into more in the comments here about that study if anyone really wants to rehash this more: http://www.theiflife.com/2008/03/03/dr-eades-and-tim-ferris-on-if/

George Mounce
10-08-2008, 07:44 AM
I have to agree with you MOD, IF when used with crappy foods, yields crappy results.

Brian Lau
10-08-2008, 08:09 AM
IF has dramatically shown lower insulin levels and increased GH output....

MOD, could you point me to the evidence that IF increases GH output. Thanks!

Mike ODonnell
10-08-2008, 10:50 AM
MOD, could you point me to the evidence that IF increases GH output. Thanks!

Surely:

Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men.
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=1548337&ordinalpos=9&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)
Pulsatile growth hormone secretion in older persons is enhanced by fasting without relationship to sleep stages. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8675598?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=3&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

Remember that GH is a hormone that comes in "pulses" (greatest being while during sleep). Fasting pulses seem to be on average higher than non-fasting (as the body's way of saving muscle and burning fat?).

Of course for optimal results one also has to focus on insulin control....as high insulin environments (resistance) while IF'n will lead to long term muscle loss and fat gain.

Mike ODonnell
10-08-2008, 10:54 AM
I have to agree with you MOD, IF when used with crappy foods, yields crappy results.

IFOC ("IF on Crap"....patent pending) never works.....but there are ways to cycle in non-paleo foods if you got your exercise days and eating fat+meat days as well. But IF as a license to pig out on junk food or eat anything you want....won't work (which is basically what those human trials were).

Dave Van Skike
10-08-2008, 12:18 PM
The practice of calling it IF migth be a fad but really it's not far off of what a lot of people have arrived at over time as a normal eating pattern. for a lot of people, my grandparents included.

wake up : coffee,
eat nothing until about 4PM,
have some fruit,
contineu working,
go home about 6.
eat big meal, (last night was roast beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, and greens) , drink a glass or two of of red wine or guinness.
eat light snack before bed......

repeat.

Eat like this with crappy foods, i.e. big starch bomb and inadequate protein/goodfat you'll feel like hot trash and likely quit or become a binge eater.

Use the reduced meal frequency to plan, prepare and enjoy good foods, you'll start to look like someone who works for a living.

Fallacy #1. is assuming IF is magic,
Fallacy #2 is using a bunch of studies to justify the position one way or the other.

Anyone I know who has given it a solid try in the real world has at least seen some positives. Whether it wins everyone's cost benefit analysis is different quesition will not likley be answered by Mr. Cressey.

Mike ODonnell
10-08-2008, 12:39 PM
The practice of calling it IF migth be a fad but really it's not far off of what a lot of people have arrived at over time as a normal eating pattern. for a lot of people, my grandparents included.

That we can agree on.....IF is just a fancy name for doing what feels right. Although in today's world you basically have to tell most people how to eat because they have lost all natural senses of what normal eating is supposed to be. Not much to hunt and gather while sitting at a cubicle...unless you call the machine in the lunch room "prey".

Tons of ways to go about IF.....many work....many do not....individual needs vary also.....too many variables to group just all under 2 little letters (IF).

The fad will come and go for those looking for quick and easy answers while binge eating on sugar.....it will stick around for those of us who call it a lifestyle.

Liam Dougherty Springer
10-08-2008, 04:04 PM
[QUOTE=Dave Van Skike;40493]
wake up : coffee,
eat nothing until about 4PM,
have some fruit,
contineu working,
go home about 6.
eat big meal, (last night was roast beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, and greens) , drink a glass or two of of red wine or guinness.
eat light snack before bed......

repeat.

Eat like this with crappy foods, i.e. big starch bomb and inadequate protein/goodfat you'll feel like hot trash and likely quit or become a binge eater.
[/QUOTE[QUOTE]

LOL that is classic I especialy like the refferal to HOT TRASH :D LOL

Patrick Donnelly
10-08-2008, 10:04 PM
I've been intermittent fadding for over a year straight now.

Scott Kustes
10-09-2008, 04:14 PM
Over 3 years on the fad for me.

Kevin Perry
10-09-2008, 06:45 PM
fadtacular

Stuart Mather
10-10-2008, 03:42 PM
Over 3 years on the fad for me.

What's your weekly fasting pattern these days Scott?

Cheers, Stuart

George Mounce
10-10-2008, 04:32 PM
I just hit a year with IF this month. I can say I love the results.

Scott Kustes
10-11-2008, 07:39 AM
Stuart,
15-20 hours most days of the week. I might eat breakfast once a week, lunch once or twice a week, the rest of the time, I only eat starting at about 4:30-5 when I get home from work. Sometimes breakfast and dinner only, sometimes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sometimes just dinner. I try to keep it changing up and pretty much eat when I'm hungry.

Weekends, I'm pretty lax on. I usually eat a big breakfast at least one day of the weekend...like the 8 eggs, onion, handful of green beans, kohlrabi, truckload of basil and half head of garlic (all done up in pastured lard) with coffee that I'm having right this second.

I've tried the 24-on/24-off, but found myself sluggish on the eat days due to....eating.

Mike ODonnell
10-11-2008, 08:34 AM
Many years here....hell I was probably doing it before I even knew it had an official name.

I never eat breakfast (I get tired just thinking about a big breakfast) and most days don't eat till 12-1pm....plenty of energy....1 small Americano (2 shots expresso in water) keeps me going all day long....even now I enjoy the little hunger (which is completely different from cravings of sugar as my blood sugar is not low when fasting) here and there during fasting, keeps me on edge and alert and feeling in total control, love it....I try to eat smaller throughout the day (keeping carbs small and mostly meat and fat) and then biggest meal at night (Warrior Diet like). No desire to ever go back to eating big meals until it's later in the day otherwise I am sluggish, brain gets all fogged up and useless.

Also my mentality of needing to even eat alot on days of ice hockey games is gone (which was told to me from day 1....eat alot as you will need the energy....now I know why some games I felt so tired and slow in high school with that big pasta meal before the game). I found that now if I eat very light on game day of mostly meat and fat, plan for my glycogen stores to be refilled 1-2 days before the day of the game and keeping insulin levels low the whole day of the game allows for more steady and explosive energy. The worst thing I found is getting my insulin high before a game, as while that may give me initial quick energy I will soon bonk from the blood sugar crash and compromised fat metabolism. Of course I drink my beer after as the best post workout beverage of choice. :)

George Mounce
10-11-2008, 08:46 AM
Nothing like an ice cold beer after a hockey game, I envy you, when I moved from WA to CA, I had no place to play anymore, and there sure isn't anywhere to play in MS lol.

Allen Yeh
10-15-2008, 04:58 AM
http://ericcressey.blogspot.com/2008/10/intermittent-fasting-installment-20.html

Eric Cressey posted up something that Brad Pilson wrote up.

Mike ODonnell
10-15-2008, 09:02 AM
If you haven't seen this.....Brad was on some morning TV show.....and it was basically an ambush by a "DR" and "Dietician" (s the piece is even labelled "diet fads")......Hence why I can't watch mainstream media programs anymore.....hopefully maybe some people got the message....but the way the so called health experts threw out common myths you read in $3 magazines was rediculous.....like there possibly couldn't be a way that overweight people could be healthy skipping a meal....yeah because a 300lb man would starve himself to death without a healthy breakfast....(already ranted about that study funded by Kelloggs on my blog about people needing cereal to lose weight....and eggs make you gain weight...but it still irks me)

http://www.mandjshow.com/videos/mj-investigates-the-latest-dieting-fads-continued/

How about a study showing an increase in doctor visits and certified dieticians with the increasing diseases and obesity....then by their deductive rules it must be them making people fat and sick.

Liam Dougherty Springer
10-15-2008, 11:38 AM
already ranted about that study funded by Kelloggs on my blog about people needing cereal to lose weight....and eggs make you gain weight...but it still irks me)

How about a study showing an increase in doctor visits and certified dieticians with the increasing diseases and obesity....then by their deductive rules it must be them making people fat and sick.

How about the new special K comercial promoting a night time snack... a new cereal with added chocolate chunks as a healthy alternative to desert. I cracked up.

Oh... and I am not saying it is intentional but in a way... they are makeing people fat and sick. Well at least by the recomended diet.

Allen Yeh
10-15-2008, 12:38 PM
That show clip really made me mad. Those 2 "experts" didn't let him speak at all after he did his initial intro. The last thing I heard was "what is this teaching people, what are they learning." As far as I can recall the standards recommended by most dieticians/experts are pertty awful. What have they taught people, what are people learning?

Chris Salvato
10-19-2008, 10:29 AM
I am pretty new to IF myself, only been at it for a couple of weeks now...

I am not one of these people that lies to the people they are around. At work, people ask me out to lunch at 12 PM, and I know I am fasting until around 2 PM or 4 PM. I tell them straight up that I am fasting, and they spit out all the conventional wisdom given out by health experts about why skipping meals is stupid -- about how I need to keep my "fire burning" and my metabolism high....however, they also think that I am stupid for not eating breads/grains/rice.

People who know me a bit better know that I have done my research on all things nutritional and just accept that what I am doing is the best thing for me at this point.

The bottom line is that the major challenge I have experienced in my few weeks is properly informing people of the benefits. I direct them to theiflife.com, leangains.com and over a dozen publications in medical journals but it never seems to be good enough....

These, however, are the same people who told me Rip's GOMAD was going to make me fat -- despite putting on 20# of mass in 3 months...75% of the gains being lean (about 15# lean gains...)

I guess the real point is that you can't convince people of anything. While I agree with MOD that u can see positive results on any meal plan... 1 meal a day or 10 meals a day ... there is a difference between "results" and "optimal results". Not to mention the benefits people are missing out on by not fasting...

I guess some people put us under the same scrutiny for not being vegetarians despite the endless volumes of data on the "benefits" of being vegetarian.

It takes a more keen mind and a deeper understanding -- more in depth research and knowing the right people to speak with -- to understand why something like IF is beneficial and why vegetarianism/veganism is...well...asinine.