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View Full Version : is it possible to fast to much?


Trygve Lunde
09-02-2009, 10:49 AM
Ive been doing the fasting for some time now and i find no problems with it, im never hungry etc. etc. But im afraid if there is a possibility to overdoing it. Say im using the 16/8 leangains approach and throw in some 24 hours fast once or maybe twice a week instead of the regulair 16? like leangains combine with eatstop.

Derek Weaver
09-02-2009, 12:33 PM
Yes, it is possible to do everything too much.

Eat Stop Eat is great. Lean Gains is great. Fast 5 is great. All of them combined, maybe not so great. I wouldn't throw in 24 hour fasts too often if you're already calorically restricted the rest of the week.

Mike ODonnell
09-02-2009, 03:36 PM
Too much fasting usually means low calories over extended period of time....which is basically calorie resistriction.....and if muscle and strength are your goal, this is not the way to go.

IF has an "Intermittent" part in front for a reason.....not the word "daily"

Steve Shafley
12-26-2009, 11:50 AM
This post cracks me up.

Yes, fasting too much is called starvation and can lead to death.

Charles Staley
12-26-2009, 12:28 PM
Why on Earth would you fast at all, ever?!?!

Ive been doing the fasting for some time now and i find no problems with it, im never hungry etc. etc. But im afraid if there is a possibility to overdoing it. Say im using the 16/8 leangains approach and throw in some 24 hours fast once or maybe twice a week instead of the regulair 16? like leangains combine with eatstop.

Garrett Smith
12-26-2009, 01:24 PM
Why on Earth would you fast at all, ever?!?!

Because having to snack in the middle of the night is very inconvenient. :)

Charles, you may want to do some Googling of IF, or intermittent fasting, or just check out Mike O'Donnell's great blog posts on the subject.

Mike ODonnell
12-26-2009, 02:18 PM
Yes, fasting too much is called starvation and can lead to death.

Truer words never spoken. People who don't know how to eat right in the first place and use more fasting as a solution to lose weight give IF a bad name. It's like giving a bottle of gin to an alcoholic, nothing good will come from it.



Why on Earth would you fast at all, ever?!?!

"Intermittently" can help to mainly improve one's glucose metabolism (namely lower fasting insulin) which will carry over to improved health, reduced inflammation, better fat burning environment, etc. Of course eating healthy and exercise can do that as well. Just helps some people control calories in a condensed eating window daily if their goal is weight loss....but of course they still have to eat enough over the long haul for it to work (without just starving themselves). Some have seen improvement in burning stubborn fat with just a couple fasts to jump start the fat loss again. Others just like the feeling of more energy daily, more mental concentration and not being a slave to eating all day long from mainstream weight loss/bodybuilding brainwashing of needing food 24/7 (as the body will survive if the nitrogen balance is not positive 24/7 and more meals does not elevate resting metabolism if calories are identical in less # of meals).

Of course IF is just a tool to use at heart....not some set diet plan. A natural "short term" stress to give the body so it adapts in a positive manner (namely the glucose metabolism which is so important for survival and also other health benefits that can come from amino acid recycling at the cellular level, aka getting rid of junk proteins and building healthy cells instead). Also the stressor results in a natural resistance at the cellular level for degradation in the aging process.

Much like how the stress of lifting weights makes bigger & strong muscles. However the same rule applies for both IF and exercise, that more is not always better.

Here's some other abstracts on the benefits:

Dietary restriction has been shown to have several health benefits including increased insulin sensitivity, stress resistance, reduced morbidity, and increased life span. The mechanism remains unknown, but the need for a long-term reduction in caloric intake to achieve these benefits has been assumed. We report that when C57BL/6 mice are maintained on an intermittent fasting (alternate-day fasting) dietary-restriction regimen their overall food intake is not decreased and their body weight is maintained. Nevertheless, intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake.

Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake; Mark P. Mattson; Laboratory of Neurosciences, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224


The vulnerability of the nervous system to advancing age is all too often manifest in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In this review article we describe evidence suggesting that two dietary interventions, caloric restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF), can prolong the health-span of the nervous system by impinging upon fundamental metabolic and cellular signaling pathways that regulate life-span. CR and IF affect energy and oxygen radical metabolism, and cellular stress response systems, in ways that protect neurons against genetic and environmental factors to which they would otherwise succumb during aging. There are multiple interactive pathways and molecular mechanisms by which CR and IF benefit neurons including those involving insulin-like signaling, FoxO transcription factors, sirtuins and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. These pathways stimulate the production of protein chaperones, neurotrophic factors and antioxidant enzymes, all of which help cells cope with stress and resist disease. A better understanding of the impact of CR and IF on the aging nervous system will likely lead to novel approaches for preventing and treating neurodegenerative disorders.

Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: Two potential diets for successful brain aging; Bronwen Martin, Mark P. Mattson, and Stuart Maudsley

Side note: If someone's goal is to put on mass, eating enough takes first priority before worrying about using IF. Many self named "hardgainers" just need to eat more, as we are all hardgainers when we don't eat enough.