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Garrett Smith
04-21-2007, 07:47 AM
OK, after talking with Steve Liberati, I've decided to try IF for myself (again).

My first learning attempt came a while ago, while I was still doing the Zone. I was doing the 19-20 hour fast version, eating all of my meals between 5-10pm. The problem was the insane amount of stomach-bursting vegetables rx'd, and having to finish it off with dried fruit to get the required carbs. Left me going to bed feeling like a bloated sack.

This time I'm considering the 1 day fast (M/W/F), 1 day refeed (T/Th), eat on the weekends version that I think I read Scotty Hagnas did in the PM.

From what I understand, due to increased efficiency, it will be very likely that I won't need to "make up the caloric deficit" completely on my refeed days. Is this correct?

For those of you in the know, to save me some time, please point me to the best threads for beginner IFers. I'll look through the PMenu for the IF articles.

Any suggestions would be welcome. My current diet is basically 4 feedings a day, consisting of several servings of fruit (in the beginning half of the day), meats, lots of veggies/leafy greens, oils, and nuts in small amounts. My last legume (peas) just left the building, I found it does NOT digest well anymore.

One initial question--for the cooks of their respective households. I do the cooking in my house...how do you guys resist eating when you have to do the cooking? Actually, don't worry too much about that question...I just remembered my wife is at a meeting on Wednesday nights (I don't have to cook then) and Friday night is always up in the air as to what we're eating (usually it involves coming home and going to bed early after the workweek). That only leaves Monday, and my wife is capable enough of cooking for herself that one night...

Your help will be greatly appreciated...

Scotty Hagnas
04-21-2007, 10:07 AM
Hi Garrett-

Good luck with the IF! After several years of IF, I've come to a few conclusions that should help.

First off, you are correct that you will require less food than if you spread your eating thru out the day. I can gain from ~2500 cal a day now, when before that would have lead to rapid weight loss. Improved nutrient partitioning and a lowered metabolic rate is what I'd imagine is going on here.

I don't eat much, if any fruit during most of the year. I eat it in season (summer and early fall), but it does tend to bloat and fill me up. I feel much better eating LOTS of veggies. You might play with your fruit intake a bit and see if that helps you get the meals down. I have been taking HCL w/digestive enzymes, this seems to help as well.

I usually do only 2-3 meals a day, in a fairly tight window. Though I always vary it, I really like eating all my food before 1pm on Mon, fast to 1pm Tue. Eat all my food Tue after 1pm, wed am eat all food before 1pm -and so on.

Snacking while cooking - I just don't do it. My wife fasts on a similar schedule, so it's pretty easy for us. We do prepare lots of food while fasting, as we have to take the whole next day's meals with us.

Give me a call if you want to chat a bit more about it. Take care, and good luck with the gym!

Scotty Hagnas
CrossFit Portland

Mike ODonnell
04-21-2007, 10:53 AM
Great info Scotty....I know Robb has some good articles in the PM too...one is called IF Review....another called IF:Health Longevity and Performance. Also has a good one on Hormesis: Unified Performance. I am sure there are some good info in the IF forum section...that probably takes some picking through but I would guess the newer the posts, the more up to date info.

I would love to see a comparison of the pros and cons between a 15hr IF fast and 24 hr IF fast program. Which is better and why....depending on goals and performance needs. I do the 15hr version and like the feeling of energy and empty stomach early in the day to get stuff done....plus eating a ton at night more suits my metabolism. Not sure I could stomach 24 hr fasts...would probably eat my hand off....that and not sure I could do a 2x a day eating calories...as I don't like feeling bogged down energy wise.

Great thing about IF as Scotty mentions...is you can still eat less...but get the results of muscle gain and fat loss in a hypocalorie diet....vs the old eating 4000calories a day...much like the zone....less food, increased longevity and health, increased muscle and fat loss.....sounds pretty damn good to me.....

Mike ODonnell
04-21-2007, 11:06 AM
Robb linked to this in his July 05 IF:Health, Longevity and Performance article in the PM....it's from De Vany July 05

Altering Anabolic and Catabolic States
July 11, 2005 04:19 PM

A reader has asked which is best, eating every other day or compressing the fed state to 10 hours or less. This later strategy means compressing all your meals into a narrow time window of 12, 10 or less hours and eating nothing for the remaining 12 or 14 hours.

We first have to identify the prime factor in either of these eating patterns relative to a more conventional eating style. What is a conventional eating style? It depends on your daily pattern and pretty much on whether you are overweight or not.

Overtly obese individuals have a typical pattern of eating: many meals and snacks during the day, a high fat content of the meals, and a shifting of calories toward the later hours of the day, particularly during the dark hours. Body builders follow a similar pattern, though their intake is more uniform over all 24 hours of the day; some get up at night to eat so as to stay in the anabolic state (a fed state with high insulin and net protein positive balance) and avoid entering the catabolic state (the opposite of the anabolic state). The overweight and body builders tend to share a common strategy (or failure) of eating many meals a day.

Both have problems. The obese have many and body builders manage to avoid some of them because they have such high activity levels. But, they both tend to die of similar diseases, diseases of metabolism.

The characteristic that links both these sets of individuals (the obese and the body builders of the serious type) is that they both lack variation between the anabolic and catabolic states. They have a flattened and somewhat uniform metabolic state. The obese do little and eat steadily so that they seldom vary their metabolic state; they are almost always in the anabolic (growth) state.

Body builders who fixate on maintaining a positive protein (nitrogen) balance only enter the catabolic state when they work out. Fortunately, they tend to work out often and long, so they do enter the catabolic state for that period of time. But they ingest a meal soon after the work out and then go back into the anabolic state.

This is bad.
Read More

Our ancestors altered between anabolic and catabolic states. The alterations were sometimes pretty extreme as in five days of hunger, subsisting on wild plants or nothing, and then a big feast when game was killed. Hunter gatherers lived in a connection to the outside world that was highly varied and this coupled their metabolic states to the natural variation of the physical world.

A strong component of that natural coupling was a diurnal variation; night versus day. Activity (a catabolic state) and eating took place during the day, sleep (an anabolic state) happened during the dark. Our various biological clocks run on this pattern. These clocks, of which there are many, synchronize our metabolic states with day light and dark and with the frequency and duration of our eating and activity patterns.

Modern life has uncoupled we humans from the natural metabolic landscape. We see little of the alternation between anabolic and catabolic states that our ancestors experienced. If you downloaded and read my Evolutionary Fitness Essay you will already understand that the modern distribution of activity, nutrition and anabolic/catabolic state is fundamentally shifted. The modern distribution is flat; there is too little variation. The ancient distribution (see my Why We Get Fat article which can be downloaded from this site) of the variation of states in the ancestral habitat has a higher variation and a few outliers of extreme catabolic and even starvation states. And the diurnal rhythm was strongly periodic, unlike modern life where you can live, eat and function at any time of the day or night.

So, back to the original question, but now with some background. Which is best, eating every other day or compressing the eating window to fewer hours in the day? They both are good. Nature prefers mixed strategies; the only optimum is to randomly vary strategies. This effectively smooths the strategy space and lets you do a little of every thing. So, do follow both strategies and vary them along with your "normal" eating pattern. The key to all of it is the variation between catabolic and anabolic states.

I have understood or believed for a long time that a lot of our vaunted intelligence is "out there" in the world. Our metabolic systems are geared to the natural variation of night and day and seasonal variation of cold and heat. And they are geared to the natural variation of food and activity. To fail to cycle between anabolic and catabolic states, which is only possible in the modern world of nutrition abundance and flattened energy expenditure landscape, is to fail to heed the long-established ancestral pattern. It spells compromised metabolic fitness. Our natural intelligence, cognitive and metabolic, is geared to a complex and shifting energy landscape with peaks and valleys that represent extremes of the anabolic and catabolic states.

Garrett Smith
04-21-2007, 11:25 AM
I can't believe that DeVany didn't mention yin and yang in that article...

Scotty, my wife and I do very much want to visit Portland soon...I'm thinking of figuring out how to attend a particular IV therapy seminar there so that I can write the trip/visit off...I have a buddy from junior high soccer and his wife visiting me here (they live in Portland) and I just helped him out with his digestive health...probiotics, people, get your probiotics!!!

I haven't had any issues with the fruit since I ditched the Zone's CHO "requirement". As long as I only combine fruit with nuts OR dairy (not that I eat much dairy, only some whey protein once a week as a long metcon PWO treat), I have no issues at all. Put sugar/starch with meat protein, I don't feel so good--so I don't do it. Now I know why beers with food always made me feel so crappy. Now my digestion isn't an issue--having said that, if I go out to eat or eat at someone else's place, I take my enzyme/HCl combination, along with a full spectrum enzyme.

I guess I should say that before, I was doing a version of the Warrior Diet, only eating at night.

I like the 1pm "cutoff" time. It lets a normal lunch-time happen, which will help me at work. I'm going to have to be much more disciplined about when I take lunch on this plan (sometimes I let it slip).

Robert Allison
04-21-2007, 03:52 PM
I'm not doing IF right now, but when I was, my experience was similar to your's, Garrett. I found that doing the "compressed time frame" version didn't work particularly well for me. For a number of different reasons, I found it difficult to eat as much as needed during a specific window.

What worked best for me was something along the lines of what Dr. Eades outlines here:

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/?p=278

I wasn't monitoring it particularly closely, but I suspect that my overall calorie intake was lower, but I experienced no loss of performance or lean muscle mass.

As is often the case, I think that DeVany is on to something with alternating between eating every other day and utilizing a smaller eating window, and a certain degree of that was forced on me by life. But at least during my most recent IF experiment, I definitely found the Eades approach more user-friendly.

Andy Deas
04-21-2007, 08:48 PM
Scotty,

If you have a few minutes, I'd be curious what an example day of eating looks like for you. That seems like a ton of calories to consume in such a short time. It would be interesting to see what you are eating on an average day.

Thanks!

Andy

Troy Archie
04-21-2007, 09:58 PM
Ditto on that. I'm also really interested in what your training times are when fasting?

Larry Lindenman
04-22-2007, 05:16 AM
Dr. G. Been compressing my time window between 3 and 8. Getting pretty good results over the last 3 weeks (fat loss, no energy problems). I occasionally have to eat a breakfast or lunch when I have meetings (my job now is a little more political and I take Chief's of Police out to eat). I chalk up the occasional breakfast or lunch up to "variation" and push on. I usually break the fast with a huge protein drink containing blueberries, greens +, yogurt, flax powder, almond butter, protein powder, and 3 teaspoons of Carlson's fish oil on the side (I can't add it into the mix...blah!). Figure I front load as many nutrients as I can...it also stops me from attacking everything in sight. I've read the literature, like what it says, and have no idea how this is going to go...long term, so were in this together!

Steve Liberati
04-22-2007, 06:13 AM
For me, the biggest advantage of IF (besides improved health, sleep, energy levels, mood, and body comp) is convenience. In the past (actually throughout my entire adulthood), food has run my life. Whether I was going to the park to shoot some hoops, running errands with the wife on the weekends, or concentrating on a demanding project at work - food was always on my mind occupying every last thought worrying myself to death about the precise timing of my next feeding. Well, not no more. With fasting, I can put food on the back burner so to speak take charge of my body and focus on other more important tasks. In other words, its a big relief of stress. Love it!...kinda like I'm a little kid again where you run around all day playing outside having fun just living life and not thinking about food until its time to go home for dinner. On my feed day, I'll start eating around noon and try to stop around 6 (sometimes its 7 or 8 depending). Then I'll fast throughout the night during the following day until around 5-6pm. Within that time, I try to stay on feet as active as can be and sqeeze in my workout before the fast ends. After the fast, I'll eat somewhere bet 1-3 times depending how I feel, what I'm doing, and the mood I'm in. Its really that simple. Of course, this won't work for everyone. BUT thats the beauty of IF. Unlike most diets out there, you can customize to your exact liking. If you want, fast only when you feel like. After all it is called intermittent. Playing a few rounds of golf? make that your fast day...have fun and think about food later. You're in charge now!

Robert Allison
04-22-2007, 08:24 AM
For me, the biggest advantage of IF (besides improved health, sleep, energy levels, mood, and body comp) is convenience.

That is spot on. I really enjoyed the fact that food was not really influencing my schedule, and that I was more able to just focus on living life.

The main reason I dropped IF for while is because I am trying to put on a few pounds and get stronger, and I was finding it difficult to do that while IF'ing. I think that in few weeks, I might try to pick it back up, but add in protein shakes as part of my diet, to make sure that I am maintaining a caloric surplus.

Mike ODonnell
04-22-2007, 08:27 AM
The main reason I dropped IF for while is because I am trying to put on a few pounds and get stronger, and I was finding it difficult to do that while IF'ing. I think that in few weeks, I might try to pick it back up, but add in protein shakes as part of my diet, to make sure that I am maintaining a caloric surplus.

I think you can still add the lbs as during the fasts you have the protein sparing affects and improved insulin sensitivity...just as long as the calories are there. And as Scotty mentioned...he can put on pounds doing IF with actually less calories than before when eating 6x a day....of course another easy way is to limit the amount of activity you do, you'll put on lbs but your conditioning may suffer a bit.

Garrett Smith
04-22-2007, 08:30 AM
Here's my initial idea.

I'm starting to fast at 3pm today, going until 3pm Monday.
Feed Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Fast Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
Feed Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Fast Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Feed Friday evening all the way through Sunday morning. Then resume this schedule.

Supplements only taken on feed days (this will save me ~40% on supplements alone, not to mention the food savings!).

At the start, I'm going to do OL/gymnastics workouts and/or joint mobility on the fasting days, until I'm used to it. I'm already saving my longer metcons for the weekend anyway.

Larry, are you still trying to maintain the Zone on IF? I could see doing the compressed window with meat and veggies, just not with the carbs asked for by the Zone.

To make sure, doing IF properly, one can have non-caloric beverages during the fast? IE...coffee, teas, herbal teas? Has anyone noticed this screwing with their appetite (especially the coffee)?

Thanks everybody. Maybe a short sticky could be made for this Forum on the basic approaches to IF...

Robert Allison
04-22-2007, 08:36 AM
Looks good, Garrett.

I think that coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are on the politically correct list for IF. I found that they didn't really mess with my appetite, but YMMV.

I think you can still add the lbs as during the fasts you have the protein sparing affects and improved insulin sensitivity...just as long as the calories are there

Very true. I think that was the issue for me. My intake was adequate to maintain, but not add. I probably need to go back and dig up some of Scotty's articles on how he approaches that.

Steve Liberati
04-22-2007, 08:46 AM
With a good post workout meal on your fasting day (protein, veggies and tubers) and most of your cals at night (olive oil is your new best friend:)) adding a few pounds and putting muscle should not be a problem. In fact, if you have a slow metabolism to begin with, I bet its much easier overall (without adding the unwanted weight gain). As for doubling the cals to "make up the caloric deficit" I don't really think is necesary unless 1.) you want to put on slabs of muscle 2.) you have a very fast metabolism like Robb W. and your body burns food like dry leaves in a fire. If that is case, you probably shouldn't be doing IF anyway. Just eat clean foods as frequent as you can.

Steve Liberati
04-22-2007, 08:52 AM
Supplements only taken on feed days (this will save me ~40% on supplements alone, not to mention the food savings!).

To make sure, doing IF properly, one can have non-caloric beverages during the fast? IE...coffee, teas, herbal teas? Has anyone noticed this screwing with their appetite (especially the coffee)?


Garrett,
Just out of curiosity, why the no supps on fasting days?
and...
highly recommend herbal teas on fast days to keep appetite in check and body well hydrated. Most people report higher sensitivity to coffee as well. Personally, I opt for a small shot of espresso on fast days instead...gives the metabolic furnace a good kickstart! (without the anxiety feeling i.e shakes)

Mike ODonnell
04-22-2007, 11:07 AM
I keep the coffee (small americano) and small amt of half/half in the AM.....keeps my hunger under control....plus with the already increased sensitivity and fasting...my focus and mental clarity increases...aka I get more done in the AM now....that and I find that I can do much better endurance training on an empty stomach with caffeine...mostly because the stomach has more nerve endings than the human brain, and it is basically resting....so with fasting I now have an increased amount of energy and fresh CNS for muscle activation....I find exercise (biking, running, hockey) easier and I "feel" lighter.....if I try the same exercise 2-3 hours after eating a meal...I feel less performance and my legs feel heavier....

Garrett Smith
04-22-2007, 01:29 PM
Scotty,
Besides answering the other questions, since you mentioned the 2500 Cals during a feeding...

What brought you to that point of deciding on that amount? Did the Zone rx help with that, or has it been all trial and error? Approximately what is your BW and BF%, and how much of your intake is fat?

I'd rather start this journey utilizing the knowledge of others who have gone before...

I talked to my parents about IF today, they seemed interested. Who knows...

Robb Wolf
04-22-2007, 05:12 PM
Good stuff. I just find the IF easier. I notice I am not as hot in the summer due most likely to a lower BMR. Much of the waste heat is what creates a chronic oxidative load...decoupling of the mitochondrial electron transport system to create heat and fritter away calories. Not good for health and longevity. The partitioned eating certainly makes it easier for me to gain muscle.

Garrett Smith
04-22-2007, 08:21 PM
Steve,
I'm not doing the supps on the fasting days, partially because my gut is telling me to.

Robb's article on hormesis gave me the idea.

I've heard some in medical field throwing around ideas that too many antioxidants can interfere with the oxidative burst of the macrophages and other things like that, along with potentially becoming pro-oxidative.

I don't see why the benefits of fasting in terms of creating cycles/waves in the metabolism can't be extended to supplements as well.

Great book on cycles and waves in nature: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Waves-Irving-Superwave-Principle/dp/1594860440 . He's created a cyclical exercise routine that seems to reinstate natural rhythms in the body, curing dis-eases much like IF seems to. The two together would be incredible, IMO. I'm working on getting out to his place to learn the specifics...

Andy Deas
04-22-2007, 10:49 PM
Robb,

How closely are you monitoring your total calories and your macronutrient breakdown with IF (if at all)? Are you using a low carb by the seat of your pants (we need an acronym for that) approach?

Robert Allison
04-23-2007, 06:09 AM
Great book on cycles and waves in nature: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Waves-Irving-Superwave-Principle/dp/1594860440 . He's created a cyclical exercise routine that seems to reinstate natural rhythms in the body, curing dis-eases much like IF seems to. The two together would be incredible, IMO. I'm working on getting out to his place to learn the specifics...

Funny you should mention Dardik. A while back, I had saved an article that referenced his work, thinking that I might explore it a little further when I had the time. I just came across it again the other day.

You can view the article here (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0675/is_1_21/ai_97171375/pg_1). I really don't know much about the author, other than she seems to have an Internet radio program that focuses on natural health care.

What did you think of Making Waves?

Garrett Smith
04-23-2007, 07:21 AM
Robert,
I thought it was a great book, everything in it made sense. Opening my eyes wider to nature's "waves within waves" made me even more receptive to IF.

I look forward to when I will be able to learn this Lifewaves protocol. For folks who just won't touch a weight, being able to improve their health drastically with some simple, short intervals sounds incredibly beneficial.

Garrett Smith
04-23-2007, 05:06 PM
OK. The first 24 hours are done.

I felt like I did fine, I did get the stomach grumbling, and I felt hungry most of the morning. No big deal.

My wife did notice towards the end that my eyes looked "glassy".

I definitely enjoyed eating again. So far (since 3pm), I've had three sheets of nori and a can of Tongol tuna with: olive oil, butter oil, pine nuts, cilantro, wheat-free tamari. I tried to hold back a bit so I don't ruin dinner...:)

Even while feeling hungry, I've been more "on task" today than I have been in a long time. I think the hunger definitely made me think about what to do next, as I sure as heck wasn't going to just sit around and feel hungry!

Did a short strength workout this morning of OHS and eccentric back lever singles. Felt good.

I'd say placebo at this point, but my bodyfat already looks lower (or it's just less generalized edema, who knows).

I do believe I'll enjoy my food more doing this (and not take it for granted...).

Garrett Smith
04-23-2007, 05:09 PM
I talked with Dardik's folks at www.LifeWaves.com on the phone this morning. I'm very excited about learning this protocol, so far they report great results with a huge spectrum of chronic diseases.

The guy on the phone was even familiar with IF...

Robb Wolf
04-23-2007, 05:26 PM
Robb,

How closely are you monitoring your total calories and your macronutrient breakdown with IF (if at all)? Are you using a low carb by the seat of your pants (we need an acronym for that) approach?

Not much tracking. I will end a fast early if my training dictates but I am usually able to run the fast out to ~18hrs, train and then eat. The first meal is protein (canned wild salmon) and yams. Later meals are protein, greens and quite a bit of fat.

I did follow a 16block zone for a couple of months. Leaned way out, ramped up the fat...felt good then went nuts on the regimentation. That said I think i keep proportions pretty close to that level. Performance is good and it's easy to live with.

Daniel Miller
04-24-2007, 07:41 AM
Great stuff reading this thread!

Dr G, I'm curious to keep reading about your experience. I've been motivated to give IF my second attempt as well.

Perhaps I'll start a journal as well. My goal is 6 weeks, starting this week following a hybrid of the 1. eat noon-6pm and 2. alternate morning (wake-1pm) and evening (1pm-sleep) every other day.

This past winter and spring, I gained 5lbs of lbm and have the goal of keeping it on while keeping performance up, saving time by not eating, and seeing if IF helps with mental focus.

If my experience is good in the next 6 weeks, I'll be starting med school in August and will be doing IF for the duration!

Garrett Smith
04-24-2007, 08:41 AM
First feed day is going well so far. I was definitely really hungry last night...I had a whole dark chocolate bar and some celery+cilantro pesto dip on top of my 3pm tuna and nori snack, that was all above and beyond my "normal" food intake after 3pm. Dinner was some seaweed salad and about a pound of wild salmon.

Breakfast shakes were normal this morning. Lunch will be normal, two cans of Tongol tuna and some more seaweed salad. We'll see what else I might eat before 3pm...

I know that there is going to be a gradual metabolic rate slowdown, which will allow me to drop my nutrient needs over time. My wife thinks this will only last two weeks at the most. I just don't see the 24 hours on, 24 hours off as that big of a deal, nor do I see it as any inconvenience, so I don't think it will be a problem over time.

Scotty Hagnas
04-25-2007, 05:46 PM
Garrett- Definitely let me know if you are headed up this way!

Re: the request for a food log - I'll do a training and food log starting in a few weeks. I am slammed busy until the day job ends on May 18th. You can get a pretty good feel of it from several back issues of the P menu, though. One article has my eating schedule for a month, the other what training I did.

Scotty Hagnas
CrossFit Portland