Questions about intermittent fasting

Kurgan

Kingfisher
I've recently started intermittent fasting after doing some research on various sites. I decided to start off the 16:8 schedule and the first few days, I've felt a lot better. I feel more calm and less of an inclination to have the sugary crap they give at work.

It feels good to eat around a window. But there were some questions I wanted to ask for those who do it.

1. Is it better to start off with one day of fasting 16:8 or just do it all of the week?

2. Is it best to exercise during the eat period or in the morning when you're fasting?
 

Clint Barton

Woodpecker
Gold Member
1. Everyday
2. On days you lift, train right before or during feeding window. On cardio days, train while fasting.
Kurgan said:
I've recently started intermittent fasting after doing some research on various sites. I decided to start off the 16:8 schedule and the first few days, I've felt a lot better. I feel more calm and less of an inclination to have the sugary crap they give at work.

It feels good to eat around a window. But there were some questions I wanted to ask for those who do it.

1. Is it better to start off with one day of fasting 16:8 or just do it all of the week?

2. Is it best to exercise during the eat period or in the morning when you're fasting?
 

not_dead_yet

Woodpecker
Kurgan said:
I've recently started intermittent fasting after doing some research on various sites. I decided to start off the 16:8 schedule and the first few days, I've felt a lot better. I feel more calm and less of an inclination to have the sugary crap they give at work.

It feels good to eat around a window. But there were some questions I wanted to ask for those who do it.

1. Is it better to start off with one day of fasting 16:8 or just do it all of the week?

2. Is it best to exercise during the eat period or in the morning when you're fasting?

1. If you do it every day, your body settles into the pattern and you'll stop feeling hungry during the 16 hour fast. Do it every day or not at all.

2. If I exercise when I'm fasting, I sip a combination of BCAAs, citruline malate, creatine, and salt. Doing that, I still overtrain from time to time, so I switch back to exercising when I'm eating. I'd experiment and see what works for you.
 

Hannibal

Ostrich
Catholic
Gold Member
I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend that you only fast twice a week at most.

I did the feeding window for about five months where I fasted 16 hours a day and while I did get leaner, I stopped getting leaner right around 15% bodyfat.

I didn't get down to 10% bodyfat until I started fasting only two or three days a week on random days. Must have been a metabolism thing, but I noticed that the two or three days of random fasting I'd be ravenously hungry the whole time, whereas the 16:8 daily feeding window was something my body simply got used to after two or three weeks. By month 3 I felt like shit all the time, slept like shit and probably had adrenal fatigue, which makes sense because fasting increases cortisol and adrenaline output.

Brad Pilon's book Eat Stop Eat recommends the same, one whole day a week of fasting (24 hours) or two days at most.
 

Clint Barton

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Hannibal has a point. I recommended everyday since OP is just starting out. Better for adherence and getting into an IF groove.

Hannibal - when I hit 15% (dexascan), I started only fasting on rest/cardio days, and made sure to have breakfast on days that I was lifting weights. I did this to make sure I was getting enough calories and carbs to build/keep muscle while continuing to drop body fat. I would eat at maintenance or even more on lifting days, while going around -500 calories on rest/cardio days.

One reason you and I may be dropping bodyfat % while not fasting everyday, is because of:
- Dialing in macros / calories as we get closer to the goal
- Eating cleaner to get to a lower bodyfat %
- all around better focus and getting dialed in with training
 

ElFlaco

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I've been intermittent fasting daily (8-hour feeding window) for five months (combined with low carb). Some unexpected benefits:

1. Frees up time. One less meal to prep/buy/eat.

2. Builds character. A bit hungry? So what. Deal with it. I used to think that being hungry meant I had to drop whatever I was doing and look for food.

3. Improves focus. Food intake seems to dull the mind, lowers energy.

None of these are about losing weight. The downsides? None so far. I can't see ever wanting to go back to eating breakfast.
 

TIOT12

Robin
OP, there are many different ways to do IF. Basically, you want to find a method that works for you that you will stick to. I personally only do it twice a week and will even skip one of those days if I have extra stress or am doing more than usual physical activity for that day.

As for question #2, Clint Barton has the answer I normally see suggested. You will burn more fat if you lift weights or exercise when you are fasting. But if you are doing this often, it is also going to hurt your strength/energy for your weight lifting on those days. Hannibal is correct that after you have been doing it for a while, your body will adapt to it very well and you won't get the same level of benefits. This is why it can be good to cycle on and off or to vary it just like changing up your workouts or diet from time to time.

I would also have you consider doing fasts that are longer than 16 hours. Of the reading I found (obviously opinions can vary), I think you need at least 18 hours and I would believe ideally you would have a full 24 hours or over 20 hours. This should put you in more of a ketogenic state. I think you are more likely to see more of the other fasting benefits with a longer fast as well.
 

Kurgan

Kingfisher
TIOT12 said:
OP, there are many different ways to do IF. Basically, you want to find a method that works for you that you will stick to. I personally only do it twice a week and will even skip one of those days if I have extra stress or am doing more than usual physical activity for that day.

As for question #2, Clint Barton has the answer I normally see suggested. You will burn more fat if you lift weights or exercise when you are fasting. But if you are doing this often, it is also going to hurt your strength/energy for your weight lifting on those days. Hannibal is correct that after you have been doing it for a while, your body will adapt to it very well and you won't get the same level of benefits. This is why it can be good to cycle on and off or to vary it just like changing up your workouts or diet from time to time.

I would also have you consider doing fasts that are longer than 16 hours. Of the reading I found (obviously opinions can vary), I think you need at least 18 hours and I would believe ideally you would have a full 24 hours or over 20 hours. This should put you in more of a ketogenic state. I think you are more likely to see more of the other fasting benefits with a longer fast as well.

TIOT12, I have done 24 hour and 48 water fasts in the last 2 years actually. I got headaches and hunger pains, but the main positive effect is I feel much better and rejuvenated in terms of mental and physical state.

I've been thinking about doing it from Monday-Friday and taking off on Saturdays and Sundays. The eating window would be 12 p.m-8 p.m.

Eventually, I want to do water fasting for a whole week and see where that leads me. I've learned to enjoy not eating and doing more things like reading in my spare time.
 

Mjölnir

Sparrow
Kurgan said:
TIOT12 said:
OP, there are many different ways to do IF. Basically, you want to find a method that works for you that you will stick to. I personally only do it twice a week and will even skip one of those days if I have extra stress or am doing more than usual physical activity for that day.

As for question #2, Clint Barton has the answer I normally see suggested. You will burn more fat if you lift weights or exercise when you are fasting. But if you are doing this often, it is also going to hurt your strength/energy for your weight lifting on those days. Hannibal is correct that after you have been doing it for a while, your body will adapt to it very well and you won't get the same level of benefits. This is why it can be good to cycle on and off or to vary it just like changing up your workouts or diet from time to time.

I would also have you consider doing fasts that are longer than 16 hours. Of the reading I found (obviously opinions can vary), I think you need at least 18 hours and I would believe ideally you would have a full 24 hours or over 20 hours. This should put you in more of a ketogenic state. I think you are more likely to see more of the other fasting benefits with a longer fast as well.

TIOT12, I have done 24 hour and 48 water fasts in the last 2 years actually. I got headaches and hunger pains, but the main positive effect is I feel much better and rejuvenated in terms of mental and physical state.

I've been thinking about doing it from Monday-Friday and taking off on Saturdays and Sundays. The eating window would be 12 p.m-8 p.m.

Eventually, I want to do water fasting for a whole week and see where that leads me. I've learned to enjoy not eating and doing more things like reading in my spare time.

If you do a water fast for a whole week you'll die...

If you still drink natural juices and eat things that are moist, you'll still be seriously dehidrated. Stopping drinking water is the most dumb thing a human can do to his body.

If you think water is making you fat or you're holding up too much of it, it's simple, just drink more and your body will get rid of the excess. Try drink 4-5 liters a day, if you weight more than 170 pounds.
 

ElFlaco

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I recently mentioned to a client that I don't eat breakfast. (We were discussing daily habits.) Major disapproval on her face. People are threatened by this. I guess breakfast really is the most important meal of the day after all! And drink those eight glasses of water a day.
 

MrTickle

Robin
Gold Member
I would like to try this but this is going to be difficult to fit into my schedule. I am normally at work by 8 am and then leave around 5pm. I would have to skip breakfast, take on a small lunch at 12pm (else I'll feel fatigued in the afternoon as energy is taken up digesting the food) and then have a main meal around 6pm.

So if other people are doing this do you try and use the same time window or will one day vary to the next?
 

TIOT12

Robin
MrTickle said:
I would like to try this but this is going to be difficult to fit into my schedule. I am normally at work by 8 am and then leave around 5pm. I would have to skip breakfast, take on a small lunch at 12pm (else I'll feel fatigued in the afternoon as energy is taken up digesting the food) and then have a main meal around 6pm.

So if other people are doing this do you try and use the same time window or will one day vary to the next?

I like to use the same time window but I am flexible in that I will sometimes switch it up whether it is the lunch or dinner meal I miss. For example, if for some reason I have a big lunch, I will sometimes decide to skip dinner to add in an extra fast day. For me the energy levels can vary on my fast day where sometimes I have extra energy and other days I am dragging. However, I tend to do my fast days on days where I know I won't be doing a lot of physical activity. But this is more in line with standard weight lifting advice where you eat more on the days you workout and less on the days you do not. If you are consistently experiencing too many cravings during your fast, I might look into the foods you are eating as that may be a contributing factor. For me, the cleaner I eat, the easier IF is.
 
ElFlaco said:
I recently mentioned to a client that I don't eat breakfast. (We were discussing daily habits.) Major disapproval on her face. People are threatened by this. I guess breakfast really is the most important meal of the day after all! And drink those eight glasses of water a day.

Stupidest thing ever! I am constantly harassed at work, judged by my eating habits.. Guess who laughs in the end when they are fat and I am fit :D

I only eat once a day by the way
 

Plus Oultre

Woodpecker
Kurgan said:
I've recently started intermittent fasting after doing some research on various sites. I decided to start off the 16:8 schedule and the first few days, I've felt a lot better. I feel more calm and less of an inclination to have the sugary crap they give at work.

It feels good to eat around a window. But there were some questions I wanted to ask for those who do it.

1. Is it better to start off with one day of fasting 16:8 or just do it all of the week?

2. Is it best to exercise during the eat period or in the morning when you're fasting?

I have done intermittent fasting for years, to answer your questions:

1) In my opinion, it is better to do it every day
2) I work out during the eating period.

Now on to my experience, I will be concise. I was never a breakfast person, I don't need a breakfast. I was a smoker as well so that helped to keep the stomach busy; cigarettes and coffee. My fasting hours are from whenever I go to bed to around 6 to 7 PM. So basically, the last thing I do before going to bed is to eat. On work out days, my belly sticks out and it looks like about to blow. Some days you can fast longer, on non work out days. Also, after you are into it a couple of months, a day of non-fasting every couple of weeks will not kill the program.

I never had problems with getting fat, so my challenge was to gain weight and I achieved it only with intermittent fasting and the correct macros intake. When I say gain weight, I mean gain muscle and no or little fat. I struggled with gaining weight, I was stuck at 145 lbs for a couple of years no matter what -I thought - I ate. Intermittent fasting and the correct diet put me in 170 lbs in a strong and lean body. My height is 5'6", or 1.67m

On work out days, eat something and work out after one hour or so. After the work out, pig out. On non work out days, fast for 16 to 18 hours, then the first meal dinner at around 8 or 9 PM.

If you do intermittent fasting, you must do the correct diet: this means (for most people, and until you know your body 100%) cycling carbs and fat. High carbs (and low fat) on work out days, and high fat (and low carbs) on non work out days. This is particularly important if you are looking to keep fat off your body, and you gain or lose weight doing what they call body recomposition. High or low carbs numbers could be whatever it means for you and your goal, everybody is different, experiment with intake and see how it affects your body. I used to keep an excel file detailing for each thing I ate: the food consumed, the amount, the carbs, fat, protein, and calories. Then a summary of the day, and then a summary of the week.

When, I kept track of it, my goals were:
2400-2500 calories in non work out days
3000+ calories on work out days

After a year or so, I stopped keeping the excel file because your knowledge of each little thing you eat comes natural and keeping tally of cals and micros comes natural + you already know your body in such a way that you know exactly what will happen depending on what you eat. Every week I had a cheating day, to go out and eat and drink whatever ... it normally fell on a work out day so I just pig out and drink beer ... It is so sad when you know exactly the cals content of every kind of beer hahahahahahahahah

Other thing to keep in mind is to eat clean, except on cheating day ..... the good thing of this lifestyle is that you can literally eat anything on a cheating day and it will not affect your body.

For me, the secret to make it work, is to eat things I like. So, for example, a non work out typical day will look like this:
food-portion size-cals-protein-carbs-fat
Oats: 80 grams - 301, 10, 54, 6
Shake- each 1 - 350, 47, 33, 3.5
Quinoa - 75 grams- 276, 10.5, 48, 4.5
Corvina -1000 grams- 810, 187, 0, 7
chocolate- 20 grams - 120, 2, 6, 11
shake - 1 each - 350, 47, 33, 3.5
Penut Butter - 64 grams - 360, 16, 12, 30

Totals: 2567 cals, protein: 319.5 - carbs: 186 - fat: 65.5
You can easily substitute each shake by two glasses of milk, for example. Substitute corvina with tilapia, or chicken.

Work out day:
Oats - 160 grams - 602, 20, 108, 12
Chicken - 300 grams- 495, 75, 0, 24
Croccantini - 2 each - 200, 6, 38, 2
Chocolate -20 grams - 120, 2, 6, 11
Quinoa -75 grams - 276, 10.5, 48, 4.5
Pork -500 grams - 720, 130, 0, 17.5
Shake - 1 each - 350, 47, 33, 3.5
Penut Butter - 64 grams - 360, 16, 12, 30

Totals: cals: 3123, protein: 306.5, carbs: 245, fat: 104.5
That's a day that fat was higher than it should had been, but again a day or two a week in which the micros are not perfect is not a big deal, specially if you are working out hard. And in my case in particular, I wasn't looking to lose weight but to gain weight so the cycling of carbs in particular wasn't very steep, but I assure you if you keep the carbs under 100 grams a day on low days, and over 200 a day on high days, you notice a huge impact.

Anyways, this extended a little more than intended. Shoot any questions.
 

DRIIIVER

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
Doing consistent intermittent fasting (16:8) and was urinating a lot. This explains why:

Especially at the start, yes intermittent fasting can make you urinate quite a bit. This is one reason that it is very important to consume enough minerals and water when you are fasting.

Your body will not have as much stored water, so you want to make sure to drink enough water so you don’t dehydrate. In addition, the urine will contain some electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc… Therefore, you want to make sure that you replenish those through the food that you eat.

Make sure your water drinking during fasting periods is not too excessive. If you drink too much water, you will lose electrolytes faster, increasing the dehydration risk.

Some people monitor the color of their urine. If it is as clear as water, then you are drinking too much water. If it is dark yellow, then you are not drinking enough.

Eventually, you will not urinate as much. There are a few reasons the urination is so high at the start.

  1. Your body is burning up your glycogen. Glycogen is a storage form of glucose that binds with some water. When the glycogen gets burned up, the water is released and gets urinated out. After a week, most of your excess glycogen will have been burned up.
  2. If you have never fasted before, your body is getting adapted to ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are a new form of energy created by the liver during fasting. If you have not fasted before, your cells are not accustomed to using that energy yet, so some gets expelled as waste in your breath and urine. After your body gets adapted, the ketones will no longer become waste, but get burned for energy.
  3. Burning body fat releases water, especially when beginning weight loss for the first time. Again, this gets released in the urine just like the water from the glycogen
 
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