Getting in Shape

Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically

Hi!!  I am looking to lose 10-12 pounds in the next 3.5 months.  I will be counting calories and walking on the treadmill, but I would also like to try intermittent fasting.  I have been reading about the 16/8 plan.  Fast for 16 hours a day and eat all of your calories (1200-1500 for me) in an 8 hour window.  Have you all heard of this?  If so, have you tried it and did it accelerate your weight loss?  I think the plan/idea is originally called Lean Gains.

Thanks ladies :)
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Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically

  • edited December 2012
    I do intermittent fasting and I feel great on it but hasn't helped me lose weight. (I'm already at a healthy weight and body composition and my body likes where it is and refuses to budge no matter what I do.) Are you eating Paleo/Primal? If you're not, and if you're eating lots of grains and sugars and not enough fat, you won't be able to get through the fasts. You must switch to Paleo/Primal before attempting to fast, otherwise you will not be able to get through it. I was Primal for a year before attempting fasting, and it was difficult at first, but now I usually eat twice a day in a 6-hour window and I love it.

    Kwitherington, fasting offers many health benefits and Lean Gains/Paleo/Fasting IS NOT a fad diet. It's a lifestyle change, and a very valid and beneficial one at that. If she eats back all the calories she has burned, how is she supposed to lose weight? It is true that weight loss is not necessarily strictly about calories in vs calories out, because the human body is not a closed energy system. So for men and obese individuals, they do not have to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. But for females at a healthy body weight, yes, if often does come down to creating a negative caloric balance, and intermittent fasting is a great way to achieve this.  (And creating a deficit through cardio exercise is not an effective way to create a caloric deficit). On a conventional diet iit is exteremly difficult - but on a Paleo diet (60% fat, the rest proteins, vegetables and fruits) fasting (aka skipping meals) is not much of a challenge at all. Not to mention that it makes life A LOT easier when you can eat 1-3 times a day (and not want to eat somebody's head off when you skip a meal) insted of having to eat 5-6 times a day.

    OP, switch to a Paleo way of eating and exercise and then try IF. It may work for you or it may not, if like me you've reached homeostasis and your body is comfortable with where it is. But you won't know until you try. But you have to go Paleo first.
  • cnf2013cnf2013 member
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2012
    In Response to Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically:
    [QUOTE]I do intermittent fasting and I feel great on it but hasn't helped me lose weight. (I'm already at a healthy weight and body composition and my body likes where it is and refuses to budge no matter what I do.) Are you eating Paleo/Primal? If you're not, and if you're eating lots of grains and sugars and not enough fat, you won't be able to get through the fasts. You must switch to Paleo/Primal before attempting to fast, otherwise you will not be able to get through it. I was Primal for a year before attempting fasting, and it was difficult at first, but now I usually eat twice a day in a 6-hour window and I love it. Kwitherington, fasting offers many health benefits and Lean Gains/Paleo/Fasting IS NOT a fad diet. It's a lifestyle change, and a very valid and beneficial one at that. If she eats back all the calories she has burned, how is she supposed to lose weight? It is true that weight loss is not necessarily strictly about calories in vs calories out, because the human body is not a closed energy system. So for men and obese individuals, they do not have to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. But for females at a healthy body weight, yes, if often does come down to creating a negative caloric balance, and intermittent fasting is a great way to achieve this.  (And creating a deficit through cardio exercise is not an effective way to create a caloric deficit). On a conventional diet iit is exteremly difficult - but on a Paleo diet (60% fat, the rest proteins, vegetables and fruits) fasting (aka skipping meals) is not much of a challenge at all. Not to mention that it makes life A LOT easier when you can eat 1-3 times a day (and not want to eat somebody's head off when you skip a meal) insted of having to eat 5-6 times a day. OP, switch to a Paleo way of eating and exercise and then try IF. It may work for you or it may not, if like me you've reached homeostasis and your body is comfortable with where it is. But you won't know until you try. But you have to go Paleo first.
    Posted by unchatenfrance[/QUOTE]

    Not to be an arse or anything, but you're saying that by fasting to create a negative caloric balance she can lose weight, but this is what you do and already mentioned before you haven't lost any weight using this method.  There's a reason why healthy eating and exercise are indisputably the most effective and lasting way to lose weight. 

    How many meals someone eats comes down to personal preference and individual body function. I have a very sluggish metabolism so I tend to only eat about twice a day. For others eating 5-6 times a day keeps them satisfied and healthy as well as keeping their metabolism at a steady level and is their preference, not something they do because "they have to lose weight" or anything like that. There is also a difference between burning calories and ending up with a negative calorie net for the day. You need to consider your BMR as well if you're trying to end up "negative". You're right, it's hard to eat 1200 calories a day then try to burn 1300 so you can end up "negative", but you have to consider your BMR is going to burn however much as well which means you don't need to burn more than you eat.

    Fasting is not for everyone. You can't just say "this is what I do and it'll work for you" because that isn't true. You know what happens when I fast? I relapse back into the eating disorder I dealt with for so many years. Weight lost is not a one size fits all. Most of the time when people fast they are unable to control how they reintroduce eating immediately following which leads to binging which is very unhealthy.  

    OP, if you're curious about this 16/8 fasting diet, try it for a couple days. Worse that'll happen is it won't work for you and then you can figure out where to go from there. You say you're going to walk on the treadmill. I'd suggest you add some strength training to your workouts too if possible. That'll help you burn calories longer and more efficiently. 
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  • edited December 2012
    To clarify, IF has helped me to slightly recomposition and tune in to my hunger signals better but it hasn't helped me shed 10lbs on the scale or slash body fat because 1) my body already is at a very healthy point and 2) I have not used IF to create substantial caloric deficits, which is what it takes for me to lose weight at this point but is not sustainable for me mentally because as soon as I start counting calories I go back down the dark abyss of my high school years. OP may or may not be in a similar position. Intermittent fasting + a caloric deficit may help her if she has a bit of a spare tire, or it may not if she's reached homeostasis. Intermittent fasting on its own will not lead to fat loss in most healthy females (though it can in men, those lucky SOBs.) 

    Cnf, you're right. Fasting is not for everyone. It's certainly not feasible on a conventional high-carb, low-fat diet. 

    OP, I stand by what I said before - switch to Paleo and only then attempt the Lean Gains protocol. It will be extremely difficult to fast on a conventional diet.
  • edited December 2012
    Agreed. But there is a world of difference between snacking throughout the day on 1500 calories' worth of a high-carb, low-fat diet, and fasting before consuming 1500 calories of Paleo fare in a 6-8 hour window. The two approaches elicit different responses from the body. Caloric restriction is only one aspect of what makes fasting effective for weight loss and health improvement/maintenance, as opposed to conventional caloric restriction.

    And trust me, kwitherington, I used to be the exact same way. I HAD to eat first thing in the morning, and eat something evert 3-4 hours otherwise I would become super hungry and cranky and my blood sugar would plummet. Going Paleo fixed all that. Now I eat when I'm hungry - usually at 10-11 am (even though I wake up at 7), then maybe once or twice more before 7-8 pm. Now my insulin response is steady and even if I am forced to skip a meal I can wait to eat without experiencing insane hunger pangs or crashing. I cannot recommend Paleo enough to help people dial in to their body signals and develop more positive relationships with food. 

    Also, the Paleo diet is filling not because it's high protein (30% or so, just like many other ways of eating) but because it's high fat - 50-60% of calories come from fat. (And no, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol do not cause heart disease, and eating fat does not make you fat). 

    OP, I reiterate: Do not bother IFing without going Paleo first. You will not be able to fast for 16-18 hours on a conventional diet.
  • edited December 2012
    LOL no, I know you weren't criticizing my choices, I was just trying to pre-emptively deflect some of the criticisms of Paleo should they arise from others - that eating fat makes you fat and that Paleo will kill you. Which it doesn't and it won't. :-)
  • Yeah, I love that Paleo is becoming more and more mainstream! 
  • If I tried to go 16 hours without eating, I'd pass out from low blood sugar.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hello-does-anyone-have-experience-with-intermittent-fasting-168-specifically?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:6f5096fa-b89b-4464-ad2d-e506a2011e86Post:d7c15b37-1571-4fe3-8a7a-eb72df3589da">Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically</a>:
    [QUOTE]If I tried to go 16 hours without eating, I'd pass out from low blood sugar.
    Posted by J&K10910[/QUOTE]

    <div>Which is why I keep saying that OP should not attempt to fast without going Paleo first, which helps keep blood sugars and insulin steady throughout the day.</div>
  • Thanks girls. I don't think I can do paleo, I am a vegetarian. Are there veggie friendly paleo versions of the diet/lifestyle?
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  • edited December 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hello-does-anyone-have-experience-with-intermittent-fasting-168-specifically?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:6f5096fa-b89b-4464-ad2d-e506a2011e86Post:ec5ee921-374f-40c6-87df-6dc0d2914a47">Re:Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks girls. I don't think I can do paleo, I am a vegetarian. Are there veggie friendly paleo versions of the diet/lifestyle?
    Posted by adawn1981[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Paleo and vegetarianism are anathema. There are Paleo individuals who who avoid dairy, and there are some Primal pescatarians out there (Mark Sisson's wife, for example). But as I said, this is a diet that calls for 50%+ of daily calories from saturated fat (fatty, grass-fed meats, and quality dairy if one tolerates dairy). You can certainly take on board some Paleo principles - avoiding grains and industrially processed vegetable oils, as well as the fitness guidelines - but to sustain a Paleo diet long-term, one has to eat meat.
    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hello-does-anyone-have-experience-with-intermittent-fasting-168-specifically?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:6f5096fa-b89b-4464-ad2d-e506a2011e86Post:b81d0079-eeaf-45d6-8dcd-4a3f531acc93">Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically : Which is why I keep saying that OP should not attempt to fast without going Paleo first, which helps keep blood sugars and insulin steady throughout the day.
    Posted by unchatenfrance[/QUOTE]

    I already eat low carb/grain (100g or less of carbs a day, mostly from fruits and veggies) and high protein and fat.  So...

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hello-does-anyone-have-experience-with-intermittent-fasting-168-specifically?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:6f5096fa-b89b-4464-ad2d-e506a2011e86Post:db38a0e7-b7f9-460c-9099-dd1b17fceefb">Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically : I already eat low carb/grain (100g or less of carbs a day, mostly from fruits and veggies) and high protein and fat.  So...
    Posted by J&K10910[/QUOTE]

    <div>It does take a lot of getting used to. I found skipping a meal difficult at first but now I can do 20-hour fasts no problem. A 24-hour is a different story, and i have no idea how people manage 36-hour ones. Point being, going Paleo is absolutely a prerequisite to fasting. But if you're on Paleo, fasting is not required and it may not be feasible for all individuals.</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hello-does-anyone-have-experience-with-intermittent-fasting-168-specifically?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:6f5096fa-b89b-4464-ad2d-e506a2011e86Post:cc76f782-e161-41f9-8fb3-389b0e54979e">Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically : It does take a lot of getting used to. I found skipping a meal difficult at first but now I can do 20-hour fasts no problem. A 24-hour is a different story, and i have no idea how people manage 36-hour ones. Point being, going Paleo is absolutely a prerequisite to fasting. But if you're on Paleo, fasting is not required and it may not be feasible for all individuals.
    Posted by unchatenfrance[/QUOTE]

    I guess I don't understand what you're saying.  Low blood sugar isn't something that you SHOULD be "getting used to."  It's a sign that something isn't right and your body needs fuel. 

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  • edited December 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hello-does-anyone-have-experience-with-intermittent-fasting-168-specifically?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:6f5096fa-b89b-4464-ad2d-e506a2011e86Post:f497b759-fdce-4086-873c-2456e83cad27">Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hello! Does anyone have experience with intermittent fasting? 16/8 specifically : I guess I don't understand what you're saying.  Low blood sugar isn't something that you SHOULD be "getting used to."  It's a sign that something isn't right and your body needs fuel. 
    Posted by J&K10910[/QUOTE]

    When I said "it takes getting used to," the "it" was referring to the fasting, not to having low blood sugar. Eating Paleo doesn't <em>lower</em> blood sugar in absolute terms. Paleo does help to <em>stabilize</em> it over the course of the day, which is why on Paleo you can skip a meal without crashing and/or bingeing. And the reason for this is that when you're on a conventional diet, your body is burning the readily available, recently-ingested carbs for energy. And once those are out, you have to eat again. When you're eating Paleo, you switch from being a "carb-burner" to a "fat-burner." So instead of your body relying on the recently-ingested carbs for fuel, it relies on the stored fat for fuel. This means that if you're Paleo, after a couple of hours of not eating your body doesn't start screaming at you "low fuel, low fuel, gimme quick-burning carbs NOW, you crazy person!" - because it has the stored fat to rely on, so there is no emergency.<div>
    </div><div>IFing is basically an extension of the Paleo way of eating, which calls for no more than 3 meals a day, compared to the conventional wisdom of 5-6 meals a day. So once your blood sugar is stabilized, you can skip meals with relative ease when you want to or when circumstances force you to.</div>
  • Just throwing in another view point...I'm not pro or anti paleo, I'm not muslim, etc...However... I know alot of Muslim people who basically fast 16/8 for Ramadan without eating Paleo the rest of the year. Many of them are vegitarians. You dont have to have a specific diet or specific belief system to fast. You just need to find a system that works for you.

    Good Luck.
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