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Fasting: I find it easier to "not eat" than to "eat less"

 
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Love this topic! I just read through the whole thread and I am so interested and thankful that you all shared your experiences.
I have been doing varied types of fasts since November, including 16:8 IF with varied eating windows, 12-hour dry fast, 24-hour fast, etc. I have lost 14 lbs in the last 5 weeks (I'd like to lose at least 40 more). I fast 6 days a week now, but keep it varied day to day. I'm going to add in one 36-hour fast per week for weight loss.

The most important thing I learned recently is that women need to fast differently than men. Go check out "Fast Like a Girl" and Dr. Mindy Pelz -- she will explain it all:



Seriously, this blew me away!
 
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Fasting is important to our heal.
I find coffee ☕ helps me get through the process with out breaking our fast.
 
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Julia Winter wrote:Anybody out there who has gone longer than a day?



I've done a seven-day fast. The first three days were hard. After that, it wasn't difficult at all. I even had to cook for the family and I went to work every day. I didn't take any vitamins or other supplements.

One thing, though, is that at that time, I wasn't a coffee/caffeine drinker at all. I think that makes it harder for those who want to do a water-only fast, as I did.
 
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I try to fast from food (water is okay) for at least 3 days per month.  I find that after 3 days there are no hunger pangs or desire to eat.  So, basically, the first 3 days are full of temptation.  After the 3 are past, I find fasting is really very easy as long as I keep busy.  The longest I have ever gone is 40 days (more just to see if I could do it).
Intermittent fasting is supposed to be really more beneficial to the body, with 16 hours being optimal.  It is much easier to do as well since not eating after 8 or 9 PM plus 8 hours of sleep will comprise much of that time.


 
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I agree with the idea that we are creatures of habit. At work I am ravenous by 11 am, this has been my work lunchtime for decades. But on the weekends and other time away from the office I don't notice hunger until the early afternoon.

My biggest question with this is I have heard you need new fuel for exercise. Once I lamented that my body is carrying plenty of fuel for a workout, so why do I get so hungry afterward? I would love to burn off this old fuel!
 
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I'd be a goner without my black coffee every day! That's all I consume, other than water, outside of the 5p-10p range. Within those hours is "Dirty" Keto, aka, I don't count what I eat or drink, but I know there's little to no carbs in it, since I'm mostly carnivore. I make all my own rubs and seasonings, so I know what goes on the meat as well.

Daniel Wilmot wrote:Fasting is important to our heal.
I find coffee ☕ helps me get through the process with out breaking our fast.

 
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What a coincidence that this thread was suggested in the Daily as I have been researching this topic in the past weeks as well.
Actually I researched it for my husband. I am a bit concerned about his belly fat and so many people seemed to agree that IF is the way to go. He tries to stick to it but it is quite early in the process to see a result.

Hearing and seeing about the cancer prevention is another reason to consider IF even for myself (I have always been slim, according to the BMI I am even underweight, but have gained some bellyfat in menopause).

As Dr. Mindy was mentioned, I'd like to recommend another one of her videos:

She talks on why we get bellyfat (cortisol), how to counteract by getting exercise about 2 hours after getting up or after a stressful event, do IF up to 36 hours, and how to convert white fat to brown fat (that can be "fueled" more easily), e.g. by cold plunges.

There was also an interesting video by Dr. Eric Berg on the importance of eating enough fat and cholesterol and the importance of sleep, but I can't find it right now.
So maybe I will give this a try. I am eating healthy already (almost no sugar or white flour, different veggies, blueberries, almonds, eggs from our hens, legumes, grains, sprouts, fermented foods etc...) and I feel good. But there seem to be so many benefits from IF that I could incorporate it.
 
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I don't want to take this too far astray from fasting, but for the people that want to lose weight and are fasting for that reason, there is a way to lose fat much, much faster and easier than any other I have found.  If you get up and walk for 45 minutes in the morning while in a fasted state, you will burn bodyfat preferentially.  No running, jogging, or any more intense exercise, brisk walking only.  Anything harder will shift the emphasis away from burning bodyfat.  Everyone I know that has tried it has had great results, myself included.  Extra credit if you have a dog and walk it at the same time :)
 
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Liv Smith, Be careful there. I once started on a "fasting" schedule...which ended up being life threatening anorexia with potential organ damage. I can tell you that hunger as a life saving "impulse" can be lost. Limited ketosis can be a good thing. The first stage of ketosis  can be very good for brain function...with the increase in beta-hydroxybutyrate.  I agree that "limited fasting"...extended time between meals may be a good choice, but realize that a reduction in food intake can also be a reduction in needed NUTRIENTS for cellular and immune health and function! So, if eating only one meal a day, please make it nutrient dense...not just the average meal. B vitamins are water soluble, conceivably needing to be replenished daily for optimal health. Realize that age related weight gain can also be related to accumulated toxins and metabolic changes. Stay hydrated!
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:I don't want to take this too far astray from fasting, but for the people that want to lose weight and are fasting for that reason, there is a way to lose fat much, much faster and easier than any other I have found.  If you get up and walk for 45 minutes in the morning while in a fasted state, you will burn bodyfat preferentially.  No running, jogging, or any more intense exercise, brisk walking only.  Anything harder will shift the emphasis away from burning bodyfat.  Everyone I know that has tried it has had great results, myself included.  


Sounds like I am doing it right already! Twice a week we meet with friends for a brisk walk at 8 am, exactly two hours after getting up, by coincidence.
I used to say that I need breakfast before but now I find that I can easily walk just after having some tea with milk. Maybe also because I have "reduced" empty carbs? I certainly feel I don't have these spikes and cravings that I had when I ate less complex carbs
 
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Dr Mindy Pelz has great YouTube videos on fasting info. Especially helpful for women and hormone cycles.

https://youtu.be/LYyO7cJpweo
 
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Just wanted to share my thought on "I don't fast because it makes me feel sick". I've heard that the body stores toxins in fat cells, so it makes sense to me that you would feel sick if your body is flushing those. Especially since most people's diet is full of toxic highly processed food. Your body will be producing more energy, but it takes even more energy to process those toxins if a lot of fat cells are being used up, so you're going to feel bad for a while. Feeling good shouldn't be the point of life. Being challenged is good, suffering can be good for you and others, and the hardest things produce the biggest change and impact. Do hard things. A few hours, a day, 2 days, just challenge yourself and push through the suck.
 
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If you aren't eating a lot of fiber, then it is going to be really hard to get rid of toxins and toxicants in your body.  I agree with Gary Park that detox and fasting should optimally go together.  
I fast every Thursday until dinner, and 3 times in winter. I fast in winter because that's the most natural time to do it.  Our ancestors had a hard time finding food in winter, and my garden produces much less in winter.  I don't want to throw away delicious fruit and veg during the growing season.   A 2 day water only fast about December 1, a 5 day modified fast in January, and a two day pure water fast in February. For the 5 day, on days 3,4, and 5, I eat one side dish of vegetables a la Valter Longo, the fasting mimicking diet. This is the most studied and researched form of fasting that I know of.  

For detox, pretty much everyone agrees that lot of leafy veg is important. They also pretty much agree that cilantro is one of the most important things to use.  I use this one:

https://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/heavy-metal-detox-smoothie

After starting to use this one, I could get the aftertaste of the toxins leaving my body, like when I burped or something.  It is not as intense as it was.  I think this means that I am getting rid of the toxins.  Everything in this detox smoothie is really good for you anyway.

John S
PDX OR
 
jackie woolston
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My experience with weight gain and toxins. I was a metal worker/fabricator, welding, plasma cutting, forging, grinding...Over time I felt my "well being" was being negatively impacted with metal exposures, and my long standing slim body was gaining girth that seemed resistant to any efforts I made towards reduction. (This period in my life was years after my bout of anorexia: see earlier post.) My understanding was that accumulated  toxins could impact weight gain and the yo-yo effects of diet and exercise...seems our bodies may stash toxins in fat stores to get them out of the general circulation. To save us from ourselves?
Rapid weight loss can dump fat stored toxins back into circulation faster than the liver can clear them. Extreme rapid detoxes can do the same. IF the liver is overwhelmed, a response that can happen is "liver swelling" an inflammatory response. The fall out of this inflammation results in scarring...It is often said that the liver is an organ that can repair damage...true, but often that repair is scar tissue. Scar tissue in the liver gets worse over time. Cirrhosis...Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).  I was trying to be careful, went to a doctor, who put me on a high dose Vitamin C metal detox. The doc, failed to realize that my years past stint of birth control pills had stashed pseudo-hormones in fat stores as well. The detox caused a major dump of fat stored toxins/pseudo hormones, my liver was in real trouble! I ended up in an ER with every symptom of a heart attack that you can think of. After very expensive and thorough heart testing...they found NOTHING! It was my liver!
I walked out of the ER with no answers. Long story short, the heart issues were due to "rub", my liver was so overwhelmed and swollen it was putting pressure on lungs and heart. 10 years later, I am trying to survive the liver damage...NAFLD. Please be careful with rapid weight loss! Beware of rapid detox. Both can cause an overwhelmed liver situation that can surface years later!
Eating and detoxing GENTLY  for liver health should be a major consideration.
 
John Suavecito
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Great post, Jackie.

Yes, that's why I think a gentle and slow detox lifestyle is better than some quick, one week detox extravaganza. Using a lot of vegetables and fruit, including cilantro, decreasing one's intake of toxins, and moderate exercise works well.  If you regularly eat a lot of whole food fruit and veg, you don't really even have to think about it, and the toxins are removed in a way that is easier for your body.  

I especially wouldn't attempt a harsh detox during a long water only fast.  I've always read and followed a gradual entry into fasting: half a day, then a full day, then maybe more, depending upon your reaction. Checking with your health provider first.  

John S
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John, Agreed! The interesting thing about fresh fruits is that there is a component there called Calcium d-Glucarate. This "substance" is very helpful for the liver to gently take out the stubborn fat soluble toxins. Calcium d-Glucarate is used in drug re-hab to remove drug residues and for drug overdoses as well. Food Grade Activated Charcoal does something similar. The Calcium d-Glucarate is also used to eliminate Estrogen Dominance...slowly gently!  Are you familiar with "enterohepatic (re)/circulation"?
 
John Suavecito
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No but I like learning about stuff. Shoot.
John S
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Anita Martin
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jackie woolston wrote:Liv Smith, Be careful there. I once started on a "fasting" schedule...which ended up being life threatening anorexia with potential organ damage.


So many people have shared their success stories of fasting, so I think it is even more important to also warn about possible implications. Thanks for bringing this up.

Dieting and calorie counting can get obsessive and if you are prone to overdoing this for whatever reason, you should be careful.
But as far as I have understood about IF there is no calorie counting involved and you can have hearty, healthy meals in your eating window. So without downplaying the danger of slipping into anorexic behaviour it is certainly less of a risk than in classic diets. Not sure if you would agree?
 
jackie woolston
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John, I find that I have a very serious Pre-existing Condition...I can read!
Enterhepatic recirculation:
https://nurseanesthesiology.aana.com › enterohepatic-recirculation-from-death-by-mushroom-to-perioperative-pharmacokinetics-1
Enterohepatic Recirculation: From Death by Mushroom to Perioperative ...
Enterohepatic recirculation (EHRC) is a multistaged process with the following sequence: liver metabolism, bile secretion, gut metabolism, and reabsorption from the gut back to the systemic circulation. Enterohepatic recirculation prolongs drug half-lives and may be associated with the generation of 1 or more secondary plasma peaks.

https://litfl.com › rrsidead-enhanced-elimination
Enhanced Elimination • Toxicology RRSIDEAD • LITFL Tox Library
Multiple-dose activated charcoal eliminates drug in two ways: Interruption of the enterohepatic circulation, therefore it is only useful in drugs that are excreted in the bile to be reabsorbed in the distal ileum. If charcoal is present in the small intestines this may prevent reabsorption. (Need drugs with a low volume of distribution)

https://link.springer.com › referenceworkentry › 10.1007 › 978-3-030-51519-5_72-1
Enterohepatic Recycling | SpringerLink
Jul 23, 2021Enterohepatic circulation can be regarded as the phenomenon of the transport of chemical compounds from the liver to the bile, which eventually drains into intestine and is followed by reabsorption and then back into the liver. The intestinal microbiota plays a central role in the enterohepatic recycling phenomenon [ 3 ].
 
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Anita, Yes, I do agree to the extent that the fasting is limited to extended times between balanced healthy meals. When I was anorexic I was in my early 20s and not well grounded in proper nutrition. I felt amazingly good while anorexic until I collapsed in a public setting and ended up in an ER, unconscious and severely dehydrated. I do believe though that detox (slow) needs to be part of any weight loss program to help maintain a healthy weight. The only way I can sustain my weight is to clear out toxin accumulation. Rethinking "hunger" had left me with trying to sort out when to eat. I had to force myself to eat for years...I do believe AWARENESS of ones potential vulnerabilities may be very helpful. Thinking that if a person has not had the self control to maintain healthy eating habits and toxin exposure...resulting in weight gain, they may not potentially have the self awareness to watch out for "fasting gone wrong". This was me in my 20s!  
 
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One of the health guys I listened to said this: Multi-day water only fasting is only for healthy people.  It's a great thing to do if you're ready for it, but not if you're not ready for it.  If you're not ready, eat healthier, do some exercise, eat only 3 meals a day or try intermittent fasting.

Also: When should I do dry fasting with no water? Never! Never, ever do that. It's terrible for your body.

John S
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Julia Winter wrote:I'm entering my third week of OMAD (one meal a day) and I'm feeling pretty optimistic.



Dear hubby does "the one meal" a day and has for many years.  I did not know it had a name and I doubt he does either.

I don't feel it would bother him to miss that one meal a day.

I believe in several small low-carb meals usually meat.

When I was younger I did fasting though I never did fasting to lose weight. Fasting work for the reason I was doing it.

Everyone is different and I feel eating one meal a day or finding that it is easier to not eat than to eat less is different for each of us.




 
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I eat 1-2 meals/day.  Technically, most days I've gone 18-23 hours between meals, so short fasting is routine for me.  I do a 1-day fast after I slip in my keto diet (too often) and my longest fasts is 4 days.

I really think that the spectrum from keto to carnivore diets make fasting much easier and eating OMAD definitely cuts down on the prep/cleanup time for meals to make the day a little more productive.  These diets are very satisfying physically and routinely burning fat rather than carbs greatly reduces cravings.  
 
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One thing to remember about keto diets is that they reduce your life span.  They result in higher all cause mortality.

I think they are very effective as a temporary way to lose weight, but over the long run, not so helpful.   No long living society has ever existed on a keto type of diet.

John S
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Are the Inuit a short-lived people?  (I don't know, but off the top of my head, they have a fairly high meat, low carb diet.) The Masai in Africa are another indigenous group that I don't know enough about.

Anyway, I did another extended fast, albeit not as long as March 2022 when I went 8-9 days. I ate Monday dinner, then not again until Saturday when I had a little soup (two Matzoh balls) and then Sunday I had a full Ethiopian meal out with a group. I kept working, after my experience last year I realize it's actually easier to fast while working, just because it is distracting.

Since I've been on OMAD for years now, doing a longer fast is pretty easy. I don't get hungry until 5pm or so, and if I can stay busy until 8-9pm, I'm good. I may try to do another extended fast maybe even in March or perhaps in April.

I've discovered a really good evening yoga class and I'm pondering just regularly skipping the Wednesday meal and attending the class instead. I did that two days ago and it was no big deal. We went to a nice restaurant for my birthday and that was a good way to limit my caloric intake after the short fast, believe it or not. They served us multiple small, very delicious portions and the meal was spread out such that it gave me time to realize I was OK. "It takes your stomach 30 minutes to tell your brain that it's full" my mother always said, which is an argument for eating more slowly and mindfully.
 
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https://nutritionstudies.org/masai-and-inuit-high-protein-diets-a-closer-look/
This is interesting. A potential word of caution on low calorie and fasting "diets"...The person consuming less calories might not realize that they are at risk of becoming increasingly "irritable and petty"...not saying all are but my experience around the "calorical challenged" is they can become very " challenging to love". This has been my personal observation, take it or leave it.
 
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Food for Thought? Listening to our bodies is often akin to talking to a pet...You have to pay close attention to either to really know what "they" are asking/saying. If a dog is whining at the door, good chance they need to go potty, "not" getting this request by a poop-laiden pet could result in an undesirable outcome....if our bodies have  cravings, say for sugar...maybe we "mis-understand" the need for certain nutrients??? ...Starving your body because you don't get what it is asking for, might not be the best way forward. Perhaps learning your "body language" might be important?? I'll take proper nutrition over fasting any day.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/496016-sugar-cravings-are-a-sign-of-which-mineral-deficiency/

"Craving sugar means your body needs certain minerals that are involved in the metabolism of glucose or the production of insulin. You can still avoid sugar by eating the foods that supply the minerals you need.

Certain trace minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, vanadium and chromium are important for your body and various metabolic processes. When your diet does not include foods that contain enough of these minerals, you will naturally experience a deficiency in them.

This can be the result of frequent dieting, which can often lack these foods. In fact, when dieting, cravings for foods like sugar, which you are likely to be avoiding in the first place, can cause you to abandon the diet altogether and go back to eating such foods. You could then end up in a vicious circle of adopting diets and then abandoning them almost as fast. Sugar cravings causes could be caused by a mineral deficiency."
 
John Suavecito
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There are many foods and eating habits that we can become addicted to.  Some get addicted to lots of processed carbs. Others, meat or fat, coffee, preservatives.alcohol, etc.   Corporations want us to get addicted to types of foods they control. These are usually foods they can store or package and advertise heavily. They put very specific chemicals in their "dose" to trick you into thinking you need their food.  Your body gets used to it and thinks it needs it.  Anorexics do this with fasting.  Eating natural, organic vegetables and fruits can lead us away from this addiction, as can fasting.  

Fasting has been an important part of many traditional cultures. The point is for us to not be controlled by such things.  For many cultures, realizing that others don't have unlimited food is part of the goal: compassion.  Realizing that we are part of nature on Earth can humble us and lead us away from greed and gluttony.  Nature is not a part of our greed; it's the other way around.  

I agree with Julia that I find it much easier to fast on days in which I am working.  

The vast majority of people in industrial countries are overweight.  Fasting is a balance to that unhealthy situation.  

I have seen studies that the Inuits and the Masai are shorter lived people than others who eat less meat.

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-does-meat-affect-longevity/

John S
PDX OR
 
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Martin Wong wrote:While it is true that it can be difficult to reduce the amount of food we eat, it is important to remember that completely depriving ourselves of food is not a sustainable or healthy way to manage our diet. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for our health and well-being, and there are many strategies we can use to achieve this, such as portion control, meal planning, and choosing healthier food options. By finding a balance and making small, sustainable changes to our eating habits, we can achieve our goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long term.



Completely depriving ourselves from food, ie fasting, is something we have been designed to do for millions of years of our evolution and the research on the health benefits of fasting is pretty clear.  In addition, every major religion promotes fasting to some degree.  Longevity studies on fasting show increased life spans, less cancer, and a myriad of other benefits that are not found by simply eating a "balanced" diet.
 
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Well it's been almost 5 months in since I started intermittent fasting.   It's still easy,  I barely even think about it anymore.    Some days are one meal,  some days are two meals and two snacks,  depending on if I want it or not.   I'm down 45 lbs.   I'm up to an hour of walking a day (two, 30 minutes)  or a 30 minute yoga or pilates work out with a shorter walk.   Going dancing once a week.  I'm sleeping well,  I get compliments on my skin (of all things).  and my gp and new arthritis dr. are super pleased with both my weight and my bloodwork.

I eat keto during my eating window, and I don't track calories but I'm probably half the volume I used to intake.

I DO have coffee with heavy cream/ MCT oil in the morning so it's not a complete calorie fast.   Works for me.  

I'm 52,   have good muscle mass and bone density,  am through menopause, and feel the best I have in probably 10 years right now.  
 
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I'm very curious about intermittent fasting.

In my experience, fasting even for just a few hours will produce, for me, a steep decline in physical and mental productivity. It's not just cravings and hunger pangs: my heart will start pounding with the most minimal effort, I feel faint, I get cramps in my shoulders, my brain feels foggish and I'm really just not as sharp as usual. And generally that's the point where I'll make bad food decisions because my brain is just screaming for the first source of calories.

I'm wondering if that has anything to do with my metabolism. I'm at an healthy weight and I'm  generally good at following my hunger cues. There are a few days when I'll wake up and not be hungry at all (in which case I'll just have a tea and wait until I'm hungry to eat), but it's rare, and generally because I've overindulged the day before. But generally, I am very hungry and I feel strongly towards specific foods (and not necessarily junk - I can generally tell when my body screams for protein or when it wants fiber, veggies and fruits). I don't eat a lot between meals, and almost never after dinner (so I'm effectively fasting between 7 PM and 7 AM I guess?)

I figure my body has adjusted to regular meals and just doesn't store much? Maybe I'd just be the first casualty in a famine setting?
 
Trace Oswald
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Kena Landry wrote:I'm very curious about intermittent fasting.

In my experience, fasting even for just a few hours will produce, for me, a steep decline in physical and mental productivity. It's not just cravings and hunger pangs: my heart will start pounding with the most minimal effort, I feel faint, I get cramps in my shoulders, my brain feels foggish and I'm really just not as sharp as usual. And generally that's the point where I'll make bad food decisions because my brain is just screaming for the first source of calories.

I'm wondering if that has anything to do with my metabolism. I'm at an healthy weight and I'm  generally good at following my hunger cues. There are a few days when I'll wake up and not be hungry at all (in which case I'll just have a tea and wait until I'm hungry to eat), but it's rare, and generally because I've overindulged the day before. But generally, I am very hungry and I feel strongly towards specific foods (and not necessarily junk - I can generally tell when my body screams for protein or when it wants fiber, veggies and fruits). I don't eat a lot between meals, and almost never after dinner (so I'm effectively fasting between 7 PM and 7 AM I guess?)

I figure my body has adjusted to regular meals and just doesn't store much? Maybe I'd just be the first casualty in a famine setting?



Maybe you eat a large amount of your calories from carbs?  Even healthy carbs don't have the "staying power" of protein, and especially, fat.  If I were you and I wanted to pursue IM, I would do 2 things.   I would make sure my last meal before fasting had a preponderance of fat with some protein, and very few carbs.  If that is your last meal of the day, at say 7PM, in the morning I would have a glass of water with electrolytes.  If the drink is electrolytes only, no sweetener or artificial sweetener, it won't affect insulin levels and should ward off some, or all, of those symptoms you are seeing.  Some of it is just a matter of toughing it out the first few times.  Fasting gets much easier when you do it more often.  If electrolytes alone don't fix the issue, you could use bulletproof coffee.  You get most of the benefits of fasting, but because it's pure fat intake, you don't  get an insulin response.  Any amount of carbs, protein, or artificial sweetener will give you some insulin response and that is largely what you are trying to avoid.
 
Heather Staas
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Yeah,  carb crashes would have made it impossible for me to do intermittent fasting.   I would have gotten shaky,  irritable, weak  and then felt very tired after eating.  I've been low carb/keto for years before embarking on this,  and still I did a 3 day "fat fast" before beginning to really get my metabolism switched over to long lasting fat burning beforehand.  I also shortened my eating window gradually over the course of two weeks,  not all at once.

I don't experience any energy or mood crashes at all.   I suspect when I'm eating carbs I'm prediabetic.   I've had cravings and crashes and deep feelings of intense hunger even just after eating since I was a little girl.  My family subsisted a lot on overprocessed cheap carbs and sugar based flavorings.   Kool aid.  Toast with jelly.  Cheap cereal with low fat milk.  Chips and popcorn as snacks.  I think my system was primed towards insulin/metabolism problems early on.    Keto is a game changer for me.   Now I know what "normal" hungry feels like.
 
John Suavecito
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I find it fascinating when people say, "Stop eating carbs".  Another way to say this is, "Stop eating berries, fruits and vegetables".  They are the healthiest things to eat.  When you cut carbs and stop eating whole foods, your life gets shorter. You also get way less nutrition and your biochemical reactions in your body suffer. You get constipated and you lose the flow, prana, chi.   I agree with the idea to stop eating refined carbs like flour, sugar, and processed foods.  But I also think we should stop eating refined vegetable oils, lots of meat and lots of fat in general.  It makes it really hard on our liver and kidneys to eat lots of fat and excessive protein, like most North Americans.  That's why we have such high cancer and Alzheimer's rates. Our bodies don't work.  Before WWII, hardly anyone ate lots of meat, fat and processed carbs or food.  It was expensive. People didn't go to doctors that much. They took care of their health because the consequences were death. They had no million dollar machines around to save them when they became chronically ill for 20 years.  They just ate lots of fruits and vegetables, and gathered berries and leafy greens from around their areas.  Very few fat people. Almost no heart attacks, Alzheimier's, cancer, diabetes, or big Pharma.

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I read through this thread yesterday and have skipped breakfast - thinking to try eating between 11 AM and 7 PM. As I do almost every day, I woke up hungry and my stomach feels like it's digesting itself. I've had hunger pains for six(ish) hours -- I've just recently discovered that not everyone experiences hunger as a form of pain and it makes me deeply jealous. Something deep in my throat feels swollen. I'm unreasonably cold and feel sort of quivery. This is miserable and I can certainly understand why people would choose the discomfort of being obese over this set of sensations. But I wonder if this all goes away with practice. If not, I'm sure I don't have the discipline to just suffer for half my life in the hope that it will bring better things.
 
John Suavecito
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Human bodies adapt to fasting.  I find it much easier now than I did before starting.  I always drink water when fasting, and I don't suggest that anyone should dry fast.  Of all the humanoid species that ever existed, only the ones that could fast and adapt to living off of the fat in our bodies have survived. All of the other humanoid species went extinct.   I think that a gradual increase is helpful.  Also, I have known people who are quite thin and have small bodies. I think that fasting in general and fasting for a long time are way less helpful for them.  I fast partially because I have been encouraged by our corporate culture to keep eating all of the time. I need to develop restraint in the quantity of food I eat.  Those who never overeat have less need of fasting.  

John S
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Trace Oswald
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John Suavecito wrote:I find it fascinating when people say, "Stop eating carbs".  Another way to say this is, "Stop eating berries, fruits and vegetables".  They are the healthiest things to eat.  When you cut carbs and stop eating whole foods, your life gets shorter. You also get way less nutrition and your biochemical reactions in your body suffer. You get constipated and you lose the flow, prana, chi.   I agree with the idea to stop eating refined carbs like flour, sugar, and processed foods.  But I also think we should stop eating refined vegetable oils, lots of meat and lots of fat in general.  It makes it really hard on our liver and kidneys to eat lots of fat and excessive protein, like most North Americans.  That's why we have such high cancer and Alzheimer's rates. Our bodies don't work.  Before WWII, hardly anyone ate lots of meat, fat and processed carbs or food.  It was expensive. People didn't go to doctors that much. They took care of their health because the consequences were death. They had no million dollar machines around to save them when they became chronically ill for 20 years.  They just ate lots of fruits and vegetables, and gathered berries and leafy greens from around their areas.  Very few fat people. Almost no heart attacks, Alzheimier's, cancer, diabetes, or big Pharma.

John S
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I don't think it's anywhere near as simple as that John.  Firstly, few people say to stop eating carbs completely.  There are those that do and seem to thrive on it, but most people on all iterations of paleo/keto, etc. still eat vegetables.  Regardless, carbs are the one macronutrient that is completely unnecessary for life.  No protein, you die.  No fat, you die.  No carbs, you can live a long healthy life.  There has never been a valid study that showed protein to cause kidney or liver issues.  I've read the study people base that assumption on, and it's terribly flawed.  I've also read the recent study that showed shorter lifespan in low carb diets.  It's a small percentage difference and again, it isn't a valid study, just as no study that has people self-report what they ate will ever be valid.  They also consider "low carb" to be under 50%, which I find absurd.  My take on the research I have read shows that sugar, vegetable and seed oils, and chemical additives, along with pitifully low levels of exercise, cause the ills of modern living.  Many people are finding that low carb diets along with IF and no processed foods are making huge improvements in blood and other health markers.  It's very hard to look at a case like Heather's and untold numbers of other people and say it doesn't work.  If a person's blood markers all improve on a low to zero carb diet, it seems to me to mean it is a good thing.
 
John Suavecito
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Trace Oswald says, "No carbs, you can live a long healthy life. "

That is exactly what the evidence is showing is not true.  You have decided to dismiss one study. Many people dismiss studies when they don't like the conclusion. Keto can lead to a short-term, rapid weight loss.  No one disputes that.  It's not healthy in the long run.  It's not one study.   The evidence is overwhelming that a plant-based whole foods diet leads to a long healthy life.  The history of civilization shows that. How many Blue Zones feature keto diets? Zero. People get addicted to high calorie food hits, just like they get addicted to drugs, sugar, processed foods, and flour.   I have no problem with people going keto, I just don't want people to be steered away from a much healthier diet, without hearing the evidence and deciding for themselves.  

Joel Fuhrman, Neil Barnard, Dean ornish, Michael Greger, and others have compiled numerous studies on this material.
https://nutritionfacts.org/
https://www.drfuhrman.com/health-concerns

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