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

 
Julia Winter
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I don't think intermittent fasting will make your poo black.  Black sticky poo can be from bleeding of the stomach or intestine.  Black poo with a more normal texture can be from iron supplements, or other things you ate.

It's pretty easy to check for the presence of heme in stool - I think any primary care doctor can do it.  
 
Scott Myers
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I have done a 23 day water fast and a 29 day water fast. Im an iron worker with a physical job and I put in lots of overtime. After the 4th day of fasting, its smooth sailing. Energy and mental clarity happens when you switch over into ketosis. Fasting is one of the best things I have ever discovered. I feel and sleep sooooo much better when Im not packing around extra weight (plus all the bennies that come with a long fast) Now I just do a 5 day every month (during one work week) Sometimes I skip a month. The only downside I noticed when fasting is getting lightheaded for a few secs if I stand up too fast.

I love eating keto but since the woman is always getting ahold of free sources of food and is always bring boxes of it home ..... its hard to eat that way. We have a very large supply of food that has to be rotated and used.
 
Julia Winter
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It's interesting to me that you say it gets easier after the 4th day of fasting, but then you say that you are choosing to fast 5 days each month.

Sounds like maximal willpower required!

I still have not gone more than 2 days without eating.  I've gained a few pounds over the holidays so I'm thinking I should do something. . . .

My work is not physically demanding but it is mentally demanding, so I've been nervous to try going days without eating while I'm working.  On the other hand, it's much easier for me to fast on work days because I'm busy and away from food (other than the omnipresent candy and frequent treats - I'm doing pretty well with those).
 
Jeremy Baker
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Very interesting thread. Im far from being a expert on diet or nutrition but one thing I’ve noticed as a immigrant is how much food is consumed in this country in general. We ate very small portions of everything even for years after immigrating and we were always hungry. But as I’ve become Americanized I’ve gotten many of the ailments that others suffer from. We started eating a lot of bread to bulk up our meals. Craving sweet things was common for me.
 I’m going to try the intermittent diets because brain fog, eczema, inflammation, acid reflux, fatigue has been a long term issue. I’ve been rather lazy about diet management. Poverty and illness also lends itself to a poor diet to some degree. But Im very interested in starting out with intermittent fasting and then a longer juice fast. When I found some good bone broth I felt extremely good. I got it at a farm where they were making it. I cannot afford to buy it so might try and make it.
In the thread I didn’t see mention of seasonal weight gain. I tend to gain in Winter and loose in Summer. This seems intuitive and natural.
 
s. lowe
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Due to life circumstances about 4 days a week I don't eat anything until 5 or 530 pm. The rest of the day I am fueled by 20 oz of coffee with 1/2 n 1/2 that I make at about 7 am.
The other three days of the week I don't eat before 2 or 3.
This has been my pattern for 2 months or so and I've been feeling great mentally and my digestion is doing better than it was after the holiday garbage diet
 
Julia Winter
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Yes, weight gain in the winter is pretty normal and natural.  This winter I gained some weight and now in this spring of COVID-19 I'm thinking that a few (less than 10) extra pounds of fat might be worth having in case I get sick.  (I've heard that extreme fatigue and loss of appetite can be part of the illness, and of course if you are intubated you aren't eating!)
 
Aimee Hall
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I have carefully read this thread from the beginning. You have done a most excellent job of staying on top of it Julia!

I do wonder what happened with Timothy's experiment into vitamin A poisoning as I am curious. I have also read about the Gerson Miracle Diet and that is supposed to help cure cancer and it involves very copious amounts of vitamin A.

I have a decent amount of experience fasting, but not with IF. I started with many health problems, the main things being that I have a hormonal disease known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (P.C.O.S. or sometimes P.S.O.S.) which went undetected for a long time as I started having severe pains at 11 years old and no one thought to check for that, they told me it was all in my head, and my left leg was irreversibly damaged when I was hit by a car at 18. With these two issues at their peak, I got to where I was wearing a size 28W in US jean sizes, though I have never been one to ever stand wearing my pants tightly. I like breathing too much.... I have lost nearly half my body weight, but still have very far to go. Having tried nearly every reasonable diet there is, as well as healthy eating. My metabolism is so small that even working many hours every day on my farm and only eating the food I have raised with my own hands, I would still gain weight without periodic long fasts. So far, fasting is the only way I have found to really lose weight.

Though I meet with SO much resistance and outrage from family and friends when I go on long fasts. I have done mine with doctor supervision at first, then more on my own. I was always hungry during the fasts but after the 4th or 5th day it becomes easier for me because I know it is dangerous for me to throw anything new at my digestive system. As an example, even if I am tempted to have my coffee with a bit of whole milk I know better because if I haven't had any dairy for 4-5 days it would be dangerous to introduce it too quickly.

I have a food addiction as well, and sometimes that pushes me off track on my longer fasts before my initial goal for that fast. I find that on the vegetable juice fasts (which I feel is important, while I think fresh pressed fruit juices make an excellent treat and can bring a lot of vitamins and minerals into our diet, I think they should not be a major diet component because that is a bunch of sugar to be having!) or bone broth fasts I feel much healthier and more vigorous, I get better weight loss results on just water and because I still have a lot of weight to drop, the convenience of just water sometimes works better. (Like if travelling, or under heavy workloads because water takes practically no time to prepare and can almost always be found at zero cost, I just keep a water bottle with a filter on it with me.)

Since you have not exceeded 2 days, and because of the mentally demanding aspect of your job, it may be best to do one of your 2 day fasts on say Thursday through Friday and then extend it through the weekend and see how you feel on Monday. (This is assuming a Mon-Fri work week) though the fasts are harder for you on the weekend, it may be best to get through what many of us experience as the worst part of it on the weekend so you would be clear headed for work.

For my part, this thread has motivated me to try intermittent fasting. I would love an option less severe than going months at a time without eating, especially if I find something that helps me maintain my current weight loss easier. I have managed to keep over 200lbs off this way but it has been an ongoing challenge for nearly 20 years now.... and even after so long, I am not to where I want to be with my health. I focus on my weight because I like metrics and because the lower my weight goes the less hormonal imbalance I experience and less weight on my injured leg helps it significantly. However, how your clothes are fitting is a most excellent metric.

Finally, I just wanted to say that you guys have been extremely motivational and persistent in your endeavours towards better health! I think everyone is different and we need to do what works for us as individuals. And it is hard to find that without individuals brave enough like you guys to document what is working well for them and checking with others to see what is working for them as well. Thank you so much and stay safe all! =)
 
John Suavecito
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This lady has done alternate day fasting for years. She looks and sounds great.  



I use fasting for all the reasons already stated: fights cancer, keeps off weight, anti-diabetes, focus, energy, etc.  I fast every day until lunch.  What people eat for breakfast is almost universally terrible for you, and I'm busy.  I also don't eat until dinner one day a week.  In the winter, I fast a couple of times at least. Usually one two day, and for the other,  I fast for the first two days, then follow the Valter Longo fasting mimicking diet, but I don't buy all of his packaged stuff. I just do it myself with the same stuff. One small veg dish per day  I find that if I don't fast, I get sick.  What happens when I get the flu? I have no hunger and I fast.  :)     I hardly get sick anymore.  Getting to hunger helps your body dissolve the virus in the GI tract.    I also make anti-viral herb glycerites and dried herbs and decoctions in the winter.  It helps longevity.

John S
PDX OR
 
Tim Kivi
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It really doesn’t matter what method you use: OMAD, 18:6, keto, CICO, 5:2, paleo, Atkins, Mediterranean, 400 cal, and anything else. All these diets have been around for decades. At the end of the day it’s about what is *sustainable* for you long-term to prevent you over-consuming calories.

If you’re fasting or doing OMAD then the hardest part I envisage is getting enough daily protein and nutrients in a single meal. Without enough protein and nutrients you’ll become weak and tired and will probably abandon the diet. People need roughly 1 gram of protein per kilo of body weight, which is roughly half a kilo (1 lb.) of chicken/beef. There’s protein in bread, pasta, some vegetables etc. but not much.
 
John Suavecito
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Most Americans endanger their health by getting way too much protein. Cancer, obesity and diabetes rates skyrocket.  If you eat a whole foods, plant-based diet, protein is not a concern.  Broccoli and spinach, for example have lots of protein. So do nuts and beans.

I agree that almost every one of the diets are improvements on the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Finding the one that you will actually do is key, like exercise.  The one you actually do is the best one.  Enjoyment and fitting them into your schedule are a big part of that.

John S
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Tim Kivi
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Cancer, obesity and diabetes are unrelated to protein.

Modern western diets are reliant on refined carbohydrates, fat and sugar. These are the highest calorie foods available. They’re also low in protein,  so if people are getting adequate daily protein from them then they’re consuming far too many calories, leading to problems like you mentioned.
 
John Suavecito
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I am not sure how to respond to your bold statement.  Do you ever listen to doctors talk about nutrition? There is an enormous quantity of carefully done research that has results in exact opposition to what you are saying.  Most Americans eat meat several times a day.Suggested amounts of protein are vastlly exceeded by the average American.  If you are eating a lot of meat, you are eating a lot of fat.  I agree that most Americans are eating way too many calories.  They don't eat too many carbs like fruits, mushrooms, and vegetables.  Most Americans don't eat any fresh vegetables in a given day.  I listen to many health podcasts, and even the keto/paleo doctors, like Mercola, Perlmutter and Hyman disagree with you.

nutritionfacts.org
https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/eating-healthy-walter-willett
John Douillard healthspa.net
food revolution

 
Tim Kivi
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- Lean white meat and seafood don’t have any fat at all.

- Red meat is recommended at around 600 grams (almost one and a half lbs.) a week. More could be carcinogenic and not recommended.

- I looked at your link and it’s the same as what they say in Australia: a healthy varied diet is roughly half vegetables with a quarter serve of carbs and a quarter of protein, plus a few small extras. Trying to eat 2-3 plates of that plus extras like fruit and dairy in one sitting can be difficult if sticking to OMAD. If people reduce it because it’s too hard to eat that much in one go then they risk other problems like muscle loss and fatigue. What I’ve been saying accords with mainstream science.
 
John Suavecito
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I have no problem with you believing that what you said in your earlier message (Cancer, obesity and diabetes are unrelated to protein.) is in line with mainstream science. Your last post actually was in line with mainstream science, if you believe that you are required to OMAD.  I have done OMAD like this, and I enjoyed it. It was mostly for financial reasons.  An all you can eat buffet during the day while traveling is pretty cheap eats.  I did sit and eat for an hour or more each time.  Didn't bother me at all.  

Mainstream science in now way requires one to OMAD.   I just don't want others reading this

"Cancer, obesity and diabetes are unrelated to protein. "

and thinking it is mainstream science, or backed by research.

Likewise, if someone says, "YOu can't fast for even one day or you'll die/suffer terrible health problems".  I wouldn't leave it up unchallenged, because then people will read it  and many will think it's true.  

John S
PDX OR
 
Lukas Weissberg
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John Suavecito wrote:Do you ever listen to doctors talk about nutrition?



(Sorry to just jump into the discussion -please forgive)

Stopped long ago.

MDs are trained to cure diseases and lesions. The diagnose and then prescribe, either medications or interventions. In short, they are trained to make sick people healthy. Nutrition is about making healthy (aka, disease-free and lesion-free) people more healthy. The average doctor has no idea about that. If you want to understand your body, go talk to a biochemist. IMO in the area of nutrition, they are the least considered professionals yet are the only ones that accually understand on a molecular level what is going on and how living organisms are regulated.

all the best! :)
 
John Suavecito
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I think you've got a good point of view, Lukas Rohrbach.
It takes the average doctor 17 years to catch up to the newest research.
I mostly listen to MDs that also became Naturopathic doctors, or chiropractors or Osteopathic physicians.  Like a good movie critic,
if you've been listening to them for awhile, you get the sense of if they really know what they're talking about.  If they are really creating
solutions or if they're just putting in their time, buying their condo in Maui and going to the country club.  So much of the current Big Pharma/hospital
industry is really a disease profit system rather than a health care system.  For example, if you ask them about fasting, most have no idea.
They might say, "That sounds dangerous".  They're more concerned about liability, than they are interested in the health potential.  Is it the doctor's fault
exclusively? I say no.  It's the system.  They only give the doctor 8 minutes to talk to the patient. What's the fastest way in and out? Write a prescription.
I liked the title of a book I heard about recently: "Doctor Yourself".
John S
PDX OR
 
Aimee Hall
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John Suavecito wrote:This lady has done alternate day fasting for years. She looks and sounds great.  



I also make anti-viral herb glycerites and dried herbs and decoctions in the winter.  It helps longevity.

John S
PDX OR



Do you happen to have more information on this John? I am a few weeks in on my trying intermittent fasting instead of pure fasting and I have not gained any weight, or lost any weight which I am alright with. I do not find it to be difficult to do at all, and so far it does not seem to induce the endless nagging that fasting does from those around me. So in my book it is an all around win. Thanks for the updates and useful information in this thread!
 
John Suavecito
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The research I've seen is very positive.  I have heard that it is a good idea to ease into it.  I was terrified at first.  THen I just didn't eat until lunch, then til dinner.  Then a whole day.  There is a guy named David Jockers who is a doctor of chiropractic, I think who has done summits on it.  I would also look for a doctor named Edward Group, who has a lot of great information on it.
John S
PDX OR
 
Julia Winter
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Update:  I'm 5 months in to the COVID-19 weirdness, and still limiting my intake until 6pm.  I've been doing this for what, 20 months?  Started on January 1st, 2019.

On workdays I have coffee with half'n'half when I get a chance (one, maybe two cups), a latte' with probably 12oz of whole milk and 4 shots of espresso at 1pm, and no solids until 6pm.  I share an office (I share a bizarre giant side-by-side desk, actually) and it doesn't bother me that my office mate is eating lunch nearby while I'm just having the latte.  Really.  

I typically have a snack at 6pm (nuts, dried shitake mushrooms, dried cheese are all things I have in my desk) while I'm working on charts, and then dinner with my family closer to 8pm these summer days.  I'm not all that good about stopping at 9pm - it varies.  

On other days I don't have any coffee, just the latte' and I still wait until 1pm.  I may have water or tea prior to 1pm.  I may have a snack at 6pm or I may just wait for dinner with my family.  I have dessert if there is any - I don't try to limit intake in any way.

I was able to regain maybe 8 pounds between March and July.  In July I did a few 2 day fasts and lost some of it again.  I am not exercising like I should, not even close.  I can't really say why - I think it's stress.  Still, limiting my intake until after 6pm has been a really useful strategy for me.  I don't get hungry until 5pm, and even then, it's not ridiculous.  I never count calories, or fat grams, or anything else.  I eat anything I want.
 
Aimee Hall
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That is really great news Julia. I have done the every day intermittent fast where I skip eating one day then eat during a 6 hour window the next,etc. I have stopped gaining weight but I know much of my problem is the stress. I know everyone is super stressed because of this virus and it is understandable. I still do not lose any weight this way but then I have a hormonal condition which I was told would make it exceptionally difficult for me to lose weight. It has however made my weight gain crawl.

After I am done testing some recipes I will be embarking on my usual annual water fast and get my weight back down. It is torture for me but a necessity. The food every other day is not so bad, obviously I miss it but I can hold out knowing I get to eat and I do not glut myself when I can eat. I try to stick to a whole foods diet as I firmly believe that is what has kept me from having all of the health issues literally every other person in my family has.

You are doing great to keep such good track of things. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your progress. It is inspiring.

John and others doing this, I hope it is going well for you too! Any progress updates? Stay safe and healthy all!
 
John Suavecito
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One aspect of achieving hunger is that when you have strong stomach acid, it is much more effective at killing germs that want to enter your body, such as covid 19.   I think of it as another bonus of any kind of fasting.  I think that we have become so accustomed to eating all day every day that we have forgotten that hunger has a purpose. In India and China, they are very purposeful about this timing.   They might say don't drink water right before a meal. It will dilute your stomach acid.  Drink room temperature water 30 minutes after your meal.  We eat, then digest, then assimilate the nutrients into our body, then excrete what we don't need.  Each has a time and a sequence.  I think that we would be healthier if we respected some of these traditional ways.
John S
PDX OR
 
Julia Winter
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Two months later, I'm coming up on two years of eating one (solid) meal a day.  I still find this to be a good strategy.

However, I have gained weight - I think due to the COVID situation.  I've been told that some people who are tracking calories in and out carefully have found they are gaining weight lately, just from the stress.

I'm just wearing scrubs at work these days, so I don't know what size of non-stretchy work pants I'm in right now.  (I kind of don't want to know.)  

Yesterday I ate a bunch of nuts and then some beef jerky staying late at work and when I got home we weren't having an organized meal (this is very unusual) so I just decided I would skip eating any more.  My stomach actually growled this morning, but I can't say I was suffering from hunger, more like I just noted the noise.

I still haven't gone more than 2 days without eating.  I think I would have to set up a retreat where I get away from my family to do a longer fast.  It's hard to skip that many meals, as we make a point of having a good dinner together every night (our kids are in 9th and 12th grades this year).
 
Aimee Hall
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It is good that overall this is working for you Julia. The stress from Covid is having an astronomically negative effect on people's health from stress alone.

I will be going on a three day fast starting tomorrow. Because of my PCOS my metabolism seems to be so low that I always gain weight slowly even on the healthiest of regimes. While it is very hard for me to watch my friends and family eat (especially since I am the cook even when fasting!) what I often do is make myself a very nice tea or some bone broth to go with those meals. Or if doing water only (as I tend to do mostly now.) then I will sit down with a nice big fancy glass of ice water, usually solid so it gives the appearance that I am feasting in my own way. It was a bit awkward for us all at first but then my family members have become accustomed to it for the most part. They will still hound me to eat, but I have gotten good at changing subjects. =D I can start talking about plants and what all needs done in the garden and they magically come up with other conversation quickly. Please stay safe and best of luck!
 
Julia Winter
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Oh wow, Aimee - I'm impressed! I'm fine with watching people eat during the day, but I haven't gotten to the point where I can sit at the table during my usual eating window and not eat.

I have often cooked during my fast time, and it's annoying not to taste, but I've always started tasting at 6pm.  (Lately, I've started stuffing myself at 6pm, that's why I'm gaining weight, I think!)
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