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Thank you for sharing Lynn. You make very important points to add to this thread.
I have read intermittent fasting is a bit of a fad diet. I have also read studies that suggest intermittent fasting may slow down aging and may be helpful for certain medical conditions. I have also read that intermittent fasting doesn't work for some people and it may not be sustainable long term. I think this high lights that it's best for everyone to listen to their bodies, do what works for them and try to stay up to date on current research. If fasting works for you, that's awesome! If it doesn't, that's OK too. Just keep learning and looking for what supports you in your goals.
If anyone else would like to share their thoughts and experiences with intermittent fasting please add to the discussion!
I don’t have any personal experience with intermittent fasting, but I have read research about the effects. I am a science educator and I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to science, health, and nutrition. :)
Compressing one’s calories within a certain window of time really isn’t new. I’m 56 years old and for the most part, this is the way we ate in the 70s. You had breakfast, lunch, maybe a snack in the afternoon, and dinner. So that would be from about 7:00 AM to 5:00-7:00 PM.
When you know you’re not going to eat but a few times a day, snacks typically are not around. Out of sight, out of mind. I’ve read studies in which adults that ate meals and snacks were more likely to be obese. Other studies have divided the same number of calories on 8 separate occasions and in 3 meals. It was reported that those consuming the calories on 8 occasions had a greater appetite than those consuming the same number of calories in 3 meals.
There is a biological reason for this and it has to do with the hunger hormone, ghrelin. This hormone is highest before meals and lower after. Studies have shown the amount of ghrelin in blood samples was lower in subjects that ate 3 meals than those that ate more meals of identical foods. There is also evidence that the amount of ghrelin needed to suppress hunger differs in people. Hence, the reason eating small, frequent meals is effective for some.
Of course, intermittent fasting is coming on the heels of this trend of eating small, frequent meals to increase metabolism. Exercise and diet can influence metabolism. However, I haven’t read anything that definitively confirms this thought.
Frequent meals or meals within a few hours. In the end, it’s calories in and calories out and how your body responds.
P.S. I’ll be happy to cite sources if anyone is interested.
I'm Muslim so I fast at different times throughout the year but the main time is during Ramadan. Since we can't eat or drink anything while the sun's up, we wake up before dawn to eat a meal. What's worked best for me has been fruits, some protein (Greek yogurt is great for this), and lots of water. I'd strongly advise against consuming a lot of sugar or caffeine. After sundown, we usually break fast with things like milk, water, dates (or other fruit), and some more protein. If you're going for an all day fast, I'd recommend a light dinner before going to bed so your body can recover and conserve energy. I've found it's better for your biggest meal to be at the beginning of the day and having an evening meal that's more of a top off.
I won't lie, I usually feel terrible for the first week or two but then it gets easier. For someone trying for the first time, I'd probably recommend easing into it by increasing the time you fast a little each day until you're at your target so it's not a complete shock to your system. It's important to note it impacts more than your diet because it can impact your sleep cycle and when your energy peaks throughout the day. Good sleep hygiene is key. Whether you're doing it for health or spiritual reasons, remember the goal isn't to harm your body so know your limits and be prepared to break fast if you start to feel unwell. It's helpful to carry something like crackers with peanut butter and a bottle of water in case you need it.
Don't get discouraged if you have to break fast before you reach your goal. You can always try again tomorrow!
Hope this is helpful.
Has anyone tried intermittent fasting? It is when you eat all you calories within a 10 to 6 hour window during the day. Then you repeat each day. Some people are raving about it. There is also some new research out saying it can be helpful for some conditions and can help with weightloss.
Please check with your doctor before making drastic diet changes. Please share your experience with us!