View Full Version : Intermittent Fasting

2nd Jan 2014, 19:25
Always been of the opinion that the best way to lose weight is to stop eating. Simple. Seems to be a fair bit of talk in the media about Intermittent Fasting - whether for five days straight or two days out of every week, and the health benefits that ensue.

BBC News - Intermittent fasting: Enduring the hunger pangs (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25498743)

Was a time when I would eat a biggish breakfast within a hour of getting up. Being retired I am now able to delay that, currently managing four hours before I break my fast. Feeling much better for it.

So what is the longest time that anyone here has gone without food or been on an absolute minimum? And do you think you could manage a few days?

2nd Jan 2014, 19:30
I did ten days consuming nothing more than water and 3 "servings" per day, of water, lemon juice (one whole lemon), tablespoon of maple syrup, and cyan pepper (about 2 grams). Cleans you out like you wouldn't believe...

2nd Jan 2014, 19:32
Thanks for that Dushan. i wouldn't have wanted to be in your "back blast" area at the time. :}:}

2nd Jan 2014, 19:36
I fast between breakfast and lunch, then again before dinner - seems to work for me.


2nd Jan 2014, 19:36
It's the changing of the calorific intake that keeps the metabolism on it's toes, so a reduced intake one or two days a week can have a beneficial effect. The body is a master at accommodating our rhythms and although consuming less calories will cause weight loss, the body soon adjusts to work on less calories. Also balancing protein and carbohydrates and watching the intake of sugar can have remarkable effects. New studies are indicating that low-calorie foods (diet) can make one rotund and conversely eating certain saturated fats enables a balancing of the hormones and proper functioning of the endocrine system.


Rail Engineer
2nd Jan 2014, 19:43

Lemon juice being acidic starts to eat the stomach and intestines according to a medical friend.

Another friend of mine "devised" a lemon juice diet that was supposed to be the panacea to all diets, it was something like yours but quickly withdrawn because of the very high risks of internal organ damage.

Fast/Feast is not in any way a means of dieting, indeed quite the reverse. The body works on the basis of storing more fat to deal with the "fast" days. There is only one sure way to diet and that is to consume fewer calories than one expends, and that is how an awful lot of these miracle tablets work - they simply increase the metabolic rate by raising the heartbeat, which again is not good and also has a negative effect on blood pressure.

Sorry to be the purveyor of bad news but following a medical condition where I put weight on as a result of the drugs, I have become slightly more knowledgeable than the average Joe on the best way to lose weight

2nd Jan 2014, 19:57
I suspect that a primary cause of the "obesity" epidemic has come about by food being too readily available all the time.With snack foods on display or easily to hand means that to many being hungry is an alien sensation. Something they rarely experience. There is nothing wrong with being hungry for a few hours. From my experience it's quite beneficial, sharpens the mind.

2nd Jan 2014, 20:06
I usually fast every Sunday

Does not seem to work!


2nd Jan 2014, 20:09
I did this only once, and a long time ago. Wasn't really to lose wight as it was to "cleanse" the body. Worked!

2nd Jan 2014, 20:10
So what is the longest time that anyone here has gone without food... A 4 day train journey between Calcutta and New Delhi back in about 1977. Ticket paid for by an understanding and generous French back-packer. Last rupees spent on a few street kebabs in Calcutta in preparation. Day after arriving in New Delhi, spent next 3 weeks in bed with Hepatitis C in care of Christian organisation Dilaram House. Stayed with them for almost a year before I could fly to UK. During which time I'd regularly buy 5kgs of sweet potatoes with my pocket money at least once a week and ask the Indian cook to cook them. After the 1st few weeks of offering them about, I just took to hoarding them under my bed. I wouldn't have made it without those sweet potatoes. I rarely eat sweet potatoes today. Not because they might bring back bad memories. Do you know how much sweet potatoes cost today in the supermarket here? I can't afford them. Plus they usually come from south America and look (and taste) a bit different.

Just because you're on a diet, doesn't necessarily mean that it should be a completely bland diet, without taste (unless of course, it's a commercial diet with all that entails) or flavour. In fact, why not just continue to eat as much as you ever used to?! Simply add a few chopped-up fresh and hot chillies to the plate everytime. Depending on age and experience, you'll be almost guaranteed to have frequent and successive bowel evacuations. These will clear your digestive system regularly. You will lose weight rapidly. Just make sure you have lots of toilet roll handy, though I recommend the bidet and hand-washing as best practice. Nothing disgusts me more than the thought of all the westerners wandering the streets here with dirty bums. No wonder the doggies often sniff up there embarassingly.

Go For an English - Goodness Gracious Me - YouTube

2nd Jan 2014, 20:21
...boiled new potatoes, peas and haddock fried in butter. That must be as bland as food can get folks...?! ;)

2nd Jan 2014, 20:36
Green Peas in the UK.....fit for Animal feed only!

Sweet Taters done right are really good.....bit of brown sugar, some butter, topped with marshmallows.....YUM. Serve them with fresh Collard Greens boiled with some Country Ham, fresh Pinto Beans boiled with a smoked Ham Hock, and Jalapeño Corn Bread done with Cremed Corn and Four Blend Cheese.

Ah.....now that is a way to break a Fast!

Shaggy Sheep Driver
2nd Jan 2014, 20:36
Chopping wood is mentally absorbing??:confused:

2nd Jan 2014, 20:55
So what is the longest time that anyone here has gone without food or been on an absolute minimum?…..

A fortnight on detachment to an Army camp in South Wales. What was served up as "food" even failed to interest the flies. :yuk::yuk:

2nd Jan 2014, 20:58
I did intermittent fasting when I flew for the Marshal Service, but it was completely involuntary. :(

2nd Jan 2014, 21:03
The big elephant in the room is sugar. Massive amounts in processed foods, fizzy drinks even sauces.

Dr Robert Lustig Lecture: Sugar The Bitter Truth

Sweet Poison

The Skinny on Obesity (http://www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity/)

2nd Jan 2014, 21:21
As usual, ask 3 people and get 7 answers !

I have a 2 word diet - Eat Less.

Read once that putting on weight as one ages is part of the Evolutionary process, i.e. as older people become less able to "Hunt and Gather" their bodies store resources ( or whatever) 'cos they never know when they might be able to catch their next meal. Makes sense to me. Evolution hasn't yet caught up with Supermarkets.

2nd Jan 2014, 21:27
Evolution hasn't yet caught up with Supermarkets. Or miserable pensions, perhaps combined with distant and/or non-existent family... :(

2nd Jan 2014, 21:34
A couple of slogans for Govts and the like to take up for any anti-obesity campaigns:

Just because you 're hungry doesn't mean you have to eat immediately.

Being hungry is a normal human condition, accept it.

3rd Jan 2014, 02:55
Sugar-coating a deadly health crisis | Business | Economy | Mail & Guardian (http://mg.co.za/article/2013-12-20-sugar-coating-a-deadly-health-crisis)

The power of sugar ..... how bad and pervasive it is.

3rd Jan 2014, 02:56
Fasting is only good for you if you are into self denial, or want to clear out a bucket of bad prawns.

If you don't want to spend the time watching Robert Lustig's video, read his book, "Sugar, the Bitter Truth" and you will understand why there is an obesity epidemic. It really is an excellent read.

In a nutshell, just about everything you buy in the centre aisles of a supermarket contains High Fructose Corn Syrup, which deranges the body's insulin system so much that it leads to visceral fat storage.

That there is so much HFCS around is purely political.

3rd Jan 2014, 05:47
"Sweet Taters done right are really good.....bit of brown sugar, some butter, topped with marshmallows.....YUM"


To be fair I haven't tried it.......but I 'Verped' just reading it....

3rd Jan 2014, 07:37
So what is the longest time that anyone here has gone without food or been on an absolute minimum? a week, a couple of years ago when I lost someone I was really fond of, and then somehow my guts seemed to shut down completely and accept only fluids like water and goatmilk. Discovered later I had lost more than 10 kg and have been fasting after 6 daily (nightly?) as a rule (some exceptions, though, but not often) not to get the load back - once it's gone anyway. It's not that hard after you're decided you will not eat anything, just drink water. Once you take a bite, you've lost it for that night. No big tragedy, just something to know. Plus it feels so much better inside, must be the extra room gained when fat is gone. And it saves money, to get extra motivation :).

Ironically a heading that I noticed just this morning: BBC News - Obesity quadruples to nearly one billion in developing world (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25576400)

3rd Jan 2014, 08:03
BBC News - Intermittent fasting: The good things it did to my body (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25549805)


3rd Jan 2014, 08:12
Mrs HF indulges herself with the 5:2 diet in which she sticks to 500 Kcalories max on a Monday and a Thursday. Seems to work for her.
Didn't do much for me apart from make me hungry on Mondays and Thursdays.

Lon More
3rd Jan 2014, 08:21
My grandfather's breakfast was a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed into it. Didn't do him much harm, he lived to be 99.

There was (is?) a drink PLJ (Pure Lemon Juice) on the market which was supposed to help weight loss. Haven't seen it for years.

3rd Jan 2014, 08:52
Mrs HF indulges herself with the 5:2 diet in which she sticks to 500 Kcalories max on a Monday and a Thursday. Seems to work for her.
Didn't do much for me apart from make me hungry on Mondays and Thursdays.

so, did I get it right - watching her diet made you hungry? :E

Worrals in the wilds
3rd Jan 2014, 09:02
Fasting doesn't work for me wrt weight loss. I last a day or so and have a massive breakout :(. I know many people find it effective, but I've always found it counter-productive.

I find that having regular small, spicy and unprocessed meals works better; stuff like dhal / bean soup, brown bread, stir fried chicken, fruit and lots of vegetables. My general rule is that if peasants ate it somewhere in the world a century ago (and not as party/festival food) it's okay to add to the menu :\.

The minute I get hungry what little willpower I have flies straight out the window, so I've found the key to losing weight is to never get hungry. Sounds contradictory but it works for me.

3rd Jan 2014, 09:18
yep, Worrals, it is surely individual - for some the Atkins (low carb, no bread) works well too. I've got a friend who says the same as you - just can't stand being hungry. (I've found water makes me a lot less hungry.). Also this 'less food when older' might make sense evolutionally (khm, to put it posh :uhoh:) - when older, you can't get mammoths and have to adjust to less? :p

3rd Jan 2014, 09:24
If you are constantly hungry then you're probably not getting enough vitamins and/or are dehydrated.

One tip is to strategically place healthy snacks where you might need them. For example, I always keep some nuts and/or fruit in the car should I be hungry whilst driving rather than be tempted into buying a bar of chocolate.

Fasting in isolation won't do that much in the scheme of things - it's also what you eat when you are not fasting.

Worrals in the wilds
3rd Jan 2014, 09:37
I'm a recent Beef Jerky convert for similar reasons. It's portable, handy and quells meat pie cravings.

Solid Rust Twotter
3rd Jan 2014, 09:52
...I'm a recent Beef Jerky convert...

Mwahahahaha! Another one snared in our web of evil......:E

3rd Jan 2014, 09:57
I have to do the low carb thing because I'm diabetic. There are times when I'd kill for a plate full of cheese on toast

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v139/richp/cheese_zpsa79fe133.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/richp/media/cheese_zpsa79fe133.jpg.html)

3rd Jan 2014, 12:16
Instinct and fortune have led me to rather odd kinds of work and possibly odder living habits, combined with sometimes novel styles and ways of doing same. For that reason, and some others that seem less on point, one carefully avoids making any claim to being or having proximity to a good example of any way, practise, style, belief, method, pattern, shape or thing.

Having reached an age where the abundance (in duration) of past most-certainly exceeds that of future, I am still confident that eating rich and "well" is pleasing for the moment, but bad for longevity, while eating "badly" (wrong things, wrong times, wrong by all vectors, quadrants and axes of the Galaxy) does not necessarily do much harm.

St.Peter(etc) may not care much about your diet, but good, rich, food in abundance clearly works as well as bad rich food to pave the path for your innards to various hells amply described in health publications available to all. Regular near-starvation, coupled with occasional tasty high-satisfaction bits of well-chosen anything (nourishing) from caviar to kryptonite, seem to oil my works much better for hard work and long-running.

One now eats, whenever possible, from a very short list of nourishing, tasty, sometimes expensive yet often modest-costing foods I thoroughly enjoy. The compiled short list of similar foods mostly keep well, reqire little preparation or care, can be eaten on short notice at any hour of day or night and mainly fit the various nutrition profiles that health wags go on about. Near all are portable and durable so that one can pack for a week without any or much time in refrigeration. stable.

On this scheme, except for twice a week enjoying some medium-feast that Mme. Arcniz enjoys preparing, I eat whenever I want, as little or much as I want and still seldom hit the 1200 (18-hour office day)-1500 (lumberjack) kcalorie target of plan. Weight tends to drop on this, so one is forced to eat dollops of rich creamy glacee and Swiss chocolate somewhat frequently for keeping the BMI above a certain mark in the low 20's.

When younger, I would omit eating for days, for lack of interest, with attention elsewhere. Discovered the odd twitchy-middle sensations of colitis and paid no heed. Now place more value on happy pipes, and try to keep them pleasantly entertained as a priority, using low-energy feed like plain maize cornmeal, nuts, etc. as filler. Works for now...

3rd Jan 2014, 12:20
Simple. Don't eat beans. Oh, fasting....

dubbleyew eight
3rd Jan 2014, 15:12
actually the real elephant in the room isnt sucrose the sweet tasting sugar.
it is more likely fructose the sugar you can't taste.
food technologists used it as an inert filler in foods for years in the erroneous belief that it was inert.
well it aint. it is still a sugar.

load your system full of sugar and the body metabolises it as a first choice.
all the rest of the stuff circulating in the blood gets tucked away into storage.

3rd Jan 2014, 16:40
So what is the longest time that anyone here has gone without food Probably when I was poorly last year with either a bad cold or mild flu, and that was three days with just water. But then I was resting most of that time and not really burning calories. We do the two days a week fasting; in fact they are two days of low calorie food - I'm allowed 600 calories, Mrs SJ 500. It seems to work for both of us. Being retired, we eat meals when we like. On the evening before a fast day, my last meal will be at 9 p.m., then, if it's a Sunday, my long bike ride day (I never eat immediately before a bike ride), I won't get back much before midday, so I wait until 3 pm and have a sort of low calorie breakfast; a couple of bits of fruit chopped up with yogurt. So that's 18 hours with just water. Then soup at 9 pm. Bear in mind, though, the we live in a warm climate; I'm not sure I could manage it in cold old England!

3rd Jan 2014, 20:21
On reflection, have recognised that I fast every day for 16 hours - from 6:30pm to 10:30am. Which is two thirds of every day.

Whilst probably not fasting within a technical definition, it does seem to have similar benefits. Although the word breakfast implies that it may be so. For those contemplating the various fasting options, this offers up possibilities that one can easily grow into. Just eat breakfast a little bit later everyday, which is what I am currently doing.

3rd Jan 2014, 22:51
Oh, fasting....

I misread as well...:\

3rd Jan 2014, 23:34
Did lent a few years ago. (all hydration, no calories, multivitamin daily) lost forty pounds. Rapidly gained most of it back. Drank a lot of diet coke and coffee...

4th Jan 2014, 07:33
Read once that putting on weight as one ages is part of the Evolutionary process, i.e. as older people become less able to "Hunt and Gather" their bodies store resources ( or whatever) 'cos they never know when they might be able to catch their next meal. Makes sense to me. Evolution hasn't yet caught up with Supermarkets.
Nope, can't agree with that. As we age, our energy burn reduces. Watch young people in action, they are burning up energy like a Space Shuttle takeoff. Moving constantly, running, jumping, skipping, horseplay, daily sex - they're only still, when they're asleep.

As you get older, you slow down on the calorie burn. You still eat like you did when you were younger (old habits die hard) - but you aren't moving, working, or chasing tail, like you did when you were younger.

I find a missed meal occasionally is quite beneficial. I've never been one to eat a huge breakfast (which is usually fatty, greasy, bacon and eggs, or sugar-laced commercially-mass-produced cereal).

I always treat breakfast as "break-fast" - and you never break a fast with a big meal. I have cup of tea and a slice of buttered toast for breakfast and then have another snack around mid-morning.
When younger, I'd have a big meal for lunch and another big meal for dinner. However, I find that a decent meal for lunch and a smaller meal for dinner, goes better with age. Big evening meals don't digest as well when you're older.

As far as the "obesity epidemic" goes - it centres around three things today;

1. Larger meal portions than our parents or grandparents ever ate. "Super-size" and "combo" are the ruling food order words of today. Restaurant meals are nearly always too large for comfort.

2. Too many labour-saving devices. As someone brought up on a farm, and whose early working life was farm-oriented - we chopped wood, milked cows, chased horses and other animals, killed and dressed our own meat - which means we were always doing something heavily physical.
Today, the heaviest physical exercise we get, is pressing the mouse or remote buttons.

3. Too much by way of heavy fats in our processed food. Excessive visible solid animal fat was discarded when we dressed meats, and used for other purposes - now, it's blended and incorporated into all processed food and meats.
Then large amounts of sugar and other addictive "flavourings" and "colourings" are added.
Lately I find the food manufacturers are stating "natural flavours and colours!". Natural or artificial, it's not there in the raw food.

4th Jan 2014, 14:45
Read once that putting on weight as one ages is part of the Evolutionary process I think it's more to do with our modern lifestyle. As we get older we rely more on the car and other labour saving devices. When we moved to Cornwall, I was 28 years old and weighed 152 pounds. In 1976 I did a lot of work on our cottage, all of which was manual, including digging out the rear of the cottage from the hillside to lay gutters and drains - all done by hand because I couldn't get a digger in. I put on 30 pounds, a lot of which was muscle. I have weighed 182 pounds, give or take a pound or two, ever since. I've never driven a car, my only form of private transport is a cycle, and I'm a fidget - can't sit still, got to be doing something. I fear the evolutionary process has passed me by!