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16:8 Intermittent fasting, anyone?

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Have you done it? If so, what did you think of it?

For those of you who don't know, it's an eating schedule where you fast sixteen hours a day and then have an eight hour eating window. You follow this schedule every day. Some people may pair it with a specific diet (e.g. keto) to help accelerate weight loss.

I'm curious if anyone has any experience with it and what the results were.

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That's pretty close to how I normally eat on most days without making it a "schedule".  No specific diet; I eat mostly vegetarian (meat or fish only occasionally).  My weight is completely stable and I feel fine. 

Edited by regentrude
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It’s recommended to help get insulin resistance under control. 

But a recent study I heard claimed it’s only beneficial in conjunction with healthy food choices. You can’t continue to eat junk just because you’re keeping it within a certain time frame. The study said most people “fail” this diet plan because they think timing alone will overcome bad food choices. 

FWIW, my natural pattern of eating naturally falls within about a ten hour window IF I eat breakfast. What my doc has advised for insulin resistance issues is to not snack between meals, to go 4 hours between well-balanced meals. 

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That's my natural eating schedule.  I only eat breakfast if I go hiking. I eat lunch between 11 and 1, usually at noon, and I eat dinner between 5 and 7, usually about 6:30. If I snack it's between lunch and dinner and have some dark chocolate immediately after.  I was steadily at 100-120 from my pre-teens teens until 40. (I'm 5'2".)  At 40 my doctor told met the truth that my sudden weight gain (to 138) wasn't due to a hormonal problem like I thought, it was due to processed foods and sugar.  I cut way back and cleaned up to my diet and have been holding steady at 125 ever since.

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I have actually been doing 18/6 or even 20/4 since February. I love it. I eat what I want (including junk if I want) and have maintained my weight (I am not overweight to begin with), but do it mainly for all the other benefits that come with fasting. Read Jason Fung's website or book for lots more info. 

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I used to but do not feel the best with it anymore. Now, I routinely have about 12-14hr window but much more than that and I end up eating more in the long run. 

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I ate that way during my pregnancy and even though I've kept mostly the same diet I now eat whenever and have gained weight. I'm going back on it as an experiment starting on Wednesday.

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

That's my natural eating schedule.  I only eat breakfast if I go hiking. I eat lunch between 11 and 1, usually at noon, and I eat dinner between 5 and 7, usually about 6:30. If I snack it's between lunch and dinner and have some dark chocolate immediately after.  I was steadily at 100-120 from my pre-teens teens until 40. (I'm 5'2".)  At 40 my doctor told met the truth that my sudden weight gain (to 138) wasn't due to a hormonal problem like I thought, it was due to processed foods and sugar.  I cut way back and cleaned up to my diet and have been holding steady at 125 ever since.

 

That’s terrific!

Please explain your chocolate regimen to me. Sounds like a plan I could get on board with. 😁

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Is 16 considered the magic number for fasting?  I can do 14 easily...    16 feels so much harder!

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14 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

That’s terrific!

Please explain your chocolate regimen to me. Sounds like a plan I could get on board with. 😁

I had to switch to dark chocolate because it's healthier.  I worked my way up the percentages to 70% dark. I'm aiming for the 78%, if i remember correctly. You really can recalibrate your pallet, but it takes time.   I have a serious sweet tooth, so my complicated relationship with sugar has been a long process.  I swapped my daily coke for hot green/lemongrass or green/ginger tea in the mornings, chamomile at night, and unsweetened teas during the day if I want something other than water.  Coke is once a week or half a coke twice a week...when I'm being good.

A few pieces of dark chocolate in the evening with a cup of hot chamomile tea has been a very deeply satisfying habit to develop.

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14 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I had to switch to dark chocolate because it's healthier.  I worked my way up the percentages to 70% dark. I'm aiming for the 78%, if i remember correctly. You really can recalibrate your pallet, but it takes time.   I have a serious sweet tooth, so my complicated relationship with sugar has been a long process.  I swapped my daily coke for hot green/lemongrass or green/ginger tea in the mornings, chamomile at night, and unsweetened teas during the day if I want something other than water.  Coke is once a week or half a coke twice a week...when I'm being good.

A few pieces of dark chocolate in the evening with a cup of hot chamomile tea has been a very deeply satisfying habit to develop.

 

Thanks! I am happily at 70% - my preference has always been dark chocolate so that’s not as hard. This encourages me to step up to the next percentage. So convenient that Trader Joe’s has these right by the register!

I can’t do it at night, though - it definitely keeps me awake! Maybe I’ll add it to my lunch as dessert, then take my unsweet tea in the afternoon. I’ve read about the antioxidant benefits of chocolate and I look forward to putting it back in the rotation come January!

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My husband is doing it and having really good results. He's lost weight, but more than that he's lost visceral fat around his belly. He looks very different, more than could be accounted for by the numbers on the scale. 

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I discovered I was doing it unintentionally.

I had been following (mostly) the very simple No-S diet.  No sweets, snacks or seconds except on days that start with S.  Only I wasn't indulging in those even on permitted days to allow for the occasion where I have a sweet in the house and want to enjoy it longer.  Honestly, the only rule that I was militant about following was no seconds.  And I still do that, I don't indulge in a second helping anymore ever.  

I started to shed a few pounds here and there following that and was pleased and then all the sudden the weight loss kind of ramped up.  Like all the sudden clothes didn't fit.   I saw someone mention intermittent fasting (probably on here) and read up on it and it clicked that for the most part, that is how I eat!  My last food of the day is dinner which happens anywhere between 6 and 9 pm on some days, but usually as close to 6:30 as we can.  Then I don't eat again until lunch, which is normally around 12:30, but sometimes it's almost 2 before I get to it.   Occasionally I will have a light breakfast and occasionally I will have a small, smart afternoon snack, but because I did No S for so long, snacks are not a part of my regular routine.  I have them only if I feel a headache coming on from lack of sustenance.

I'm getting really close to reaching a loss of 40 pounds by not actively dieting or exercising.  I think I had started to get myself on track with healthy eating habits with No-S and then adding the intermittant fasting on top of that was the magic bullet my system needed for that re-boot.  I had just reached the point where I was having to go up a size a lot when shopping for clothes, and now I'm down 4 sizes from where that was.   I expect there might be a little fluctuation with the holidays because I have every intention of indulging when I want to, but I'm totally okay with that and am looking forward to enjoying the treats! 

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I started that after realizing I had put on about 25 pounds after 40. I'm able to maintain my weight without anything that feels like major sacrifice. 

I find that I can only manage it by skipping breakfast. I read that it was less healthy to skip breakfast and tried to make my fast begin in the late afternoon (4). I couldn't make it. 

So I eat lunch around 1, dinner around 5:30-6. I find I need something at the end of the fast period to hold me until bedtime. So I eat something small--sometimes just drink a glass of milk--around 7/8. 

I would say one of my meals, usually lunch, is generally pretty healthy, and I stick to meals rather than continuous snacking or similar in that time period. But I don't think about calories I'm eating in the meals. If I know I over-did it on a certain day, I do pull back the next day or two and try to watch myself. That's mostly because consuming sugar makes me crave it for quite a while, and  I can get in a cycle where I'm eating a lot of carbs in that 8 hours. That doesn't work for me.  

 

Edited by sbgrace
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I'm going to just pop my head in here and gently recommend that if you have a history of eating disorders, you should PLEASE, PLEASE not intermittent fast.  Intermittent fasting made my eating disorder a great deal worse and even now, almost 6 months into recovery, I still occasionally feel "guilty" about eating breakfast during normal breakfast hours.

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This is the diet I tried about a year ago.  After reading a bunch of articles online about how effective it was, I tried it.  My blood pressure shot through the roof on that diet for some bizarre reason.  Also, not only did I not lose any weight, I actually gained 3-4 pounds (can't quite remember how much I gained).  

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1 hour ago, bensonduck said:

I'm going to just pop my head in here and gently recommend that if you have a history of eating disorders, you should PLEASE, PLEASE not intermittent fast.  Intermittent fasting made my eating disorder a great deal worse and even now, almost 6 months into recovery, I still occasionally feel "guilty" about eating breakfast during normal breakfast hours.

 

Oh! I feel like I should add that I only skip breakfast if I’m truly not hungry! If I’m hungry, I eat - so I don’t feel there’s necessarily self-deprivation happening in some who skip breakfast. 

It is definitely important to get in enough calories at the times we do eat!

Congrats on your 6 months - may it continue! 

 

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A good friend does it and likes it. She's tried a number of intermittent fasting plans though, so I can't remember if this is the one she's specifically doing now, but I know this is one she was trying for a good while.

For her, she's in good health and a good weight - she's just one of these people who likes to constantly be striving for better and likes to tweak her routines and see if she gets a benefit from it. I know she started trying various intermittent fasting routines a couple of years ago and feels like they're good. 

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I do this, but not for weight loss.  It helps control acid reflux and IBS symptoms at night. Usually I have breakfast and lunch and occasional grazing (hello Christmas cookies!), but I generally don’t eat after 3:30ish, other than taste testing dinner to make sure it’s properly seasoned.  They say to eat at least 2-3 hours before bed, but it needs to be more like 7-8 for me.  Eating too close to bedtime means dry heaving in my sleep.

What throws things off is lack of sleep.  I had a sick kid last night keeping me awake, and another kid started coughing and shivering a little bit ago.  I ended up eating a piece of cornbread for dinner because I need the calories in case I’m not sleeping again tonight.  When I get decent, quality sleep, I just don’t need that much to eat.  I haven’t looked into IF for weight loss, but I suspect proper sleep really makes a difference in adherence and results.

In full disclosure, I am a pretty small person (I buy sweatpants in boys sizes), and ironically unwanted weight loss is one of the IBS flare-up symptoms I try to avoid by eating this way.

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I’d really like to try this because I had Gestational Diabetes with my last pregnancy, and I’ve heard positive things about insulin resistance and intermittent fasting.  I’m still breastfeeding, though, and I can barely go overnight without snacks.  I’m hoping IF will help when I finally transition from eating for two to weaning when that day comes.

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I love intermittent fasting!  I do an 8:16 plan when I do it (eat only from noon to 6:00pm).  If I'm faithful with it, it works.  If I am faithful with it and instead of eating here and there the whole time, I have one meal at the beginning and one meal at the end, it really works.  It especially really works when I also do low carb.  It works the very best when I do it well, plus exercise just before I start to eat.  There are no carbs or anything else left in the body from which the body can draw the energy, so it draws the energy needed for exercise from stored fat.  

When I did intermittent fasting pretty faithfully from middle of June to middle of August, I dropped 20 pounds.  I haven't been super faithful since then, but I haven't totally rebounded either, and I've held at the weight to which I dropped.   After new years, I'm going to start again because I still have about 20 pounds to go.  .

I like it because (for me) it combines Thin Within (eating only when hungry, stopping when satisfied), intermittent fasting, and Bright Line Eating (lines you just don't cross, which for me are the start and end times).  When I honor those start and end times, it feels great.  When I'm craving something, I just tell myself to hold out until noon and have it then.  Either the craving passes, or I do have it then.  Once 6pm hits, I stop eating, end of story.  I feel like I was so weary of fighting the fight all day long, every day, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed.  Instead, I only have to fight the good fight for six hours.  It's much more doable.  

Edited by milovany
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I’ve been reading some about this and I mostly do it already except that I have cold brew coffee when I wake up and I add a very small amount of chocolate almond milk. Is that enough to mess up the whole day? It’s like 50 calories or less. 

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54 minutes ago, snickerplum said:

I’ve been reading some about this and I mostly do it already except that I have cold brew coffee when I wake up and I add a very small amount of chocolate almond milk. Is that enough to mess up the whole day? It’s like 50 calories or less. 

 

Anything that causes your liver to turn on biological processes to metabolize incoming food and the start the circadian clocks that are controlled by food intake is when the time begins. So, yes, the small amount of chocolate almond milk will technically take you out of the fasting phase.

If your only concern is weight loss and not autophagy, then you’re probably okay. Just try not to eat past 5:00 or as close to that as possible because we are more insulin resistant after 5:00. (Satchin Panda’s research)

Black coffee and unsweetened teas were permitted in some of the studies and seemed to be okay.

Edited by BeachGal
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I have about a 6 hour eating window unless I'm hungry for breakfast which is rare. I have never lost weight with it but I feel much better skipping breakfast.

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1 hour ago, BeachGal said:

 

Anything that causes your liver to turn on biological processes to metabolize incoming food and the start the circadian clocks that are controlled by food intake is when the time begins. So, yes, the small amount of chocolate almond milk will technically take you out of the fasting phase.

If your only concern is weight loss and not autophagy, then you’re probably okay. Just try not to eat past 5:00 or as close to that as possible because we are more insulin resistant after 5:00. (Satchin Panda’s research)

Black coffee and unsweetened teas were permitted in some of the studies and seemed to be okay.

 

I hadn’t read about slower insulin response after 5pm, I’ll look into that, thanks. 

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3 hours ago, snickerplum said:

I’ve been reading some about this and I mostly do it already except that I have cold brew coffee when I wake up and I add a very small amount of chocolate almond milk. Is that enough to mess up the whole day? It’s like 50 calories or less. 

I coffee pretty much all morning.  Mine's always black though.  If I have tea I add honey to it.  

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3 hours ago, snickerplum said:

I’ve been reading some about this and I mostly do it already except that I have cold brew coffee when I wake up and I add a very small amount of chocolate almond milk. Is that enough to mess up the whole day? It’s like 50 calories or less. 

 

This is actually my main problem with the schedule. Eating within the window? Easy. Not having cream in my morning coffee? 😫

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The nice thing about intermittent fasting is that you can tweak it by duration and frequency to meet your objective.  It gets easier, too, the more experienced you get.  Even 24 hour fasts aren't too bad if you keep yourself busy.

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35 minutes ago, Pegasus said:

The nice thing about intermittent fasting is that you can tweak it by duration and frequency to meet your objective.  It gets easier, too, the more experienced you get.  Even 24 hour fasts aren't too bad if you keep yourself busy.

 

My husband and I do a two-day fast every two weeks. We start Monday around noon and end Wednesday around noon. We feel great while doing them and afterward. Our goal is autophagy but the good feeling is a nice bonus. Plus, more free time to do other things because there’s no food prep or eating.

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11 hours ago, BeachGal said:

 

My husband and I do a two-day fast every two weeks. We start Monday around noon and end Wednesday around noon. We feel great while doing them and afterward. Our goal is autophagy but the good feeling is a nice bonus. Plus, more free time to do other things because there’s no food prep or eating.

This is great. I love that you do it with your husband. I haven't managed to go more than 24 hours.  I feel fine. It's a mental thing.

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I have recently started this - except that I really don't like black coffee and am very caffeine dependent so allow a small amount of cream in my coffee all morning long - and I feel pretty good actually. I am doing it to simply address some health issues. Weight loss would be great, but it isn't necessarily my only objective for doing it. I naturally lean towards this kind of schedule anyway and felt decent when eating that way, but for years had nurse practitioners and doctors harp at me about the family history of type 2 diabetes and nag me to eat breakfast - the most important meal of the day - and five more small meals or snacks instead of three meals, and blah blah blah blah. I hated it but did what I was told. All I got for it, despite calorie counting and making healthy choices, was felling miserable and sluggish and a ton of weight gain even when exercising so much I should have been shedding rapidly. UGH. So I finally decided life was too short to be so unhappy about food and eating cycles and recently went back to the way my body prefers. No food before noon, and I feel sooooooo much better in the morning, light lunch, lots of water, some vegetable juice in the afternoon and maybe a very light snack or a small piece of cheese, and then a nice meal with my family around 6 pm which always includes a healthy protein, a GF grain or potato though I only eat that sparingly of these because I do better on low  carb, salad and a cooked veggie like green beans. I might have a little snack before 8 p.m. or not, nothing carved in stone. When I eat like this, my entire digestive track and brain feels so much happier.

So we will see if eventually it leads to any weight loss or not. I know I'm low on stomach acid so today I am going to try having a little apple cider vinegar in water before the evening meal which I've read can be very helpful.

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I was doing this until my sleep tanked.  I am gaining weight most likely due to comfort eating.  It is very hard to fast and not be sleeping as a pp mentioned.  I felt healthier when I was doing it and my weight was keeping steady without my having to think if everything I ate was healthy.  I'm in the approaching 50 crowd so my body is determined to look like my mother who struggles with weight and subsequentially diabetes risk and heart issues.  

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13 minutes ago, bethben said:

I was doing this until my sleep tanked.  I am gaining weight most likely due to comfort eating.  It is very hard to fast and not be sleeping as a pp mentioned.  I felt healthier when I was doing it and my weight was keeping steady without my having to think if everything I ate was healthy.  I'm in the approaching 50 crowd so my body is determined to look like my mother who struggles with weight and subsequentially diabetes risk and heart issues.  

Yeah, if you can’t sleep, then your body will cry out to eat.  Since the body can’t rest, it needs the extra energy of food to keep it going. It’s not like it’s just a will power issue.  The body must be supplied with energy while you’re awake, so you start getting valid hunger pangs if you’re awake when normally you should be asleep.

I’m sorry you’re having sleeping issues.  I hate sleeping issues.  

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