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I've experimented with 5/2, 6/1, and longer water fasts, and am a longtime member of the FB group Principia Lenta.

I understand the link between fasting and autophagy, but I stick to IF these days (generally 18:6).

FWIW, I eat 100% meat. Some carnivores fast (both water and dry fasts), but most of us either stick to IF or dismiss fasting altogether (i.e. eat when hungry).
 

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Shelley K said:
Tens of millions of people worldwide fast every day because they don't have a choice, and I don't see how it particularly benefits any of them.
Starvation is not fasting. The latter is built around a diet to optimize both health and well-being.

Intermittent fasting is becoming very popular as a way to control weight, improve mood and feel more energy. Plug it into Youtube and you'll find a lot of information and testimonials.
 

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The majority of people who don't get adequate nutrition aren't starving from no calories at all, but rather are malnourished from lack of protein and diversity (ie they have diets heavy in corn, rice, wheat).

I'm healthiest and clearest thinking when I'm low carb and eat a couple meals a day.

What helped was actually having enough money to afford not to buy groceries and to not keep food at home (where I graze on things, esp. carbs).
Right now I can afford to eat out every meal, and I've benefitted from that a lot. I eat less and healthier, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

It helps that I live somewhere that food and rent is cheap. I spend more on breakfast than I do on housing.

My last hard core writing (3 novels in 4 months) drove me to binge on carbs, cigarettes, and to some degree porn.

Now that I'm in a less stressful mind set, I'm cigarette free, low-carb, and working on getting a girlfriend to replace porn hub.

Life's a balance.

Can't say I'm giving up drinking, but I switched from beer to vodka and water and a splash of lime.

 

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I practice intermittent fasting combined with a ketogenic diet. For me this means I get up, have a cup of coffee or tea with a serving of MCT oil, and don't eat anything until lunch.

Productivity-wise, I am more alert and functional in the morning on just the oil/coffee mixture.

Health-wise, I have lost ~20 lbs. in the last three months and no longer have joint pain in my hands or hips.

I have tried other forms of fasting in the past, but was not pleased with the experience. My current regimen is working well for me and I have no plans to change in the foreseeable future.
 

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I feel pretty good if I stick to a low-key daily fast -- 14 to 18 hours without calories per 24-hour period. At the lower end of the spectrum, it's a breeze -- eat an earlyish supper and a lateish breakfast, and you have your 14 hours. At the upper end, I skip either dinner or breakfast. Even the shorter fasting period is great for avoiding bingey eating late at night, when I'm tired and no one's awake to see me pulling out the Ben & Jerry's.  :-[

Apropos of kw3000's point about the sedentary writing life ... has anyone out there used an endless pool?
 

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I was doing really well with IF a couple of months ago. I only ate between about 1 pm to 8 pm, and only water to drink. Combined with low carb eating, I was feeling better, more mentally aware and just plain happy. Lost some weight, got the blood sugar and blood pressure down. Then I got sick and basically fell of the wagon. Haven't managed to get back on again, but working on it.

Carbs make me fat, grumpy and brain dead. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how I should eat, but carbs are addictive. The more you eat, the more you want. Or at least, that's my experience.
 

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No, I wouldn't. I eat 3 meals a day, sometimes with a snack in between, if I'm hungry.  Everyone's free to choose what works for them, but going without food for long periods would just made me obsess about when my next meal was rolling around.

I'm an omnivore. Everything in moderation. It works for me.
 

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Lilly_Frost said:
For those of you who fast for a long time (14+ hours), don't you have problems with your blood sugar dropping? I do keto, and the few carbs I get tend to be of the leafy-green variety, but even so, if I go more than 6 or 7 hours without eating, I get a terrible headache/shakes/nausea.
It sounds like you might not be getting enough fat and/or salt. Most of my carbs come from tomatoes and eggplant. Leafy greens are good, but not enough on their own. Avocadoes are a necessity for me - a veg and a fat - mostly a fat. Also, try adding a small serving of nuts between meals - salt and fat. Sometimes, in the morning, I find coffee alone might upset my stomach - it's rare, but when it happens I eat a small piece of cheese and keep going.
 

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Lilly_Frost said:
For those of you who fast for a long time (14+ hours), don't you have problems with your blood sugar dropping? I do keto, and the few carbs I get tend to be of the leafy-green variety, but even so, if I go more than 6 or 7 hours without eating, I get a terrible headache/shakes/nausea.
I consume nearly 0 carbs. My IF schedule is no food until 6:00 pm, and I stop eating at 9:00 pm. During the fasting period, I drink only water, including two glasses a day laced with Himalayan Pink Salt for the potassium and minerals. That takes care of the headaches and could ameliorate your shakes and nausea.

(Via Dr. Rhonda Patrick (Youtube) I learned that black coffee and tea both break a fast.)

My energy and mental clarity, and especially focus, are great all day, and that's really added to my productivity. (This is where it all ties into the writing life. Before I started eating this way, my daily writing time was half of what it is today.).
 

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Great post!

I've got a host of medical issues, so IF and diet have become tools to help manage symptoms.

I use IF to manage pain and inflammation (Fibro sufferer here *sad wave*) as well as keep my tachycardia (Rapid pulse with syncope {fainting} episodes) under control.

My regimen is one full day fasting, one day eating only when hungry. (Usually one-two small meals.) My meals are a balance of iron rich foods and greens (anemia) plus meat, but red meat in moderation with a heavy emphasis on fish. I drink copious amounts of water and tea and drink coffee and sugar free soda in moderation.

Honestly, I just listen to my body. Somewhere along the way I got stuck in this "Three meals a day" mindset, put on weight, got terribly sick, then decided to go back to the way I used to do things. So far, so good. Improvement in pain levels, mood, productivity, and health. YMMV.

It is fascinating to know it's a common thing. Most people I talk to about fasting look at me like I'm nuts. I am, but that's neither here nor there. xD


 

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Anarchist said:
I've experimented with 5/2, 6/1, and longer water fasts, and am a longtime member of the FB group Principia Lenta.

I understand the link between fasting and autophagy, but I stick to IF these days (generally 18:6).

FWIW, I eat 100% meat. Some carnivores fast (both water and dry fasts), but most of us either stick to IF or dismiss fasting altogether (i.e. eat when hungry).
Pretty much this for me as well. I generally eat two meals a day, late morning and evening, sticking with high fat hamburger and steaks. I've felt much better since going that route and have far fewer cravings.
 

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Annie B said:
I highly recommend looking up Dr. Jason Fung's videos on intermittent fasting and insulin resistance. It's very interesting watching and he's an actual doctor who backs up what he says with studies and research you can look into further.
Totally second the Dr. Fung recommendation; not only does he back up his talks with solid research and examples, but the guy has a gift for taking more esoteric bits of biology and making them understandable to those of us who haven't dealt with cell science in decades.

I personally do 16:8 because it fits best with my gym & work schedule. While I'd probably lose weight faster and be a bit healthier on 20:4, this manages to get two meals in a day every day on a set schedule, instead of having to try change my eating window back and forth almost every day. I also don't keto. I aim for low carb and don't guilt over the occasional chocolate cake slice, because I hit keto flu so hard, and no amount of bone broth or hydrate keeps me from getting really snappish, wiped out, and brain fogged for days. And since my job takes a lot of brain power, and I like to keep getting paychecks, I keep eating my carbs.
 

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Yes, at least 5 times a week.
Within last 12 months diagnosed with T2 diabetes and a blocked aorta.
In both cases specialists say keeping blood sugars under good control is a must - done through very low carb, no ciggies and as much exercise as my body will allow. 
 

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JDMatheny said:
I generally eat two meals a day, late morning and evening, sticking with high fat hamburger and steaks.
Same here, eating mostly ribeyes and porterhouse. And I've never felt better.

It's not for everyone. But it definitely works for me. :)
 

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Jeff Tanyard said:
Sounds expensive. But tasty. 8)
Mealtime is my favorite time of day! :)
 

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When I was working, up to about seven years ago, I ate only one late afternoon meal a day. I simply didn't get hungry. I was sitting in the car all day so not using up too many calories.

Since I retired, and especially since I lost my dogs, I am eating three meals a day and I've got careless and put on weight. A warning: when you get to 70, it takes a lot more effort to lose weight.  :'(
 

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I did the 5/2 fasting diet for several months.  Took some getting used to, but it worked for me and I lost a lot of weight.  I liked it because on the 5 days I could eat pretty much whatever, the 2 days of course were hard.  At any rate, I lost weight.  I don't really do it now, as I've been able to maintain my weight, but I suggest people try it and see if works for them.
 

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Puddleduck said:
Could those who've said they eat only meat expand on that a little? I'm very curious. I didn't know anyone did that, since it's my understanding that vegetables contain necessary nutrients that meat doesn't.
If you'd like to investigate this way of eating, I recommend this site: http://justmeat.co/

I got started years ago after reading The Bear's (Owsley Stanley) posts on Low Carb Forum. Here's a PDF: http://justmeat.co/docs/the-bear.pdf

Two more fascinating reads: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/all-meat-diets/ and http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/food/meats/

When it comes to diet and exercise, I never advise others. Everyone's different. That said, I do recommend experimenting with various diet/exercise protocols and monitoring the results (digestion, energy, mood, joint pain, etc.).
 
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