Someone posted this article on PH awhile ago and I thought it was interesting given my current circumstances:
Vegetarian for 18 years eating every three hours and maintaining an average bodyfat of 19-22% over those years. Began paleo and in the first few weeks I continued eating several times a day with snacks and lost a whole lot of weight.
THEN: Began IF and would go from 9pm to 3pm without problems and my 4pm would always develop migraines for 2 days. I posted here to get some advice. http://paleohacks.com/questions/111346/hack-my-if-headache#axzz1x6nIswIx
I gave up IF and decided that I would return to it when I had everything else dialled it. In the meantime I had gained weight.
THEN Then went low carb (still paleo) and can easily do many hours without food so I thought I would give it another try. As usual I felt fine until 3pm and then BOOM migraine.
Are there many women here who have had the same experiences as I have or have you seen the llbs melt off? The article above states that IF Often harms women while being very good for men.
UPDATE: SEPT 2012. I have been doing leangains for about 3 months and no longer suffer from headaches etc. Given that I eat much more carbohydrates doing leangains than previously, I am wondering if that was the issue before. Although leangains is 16/8. I find that I often do longer fasts up to 22 hours without problems anymore. I have also lost some inches off my waist and doing very well energy wise.
I do a 14/10 instead of the typical 16/8. Even Martin of LeanGains has recognized that women seem to do better with a 10 hour feeding window--maybe try that?
Leigh Peele: Have you found a difference between men and women using this program?
Martin Berkhan: Due to differences in body weight, body composition and calorie needs, very few women, especially those already within a ‘normal’ weight range, get away with an unstructured approach to dieting. That goes for all diet approaches, not just IF. Sure, a lifestyle approach to IF will likely get a few pounds of you, but it won’t work all the way down to getting really lean for most women. The female body is very adept in protecting against fat loss below a certain body fat percentage and spontaneous eating without logging calories will often set people up for failure, unless they have a very solid track record of dieting in the past (i.e very attuned to their bodies caloric needs).
As we’re on the subject, I’ll also mention that I’ve revamped the diet guidelines I use for my female clients. For example, the fasted phase is now 14 hours by default, not 16 hours which is the case for men. This has brought about much greater diet compliance and less negative symptoms among women. The rationale for changing the guidlines makes a lot of sense based on the amount of feedback I’ve been getting, as well as my research on the topic. It turns out that women has lower plasma glucose concentrations than men after the same time spent fasting. In practical terms, this means that women in general are more likely to get moody and hungry if they go too long without feeding, while men can go longer without experiencing any negative effects, and this is exactly what I’ve been seeing. Men can do 16 hours quite easily, not so with women; for them, 14 hours is the sweet spot.
I’ve also made some other dietary alterations that increased has diet compliance for women, but I think I’ll save that part for the book. For now, I’ll just say that moving towards an isocaloric approach, with a healthy dose of carbs from fruit, has worked very well. Thus, I believe the optimal diet on this regime will depend on gender, which makes logical sense if you look at the differences in substrate metabolism between the sexes.
While everyone is different, I can say for myself that intermittent fasting (in combination with a fairly low carb, strict paleo diet) sent my hormones into a complete tailspin. Lost my period, symptoms of PCOS returned, dizziness and water retention were all side effects of my little journey into IF. Granted I should probably not have been tinkering with a potentially stressful activity while I was dealing with hormonal issues. However, I was only doing 14-16 hour fasts and did not feel that I was particularly stressed at the time but after a few weeks it became very apparent that I was not functioning 100%.
Clearly many people have experienced positive results with it, but I think for some it can be like throwing gasoline on a fire. I do feel that intermittent fasting is treated too lightly in the paleosphere-- if an individual is attempting to regain optimal health I think recovery should be emphasized rather than the potential benefits of autophagy/leaning out, etc. Women especially it seems need to be very careful about keeping their bodies nourished, stress free and well balanced (damn ovaries!). Again though, if it works for you, go for it. Just be aware of potential red flags-- if you are irritable/starving/obsessing over food porn and your "eating window" maybe consider just eating when you are hungry and moving on. A healthy diet should never have masochistic elements.
Actually I found IF'ing extremely helpful to get those last few pounds off, but I did it differently than you, my schedule was:
wake up, have breakfast around 10am, lunch around 2-3pm, snack if needed around 4pm then IF until next morning. I tried not to eat after 4pm. (LC, high fat balanced)
I never saw a need to go beyond the 18 hour mark for fasting (on purpose), it was working so perfectly....and I never felt the need to 'binge' eat because I never felt like I was starving either. It felt very normal and natural to me and I had a calmer digestive system as well.
My routine was pretty much this every day, when the weekend rolled around or had dinner invites out I just ate the extra meal and went back to my routine again the next possible day. I still continued to shed fat and weight and it never phased me. I have had to fast for up to 48 hours before, and I don't do that unless I'm traveling and can't get food...I don't recommend it, you start to feel weak and groggy.
I still follow this routine but I tend to eat more and have a few more evening snacks as I'm trying to maintain and I keep loosing if not. (I'm HC now).
Your issue is the migraines being provoked by something/lack something, I'd look into that and see what you body is asking for and see if you can figure it out.
I believe for benefits of IF'ing you need to go at least 18 hours, so 6 hours is not really considered a fast.,..your body is telling you to listen!
I tried IF for a while going from breakfast Wednesday to breakfast Thursday. I would feel very cold on Wednesday night to the point that I found it hard to sleep and would have to take hot showers to warm up. I gave it up because I was so cold, but I do think it helped me during the weight loss phase. I also attempted Fast-5 but it made me crazy obsessed with food and I would eat out of control due to obscene hunger so I gave it up. Now I just eat 3 meals a day, often my lunch is more snack-like than an actual meal, and I feel great. I have already lost the weight. I only fast now if I am not hungry at all for some reason.
Hmm... aren't rats prey? Meaning, they eat like prey... snacking all day? Then of course fasting wouldn't be good for them. But humans are not prey, are they? So I imagine they're meant to eat like the other predators.
I don't fast on purpose, just do what feels right to me.
When I started eating Paleo I naturally fell in a routine, eating a big meal at 7AM, and a smaller meal around 1PM.
After a while it evolved into occasional days where I didn't eat at all.
Note, if I'm hungry, I do eat! I only fast because I'm not hungry.
I did notice I have a problem actually getting hungry, so I ended up eating very little calories. (600-800 per day) After I noticed that I started cooking my eggs with 3-4 tablespoons of fat, eat fattier cuts of meat, and sneak in fat (calories) whenever I can. I'd rather do that than eat smaller meals throughout the day, that's how much I like to IF. I feel much better when I IF (specially the 2nd day).
I DO need to eat breakfast-lunch. If I eat lunch-dinner instead, all these benefits go away. I find it interesting.
I'm not low-carb, I eat all vegetables under the sun. Starchier stuff in the winter, since that's what's in season then. In the Summer, about 60-100 carbs. In the winter, more.
I'm not sure how I feel about fasting when you're starving, sounds silly to me. It seems when IFing you already eat less calories, how big a meal would you need to compensate for the missed calories AND nutrients?
I've never been pregnant so I don't know what it would be like to fast in that situation. I'll find out what my body feels like doing when I get there.
I think we should just all shut up and do what feels good.
I love IFing and do it every day. I eat anytime after 11:30 and done by 7:30 p.m. I work out fasted first thing in the morning. I've been doing it since January and LOVE it. Once my "feeding window" opens I eat strict Paleo. I was Paleo for over a year before I started doing daily fastings. I did also lose those stubborn last few pounds by doing this. I am so use to eating this way that I don't ever see the need to add breakfast back in. Less stress always worrying about food. I noticed there are days I don't even eat my first meal till 2. Then once I start eating watch out!! HAHA
I try to do a 24 hour IF every Monday and Friday, plus eat within a 12 hour window the other days of the week. I started off experimenting with IF to help with weight loss and to become reacquainted with hunger, so to speak. However, recently my reason for IF'ing has changed since I've just found out I have cancerous cervical cells again (this is round #2 for me) and am trying to starve them off, so I've gotten much more serious about IF and nutrition.
I don't have any adverse reactions or side effects to IF'ing. In fact, for the most part, I enjoy not thinking about food and find it pretty liberating. I don't really find it helps much with weight loss though. I typically might lose .5 lbs after a 24 hour fast.
I think everyone is different.
I also think nutrient density can make a big difference. I eat liver, eggs, oysters and gelatin on a regular basis, as well as lots of beef. No big-ass salads for me!
I've happily done 16/8 IF for over a year. 49, 5'6" 125 lbs.
What works for me is 10-6 or 11-7 for my eating window. In the winter, I seem to want to eat earlier, so I eat from 9-5 or 8-4.
Eggs are a common migraine trigger. Since going paleo in January, my worst migraine was after reintroducing eggs on Easter (deviled eggs made with homemade mayonnaise). Otherwise, the frequency of migraine has been reduced by more than half. The "bulletproof" coffee you mentioned in your previous post isn't your friend. My other known food triggers are onions, raw garlic, and pineapple. Maybe try eliminating eggs and coffee for 6 weeks and then IF to see if you still get the migraine. The other thing that occurs to me is that you might still have residual blood sugar instabilities. You don't say how long you've been paleo, but given the degree of dysfunction, it can take months or even years to heal the damage wrought by two decades of carbs, wheat, etc, especially if you've been rendered borderline celiac (as I believe myself to be). IF may just not be in the cards for you right now. Focus on healing and good luck with the migraines.