Daily 20-23 hours fasting window

This topic contains 43 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Adaline 5 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 44 posts - 1 through 44 (of 44 total)

  • Hi! I’ve decided to record my weight loss evolution on daily 20-23 hours fasting window, having only 1-2 large meals a day, depending on my hunger levels.
    I will not have a fixed daily or weekly pattern. I will eat my first meal when I’ll feel hunger (but not later than 3 pm) and once every 2-3 days I will eat 2 meals a day, to compensate.
    I will not count / limit my calories, but I usually eat around 1.000 calories / meal, so my daily intake will vary between 1.000 – 2.000 calories, with my TDEE at ~1.700 calories.
    I’ve started 10 days ago, at ~73 kg (height 1.65 m) and today’s weight is ~72 kg. Lost 1 kg, but some of it may be water weight, because I was eating very salty.

    I’ll update maybe once a month.


    I’ve wrote on another thread about intermittent fasting 20/4 and I will copy-paste here the information.

    Q: My question is would be it be healthy for me to eat everything I’m supposed to eat in the early hours of the day. The first meal would be when I wake up around 9 or 10 am. The second would be around noon or 1. Two meals and it would be 1,200 calories total and that would be it for the day. It’s essentially not eating for 20 hours. Is it healthy or is detrimental to my health? If I go on it for awhile and then go off would it make me gain all the weight back?


    Question 1: Is it healthy or is detrimental to my health?

    Yes, my opinion it is that is healthier to eat in a smaller window in the daytime, because intermittent fasting has many benefits, especially in the case of insulin resistance.

    Some good graphical representations are in this article of Dr. Fung: Fasting Regimens – Part 6
    The less insulin / time dependent (1 vs 3 red zones), the better for reversing insulin resistance.

    Important is that your body to be well adapted to a 4 hours eating window, so daily 20 hours fast not to be a major stress factor to your body. If it feels stressful not eating in the evening (and you’ll have problems sleeping), you could try to adapt better to a 6 hours eating window, and maybe moving the starting hour around 11-12. You’ll have to test for yourself and see how your body prefers.

    In my opinion equally important is that you have some days when you eat at your TDEE level. A constant intake at 1.200 calories could lower your metabolism and cause binge eating episodes and weight gain, and you want to avoid this.

    I’ve also read that when-the-eating-hours-are is important for weight loss. If you have your eating window in the daytime you are losing more weight than having it in the evening. And the cause is that insulin release is greater in the evening, at identical meals.

    This study I think it says it all: the study compared the effect of eating a large breakfast versus a large dinner: both groups ate 1.400 calories, BF group lose 8.7 kg, D group lose 3.6 kg. So yes, the time of your eating window is essential for weight loss.

    “So what this study did was to randomly assign two groups of overweight women to eating a large breakfast (BF group) or a large dinner (D group). Both ate 1400 calories/day, and the macronutrient composition of each diet was matched – only the timing of the largest meal was changed. While both groups lost weight, the BF group was clearly superior for both weight loss and waist size (important measure of visceral fat) by almost 2.5 times (-8.7 kg vs -3.6 kg).”

    Extras from Dr. Fung’s article: Circadian Rhythms – Fasting

    And here is the link for the whole study: High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women.

    Another 2 studies I found in this article in The Washington Post: Why eating late at night may be particularly bad for you and your diet.

    “Two recent studies have shed new light on the potential impact of timing. In a study of 420 overweight or obese people published in 2013, those who ate their major meal after 3 p.m. lost less weight during a 20-week weight-loss program than those who ate that main meal before 3 p.m. — even when the amount they ate, slept and exercised was the same.

    “This is the first study to show that eating later in the day . . . makes people lose less weight, and lose it slower,” even when the amount people ate, slept and exercised was the same, says the study’s lead author, Marta Garaulet, a professor of physiology at the University of Murcia in Spain. “It shows that eating late impairs the success of weight-loss therapy.” In the 2013 study, the early eaters lost 22 pounds, the late eaters only 17.

    In a subsequent small study of healthy women published this year, Garaulet and her team showed that when participants ate lunch after 4:30 p.m., they burned fewer calories while resting and digesting their food than they did when they ate at 1 p.m. — even though the calories consumed and level of activity was the same.

    What’s more, when the participants ate late, they couldn’t metabolize, or burn off, carbohydrates as well as when they ate earlier. They also had decreased glucose tolerance, which can lead to diabetes. (The two-week study did not track whether the women gained or lost weight.)”

    Direct links to the studies:
    1. Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness.

    2. Meal timing affects glucose tolerance, substrate oxidation and circadian-related variables: A randomized, crossover trial.

    Question 2: If I go on it for awhile and then go off would it make me gain all the weight back?

    The answer is: yes, could be, if your weight gain was initially caused by insulin resistance. Here is Dr. Fung’s answer to a similar question:

    Q: How permanent is the effect of IF on the insulin resistance? After you lower the insulin resistance through a regimen of fasting, is it sustainable or you have to do it for life?
    A: It is not permanent. It’s like taking a bath. You can’t do it once and expect to be clean forever.

    I’ve also read about a study (sadly I did not saved the source) where eating the TDEE calories in 12+ hours leads to weight gain, but eating them in ~6 hours (don’t remember exactly), the weight was maintained. And the reason is that as long the insulin levels are high (each time after eating something, no matter what), the body is in storing-fat-mode, and the fat burning is blocked.
    Like in this graph, the green zones vs blue ones: How Insulin Works – Hormonal Obesity VII

    You could also regain weight (due to binge eating) if you did not listened to your body (hunger) and forced a daily max 1.200 calories intake, having daily a large calorie deficit, instead of a cyclical pattern, with days at your TDEE level.

    I hope my message answers all your questions about IF 20/4. Good luck!

    PS: On a separate note I want to address the LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) solution for insulin resistance that seems for many to be the only choice, dietary speaking.

    Here is the “Power: Fasting vs Low Carb” article from Dr. Fung’s blog:https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/power-comparison-fasting-vs-low-carb-fasting-26/
    Extras: “Looking at total area under the curve, you can see that carb free diet can reduce insulin by roughly 50% but you can go another 50% by fasting.”

    My opinion is that some persons can improve their insulin sensitivity (but not to 100%) having 2 options:
    1. LCHF in a (x) hours eating window (let’s say 3 meals a day in 12 hours eating window)
    2. Moderate Carb diet (with fruits and safe starches, maybe some beans etc – around 100-150 grams of carbs / day) but in a much-smaller-than-(x) eating window, to benefit from the insulin-lowering-effect of fasting daily for a much longer period. (let’s say 2 meals a day in a 4 hours eating window, and fasting for 20 hours).

    So I think it’s important to look at the “total area under the curve”, how Dr. Fung says, but for the whole day, 24 hours, not necessarily at every meal / every hour of the day. Again, this is just my own point of view, which could also be wrong, but I think it has his merits to be tested, if someone just can not stick to a very low carb diet.

    Yes, LCHF + fasting have together a greater effect on insulin resistance, but my opinion (which I do not wish to debate) is that strict LCHF it is not a healthy choice on long term. Details in the extras below, plus the risk of binge eating associated with any form of long term restrictive eating (psychological factors).

    Extras: Chris Kresser and Tom Naughton in a review of Perfect Health Diet, Paul Jaminet.

    “In the cyberspace crowd of health-oriented blogs and Facebook groups, I noticed more and more people saying they developed problems on a strict very-low-carb diet – low thyroid function, cold hands and feet, high fasting glucose, dry eyes, etc. – which went away when they added some “safe starches” back into their diets as prescribed in the Perfect Health Diet.

    That peak health range is the amount of glucose our bodies require on a daily basis — somewhere in the range of 100 to 150 grams. It’s this chapter of the book that started all the hubbub over “safe starches.” Yes, your body will convert protein into glucose – even if it has to raid the protein stored in your muscles to do so – but the Jaminets argue that forcing your body to meet its daily glucose requirement through gluconeogenesis can eventually cause the health problems Chris Kresser described seeing in some of his patients: slow thyroid, dry eyes, cold hands and feet, low energy, weight-loss stalls, etc.

    I see a fair number of patients in my practice struggling with symptoms like hair loss, cold hands and feet, plateaued weight loss, low energy and mood imbalances after following a VLC diet for several months. In many cases they adopted this approach to lose weight, which was successful – at least to a certain point. However, others were not overweight to begin with and simply chose to eat VLC because they got the impression that “carbs are bad”, even for people without metabolic problems. I believe many of these issues are related to the decrease in thyroid hormone levels seen on VLC diets.

    In cases where there is no significant metabolic damage, when I have these folks increase their carbohydrate intake (with starch like tubers and white rice, and fruit) to closer to 150g a day, they almost always feel better. Their hair loss stops, their body temperature increases and their mood and energy improves.

    For people that are overweight and are insulin/leptin resistant, it’s a bit trickier. In some cases increasing carbohydrate intake moderately, to approximately 100g per day, actually re-starts the weight loss again. In other cases, any increase in carbohydrate intake – in any form – will cause weight gain and other unpleasant symptoms. A different approach is required for these patients.

    As always, there’s no simple answer and no one-size-fits-all approach. If I could leave your readers with one point, that would be it.”

    Hi Adaline and welcome:

    Sounds like you have decided to do a five day a week reduced calorie diet (diet five days, eat to TDEE or more two days). Assuming your numbers are correct, you will be eating less than your TDEE on average so you should lose weight. Again assuming your numbers are correct your weight loss should average about a pound a week over time.

    Good Luck!

    Hi simcoeluv. And thanks!

    Yes and No. 🙂 In my opinion intermittent fasting is not a simply “reduced calorie diet”. I like this “Caloric Reduction vs Fasting” article of Dr. Fung.

    Caloric Reduction: “As you reduce calories, appetite goes up, and TEE goes down. You reduce Calories In, but Calories Out goes down, too. This is failure guaranteed 100%.”

    Fasting: “As we recently detailed in the fasting series, the hormonal changes that happen in IF are completely different. In contrast to CR, during fasting, appetite goes down and TEE goes up. The body is trying to lose weight and helping you along. The main point is that it addresses the long term problem of insulin resistance. Glucose and insulin go down and stay down.
    During caloric reduction alone, you do not get any of the beneficial hormonal adaptations of fasting.”


    I will try to have a somehow intuitive approach in deciding when I’ll eat only one meal and when I’ll eat 2. I will listen to my hunger, and not force a caloric deficit. I want this to be a way of eating for the rest of my life, and not just a “diet” until I reach my goal.

    Anyway, this is my experiment. I’m curios how it will go!

    Good luck to you too!

    Hi Adaline:

    It has long been known that TDEE goes down with weight because the body needs less energy to move less weight. Some people believe that BMR goes down more than might be expected if a person follows long term calorie restriction, but current research does not support that belief. As you seem interested in the research, you might check out the studies referenced in this article, which found that after two years on a calorie restricted diet the participants did not experience any lowering of their BMRs: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/19/cutting-calories-can-lower-inflammation.html

    Thank you for the link.

    Dr. Fung gives another study as example:

    “Low-fat dietary pattern and weight change over 7 years: the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial

    This was a massive, expensive and ambitious National Institute for Health study published in 2006. It also set the bar for awesomeness. Close to 50,000 women were recruited for this randomized controlled trial. This is the absolute gold standard in experimental medicine, and this study is probably one of the most important studies of its kind.

    There was an average follow up of 7.5 years. 19,541 women were randomized to the study diet. These women had a series of education sessions to reduce fat to 20% of daily calories, increase vegetables and fruit to 5 servings/day, and grains to 6 servings/day.

    There were 18 session in the first 12 months, group activities, individual interviews with reflective listening, targetted message campaigns and personalized feedback.

    Fat as a percentage of calories reduced from 38.8% to 29.8%. Carbohydrates increased from 44.5% to 52.7% since whole grains were encouraged. It was emphasized that the main goal was to reduce fat as a percentage of calories and not weight loss per se.

    Exercise was also encouraged. As you can see, the women increased their daily physical activity increased from 10 METs/wk to 11.4 METs/wk. MET is simply a measure of physical activity. In other words physical activity increased 14% over baseline over those 7.5 years.

    The Eat Less, Move More group starts out great with an average of more than 2kg over the first year. By the second year, the weight starts to be regained and by the end of the study, it is clear that there is no significant difference between the two groups.

    Reducing calories by 361 calories/day every day for 7 1/2 years and increasing exercise by 14% did not result in any more weight loss than doing nothing.

    You might think that these women replaced some of their fat with muscle. Unfortunately, there was also no difference in their waist circumference or the Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR).

    Weight loss over 7.5 years of the Eat Less, Move More strategy was not even one single kg (2.2 lbs).

    What is still worse is that over 7.5 years the average waist increased from 89.0 to 90.1 cm, and the average WHR increased from 0.82 to 0.83. This indicates that not only did these women not lose weight, they were actually fatter than before.”


    I can only speak from my experience. I’ve been “on a diet” for more than 10 years, trying to go from 65 to 55 (I was young.. skinny was every girl’s dream). I’ve tried counting calories / low carb / healthy eating / exercise more / … Every time I’ve lost the weight in less than a year (at a rate of 1 kg / month), but it was impossible to maintain it, due to extreme hunger / binge eating. And guess what? A year after each diet, my new weight was always higher than before the diet. And the sad part is that in the last 18 months I just could not go under 70. I’ve tried almost every diet, but nothing works anymore. I lose max 3 kg and then bounce back to around 73 (also due to hunger and binge eating). My guess is that my problems with insulin resistance are bigger (and this can be only worse with age), so this is the reason for this fasting experiment, that may seem extreme for many. I’m just not ready to accept this 70+ weight and the many health problems that I already have, all caused by insulin resistance.

    Hi Adaline:

    I am more than aware of that study. You will note it did not measure BMR. There are many other possible reasons for the results. Even Dr. Fung gives one – the ‘set point’ theory. The usual reason, however, is that people just start eating more than they were eating when they were on the diet – as you stated you do.

    Good Luck!

    Yes, I don’t see BMR, but I see other parameters, and it can be estimated:
    – caloric intake: “Total caloric intake reduced from 1788 to 1446 calories/day – a reduction of 361.4 calories/day for over 7 years.” – that means that “eating more” is excluded.
    – exercise: “The women increased their daily physical activity increased from 10 METs/wk to 11.4 METs/wk. MET is simply a measure of physical activity. In other words physical activity increased 14% over baseline over those 7.5 years.”
    – weight evolution: “The Eat Less, Move More group starts out great with an average of more than 2kg over the first year. By the second year, the weight starts to be regained and by the end of the study.”

    BMR + Exercise = Total Caloric Intake, for maintenance.
    or: BMR = Total Caloric Intake – Exercise

    Total caloric intake: down by 361 calories / day
    Exercise: up by 14%
    BMR: down by at least 361 calories / day

    Or I think you know this study about the metabolism of “The Biggest Loser” contestants. Extras: “Mr. Cahill was one of the worst off. As he regained more than 100 pounds, his metabolism slowed so much that, just to maintain his current weight of 295 pounds, he now has to eat 800 calories a day less than a typical man his size. Anything more turns to fat.”

    After ‘The Biggest Loser’, Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

    The Biggest Loser Diet – Explained!


    But I do not try to convince you of anything. If you don’t believe in slower BMR caused by a Calorie Reduction diet, and if for you CR is working great and you are happy with your results, then I’m happy for you too!
    All the best to you too!

    This is an interesting debate. Either way, I’m happy I’m practicing 5:2, given the controversy!

    Good luck with the pattern you choosed, Lael!

    I’ve found some Q&A with Dr. Fung about IF:

    “Q: Are there significant differences in benefits from 24-hour fasting vs. multi-day fasting vs. 16:8 fasting?

    A: The main difference, as you may suspect, is that shorter fasting periods are less effective and are usually done more frequently. So a 16:8 fast is often done daily, whereas a 24 hr fasting period is done 2-3 times per week. For more severe insulin resistance, I tend to prescribe longer fasting periods, whereas for maintenance I tend to prescribe shorter ones.


    Q: The fasting protocol that fits my life style best is a fasting all day with a 4 to 5 hour eating window in the evening. I feel that I could do this daily during the work week. Is this recommended? How many days a week of IF is healthy?

    A: Periods of fasting less than 24 hours (20 hours fasting, 4 hr eating) or ‘Warrior’ style fasting can be done daily. The term ‘healthy’ always depends upon what your goals are. If you are simply trying to lose weight, then fasting can be done as needed for that. There are no negative health consequences to eating only during 4 hours of the day.


    Q: I have done 18hr, 24hr and 3 days without any real difficulties and have switched it up during the week, depending how I feel and whether I have social plans. Is it a good idea to change the fasting routine regularly, or would I be better off sticking to a 24hr regime for consistency?

    A: Personally, I believe that it is much better to switch things up so that the body does not have a chance to adapt. However, sometimes this inconsistency leads to people not fasting at all, which is also bad.

    So it all depends upon your ‘style’. If a regular routine works better for you for compliance reasons, then do so. However, physiologically, I think changing things up all the time works better.”

    Much more FAQ in the link.

    I’m also interested in autophagy.



    The process of autophagy is where your body goes into internal repair mode. Dead cells and pathogens are broken down and eaten by your body and used for recycling. It is a process that is good for both longevity and immunity. These are two key features for living a long and healthy life. There are several ways to maximize these two factors but probably none as effective as fasting.

    Autophagy: Autophagy, is the basic catabolic mechanism that involves cell degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components through the actions of lysosomes.


    Autophagy initiates during macronutrient scarcity, in particular to carbohydrates. Many of the benefits of fasting are triggered when the liver starts to run out of glycogen store. The liver contains approximately 70-100 grams of glycogen, roughly 300-400 calories. This can be depleted in approximately 12-16 hours. At which point the body begins to ramp up the process of autophagy. (Perfect Health Diet)

    The rates of autophagy are peaked at 16-24 hours of fasting and do not increase by extending the fast beyond 24 hours. There may actually be harm done to the body by fasting beyond 24 hours as the body will begin to be nutritionally deprived, which will make the body vulnerable to  infection. (Perfect Health Diet)


    “We want our fasts to be shorter than 24 hours, such short fasts are long enough to induce the highest rates of autophagy, maximizing immunity. While fasts longer than 24 hours increase the period of immune suppression, decreasing immunity” – (Perfect Health Diet)”

    Generally agree with the article, however I question the durations the article mentions. 12-16 hours to deplete the liver? Maybe but only if it was partially depleted before the fast. 24-48 is more typical. What the article doesn’t mention is that autophagy is a natural process that is happening ALL the time. What regular fasting does is that it preferentially kills off cells that perform poorly using ketone bodies for fuel. That is cells that can only use glucose for energy are systematically catabolised during autophagy and replaced with cells that can also use ketones. Regular fasting also increases your liver’s ability to access stored fats and to convert this into glucose and ketones.

    Up until March I was water fasting two days per week (60 hours), I now fast one day per week (36 hours). I measure my BG and ketones and it takes me 24 hours to reach a ketotic state (>0.5mmol/L of ketone bodies). It has taken me about 10 months to get to this stage. It is a slow process. It took about 7-8 months before my liver was working well. You may experience lower back pain initially as you fast. This is your liver and kidneys working overtime removing toxins during your fasts. Like I said the article is about right, just the times are optimistic.

    Hi bigbooty and thank you for you message.

    I have the PHD book, and Jaminet says (p 358):
    “Autophagy is turned on fairly quickly in response to a scarcity of macronutrients. Newborn babies turn on autophagy within thirty minutes of birth to make up for the loss of nourishment from the placenta. In adults, autophagy has a strong diurnal rhythm, peaking at the end of the overnight fast and lowest just after breakfast. 14 A twenty-four-hour fast in mice, equivalent to a fast of several days in humans, induces autophagy throughout the body, including “profound neuronal autophagy” in the brain. 15 Many of the benefits of fasting appear to be triggered as the liver starts to run short of glycogen. The liver’s glycogen store is 70 to 100 grams, or about 300 to 400 calories. Since the body consumes 500 to 600 glucose calories per day, liver glycogen stores become low about twelve to sixteen hours into a fast. This suggests that a sixteen-hour fast is sufficiently long to trigger autophagy.”
    “Cells try to keep levels of fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars constant, so when these are available— say, after a meal—autophagy is suppressed. When they become scarce— say, after a fast— autophagy is turned on.”

    Link to PHD site: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/reader-results/

    I’ve also read another article about what turns on autophagy (and ketosis is mentioned):

    I’ve chosen to form the habit of fasting for autophagy, because I’m trying to establish a way of eating for the rest of my life, and I’m not interested in short term (keto) dieting. I’ve done “dieting” for more than 10 years (keto included). I know very well how all ends for me.

    How long are you fasting for? 16, 24, 36, 48 hours? Longer? If you really want to know whether you have switched to a primarily using ketone bodies as your energy substrate buy a blood glucose/ ketone bodies meter. They are quite cheap. I use a Freestyle Optium Neo. It takes me 24 hours to get to a ketotic state. My definition of ketotic state is when my ketone bodies are >0.5mmol/L. Ive been doing water fasts for 10 months now. Initially it was taking me 48 hours to get there. Your body does not function on glucose alone, even when it is available. It is always burning a combination of glucose, glycogen and fat. The ratios vary depending on the activity being performed and the reserves of each energy substrate. So depletion of glycogen in your liver is not as simple as you make it out to be.

    My experiment in this journal is with daily 20-23 hours fasting. This week I’ve had 4×23 and 3×20.

    I’m eating daily minimum 500 calories from carbs and minimum 500 calories from proteins+fats. PHD has also a ketogenic version, but I listen to my body, which prefers more carbs.

    I’m not interested in ketosis. My belief is that daily 20-23 hours fasting / autophagy will solve my insulin resistance and other health problems, better than LCHF / keto. As I’ve said in my first message (Kresser quote), I do not think that a long term very-low-carb diet is healthy. But if you thrive on it, it’s great!

    After I’ve read about this two extreme weight loss stories on potatoes-only diet, I’ve started to read more about the benefits of resistant starch.

    Penn Jillette: 75 pounds in 83 days.

    Andrew Taylor: 32 kg in 100 days.


    How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner

    The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch

    The Low-Fat History You Probably Never Heard

    The Safe Starch Debate

    Hello ADALINE!

    I identified with you because virtually everything you published I had also read.

    I’m 56, my weight at the moment is 105kg.

    I’m in Paleo 2.5 years and fasting 10 months in total have decreased 25 kg.

    Do enough physical activity, I am very active.
    I fasted daily 23: 1 and 5 days a week, because it was the way I adapted myself more at the end of week free, but carefully.

    I try to vary my dinner with lots of vegetables, meat and good fats, calories do not count, as to satisfy me, it is not bigger than my normal dinner.

    Twice a week resistant starch.

    I have lost weight very slowly but with great health and spirits.

    Suffered from a compulsion, the withdrawal of carbs and sugar helped me a lot.

    5: 2 is very good, but lunch one day and the other not, control tired me! and I just got hungry at night.

    I would like your opinion: Do you think that this way of eating have all benefits of fasting? sustainable or at some point it will cease to work for me?

    I love reading your posts.

    A Brazilian hug!

    Sorry … Google Translate.

    Hi Anaide and thank you for your message. First of all, congratulations for the first 25 kg lost and I wish you good luck until your target weight!

    I also try to eat only 23/1 from Monday to Friday (because, like you said, various meal times from one day to another stress me), and 2 meals a day (IF 20/4) on week-ends, because then I am more active. I eat my meal / meals usually until 4 pm, because I’ve read all those studies about “In response to the same meal given either early or late in the day, the insulin response was 25-50% greater in the evening.” Quote: “So what this study did was to randomly assign two groups of overweight women to eating a large breakfast (BF group) or a large dinner (D group). Both ate 1400 calories/day, and the macronutrient composition of each diet was matched – only the timing of the largest meal was changed. While both groups lost weight, the BF group was clearly superior for both weight loss and waist size (important measure of visceral fat) by almost 2.5 times (-8.7 kg vs -3.6 kg).” https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/help-21/#post-161837

    I also do not count calories and try to eat 80-90% whole foods, but I do not limit my (resistant starch) carbs (but I try to limit the fruits, I was eating way too much – https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/fructose-causes-insulin-resistance-hormonal-obesity-xxxii/ ). I feel very good on this eating plan of Paul Jaminet / Perfect Health Diet: Weight Loss Version: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version/

    Quote: “This may surprise many readers, since we’re fat-friendly, but there should be no reduction in carb or protein consumption on weight loss diets. Calorie restriction should come out of fat. The Perfect Health Diet “plateau range” for carbs and protein is 600 to 1200 calories. Eating less than 600 combined carb+protein calories per day raises the specter of either protein deficiency (leading to hunger) or glucose deficiency (leading to zero-carb dangers).”

    Today I also found this formula for insulin load, and I guess I can play with carbs and fiber and protein. https://optimisingnutrition.com/2016/05/02/insulin-load-the-greatest-thing-since-carb-counting/

    insulin load = carbohydrates (g) – fibre (g) + 0.56 x protein (g)

    But: “The other unfortunate fact is that the insulin produced in response to food is less than half of the amount of insulin that your body produces. In addition to reducing the insulin load of your diet you may also need to increase the periods between your meals. This will allow your insulin levels to decrease even more so that body fat can be accessed for fuel.”

    So: at the end of the article: insulin evolution during a 72 hours fast: “mobilization of adipose tissue triglycerides increases markedly between 18 and 24 h of fasting”. And: “Of the total decline in plasma insulin, 70% occurred within the first 24 h of fasting.”

    To answer your question “Do you think that this way of eating have all benefits of fasting? sustainable or at some point it will cease to work for me?”, I think yes, this way of eating / fasting, with the benefits of autophagy and decreasing “basal insulin”, can work until the BMI is in “normal” range. But, as I’ve said on another thread, it’s more complicated than “less insulin and less calories than TDEE”. https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/help-21/#post-161953

    I will copy-paste here part of my message:

    “So, bottom line, if the weight loss would be so simple like “just eat low carb” or “just eat less”, we would not have this obesity epidemic right now. Everyone has to fight his own battle, to find the multi-factorial solution that will work for him.

    I think this article says it all: The MultiFactorial Nature of Obesity

    Quote: “Too often, our current model of obesity assumes that there is only one single true cause, and that all others are pretenders to the throne. There are endless debates about the true king. Too many calories cause obesity. No, too many carbohydrates. No, too much saturated fat. No, too much red meat. No, too much processed foods. No, too much high fat dairy. No, too much wheat. No, too much sugar. No, too much highly palatable foods. No, eating out. It goes on and on. They are all partially correct.”

    And I will add to the all the above: binge eating disorders, stress / emotional eating and all other psychological factors that trigger overeating.
    Or another Dr. Fung’s example: if the weight gain is caused by sleep deprivation, trying to go low carb or to count calories is futile. You always have to seek the primordial cause for the weight gain. Otherwise is just lost time and energy.”

    And.. I can give as example my experiment: this last 10 days were very stressful (life happens) and because I have for many years a binge eating disorder (with compulsive eating, like you) that is triggered by stress, I’ve eaten more than my body needs and my weight is back at 73 kilos. All that I’ve manage to lose in the first weeks of my experiment, I’ve put it all back because of stress eating in the last 10 days. So the final answer to your question is “depends”. My approach to weight loss is to always try to find the cause that makes me overeat and to solve every problem, one by one. Sometimes is insulin resistance, sometimes is stress-eating (cortisol: https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/closer-look-cortisol-hormonal-obesity-xxxx/ ), sometimes is sleep deprivation ( https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/sleep-deprivation-obesity-hormonal-obesity-xxxxi/ ), sometimes is frustration after zero-junk weeks (study posted by simcoeluv: http://www.timesofisrael.com/want-to-lose-weight-make-breakfast-your-big-meal-and-have-dessert-with-it/ “Over the course of a 32-week study, participants who added dessert to their breakfast — cookies, cake, or chocolate — lost an average of 40 pounds more than a group that avoided such foods. They also kept off the pounds longer.” ) or carb-cravings after low-carb days, or opposite, junk / sugar / gluten addiction… and so on, you get the point. So if in the future it will come a time when your current way of eating will not produce weight loss, you just have to analyze all the rest of the factors that can cause overeating / plateaus / weight gain.


    Experiment update – Day 26: my scale went crazy. This morning: 73.8. Plus 3 kilos in 10 days of stress binge eating. I know that much is water weight, but still it’s hard to take.
    Anyway, this stops today! I will start with daily 5-10 minutes of meditation / breathing exercises for stress management, and see how it will go next week.

    I find inspiring Joe’s story and videos. I’m not planning eating only one meal a day, every day, but many of his videos are useful to me.

    The One Meal a Day (OMAD) Eating Plan – a Timeline of Changes

    Joe’s Before & After photos

    Height: 6’4
    Heaviest weight: 363.4 lbs (May of 2013)
    Lightest weight: 185.0 lbs (August of 2014)
    Current weight: 207.2 (August of 2016)

    Death is Not Quick: Why I Finally Chose to Drop the Big Pounds

    What I Learned About Success in Life From Intermittent Fasting

    Hello ADALINE, thanks for the post, full of valuable information.

    You tm right when he says that we must know our body and we should find out what are the reasons that lead us to gain weight, a pesoa is different from another and what works for one does not always work for another.

    I was making changes in my way of living and to feed me, I removed the starch and sugar because I realized that they were leading me to compulsion.

    I chose to make only an evening meal even though it is not as efficient because so start to eat is dificilde stop, so make a meal and will soon sleep.

    I exercise on an empty stomach and at the end of the day, help me sleep better because I suffered from terrible insomnia, to help take melatonin. best sleep I have more swelling in the legs, happened when he was sleepless.

    Another thing that was slowly changing, I do not like the over cooked food, vegetables have preferred all raw and poorly roasted meats (less oxidation).

    Another important thing about fruit … they also harm me, I eat a few and take care that they are local and seasonal, somehow naturesa provides what we need, as well reside south of Brazil, the weather is quite cold this time then we have a wide variety of citrus fruits rich in vitamin C.

    Gradually we tuning up the weight loss process, exchange information knowledge is the secret of success.

    Thanks for everything!

    Below the link of my image, before and after.


    For me, sugar and gluten trigger compulsion. 🙁
    I’ve also been thinking today about the weight gain triggered by stress, and I think I will have to be stricter in times like this. Maybe I will try this version of PHD: “He adopted our diet in March at a weight of 250 pounds, and reached his normal weight of 170 pounds at Halloween, seven and a half months later.” http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/12/jay-wright%E2%80%99s-weight-loss-journey/
    I will test more in the next weeks and see what and how it works.

    So.. I understand now your decision for evening meal. I’m sorry to hear that you have sleep problems.

    I’ve also noticed that my eating preferences have changed with fasting routine – more simple meals, healthier whole foods.

    And you are perfectly right: “exchange information knowledge is the secret of success.”

    I don’t understand why I can not see your photo. When I open the link it says “image not found”.

    Thank you for your message and wish you a great weekend! 🌞

    A Guide to Low-Carb Cheating

    I’ve listened these podcasts this week and some info were very interesting for me:

    1. Dr. Jason Fung about Fasting

    2. Ketogenic Diets with Terry Wahls and Paul Jaminet

    3. Dr. Thomas Seyfried – “Water Fasts” as a Potential Tactic to Beat Cancer

    After this discussion ( https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/sugar-and-shite/ ) about physiological vs psychological causes for binge eating, ended with the mention of gluten addiction and withdrawal, I’ve started to think about my last 10-days-binge. Yes, the trigger was an stressful event, followed by me feeling very low for about 2 days, but that’s it: 2 days, not 10! So after better thinking about those days, my conclusion is that my mistake is that I binge on gluten foods, which also in my case triggers compulsive eating and gluten addiction, even without stress or other emotional storm.

    So: new strategy for the next 30 days:
    – if I will feel the urge to binge (due to stress or emotional “something”), I will choose non-gluten junk. My favorites: potatoes chips, ice-cream, chocolate. (Home-made stuff don’t do the trick.) But also I will continue to meditate daily, to reduce the risk to binge.

    – if I will crave junk / gluten foods (my weakness is beer), I will take only 3 bites. I found this advice in this article: How to Cheat.
    “So, the more candy, the more dopamine, right? In fact, quite the opposite is true. The Malthusian law of diminishing returns is applicable to candy. The first taste of a food releases the highest percentage of dopamine to the brain – sometimes as much as 70% of the total dopamine released during a meal. With every bite after, less and less dopamine is released, until that third scoop of ice cream could probably be replaced with celery pulp and you wouldn’t be getting any more of a happy kick.”
    More useful tips: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cheat/#ixzz4I3X8x18w

    – Saturday I’ve restarted my IF experiment. The start weight was 73.5, today was 72.2, after 2 days with under 100 grams of carbs, to lose some water. I will update after Day 50, if everything goes well (if not, sooner), because I do not want to make again an obsession over the numbers on the scale.

    On a separate note, this new thread “eating himself to death” reminds me of me not being able to lower my weight to normal and solve my eating disorder and many related other health problems, despite the fact that I consider myself to be very well informed on the subject. But hey.. I’ll die before I will give up trying. 🙂

    16 feelings that Emotional Eaters most often confuse with physical hunger.

    Causes of False Hunger

    Causes of Compulsive Overeating

    From OMAD channel: How to Troubleshoot Your Stalled Weight Loss Progress

    Last week I’ve read this analysis of Ariel’s weight loss evolution ( https://github.com/arielf/weight-loss/blob/master/README.md ) and I thought that it’s a smart way to approach my experiment, by recording the factors that have an impact on my weight loss / gain. So: I’ve started to record in a xls file what was important for me, and the statistics for the first week are:

    Week 1: from Friday 19 Aug till this morning, Friday 26 Aug.
    – SW: 73.8 kg. CW: 71.7 kg. Lost 2.1 kg. // water weight: around 1.5 kg. // Net fat loss: around 0.6 kg.
    – daily average of (estimated) grams of carbs: 120 g. Carbs sources: fruits, quinoa, corn, ice cream.
    – daily average of (estimated) calories from junk (includes 2 cheat meals and the “3 bites rule” for daily cravings): 190 calories. Gluten under 25%. (Note: I do not count total calories, so I do not have a daily average for that.)
    – weekly cheat meals: 2 x 500 calories (ice cream). I will try to reduce to 1 per week. Note: no gluten in large quantities / risk of compulsive eating.
    – fasting: 3 days IF 23/1 (around 1.000 calories/day) and 4 days of IF 20/4 (1.300 – 2.000 calories/day).
    – no binge episodes. Yet. But next weeks will be full of stress, so I hope to manage well the situation/s.

    Next update: statistics after 4 weeks.

    The Movie “Fixing Dad” Is Now Free to Watch.

    “Geoff was overweight, over-worked and resigned to a premature death from a catalogue of health conditions. In November 2013 his doctor felt he and Geoff needed to talk about the possibility of foot amputation due to his type 2 diabetes. The arch of one foot had already collapsed as a result of Charcot’s foot (a complication associated with diabetes) and the other foot was developing ulcers due to poor circulation. It was at this point that his sons, Anthony and Ian, decided that their own lives had to wait and they embarked on a mission to restore their dad’s health and enjoyment of life.”

    About the film: http://www.fixingdad.com/about

    Hi Adeline,

    Congratulations on beginning your weight loss with 5:2 and well done on your first 2.1kgs gone! I can see the dilemma and non-productive dieting you ‘ve done over the last couple of years (checked your blog and graphs) and I believe you will find as you go through your experiment that 5:2 will be different. So many people have been on the forum after the same dilemma as you, trying everything and finding nothing working. Then they try 5:2 and then comes the surprise: that this is doable, and it is sustainable, and as you’ve said, yes we do find that we start making better choices about our food. We learn about our personal individual relationship with food on physical and emotional levels, and we learn about what food is right for us. Many of us go back to eating non-manufactured foods on a regular basis and keep the other stuff for special occasions. We also start putting longer intervals between treats and splurges. We learn to see our personal danger signals and learn how to put something else in place, whether it be a behaviour or different food.

    I wish you well on your 5:2 journey Adeline🙂

    Onwards and downwards,

    I’m sorry I’m not able to read all of your information and links. Brain fog is a sometime companion on my health journey and it limits concentration. But I can scan enough to get the gist.

    Thank you Merryme for your encouraging words and for describing what is yet to come (especially the part when I will want less junk). I have “big plans” with this experiment (like getting to 50-55 kilos until December 2017) and this time I just feel that fasting is the right path for my health.

    Thank you again for your message and wish you health and success in your own journey!

    Statistics for week 2:
    – weight 71.2 kg. Lost 0.5. Total lost 1.1 (fat) + 1.5 (water).
    – carbs daily average (DA): 155 grams
    – calories DA: 1.200
    – junk calories DA: 190
    – 3 cheat meals: pizza, ice cream , chocolate
    – 6 days IF 23/1 and 1 no-fast day

    Time-Restricted Eating – a Detailed Intermittent Fasting Guide

    Adaline, I just stumbled across this and really appreciate all the info and links. I just wanted to say thank you.

    Thanks for your message. I really appreciate the feed-back! Good Luck!

    4 weeks of experiment. I’ve had: 16 days IF 23/1, 11 days IF 20/4, 1 no-fast day.
    Weight loss is irrelevant, because I’ve started with water retention and I’ll end it with more water retention. Hope at least 1 kg to be fat loss.
    And hope next 4 weeks to have a higher number of one-meal-a-day days.

    For the first 6 months I will fill daily my fasting pattern on this online journal.

    Hi Adaline. I have been reading many of the same blogs and studies as you. The one I find the most convincing and interesting on many levels is Stephan Guyenet’s blog Whole Health Source. Hope you find it of interest too.

    Thank you for your recommendation, Frem. 🌷


    “Participants: 94 Obese, inactive females.

    Group I: Very low carb dieters
    1,085 calories a day.
    17 grams of carbohydrates
    51 grams of protein and
    78 grams of fat a day.
    The smallest meal was breakfast, at 290 calories. For breakfast the dieters were permitted only 7 grams of carbohydrates, such as bread, fruit, cereal and milk. Dieters could eat just 12 grams of protein, such as meat and eggs, in the morning.

    Group II: Big breakfast dieters
    1,240 calories a day.
    58 grams of carbohydrates
    93 grams of protein
    46 grams of fat
    Dieters ate a 610-calorie big breakfast, consisting of 58 grams of carbs, 47 grams of protein and 22 fat grams. The diet schedule for lunch was 395 calories (34, 28 and 13 grams of carbs, protein and fat, respectively); dinner was 235 calories (5, 18 and 26 grams, respectively).

    The Results
    The first 4 months of the 8 month study focused on weight loss, while the last 4 months focused on weight maintenance. Here were the results:

    First 4 months:
    Very low carb group: Average 28 lbs loss
    Big Breakfast group: Average 23 lbs loss

    After 8 months:
    Very low carb group: Regained 18 lbs
    Big Breakfast group: Lost an additional 16.5 lbs

    The big breakfast group lost an average of 21% body weight, while the very low carb group lost only 4.5%.”
    Source: http://www.diet-blog.com/08/big_breakfast_diet_a_diet_that_works.php

    I have MANY question marks about this study (like why the words “bread, fruit, cereal and milk” are in the same ‘sentence’ with “very low carb dieters”), I do not agree with a so high intake of protein, but I’ve posted it because (if true) I find the results very interesting, specifically the long term adherence for the big-breakfast-with-carbs-group.

    And my opinion is that the study conclusion (that we need a big (and with carb) breakfast to be successful long term, while keto & small breakfast will fail) is somehow false. Keto diet may be at least equally successful for 8 months, without eating breakfast, but incorporating intermittent fasting. The problem is that statistically, very few people adhere long term to a very low carb diet. I’ve remembered this very interesting article “Weight loss diet studies: we need help not hype”: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31338-1/fulltext
    And the key point for me is: “difficulties in sustaining changes to dietary choices and behaviours that affect patients’ ability to enjoy, celebrate, and socialise with food.”

    The low carb group could only have 7 grams of carbs. So they could have bread etc, but only a total of 7 grams. been reading a bit about the hormone ghrelin which is mostly produced by the stomach. Its the hormone that tells you youre hungry. When your stomach is full and stretched its not produced, so you don’t feel hungry. The level of ghrelin also increases at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its a “learnt” behaviour. The anticipation of food increases the level of ghrelin. Short term effects is that fasting increases ghrelin. I suspect this is why a lot of people crash and burn when trying to fast. Their ghrelin levels skyrocket. The good news is that if you stick to 5:2 long enough the body gets used to a new routine and ghrelin production actually goes down.

    This explains why I no longer get hunger pains on Monday, which is my usual fast day. My body has learnt a new pattern and ghrelin production on Mondays is vastly reduced. So given the option of chopping and changing your fast days or sticking to a regimented routine where the fast days are always the same, stick to the same fast days. Your body learns a new routine and adjusts ghrelin production accordingly.

    Thanks for the ghrelin details.

    Quote: “The low carb group could only have 7 grams of carbs. So they could have bread etc, but only a total of 7 grams.” Correct. But I think that this is a very stupid (I apologize for the sincerity) strategy to do a keto study, being exposed daily to “bread, fruit, cereal and milk”. It can be a greater insulin release only at the seeing (or worse: only at the thinking) of this type of foods. So.. it’s like shooting themselves in the foot.

    Studies: Insulin levels, hunger, and food intake: an example of feedback loops in body weight regulation.

    – These show that high acute levels of insulin can be produced by simply seeing and thinking about food and that individuals showing this response show a greater tendency toward weight gain in a food-abundant environment.
    – These experiments show that elevations in insulin produce increased hunger, heightened perceived pleasantness of sweet taste, and increased food intake.
    – Finally, a study is described that considers how different insulin levels, produced by the type of food ingested, may affect subsequent food intake.

    Absolutely no argument from me with what youre saying Adaline. Seems like an odd thing to do if youre attempting to go keto.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Have we always eaten them?

    Hi Adeline,
    Congratulations on your weight loss. I too will try your tips for weight loss, hope it helps me too.

    Glad to see you are researching fully. Hope it all goes well

    Thank you for your messages. I still have some missing pieces of the weight-loss-puzzle (for my specific case), but one day I will have them all. 🙂


    3 very interesting articles:

    Low-Carb Paleo Diet: A Neolithic Fantasy

    Is low carb the best way to eat?

    The Catecholamine Honeymoon

    In the last article I’ve identified one BIG mistake that I’ve made for the last million years, trying to lose weight.

Viewing 44 posts - 1 through 44 (of 44 total)

You must be logged in to reply.