Question about snacking

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Question about snacking

This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  diverdog 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • So, about snacking between meals: I’m sure the *correct* answer is “DON’T DO IT!”.

    But in the real world where we’re cooking in that half hour before dinner and taste to see how things are coming or we’re out in the garden and fresh cherry tomatoes are hanging on the vine screaming our names, what’s the insulin effect of a little snack? How does it effect our progress on 5:2?

    It really depends on what you snack on. I once did a little experiment on my BG levels. Before I ate anything I was at about 5-5.2 mmol/L BG. I ate one slice of pizza and by BG topped out at 8.5mmol/L and took three hours to get back down to may base level of low 5s. I then repeated it with some plain veggies. It topped out at 6.5mmol/L and was back down to base levels in two hours. So that elevated BG hung around for 3 hours with some simple carbs. Hard to see you burning any fat burning that 3 hour period.

    Interesting, I was just wondering the same thing today, as I just licked the spoon of the sweet potato mash left by my son. Does such a small quantity (the tip of a teaspoon) interrupt the fast – technically? It’s more a curiosity, of course it won’t interfere with me loosing weight.

    Lumat, 5:2 is not really fasting. Particularly if you are eating multiple small meals on “fast” days. Because you have stored sugar in your muscles and liver It takes a while for your body to burn it and then start to burn fat.

    Any calories you consume must be burned before your body will burn much fat.

    Good question. I am doing the 5:2 and often snack on FD but counting the calories of the snacks. 500 calories is precious few for the day so my snacks are usually fruit, often an apple, so I get some fiber and feel something in my stomach. I usually don’t eat breakfast, so I have at least a 15 hour stretch of fasting. That generally isn’t long enough to put me into a ketogenic state unless I’ve eaten too few carbs the prior day. I don’t particularly like the feeling of being in ketosis. My blood pressure drops too low and I have to drink salt in water to get it back up. (I’m on blood pressure medication which I’ve reduced twice since starting 5:2, that I still need when not fasting – hopefully I won’t after eating this way for a while.) My legs quickly tire when climbing stairs. I lose a lot of water weight and have to drink more to keep hydrated. So I try to avoid getting to that point and snacks or moving up a meal time are a way to do that. You can purchase test strips to test for ketones in your urine. Everyone is different in how long it takes to get to a ketogenic state.

    I’ve been losing an average of 1.5 pounds or about .7 kg per week. I’ve been eating this way since May 10.

    Who’s eating multiple small meals on FD? To me, the whole concept of Fast Dieting is to create as many stretches as possible between eating/insulin and to make the stretches as long as possible.

    Typically, I don’t eat at all on my FD — tho I’m well aware that’s not required. On my food days I stick to 2 meals about 8 hours apart. And previously, when I was sticking to my program and metabolizing body fat on a regular basis, I wasn’t snaking at all. Now, however, I’m finding that far harder and I wonder what is reasonable and won’t interfere with the metabolism vs what I should know about provoking any insulin response at all.

    bigbooty, you seem to have taken this business of snacking very seriously. Unfortunately, I don’t understand what you said. Can you explain in language that an uninformed person (me) could understand?

    I’d really appreciate it!

    LA, many if not most of the folks on here split their calories in multiple meals. It is OK in the 5:2 plan. Of course it’s much better to eat only one meal to make the fasting periods as long as possible. Just drinking water is best of all.

    BB was explaining that if you eat sugar or carbs your blood sugar rises faster and stays high longer than if you eat protein and fat. This is not a fat burning state So if you are going to eat anything on fast day, fat is best followed by protein then non starchy veggies. So eat fat to burn fat! LOL

    BTW on fast days I have black coffee in the morning and then water for the rest of the day.

    This is a good thread about snacking. I agree with diverdog’s post that if you stick to your allotted fasting calories for the day, it doesn’t matter how you split it up. In fact Dr. Mosley, in his March interview with the Telegraph, recommends at least a 13 hour overnight fast, so you can get your fasting benefits that way. For instance, if I stop eating at 9 pm tonight, I can’t eat again until 10 am tomorrow. I really find this an easy way of restricting eating hours, and I do it every day, along with my 5:2.

    @la. Im not a complete snack nazi. I do occasionally have a treat, but its just that a treat and not a food staple. My sister in law had her birthday on Sunday and she just about fell over when I asked her for a piece of birthday cake. Every one knows I don’t eat cake as a rule.

    Ok now onto the science. You are burning a combination of three fuels all the time. Glucose, glycogen and fat. This is the case ALWAYS! The percentages change depending on your state and the type of activity you are doing. Depending on the food source you take in, it will have a different impact on how your body combines those three percentages of fuel being used. Your ideal fasting blood glucose is between 3.9 to 5.9 mmol/L (in the USA the measure is 70 to 107 mg/dL). Fats will increase your BG almost zero. Hence virtually no insulin response. Protein a small response, carbs locked in fibre a moderate response and simple carbs will have a large response in insulin.

    My little experiment I did with a diabetics blood glucose meter and by inference I was measuring my insulin response. In a fasted state my BG was 5 mmol/L. I ate one slice of pizza and it shot up to 8.5mmol/L and it stayed high for 3 hours before it came back down again. In that high BG state I would have virtually been burning zero fat and very little glycogen as I had lots of glucose available. In fact I would have had so much available that my body was probably as busy as it could be trying to store the excess as glycogen and fat. When I repeated my experiment with a portion of veggies my BG when from 5 to 6.5mmol/L and stayed there for only 2 hours before once again going to my baseline of 5 mmol/L. So one food made my BG spike a lot more than the other and it stayed there for 3 hours compared to 2 hours.

    That’s why a calorie is a calorie is a complete farce. 1000 calories worth of broccoli will not be processed the same as 1000 calories worth of donuts. If you are continually snacking (on carbs) you will keep your insulin levels high all the time. So when do you access mostly your fats? Never. My go to snack is a slice of Brie (love my cheese) or almonds or brazil nuts. Of if its fruit its usually a very tart granny smith apple. Lots of fibre and smallish amount of fructose content.

    Does that help or have I still confused you?

    Extremely helpful, bigbooty! And extremely clear this time. I guess I’ll learn these abbreviations and relationships over time but I appreciate that you laid it out clearly for me this time.

    This is an issue for me because, tho I may be fasting — as much as possible on my food days and completely on my fast days — I am still cooking for others and trying new things and it simply isn’t possible not to sample.

    Today, for example, I’m making fig jam. I’ve never made fig jam before and I’m using a French recipe with American produce so I have to make sure I’m accomplishing what I hope to accomplish before I can give any of this away. And I certainly want to remove it from my house about as soon as I’ve made it! If you know what I mean. 😏

    Interesting conversation. When I was at the university we did a group experiment as part of a class project. Our group’s original plan was to have 6 people eat 1000 calories per day of Milky Way candy bars for a week and the other 6 eat 1000 calories per day of broccoli for a week. Turns out that nobody in the broccoli group could force down that quantity of cooked or raw broccoli and probably ended up with around 750 max on average. The interesting thing was that at the end of the week, both groups lost an average of 2.5 pounds. We were trying to prove that the broccoli would produce more weight loss, so we did it for another week but switched groups for broccoli and Milky Ways. Results were the same.

    Even though we were young and accustomed to eating a lot of weird things, everyone felt pretty much like crap during those weeks. It was unscientific (and unhealthy) for many reasons, but I never forgot the results. I also never forgot that it’s unlikely that you could eat enough green vegetables in a day to make you gain weight unless you included green soybeans or avocados.

    BTW, the above experiment was devised by our little group and not by the instructor/professor. In fact, when he found out about it he was rather appalled that we would consider eating 7,000 calories worth of Milky Way candy bars in a week. (And probably surprised that we didn’t turn green from all that broccoli!)

    But broccoli is still my favorite vegetable and I often eat a pound of it at a time, steamed, on FD. Quanty vs calories!

    @cd. I admire your will power. 1000 cal of milky ways for one week. Im assuming that was all you ate. 1000 cal. So you ran a huge deficit for the week. Can you recall what your hunger levels were on both foods? And your general sense of well being?

    Bigbooty, that was many years ago with a much younger and more resilient body, but mostly I remember trying to stuff down more broccoli when I was no longer hungry. Eating only Milky Ways the other week, I do recall being hungry and sick of all the sugar.

    Yes, huge calorie deficit on both. I was one who lost more on both weeks, I think more than 4 pounds. But the average when all of our losses were tallied was 2.5.

    @cc. I think that’s the trick with eating the “right foods”. Things like fibrous veggies and whole fruits etc make it really hard to stuff in too much food. I had half a stuffed eggplant with some chopped up onions, tomatoes, mushrooms grated cheese and herbs. Could only just finish it. Its really hard to over eat on real whole foods. Processed rubbish youre looking for something 30 minutes later. That’s the difference.

    @bigbooty, exactly right. I think one thing we learned from the broccoli/Milky Way experiment was that 1000 calories worth of Milky Ways was about 3-3/4 candy bars (That’s at today’s sizes. I don’t recall what they weighed back then, but I seem to remember it being about 3 bars for the day.) 264 calories for a single Milky Way bar and about 150 calories for a pound of broccoli. Nobody managed to stuff down the more than 6-1/2 pounds of broccoli it took to make up 1000 calories. But it was easy to eat 3 Milky Ways and if you weren’t hungry for another one right away, half an hour later you would be.

    That is a real graphic example of why eating whole foods , especially vegetables, can make FD so much easier in terms of the quantity of food needed to make up 500 calories. The best way for me to succeed is to be able to eat large quantities of food or foods high in fiber, like beans, and that means whole basic foods for me.

    @cd. Spot on. I know that 5:2 doesn’t forbid any foods as such and I see lots of posts to that effect. But I think to myself why would you choose a food option that’s going to make it REAL hard for you to be successful? Each to their own I suppose.

    BB I’m with you. Why eat foods that are not filling and set up cravings? Before I started using water fasts I ate one meal on fast days with 400 calories of fat and protein and 200 calories of non starchy veggies. It was a lot of food, filling and satiating.

    Now it seems that a real fast is not at all hard physically, no hunger pangs, fatigue or lightheadedness. Mentally sometimes I want to prepare, smell and taste food but it passes.

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