Starting after breakfast to avoid insomnia.

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  EZ.Rider 10 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Instead of starting 7:30pm (after dinner) and ending at 7:30am (36 hours later), I thought I’d try starting at 7:30am (after breakfast) and ending at 7:30pm (36 hours later). Then I could eat the majority of the 600 calories for dinner in the hope of sleeping better. I tried this, and I did sleep better.

    BUT, although the fasting period is the same (36 hours), there are some differences:
    1. You’re only fasting for one sleep instead of two, so you’re using up more calories during the days.
    2. You end up skipping three meals instead of two. (I’m assuming that the 600 calories equals one meal).

    So… would it be enough to only fast 30 hours? Then the fast would end at 1:30pm, in time for lunch.

    Hey pogo 🙂 I think you should just find the way that works for you! However, I do want to clear up a few things.

    If you have dinner before going to bed, you’re not fasting. Your body is still digesting for hours and hours. Same goes for starting after breakfast, your body will be digesting that breakfast for hours so a large part of the “fasting” day will be spent on that. So basically you wouldn’t be fasting (which is as far as I’m concerned having an empty stomach).

    What you’re suggesting sounds to me like:

    Day one – normal breakfast and light dinner
    Day two – normal lunch and dinner

    And that just doesn’t sound like fasting to me. Starting your fast after dinner has the advantage that you’ll be digesting during the night, so you’ll get up the next day nearly empty. That way you’ll have many more waking hours of fasting than when you would eat breakfast.

    If eating your 600 calories before going to bed helps you sleep, why not just do that? You don’t have to spread them out over the day, just don’t eat anything until dinner. This way you’ll get the most benefits from having an empty stomach (which is the definition of fasting).

    A lot of people tell me they munch throughout the day or spread their calories on a “fast day” but then I wonder ‘when are they fasting?’ Sounds like a normal low calorie day to me.

    Hi pogo, and welcome! 🙂

    I think your post reflects the “confusion” there seems to be over whether fasting includes eating any food or not – tho I might not be understanding what you are saying..

    My understanding of 5:2 is that the 600 cals (I assume you are male then?) are consumed during the fasting period. For example, you stop eating on a non-fast day at 7.30pm, then consume the 600 cals during the next day as you wish (eg some people eat this as one meal, some as 2, some as 3, and some chose to not eat any solids at all). The day after this fast day, if you have brekkie at 7.30am, then this is considered a 36-hour fast.

    I am not totally clear from your description when you are consuming the 600 cals.

    Are you suggesting that you have a meal at 7.30am one day, then don’t eat anything until 7.30pm the next day, when you will have a 600cal dinner, then no food again until the next day? This would actually qualify as 2 fast days in a row (assuming your breakfast is no more than 600 cal on the first day) according to the 5:2 model.

    So there would be no problems with your proposal to have lunch on the second day, as well as dinner – this would then be a non-fast day if you have more than the 600 cals in total that day – ideally you would have the TDEE amount of cals on the non-fast day.

    Please let me know if I have misunderstood.

    Do you mind letting us know how long have you been doing 5:2, and what you are aiming for? Very best wishes with it, anyway, and I hope you find this forum useful for gaining and giving support. 🙂

    Sassy 😀

    Nika and I were posting at the same time – we obviously have different views on fasting!!

    I believe that Nika does only eat once a day, so pretty well does a 24-hour absolute no solids eaten fast each day. (Tho I am a little confused by Nika saying that fasting doesn’t start while you are still digesting food – I think, for the purposes of 5:2, fasting is considered to start from once you stop eating – but I am no expert.)

    My understanding is that many of us on 5:2 do eat more than once during the fast day – for example, I understand that MM has brekkie and dinner – so we don’t go for long periods without eating something.

    But, as Nika says, whatever works for you, and if you can do long periods without eating anything, then good for you. Just watch that you aren’t ending up with 4 fast days, rather than 2, per week, as that may be hard to maintain.

    Good luck!

    Just to clarify…

    It seems pretty clear from the FAQ that a fast day is supposed to be a 36 hour period where only 500-600 calories are consumed. And there is an implication that it does not matter when the 36 hours starts, except that the end time of the fast period may be awkward if not started after dinner.

    So I thought “What if I started the 36 hour period after breakfast?” That means I can eat as much as I want for breakfast (i.e. I don’t bother counting the calories), then the fast starts at 7:30am. I eat most of my 600 calorie allotment that night for dinner – so I’m not too hungry in bed at night and I can sleep. Then I need to fast all the next day until 7:30pm, which is the end of the 36 hours.

    Let’s count the meals I would miss if the fast period starts after breakfast: lunch, NOT dinner (because I had my about 500 – 600 calories for dinner), breakfast the next morning, and then lunch again. That’s 3 meals missed. BUT: If I started the fast after dinner, there is only 3 meals in the next day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), and one of those meals is taken up by the 500-600 calories I’m allowed in the fast period. So that leaves only two meals missed.

    Another factor is that if I start fasting after dinner, the 36 hour fast period contains two sleeps. You burn less calories in your sleep. If I start fasting after breakfast, the 36 hour fasting period only contains one sleep. Hence, more calories would be burned in the 36 hour period if the fast period starts after breakfast.

    So I’m wondering if these two points – less sleep and more meals missed – would be enough to justify ending the fast at 1:30pm to give only a 30 hour fast.

    (I’ve only just started the 5:2 diet, I have only completed 2 fasts… My goal is not huge; I am by no means fat, just a bit flabby.)

    Ok, that is sounding quite complex in terms of working out the benefits or otherwise of your proposal!

    Your proposal means that each calendar day you will consume more than the 600 calories – if you have lunch on the second day, that is. But over those 2 days you will probably eat less than the 3000 cals which would be the cals consumed by the average male on a fast and non-fast day combined. So it doesn’t fit the conventional 5:2 model, but your logic on the fasting aspect and the points you make do seem reasonable.

    But I am not qualified to say whether a shift In the fasting period will have the same benefits as std 5:2. I think you should direct this question to the forum managers! I will be interested in the response.

    Given you don’t need to lose much, your proposal might work well for you – why not give it a go and see what happens – and let us know 🙂

    I was going to say the same thing sassy – give it a go pogo and see how it works! To me it sounds fine, and if it means you sleep better it definitely seems worth giving it a go. You can always change / adjust after a few weeks. Or longer I guess if you are wanting to check what other health markers are doing.
    Happy slimming 🙂

    Haha yeah Sassy and I think different things 🙂 I do also start counting my fast after my meal though, so I think it’s a bit of a misunderstanding. I just mean that if you have food in your stomach all day (like if you were munching or having many small meals all day long) you wouldn’t actually be fasting because you’re never running on empty 🙂

    But besides all that, like the others said, just give it a go! Sassy’s way works for her, my way works for mine… everyone has their own tweaks and ways 🙂 Try stuff out until you find what works for you, not us.

    If you stop eating after supper, skip three meals the next day, and start eating again, at breakfast the day after that, you will get the benefit of two sleep sessions in the fast. I skip six meals, by fasting for two consecutive days, giving me three sleep sessions. You can’t forage in the refrigerator, if you are asleep!

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