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Advice on the benefits of fasting needed (in particular 16:8)

(9 Posts)
onlywhenyouleave Fri 20-May-16 21:51:51

I am reasonably convinced about the benefits and effectiveness of fasting but just having a little wobble due to something I read today.

In a nutshell, I have adopted the 16:8 diet by not eating breakfast - I have also noticed that I tend to eat healthier during my 8 hours as I don't want to 'undo' the fasting iyswim.

My main aim is weight loss and it does seem to be working (albeit slower than I envisaged).

I read something today though that said you should eat regularly and never fast as this makes your body think you are starving it and therefore it 'holds on' to the food you do eat making weight loss slower.

So, what is correct? Am I actually slowing my own weight loss down by fasting for 16 hours a day? I do eat approx 1500 calories in my 8 hours so I am not undereating.

Any advice from fasting experts would be gratefully received smile

onlywhenyouleave Sat 21-May-16 08:53:37


Jemmima Sat 21-May-16 11:26:56

I'm doing 14:10 as this is said to be the sweet spot for women regarding hormones. Men are better with 16:8 according to research. I find I naturally fast as in that I am not a big breakfast eater. It helps me lose weight and keep it off. Regarding starvation mode....I think there is research that says that is a myth now.

onlywhenyouleave Sat 21-May-16 12:21:01

Thanks, guess I am more 15:9 as I struggle to get to midday without eating my lunch wink

The information about the starvation mode was posted on FB by my gym so it was a credible source confused

onlywhenyouleave Sat 21-May-16 19:49:38

This is what was posted on FB by the gym :

"Don't skip meals! When you skip meals your metabolism slows down which means your body doesn't burn calories as efficiently. It can also confuse your body into thinking you are starving yourself so when you do eat again your body stores more away resulting in more fat!"

Is this true?

Mide7 Sat 21-May-16 19:56:39

The whole small meals often has been around for ages and I think it does have some truth to it but it's more about actual starvation and not just 8/10/24 hour fasts.

I loved doing 16/8 type fasts. Enjoyed eating two big meals a day and not muliple small ones. Never really felt full eating little and often.

I went from eating maybe 5/6 times a day to eating twice and felt great. It's terms of fat loss I didn't lose weight any differently with either but felt better fasting.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sat 21-May-16 20:05:49

Not an entirely helpful response here (although you've had some of those already) but wanted to say please don't consider your gym a particularly credible source! I was a personal trainer not too many years ago and there is an awful lot of absolute crap thrown out by gyms and their employees who frankly should know better.

"Starvation mode" seems to be bandied around to mean a whole load of different things.

UpsiLondoes Sun 22-May-16 18:51:02

Well if you think about how long it took to find food for hundreds of thousands of years, then it really is ridiculous to suggest the human body is so inefficient that if you don't eat similar amounts at similar times of day, it will go into starvation mode. Doubt we'd be here as a species.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 06-Jun-16 23:41:47

Your gym is very out of date and is quoting scare stories.
They either haven't read the peer-reviewed science over the last few years, or they didn't understand it.

"Starvation mode" is something that may occur with prolonged severe calorie restriction, especially combined with long cardio sessions
Skipping meals, as with 16:8, should not cause it, unless your weekly calorie deficit is too high for weeks and you are losing weight too quickly

Note: people who skip meals because they are disorganised & live chaotically tend to binge afterwards on junk. This can lead to weight gain, but is completely different to planned intermittent fasting.

Scare stories about "starvation mode" are usually based on the WW2 Minnesota study, in which men who were already a healthy weight were starved for 6 months: they were given only 50% of the calories they needed, in the form of very low nutrient, low protein food.
Not surprisingly, their metabolic rate plummetted, as a defence mechanism to preserve their remaining tissue. Once they were allowed to eat freely, they binged like mad and gained fat.

In contrast, studies - e.g. AmJClin Nutrition - on normal weight men doing one-off fasts have shown that their metabolic rate actually increases after about 14 hours without calories and only decreases after about 80 hours, when they started to break down muscle for fuel - that is the onset of starvation mode.

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