Intermittent Fasting

Is it good for you?

I’ve seen some research indicating that it can offer similar benefits to caloric restriction, in terms of life extension. I know that I do it somewhat on a regular basis. I’ll often go all day without eating, until dinner time. But it’s tough for people who can’t deal with low blood sugar.

7 thoughts on “Intermittent Fasting

  1. Gregg

    Yeah I would get shaky if I ate nothing. However water can help that and it never lasts long. It’s as if the body rebells at the lack of food but if I persist it shrugs and says, “Ok I’ll generate energy some other way.” and the shakes go away.

  2. Der Schtumpy

    My wife does this several times a year for religious reasons. Her sister does it also. They seemingly have no long term nor short term health effects. My wife’s doctor told her, so long as she didn’t go too long without eating, there weren’t any bad effects long term to happen to the person fasting.

    I’ve tried it, for health and prayer reasons, but I simply cannot hang. I can go about 36 hours, then I can’t even sleep without eating something. I get to a point where I’m weak, headachy, my stomach is s full of acid that I can’t take enough antacids to quell it.

  3. cthulhu

    I haven’t looked about the fasting, but the best online resource I’ve found lately is the blog http://www.eatingacademy.com, hosted by Dr. Peter Attia (who is an aerospace engineer and MD in one package). He and Gary Taubes recently formed the Nutrition Science Initiative (http://www.nusi.org) to try to definitively answer a lot of the questions regarding nutrition and health.

    I believe that one of the Gary Taubes books does discuss fasting and health; also check out the fascinating Hunger: An Unnatural History, by Sharman Apt Russell (an elegant writer, and by coincidence the daughter of rocket plane pilot Mel Apt).

  4. Josh Reiter

    I just got finished reading Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat. He mentions intermittent fasting in chapter 19 ‘Following Through’:

    “Anecdotal evidence suggests that occasional or intermittent fasting for eighteen or twenty-four hours might work to break through these plateaus of weight loss, but this, too, has not been adequately tested.”

    If the links between obesity, heart disease, and cancer are true then losing weight should certainly improve things from a life extension stand point. Some people have metabolic disorders due to insulin resistance that makes it difficult to lose weight even when following a low-carb/no-carb plan. Here he suggests that possibly occasional fasting may jump start weight loss when the needle stops moving downward on the scale.

  5. Joe Blowers

    I skipped eating entirely every other day for about two years during law school. I lost a bit over 50 pounds and felt basically fine. Never went for a physical or anything though, so I can’t guarantee nothing subtle was wrong with me.
    Commitment-wise, I liked the idea that you’re not giving up anything permanently, just everything for one day. I had very little trouble sticking to it then because I like school and found it not at all stressful. The last few years, I’ve had some job (and for a while lack-of-job) related stress that has withered my willpower and the good has been undone, but I still look at it as the best method for me to get back in shape. Like many things I suppose, it works well if you actually do it.

  6. Steve

    I think fasting is a bit easier to stick to than a strict 8meal per day low carb diet. For most people, those diets aren’t realistic and cannot be maintained long term.

    I just started a case study to test out the effects of fasting and fat loss without cardio. In four days I can already start to see results, I am interested to see how this will turn out.

    The hunger is something that needs to be dealt with but other then that I feel great.

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