Aside from the individual factors, which include your gender and age and whatever uniqueness about your body that we don't know yet (like effects of gut flora on metabolism), there's the type of exercise you do.
If you do long distance running or cycling, at one extreme, it's obviously a no-go. If you do a short conditioning workout or strength workout right before breaking your fast (if you're lucky enough to have a schedule that allows that), that sounds okay.
There's some speculation that fasting 'resets' the gut flora, or that there's a benefit to 'giving the digestive system a rest', then there's some science around the impact on fasting on circadian rhythm reset benefits, some other science around fasting to 'reset the immune system.'
My personal experience was that I didn't get much benefit in terms of body fat cutting, I didn't notice a performance increase or decrease in the gym (where I do strength training and calisthenics primarily with a bit of cardio). I DID notice I was obsessing over food in the mornings and when 2pm came around, there was a feeling of accomplishment.
I'm not sure it was worth it for me. As for everyone else, the jury's still out. It's just that I'm not convinced it'll be back within my lifetime in this complex area of study.
This isn't obvious to me. I don't run seriously, but I don't find that fasting has any adverse effect on my performance. If you are talking about running a marathon or something like that, then sure, but hardly anyone is doing exercise that intense multiple times a week, so you could still have fast days.
16 hours really isn't a very long time to go without food. Your body can cope with it fine, even if you're doing quite intense exercise.
I always do my runs in the morning, right out of bed, fasted. Your body is very good at storing energy and using it later, I've had no issues (if anything, trying to eat before a run just causes problems for me).
Honestly the hardest part was from other people, the fasting part was fairly easy and made me feel great.
I grew up doing sunrise to sunset fasts for Ramadan, with no water, and even that was mostly mental.
I can manage about seven hours sleep + a run first thing but I have to start eating as soon as I'm back in the house, and just keep grazing until 22:00
That's not because your current system has any problems--if it works for you, great! But that discomfort you describe is both abnormal and frequently linked to health issues that could cause serious problems over time.
Source: dietician relative on the couch next to me, FWIW.
Not obvious at all. My best marathon times followed training cycles where I didn't eat breakfast before long runs (i.e., 13+ miles).
Fasting doesn't give you the ability to break rules of biology.
Exactly. I've had pretty bad experiences with a no-breakfast IF. After two or three weeks on the diet, I get insomnia, and I definitely feel more stress. On the latter, I've read that IF raises cortisol levels, so that might be it. That's actually pretty good when you're at low baseline stress levels (it puts you in a state of "positive anxiety"), but when you're stressed from work it can take you over the limit.
Ultimately I stopped it because I'm already at around ~12% BF - I couldn't even say why I was doing it anymore. Three healthy meals a day and regular exercise does it for me.
If this works for people without negative consequences, then all the more power to them. I really like how it goes against the "shove things into your mouth at every waking hour" philosophy, which has become a ridiculous dogma in modern society.
If you fast long enough, say 48 hours I think, your body enters a mode of "autophagy", which is highly beneficial. So there's that.
Does anything like that happen to you? Do you know if it would feel better during autophagy?
I think this is a pretty common experience. You don't start feeling the "good feels" until you get past the 4-5 day mark.
Anyway, this was about 7-8 years ago and I haven't tried again since, but I often think about it.
For what it's worth, I do IF as a lifestyle (18:6). Basically (for me) it's a very easy way to help restrict calories. Hopefully there are some health benefits, too.
The first time I did a longer fast (72 hours) I felt low-energy, as you describe. Then I ate a single large meal and did another long fast; that felt quite good for the duration of that fast... so I did that for a month, more or less, and lost a lot of body fay (I'm 6'4" and I went from 225 to 200).
And then I was being pretty healthy for 8 months before going back to occasional drinking, but I still don't do sweets other than fruit.
I mostly eat a single meal in the middle of the day (though I make a lot of compromises due to being around other humans) and I don't usually find myself hungry in a way that is intrusive on my thoughts. However, I did start rock climbing in a gym and I upped my caloric intake and would eat a small meal afterwards.
I did another series of fasts this spring to bring my weight down to 175, and it's stayed there. And then I did a short series of longer fasts this fall, and didn't feel low-energy during them.
I can say that after all this, I was climbing hard 5.10s and easy 5.11s, and I'm 40, and I haven't been able to climb stuff like that since I was about 22.
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Fasting-Intermittent-A... - another book by Jason Fung that covers water fasting more in depth.
As for fat reserves, even fairly lean individuals can probably go a week or two without food without breaking down much muscle. 14 days at 2500 calories is merely 10 pounds of fat. Unless you are morbidly skinny, you should have 10-15 pounds of fat ready.
Besides that the standard: this is done on 8 people over a very small period of time, so it's at best a pilot study anyway.
IF may be a great way for some people to comply to their dietary goals better, but there is still not a single study that shows it actually does anything besides that.
I think Keto is the same way. There isn't strong evidence of a clear metabolic advantage (I'm not saying there is not one), but its one of the few ways I have eat a caloric deficit and not hate my life.
I think if IF and Keto take people off a insulin roller-coaster and let them comply with their targets, that is still a huge win, in and of itself. We know their are other benefits too such as depletion of stored liver fat or better acute insulin responsiveness, but these may be gravy, the real win is in compliance IMHO.
> We demonstrate for the first time in humans that eTRF improves some aspects of cardiometabolic health and that IF's effects are not solely due to weight loss.
It fails to do so because it does not measure food ingested, only food served, and so we have no idea if the diet was actually isocaloric (hint: it wasn't).
Keto and IF proponents both want to see a metabolic advantage that simply is not there. Compliance is huge, but there is no existing study showing a metabolic advantage that doesn't also have a caloric deficit.
A caloric deficit eventually forces the metabolism to slow down, hence the yo-to effect afterwards, whereas fasting doesn’t, not when implemented correctly.
In other words, yes you have the caloric deficit with fasting, but without some of the downsides of the body going into starvation mode.
If you are to believe the hyperinsulinemia theory of obesity, it actually makes perfect sense — it has been shown that insulin inhibits the body from accessing its own fat deposits. It has also been shown that you can make anybody fat by injections with insulin, no matter how thin they are. And there are several drugs known to make people fat by stimulating insulin. These are facts.
So by eating multiple meals per day, you’re stimulating your pancreas to trigger insulin in the bloodstream multiple times per day.
Thus the body will not have access to its fat store while that happens. As long as your insulin is high, no matter how much fat you have, you’re starving without eating food.
N.b. there has been plenty of evidence of this for the last several decades. What is new is the discovery of leptin and glucagon, two other hormones that are the opposite of insulin and that do a lot to fill in the blanks and explain why insulin is having the effects we’re seeing.
Also the metabolism is slowing down on caloric deficit, with the result that people eventually regain that weight back and then some, this has been shown in many studies, including that huge one from the Women’s Health Initiative.
When you’re doing keto or fasting, the insulin goes down. Again, this is a fact.
This allows the body to consume energy from its own fat deposits. This means that the metabolism shouldn’t slow down, when implemented correctly. Having fat isn’t for good looks, but an evolutionary advantage, we are supposed to use our fat store when in need, otherwise we would have evolved to excrete the excess.
Now of course, here we are talking of healthy people. It’s debatable if the metabolism slows down or not when we are speaking of diabetics or the obese. And actually I talked with people that claimed they measure their metabolic rate and it did slow down with fasting. So it works better for some people than for others.
But on the metabolic advantage, that advantage is undeniable for diabetics at least. In the next couple of years you will hear more and more of keto being promoted in the treatment of diabetes, because it works and there’s also a large study that’s still in progress, but that promises great results.
And btw, the reason for why keto hasn’t taken off in the medical community is due to perverse incentives. Nobody wants to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in proving that a diet works, because a diet doesn’t generate profit. The cold, harsh truth is that it’s more profitable to sell statins and synthetic insulin.
Funny enough, they did invest hundreds of millions (billions?) in trying to show that saturated fats and salt are bad, anything and everything to blame, except for sugar. All such studies failed of course, but that didn’t stop the dogma, anything to keep us consuming sugar, which is where the “_a calorie is a calorie_” bullshit comes from.
The "starvation mode" idea is thrown around a lot but is categorically not something that overweight people ever go into. The premise came from a study done on a tiny sample size in the 1950s of severely malnutritioned soldiers. It is an extreme, near death state.
> A caloric deficit eventually forces the metabolism to slow down, hence the yo-to effect afterwards, whereas fasting doesn’t, not when implemented correctly.
Citation needed, specifically on the second part. Isocaloric diets with different compositions have not been shown to have any difference in weight loss amounts.
> So by eating multiple meals per day, you’re stimulating your pancreas to trigger insulin in the bloodstream multiple times per day. Thus the body will not have access to its fat store while that happens. As long as your insulin is high, no matter how much fat you have, you’re starving without eating food.
No, this is a misunderstanding of the metabolic system. The body is very good at storing and using fat, and there is zero evidence that an isocaloric diet prevents your body from accessing fat stores. If you eat the same amount of calories, you will supplement (or not) the same amount of energy from your fat stores regardless of when or what those calories are made up of. There may be small statistically significant differences here, but there absolutely has not been a study showing clinically significant differences. Every study that has shown improvement in metabolic markers has not compared isocaloric diets, as I mentioned in the comment you are replying to. I'd be happy to look at any study you think does, but this would be a massive shift in the current understanding of metabolism and so it is unlikely such a study exists.
> When you’re doing keto or fasting, the insulin goes down. Again, this is a fact.
I'm not sure what you mean by "the insulin goes down" but basically this is not a fact because it has not been showing in isocaloric diets.
> This allows the body to consume energy from its own fat deposits. This means that the metabolism shouldn’t slow down, when implemented correctly.
Again, this is a misunderstanding of the metabolic system.
> And btw, the reason for why keto hasn’t taken off in the medical community is due to perverse incentives. Nobody wants to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in proving that a diet works, because a diet doesn’t generate profit. The cold, harsh truth is that it’s more profitable to sell statins and synthetic insulin.
The medical community is extremely messed up, but the part of it that focuses on treating obesity regards keto as a way to build compliance, but has largely read the studies and come to the same conclusions anyone else who understands the basic biology has: the premise that keto or IF produce metabolic changes outside of the ones that come from caloric deficits brought on by increased compliance is extraordinary and requires extraordinary evidence, which has not been produced.
This one, mentioned in this context:
> This was a randomized crossover, isocaloric and eucaloric study. That is, all patients did both arms of the study eating the same foods and the same calories and then compared against themselves. The two arms of the study were eating between 8am and 8pm, and the eTRF strategy of eating between 8am and 2pm, but remember, both groups ate three meals per day of the same foods. Some would start with the conventional diet, then cross over to eTRF, and others did the opposite, separated by a seven-week washout period. Subjects were men with prediabetes.
> The benefits were huge. Mean insulin levels dropped significantly, and insulin resistance dropped as well. Insulin is a driver of obesity, so merely changing the meal timing and restricting the number of hours you ate, and also by moving to an earlier eating schedule, produced huge benefits even in the same person eating the same meals. That’s astounding. Even more remarkable was that even after the washout period of seven weeks, the eTRF group maintained lower insulin levels at baseline. The benefits were maintained even after stopping the time restriction. Blood pressure dropped as well.
Specifically this sentence:
> so merely changing the meal timing and restricting the number of hours you ate, and also by moving to an earlier eating schedule, produced huge benefits even in the same person eating the same meals
is incorrect, and is basically the lynchpin of the entire IF idea.
Maybe you meant to question the study itself, but I don’t understand your objection to that either. The study tests whether this form of IF improves certain markers of metabolic health, and it shows it does — within the design of the study, of course, but that’s true of every study and doesn’t make it meaningless. You seem to be implying it doesn’t work in the way IF proponents think it does. That may be true, but isn’t relevant to this study since it doesn’t attempt to answer.
The study, like all similar IF studies, showed that people who do IF sometimes are able to use it to consume fewer calories. That is important from a compliance standpoint: it means you can use this diet to treat obesity for some portion of the population for whom it is going to be effective because it will get them to comply with not eating too much. Not eating as much is associated with weight loss which is associated with all kinds of good outcomes. That's awesome, but it doesn't mean that metabolically there is something significantly different going on outside of eating less.
This is an important discussion in nutrition in general, and shows up in IF as well as keto discussion frequently, with proponents of each arguing that beyond the compliance aspect, there is also something special going on with your metabolism (ie: insulin sensitivity and other metabolic markers). The problem is that all of these are things that improve when you are in a caloric defecit, and the studies never disambiguate between the effects of a caloric deficit and the meal timing itself.
Fung makes the same mistake the authors of the paper do in interpreting their own results too optimistically. The dietary controls are set up in a way to make it seem convincing in an abstract if you are familiar with this area and what the current core issues are, but it is not at all if you dig in.
I did a one week Buchinger fasting and did several long distance runs (as I always do) after 2 days fasting. (after switching to cetogen burning)
I noticed a small decrease in power, but in no way this was a no go. It was actually fun.
Fasting is followed by animals too. When they fall sick they fast. Deliberate fasting in humans is a necessity because humans eat unnatural food.
Let's begin with the fact that we're not lions. We're not even carnivores. And there's some research evidence that in omnivores, short-term fasting leads to increased acidification in the stomach, while it doesn't for carnivores - that's a rather substantial difference.
Then, we come to the magic of "unnatural" food. We'll leave out the fact that such a thing doesn't exist and assume you mean processed food. What exactly is the proposed mechanism here where fasting is beneficial? And why can't that same mechanism be achieved via less processed food? And which processing are we even talking about?
> Why do all wild lions look the same?
Have you actually seen wild lions? They look roughly the same in the sense that "all white people look the same". I.e. not at all.
It is evident we are not lions. It is also evident that we are not carnivores. Are you sure we are omnivores?
Fasting has been recommended in Eastern cultures for thousands of years. If they were bad, we would have known.
> Then, we come to the magic of "unnatural" food. We'll leave out the fact that such a thing doesn't exist and assume you mean processed food.
Processed food is unnatural. We were not designed to eat such crap. The diseases we have to endure are the evidence.
Try feeding your dog or cat the same crap and they get sick too. What more proof is needed?
> Have you actually seen wild lions? They look roughly the same in the sense that "all white people look the same". I.e. not at all.
What I meant is that they look lean and mean. Not one obese lion will you find in the wild.
Yup. We have evolved to consume meat, as well has plant matter. You can argue this point down the rabbithole, but it's irrelevant to the broader point. If you want to say we're herbivores, fine. Lets not get lost in that debate.
> Fasting has been recommended in Eastern cultures for thousands of years. If they were bad, we would have known.
So has circumcision. I say that as someone not categorically opposed to it - but to say that just because something has been done a lot, doesn't mean it's not harmful.
> Processed food is unnatural....
Processed food is not harmful on account of being processed. It's can be harmful for what it contains. Most food is processed.
I assume you're talking about weird nasty foods. I don't have a proper label to define them by. Things with a ton of Hydrogenated Oils, or whatever is inside "Cheez Wiz"
> Try feeding your dog or cat the same crap and they get sick too.
For your very broad statement of processed food, this isn't true. I mean, dog food itself is processed. For food that the animal should not be eating, yes. That'll make them sick. Dogs can't eat all human food. Humans can't eat cow food. A dog will get sick if it eats chocolate. A human will get sick if they eat nothing but grass.
> What I meant is that they look lean and mean. Not one obese lion will you find in the wild.
That's caused by external factors, not because a wild antelope isn't "processed" or "unnatural". You can feed a lion antelope meat until it is obese. But it has evolved to be in a healthy balance when it exercises through hunting, and its intake is limited by the available prey.
OK. Let us not argue this point.
> So has circumcision. I say that as someone not categorically opposed to it - but to say that just because something has been done a lot, doesn't mean it's not harmful.
This assumes that ancient cultures were naive and we are too evolved to even bother about our ancestors.
> Processed food is not harmful on account of being processed.
I would recommend you to read the WHO report that puts all processed meat under category 1 carcinogen. Processed wheat, rice, oil... everything has been proven to be harmful.
> I mean, dog food itself is processed
That is because we are involved. It does not have to be. Raw meat is available and is natural for them. Dogs and cats raised in urban world are obese and have health complications like humans. Diabetes, heart diseases are common.
> You can feed a lion antelope meat until it is obese.
Sure. Good food and no exercise is a bad combination. Bad food and good exercise is also not a good combination.
And raw red meat is a category 2a carcinogen.
That makes it safe to consume?
Yes, you can look at our digestive system and teeth to see clear omnivore adaptations. Both are closer to say bears than either cows or lions.
What's really interesting is lions for example can't grind their teeth.
'dry-aged beef' is still rather sought after. "The process of dry-aging usually also promotes growth of certain fungal (mold) species on the external surface of the meat. This does not cause spoilage, but rather forms an external "crust" on the meat's surface, which is trimmed off when the meat is prepared for cooking." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_aging
I could go on, but people can digest uncooked or well aged meat. It does have a higher risks, but that's more about how meat is raised and prepared not necessarily simply being old and uncooked.
> 'dry-aged beef' is still rather sought after. "The process of dry-aging
"The process of dry-aging"... Processed. Cannot count this too.
We do not have protein receptors in our tongue. We cannot taste flesh the way carnivores and omnivores can. They do not need to cook, add spices, process flesh. Raw meat can kill us.
such as the dreaded raw egg. The only thing making this easier to digest is the grinding part.
Unprocessed entire raw and often living fish are regularly consumed as part of fraternity initiations and bets. It does not cause problems.
Cooking increases food safety, but it's really not required for digestion.
PS: To use a slightly older tradition. People used to do something similar in Europe. Hang birds up by the neck, when it fell down it was 'ready'. Calling that processed is ridiculous.
But that's not even germane to a discussion. Omnivores are not necessarily scavengers, nor does it mean that they eat literally everything. It means they eat meats, and plants. (Look e.g. at the maned wolf for another example of an omnivore that pretty much avoids rotten meat. They get 50% of their diet from - fresh - prey, and 50% from plants. That makes them an omnivore)
And I’m not sure what you thought I said, but I’m not arguing that milk consumption is great. Well, not in the post you responded to; I do think milk is pretty amazing. All I was saying is that it is an example of humans evolving adaptations to their diets.
But on the topic of milk consumption: there may be drawbacks, but the gene for lactase persistence is one of the fastest spreading genes in recent history. Consuming milk was an utter (there’s a pun to be made here, but I will exercise restraint) game changer for Northern Europeans. Even today, milk is an amazing source of well-balanced nutrition. It’s cheap, easy to consume, and pretty tasty at room temperature.
If it doesn’t cause explosive things to happen to your intestines, that is.
Same with milk, meat, sugar...
Before I began fasting, I found myself saying things like, "Well, this isn't great for me, but it'll be filling for a few hours and then I'll eat something else." With IF that is not an option, and it forced me to more carefully consider whether I was providing my body with the proper fuel for the next X hours.
Similarly, coming out of the fast, I was much more likely to eat nutritionally-valuable foods because I knew that whatever I put in my body it would immediately consume for fuel and I wanted to give it something valuable.
That in itself has led me to rave about IF to anyone who is interested enough to listen. I recommend at least an experiment with it to experience that consideration of nutrition, because I think that will stay with you whether you stick with IF or not.
5 weeks ago I was 515. I started a fitness challenge at a CrossFit gym, I workout 4 days a week, I eat Keto, and I (sometimes) eat just one meal a day. I find it really hard, like extremely hard when doing IF to get all my protein in for the day.
I kid you not, because of my stomach size, the keto effects (lower hunger), and only having an hour or two window for food when I stick to IF completely I can't get more than 50 protein, and 600 calories.
This week, I've modified it to fit my body, I've added body fortress protein which 1 scoop in almond milk = 8 carbs, and 60 protein (my daily minimum). I eat this around 11 or noon. Then I try to have my 1 meal at 5pm. Is it IF? Not completely, but I feel for me it works a lot better.
I can probably still get only 600-800 calories a day; example: 2 burgers + 1/4th cup cheese and a dab of mayo and I'm stuffed to capacity, it takes an entire hour to finish this much food, but at my weight that's no biggie, the biggest thing is getting protein so my weight lifting at CrossFit has good results.
I'm no expert on physiology, so if anyone has tips to maximize my progress (I'm about losing more (fat) and gaining more(muscle) as fast as humanly possible).
Physically I feel like a million dollars, depression is mostly gone and anxiety as well. I'm a little obsessed on my diet/exercise regime, not sure that's bad. I started taking Vyvanse for ADHD so that also curbs appetite/hunger and has helped me focus more on my code/work. Last year I had major depression with dark thoughts, this year I feel like a different person, I'm also seeing a therapist for that stuff as of a few months ago.
Instead a high fat low carb diet where you really minimize carb intake (and obviously avoid all things sugary). You can get the same keto effects if you follow this approach.
This way you can easily eat several times a day and get all protein and calories you need.
Of course you can mix and match IF with this as well.
> I'm a little obsessed on my diet/exercise regime, not sure that's bad.
Be mindful. Obsessions always lie at the edge of turning bad.
Also if you've only done this 5 weeks it's easy to do too much too soon and if a time comes when you can't hold the same extreme tempo you risk a crash. This has happened to me many times. For example I've started a new training form and I train it a lot. But then I don't have the same drive like last week and a miss a single training. Then another one and suddenly I haven't trained for a month.
Definitely see your point w/ obsessions... I over analyze and think things. I also try to optimize everything as a developer that's just what I do lol..
I do have a fear that as winter comes I might slack off more on workouts, esp since my gym is 30 mins away (I live in podunkville,UT), so increment weather could affect my sojourn to the city to workout. I'm hoping I just let things go more, and it just becomes part of my life, at least till I hit my goals.
It probably took decades to get to your current body weight. Should it not then take at least 5 years to get back to your target weight ? True the caloric math shows you could probably get to 250lbs in a year with a 600-800 a day diet. But can any human actually stick with that diet for more than a month ? If not, you would be better eating 1600-1800 a day if you could stick with it for a year.
As an aside, at times I wonder if our obesity epidemic is in part related to an ever increasing target/acceptable weight. When I was a kid, if you could pinch an inch, you were overweight (I stop drinking calories if I pass the threshold). Even my childhood bathroom scale maxed out at 250 which implied that 250 must be extreme morbid obesity.
I know this is personal, but when you were young did you ever have such thresholds (weight, mobility, etc.) in mind ? Or did it just sneak up on you and by then you were in gaining weight at a surprising rate beyond your control ? No worries if you are too busy to respond. I wish you the best!
I'm sure you've seen or heard of this case study of the Scottish man who fasted 382 days [pdf]! Of course, he did it under medical supervision. But I think it's an important case of what CAN be accomplished.
I can recommend cronometer.com for tracking food, this might be a pain in the beginning, but gives you good insight on what your nutrient intake is. Helped me to create a diet with roughly balanced meals.
You can eat more protein--likely in drinkable form due to your sleeve--to try to gain more muscle, or you could stay the course to lose the fat first. Since lean muscle mass increases your base metabolism, which increases your fat-burning rate, that's a complex equation that may require calculus to optimize, and your body can always just arbitrarily veto the mathematical results.
In the course of the podcast, they discuss many areas of research that would be interesting to your question of maximizing your weight loss while maintaining health.
They also discuss what the research in these areas indicates works and what doesn't seem to matter. A lot to unpack but certainly helpful.
No added sugar, and everything pretty natural. The isolate I buy is pricey cuz it’s from grass fed cows but there are cheap ones.
Need a good blender tho.
I just had someone tell me that the amount of auto accidents increase between 2 and 4pm in the US. This somehow showed that people make poor decisions during that time because of our sleep cycles? I was met with much resistance when I pointed out that there are fundamentally different people driving during 2 and 4pm than 8am or 5-6pm. The numbers don't lie, right? Just how you read them...
Anyway, I'd love to see the science that mindfulness and meditation have dubious benefits. I am such a believer in those practices, I have a hard time understanding the argument that they are not beneficial.
> The new paper cites a 2015 review published in American Psychologist reporting that only around 9 percent of research into mindfulness-based interventions has been tested in clinical trials that included a control group. The authors also point to multiple large placebo-controlled meta-analyses concluding that mindfulness practices have often produced unimpressive results. A 2014 review of 47 meditation trials, collectively including over 3,500 participants, found essentially no evidence for benefits related to enhancing attention, curtailing substance abuse, aiding sleep or controlling weight.
> Van Dam acknowledges that some good evidence does support mindfulness. The 2014 analysis found meditation and mindfulness may provide modest benefits in anxiety, depression and pain. He also cites a 2013 review published in Clinical Psychology Review for mindfulness-based therapy that found similar results. “The intention and scope of this review is welcome—it is looking to introduce rigor and balance into this emerging new field,” says Willem Kuyken, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford in England, who was not involved in research for the new report. “There are many areas where mindfulness-based programs seem to be acceptable and promising, but larger-scale randomized, rigorous trials are needed.”
>As Van Dam and his co-authors wrote, “[there is] neither one universally accepted technical definition of ‘mindfulness’ nor any broad agreement about detailed aspects of the underlying concept to which it refers.”
The whole point of a diet is to be healthy. You don't need intermittent fasting to be healthy. It seems to just introduce complication for a menial improvement in a few measures of health. I'm sure they work, if you can actually stick to them, but there's a lot simpler diets that will also work.
Exercise three times a week. Eat lots of plants. Keep your fat, protein, and simple carb levels within reasonable limits for your age, height and sex. That's not super complicated to follow, and it can fit into basically any schedule.
I do heavy weight lifting in the early morning and fast every day until 2 PM. You don't need to eat protein right after you lift weights, later in the day is perfectly fine. For you optimal gains, maybe, but for gains, no. But I'm not a world-class athlete, I'm a 31 year old with an office job. Intermittent fasting is very popular in the weight lifting world, and it works very well. In my experience, lifting in a fasted state impacts my performance 0%.
Based on my own experiences, I'd actually expect performance to improve since the body isn't using resources for digestion. I'm not a weight lifter, but I know bicycling is significantly harder shortly after eating and my other current sport, freediving, is much, much easier after fasting (my static hold time is close to 2 minutes longer when I haven't eaten in the past ~12 hours).
One interesting observation I've had from freediving is that some of the signals we get from our bodies are far less urgent than we tend to experience them. The main one, in that sport, is the urge to breathe and it's actually not an indication that the body needs oxygen. It is, instead, an indication that CO2 is building up and you can expell it by breathing. Freedivers learn to experience that sensation and push past it.
I'd imagine hunger is very similar. People accustomed to eating whenever they're hungry will panic an experience "low blood sugar" when they don't immediately respond. But we know that humans can go weeks without eating before we die. Pushing past our accustomed non-resistence to hunger will likely be uncomfortable, at first, and then become normal with practice.
Exactly. People are way too used to eating all the time.
This is exactly what I've noticed as well. Even a few hours after eating my runs feel sluggish. All my PRs are from running first thing in the morning, before any food.
Early on when I was still experimenting with the diet, I did drop down to around 160-165lbs, and my running performance took a drastic hit. I remember struggling to complete a three mile run one day, when 6-10 was typical for me at the time. I felt normal up until around one and a half miles in, then I hit a wall, which made me turn back early. It was a really odd sensation, the will was there, but I was weak, almost like I had run out of gas. I'd tell my legs to move, and they'd barely follow through. This wasn't soreness, or fatigue, but weakness, subjectively a very peculiar sensation, and not at all subtle.
Being weak like that did freak me out a little bit. I simply added more calories (ate more), while maintaining meal timing, and my distance was back to normal in a week or two though (actually slightly better than my pre-diet "normal"). This brought my weight up to a steady 170-175lbs, which I've been at for about two years.
It's really important with this style of diet to get adequate nutrition. If you're eating less, or timing your meals, you really need to maintain a high-quality diet. You're likely eating less than most other people (or what you're used to), so the nutrients and calories you do take in are that much more important. Eat a lot of fresh vegetables, moderate carbs, and high-quality protein. Extra fiber is also really important, because the extra volume helps create a sensation of fullness, making the diet easier to stick to. You'll also want to drink extra plain water, to accompany the fiber, so your body chemistry doesn't get out of whack. Don't eat any refined sugar at all, it's a powerful appetite stimulant, and will make the meal timing much much harder to stick to.
Edit: I mean, I read an article once that said ketones could enhance performance in weight lifting.. my exercise is Cross Fit training at a Crossfit gym.
And in my experience even just doing an hour of exercise in a fasted state can dramatically impair my immune system as well as higher brain function.
And IMO the "risk" of bonking is hugely overblown, the worst case scenario is you're in a bike race and you have no energy. Most people are not racing bikes, so I don't see what the big deal is. You stop your workout and eat something. Most people's cardio workouts are not long and intense enough to bonk in the first place, even if they're fasted for 16 hours.
That just seems highly unlikely from an evolutionary perspective: food sources for most animal species tend to be inconsistent and require physical exertion to exploit (especially for predators).
If hungry + physical exertion = damage, you'd expect that to get weeded out of the gene pool. Human populations have certainly gone through regular famines and starvation during our history, while still needing to farm manually.
Isn’t that where ketosis comes in? Your body can break down fat and provide energy through ketones.
Some proponents of intermittent fasting would probably argue that simply not eating at certain times is the simplest diet of all since it doesn’t require continually evaluating at each meal what a “reasonable” level of intake is.
It supposedly helps your body make the switch from glucose and glycogen to body fat and ketones more smoothly. It might have been useful for triathletes and marathoners, if they weren't eating glycogen gel during their races now. You'd carbo-load, hit the wall at mile 20 or so, and just keep going at 80% your normal athletic capacity instead of 70%, because you trained for it. But now, you'd just be left in the dust by someone who has been sucking on a tube of glycogen gel and thus never hits the wall at all.
I suppose it would still be useful for weight loss, if exercising while bonked wasn't self-torture.
My daily diet is basically a 8 carb protein shake with 60g protein around noon. Then the equivalent of 2 hamburger patties and 1/4 cup cheese for dinner. My calories rarely exceed 800 though. I feel great -- more energy than ever, and I have 0 hunger, I have to force myself to eat.
I'm hoping this is maintainable and that I can keep the momentum up. My wife has a baby due in January (our 2nd), and I want to be able to do more with the family/kids and be around for them. Luckily I have no co-morbidalities, I just did a full physical -- everything is perfect # wise blood pressure, lipids, vitamins (except D deficiency). But, I'm 38, that could change. My heart could get stressed from the weight in a few years... I've been seeing a therapist for depression, and a doctor for ADHD, and now doing a good fitness regimen.
Last year I was depressed with very dark thoughts, this year I feel great and in more control.
As long as you’re not doing whole day fasts, I don’t think the burden of effort is any higher than the protocol you’ve outlined.
When beginner discipline is the subject, simple rules tend to work better. Your confidence following simple rules allows you to then tolerate more complicated regimes.
Edit to add: Personally, I don’t agree with ADF but for strength training your muscles are rebuilding for days afterward. If you’re trying to gain muscle quickly you’ve probably already decided ADF isn’t for you. But to maintain or gain slowly? I’m not sure it’s going to slow you down that much.
You have what’s in your muscles, liver, stomach, and whatever your body can cannibalize from fat and muscle. If you go long enough (without overdoing it) you start burning muscle, which is a really good example of why recovery and pace matter so much. And why runners and cyclists have those wiry little arms.
Smart communities train their members to watch for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and bonking, how to tell the difference, and how to care for people in these situations.
Our ancestors didn't get three meals a day. Millions of our contemporaries get real physical work done without three meals a day or worrying about glycogen or blood sugar. I may be an extreme example, but people worry way too much about skipping meals, in my opinion. It seems like a rationalization for avoiding hunger.
Have you actually tried working out in a fasted state? I find that I get better performance.
Glycogen isn't depleted as quickly as you think, and blood sugar levels are actually more stable in a state of ketosis when your body is manufacturing its own glucose.
>You don't need intermittent fasting to be healthy.
Semantics, but I would say you do if 'intermittent fasting' just means periods of respite between meals so you're not constantly in a 'fed' state. It's only relatively recent in human history that we are even able to be constantly eating.
>Keep your fat, protein, and simple carb levels within reasonable limits for your age, height and sex.
You say this, but experts have all sorts of contradictory recommendations for what are 'reasonable' macro limits.
That's not true. You just have to get used to it. When I did boxing I often did two hours intense workout in the evening and didn't eat anything after or hours before. No problems.
Glycogen stores aren't easily depleted by day to day life, a regular 8 hour window every day wouldn't affect your evening weight lifting routine. It could affect post-workout only by increasing the time for the glycogen stores to be refilled, but not to such an extent that it would affect your next session.
As for protein after workout, this is largely nonsense. The body is more than capable of regulating it's own protein synthesis over the course of days with both the protein you obtain from food and the stores of broken down proteins from your body. Amount of protein consumed (and type) is the relevant factor and timing plays no significant part unless you are a at a level where you are considered a pro athlete and you're probably attending competitions.
I used to think like this, but then I actually tried it and found that not only does a short (16-18 hour) fasted state not negatively impact my workouts but it improves my performance to exercise in a fasted state.
Heavy squat/deadlift day at the gym ... 2 hours of BJJ ... 10 mile run ... these are all examples of things I do in a fasted state. You have no bloodflow diverted to stomach (or other digestive processes) you are fast and light on your feet and your energy is very steady.
Would I embark on a triathlon or an ultra ? Of course not - but whatever fears I had about fasting throwing a monkeywrench into my training were unfounded.
I've been skipping breakfast for at least 5 years. Assuming the average breakfast would've cost me 5 minutes per day, I've saved over 160 hours not doing breakfast over those years, never-mind the cost-savings and simplification of life that comes with consuming things less frequently.
I've been healthy and fit the entire time I've been skipping breakfast, maintaining a steady weight of 175 lbs at 6'1". I usually have had caffeine, though I occasionally wean myself off. Caffeine (black coffee, straight tea, no sugar) helps with the hunger/IF lifestyle, but it's by no means necessary.
It's not the most pleasant feeling in the universe, and your performance won't be anything to write home about, but you will still be pretty functional. Humans have had to go without food for a while for most of their history, so it makes sense we would have adapted to live just fine through periods of scarcity.
This is because of homeostasis. You normally have close to, iirc, 2000Kcal floating in your blood, intracellular fluid, & cells. If you get too much more, then the pancreas will produce insulin to stimulate your body to store the excess as fat.
But when you are temporarily under-fed as with Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted diet, the insulin simply doesn't arrive to force it out of the bloodstream so it can maintain the levels; levels can also be restored by converting fat stores to maintain the appropriate blood sugar level.
So, you've always got something like that ~2000Kcal store ready to go, and you don't need to worry about 'bonking' on any normal workout with any normal IF or TR diet.
I personally did once manage to do something like you worry about, during off-season training one year in my career in international-level alpine ski racing. I did a 3-day fast, with a solid weight workout (including big muscle groups) on Day#1. No problem. Then, at the end of fasting Day#3, I felt really energetic, so broke the plan and did another really heavy leg weight workout, which went great. However, about an hour+ afterwards, I felt really wobbly/shaky from low blood sugar. This was fixed with a single big orange juice smoothie. It was really cool to feel it take effect -- within minutes. And, there was no break in the training routine after these events, just continued on as usual.
Admittedly it's a single test, but it shows that it can take a lot more than one workout on a TR or IF day to even get to an out-of-the-ordinary state, and it's easily fixed when you do. Not really anything to worry about.
[Edits - clarity, commas]
"What I learned about weight loss from spending a day inside a metabolic chamber"
The problem is made worse because overweight people typically greatly underestimate how much they eat, while underweight people (me most of my life) typically greatly overestimate how much we eat. It's nearly impossible to accurately gauge calorie intake without strict calorie counting.
When talking nutrition with people, I'll often bring up the examine.com piece on "does metabolism vary between two people?"(1) And I am always amazed to find at least one person in any conversation that will flat out deny the information presented there. they are positive that if they ate one single slice of pizza a day and nothing else, they would still be fat.
That's like saying "There are no secrets to space flight: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It doesn't matter if that involves Hydrogen, Hydrazine, or just big tubs of water -- throw them one way, and you'll move the opposite. Your choice of fuel doesn't change physics."
Of course fundamental physics laws hold. But some fuels and systems of using those fuels are more effective than others.
When it comes to diet, different foods and eating patterns do have different effects on our endocrine system, and that does affect how viably we can sustain ourselves on less calories. Different foods will also have different proportions that are retained vs passed the same day.
Unless you also capture ALL your own human waste, and measure it in a 'bomb calorimeter', counting calories (intake only) is not nearly as useful as you seem to think. If you disagree, drink 2000 calories of olive oil every day and eat nothing else, then come back after a year and tell me that calories are all that matter :) Disclaimer: Don't actually do that, because you would starve to death.
Sure, at a super granular level, different foods affect you differently, trigger different biological responses, etc.. etc.. but if you zoom out, the details just don't matter. If you're under calories, the weight will come off.
Nobody is suggesting to "drink olive oil." you can keep you normal diet, just eat less of it, and magic will happen.
I feel like people keep either inventing things to argue against (olive oil) or bringing up scenarios that are purposefully missing the overall point of what people are actually saying.
Again, sure, if you zoom in, eating donuts is probably a bad strategy because you'll be hungry again, and thus eat more calories. But in the grand scheme of things, you CAN eat a donut if you remain below you calories. That is all people are saying. Nothing more. Nothing less.
fwiw, we weight lifters regularly put this into practice. Bulking? add more food. Cutting? less food.
Yes, there are details (gotta hit those macros!), but overall, the strategy boils down to calories in/out.
Neither the GP, nor the original root of this thread are proposing that food choices are automatic, obvious, or don't have bearing on your weight/happiness/whatever; they're saying that food quantities (in calories) are the primary determinant of how much you weigh.
That's it. Narrow ruling, specific point; no "why don't you just"-ism or anything of the sort--or if it's there, I'm not seeing it.
I never ate breakfast as a kid, so I carried that habit into adulthood. I started eating breakfast once in a while at some point and that caused me to start feeling hungry in the morning. I shut that shit down right away, I don't need to add more food to my diet. Years later I gave up lunch, which I thought would be really difficult, since I always felt hungry at lunch time, but now I don't feel hungry at all during lunch time, because I'm used to not eating lunch.
YMMV, of course, that just has been my experience.
Eating fewer calories is a function of two things:
1. Reducing the number of points in the day in which you eat.
2. Changing the kind of food you eat at each of those points.
3. Changing the quantity of food you eat at each of those points.
From the amount of emotional energy or willpower necessary to do that, it seems like an intermittent fasting regimen is a technique that helps people do that.
Not true at all.
A gallon of gasoline has over 30,000 calories, yet you won't gain weight from drinking it,
> People had stable weight without any special knowledge for most of human history.
A lot of food products highly available today would be rather foreign to most of human history: artificially high sugar, high cab, low fat, snacks everywhere, etc.
These trick our taste and hunger systems into eating more of less quality foods than we would "naturally" if exposed only to less "engineered" foods, like pure meat and vegetables.
> It's something we generally should know how to do automatically.
Maybe we should, but clearly we do not. At least with modern processed foods that are optimized and designed to maximally stimulate our flavor response while compromising nutrition/health (generally).
Really the problem goes in the other direction: now we have food from the "space age", and labour-saving automation, we can accidentally eat far more calories than we need.
Also it's not as if we have a great understanding of how different foods influence our food consumption patterns.
I totally agree with ops point. Almost anytime the topic of nutrition comes up people are either unaware of the basic mechanics or have been convinced they're somehow fake .
 as in that there are huge differences in metabolic efficiency between foods or that people's BMRs usually differ greatly.
If someone eats 2k of olive oil by drinking one teaspoon every 30 minutes, their body will be able to digest a significant portion of those calories.
If someone drinks the whole cup at once, then they're going to have diarrhea without absorbing much at all.
You're claiming that a human can viably survive their whole life by consuming a daily diet of:
1. Olive Oil
My point was that the type of food your calories consist of does matter. If you do nothing but drink olive oil and multivitamins, you will lose a lot of weight and eventually starve to death, no matter how many calories you consume. The point is that the type of food you eat does matter to weight gain/loss (not only the calorie count), because the type of food affects how many of those calories you actually retain.
As far as I can see, this study provides no evidence (nor attempts to) that a diet consisting of nothing but olive oil can sustain your weight. I think it's quite well accepted that different kinds of food will be retained to differing degrees in your body (or put another way, different types of food will end up being passed through your system in differing percentages -- as well as with differing degrees of nutritional satisfaction per calorie ingested).
The oddest thing about reading the comments here is that people are dismissing the words of someone who has spent the better part of a decade in formal education in medicine, and a large part of his professional career focusing on weight management.
I'm not sure how you think this corroborates your claim that you can sustain your weight by drinking olive oil and water (+ multivitamin). In fact, I don't see anything remotely relevant to this in the study.
> If he were to eat that well calculated amount of olive oil everyday his weight would stay constant.
A source for this is needed. The study you provided, as far as I can see, says nothing of this. You're just assuming it's true, and I don't understand how/why.
As per your other reply to the same link
differing degrees of nutritional satisfaction per calorie ingested
Replying here because I can't reply to where you posted this ^^
Everyone's posting it because you are wrong. A calorie is a calorie. If I eat 500 calories surplus a day, i'll gain ~1 pound a week.
Not if you expel an excess 500 calories per day on the toilet. This is what would happen if you chug a glass of olive oil, for example -- your body won't digest it all, and the vast majority of it will pass straight through.
This is an extreme example, but I make it to demonstrate a point 'calorie couters' always seem to forget: You keep assuming that you retain 100% of the calories you ingest, minus what you burn. This is demonstrably incorrect.
Like, "calorie count is the primary determinant of weight gain, given nearly all typical human eating habits"?
Or "calorie count is the primary determinant of weight gain assuming you don't deliberately bypass your digestive system (likely inflicting discomfort and/or harm on yourself in the process) by consuming diuretics or indigestible food combinations"?
Even in both of those cases, it seems like the general point is still pretty much intact.
Bullshit. A calorie is an incredibly crude metric of energy when it comes to human metabolisms. Our stomachs are not furnaces.
Try eating 500 calories surplus of gasoline or wood.
People who care about this aren't interested in the secrets of the endocrine system. They are interested in how they can remain trim while eating rich food like meat and dairy. These folks like fasting because they can eat one large meal and get more stimulation from the food.
Also, it's easier to maintain weight than to loose/gain weight. So once you have lost that weight, it's much easier to be at that weight. Of course you lost a huge amount of weight in a short span, this won't be true.
Species-specific diet can do wonders in a very short time. I have tried it with my dogs and I am trying this on myself. I am seeing excellent results.
Playing with other variables besides calories, like the specific foods you pick and the timing of meals, can produce dramatic, measurable health changes and make a huge difference in how hungry you will feel at different times of day.
EDIT: I just saw the other reply someone wrote that used a rocket analogy instead of a jet plane analogy, funny how we both independently came up with such a similar response.
It is true that the kinds of foods you eat may help you with maintaining a caloric deficit -- for example, eating high-volume foods such as vegetables, or low-GI whole-grain carbs may help you feel "full" longer than low-volume foods with high caloric densities (candy, snacks, sodas). But the most important thing is still calories. See a recent meta-analysis on this: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-...
Also, timing of meals is actually not that important for weight loss. It is somewhat important for sports performance (e.g., timing carb intake around sports activities). There was a meta-analysis a few years ago that gave more specific recommendations: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-...
It's plenty useful. The biggest barrier I've seen so far in people trying to lose weight is that they just plain don't believe it, and think it won't work. They think they need some complicated specially tailored diet where they need to pick out specific foods, eat foods they don't like, eat at special intervals, and so on.
> Playing with other variables besides calories, like the specific foods you pick and the timing of meals, can produce dramatic, measurable health changes and make a huge difference in how hungry you will feel at different times of day.
That may be true, but various tricks you might choose to apply to your diet should come /after/ you know how many calories you're consuming. It's a question of where your attention is directed. The purpose is still to reduce calories, and preventing hunger in whatever way works for you or distracting yourself or maintaining a schedule are all just means to the same end: to reduce how much you're consuming.
The problem I see is that people seem to not agree on that /end/ and think they're trying to accomplish something else, but I'm not sure how that's supposed to be measurable or reliable.
I don't need to know my calories at all, my metabolic system can be a complete black box, and as long as I'm able to do stuff I enjoy without feeling groggy, eat almost whatever I want, and just sacrifice the timing, I'm happy.
Exactly. Try to stay under your daily calorie quota eating just processed carbs/sugar and you're gonna have a bad time. Will you still lose weight? Sure, if you can actually withstand feeling hungry constantly. Compare that to the same # of calories from veggies and fat and most people will tend to feel much more satisfied overall. I've been doing keto for 12 weeks along with intermittent fasting and this has been the case for me. I can easily get a sizable daily calorie deficit without really trying and rarely feel hungry.
You seem focused on the physics and materialist viewpoint, but it seems like you are taking that line of reasoning just far enough where we can be judgmental and snarky about "secrets."
What if we take your thinking a little farther and think about the brain chemistry and drives that affect behavior. We are just materialistic machines, right?
Ever seen a sick person who just doesn't want to eat? Or a skinny person with little interest in food? Ever try to hold your breath for 3 minutes? This should, in theory, for the average person be possible. But for some reason it is really really hard.
What if, these diets don't affect the physics of weight loss, they affect the hunger drive--the chemicals in the brain? Do we still get to ride our moral high-horse then?
Or what if there are drives and chemicals in the brain and even the metabolism itself fights back.
> Or a skinny person with little interest in food?
And yes, that's me all the time.
What i'm saying is, everyone has a resting metabolic rate. That rate is relatively stable among the entire human population. If you eat more than your metabolic rate, you gain weight. Less, and you lose weight.
Most readers on hacker news are saying "duh ngngngng, but you're oversimplifying". Correct, I am. But the reason for that is I believe most Americans (maybe other countries too), do not believe the information I just presented. Most Americans think if they are fat that their resting metabolic rate must be 1500 calories different from most skinny people.
I think this creates a sense of hopelessness. "No matter what I eat, i'll be fat. But no matter what ngngngng eats, he stays skinny!" Even though the reality is my metabolism is average, and the referenced overweight person probably has a similar metabolism as me.
This is plain denial, and is not the view expressed in the article. Anyone who reads and understands the article, and the purported benefits isn't likely to simultaneously hold that inane view.
You are probably confusing BMR and RMR; Basal Metabolic Rate is a reasonably constant function of age, weight, body composition, and gender for healthy, non-pregnant adults.
RMR varies considerably even for an individual based on a wide range of factors, including emotional state.
> Most Americans think if they are fat that their resting metabolic rate must be 1500 calories different from most skinny people.
And they are quite possibly right; fitness lowers RMR with the same BMR, and a 300 lb 6’0” man has a ~900 kcal higher BMR than a 150 lb man of the same height under te adultos used in simple BMR calculators. And there are a number of other ways that being overweight contributes to or is correlated with factors than contribute to different RMR (and in some cases BMR).
As you yourself acknowledge, it’s not that simple. You use calorie counting to stay on track — but that’s another secret to weight loss, isn’t it? You may not think of it that way because it works for you (which is great by the way), but that’s what it is.
But now we’re getting to the meat of the issue. Eating fewer calories than you burn results in weight loss, but how? We should be focusing on the methods that work for many people. If we know what they are, we can advise people attempting to lose weight to try them and hopefully most wont have to try too many before they find one that works for them.
As far as I can tell, the three methonds that work well for many people are: (1) strict calorie counting (usually app + food scale), (2) intermittent fasting — which is what this article is about — and (3) keto.
Of course, it’s fair to scoff at and criticize the methods that usually don’t work well especially when results are oversold especially in money-making schemes. But this guy is just promoting IF in a fair and reasonable way.
Also, there is a reasonable chance IF has health benefits beyond weight loss, which is potentially a reason to prefer it over calorie counting (although I found that when calorie counting I was effectively doing a mild IF anyway)
This suggests that you might be able to take pairs of people, one who is overweight and one who is underweight, and help both of them by simply arranging for them to eat every meal together and do all their snacking together.
For each meal or snack, each buys or prepares what they normally would, but before they actually consume the food, they
each exchange half of their food with the other.
There...an easy to follow diet, without strict calorie counting, that should move the overweight person to a lower weight and put some weight on the underweight person.
You could probably build a reality TV show around this. Half the contestants would be people wanting to lose weight, and half would be people trying to gain, with the lowest weight person in the first group being substantially heavier than the highest weight person in the second group.
Each week, there would be challenges and contests which determine priority for picking who your eating partner will be for the next week.
Pick the contestants from a wide range of culinary cultures and ethnic and religious backgrounds so that some potential pairings would be difficult for the participants, and so doing well in the challenges is important.
I didn't understand the information in my original comment at the time, but it occurred to me it might make a fun documentary to have me live with someone morbidly obese for a month and eat everything they eat when they eat it and see if I gained weight.
When you consider your glycogen reserves, carb vs fat metabolism, insulin, ghrelin and other hormones, you get a rather complex machine. And what's really frustrating is that you are technically correct, in a sense. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. But that simplification borders on the dangerous. What's missing is that your body is not some passive observer, but an active participant, trying its best to help you survive.
Your body is amazingly good at adjusting how much you burn. When you cut calories, say 500 a day, your body will tend to compensate by burning a little less by reducing its temperature, by reducing fidgeting, by reducing your mood even! You'd need to cut 500 calories ABOVE that difference. So you end up having to cut closer to 750-1000 calories per day to get the same effect. Whereas when you fast, your metabolism rather obnoxiously tends to rise.
It ends up being healthier (and much easier) to eat 3500 calories less in one go, rather than splitting the difference across 7 days.
The linked page talks about this quite a bit - Trying to control for hunger, fullness, desire to eat, etc.
"This was a randomized crossover, isocaloric and eucaloric study. That is, all patients did both arms of the study eating the same foods and the same calories and then compared against themselves. ... Those who restricted late-night eating had less desire to eat, but also less capacity to eat. They couldn’t eat more at night even if they wanted to. That’s amazing, because now we are working with our body to lose weight instead of constantly fighting it. "
Respectfully, I'm not really sure I understand how your critique applies to this article?
The point of the article is, the timing of feeding vs fasting leads to differences in fat storage.
The work of Dr Fung, among others, suggests that concentrating eating into a few (4-8) hour period per day causes better outcomes than feeding during the entire waking period.
Same thing with the balance of macronutrients. Tuning the ratio of fat:protein:carbohydrate can make a diet more filling and more sustainable on fewer calories. This enables that "calories in / calories out" rule to actually work and cause reduction in stored body fat.
Yes, but you can get most of the way there just by counting for a while, so that you build a model in your head for how many calories different foods have. Unless you've counted before, the results can be surprising. Stopping at Starbucks for a snack and deciding between a cake pop  and the chocolate chip cookie ? The cookie has 380 more calories.
Thinking about grabbing a quick lunch and trying to decide between a burger from Shake Shack or a burrito at Chipotle? That burrito could easily have 1200+ calories . The burger has 530.  (A bowl without rice at Chipotle, on the other hand, can have as few calories as the burger. So, again, knowing that difference can help you make better choices.)
These are just random examples from my own life, recently. Knowing these differences makes a difference (especially over the course of many meals).
1) We snack more now than we did 50 years ago and those extra calories are probably why we're fat.
2) Reducing the window of time that you eat during the day reduces your desire to eat and your ability to consume.
I'm not sure how you took that as perpetuating a secret to weight loss.
That's why people start to gain weight as they grow old, even though they eat the same. It involves testosterone/estrogen and an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase.
This is just a variation of the thyroid problem reasoning. Hormone changes with age or thyroid issues might change your resting metabolic rate over time by 100-200 calories per day (a single candy bar of calories). But that doesn't curse you to be fat, which is what I am trying to disprove. You will then need to adjust your intake/exercise level accordingly to the new resting metabolic rate.
Have you ever wondered why men and women tend to put on weight differently? The same enzyme is involved. For men it's more active around the waist. For women, around the thighs.
For a thorough treatment of this topic, I recommend the book Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. It goes into the biology of why we get fat. Note that it's pretty strong against carbs, so depending on your beliefs, you might not like it. Although, I have to say, it makes a pretty convincing case on why we should lower carbs intake.
Unfortunately that is not true. Different foods are metabolised differently. It is not just "calories in, calories out".
There are tons of people out there intaking less calories than their BMR and not losing weight because they have thyroid issues, are insulin resistant, etc.
I talk about a lot of this stuff with nutrition experts on my podcast http://peak-human.com and am getting the author of this article on soon.
Macro content does matter and not all calories are created equal.
Calories are actually an incredibly crude measurement of metabolism energy, as our stomachs are not furnaces. Gasoline and wood have tons of calories, but no usable energy for humans.
Less hunger, less calories.
The whole discussion revolves around losing weight while diet and nutrition is not really about that. It’s about how to eat to stay healthy. Not being obese is just a part of that.
If you consider the bigger scope you’ll realize that despite the fact it came out from Neil deGrasse Tyson mouth, in this context it’s just a stupid thing to say.
For more than a decade I had been fasting intermittently. I ate one very huge meal everyday. Typical Indian meal with fair bit of non-veg included. I was not in the best health possible.
A year ago, I got rid of non-veg from my diet. Things improved a bit, but I wanted better results. One month ago, I went fully raw - only raw fruits and no vegetables. I lost many pounds and everybody notices, my sinus troubles have vanished, I feel and look good overall.
I eat more than ever, but am losing weight.
What's so terrible about burgers? From what I can see they're much less harmful than just obesity in and of itself.
Downvoting me will not change facts.
Doesn't sound at all like empty calories to me. Considering that most raw vegetables have poor bioavailability (so most of the nutrients you eat from raw foods don't get absorbed), I would posit that a good burger is healthier than 90% of raw food meals...And moreover, than you could simply add the raw food to a burger to make it instantly superior to any equivalent raw food meal of the same weight/mass or calorie count.
Look around you. If these things were so healthy, why is the population getting sicker by the day?
Hell, the Eskimos ate a diet almost entirely meat-based for hundreds of years. It wasn't until they were introduced to fruits that they began developing diseases like diabetes. Steve Jobs' health nose-dived once he switch to the fruitarian diet; research now shows that the fructose and glucose in fruits is in fact the number one preferred fuel source for cancer cells, which is why the current dietary advice is for cancer patients to go on low carb or ketogenic diets.
The greatest athletes in history eat omnivorous diets; during his record-setting Olympics run, Michael Phelps ate thousands of calories of fast food each day. Few professional athletes are vegetarians, and no elite athletes are fruitarians. All of our most famous scientists, including Einstein and Hawking, ate balanced diets that included substantial amounts of meat. The evidence, and thousands of years of human history, speaks for itself.
People have been smoking for thousands of years. Smoking causes cancer was proved just 50-60 years ago. Is our species dead? Baked, fried, grilled food have heavy amounts of acrylamide, a carcinogen. Read the Swedish study.
> Eskimos ate a diet almost entirely meat-based for hundreds of years
This is a myth. Do some research.
> research now shows that the fructose and glucose in fruits is in fact the number one preferred fuel source for cancer cells
If one already has cancer, sure. They are the preferred fuel source for all cells because they are so easy to process. Cancer cells too use them. Credit cards are great for us, fraudsters too like them...
Research shows everything except the root-cause and cure for cancer.
> Michael Phelps ate thousands of calories of fast food each day.
That is moronic in the long-term. Short-term benefits of steroids in muscle-building are well documented too.
> Few professional athletes are vegetarians, and no elite athletes are fruitarians
Indian wrestlers are vegetarians. Some of them world famous.
You are absolutely wrong.
> All of our most famous scientists, including Einstein and Hawking, ate balanced diets that included substantial amounts of meat.
Ramanujan, one of the greatest Mathematicians, was a vegetarian. So are most Indian Brahmin scientists and mathematicians of today and of all eras. You are absolutely wrong.
The only thing I can think of is the bun which can be replaced with a lettuce wrap or salad bed.
Another possibility: only eat naturally blue foods. Or only eat foods beginning by 'K' (a different one each day of the week).