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Exercise, fasting shown to help cells shed defective proteins (news.harvard.edu)
255 points by prostoalex 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 232 comments



Fasting is possibly the most effective and powerful health tool I have come across. The only issue I have had with fasting is the intense energy levels I get during a fast make it hard to sit in an office 8 hours. My primate brain screams at me to get out and hunt/gather. Kinda stressful. I can't drink as much coffee either because I'm already wired.


My sleep patterns get completely messed up on my fasts. I'll sleep for 4 hours and then wide-awake. I switch back to normal eating and I get a full 8hrs sleep that night.

It made me think I was doing something wrong but then the more I thought about it, maybe I just don't need more than those 4hrs of sleep when I'm fasting.


This was mentioned in Matthew Walker's book "Why We Sleep." Ghrelin and dopamine levels are high which keep you awake. It is suspected to be an evolutionary boost that you are alert more in order to find food.


A lot of people can't sleep when hungry, that's not uncommon.


The actual feeling of being hungry doesn't persist when fasting.

There's a phase, but it passes. It's fairly well known that operating in fat-burning mode puts one in a different head space. It's one of the features commonly touted by advocates of the ketogenic diet, which experientially is very similar. There's a mental alertness and clarity, in my experience it's accompanied by elevated energy levels as well.

It seems to me that it arguably benefits the species to fire on all cylinders in periods of scarcity, as it improves chances of locating food before starvation. In periods of plenty, there's no urgent need, so a more conservative baseline mode of operating is advantageous as it saves fuel as fat for the scarcity periods. Humans didn't evolve with grocery stores and refrigeration, scarcity was a regular and mortal issue, our bodies evolved to address it.

Whenever I fast it feels like I'm on a sustained upper of sorts, once the hunger phase passes. It's kind of like being permanently wired, keyed up, sometimes a little over eager. And yeah it can interfere with going to sleep, similar to drinking coffee late in the day. It's not a problem in my experience if the day is spent being physically active though. Which I think makes perfect sense if we accept that this is an evolutionary trait improving odds of finding/killing a meal. We're supposed to be actively locating next meals when awake in this mode, not sedentary.

I've found it to be a valuable life hack and would argue everyone should at least be familiar with the experience enough to know the initial hunger phase is short-lived and what follows afterwards isn't unpleasant at all, and actually advantageous in some aspects. There are many activities where not having to bother with food/cooking/eating for a few days is game-changing, this combined with elevated energy levels and alertness as well? It's like magic. I never take food on day hikes anymore for instance. Instead I don't eat for the 24-hours prior and just bring water. I'm well clear of the hangry phase, and feel like running the entire thing (and if I'm alone, often do), it's unreal. There's plenty of fat on my person to last weeks of fasting.


I'm a very experienced faster, been doing it on and off for 17ish years; my longest fast was five days. It's not true (for me) that "the actual feeling of being hungry doesn't persist when fasting."

When I fast I'm fucking hungry, and that doesn't go away, though it becomes a bit more manageable; the intensity of the hunger waxes and wanes.

>It's fairly well known that operating in fat-burning mode puts one in a different head space... There's a mental alertness and clarity, in my experience it's accompanied by elevated energy levels as well

Definitely never experienced anything like this. Quite the opposite really.

Though I do enjoy the sheer uncomfortableness I feel when fasting in a weird sort of way, almost like feeling it makes the feed state feel so much better.


That's not consistent with my experience at all.

Maybe there's a significant diet/lifestyle component? For example I don't derive much of my happiness from the food I eat when not fasting. I have known multiple people over the years who eat almost exclusively comfort foods and it's the only thing keeping them out of depression. They would probably be very agitated by a multi-day fast.

My diet is pretty restricted in general, there's not a whole lot missing after the transition into fasting in terms of my daily life experiences and rewards. It's mostly a small burden has been removed.


I'm with you. My mental alertness and clarity during fasting is me being hungry, angry and impatient. When the hunger wave goes away, I'm left with angry and impatient. So yes, productivity rises.

Maybe when people who are naturally aloof and easy-going are fasting, they get alertness and clarity. I'm already a somewhat aggressive person maybe it pushes me a bit too far.

My coworker and I are very good friends. When went on a restrictive diet for a month, we both were hangry all the time and eventually she stop talking to me (even though I'm her boss). When we look back at that month, we can laugh, but at the time we had no idea we acting like that. A third coworker just rolled her eyes at us because she knew what was going on.


What's your body fat percentage?


Yeah, one of the reasons I switched to a low-carb, sometimes zero carb, diet is for that constant "up" feeling.

I was about to add that I've never tried fasting, but I just realised that a lot of people do this "intermittent fasting" stuff where you don't eat for sixteen hours. I normally eat dinner at 5:30 pm and breakfast around 9 am, so I guess I'm almost there? I've never noticed any real benefits though.


I remember reading that as blood sugar drops, the body releases adrenaline which causes the release of glucose into the blood stream.

I wonder if that is what happens to cause wakefulness?


I do not awaken hungry.


Do you usually wake up hungry when not fasting?


I wonder, is it that your body is worried about getting food and will cut off sleep to give you more time to find it, or is it that the build up of chemicals like adenosine(which seems to play a role in sleepiness, and gets cleared out during sleep.) in the body has slowed so that less sleep is required?



My guess is mostly increased hormone production and energy saved from the digestive process.


Same here. Worse, I've even observed my body has difficulty producing enough heat to warm my bed. Also, when I do an important sport effort I often have troubles sleeping the next night.


Same here, I sleep less when I eat little. But I don't feel any downsides to sleeping less that way, so I suspect it's normal.


What time did you fast? Shift the eating window to later in the day. Eat a few hours before sleep.


Not sure what you mean. I do 62+ hours for the most part, each fast.


I assumed you were intermittent fasting (16 - 20 hours per day). 62+ hours is extreme.


Glad to know I'm not the only one.


I have noticed this as well.


I have recently gone from 1 day water-fasting to 7-days water-fasting at a time. The first 3 days are the hardest. On 7th day, I was still completely full of energy and felt like I could have easily gone to two full weeks (which I didn't just to avoid risk).

Has anyone here tried 2 full weeks of water fasting? Any extra precautions to take?


My record is 12 days. I start intensely craving things for their electrolyte content late in the week, and like you, I'll eat a sofa cushion on day 3, but after, it's smooth sailing and the brain sort of gives up being manic about food.

I'll crave things like pickle juice. Clearly the body wants its salts. It's amazing how good it is as signaling the things it needs, when it needs them.

My wife will make some really appalling beverage for me, containing pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, lite salt, and I think lemon juice. It terrifies me to think about. On a fast, though? I'll literally drink it by the quart and want more.


You can supplement with Sodium(table salt or baking powder)+Potassium('nosalt'/salt replacement) in water.


I just tried to do a 48-hour fast and only made it to 24 before I had to eat. I felt dizzy, irritable and couldn't concentrate on anything other than my hunger.

How do people make it past this?


Stay busy, distract yourself with interesting things.

I have done 3-4 days water fast a few times out of curiosity. In my case, the hunger cravings diminshed after 48 hours or so.

However, I've never feel better, worse, or different from the experience. No extra energy, no extra ability to focus, no changes in sleep, no excessive fatigue, etc. Other than the hunger, I felt normal.

I am convinced that fasting is a fad and may have placebo effect if you think it will.

Addition: I have used a 48-72 hour fast as a precursor to a longer-term low carb/keto diet (for weight loss). The fast will get the excess sugar out of your system and you'll be able to get into ketosis quickly.


> I am convinced that fasting is a fad and may have placebo effect if you think it will.

... most of the effects can be verified with blood tests...


"I am convinced that fasting is a fad and may have placebo effect if you think it will."

or... different people respond differently to it.


It will sound almost confrontational, but you literally have to force yourself not to eat. I'm not going to pretend it's easy, but that's the way to do it. The feeling will go away once you get past that stage of not being able to think of anything else but food.


I've found short term fasting to be like a muscle I have to exercise. Skipping a meal with abundant calories around me was hard. I had to start off small (skipping one meal) and slowly work up to slightly longer fasts (skipping the next meal, etc). I think we all have different physiologies and different mental adaptations (certainly for me hunger is partly an emotion, a desire to satiate that only bears a passing resemblance to how many calories my body needs) though and what works for me might not work for you.


You get in a group.

If everybody around you feels as miserable, but they are not worried, it's way reassuring :) Bonus if you are in an isolated place making temptations hard.

Another thing is that you should avoid hard things in your first fast, such as working, reading complex material, filling administrative papers, etc. Take the time to rest, watch movies, listen to music, etc. The first two fasts I kept my job, and I didn't benefit as much as the next where I decided to take it easy.

Surprisingly, walking 2 to 3h a day helps a lot to feel less shitty, although you should not do it alone the first time you fast.

Once you are used to it, it does not necessarily because less shitty the next time. But you know what's up, and so it's easier.

One thing though, is that fat people and people with bad food habits will have a harder time.


For me it's sheer willpower and the more you do it the easier it gets (hunger can be very dependent on what your body expects).


Your body produces a hormone called ghrelin which controls your hunger levels. It produces it based on your eating patterns and the time of day.

When you fast, your ghrelin levels peak in the first 24 hours, but after that, they steadily decline. A lot of people don't even feel hungry anymore after about day three.


Don't try. Many people cannot handle this for a variety of reasons.

If you can't handle a keto diet you might have issues.


Question: why? Why not to do more shorter fasts rather than a long one? Unless you're heavily obese and need to shave weight quickly, what's the upside?

In Jung's book, I think I can remember the 'safe' fasting period was about five days at most, when you go over that you should take precautions.

Do you expect that a longer fasting can bring more rewarda than multiple, shorter fasts?


I've done many 30-day water fasts and up to 10 days of dry fasting periods.

I used to get routine blood work done every 7 days while water fasting, but I don't do it anymore.

The "healing crisis" typically begin around the 12-16 day marks, so just expect them and embrace the healing :)


I'm curious, do you take potassium and sodium supplements while water-fasting?


I typically put pink salt in my tea, does not taste great but after a few days it's legitimately satisfying. Amazing how your standards can change so quickly in desperation.


Why pink? For the iron?


Yes, typically on the 4th day.


I've gone as far as 20 days. It gets a little bit more difficult at 14+ days, but it's not terribly uncomfortable.

Medically one probably ought to get advice prior to trying it.


Refeeding has to be done carefully after extended fasts.


Why? What are the risks?



So basically as long as you're starting out a healthy well-nourished person you can just get on with it.


I don't think that's great takeaway advice or an accurate summary. It may not intentionally be so, but it comes off as dangerous and reckless. The NIH article suggests that anyone who fasts for 10+ days is considered an at-risk group. OP asked about fasting for 14 days.


Any tips/sources?


Not scientific, but this is tried and simple tip from traditional Ramadhan fast-breaking in Tunisia. We start with some dry fruits (usually dates) and olive oil (or butter), then some soup. I think the chewing first gets your body ready and the soup is there to ease the stomach into whatever your regular diet is.


Thank you.

Are there specific soups typically used? Or just any soup will do?


Start small with easy to digest foods, and reintroduce food slowly.

> Any patient with negligible food intake for more than five days is at risk of developing refeeding problems.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440847/


Thank you!


I'm curious. Why would you possibly want to do this?


For the reasons described in the linked article :)

This is just the latest of many studies that provides clinical evidence for what people have anecdotally reported for millennia: occasional fasting makes people feel healthier and seems to make their bodies work better.


> Fasting is possibly the most effective and powerful health tool I have come across.

What healthy changes have been observed? Has your doctor noted changes? Do you couple this with exercise?


The first time I fasted 4 years ago, it cleared up the brain fog (for lack of a better description) that had been an ongoing issue for about a year prior to that. The difference was extremely noticeable and happened overnight. Since then I've always noticed increased mental clarity and energy after fasting (minimum 24 hours - strictly water only).


So no real changes other than the lifting of a psychological "fog"?


Increased mental clarity, energy and feeling of wellbeing is quite real. What exactly are you expecting to happen within 24 hours? Super powers? 10 years increased lifespan?


I was hoping for information on the effects or longer term, repeated fasting, as the article lays it out. It would seem that 24 hours of fasting has the same effects as going for a jog.


Not the same as going for a jog. I had been regularly exercising intensely for 10 years prior to that. It's not the same effect. To understand the longer term or scientific viewpoint, there is an abundance of research on the benefits of caloric restriction. Just Google it (on http://scholar.google.com/).


What about muscle loss? I haven't tried fasting because I don't want to lose muscle mass. Maybe my concern is unfounded?


Plenty of bodybuilders do fasting, especially intermittent fasting. Make sure you get the nutrients you require before and after a fast and combine with resistance training and you have no reason for concern (IANAN)


> Plenty of bodybuilders do fasting, especially intermittent fasting.

I know that they do IF, but do we have examples of bodybuilders that do 3+ day regular fasts? I'm not aware of any. IF can simply be a neat way to calorically reduce, but legitimate multi-day fasting is another beast entirely.


I’m on mobile, so can’t easily find it right now. Some research has shown that IF can lead to to increase production of HGH. That in turn led to an increase in muscle mass with no other changes. We all know how hard it is to control nutrition studies though, so I suggest you search for yourself.


Personally I haven't noticed any reduction in strength doing 8 hour time restricted eating. I've hit my most recent PRs doing this. For reference I'm decently strong with squat/bench/deadlift being 470/320/545 lbs.


A 500+ lb deadlift is no joke, nice work. Conventional or sumo?

Regarding the fasting time, I think there's a big difference between the IF you are doing and eg the multi-day fasts people here are talking about. They don't sound helpful for strength sports.


Thanks! I pull conventional, I'm no good at sumo.

I would agree that multi-day fasts would not be good for strength sports. There doesn't seem to be a authoritative source but LeanGains states you won't lose muscle if you're fasting less than 24 hours. (https://leangains.com/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked-major-u...)


I agree. IF is something I think people can just fit into their lives. It appears to have tons of benefits with little downside.

Longer fasts are something different entirely. They have their place, but are more of an event that must be planned. Personally, I like things I can do for life and turn into habits. I don't see how I could make 3-7 day fasts a habit.

Oh, and I'm not the person you asked, but my best DL was conventional 525lb weighing 199 :)


Not an expert but I would not think you would suffer much muscle loss in a short (less than 1 week) fast. It takes longer than that for your metabolism to transition into starvation mode. Maybe there's some risk if your body fat is already very low.


> https://www.lifehack.org/389060/how-much-muscle-mass-can-you...

It looks like you can lost a fair amount of muscle mass, and that you lose the most muscle mass early, so 1 21 day fast would be better for you than 3 7 day.


Probably unfounded, unless you're in the uncommon niche of having very low body fat and not exercising regularly (a few days a week). Depending on how long you fast, of course. 12-24 hours isn't going to make all that much difference.


I can't find the links, but I recall that muscle atrophy is minimal until around 3 days.


> My primate brain screams at me to get out and hunt/gather. Kinda stressful. I can't drink as much coffee either because I'm already wired.

Try taking 200mg-400mg of L-theanine with each cup of coffee. It'll temper the anxiety feeling you're having.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681988

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18006208


Or replace the coffee with strong green tea with high theanine content.


I'm not trying to disparage fasting, who am I to say it hasn't helped you, or others?

That being said you call it a health tool, and then say it produces stress, which has been documented as being extremely detrimental to health. You also mention, being unable to focus, and being wired.

I'm glad it's helped you, but this endorsement makes me question the health benefits more actually, and makes me less interested in trying it.


This is only one study, but there's some evidence that stress and the belief that stress is detrimental are correlated with detrimental health effects [1]. In other words, there may be a negative placebo effect at play where its less to do with the stress and more to do with how you respond to it.

Now, consider that fasting (and, really, consistent exercise as well) is correlated with high self-control and an internal belief that you're doing this to improve your physical health. The worst kind of Stress is stress from sources you can't control, but you have complete control over what you eat.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374921/


> That being said you call it a health tool, and then say it produces stress, which has been documented as being extremely detrimental to health.

The dose makes the poison. Not enough stress has been shown to be extremely detrimental to health too (Fitness training produces stress. Take your pick of studies showing that you should still do it).


Experience the same, have water fasted 5 days before and doing it twice a year. Three options here

1. Accept you will seemingly need less sleep and go to bed later, use any sleepless time in bed as an opportunity to read and meditate.

2. Be extra careful with sleep hygiene.

3. Use hot then ice cold showers before bed, and possibly sleep aids spanning from 1 mg melatonin to 7.5 mg doxylamine (very safe, but gives you a hangover due to long half-life, maybe not so bad if you feel too wired) to benzodiazepines or hypnotics like ambien (shorter half-lifes, more effective, ideally with assistance from a doctor).

Some argue that sleeping less is a good stress during a fast, but I haven't seen any good evidence to support that.


I am curious about fasting as well, and have been considering trying it. Can you point me to some practical advice on how to get started on fasting that worked for you and some research to back up the claims.


You can search Youtube for some Joe Rogan podcasts on fasting. He's had on a few different people who discuss how they IF.

The thing that clicked for me with IF, was instead of thinking about fasting for X hours, I think about having a 9 hour window each day when I can eat. While not perfect, I slide this window around if I have stuff going in the morning or at night.

Whatever hunger I would feel in the mornings stopped pretty quickly. I workout first thing, so I was already doing most of my workouts on an empty stomach. I had figured out awhile ago I had much more energy before that first meal.

The hardest part for me was skipping milk in my coffee in the mornings since that would break my fast. It's still the place I trip up, but if I can go 4/7 mornings that's a win.

As an aside, initially I also used hunger as a mental exercise. I would think that there are people who are truly starving, and I can't go 15 hours without food? Toughen up. I don't really notice hunger much anymore so that exercise didn't last.


Late to the game, but paring fasting with low-carbs, so you don't have the insulin/energy spikage (which makes it harder to fast), have been useful techniques for me.


I don't know what your day is like, but for myself I started during the work week by doing intermittent fasting. I would stop eating (in particular, no calories, so I stopped drinking too!) by 8pm the night before and then do not eat before 11-noon the next day. This gave me an 8-9 hour window to eat. It was only rough the first few days, but if you stick with it, you might find yourself doing intermittent fasting on the weekends without even trying.


I do similarly for many years, my no_calories window is between 10pm and 12-noon. This is very simple, just avoid any breakfast and drink some water instead.

Also important to quit coffee, I find it improves a lot of things (after a week of withdrawal symptoms).


What improvements have you noticed after quitting coffee? I ask, because I drink coffee in the morning during the fast. From everything I've read, it doesn't break the fast.

Btw, I don't use coffee as a sleep substitute. I wake up every morning without an alarm. I drink coffee for the taste. I simply love it.


>> What improvements have you noticed after quitting coffee?

Better mood and feeling more energized through the day. Better vision. The latest is quite strange, but I can really see better, probably a side effect of improved concentration and calmness.


Hmm, I always heard to do the opposite, to eat breakfast even when not too hungry (which I never am in the morning).


Possibly an idea promoted by breakfast cereal manufacturers. Dietary recommendations are corrupted by industry.


Dr. Jason Fung's books: Obesity Code and Complete Guide to Fasting. The first book makes the case for it. The second book was better for the "how-to". Both refer to a lot of research.


I have been using an App called Zero which (importantly for your question) has a "Learn" section which allows you to read up on fasting. (as an example they link to this: https://getkion.com/fasting-decoded/

I started with the 'skip breakfast' style of fasting, which was good, but then I did my homework on the different 'types':

16:8 16 hours no food: 8 hour 'feeding window' (generally normal dinner, no breakfast, later lunch)

18:6 - this is where I believe most Intermittent fasters go.

20:4 - I've done this a bit, and it works for me, but I can't do it more than once or twice(!) a week.


What is your fasting regimen like?

Do you make any other alterations to your diet?


There is no diet. You stop eating. Drink only water (some people allow for coffee/tea but I think if you're being strict about it that should be avoided also).


I meant in general. Many people on intermittent fasting adjust their diet off-fast in various ways to compensate for nutrition they may have missed (i.e. increased protein intake in the following meal, etc)


Some people break their fasts with a high protein meal for some hormonal benefits, but there's no "missing nutrition". Some people over eat when breaking their fasts early in their adaption. Otherwise: our digestive cycles take a long time to work.


I don't think that's true, or at least the 'Many' here is probably a minority. IF doesn't necessitate any changes to diet.


Tried skipping meals for curiosity's sake. When hunger reflex strikes (boredom + 12 or 4pm ..) I try to divert the fulfilling need with activities. As if I could get mental satiety with action instead of nutrients.


As someone new to the concept - what are the goals of fasting? It does not seem like weight loss is a primary driver for most people on this thread?


My non-scientific, and poorly researched understanding is that calories in/calories out is how you manage weight. But digestion itself is also a somewhat 'taxing' processes, and eating 3 square meals a day means you are pretty much constantly digesting food through out the day. For example, if you look into how type 2 diabetes works, your body basically can't produce enough insulin to process the glucose in your system (roughly), so you end up with high blood sugar. One way to deal with it is to reduce total calorie consumption, but it also feels like simply compressing your eating into a smaller window could have similar impacts (i.e. your average glucose levels throughout the day might be lower, even if you are eating a little more).

I wouldn't be surprised if there are other functions and processes in the body benefit (maybe kidneys and the liver benefit from some more 'downtime'). I am not a huge fan of the 'evolution' argument, but I assume our distant ancestors ate meals in somewhat sporadic schedules, so it would kinda make sense that our bodies are tuned to that cadence, as opposed to the constant supply of processed foods that we currently subsist on.


Off-topic, but what's wrong with being unable to drink as much coffee because you already have an equivalent effect? Are you that fond of the taste of coffee?


I don't quite understand the fascination of the HN crowd with intermittent fasting. To me it looks like just another "fad" diet: grand claims, a handful of flawed or limited studies, establishing possible benefits, touted as proof the whole thing is rock-solid.

My feeling is it gives off a certain "body hacking" vibe that HNers are attracted to.


> I don't quite understand the fascination of the HN crowd with intermittent fasting.

Well, have you tried it? Unlike many fad diets there's nothing to buy, no long-term commitment, just one or a few days where you don't eat. You can do some reading to find tricks to make it easier, but all it really takes is willpower. Maybe it will do something for you, maybe not.

> a handful of flawed or limited studies

As much as we worship high quality, large-population, peer-reviewed studies, ultimately the only study that matters is the n=1, yourself - only you can find out what works for you.


>As much as we worship high quality, large-population, peer-reviewed studies, ultimately the only study that matters is the n=1, yourself - only you can find out what works for you.

I understand what you're trying to say but found it funny you tried to conflate real vetted science with "worship" and then said to throw all that out in favor of a personal opinion.


What "works for you" doesn't have to be "personal opinion". You can freely conduct scientific experiments on yourself. Analysis of such experiments is even abnormally easy, because you can ignore issues of drawing from a "sample" population in favor of analysis techniques that are based on the fact that you're taking data from 100% of the population of interest. (You may still be "sampling" data, depending on what you're measuring, but you've still only got one dimension of sampling instead of two then, which is still easier to deal with.)

You just aren't allowed to take the n=1 experiment you just ran and claim it applies to everybody equally.

But if you want to know what works for you, and do not particularly care to publish a scientific paper, you can do experiments freely, and the results are as valid as your experimental methodology and the resulting statistical power justify.

You are also further entitled at that point to trust your n=1 experiment for yourself over any future n=50 experiment in the future, because it doesn't matter whether 35 of 50 people slept better when taking Vitamin C before bed or whatever; what you personally care about is whether you do, and no amount of reading that paper will tell you whether you're going to be in the 35 or the 15.

I've had to experiment on myself like crazy for various reasons. My results are (most likely) utterly inapplicable to you. And I don't care very much about that. You can do your own experiments on you. In the meantime, while I don't know exactly what the parallel universe looks like in which I didn't do these experiments, I am very confident (95%+) parallel Jerf is in pretty bad shape and almost certainly on some rather powerful and nasty meds that he does not in fact need to be on that are actually making things worse in the long term.

My experiments have been informed by various papers related to my condition, so it's not like that science is useless; far from it! But, again, no amount of reading papers about Celiac disease and how taking more Taurine helped 80% of people's hearts work better will tell me whether I'm in the 80% or the 20%.


I'm curious about your thoughts on Taurine (which I'm currently supplementing for eye health).


It had an immediate and significant positive effect on my heart, which at ~38 years old was starting to seriously misbehave. (Most likely paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, although after wearing a heart monitor for two weeks the doctors declined to diagnose. At this point my heart was misbehaving badly enough that I straight-up was not getting any quality sleep, just to give you an idea of how thump-ety-thump we're talking here.)

Re my comment about science still being useful, there are certainly papers about taurine supplementation being useful for people suffering from atrial fibrellation. IIRC, I did not find any references on that for Celiac specifically, but since Celiac is basically "generalized failure to properly absorb nutrients" it's not much of a leap to assume it's related.

For heart purposes, it should be matched with 1/2-1/3rd (from the looks of it; it's about as well tested as most dosages, which if you dig into them, are often a lot more guess-and-check than you might like) as much L-Arginine by mass, i.e., I take about 3g Taurine and 1g L-Arginine about three times a day. (I'm a big guy, but the papers often tested twice that, too, so it shouldn't be a dosage issue.)

It was ultimately only a part of the nutrient cocktail I ultimately ended up needing, but it was/is a very important part of it. On those occasions I run out of it, I can tell less than 24 hours later.

There are worse things than Celiac; at least I can supplement my way out of the worst aspects of it, and that's not a thing you can say about all chronic conditions. But it still sorta blows; I'm constantly playing nutrient catch-up with my body.


Thanks! I'm already doing L-Citrulline (vs. L-Arginine) but wasn't aware of the synergistic aspect there.

For general gut health there's a bunch of interesting stuff about diet resistant starch as a probiotic -- not sure if that's on your radar.


Perhaps that was an overly antagonistic choice of words, but when you consider the way such studies are analyzed, summarized, and reconstituted for consumption by the public, all nuance is lost and all that's left is a generic guideline that may have little or no relevance for any given person.


A population study is not "real vetted science".


"... only you can find out what works for you."

How do you know one specific thing worked, and it wasn't something else? Or just mere coincidence? As someone who has Crohn's disease I have lost track of the times someone has said "oh, blah worked for this person" etc etc.... all anecdotes, with no way of deciding whether there are side-effects that need to be weighed-up. No thanks.


What's the alternative? Inaction until science figures out the human body?

At the end of the day, it's just you doing what works for you. When you do find something that works for you, it's just another anecdote that won't work for everyone else, but it's hard to argue with what makes you happier.

Also, it's not like eating less is exotic or risky. It's one of the many things I'd try if I was suffering.


Treat it like a study. Only change one variable at a time and observe changes. Note any potential confounding variables. You talk as if only scientists can science or apply the scientific method, which is entirely the wrong view to take. It should be something everybody is capable of using and generally everybody is if they're genuinely interested in doing so. I've been in academia for a long time, what we do isn't that special.

We should be (and there are people who do) encouraging people to learn how their diets, their behaviors affect them emotionally, physiologically and psychologically. Scientific studies really aren't as applicable to the general population as one would like to believe. So the only way to learn is to experiment on themselves.


> As someone who has Crohn's disease I have lost track of the times someone has said "oh, blah worked for this person" etc etc.... all anecdotes

This is the point, a sample n=1 is only valid for that one person. You can only make educated guesses on what to test on yourself, but probably you need something slightly different from everyone else.

I do not know much about your disease, but for a diet is it pretty harmless to experiment if you are not doing anything extreme and keep yourself informed on current science


How do you know one specific thing worked, and it wasn't something else?

Keep a journal.

Try to have an established routine, then try one and only one new thing at a time.

Do a lot of reading to try to develop a mental model to fit it into.


>Do a lot of reading to try to develop a mental model to fit it into.

I have absolutely no idea what you mean by this.


There is a huge amount of info out there these days. Patients often know more about their own condition than most doctors they will meet.

If you have never fasted before, you need to read up on fasting. If you want to make dietary changes, you read up on lots of dietary stuff. Etc.

If you have a specific diagnosis, you can read up on the latest research into that, plus related stuff. For example, I read stuff about genetics and the gut biome because that helps me put things into context.

You do a thing and something happens. You note it and try to figure out what the process is. Was it random? Was it coincidence? Was it causative? If so, how? You build from there.


> ultimately the only study that matters is the n=1, yourself

Isn't this flawed reasoning? You can try a diet, feel good but still be unhealthy in a way that will kill you earlier that your life expectancy.


That's a risk of any course of action (or inaction) a person undertakes. Following your doctors or the government's guidance is no different, just shifting responsibility, and comes with its own risks (e.g. read The Big Fat Surprise).

Pragmatically speaking, would you prefer a shorter life where you feel great, or a longer one where you just feel "OK"? What if we're talking one month? One year?


Only if you use flawed metrics. If you use the same metrics for health and the same methodology of a reasonable scientific paper then you get a purely better result. the gotcha is that it is useless for everyone but you.

A problem would be if you do too many experiments too often, but this you also need to control in n=50.

There is a huge difference between subjectivity and n=1


I don't understand how this is feasible. As a young healthy male I never had my full blood count have values anything other than within reference range. Even when I ate noodles everyday in college because I was broke, or now I eat balanced and healthy unprocessed food, veggies, lean meat etc I have similar blood counts. How do you measure a diet's effect within your lifetime? It seems like even if you look healthy by all measures a normal person is capable of measuring right now, but still be eating unhealthy.


> but still be eating unhealthy. but maybe you are at a good health level while you only eat junk food. Like people who smoke all of their life and have no health issue.


How would you measure the effect of a diet on your lifespan?


Diet researches do not measure lifespans of participants.

Those who do are rare, as they would need to last at least a few decades. IIRC to publish actual research on diet effect on lifespan you need 80 years.

What you do is develop metrics useful to predict lifespan and quality of life and then see the impact of a diet of those metrics. There is nothing you cannot do privately here (using some laboratory for analysis obviously)

I am not saying it is easy and for sure it is error prone, but so is science itself.


In fact, you'd probably feel better longer on a pure hamburger diet than on a pure fasting diet.


I get where you're coming for (you want to draw conclusions for yourself, not for a whole population), but I don't think that is as you paint it.

You are not a good observer of yourself. You have biases and subjectivity when "measuring" yourself, so that makes your own "measurements" of yourself unreliable. Furthermore, there are certain observations you cannot even make. For obvious reasons, you cannot even do something so simple as estimating the effect on life expectancy :).


> You have biases and subjectivity when "measuring" yourself

As do the nurse who draws your blood, the tech who tests it, and the doctor who interprets the results. By all means recruit them to assist in your study, but don't do it in blind faith.

> that makes your own "measurements" of yourself unreliable

Perhaps in some ways and for some metrics, but conversely you are the best at knowing where you experience pain, how you "feel," and how today differs from yesterday.

> you cannot even do something so simple as estimating the effect on life expectancy :)

Well, no more than anyone else can :)


It's not a fad. It has been practiced for thousands of years in religious contexts and was a natural part of life before it was done intentionally. If you think this is based on "a handful of flawed or limited studies" then you need to look again. There is an abundance of solid research on the topic https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20534972


> It has been practiced for thousands of years in religious context

A buddy of mine was wondering when flagellation will be touted as a self-improvement technique in Silicon Valley circles, and it looks like that day is coming sooner rather than later.


People have experienced positive effects from prayer, meditation, and fasting. I don't know if we can add flagellation to the list. Needs more studies.


There is no need for studies, as it's said people are doing it for thousands of years and also it matters what is good for you, not for others. Just quoting from various responses.


To give a serious answer: first you would need some prediction about how it could be useful or healthy, then you would have to check whether this prediction is satisfied in animals or in similar cases.

Here enters the remark about being commonly predicted in the millennia is weakly relevant as it might suggest that we somehow evolved to accommodate this type of diet (obviously this is not a sound argument in general eg anti-vaxxers), self flagellation does not match this criteria as it was not that common and only for very little time.

For example maybe the skin repairing process produce proteins that also lower stress.

Then, most important phase, you should check whether it can be dangerous.

I would guess that there are 0 scientific papers affirming positive effects of self flagellation.


It activates the body's healing processes!


For me IF is just a very effective means of caloric restriction with little downside (I would hesitate to call it a diet, it's just the way I eat). Skipping breakfast means I eliminate ~500 calories from my daily intake which allows me to maintain my weight much easier than if I start eating when I wake up. I don't get hungry before 11am now and I usually eat my first meal at 11:30 am and my last meal at 6pm. I do drink black coffee and water in the mornings though of course. The only downside is sometimes I experience envy watching my kids plowing back oatmeal and bagels in the morning :)


It's difficult to sift through all the bad information about nutrition. It's too important to our health to give up, though. The variance between a good day and a bad day, based on diet, is difficult to overstate (not to mention long-term benefits/risks).

I've had luck reading primary research and doing my own self-experiments. For what it's worth, fasting gives me substantially more energy and clarity of mind. Maybe it does for you too? Or maybe not. Probably worth the experiment.


"It's difficult to sift through all the bad information about nutrition."

True. I tried, got spectacularly confused and gave up. So now I just eat lots of fruit, vegetables and some meat.

I don't eat candy, crisps, fat food of any sort, and nothing processed. No alcohol.

I eat when I'm hungry, and I drink when I'm thirsty (couple coffees in the morning, then only water).

Nobody has been able to convince me there's a better way to eat and drink.


That sounds a lot like the Mediterranean Diet, which most nutritionists seem to agree is healthy. The main exception is the alcohol bit.


Actually, we don't drink that much in Italy and other mediterranean countries. Maybe half a glass of wine, while dining. No binge drinking. I think the drinking patterns do matter.


Yeah, that's what I figured, but the OP said specifically that he doesn't drink alcohol at all.


Eat what our ancestors ate. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, dairy, in reasonable proportions. Ignore all modern artificial junk food (that includes unnatural omega-6 industrialized vegetable oils - soy, rapeseed, etc). Ignore all the dietary advice of the past 100 years. Much of it is corrupt, funded by industry. It was recently discovered that the anti-saturated-fat nonsense was from studies funded by the sugar industry in the 60s.


Here are a few good videos to watch:

Dr. Jason Fung - 'Therapeutic Fasting - Solving the Two-Compartment Problem' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIuj-oMN-Fk

Dr. Georgia Ede - 'Our Descent into Madness: Modern Diets and the Global Mental Health Crisis' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlVfwJ6RQU


Are those videos peer-reviewed?


" don't quite understand the fascination of the HN crowd with intermittent fasting."

I do hope that you will try it. It costs nothing, takes a negative amount of time since you gain at least a meal of free time out of it, and further, many people (like myself) find that it enhances athletic output.

I have never been on a "diet" in my life and have no affinity toward them (or that line of thinking at all).

You'll note that "diets" all focus on new and interesting things to eat ... fasting is the opposite of that (IMO, flawed) line of thinking.


There's health benefits and potential longevity benefits.

I would hardly call fasting a fad. It has been around through the ages.

Here's some legitimate information on a fast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PyyatqJSE

We know enough about some of the mechanisms involved and how it can promote healing the body by offering it a "reset" so-to-speak via autophagy.


Again, please, can you refer me to a peer-reviewed paper, not to a fitness youtube channel? -.-


> a handful of flawed or limited studies

The research on caloric restriction and fasting is wide and deep. I'm curious where you got the impression the research was only a handful of flawed or limited studies?


Please, a reference.



> a handful of flawed or limited studies

Compared to the studies which have been done to support the current eating guidelines the studies on fasting have been wide and deep. Most current eating guidelines are based on a mix of "we though it sounds good", "everyone knows that fat is bad", "my friend from coca-cola told me that and he knows things" or "someone paid me to do the study and made it pretty clear that my future funding depends on the results".


What's your definition of a "fad diet" vs. "non-fad diet"? I'd say all diets are "fad"... They all have grand claims and "proofs" (as soon as there's money in it, everything turns into advertising for a "magic bullet to solve your problems" including diets), and none of them are scientific (even those that have "studies" - most of which are completely false or inconclusive).

On the other hand, fasting has been practiced for at least 1000 years (Ramadan) so at least it's not harmful...


IF is better because unlike fad diets, you aren't actually buying anything new, and the discipline to do the fasting (IMO) helps avoid overeating or unhealthy choices by default.

It is removing something whereas most of the other diets simply want to replace something.


I think the obsession has to do with how prone the HN crowd is to being a bit OCD. Fasting is all about asceticism, and controlling your impulses. This is why it appeals to me, anyhow. Maybe the rest of HN feels differently?


You must not have been here a few years ago when lifting and workout regimens were the talk of the town. Other communities have similar irrational obsessions.


Recently there has been a lot of talk about the intermittent fasting diet (fast 16 hours, eat for 8). My friend is a doctor and started the diet himself a few months ago, and takes his bloodwork every week. He says it's making huge improvements in his cholesterol and other blood levels.

I've been trying myself recently and so far no big changes, although I have lost a couple of pounds. But I think that's just because I had to cut out late night snacking!


Just curious: wouldn't this then show overwhelming health benefits or decreased mortality in people who regularly skip breakfast, and simply eat lunch and dinner?


There's a whole book on the diet with a lot of science, but the very short summary is, no, it doesn't quite work like that. For one, the recommendation is to eat at the beginning of your day (skip dinner not breakfast). But also, most people who eat like that don't actually limit themselves to eight hours. That was basically how I was eating, skipping breakfast, but I was still having a late night snack, and sometimes an early morning snack. I basically just dropped the snacks, but that's not really the right diet.


I've been doing 16/8 for a couple of months now and I was trying to think if I've noticed any changes. The one big one is that I no longer wake up with pain in my hands, wrists, or knees. Other than that, I think having more time in the morning is an unexpected benefit.


I agree. The 16/8 seems to be beneficial from my own personal experience and much more sustainable.


I am curious about how these findings are different than autophagy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autophagy#Repair_mechanism, where the effects of exercise / intermittent fasting in enhancing autophagy are somewhat established.


This wording struck me as odd:

> Study co-investigators included Jinghui Zhao and Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, who is no longer at Harvard.

It turns out that “no longer at Harvard” in this case means stripped of his PhD due to fabricating data, and implicated in 6 other retractions for falsified data.

So...perhaps take this study with a grain of salt?


I started intermittent fasting again this week. I was telling my new coworkers about it and they thought I was crazy. "There's a name for skipping breakfast?"

Made me chuckle because I actually remember periods of time in college/early career where I was probably IFing unintentionally just because I was terrible at feeding myself. I especially remember periods of time where I was so addicted to video games, I would forget to eat. Obviously there are other issues with such a lifestyle, but I wonder how often we sometimes slip into positive diet and exercise habits just as a consequence of external things in our lives.


As someone who's always skipped breakfast more often than not, I too find calling that "fasting" kinda silly. I'd reserve that for going at least a whole day without food, before it deserves much consideration.

I rarely eat breakfast and often skip lunch. I find that when instead of doing that I focus on eating more meals but also driving up my vegetable and fruit intake to as high a % of my calories as I can stand, I feel healthier and have an easier time keeping weight in check.


Malfunctions in the cells’ protein-disposal machinery can lead to the accumulation of misfolded proteins, which clog up the cell

This actually has implications for genetic disorders.

I inadvertently discovered the value of semi fasting. It's called poverty. I sometimes am too poor to afford good quality food and learned while homeless that eating little or nothing for short periods was better for my health than exposing myself to germs and smoke etc to acquire usually low quality meals at soup kitchens.

I have a genetic disorder. Semi-fasting has really helped my condition to an unexpected degree. (I'm not recommending it for my condition. You first need fat reserves.)

I'm very interested in this research. I hope to eventually have a better understanding of the mechanism whereby this is beneficial.


The article speaks about thigh muscle cells showing increased protein breakdown after bicycling[0]. Does the effect only occur in the muscles used? If so, it seems that in order to get the benefit throughout the body, you'd need to deliberately exercise all muscle groups.

[0] "...the researchers analyzed the effects of exercise on cells obtained from the thigh muscles of four human volunteers before and after vigorous biking. Following exercise, the proteasomes of these cells showed dramatically more molecular marks of enhanced protein degradation, including greater levels of cAMP."


How did they monitor it? Did they stab the volunteers or take pieces of proteins from the thigh?


Fasting seems to be incredibly popular here - has anyone combined these longer term (3+ day) fasts with the other point they brought up, exercise, and if so, what has their experience been with that? I'm wondering how performance is affected. I know that a lot of body builders perform intermittent fasting, but I never hear about longer terms.


I've done a bunch of different fasting routines and exercise. There is a performance hit, but if you are not trying to compete it shouldn't be a big deal. For me, running is pretty easy on a fast (even like after 48/72 hours). Lifting weights is harder, so I usually drop the weight and do more volume and spend more time between sets. I think it's something you have to play around with and keep track of how you do with it. Wade in, if you do it at all.


Three or more days is too extreme. I have very positive experience with 14/10 method where I skip eating between 10pm and 12-noon.


I was thinking that 14/10 sounded too generous to get the benefits of fasting usually talked about - turns out there's a difference between men and women where because of hormones women are recommended longer eating windows (starting at 14/10) than men (16/8).


Yeah, intermittent fasting is extremely popular right now, and really 14/10 is just skipping breakfast, but I see people saying they are on longer fasts, so I'm wondering if they can keep up their other healthy activities while doing so.


I’m thinking of doing 8am to 5pm eating window. I need food to look forward to to motivate me out of bed.


Plus, you can hit up the early bird special at Denny's.


Do you mean 10pm to 12pm?


It's extremely difficult to actually exercise over any long period of fasting. Beyond a few days your body just doesn't want to do it. You have mental energy, but physically getting enough energy to go do something beyond walking around gets rough.


I've been experimenting with fasting over the past couple of weeks.

Yesterday I broke a 40-hour fast at lunch, then exercised around 6 hours later.

I definitely didn't feel strong/energetic - but my numbers didn't actually suffer.

That being said, it was a relatively short fast that started when I was glycogen-saturated. A longer fast that starts in ketosis might be different - which is what I'm planning to do next week (60 hours after 5 days of < 20g carbs).


I think your numbers will go down on that one. You can get used to ketosis, many people do, but five days of it and then a fast is going to really suck.


I honestly have no idea - you may be right. I'll report back next week.


I'll be interested to hear. I'm going to start a 14 day water fast in about two weeks, and plan to do some light workouts while doing it.


Just finished a 60 hour fast a few hours ago. 34/M/186cm/86kg. Last week was all keto, 4 weight training sessions and a 5km run on the first fasting day (Sunday, around 18 hours in). Run time was unaffected. First weights session post-fast will be tonight (i.e. after breaking the fast).

The first 24 hours breezed by, but it started getting tough around hour 42. Note this wasn't hunger - I actually wasn't hungry at all. The problem was overall lethargy and feeling foggy/light-headed. I did bounce back after a few hours though, and although I felt very weak around hour 58, mentally I felt fine. Constantly felt very cold, too.

I don't think the lethargy/weakness was due to dehydration (though drinking a lot of water on the second morning helped) or lack of sodium (was ingesting salt regularly). It could be lack of other minerals (potassium/magnesium).

The worst is that it really interferes with my sleep. It takes me hours to get to sleep and then I wake up every couple of hours.

I actually think I'm going to stop fasting for this very reason - it's not like I was doing this for weight loss, I was just experimenting to see how it felt. OMAD/IF will probably give me most of the health benefits of fasting without any of the drawbacks.


That doesn't seem like a strong argument for wanting to fast.


Well, it's a temporary thing..


Same with the effects though, no?


Seems not...


[flagged]


So you keep saying. Have you tried any of these or do you just assume that everything outside of your normal is a fad?


I get that it's extraordinarily popular right now, and I'm skeptical as well that it's markedly better than a simple caloric restriction, but I'm curious as to the people behind the phenomena.


No. It actually has solid science behind it.


Sleeping extra and skipping breakfast before I go to work/school is fasting. Which my dad, friends, and myself have been doing throughout our entire life since maybe grade school.

I'm trying to figure out why calling it intermittent fasting versus skipping breakfast all of sudden makes it almost controversial and a hot topic.


> sudden makes it almost controversial and a hot topic.

Because scientific data suggests it may have health benefits.

Doing intermittent fasting isn't simply skipping breakfast, you have to avoid any calorific consumption during the cycle (e.g. sugar/cream in drinks, snacks, etc). The length of the cycle is also starting to seem important with longer intermittent fasts (or full fasts) being more beneficial to health.

The whole topic remains me of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)[0] in a good way. Both HIIT and IF offer improved health outcomes with minimal investment (both time and effort). They're also scientifically backed. They aren't as effective as their full effort counterparts (e.g. healthy eating, longer exercise), but people seem more willing to try them and they become habits.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_traini...


My personal habit:

1) Skip breakfast completely

2) Zero coffein intake

3) Sunlight exposure: run topless if possible, go outside at noon for about an hour every day. Although it is not an issue for California as for the Northern Europe.

4) No milk (but cheese rarely)

5) No red meat (but fish and poultry sometimes)


Is skipping breakfast really a good choice? If anything I would skip the last meal of day (dinner/supper whatever you call that in English)


It's way easier to skip breakfast than dinner.


It works well for me because I'm not hungry first thing in the morning whereas I'm usually pretty hungry at the end of the day.


Many people have trouble sleeping on an empty stomach but not doing their work. Also night time is socializing time and there is no way that I would skip a supper with friends to fast but skipping breakfast is super easy to do.


Breakfast is relatively recent invention. It is simply against mother nature where we evolved as humans. Your body and brain need few hours of activity to feel hungry and find some food after night sleep.


Current understanding points to the fact that caffeine has no adverse health effects; in fact it might even yield some benefits.


Look into the CYP1A2 gene (which codes for the enzyme by the same name, which is responsible for metabolizing caffeine). People are different (which is why there are limits to large studies of general population) - for some people, caffeine might be helpful while for others it might be harmful. You might find this article on the topic interesting: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coffee-health-benefits_n_3881....


I tried without it and it really improves my mood. I can sleep better, I feel much better. The only problem is withdrawal which takes several days and can be very painful depending on how long and strong you are on this drug.


Do you not drink tea either?


If anyone's interested in effects of long-term water fasts (sizable study over long time, largest data-point is a 41-day water fast): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819235/


Not sure how to do fasting with exercise.

I follow the Russian Sheiko powerlifting training plan, eating around 4500 calories a day. Not sure how my body would react to skipping entire days without eating. If I miss my second late night snack I wake-up famished.


"Not sure how to do fasting with exercise."

You should try it. I predict you will be very surprised.

Not only am I able to complete a power lifting regimen (1.5 hours, squats, deadlifts, basic stuff) in a 16+ hour fasted state but I sometimes find myself having more energy to do the lifts than in a non-fasted state.[1]

In two years I have never needed to stop short a resistance workout due to lack of energy (or whatever I used to worry about before I tried it).

Yes, you will need to more carefully budget those 4500 calories over the non-fasted blocks of time - you'll still need those calorie inputs. I suggest nut butters and avocados but whatever works ...

YMMV.[2]

[1] This is also true for my aerobic running workouts, but to be fair, I cannot do my full blown wrestling workout (60 mins of training followed by 4-6 5min rounds) in a fasted state.

[2] Something I found very surprising as I aged into my forties is that I used to think my exercise regimen(s) were the significant factor in my metabolism and calorie usage. In reality, if you add up how many calories you use lifting weights for 1.5 hours or running 5 miles, etc., it's quite modest ... the major contributor to my very high metabolic rate was just background metabolism. I mention this anecdotally because if you have difficulty without meals it's instructive to really consider how much of that is due to the workouts (which burn a (relatively) small amount of calories) vs. your actual background metabolism. It also suggests that if you have a negative response to IF now, it's worth trying again in five years as your background rate will naturally drop - even if you maintain the same (or higher) athletic output.


I am in my early 30s. I am wondering if you've been able to do this while making a push for higher weights? I'm currently training to move from 1300 total to a 1500 total. Regarding burning calories I agree, I've felt in myself the calories are more to repair/heal after your workouts.

What benefits are there beside increased energy? I don't have a problem with my energy levels on my current regiment, I could do more exercise to burn more off.


"I am in my early 30s. I am wondering if you've been able to do this while making a push for higher weights?"

I'll bet it's not optimal for significant strength gains.

I think it's possible, however, and it's really just a calorie math problem: if you require X calories per day to acquire whatever strength or weight gains you just need to be sure to hit that within 8 or 6 hours.

Which might be challenging, from a digestive standpoint.

I think I use about 3000 calories per day and can get that in two meals (implying a 16 hour fast) without any trouble, but when I do a 24 hour fast (implying one meal) I need to be careful and selective about that one meal ... and I probably go into a net calorie deficit over a 48 hour period as a result...


> I'm currently training to move from 1300 total to a 1500 total

I'm not sure how heavy you are but those are already advanced (elite?) level lifts assuming you mean a 1300lb B/S/DL total. Since you must have been training for a number of years now you're probably going to struggle to get stronger if you're not on a caloric surplus. I'm not an expert though.


Yeah, I'm not sure if people who recommend IF ever tried to exercise while hungry.

My lifting weights go down by at least 10-15% if I haven't eaten anything that day. Tried lifting in the morning before breakfast - didn't go too well either, just put me in a bad mood because I felt too weak.


You have to allow time for adaptation to the different kind of training... One session on an empty stomach from a fasting newb is not the same as someone who is metabolically adept at fasting training.

Lots of people are exercising while fasted. Body builders, power lifters, and athletes across the strength/endurance spectrum. For things like camping or distance jogging, being able to start at 6:00 and go until 16:00 without food is a game changer.

And, no: people who are training fasted aren't training hungry... Their hunger chemicals dissipate after 20-30 min because they're fasted ;)


I do a powerlifting routine and sometimes work out while fasted (16+ hours). Doesn't make a difference to me to be honest but I haven't tried a 24hr or multi day fast. However, my lifts are quite sensitive to sleep patterns and if I'm not well rested my lifts can suffer 5% or so (15% seems pretty large? That's a 45lb difference on a 300lb squat!).


I am not super strict with when I eat, make sure I get enough. But I agree that my lifts suffer more if I haven't given myself enough rest or time between workouts - that's a bigger detriment to lifting.


Well, I never even came close to a 300lb squat, so 10-15% isn't that much for me.

Also, I wasn't really proper fasting, just hungry because of skipping 1 meal.


Workout after IF isn't an issue for me anymore. But I definitely felt some nausea when I first started while doing some of heavier lifts like squats and deadlifts. I think it's just about giving your body time to adapt.


I can't speak to that same level of energy needs, however while fasting you generally have a constant level of energy supply from fat reserves - and in fact it can feel like you have more energy because your body isn't using energy to digest.


Pretty much everything discussed in this article has been the general theory of proteostasis for at least the last decade - in part thanks to the work coming out of that lab.


Well that's the thing. Humanity has known fasting for a long time, and the associated benefits. But we are now building a complex model to understand how it works, which will allow more people to benefit from it since many only try something once it's been scientifically studied in depth.


Hopefully fully studying it in-depth will also help us fine-tune it so that we can get the most benefit from it with the least investment.


I guess I'm the odd one out here; I eat between 07:00 and 11:00 I have dinner for breakfast, then lunch for second breakfast then fast


Fasting is the best gift you can give to your body. It's a shame more people don't know or trust this. Good job mainstream for hiding the truth.

I water fast about 90 days out of the year (~25 consecutive days each time) and dry fast for about 30 (8 to 10 consecutive days each time).

People eat too much (and not even "bad" foods, just anything really) and more importantly - too often. Digesting food matter is a great way to get sick and maintain sickness.


"Dry fast" means you consume neither food nor water, correct?

How can a human possibly go "8 to 10 consecutive days" with no water?


Correct, no food or water.

In fact, there is also "soft" dry fast and "hard" dry fast. With the latter you also avoid any contact with water, such as washing hands, showers, etc.

I wouldn't recommend anyone should have a 8-10 day dry fast as their first fast, that's for sure.

But your body is capable of doing far more than you give it credit for. The concept of no one surviving 10 days without food or water is simply false. In fact, I have more energy on the 7th or 8th days of a dry fast than I did when I used to have a conventional diet.


This is one of those "remarkable claims require remarkable evidence" situations. If you're being genuine and seriously want the world to take notice, have you asked anyone to study the effects of a week-long dehydration in which you claim to have more energy by the end? Medical researchers would jump at the chance.


This is incredibly naive. Sadly this is not how the world actually operates. Entire industries and economies would be disrupted and vanish completely if majority of people were healthy. Millions of jobs rely on people continuously going through the cycle of disease.

Medical researchers would never jump at a chance to prove that fasting, something no one can patent and turn into a recurring revenue profit center, is the cure for many diseases they currently sell maintenance drugs and "treatment" for what they tell people is incurable.


Have you actually tried asking them?

University medical researchers in particular would chomp at the bit to get a study like this, with the potential to get into Nature and boost their reputation. Trust me, I've been an academic.


How much weight do you lose? Is your local climate dry or humid?


You lose as much as you need to. Many people who struggle to gain weight, actually do post-fast.


I meant, how much weight do you, ~aviv, personally lose on an 8-10 day dry fast?

Also, still wondering if you're in a dry or humid climate. And come to think of it, whether you're in a hot or mild climate.

Because I know of people who've been drinking water, but still reached a point of dehydration requiring medical attention, in hot or dry environments after moderate-to-extreme exertion. So my hunch would be that an 8-10 day "dry fast" might require minimizing activity in a cool, humid place.


The breezy vagueness of ~aviv's responses makes me somewhat skeptical of the reliability of his self-reports.


It's easy to just continue believing in your own path. I could not care less if a random HN user finds my answers vague. My comments here get flagged the majority of the time so I put very little effort into the responses nowadays. And to answer your question, I live in very dry climate.


Thanks for the climate moisture answer. Still wondering, is it hot or mild? (Do you engage in any activity that requires sweating during a dry fast, or do you minimize physical activity?)

And also still wondering: how much weight do you personally lose on each of the 8-10 day dry fasts you practice 3-4 times a year? (I find it strange such a simple question hasn't been answered.)


Of course I minimize my physical activity during dry fasts.

Hot. Arizona hot.

I don't track the weight anymore, about a pound a day, maybe a bit more. Early on it was nearly 2 pounds a day. Regain 75% of it on the scale rather quickly because I eat mostly fruits due to their water content. The weight loss is not what I'm after, as I said before, any weight loss during a dry fast is normal and expected. Those who need to put on weight generally do shortly after a fast is completed


I assume for your 25 day fasts you are taking some sort of supplement? Otherwise you are flirting with scurvy. Which typically sets in around 4 weeks of low to no vitamin c intake.


Aside from B12, I would never take any supplement, fasting or not.

With regards to your scurvy comment: https://chestofbooks.com/health/natural-cure/The-Hygienic-Sy...


"Digesting food matter is a great way to get sick and maintain sickness."

So our bodies doing what they have evolved to do is a way to 'get sick'?


Yes. Our bodies were not meant to consume processed man made food, pesticides, meat from diseased animals, excess protein, soy, genetically modified foods, processed sugars, vegetable juices, sea food from contaminated oceans and pools, the list goes on and on.

So yes, most of what you eat is getting you sick whether you realize it or not.


Caffeine also ups your cAMP.


I have a better plan, Die!




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