Intermittent fasting


I didn’t see any specific threads on intermittent fasting. “Soylent and intermittent fasting?” I think missed the mark a bit so I wanted to put up an article that I think strikes a fair balance between TL;DR and thorough with plenty of leads for further research.

One thing to clear up is that Intermittent fasting is not necessarily limiting in calories on a daily cycle.


So when do you fast?


That article is definitely not leaning on the side of TL;DR :wink:

Is it fair to say that the thesis is that “Intermittent fasting is good for the body, and should be practiced at a frequency of ____ for ____ duration”?

EDIT: also, just from skimming the article, I see that he mentions that he does practice ‘daily intermittent fasting,’ where he basically eats his dinner early and then skips breakfast. Or, rather, he breaks his fast at lunchtime. Isn’t that the point of breakfast after eight hours of sleep? Aren’t there innumerable studies suggesting that breakfast first thing in the morning is good?


The article describes time restricted feeding as an example, where you consume the same calories as you would in a normal day but only in a 8-12 hour window, not eating the rest of the day.


TL;DR in the sense that there are many lengthy studies addressed in a shorter article.

That is a premise of one of the studies mentioned.

Again, there are multiple studies discussed, and the author links some contradictory studies to some aspects. As to the author skipping breakfast, well that depends on what you label breakfast, if you get up around 10-11 am, a 1pm meal could be considered breakfast. Time restricted feeding is categorized as intermittent fasting here, so depending on one’s active hours, there is no reason why one cannot eat breakfast lunch and dinner in an 8-12 hour window or lunch, dinner and late dinner/snack if we were to label the meals consistently with their temporal location at time of consumption. That is to say, just because that is the authors routine, the anecdote does not impact the significance of the study.


Not quite innumerable, and some are contradictory. I think it’s best summarized this way, for now:

If you’re going to eat the same number of total calories per day, and you’re on a diet to lose fat, you’ll probably lose fat a teeny tiny bit faster if you have some of those calories as breakfast.

There are some contradictory studies, but those generally don’t try to match the daily calories with and without breakfast - those studies were really investigating whether “adding” breakfast for people who don’t normally eat breakfast will somehow magically lead to weight loss because of TEF (the thermal effect of food - the raising of the metabolism.) No surprise, there - if adding breakfast amounts to adding to the total daily calorie count, it doesn’t lead to weight loss.


I’ve done periodic fasting, doing a one-day fast weekly for months at a time, and have done ADF for up to six weeks at a time. I actually found ADF to be pretty easy on the fasting days; packing in the calories on the eating days was harder.

I’m currently doing periodic fasting with a 72-hour fast done once every three weeks. I’ve been doing this since reading a study published earlier this year, here’s some lay press coverage:


I’ve posted a few comments that the primary reason Soylent came to my attention is that I lost weight this year using the 5:2 diet - two low calorie days a week, not really fasting. (UK diet, was a related BBC special broadcast on PBS regarding intermittent fasting.) I couldn’t figure out an easy way to create a balanced 800 to 1,000 calorie day twice a week. Ordered Soylent and like nearly everyone else, waited 6 months. Got my first box of Soylent - it’s 1.2 version, have gone through a few bags, and it works…perfectly. Not quite fasting, seem to be in the 1,200 calorie range a day or two a week, seem to be keeping my weight stable. Was at 185 lbs last year at this time, am now at around 157.


The 5:2 diet might be called “intermittent dieting.”

Given the way most of us eat, we may need to spend 104 days out of the year losing the weight we gained during the other 260… but 260:104 means dieting for 104 days in a row, which sucks. 5:2 is much easier.