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Thread: Fasting...

  1. #1
    Member Phil P's Avatar
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    Fasting...

    I know we had a little discussion about this earlier in the year. Have you guys ever got around to actually fasting for a significant period of time? I have done a few almost 1 day stretches here with the college semester starting up. The problem I keep encountering is that fasting is a REAL drain on energy, intellectual capacity, and overall mood. While I think it's healthy, it's rather hard to find a day where you don't have to do anything physically or mentally demanding or where you don't mind being in a very nonexcited or nonhappy mood.

    What fasting has convinced me of is that food releases a whole bunch of happy chemicals to your brain. This instantaneous reward I believe is a big reason why obesity occurs so often, because people choose the instantaneous happiness over long term well being.

    What about you guys?
    "I'm so cool" - Carl Sagan

  2. #2
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    Well, I do not agree that fasting is healthy. At all, although I don't consider most shorter intermittent fasting as real fasting. I think it's what and how much people eat that makes them fat, not the frequency. But I guess that isn't the main discussion here...

    I easily go three days with keeping regular activity and some working out before noticing a problem or a significant drop in energy. Four or five if I'm being lazy. During these times I also have difficulty sleeping, and it is very difficult to get my appetite back. I suppose it isn't pure fasting as I'll usually have a caffeine drink in the morning. Restrict the water and it's a completely different story.

    Other times when I sleep a lot and my appetite is high, I get negative effects after as little as 14 hours. I don't know what causes these high energy/low energy cycles, but they seem to gain momentum if I don't keep the food and sleep intake level.
    Don't remember changing this.

  3. #3
    Married Mouth-breather JohnClay's Avatar
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    On another forum I posted quite a lot about fasting. BTW in the Bible the 3 guys that got together in the "transfiguration" were Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Those were the three people who allegedly fasted for 40 days.

    Also Matthew 6:16-18:
    When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    BTW I'm an agnostic.

    I asked my doctor what the longest time I could safely fast was and he said a week is fine. I ended up fasting for 48 hours. I was sweating and was worried I had low blood sugar but I think I was just getting too hot from walking with a backpack on.

    http://cristivlad.com/total-starvati...ut-food-study/
    ....I recently came across this study from 1973 in which a 27 years old male has fasted for 382 days under the supervision of researchers from a Scotland University....

    .....Throughout the entire period of 382 days, patient A.B. consumed water and had taken vitamin supplements, yeast for the first 10 months, potassium supplements (Day 93 to Day 162), and sodium supplements (Day 345 to Day 355). Urine and blood collections were taken throughout the whole period of fasting. Fecal evacuations were infrequent in the later period of the fasting, as the time between stools was averaging from 37-48 days, as the researchers claim....
    BTW I've been looking at a few diets. One is called the Warrior Diet and involves "undereating" during the day (and "overeating" at night) while a diet based on it called the Renegade Diet involves about 16 hour fasts. I think the Leangains diet is similar. Some (mostly amateur) bodybuilders use those diets. Eat Stop Eat involves fasting for 24 hours at a time about 2 days per week. There is also the 5 : 2 diet that involves undereating (25% of normal) two days per week for about 36 hours at a time.

    Those diets are meant to target fat loss but there is a danger that muscle can be lost if you don't give your muscles a work out.

    Those diets often also say that you should eat organic foods and grass-fed meat, etc, but according to another messageboard those things don't make a difference for fat loss.

  4. #4
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Is there actually any evidence that fasting does anything good? Because naturally, and i do not mean offense in this even though it is offensive, it seems a priori like a rather stupid/negative thing to do...

  5. #5
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Is there actually any evidence that fasting does anything good?
    Yes there have been numerous studies done on it naturally.

  6. #6
    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
    I know we had a little discussion about this earlier in the year. Have you guys ever got around to actually fasting for a significant period of time? I have done a few almost 1 day stretches here with the college semester starting up. The problem I keep encountering is that fasting is a REAL drain on energy, intellectual capacity, and overall mood. While I think it's healthy, it's rather hard to find a day where you don't have to do anything physically or mentally demanding or where you don't mind being in a very nonexcited or nonhappy mood.

    What fasting has convinced me of is that food releases a whole bunch of happy chemicals to your brain. This instantaneous reward I believe is a big reason why obesity occurs so often, because people choose the instantaneous happiness over long term well being.

    What about you guys?
    yay, another thread to write about my idiocy (it seems like that's all I've been doing here lately).

    I went through an extended spell (more than a few weeks, but I don't know exactly how long) of fasting periods, eating a few eggs or some jam/toast every two or three days, around this time last year and I'd done something similar a long time ago-- it's not a very good idea ime. I've only started eating regularly (1200+ calories) about a week ago and I do think my moods are more stable; it had reached the point where I couldn't focus on anything because my emotions were so dramatic. I was sobbing over a book I had to read for class because I couldn't stop my thoughts from wandering. It's better now that I'm eating again, but it's not like the effects vanished. When I was actually fasting as opposed to just eating very little, my mood was flat and I had no motivation, but I don't know what the causes/effects are that led me to that state (the fasting might have been more of a symptom-- a former therapist thought I might have a sub-clinical bipolar disorder and my eating habits reflected a misguided attempt to regulate my moods). Generally, with the exception of that fasting phase, starvation seems to make me run on adrenaline. Everything made me jump/get irritable, or I'd descend into abysses over trivial things, and it seemed to give me more physical energy-- I could walk all night without wearing myself out.

    Leaving the long-term fast, it took me a long time (months) to build my appetite up to an existent level and get that boost of happy chemicals from food. After it goes on for too long, I think it's a self-perpetuating cycle.

    I wish people wouldn't consider extreme dieting a sport. No wonder we're all maniacal brain-deprived zombies.
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

  7. #7
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architect View Post
    Yes there have been numerous studies done on it naturally.
    There have been numerous studies, and I believe the results are inconclusive. Fasting is generally considered ineffective for weight loss. There is some hand waving about "detox" benefits, but those are pretty sketchy. Some studies have been done about fasting for prevention of heart disease, cancer, etc. All inconclusive but there may be some minor benefits.

    So as far as @ACow 's query, I would say, no actual evidence that intermittent fasting is good for you. It's probably psychological, if you think it makes you feel better, it does, if you don't think so, probably not so much.

  8. #8
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to what djm's opinion is, since he's mentioned he works clear-minded on an empty stomach.

    In the past, it must have been common for humans to go without food for some bouts of time. Certainly it's not detrimental in observed cultural fasters like Orthodox Greeks, but it's unclear to me whether the benefits of intermittent fasting or otherwise are significant enough to warrant adoption.
    Last edited by Faust; 10-22-2014 at 06:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    I'm curious as to what djm's opinion is, since he's mentioned he works clear-minded on an empty stomach.

    In the past, it must have been common for humans to go without food for some bouts of time. Certainly it's not detrimental in observed cultural fasters like Orthodox Greeks, but it's unclear to me whether the benefits of intermittent fasting or otherwise are significant enough to warrant adoption.
    Orthodox Greek people fast because they want to suffer and hate life so that they can empathize better with the suffering of holy people or God or whoever. It's about withstanding bodily needs and it's not something they do for mental or physical health benefits (just "spiritual benefits"). It's not like you see Shape magazine covers with "New Famine Just In Time for Bikini Season!" written on them. Going without food for long periods of time makes us miserable, mentally sluggish, apathetic, and unhealthy. It's something that the majority of the world's population, historically and now, fears like the plague, for very good reasons.

    Food energizes the brain. Unhealthy food might create chemical imbalances that rival the imbalances that happen during starvation; that doesn't mean that "fasting" is preferable to eating. People should just eat healthy foods (if and when they can, of course) and eat them in moderation. It's not complicated and it doesn't have to involve suffering.
    Last edited by Blorg; 10-22-2014 at 07:57 PM.
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

  10. #10
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    From what I've picked up, the benefits of fasting are hormonal beyond the secondary effect of losing weight. I don't have sources, but I remember reading somewhere that leptin, ghrelin, insulin, and growth hormone levels are all modulated. I intermittently fast every day, only eating from 2pm to 10pm. I can say anecdotally that I have adjusted to it completely, and that it has made a difference in how hungry I get. I also tend to be very productive on an empty stomach, with a little bit of coconut oil and coffee. This might also be because I limit carb consumption (not quite enough to go into ketosis, however).

    I think the "detox" benefits are overstated, especially since people who tend to fast tend to eat well anyway.

    The downsides include:

    muscle loss- anytime you lose weight, you're gonna lose muscle. if you severely limit calories for any length of time, you're much more at danger for muscle wasting. a popular diet that mitigates this factor is a PSMF, or protein-sparing modified fast. again, you're still gonna lose muscle, but not as much because you're keeping your serum levels of protein up. more muscle is never a bad thing, unless you're on IFBB levels of steroids and HGH in order to maintain a 280-pound ripped physique.

    probably some due to the reason above, but your metabolism can be reduced. this is generally overstated, but there was an army study that found that people who limited their calories to 1/2 of their TDEE for four months lost 10-40% of their metabolism (like 700-1,000 calories for your average person). it came back, but yeah, that's not good. if you break a long fast and start eating shit, you are probably gonna get pretty fucking fat.

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