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Women IFers -- lets chat about protocols!

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  • Women IFers -- lets chat about protocols!

    About a month ago, DH and I started IF doing a 16/8 split.

    Due to our schedules, that stretched for me to a 14/10 (yoga classes, that don't move). According to some folks (warrior diet dude and leangains dude), this is "better for women" because it doesn't lead to fertility/virility issues that longer fasting would. I haven't really noted any particular studies that anyone has linked (probably because they don't exist).

    Well, I'm not happy with the 14/10. On perfect days (when I teach at 12 instead of 11) and when we get home before 6:00 and have dinner finishing by 7, then it feels really great and comfortable. But, on days when things aren't perfect, I feel like I'm force-feeding myselt at 10:30 (because I have to teach a yoga class at 11:15 and I don't want to toss down 3 eggs and veg with olive oil while also checking in 20-odd clients).

    If I don't eat before classes, I cannot eat until 2:15 at the earliest. Why? Because I teach at 11:15, 12:15, and 1:15. And, in between, I'm greeting clients and answering questions and such.

    Then, I guess it was about three days ago, I forgot my lunch in the car. I went ahead and opted to fast until dinner, which was at 7 pm or so. Which means I ate until about 8, because I eat slowly.

    After this day, I felt a little hungry at about 10 am, and had one bite which I had to spit out (didn't sit well), and then didn't eat again until 3:30, and then finished eating that day at 8:30 -- Fast-5 style.

    Today, I did the same thing, but 2:30-6:30, which is more likely to match my work schedule.

    So, it looks like rather than following any advice, I'm moving toward Fast5 or warrior diet style things for the time being.

    What are your protocols? What seems to work for you? Are you concerned about anything in terms of doing these protocols long term? ETc?

  • #2
    Zoebird: Good thread. Kinda of tough to eat eggs and then teach yoga (wouldn't sit well in my tummy).

    I've been If'ing for months -- it was a natural progression for me: Bullet coffee; lunch at 12 or 1pm, and dinner by 6pm.

    I feel great on this IF'ing schedule, however, I'm not getting enough calories. I was taking in about 800-1000 per day and feeling great, and had lost the weight. However, my hair seems to be falling out, so I'm increasing carbs and overall calories for a short period of time to see if this helps.

    I enjoy the IF'ing overall --- I don't have time in the am for breakfast, and not all that hungry anyway.

    My workouts have been going well --- I tend to workout after dinner and I have lots of energy. I do try to walk for an hour or more during the day, before I eat.

    Looking forward to hearing from others. /Lu
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.


    • #3
      I eat once a day during 7-9 PM. I have a cup if coffee before doing cardio on an empty stomach at the gym. I also lift weights. I've been doing this for years and eating once (or twice a day later at night if I need a midnight snack) has worked for me.
      F 28/5'4/100 lbs

      "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


      • #4
        I'm not consistent with daily IF but I generally aim for 18/6 windows, sometimes 16/8. On occasion, I do 20/4 if I am busy. It definitely helps me in many ways when I am consistent with it. But I think changing it up often is probably more natural than the same windows every day. And taking breaks from it entirely, of course. Ideally, I would do 18/6 six days a week and a day off. But I haven't gotten to that point yet.

        I'm also not sure if my blood glucose is being adversely affected by it. When I test multiple times in a fasted state, it increases even when I haven't eaten AND after exercise. I've read reasons for this and the only solution offered was to decrease exercise intensity so there's not a (hormonal) demand for insulin. I'm still figuring things out, and my RX complicates it even further as it's known to increase BG and trigs. So... Yeah. Lol
        Last edited by j3nn; 11-16-2012, 06:20 AM.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Louisa655 View Post
          I've been If'ing for months -- it was a natural progression for me: Bullet coffee; lunch at 12 or 1pm, and dinner by 6pm.

          I feel great on this IF'ing schedule, however, I'm not getting enough calories. I was taking in about 800-1000 per day and feeling great, and had lost the weight. However, my hair seems to be falling out, so I'm increasing carbs and overall calories for a short period of time to see if this helps.
          This is sort of me so I may not be able to help you. I was doing more Fast-5 to 24s. High fat, low carb. All the fat was keeping me full so most days calories were on the low side. But I was not hungry. I also didnt really have energy to exercise. I always thought it was no desire due to hot summer or this or that but looking back I am thinking it was just all part of an energy thing.

          Then I was adding 48s. I would lose some weight, but gain it right back. So I had to take a look at my tracking since the beginning of the year, and it was just too obvious that for me, the higher the fat, the slower the weight loss. Now, I dont know if that was because that resulted in too few of calories? I am still not sure how I feel about that because some have shown definite arguments that too few of calories slows things down. But then I think of studies like where the guy fasted for over a year and he didnt have any trouble losing weight. So I just don't know how I feel about that.

          But I still blame it on the high fat whether it be that it caused the low calories or the argument of taking in too much fat to burn my own body fat. I don't know which I believe, but I can not argue with my own numbers. It really did not seem to matter what my calories were, it seems like 60g of fat or less is where I need to be for weight loss. Now if weight loss was not my goal, IF and high fat is a wonderful way to go. I learned that I could go half the day, all day, even a couple of days and be okay.

          But it just was not working out for weight loss for some reason. I changed my macros around and keep fat under 60g and weight loss is nice and steady again now. I also feel like ST again. But the weather is cooler now also, so I am not sure how much is psychological

          But there are still times where I have to rush here or there, and I never think about eating. Before my journey, I use to go for a trail ride for a couple of hours and pack snacks like I would be gone for a week. Now, we just go do stuff and never worry about when or how to eat. But we are not diabetic or anything so it is no big deal to be without food for awhile.

          I am also sleeping better. So much better actually. That could be due to the exercise. The trouble I have is that I never change just one thing. One thing kind of leads to another thing, so several things change at one time so I can not really pinpoint it to one thing. I just know I use to wake up hot all night long and could not go back to sleep. Very intensely hot. I went and got tested just to make sure not menopausal and I am not. Now that I changed my macros, I still get hot on and off, but not nearly as intense and I can go right back to sleep.

          I dont know, I kind of felt like in a fog. I just feel better now. Ok, what was the question? I guess I am always the backwards one. IF was not helping me lose weight, not when I followed it up with a high fat diet. And weight loss is my one main goal right now. I think I am otherwise healthy, though who knows what is actually brewing inside, so as far as I know, I am just overweight.

          I guess I am still IF though. Dinner is anywhere from 5:30 - 7. I eat breakfast anywhere from 8 - 12, so I dont even know what that is. But some days I wake up hungry, but it is easy enough to put it off for as long as I need/want to. And even though I have shifted my macros, I still get 30-40% fat, and my carb choices are good and satiating, and protein is up a little as well, as are my calories - though I have to stay on top of it to make sure I am getting some higher calorie days also (so a little zig-zagging -- so yet another thing I changed) but even after getting off the high fat train I am still able to go extended periods of time without worrying about eating.

          I feel like maintenance will be an entirely different ballgame though. I see myself having high fat days, low fat days, IF days - fast-5 seemed to work great with my lifestyle. Some 24s and 48 days... The 24 and 48 will be more for housekeeping then though. I am so ready to get there
          65lbs gone and counting!!

          Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


          • #6
            my calorie intake is the same: 1500-1700, so i wasn't doing any calorie restriction, just restructuring when I eat.

            for me, it's mostly now about what works. since most of the "big player" guys on the scene are talking about how women shouldn't do it for this or that reason, I was just wondering if anyone had thoughts/experience with it per se. Fertility is a great indicator of health, and in the last month or so (could be more than a month -- maybe 6 weeks?), I haven't noticed any changes in my cycle except that -- as with any month of clean primal/paleo -- there are no PMS symptoms at all, and menstruation is pretty decent (a little possibility of broken luteal phase with some brown spotting, but since I'm now "reading" a mooncup rather than a gladrag, it's hard for me to know whether it's 'brown' or not. it's very darker red kinda brownish).

            While I'm not planning on another baby, i am only 36 so fertility is -- overall -- a good thing.

            I'm not "terribly worried!" about it, it's just. . . hmm.

            I think for now the window from 2-5 is a good option.


            • #7
              Originally posted by zoebird View Post
              for me, it's mostly now about what works. since most of the "big player" guys on the scene are talking about how women shouldn't do it for this or that reason, I was just wondering if anyone had thoughts/experience with it per se.
              I am still a bitch 24/7 regardless.

              Seriously though, I havent had a period for years. YEEEEAAARRSS. Thank goodness. I can not imagine being overweight AND dealing with all that. I always figured my weight is why I do not have periods anymore.

              Therefore I also thought losing the weight might trigger it again, but nothing yet.

              But I am not so sure everything was normal in that department in the first place. I have had 4 kids just fine. But long about the turn of the century, this last one not the one before that I started bleeding every day. A period that lasted for a year. Until finally the doctor called me and said "I don't know how you are even still walking around." I had lost so much blood. Like pints and pints.

              So I don't care to have more children, and I am not menopausal. I dont think I have insanely wild mood swings, so I dont know that IF has created any ill-effects and I would like to think that the fasting for housekeeping is a good thing and provides hope to ward off things like cancer.

              I was very regular before, like clockwork. DH always told me when it was going to be that TOM so even though I dont have them now, I noticed when I went back over my tracking, it seems like during the middle of the month, the scale likes to go up and down up and down, before it finally makes a nice little drop. So I am trying to see if that is due to food choices and is just a coinky-dink, or if that is the way the weight loss is working, that whole swoosh thing, or maybe it just the way my female body is.
              65lbs gone and counting!!

              Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


              • #8
                I sometimes do 16/8, sometimes a little less fasting time like 14 or 12 hours, depending on if I am hungry or not in the morning. I used to not be able to do this a few months ago, but I think that was because I was nursing. It just came about naturally now because a lot of times I'm not very hungry in the morning. I don't know anything about why we shouldn't be doing this. I'm just trying to listen to my body and start eating for the day when I feel hungry.

                So far I think I'm having great results, but I have also changed a lot of other things too. I started LHT and stopped cardio except for one HIIT and maybe one light jog a week. I have also started taking Thyroid Synergy to give it a boost because my numbers were on the hypo side for a long time. So far things are changing, I definately notice a change in my body, and I have lost inches.


                • #9
                  I'm post menopausal, so fertility isn't an issue for me. Fairly easy menopause five years ago; about six months of HRT so I could sleep through the night. Done.

                  In general, I'm not hungry until after about 5pm. I do drink (usually) two large mugs of espresso during the day, either with two tablespoons of half and half, or half a tablespoon of butter, depending on my mood. When I start to feel hungry, I distract myself for a little while. I usually eat my largest meal of the day around 630-830 pm, and I might have a piece of cheese or some scrambled eggs at about 11pm to midnight.

                  I've mostly been a late day eater as an adult. The first time I had to lose weight (I had gotten up to 156 in college), I just put myself on "one meal a day," and that meal was a late supper. I certainly wasn't Primal way back then, and that supper was often pizza. I supplemented with two lattes during classes.

                  I don't really force it, and on the rare day that I want food earlier (usually after buying some decadent cheese at WholeFoods), I eat earlier. Also, since my sleep is erratic, if I wake up at three in the morning and want something to eat, scrambled eggs are my go-to snack. That happens maybe twice a month.

                  I try to listen to my body, but since my body has let me get overweight three times in my life, sometimes I just tell it to shut up.
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                    I try to listen to my body, but since my body has let me get overweight three times in my life, sometimes I just tell it to shut up.
                    Loved that!
                    65lbs gone and counting!!

                    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


                    • #11
                      I find that I have options. For example, I'm hungry around 11. But, if I don't eat then, that hunger goes away and comes back around 2. And if I don't eat then, it goes away and returns around 5. And if I don't eat then, it shows up at 8.

                      Eating at 11, 3:30 and and 6 would probably work -- to close the window at 7. But, I usually can't eat then, but if I don't eat when I get home, I'm find, so long as I eat between 4 and 5 really (before teaching).

                      It seems most natural to start around 11 -- but htat's not possible every day. So, I'm thinking that I"ll do 11-7 most days, and then 2-7 on days that I can't do 11-7.


                      • #12
                        So, shifted the window a bit today -- 1-8 -- which worked out nicely. and other than crankiness, i haven't had any PMS/menstrual symptoms (other than menstruating). very little bloating, if any, and no other issues. and, so far, the cycle looks solid.

                        Interesting process anyway.


                        • #13
                          Hopefully no more crankiness than usual I am still looking at my tracking and results and thinking that during the middle of the month is a good time for me to do something in the way of fasting. Not really just delaying my window but something over the course of a few days. I dont menstruate any longer, but female stuff may have something to do with it.

                          I was in the mood to fast yesterday, but ended up with a few more calories than intended, but probably still within the realm of what some consider fasting. But maybe just the realm of calorie restriction. Following more this protocol. Food for a Fast | Perfect Health Diet And the scale was very good to me this morning. And that is all I can judge it on as I didnt take my measurements or anything. It just seemed like the thing to do so I went with it.

                          I am going to go with it again today and see how far it takes me. Maybe I dont need to do it at the middle of the month, maybe it is a few days after that, maybe that is what my body needs/wants to do, just have to experiment.

                          We arent doing much here on Thursday, our Thanksgiving will be on Sunday so I could go a few days this week.
                          65lbs gone and counting!!

                          Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


                          • #14
                            I never really set out to, but I guess I live on a 16/8 schedule. I tend to skip breakfast (preferring to sleep till the last possible minute!), so I don't end up eating until around 12:30ish. Then I don't eat again until I get home, around 7 or 8pm.

                            On weekends I also don't eat until around 12:30ish, but that's because I laze around reading until afternoon. And every now and then I'll do that and then forget to grab lunch before I take off for the day, so it's more of a full-day fast on Saturday or Sunday, once a month or so.

                            I haven't noticed any adverse effects from it. I stay low-carb as much as I can, but I've stopped paying close attention to when I'm in ketosis or not; I think I'm pretty well fat-adapted, and still losing, so it's comfortable enough for me.

                            Lately I've been riding my bike to the train station and back every day, so I'm also exercising in a fasted state in the morning (and probably a semi-fasted state at the end of the day). We'll see how that goes.


                            • #15
                              I'm mostly a random IF person when it comes to longer fasts, but I naturally tend somewhere in a 14/10 to 16/8 rhythm without planning for it. Working from home now makes it easier to eat with my hunger signals since there's no fixed lunch hour or anything most days (unless I have meetings or appointments outside the house). Being able to eat when I am actually hungry and to choose what fits my needs best that day is a nice benefit of being at home--I tend to stop and contemplate before I eat to figure out what my body is asking for, and that's easier to do when you have the whole fridge and pantry at your disposal rather than only what's in your lunch bag.

                              I wouldn't suggest this to anyone who doesn't have their hunger signalling well in control and hasn't practised intuitive eating for a while, otherwise I'm sure it could be a recipe for disaster. In that case, planned and portioned meals are probably better.
                              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                              Owly's Journal