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Unread 01-17-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
Kiro
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Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss?

This past Tuesday, I got all four of my wisdom teeth removed... and that has been (and still is) a somewhat painful experience. Even a couple days later, I still can't open my mouth wide enough for soft foods let alone chew anything because my cheeks are still abnormally swollen. Suffice it to say, I quickly lost my appetite and have been forcing myself to take in some calories.

Tuesday
Banana: 120 calories
4oz Activia Light Strawberry Yogurt: 2x110 Calories
12oz Minute Maid Lemonade: 3x150 Calories
Total: 790 Calories

Wednesday
12oz Gatorade Perform G2: 2x80 Calories
4oz Activia Light Strawberry Yogurt: 110 Calories
Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding: 120 Calories
Total: 390 Calories

Thursday
4oz Activia Light Strawberry Yogurt: 2x110 Calories
0.5 cup Cambell's Chicken Noodle Soup Condensed: 60 Calories
Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding: 120 Calories
12oz Gatorade Perform G2: 3x80 Calories
Total: 640 Calories

For reference, I am a 5'7" tall male, was 185 lbs as of Monday (weigh myself every morning at 6am), and had around 27% body fat as of last Saturday. My basal metabolic rate should be somewhere around 1800 calories. While my gums are healing, I'm not allowed to do any strenuous exercise or anything that might slow down the recovery time. From experience after driving 100+ miles today, I do not recommend driving if you're low on energy. It's one thing to drive tired, and a completely different animal when driving with no energy.

This morning, I weighed in at 178 lbs. Those 7 lbs lost, more likely than not, are mostly water waste and loss of muscle and I'll probably gain most of the weight back. However, it got me Google searching and I came across the concept of intermittent fasting.

Fasting is "to abstain from all food". Most of us do short-term fasting while we sleep (aka we don't eat when we're sleeping). Long term fasting has been seen as counter-productive in terms of weight loss; our bodies are very efficient at storing energy (ie fat) and, if the body anticipates a shortage of energy intake, it starts reducing sources of high-energy usage (ie muscles), which in turn lowers your metabolism and increases your fat retention.

Intermittent fasting seeks to find the optimum period of fasting and caloric consumption, which varies between different people and lifestyles. The idea, from what I understand, is to fast just long enough to the point before your body goes over the threshold and decides to retain more fat than muscle. For example, if your body had a consciousness:

Eating - "Yum. Energy."
Beginning of Fasting - "We have enough free energy to find more energy."
Middle of Fasting - "We've run out of free energy. Let's take some out of storage so that we can continue our search for energy."
End of Fasting - "More energy not found. Cease search."
Over-Fasting - "Muscles are stealing too much needed energy. Take them out."

... etc. A very simplified example. This doesn't take into account factors such as the muscle mass of the muscles you do not regularly use reducing in size even with an appropriate caloric intake.

Anyway, there are many variations of intermittent fasting, from Alternate Day (fast every other day) to the Warrior Diet (one large meal per day) to the 5:2 Diet (eat five days, fast two). Some suggest that there are health benefits related to intermittent fasting. I'm a little skeptical, but the reasoning seems a tad bit plausible. Then again, these reasons were also why some suggest to split large meals over several smaller meals across a day.

What is your opinion? If you've done a form of intermittent fasting before, what was your routine and have you seen lasting results?
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Last edited by Kiro : 01-17-2013 at 07:03 PM.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
kitdesertoffate
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Ive been doing fasting for about 2 weeks now but I only do once a week where i dont eat anything at all and just drink water for the day. Ive already been seeing results. My face isnt as round and i could see that my cheek bones are more prominent. When i feel i am ready im gonna up it to 2 times a week. Mind you I am eating healthy on the days that I do eat. Lots of greens, almonds and such for snacks, fish,chicken, etc. i try to stay away from carbs. the Only carbs I do eat are in the morning. I eat oatmeal and some fruit. Its working well for me so far. Shall I keep you posted?
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Unread 01-17-2013, 07:46 PM   #3
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A good handful (like myself) enjoy the 16h fast known as leangains, which was targeted towards individuals trying to get down to single-digit body fat, while maintaining strength without the hunger. The site also has a TON of scientific research that supports the overall benefits of intermittent fasting, while quelling some of the misconceptions about it as well.

Brad Pilon's "Eat Stop Eat" is also a good book about IF, and calls for doing a 24-hour fast twice a week. (dinner to dinner).

Last edited by Arti : 01-30-2013 at 04:34 PM.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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I started doing IF a while ago. Right now I'm currently on a 20 hour fast/4 hour eating window. Starting next week when I begin my bulk I'm going to go to a 16 hour fast/8 hour eating window.

Ok, being realistic, my fasts lasts closer to 21-22 hours, but I honestly can't tell the difference.

People have asked if I've lost any more weight since I've started fasting, which I haven't really, but that's something that's pretty common with the people who do try it. A lot of people see significant weight loss results from it because the strict eating window can help deter away from random snacking.

If anything, it can't hurt you. I would just be careful if you lack discipline. It could be a great tool to help build up that mental fortitude, but I know sometimes that even though I can get through 20+ hours, I can binge if I don't think about it.

If you decide to try it and you're struggling to get through the fast one way to get through it is to be active during it. Sitting around and watching TV is likely going to make it hard. Sleep through it, there's 8 hours right there, and then try to workout if you can some time between waking up and breaking the fast. Doing anything that requires you to focus will probably do well to take your mind off whatever hunger you may feel.

And I know that you just got your teeth worked on, but if that's how you normally eat but just in smaller quantities then you really need to consider getting much more protein in your diet.
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Last edited by rndmguy : 01-17-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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That calorie/nutrient intake is not going to help you heal quickly.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #6
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kitdesertoffate: Looks like you're following a good routine (in terms of IF). Yeah, I'd like to see how it works for you over the next few weeks, particularly after you start following the 5:2 diet. Please keep me/us posted.

I'm probably going to give ADF a try after I recover. Unfortunately, there is no control group or system so that we can prove or disprove IF's effectiveness (short or long term), but progress is progress as far as I'm concerned. I should be able to start next week and will try to regularly post my measurements on non-fasting mornings (aka 6AM weight after day of fasting). Giving it at least until Katsucon (about three weeks) before deciding whether or not to continue with the program.

Arti: Thanks, I'll take a look at leangains. I believe I came across Brad Pilon's blog during my search. Haven't looked too deep into his methodology and beliefs (having trouble focusing on anything atm), but I'll definitely keep him in mind.

rndmguy: That makes sense. For me, it's pretty easy because I pack my own lunch and am away from sources of free food for a good portion of the day (work from 8am to 4pm on most days), so binge eating opportunities are limited to weekends, which is when I make a conscious decision to avoid mindless snacking.

This week was actually the first time in years I've had any of the stuff listed (except the banana). Usually have a bowl of oatmeal and a fruit for breakfast, a salad with baked or grilled chicken breast for lunch, and usually a good mix of vegetables, protein (chicken mainly), and carbs for dinner. I probably take in an excess of protein on a regular day.

Kaliza: Yeah, I know. Considering going shopping tomorrow for nutrition drinks, a new container of protein powder, and maybe some soup without much substance since I can't chew anything (been swallowing everything whole). Been keeping up with daily vitamin supplements. Other than those few things (and rest), I really don't know what else I can do to speed up the recovery process.

Edit:

rndmguy: Why continue IF if you don't attribute it to having any benefits?

Edit 2:

Follow-up appointment with the dentist. No complications thus far. Just recommended that I take Advil to reduce the swelling sooner. So far today, I've eaten a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken and drank a bottle of Kellogg's Special K Protein Shake.

Edit 3: Looks like canned soup is soggy enough that I can just swallow the contents. Nice.
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Last edited by Kiro : 01-18-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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Unread 01-19-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Im currently doing Fast 5 (19hrs fasting, 5 hour eating window). As long as you keep your focus with a goal in mind you can get passed the hungry feeling and after a few days , hopefully, start feeling great! It has worked for me in the past.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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IF is not meant to eat little amounts of calories. It just means eating only a few meals a day. 1-3 but still getting enough calories in you know? starving will only lead to metabolic damage and retention of body fat because if your body things you are starving it'll try to hold onto every little piece of nutrient which includes body fat!
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Unread 01-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
Kiro
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I'm sorry for not being more clear. The first half of the original post was more of a self-introduction about why I started looking into IF. The second half discusses IF. They are mostly unrelated.

Anyway, cheeks are still swollen, but my regular calorie intake is pretty much back (I can chew with my front teeth, but need to mash soft foods and cut up solid foods; if anything, it's forcing me to eat slowly, though I'm taking in around the same amount). I'm going to give it until Saturday for things to balance out, then try starting ADF on Sunday (fast) with measurements on Monday morning. So far, to my own astonishment, I have not gained a single pound back even though I have been unable to continue my regular exercise routine.
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Last edited by Kiro : 01-22-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #10
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eating too little im assuming? haha but drink shakes! they are the best when you get your teeth out or can't eat solid food. i remember when i did i drank all my calories for a few days. it was amazing. had to pee a lot though o.O
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Unread 01-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #11
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I think I edited my post while you were typing yours. But yeah, drank shakes and soups until I figured out how to eat pizza with just my front teeth on Sunday morning. By Sunday night, I was eating chicken parmesan and pasta. Still can't eat normally, but I did manage to eat in excess today, probably out of excitement that I can eat more than anything else: an entire medium-sized pizza, a hamburger (no bun), a cup of white rice with a cup of chilli beans, a banana, and two cups of vanilla bean ice cream.

Now that I think about it, on my regular eating days while doing ADF, what should be calorie intake target be? Using multiple sources, I've found my BMR to be around 1800 calories. Usually, I would consider reducing my calorie intake to around 1400, but if I'm trying to lose weight by lifting weights (every other day) and doing cardio (most days), should I eat more on my regular days? Does it matter which days I train on?
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Last edited by Kiro : 01-22-2013 at 10:21 PM.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #12
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So you shouldn't really looking at your BMR. your BMR is basically the calories needed to just sit there and do absolutely nothing but breath. lol you should look up what your TDEE(total daily energy expenditure). that's a better indication of how many calories you should eat in a day.

but for reducing calories, 3500 calories is one pound. so reduce your calories by 500 each day and you should be losing a pound a week. might be a bit more since you also weight training and doing cardio. try doing less steady state cardio(the one where you run or whatever you like doing for like an hour). it'll help promise. and no it doesn't matter what day you train on as long as you are consistant. uhh you should eat a little more on weight training days and a little less on rest days.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 11:42 PM   #13
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Just chopping off a flat 500 calories a day could be super inefficient. What I generally suggest people do is figure out their maintenance calories and then subject 10-20% from that total, adjust as necessary.

Also, I found myself eating more on my rest days simply because I was hungrier. Simply put, it doesn't really matter how you do it. Just make sure you're hydrated and eat however you want.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 12:00 AM   #14
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here's the thing...if he calculates his TDEE that should be maintenance right there. sooo it should be fine at that point to just chop. and ya its your rest day and you are repairing but you aren't expending as much as you are on your workout days so you shouldn't eat more. basic energy in energy out principle.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 12:12 AM   #15
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Yes, let's look at these scenarios for example.

A tiny, sedentary woman might only need 1400-1500 calories a day to maintain their weight. It's very possible that just cutting out a straight 500 calories from their diet would be very difficult because let's face it, 1000 calories isn't a lot food. That'd be setting them up for failure psychologically.

On the other end of a scale, a big guy might need 3500-4000 calories a day to maintain. He could possibly create a deficit much larger than 500 calories a day and do fine.

I also wouldn't look at the energy taken in resetting day by day, because it doesn't really. It should balance out regardless if you eat more on the rest day or the training day. It's more important to listen to the cues your body gives you and eat accordingly. The reason why you'd probably want to eat more on a training day is because you need that fast burning energy then and there for your workout, but as long as you maintain the same deficit then it really shouldn't matter.
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