Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

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coalcracker
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Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by coalcracker »

I've been experimenting with daily intermittent fasting for a few months and, after a few days of adjustment, find that I quite like it. My schedule has been:

Black coffee in the morning
Lunch around 11:30
Dinner usually done by 7

I'm pretty hungry by 11:30 and tend to eat a larger lunch, such that I'm not terribly hungry for dinner. I'd love to hear experience from anyone who has tried one meal a day fasting, only eating dinner. I don't know that I could last all day until 6pm without eating, so I might have something small midday (yogurt, nuts, piece of fruit) to hold me over.
ZMonet
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by ZMonet »

I started out doing the 16/8 fasting just like you because I thought it was insane to do the one meal a day (OMAD) thing. After doing 16/8 six times a week for a while though I came to realize that what I thought was hunger wasn't and that it was likely more insulin spikes. I now do OMAD (basically a 2-hour feeding window) about five times per week and find it quite easy most days. It works especially well right now where I'm not having social lunches and I'm at home working. An added plus is that I now have something to look forward to after fasting all day. I find that exercise blunts my hunger so I try and get a cardio session in early morning and a weight lifting session in at "lunch time." I've read about people who swear by a concoction of mostly water, apple cider vinegar, and some sea salt for hunger. Tried it and didn't mind it, but it didn't do much for me...

Before I eat my OMAD, I have a couple of tablespoons of psyllium husk powder. Really helps in digestion and keeping me full.

Overall, I love the way this way of eating makes me feel and that I can pretty much eat what I want on days I fast.

Good luck with it!
runner3081
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by runner3081 »

I have been doing this for a long time (15+ years), well before the recent interest in it.

Water throughout the day

12pm - Granola Bar (Yes, food, but not a full lunch)
5pm - Dinner (which is a fairly light dinner as well)

No snacks.

First started at the end of college, helped me lose 70 pounds and keep the weight off.

I get hungry at times, but the body gets used to it.
Last edited by runner3081 on Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wackerdr
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by wackerdr »

Are any of you diabetic? What has been the impact on blood sugar levels?
luckyducky99
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by luckyducky99 »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:22 pm I'd love to hear experience from anyone who has tried one meal a day fasting, only eating dinner. I don't know that I could last all day until 6pm without eating, so I might have something small midday (yogurt, nuts, piece of fruit) to hold me over.
Easing into one meal only is how I did it. I'd have a some nuts and/or an apple usually starting around 1 in the afternoon, then 2, then 3, then 4, then ... ah well just wait for dinner. It took a couple months, but it happened naturally gradually that I would get hungry later in the day.

This all happened during a very busy time at work for me, so that waiting until I got hungry to snack worked out well -- I was too busy to eat unless I had to based on being hungry, not based on a schedule. I generally find that the busier and more occupied I am, the better my eating habits get.
Topic Author
coalcracker
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by coalcracker »

wackerdr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:41 pm Are any of you diabetic? What has been the impact on blood sugar levels?
Not diabetic and haven't checked any blood sugar levels since I've started.

I can say that, subjectively, I feel mentally sharper throughout the morning before I eat lunch. I wonder if I can continue that feeling throughout the workday.
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coalcracker
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by coalcracker »

luckyducky99 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:49 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:22 pm I'd love to hear experience from anyone who has tried one meal a day fasting, only eating dinner. I don't know that I could last all day until 6pm without eating, so I might have something small midday (yogurt, nuts, piece of fruit) to hold me over.
Easing into one meal only is how I did it. I'd have a some nuts and/or an apple usually starting around 1 in the afternoon, then 2, then 3, then 4, then ... ah well just wait for dinner. It took a couple months, but it happened naturally gradually that I would get hungry later in the day.

This all happened during a very busy time at work for me, so that waiting until I got hungry to snack worked out well -- I was too busy to eat unless I had to based on being hungry, not based on a schedule. I generally find that the busier and more occupied I am, the better my eating habits get.
Good advice, thanks. I share your observations about hunger and boredom. I have a horrible time resisting snacks when I've nothin' to do.
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coalcracker
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by coalcracker »

ZMonet wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:29 pm I started out doing the 16/8 fasting just like you because I thought it was insane to do the one meal a day (OMAD) thing. After doing 16/8 six times a week for a while though I came to realize that what I thought was hunger wasn't and that it was likely more insulin spikes. I now do OMAD (basically a 2-hour feeding window) about five times per week and find it quite easy most days. It works especially well right now where I'm not having social lunches and I'm at home working. An added plus is that I now have something to look forward to after fasting all day. I find that exercise blunts my hunger so I try and get a cardio session in early morning and a weight lifting session in at "lunch time." I've read about people who swear by a concoction of mostly water, apple cider vinegar, and some sea salt for hunger. Tried it and didn't mind it, but it didn't do much for me...

Before I eat my OMAD, I have a couple of tablespoons of psyllium husk powder. Really helps in digestion and keeping me full.

Overall, I love the way this way of eating makes me feel and that I can pretty much eat what I want on days I fast.

Good luck with it!
Thanks!

Is the psyllium husk powder simply for fiber?
Topic Author
coalcracker
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by coalcracker »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:38 pm I have been doing this for a long time (15+ years), well before the recent interest in it.

Water throughout the day

12pm - Granola Bar (Yes, food, but not a full lunch)
5pm - Dinner (which is a fairly light dinner as well)

No snacks.

First started at the end of college, helped me lose 70 pounds and keep the weight off.

I get hungry at times, but the body gets used to it.
Have you ever counted calories to see what your daily input is? Seems like one granola bar and a light dinner isn't much.
runner3081
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by runner3081 »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:00 pm
runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:38 pm I have been doing this for a long time (15+ years), well before the recent interest in it.

Water throughout the day

12pm - Granola Bar (Yes, food, but not a full lunch)
5pm - Dinner (which is a fairly light dinner as well)

No snacks.

First started at the end of college, helped me lose 70 pounds and keep the weight off.

I get hungry at times, but the body gets used to it.
Have you ever counted calories to see what your daily input is? Seems like one granola bar and a light dinner isn't much.
I haven't exactly counted, but daily count is probably around 1,200-1,500.
maniminto
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by maniminto »

Breakfast at 8 AM- black coffee, small portion of oatmeal with coconut milk, one egg omelette
Orange & almond snack around noon
Dinner at 5-6 PM: Brown rice and black beans/kidney beans/chicken/ plus vodka gimlet

1 meal a day seems like a grave deprivation.
stoptothink
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by stoptothink »

I have experimented with pretty much everything over the past 12-15yrs and I've kind of settled on 1 (very large meal) per day. I'm eating in a window from 6pm to 8pm. I'm a bigger guy, a former strength athlete (D1 football, powerlifting) who still carries quite a bit of muscle and is very physically active, so I'm eating ~3K kcals in that short period. It's basically one extended meal: a huge pile of greens, ~2lbs. of mixed veggies, 8-16oz. of lean(ish) protein, 4 fried eggs, some EVOO, and a handful (or 2 or 3) of raw nuts/seeds. You'd think I'd have severe digestive issues with that much "roughage" in such a short period, but nothing.

I start every month with a fast, anywhere from 36-80 hours depending how I am feeling. When I first started experimenting, I couldn't even imagine going 24hrs because I was so used to eating almost nonstop to fuel my training. Today, by the end of a 3-day fast I don't even necessarily want to eat. Two weeks ago I did a 19-mile hike with over 5K feet of elevation gain in just over 6hrs; didn't consume a thing but water and I began the hike ~30hrs fasted. I felt great when we finished...then polished off about 4k kcals in the next 2hrs.

My wife does a more traditional 16:8. You kind of have to figure out what works best for you. If there is one thing I've learned in 25+ years of nutrition science research it's that there are no generalizable hard and fast rules other than "eat whole food". We are all so unique in how we respond to nutritional input.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

I know plenty of people that it seems to work for, although it usually helps if they're not in an environment where they're expected to eat socially (e.g., business lunches with clients.) SO does a 16/8, mostly as a way of stopping mindless snacking. It doesn't work well for me, but I haven't seriously attempted it as I do fine with three meals and a more typical 12/12 split.
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by sailaway »

wackerdr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:41 pm Are any of you diabetic? What has been the impact on blood sugar levels?
I thought I wrote out an answer earlier, but am not seeing it:

As a type II diabetic using lifestyle for control, I use IF and OMAD to bring my blood sugar levels down if I had a higher carb meal/day/week. They are very useful for controlling total calories and the restricted time helps with sticking to the plan. I have not been able to consistently get enough calories in with these methods while eating a balanced diet (easy peasy if I binge on Micky D's for that one meal!) to do this as a long term lifestyle. Although there are plenty of people who combine time restrictions with keto, I just haven't been able to manage it with my reduced carbs, even though carbs are a bit high for keto. Instead, I eat this way until I stabilize my blood sugars and when it feels right (I have never been much of one for breakfast), but eat in a wider window when I am maintaining blood sugars.

With diabetes, the important thing is to get to know how your body reacts and work with that. Don't mess with lows, and be aware that IF can lead to higher spikes after eating in many people.
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by VictoriaF »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:38 pm I start every month with a fast, anywhere from 36-80 hours depending how I am feeling.
Do you drink any coffee or tea during your long fasts? Do you take electrolites or other supplements?

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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by mesaverde »

Hi coalcracker- what is your goal? To lose body fat?
As a competitive athlete (runner) I strive to maintain the ideal racing weight.
Before getting into an intense training cycle my goal is to make sure I'm at the appropriate weight. That involves counting calories in/out and eating at certain times of the day.

When my goal is to lose weight (body fat) this is my daily routine: coffee, go for a run which ends mid-morning, immediately have a ~500-800 calorie meal (often a homemade smoothie or whole milk yogurt with homemade granola mixed in). Breakfast should be the largest single calorie intake. Why? Because your body isn't likely to store any of it as fat. After breakfast I eat approx. 100-400 calories every 2-3 hours throughout the day to remain satiated and keep the glucose level up. I stop eating around 6pm. In that way you're essentially fasting from ~6pm-9am. It's a good idea to eat a fair amount of fat as your last meal... in that way you'll feel more full through the night. I find that it's best not to have a daily calorie deficit of more than ~500 calories... otherwise you're much more likely to gain the fat back just as fast (or faster) as you lost it.
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"
stan1
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by stan1 »

Personal schedule looks like:
Awake at 5:30 AM and 1 cup of coffee
Brisk walk for 75-120 minutes at (15 min mile) (bad hip, knees, ankle)
Breakfast around 8 and 1 more cup of coffee
Work
Lunch at 10:45 AM (salad with raw vegetables)
Work
Snack around 2:00 PM (nuts)
Work
Dinner around 5:00 PM (plant based)
Work
No more food before bed at 9:00 PM

It is easy for me to fit in; no sacrifices at all.
I could do once per day but spreading out feels better.
MindBogler
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by MindBogler »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:38 pm I have been doing this for a long time (15+ years), well before the recent interest in it.

Water throughout the day

12pm - Granola Bar (Yes, food, but not a full lunch)
5pm - Dinner (which is a fairly light dinner as well)

No snacks.

First started at the end of college, helped me lose 70 pounds and keep the weight off.

I get hungry at times, but the body gets used to it.
Same, I became interested in the science of fasting and hunger while in college and convinced myself it was worth a try. Every once in awhile I will eat "normal" for a few days and I find it to be odd. I think 16/8 is the easiest way to start but I often do 20/4 or OMAD.

I also lost about 70lbs and, although I've fluctuated some, I have been the same weight plus or minus a few for over 10 years.
Beleiber
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by Beleiber »

I have become a believer in Intermittent Fasting. When my PCP first suggested I consider this, I thought I could never go 24 hours without food. A year later, IF is easier than it seems. My weight loss is sustained, BG, A1C, and Cholesterol levels are back to normal. All this with no meds. The trick is to maintain one meal a day, 7 days a week. Lots of water, I prefer sparkling (Soda stream is perfect). No sugars, No Diet Soda. Lots of protein, no carbs, Fruits, and salads. I prefer dinner only but lunch only works too.

There is a really good book on the topic. Obesity Code.

Good Luck
runner3081
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by runner3081 »

MindBogler wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:56 pm
runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:38 pm I have been doing this for a long time (15+ years), well before the recent interest in it.

Water throughout the day

12pm - Granola Bar (Yes, food, but not a full lunch)
5pm - Dinner (which is a fairly light dinner as well)

No snacks.

First started at the end of college, helped me lose 70 pounds and keep the weight off.

I get hungry at times, but the body gets used to it.
Same, I became interested in the science of fasting and hunger while in college and convinced myself it was worth a try. Every once in awhile I will eat "normal" for a few days and I find it to be odd. I think 16/8 is the easiest way to start but I often do 20/4 or OMAD.

I also lost about 70lbs and, although I've fluctuated some, I have been the same weight plus or minus a few for over 10 years.
Congrats to you!

I don’t even try to eat normal, I would feel stuffed. Even now, eating a large meal, outside of my brown rice and a small entree at night is too much.
MindBogler
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by MindBogler »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:41 pm Congrats to you!

I don’t even try to eat normal, I would feel stuffed. Even now, eating a large meal, outside of my brown rice and a small entree at night is too much.
And congrats to you as well! This stuff really works.
Oatmeal
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by Oatmeal »

I've tried all sort of diets over the years but about a year ago I tried intermittent fasting. Initially was to help my sleep, so I stopped eating anything past 8PM. Sleep got better (I usually go to bed between 10:30PM and 11PM). I then learned I can just skip breakfast. Did 2-3 months where I wouldn't eat from 8PM till about noon the next day. I now eat dinner around 5PM and that is the last thing I eat until lunch the next day. So 19 hours of fasting and 5 where I eat. So 2 meals a day (lunch and dinner). I do drink black coffee in the morning and I do drink plenty of water. So far I lost about 42 pounds. Actually the last time I weighted this much was in high school a long time ago. I don't pay attention to what I eat honestly.

I'm also a cyclist. I ride almost daily in the AM (that is what I do for exercise). No issues there with energy or stamina. I do however tend to get cramps in my legs on longer or hilly rides. Really painful. So I've been taking an electrolyte tablet right before and right after. It has Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium. The cramps went away thankfully. I've been doing the electrolyte tablets for about 4-5 months now.

Other than the weight loss, my resting heart rate used to be in the upper 80s or low 90s. Now in the low 60s. My blood pressure is fairly low. So feels good and I intend to stick with it as long as I can.

Anyway, what I like about lunch and dinner is that I can still enjoy visiting with wife, family and friends over a meal. And I don't feel deprived in any way. Which is really important because I like food. And now I appreciate it much more.
CodeMaster
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by CodeMaster »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:22 pm I've been experimenting with daily intermittent fasting for a few months and, after a few days of adjustment, find that I quite like it. My schedule has been:

Black coffee in the morning
Lunch around 11:30
Dinner usually done by 7

I'm pretty hungry by 11:30 and tend to eat a larger lunch, such that I'm not terribly hungry for dinner. I'd love to hear experience from anyone who has tried one meal a day fasting, only eating dinner. I don't know that I could last all day until 6pm without eating, so I might have something small midday (yogurt, nuts, piece of fruit) to hold me over.
I eat after 5pm and allow myself to eat until I sleep if I get hungry. Usually its the normal large dinner and small meal b4 bed if hungry.

When my wife isnt around , I just eat one giant meal right before bed... get food coma, pass out hard. Its great...

I drink coffee all the way until eat, 2 or 3 large home made coffee. Its the best, high energy, clear head, growth hormones, everything...
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Re: Intermittent fasting: 2 meals to 1 meal a day?

Post by LadyGeek »

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