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Old 04-17-2015, 12:37 PM   #21
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And two, how well does it match with a physically active way of life? Gary Taubes has presented a lot of data that shows that when people restrict calories, they also restrict activity. Their energy just falls.
The way I do it (about 1,000 calories on "fast" days) doesn't interfere with my workouts at all. I can still work out in the gym for over an hour or bicycle 10+ miles. I do my longer rides (18 miles, or the 35-mile charity rides) on non-fast days and make sure that I stay hydrated and well-nourished. (That's easiest on the local "Tour de BBQ" ride although I'm going to have to be careful on the "Tour de Bier" next month!)
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:39 PM   #22
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When you fast you lose muscle as well as fat. You have to take steps to avoid losing muscle.
True that. If I were going to fast, I'd have a "down day" with respect to any exercise at all. Right before and after exercise, I'd make sure I had some protein to keep from losing muscle.

I would say that some kind of fasting is "natural", meaning that when homo sapiens were "growing up", a good adaptation would have been to be able to get-by with very little food for a few days. What is certainly NOT natural is to have refined carbs and sugar every single day when you wake up!

For me, general calorie restriction is more comfortable than fasting, and I think it has a similar effect. I'll fast (sort of by accident) for 18 or 20 hours sometimes. Since I generally don't eat any refined carbs*, it's not that hard (I'm off of the blood sugar roller coaster).

One thing I'd say, though, is that it has to be "easy" and/or very rewarding, or you won't continue to practice that style of eating (for the rest of your life). Willpower only lasts so long. Anything one does temporarily to lose weight or attain any other goal is just asking for a yo-yo effect (going back to where you were once you stop practicing the new behavior).

*except beer
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:45 PM   #23
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I have only two issues with the intermittent fasting. One, it is not exactly pleasant, at least for me. This week I tried fasting light, the 8 hour daily eating zone. I don't own a scale so I don't know if I lost any weight, but I did take up a notch on my belt, a belt I have worn for about 20 years. But I am going to have to get pretty convinced to do this much, because as I said, it is not fun. Another issue is do I really want to stretch my stomach enough to let me load a day's calories into one or two meals?

And two, how well does it match with a physically active way of life? Gary Taubes has presented a lot of data that shows that when people restrict calories, they also restrict activity. Their energy just falls.

Ha
HaHa, I'm glad you found those links helpful.

While I didn't have a significant problem adjusting to a 5:2 diet, my DH did. When he would start a fast day, he would become cranky, irritable and unsettled. He found that this unpleasant reaction to fasting went away after a month or so. Shifting from eating three meals a day to going for short periods without eating is a big change. Mattson says that for some people it takes 4-6 weeks to adjust to intermittent fasting.

When DH and I are fasting, we can do just about everything that we would do on a normal day with no problem. Drive the car, do shopping, cook, clean, garden, go for walks. The only thing that we do not do is strenuous exercise, like running several miles, climbing a mountain, a vigorous cardio workout at the gym. According to Mattson, you shouldn't do strenuous exercise while fasting. In his experience, fasting people who try a strenuous activity, just fall over.

Currently DH is using the 5:2 diet to lose weight. I don't need to lose any weight, so I make a conscientious effort to consume an additional 400-500 calories per day (when not fasting) so that I maintain my weight. I don't have any experience in how one would deal with consuming a day's worth of calories in a short time period. Another benefit is that we are now spending less money on food!

The question of whether intermittent fasting results in muscle loss is quite pertinent. According to Mosely's 5:2 diet book, calorie restriction or dieting (eating 30% fewer calories every day for a prolonged period) causes the loss of both muscle mass and fat. In contrast, intermittent fasting primarily results in fat loss. I have also read this elsewhere, but I don't have the references at my finger tips.

It is amazing all the health benefits one can gain from a simple (and free) act like fasting.
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Old 04-18-2015, 02:31 PM   #24
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In contrast, intermittent fasting primarily results in fat loss. I have also read this elsewhere, but I don't have the references at my finger tips.
The work of Dr Horne is often cited -

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This recent study also confirmed earlier findings about the effects of fasting on human growth hormone (HGH), a metabolic protein. HGH works to protect lean muscle and metabolic balance, a response triggered and accelerated by fasting. During the 24-hour fasting periods, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men.
Link to his 2011 study- New Research Finds Routine Periodic Fasting is Good for Your Health, and Your Heart - Intermountain Healthcare - Salt Lake City, Utah

And the 2014 follow up study - Fasting Reduces Cholesterol Levels in Prediabetic People Over Extended Period of Time, New Research Finds - Intermountain Healthcare - Salt Lake City, Utah
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:53 PM   #25
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When you fast you lose muscle as well as fat. You have to take steps to avoid losing muscle.
Even better, why not just add some muscle?

Muscles are good at soaking up glucose, especially well-exercised muscle. Insulin levels go up when your body is trying to remove glucose from the blood and store it in appropriate cells. The body will increase insulin production when it has a difficult time storing glucose (too much intake of glucose producing food, cells not being receptive to insulin's message to store glucose, or a combination of the two).

I was a full blown diabetic at 12.7 A1c. Eating low carb and lots of long, slow, steady-state cardio brought it down to 7 in about six weeks (with the help of medication). There was some intermittent fasting in there as well, usually on the days I did a lot of cardio. I continued to improve doing that - got off the mediation - but I plateaued with an A1c in the high 5's. The really good changes happened when I started doing a lot of weight training and changed to high-intensity-interval-training for most of my cardio. My A1c dropped and has stayed in the low 5's (5.2 last time) without any medication. I generally eat 4-5 times a day using a low-carb diet rich in green veggies with a lot of lean meat (and some bacon too).

I don't have a problem doing some fasting, and I think it helped a little in the early stages of trying to fix my diabetes, but adding muscle and dropping body fat by means of high intensity athletic training with an emphasis on weight training while eating low-carb is what got me to where I wanted to be.

It's been a while since I've done my research, but I recall concerns about fasting actually causing an increase in insulin production and body fat because your metabolism is responding to it's perception that you're living in a time of famine.

My takeaway from my research and experience is that it's better to reduce your body's need to create more insulin by reducing the load (less glucose produced from food), and making your body more insulin sensitive by increasing it's ability to store glucose efficiently (reduce fat and add muscle mass through some cardio and strength training.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:40 PM   #26
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And if you're a woman, you could lose bone mass, too. Which in my case, I cannot afford.

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When you fast you lose muscle as well as fat. You have to take steps to avoid losing muscle.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:14 PM   #27
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Even better, why not just add some muscle?

Muscles are good at soaking up glucose, especially well-exercised muscle. Insulin levels go up when your body is trying to remove glucose from the blood and store it in appropriate cells. The body will increase insulin production when it has a difficult time storing glucose (too much intake of glucose producing food, cells not being receptive to insulin's message to store glucose, or a combination of the two).

I was a full blown diabetic at 12.7 A1c. Eating low carb and lots of long, slow, steady-state cardio brought it down to 7 in about six weeks (with the help of medication). There was some intermittent fasting in there as well, usually on the days I did a lot of cardio. I continued to improve doing that - got off the mediation - but I plateaued with an A1c in the high 5's. The really good changes happened when I started doing a lot of weight training and changed to high-intensity-interval-training for most of my cardio. My A1c dropped and has stayed in the low 5's (5.2 last time) without any medication. I generally eat 4-5 times a day using a low-carb diet rich in green veggies with a lot of lean meat (and some bacon too).

I don't have a problem doing some fasting, and I think it helped a little in the early stages of trying to fix my diabetes, but adding muscle and dropping body fat by means of high intensity athletic training with an emphasis on weight training while eating low-carb is what got me to where I wanted to be.

It's been a while since I've done my research, but I recall concerns about fasting actually causing an increase in insulin production and body fat because your metabolism is responding to it's perception that you're living in a time of famine.

My takeaway from my research and experience is that it's better to reduce your body's need to create more insulin by reducing the load (less glucose produced from food), and making your body more insulin sensitive by increasing it's ability to store glucose efficiently (reduce fat and add muscle mass through some cardio and strength training.

Leonids, that is a very impressive achievement. I think this is the pathway to favor. It also happens that a paper by a Duke cardiologist Wm E Kraus cam out in the last few days with the same conclusions. It takes a real time and effort commitment but you cured your diabetes!

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Old 04-18-2015, 09:45 PM   #28
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I was scheduled to have a fasting blood test for my annual physical, but forgot and ate breakfast by mistake. Oops. So much for fasting.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:36 PM   #29
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Good overview here...

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/inte...mentation.html
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Old 04-20-2015, 01:10 PM   #30
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This might be a good time to re-recommend Thomas Seyfried's book,
"Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management and Prevention of Cancer". Synopsis here: Cancer: causes and cures

As for me, short fasts (1 or 2 days) don't help lower blood sugar; however, I generally have coffee during fasting which confounds things. Seyfried indicates that some individuals can't achieve therapeutic levels of blood glucose while drinking coffee. Anyhow, I hope to try a longer fast soon, and do it without coffee.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:48 PM   #31
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You think this lady did a little fasting before she set a Guinness World Record?

Woman eats three 72-ounce steaks in 20 minutes - CNN.com
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:46 PM   #32
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Even better, why not just add some muscle?

Muscles are good at soaking up glucose, especially well-exercised muscle. Insulin levels go up when your body is trying to remove glucose from the blood and store it in appropriate cells. The body will increase insulin production when it has a difficult time storing glucose (too much intake of glucose producing food, cells not being receptive to insulin's message to store glucose, or a combination of the two).

I was a full blown diabetic at 12.7 A1c. Eating low carb and lots of long, slow, steady-state cardio brought it down to 7 in about six weeks (with the help of medication). There was some intermittent fasting in there as well, usually on the days I did a lot of cardio. I continued to improve doing that - got off the mediation - but I plateaued with an A1c in the high 5's. The really good changes happened when I started doing a lot of weight training and changed to high-intensity-interval-training for most of my cardio. My A1c dropped and has stayed in the low 5's (5.2 last time) without any medication. I generally eat 4-5 times a day using a low-carb diet rich in green veggies with a lot of lean meat (and some bacon too).

I don't have a problem doing some fasting, and I think it helped a little in the early stages of trying to fix my diabetes, but adding muscle and dropping body fat by means of high intensity athletic training with an emphasis on weight training while eating low-carb is what got me to where I wanted to be.

It's been a while since I've done my research, but I recall concerns about fasting actually causing an increase in insulin production and body fat because your metabolism is responding to it's perception that you're living in a time of famine.

My takeaway from my research and experience is that it's better to reduce your body's need to create more insulin by reducing the load (less glucose produced from food), and making your body more insulin sensitive by increasing it's ability to store glucose efficiently (reduce fat and add muscle mass through some cardio and strength training.
I'm really glad you brought up increasing muscle mass as an alternative to fasting.

Also the good reminder that well-exercised muscles are good at burning glucose and that increasing fitness can help reverse insulin resistance.
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:16 PM   #33
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Leonids, that is a very impressive achievement. I think this is the pathway to favor. It also happens that a paper by a Duke cardiologist Wm E Kraus cam out in the last few days with the same conclusions. It takes a real time and effort commitment but you cured your diabetes!

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Leonids other recent posts talk about really high intensity interval training and how that can improve insulin sensitivity of the muscles.

FWIW - I found this video for setting up the Concept 2 for the Tabata type interval training. I may try this.

This one may be better because it sets up for a limited number of intervals with PM3 or PM4.

I also found this suggested interval routine for the Concept 2.
Tabata Rowing Machine Workouts - Unbiased Rowing Machine Reviews | 62 Top Selling Models Tested
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:25 PM   #34
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Leonids other recent posts talk about really high intensity interval training and how that can improve insulin sensitivity of the muscles.
Actually, I think hiit's advantage is that it is good for fat burning without much risk of losing muscle mass. You will burn some glucose, and the muscles affected will temporarily increase their sensitivity to insulin, but I don't think it's very significant.

Long, slow cardio will burn a lot of glucose. But too much of it can eat up muscle. I can't think of anybody who wants to lose muscle.

Strength training is really the way to become insulin sensitive. Recently exercised muscle gobbles up glucose (there's a sort of golden hour after strength training). and the more muscle mass you have the more efficient you are at being insulin sensitive.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:35 PM   #35
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Actually, I think hiit's advantage is that it is good for fat burning without much risk of losing muscle mass. You will burn some glucose, and the muscles affected will temporarily increase their sensitivity to insulin, but I don't think it's very significant.

Long, slow cardio will burn a lot of glucose. But too much of it can eat up muscle. I can't think of anybody who wants to lose muscle.

Strength training is really the way to become insulin sensitive. Recently exercised muscle gobbles up glucose (there's a sort of golden hour after strength training). and the more muscle mass you have the more efficient you are at being insulin sensitive.
The video linked in the Exercise to Lower BP thread said (and showed) that HIIT increased insulin sensitivity after just 4 weeks. The "guinea pig" in the video who was borderline had like a 23% improvement.

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Dr. Michael Mosley has done some great diet and exercise programmes here is one about high impact, short duration exercise

The Truth About Exercise - Video Dailymotion
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:38 AM   #36
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Thanks Audrey for the Concept 2 set-up videos. I think I am least likely to get injured using the concept 2 for these Tabata Intervals. Sprinting is a no-no from my hip doctor, and kettlebells might be good but it is easier for me to lose form and get injured. Years ago I did intervals with dumbbells- bilateral clean and jerk, with floor touch between each rep. Pretty good, but it helped to be young.

Previously I just counted strokes for C2 intervals, but I am less likely to cheat under the clock.

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Old 04-28-2015, 11:58 PM   #37
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I think that may be my best option too for the same reasons. I can't get my effort level up high enough power walking. No prob getting that HR up on the Concept 2!
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:15 AM   #38
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Most body builders cut to get down to very low levels of body fat by reduced caloric intake over a period of months, while continuing to workout. Do that and carefully watch your nutritional balance (protein/fats/carbs) and you might get equally good results vs outright fasting. Disclosure, I haven't done either, but seems like a more reasonable approach to me. I am probably in the same boat as you, having remained in mid 5 A1C levels for years, but in my case, I should be about 25 lbs lighter than my 200 lb weight.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:41 AM   #39
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Most body builders cut to get down to very low levels of body fat by reduced caloric intake over a period of months, while continuing to workout. Do that and carefully watch your nutritional balance (protein/fats/carbs) and you might get equally good results vs outright fasting. Disclosure, I haven't done either, but seems like a more reasonable approach to me. I am probably in the same boat as you, having remained in mid 5 A1C levels for years, but in my case, I should be about 25 lbs lighter than my 200 lb weight.
Though the level of body fat (high single digits) for competition is likely neither healthy nor sustainable for "normal" folk...
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:06 AM   #40
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If you build muscle and are measurably stronger, but you don't lose weight, you've still obviously lost fat and replaced it with muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat per volume, so you would also drop some clothes sizes under this scenario.
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