Intermittent Fasting

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2015-10-14 16:57:30 -0500
Started 2013-03-01 10:16:22 -0600

This article flies in the face of everything I have been taught…that's why it piqued my interest. I know that days when I space my meals out more, I feel…well…lighter and more deserving of my next meal. This article talks about spreading out our meals to get our bodies to use up our fat and glycogen stores. I don't know how it would work for a diabetic, but it could really help.

Just curious about what you guys think
By Dr. Mercola

Is it a good idea to “starve” yourself just a little bit each day? The evidence suggests that yes, avoiding eating around the clock could have a very beneficial impact on your health and longevity.

What we’re talking about here is generally referred to as intermittent fasting, which involves timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting.

It takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores and after that you start to shift to burning fat. However, if you are replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours (or sooner), you make it far more difficult for your body to use your fat stores as fuel.

It's long been known that restricting calories in certain animals can increase their lifespan by as much as 50 percent, but more recent research suggests that sudden and intermittent calorie restriction appears to provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake (or aren't willing to).

Unfortunately, hunger is a basic human drive that can’t be easily suppressed, so anyone attempting to implement serious calorie restriction is virtually guaranteed to fail. Fortunately you don’t have to deprive yourself as virtually all of the benefits from calorie restriction can be achieved through properly applied intermittent fasting.

Three Major Mechanisms by which Fasting Benefits Your Health

While fasting has long gotten a bum rap for being one of the more torturous ways to battle the bulge, it really doesn’t have to be an arduous affair. We’re NOT talking about starving yourself for days on end. Simply restricting your daily eating to a narrower window of time of say 6-8 hours, you can reap the benefits without the suffering. This equates to 16-18 hours worth of fasting each and every day — enough to get your body to shift into fat-burning mode.

Many studies have evaluated daily intermittent fasting, and the results are compellingly positive. Three major mechanisms by which fasting benefits your body, as it extends lifespan and protects against disease, include:

Read more

24 replies

WASHED OUT 2015-10-14 13:24:42 -0500 Report

I am so glad you posted this subject. It is very important to people with type 2 diabetes. The benefits of intermittent Fasting are just for type 2 people, which I didn't see anywhere in the article. This isn't for type 1 people. We all need to understand that type 2 Diabetes is a Progressive Disease and many people get caught up by the tide or suction as it pulls us deeper into its clutches, getting fatter and requiring more medication time and time again while it damages our bodies. Those medications treat only the symptoms, not the disease. Intermittent Fasting goes after the cause or the disease itself. The article above explains why this works. It is left up to the individual as to when if ever they will take on the cause instead of just treating the symptoms. This isn't easy, and this isn't for everybody. But It most certainly is working for me.

GabbyPA 2015-10-14 13:42:19 -0500 Report

This is from 3 years ago, when I first heard about it and kind of stopped my 3 meals 2 snacks as a must follow and began to eat a little more intuitively. I did my first 24 hour fast (recording and keeping track on purpose fast) yesterday and it was a huge fail. I will keep trying but my numbers dropped only 38 points and then by the end of the day had shot up 51 points. And I stayed at my dawn phenomenon levels all day. All I drank was water and unsweetened herbal tea. Not even any stevia. Then I woke up this morning about 75 points higher! And today, after eating my eggs for breakfast I had dropped 123 points, back into much better territory.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed. But It was a first try and maybe I just have so much in my liver, that it freaked out and dumped all day. I am going to do a 24 hour (or more) every Tuesday. I know in my mind it should work. Giving my body a day off from insulin has to help.

WASHED OUT 2015-10-14 13:53:16 -0500 Report

You can expect a spike but don't let it excite you, it is normal. On mine i spiked to 124 ,Gabby I even went as low as 78 and then leveled up from there going to 80 then finishing at 86. What was your start numbers and the numbers that shook you up ? The main thing is that you don't bottom out. Keep close check on it when doing this, as Steve and others stressed to me, I also am telling you. During the day when doing that I kept candy in my pocket also, so it would be handy. I didn't have to use it though. Be careful Gabby, and good luck.

GabbyPA 2015-10-14 14:14:25 -0500 Report

I am almost never in fear of bottoming out. I started very high at 238, couldn't get below 200 to save my life. It was very frustrating. I also didn't take any of my diabetic meds because I didn't want to drop. Maybe next time I will take at least my metformin. Taking insulin during a fast seems stupid and counter productive since I am trying to rest my body for the influx of insulin.

WASHED OUT 2015-10-14 16:09:34 -0500 Report

Oh, Insulin isn't Glucose, your spikes were glucose. Insulin is just part of the factor, and many biological factors work together to make it all work. Insulin will help reduce the numbers so be careful not to go low. Don't get rid of the insulin just yet, give it time.

GabbyPA 2015-10-14 16:31:46 -0500 Report

No, I know that. But my goal is to increase my insulin sensitivity and not having insulin floating around in my blood stream is my goal as much as getting rid of the glucose.

WASHED OUT 2015-10-14 16:05:53 -0500 Report

Gabby the first few time I did the 24 hr Fast I did take my insulin also every time I have took my regular meds Metformin 1000 mg 2x day plus taking Tradjenta 5 mg 1x day. The Insulin will keep your BG down believe it or not. You have to keep close watch on your BG to make sure, really make sure it doesn't go to low. Then after your body gets used to the swing and exhaust part of what it has stored in it , say you get into the 70's Bg you can try it without the insulin. That is what I did, I do believe you have to do this progressively also always being careful not to go to low. The spike is coming from your stored glucose in your liver and other places. The idea is to use those up, make your body burn those. Then it can begin to burn the reserve in the fat of your body. Remember to eat plenty of Fat, your body requires it on a no carb or low carb diet. It can get dangerous if you don't eat the fat and proteins to replace the carbs. Fat doesn't effect the BG very much at all. I think you for sure may want to do your regular meds. when doing this. Just watch and be prepared to keep it from getting low. When you spiked you were just getting to the good part of this, because it didn't come from what you ate but the stored areas. Each time I did this my spikes declined and then I started getting into them earlier than before, once burned off then my body started burning the fat in my body. So you can eat Fat to burn fat, just like the man said on , Butter makes your pants fall Off .
You just have to understand what is going on and not get shook up, those things happen naturally. That spike will soon burn down and head south, you just don't want it to go to far south. Always be ready to stop the fast if problems start happening. I carry candy in my pockets, but have never had to use it. Better luck next time pal, you have the right idea.

WASHED OUT 2015-10-14 16:57:30 -0500 Report

I am sure that was a shock. Just go slowly on this Gabby, you may still get rid of both the glucose and the insulin. We didn't get in this shape overnight and won't get out of it overnight either. Use your Insulin and meds, just be exceptionally watchful and careful of your readings. My guess is it will get better, mine did. Check out my update on recent post. I may be off that shot.

Tender Tips
Tender Tips 2013-03-07 21:54:00 -0600 Report

I know my diabetic educator told me that I really shouldn't be snacking-just eating 3 meals a day. Easier said than done of course… I will say that when I had to fast 24 hours before a procedure, I had the best sleep I'd had in ages! Makes you wonder. BTW Gabby, I haven't been on here in awhile-love your new profile pic!

GabbyPA 2013-03-09 15:52:38 -0600 Report

Why thank you. Hubby and I were on a mini vacation and we got to spend an hour with a photographer. It was fun.

Yes, there is something to be said for the "less full" feeling. I actually like it way better than the stuffed feeling. But too often it is the later that I live in. So I have been doing this and it really seems to be helping. It allows my numbers to go a little lower after I eat before the next meal. For me, that is fine because I tend to be high. So any help on getting lower is welcome.

moon74 2013-03-02 21:18:06 -0600 Report

According to my dr. we are suppose to eat 6 - 8 small meals a day. That would raise your metabolism and help you lose weight. But when I suggested fasting he flew into a rage. Leaving the table a little hungry is a good thing. Drinking a full glass of water 30 minutes before a meal is good. Most of us don't drink enough water. I have to play the game that I am full. I have bought smaller plates. I take smaller portions. Hey when I started drinking water I hated it. So I bought a blue bottle that reminded me of the ocean color of blue. I drink about a gallon a day. You got to burn off more than you put in to lose. A lot of times, I eat breakfast and skip lunch and then eat supper about 5. I really try not to eat after 7. Do what you got to do .

Nick1962 2013-03-01 12:13:33 -0600 Report

This was kind of the whole crux of my diet program. While we didn’t “fast”, the whole point was to not take in any more than you burned off so your body had to depend on those stores to stay alive – which was the point of the stores to begin with right? Trouble was, for obese people like myself I had too many stores, and the amount of food I took in was way over what my body needed, so not only did it not go after the reserves, it stored even more. When we actually looked at what each of us individually was burning off, our goal was to eat at just a slight deficit each day. It didn’t have to be hours at a time, but if you did eat all day long, never eat more than you think you’d burn off until your next meal or feeding.

Like David below, I eat when I’m hungry, but just enough to satisfy the pang. I also don’t “substitute” by trying to use more “diabetic friendly” ingredients that just don’t curb the hunger. If I want peanut butter on toast, I’ll start with a tablespoon on ½ slice of bread. If after that, I’m still hungry, well that’s when I play the mind game and promise myself the other half later or tomorrow when I’ve earned it, but rarely did I go back for the other half. Breakfast might be a hard-boiled egg and that’s it. No need to top off the tank with fuel you may not need. We’ve become too programmed to eat a “bowl” of this, or a “whole” that when our bodies may only need a quarter of whatever it is, and can still walk away feeling satisfied.

Once I took off the weight, and my body was more correctly responding to food, was when my numbers saw significant improvements. I started actually metabolizing correctly, and not overtaxing the pancreas, allowing it to work at its best level for me and my condition. Now that things seem to be running more like they should, I don’t have near the spiking issues I did a few years ago and my A1c reflects that, even though I’ve been falling off the diet wagon recently a little. As much as the good Dr. Mercola gets chastised for his theories, they do work, at least for me.

GabbyPA 2013-03-04 19:31:42 -0600 Report

I have been experimenting with this a little. I am not eating "snacks" between and I am making sure I wait at least 6 hours and the "short fasting" numbers are getting better and the spikes are not so bad because I am working on not giving in to the "craving" monster. Like you, I am trying to limit my intake at each meal to just feel satisfied. This is one thing my husband is very good at and I can learn from him.

Nick1962 2013-03-05 09:09:12 -0600 Report

Snacking isn't a bad thing as long as you deduct those snacks from your daily total. Sometimes you need them. I'm sure you'll be experimenting with this newfound info for a while, so good luck!

GabbyPA 2013-03-06 19:41:58 -0600 Report

My thing with snacks is getting them to be low carb. We keep a lot of snacks for hubby and his daughter. I need to avoid those, so sometimes walking on by is the best thing. I just got 3 dozen duck eggs from a friend and I think I might boil a few and keep them handy.

babydragon 2013-03-08 00:39:53 -0600 Report

I know this might sound bad but for me, I run really high and for me to run "Normal" I usually just eat 1 meal a day and that's when my husband comes home from work and my numbers turn out great… its just the days I decide to eat more than just the 1 meal a day that my numbers decide to go crazy!

GabbyPA 2013-03-09 15:55:14 -0600 Report

I know that no size fits all for anyone, least of all diabetics. I would say that one meal a day is extreme, but as long as you and your doctor are on board, why ruin what works for you. I know when people told me to eat more carbs because I was not eating enough, it really backfired and it has taken me years to regroup and try the restricted way that worked for me in the beginning.

Nick1962 2013-03-07 08:27:32 -0600 Report

Snacking was really hard for me. It was and still is an addictive habit so good luck. I used to sit on the couch in front of the TV and eat cheese and crackers - sometimes a whole stack of saltines and 4oz. cheese. I had to use every ounce of willpower to tell myself no and found myself frequently getting up and going outside for a walk. At least then I could justify one slice of cheese and one or two crackers. I’ve since switched to salt free dry roasted peanuts and low salt turkey jerky, but giving up smoking is easier in my book. I’ve never had hard boiled duck eggs, only poached. Let me know what they’re like.

GabbyPA 2013-03-09 15:56:45 -0600 Report

They are huge! But besides that they are a good taste. I think chicken eggs are more 'buttery', but duck eggs are good. I am making egg salad with them now. They are cooling on the stove as I type. The dogs are each getting a raw one in dinner tonight. They will be in heaven.

WASHED OUT 2015-10-14 13:10:32 -0500 Report

You may want to test those eggs for going bad before boiling them. If you haven't ever done that it is easy. Get a large bowl fill 3/4 full of cold water. Then drop the eggs into the water one at a time. If they floats it is a bad egg. If it sinks it is good. When bad gases build up inside the shell making them float. Duck eggs are really good, especially for baking.

davidhogan 2013-03-01 11:27:39 -0600 Report

You know Gabby I'm glad you posted this as it once again confirms to me just how COMPLICATED our treatment is and also how individual it is.

I'm starting to make a shift in my attitude of health and my diabetes. Since 2002 when DX I have been looking for a silver bullet, and saying I wasn't. I am no longer "dieting" I do indeed watch carbs, but I do not ever say any more "you can't have this or that" I accept that if I want something with carbs I have to plan for it, bolus for it and exercise after as just one example.

I also quit kidding myself about activity and REALLY try to be active and the more I do it, the more I AM active.

NOW to the meat of my response, I truly believe that MODERATION in most things is my new mantra. I eat now whenever I am hungry, but I try to eat for the most part healthy things, for instance I no longer eat candy bars, chips, or granola bars for most of my snacks but eat a handful only of real nuts such as almonds or walnuts, or I have a piece of celery and yes I might add a low fat cheese spread to it.

Sorry for being all over the place here but I think this highlights how individual we are and how conflicting all the "things" we need to need to do or not do, actually are.