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Amaranthus

Mixed IF-CR schedule

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I'm new to the CR forum, having recently become interested in discussion of the science and methods of CR and IF.

 

As background, I am a biological scientist and modeller (principally ecology and global change biology - not clinical). I'm male, 39 years old, 170 cm and current weight is 64 kg. My weight is still gradually declining (but almost plateaued) since starting CR about 1 year ago (when I was 80 kg) - I estimated my set point at about 68 kg. My exercise routine consists of rotating strengthening exercises (free weights, isometrics) about 4 times a week for 30 min, walking 6-10 km per day, and HIIT on an exercise bike (8 min schedule) x 3 per week.

 

I have been doing some 'self experimentation' with CR regimes over the past year, and wanted some feedback on my current preferred schedule.

 

Day 1: Ad lib eating (typical consumption is ~2,600 cal), breakfast, lunch, dinner and some snacks, healthy CRON-focused food, some treats, last food at about 10pm

Day 2: 20/4 fast - no calorie intake until 6pm (coffee, tea, water ok), then Ad lib eating window from 6 - 10 pm (similar to the Fast-5 plan), typical inkate is 1,800 cal

Day 2: Fast - no calorie intake until 6pm, then a <500 cal meal within a 1 hour eating window

Day 4: Go to Day 1

 

There is flexibility with the above to fit into my lifestyle, e.g. when I know I have work-related meals, I try to schedule that for the Ad Lib day, and if I need to rearrange my schedule I'll add one or more 20/4 days. It seems to work very well for me, and is a plan I can follow indefinitely.

 

The above includes a number of IF periods, duration of ~20 hours, and an average intake of ~1,600 to 1,700 cal per day. (My BMR is ~1490 cal, or 1790 cal for 'sedentary'). It is tough to know quite what my actual CR is, given the exercise loading. My heart rate is 45 bmp, BP 110/65, chol/TG etc. in optimal range.

 

Does anyone else in the CRS following a similar plan, or have comments on the pros/cons of the above?

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I'm glad you've found a schedule you feel could suit you long-term. I don't have much in the way of pros/cons without knowing specific food choices, but assuming you have that optimized for your nutritional needs and preferences then I say go for it. I am curious what your typical food choices are. Do you enjoy the IF days, or do you follow it for practical reasons such as calorie control? I'd imagine that eating breakfast and lunch every third day would throw you off of a regular schedule, making the fasting days more difficult with regards to hunger or energy, but of course everyone is different. Have you thought about Day 1 being another IF day but with a longer eating window, say 12pm-10pm.

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The IF has two purposes for me - a simple means of calorie control that does not require a food diary (I did this for over 6 months, but it is better if it can be avoided) - and for the physiological benefits it brings in terms of SIRT1 activation, increased autophagy, increased insulin sensitivity, etc.

 

The alternative I've toyed with is to just stick to a 20/4 IF pattern on a daily basis. Some days I need to feast (for social purposes) and other days I'm really in the mood to do a deeper fast.

 

I do enjoy the occasional breakfast, especially given that it comes after a Fast day (<500 cal) - at that point, I'm really ready for it! Whereas following the Feast and 20/4 days, I'm still quite satiated by morning time (having last eaten at ~10pm) and so am easily able to skip breakfast the next day with no qualms or stomach rumbles. So I find the mixed schedule works out quite well and is not difficult to cope with - the body and mind both seem to like the variation, and I have an unquantified suspicion that introducing 'noise' into the calorie stress schedule (i.e. as an occasional acute stress rather than chronic stress) may be more stimulatory for my physiology.

 

As you note James, ultimately what matters is what works for the individual! But I am curious as to the proportion of CRS members who favour some significant IF within their schedule. I noted from reading "The Longevity Diet" that Lisa did 1 day of juice fasting, whereas Brian did no fasting. What is the preponderance for members?

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I'm a grazing over time kind of guy, so my 3 regular meals (soup + breakfast) and 1 snack (coleslaw-spinach salad) happen between 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM and the rest of the time I fast. I find it difficult to concentrate in my 10 hr per day IT job when I'm too hungry. Occasionally I do a 20/4 day on Friday which is my extra day off work each week, but not every week.

 

I know there's lots of 2 meal per day people here and a few once a day guys also.

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Guest Andreas Sjöstedt

What do you mean with 20/4 hour day? Do you mean 24 hours fast?

So it is three days?

1st day 2600 calories

2nd day 1800calories

3rd day less than 500 calories?

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What do you mean with 20/4 hour day? Do you mean 24 hours fast?

So it is three days?

1st day 2600 calories

2nd day 1800calories

3rd day less than 500 calories?

So that 20/4 means 20 hrs with no food (only tea) and 4 hours when I will eat. Often I'll arrive home around 7pm and then eat my evening meal on Thursday evening. Then I'll fast until about 3 pm on Friday.

Then I start eating again. Usually I'm full after eating lots of veggies for about 20 minutes.

I do this once a week when I decide to do it. It helps me to slow down any over consumption that might be happening with extra nuts or something like that. When I "cheat" on my CR diet, it's almost always with

extra nuts.

When I'm not doing the 20/4 thing, I usually graze on 1750 calories of veggies, nuts and berries and an open face peanut butter sandwich once a day.

 

 

 

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