Added a new testimonial, from Matthew S, which is very thorough and well written.
Matt is an example of how the Leangains way of meal patterning may impact the social and psychological sides of life – for the better. Have a look at it in the testimonials section further down the page (fourth person from the top).
Im also looking to update the blog every day with a “post of the day”, from one of the many internet forums I frequent on a regular basis. I will here post on some issues that may involve different aspects of Leangains/Intermittent Fasting.
Post of the day
This one is from beyondlowcarb.org and the post revolves around ADF (Alternate Day Fasting) and how it may affect bodyweight. In my response I talk about calorie intake during the feast being key for bodyweight gain, maintenance or loss, and post some interesting results from a recent study showing changes in bodycomposition (for the better, that is subjects lost fat and gained LBM) in comparison to a standard meal pattern. The results are interesting because the subjects consumed the same amount of calories on both diets.
I’ve been doing a lot of IF research. Specifically, I’ve been reading about the effects of Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) on cancer, cardiac and diabetes risk factors, as well as effects on weight and body composition in both animal and human subjects. The jury is decidedly still out in terms of how ADF affects body weight. Studies are all over the map – some gaining, some losing – dependent on length of study, quality of food, etc. I found an interesting article on IF + high fat diet. More on this after I read it.
Keep in mind that the key for ADF’s effects on bodyweight would still be calorie intake. Subjects are often told to eat ad libitum in these studies, thus a large energy deficit (provided by fasting) is easily outdone with a ravenous appetite or the typical energy dense food items that compromise peoples everyday diets. And then again, im not sure ADF would be doable (from a psychological/social standpoint), or even ideal, in the long term.
Of greater interest is the rather recent study by Stote et al (2007) showing improved bodycomposition with a 20 hr fast – in this case the calorie intake was tightly controlled. The study compares regular eating pattern (three evenly spaced meals) with fasting and im posting some interesting tidsbits below:
Results: Subjects who completed the study maintained their body weight within 2 kg of their initial weight throughout the 6-mo period. There were no significant effects of meal frequency on heart rate, body temperature, or most of the blood variables measured. However, when consuming 1 meal/d, subjects had a significant increase in hunger; a significant modification of body composition, including reductions in fat mass; significant increases in blood pressure and in total, LDL-, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations; and a significant decrease in concentrations of cortisol.
Conclusions: Normal-weight subjects are able to comply with a 1 meal/d diet. When meal frequency is decreased without a reduction in overall calorie intake, modest changes occur in body composition, some cardiovascular disease risk factors, and hematologic variables. Diurnal variations may affect outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 85:981– 8
Note the reduction in bodyfat (esp interesting considering calorie intake was not reduced).
Reading from the full text version, there even appears to have been LBM gain, which is quite fascinating. Perhaps fasting affects hormonal output favourably or activates gene expression mediated muscle growth, which is having a mild anabolic effect (speculating, not to be taken as being true). Or, it could be a result of inaccurate methods of measuring bodycomposition on the researchers part.