Diet & Weight Loss

I know we have the Weigh-in thread and some specific threads like Keto have been started but thought it might be useful to have a more generic “one stop shop” for more varied discussions.
I’ve just started giving the 16/8 fasting regime a go after finding my weight creeping up the last few weeks. I lost a bit of weight at the start of lockdown. I stopped cycling to work (only 15mins each way) so replaced this with 30mins rowing and was walking quite a bit to make use of my 1 daily outing allowance. This seemed to shock my body into a response which has tailed off over time and is now going the wrong way.
I’ve found this a number of times when changing routines (whether intentional or imposed) so thought the 16/8 thing might be another little shock for a few weeks then find something different after that.
I’m due to run at lunchtime and this will be the first time I’ve done some exercise during (or at the end of) the fasting period (8pm -12pm) and am undecided whether to have a banana or something beforehand or just see how it goes.
Any advice or experience from people who’ve tried 16/8 gratefully received.

My wife has been eating on the 16/8 (or 18/6 or whatever) for the last 2 years and finds it great. She lost a lot of weight post baby and has now settled as a new low (for her). She never seems hungry mid-morning whereas I do and it works for her. I’ve tried it on and off but never strictly I normally end up at 14/10 which is fine for me.

My biggest issue right now is snacking whilst working from home. There was much less temptation in the office.

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My experience with it is somewhat limited, but I’ve done it a bit both because I’m often not a big one for breakfast, and in some cases as a period of doing it intentionally.

It takes a while to get a feel for it, but I got to know what I was going to feel like before a run in the early afternoon and judge from that if it was worth having something to eat before hand. If I felt like it was I’d generally go for a handful of peanuts. My thinking being that if the goal of 16/8 is to avoid insulin spikes having something that was more protein/fat than carbohydrate would keep things even. It took a bit of time to figure out what worked for me, and I got frustrated when I tried to read about it because there is a lot of ‘information’ out there that seemed to contradict itself.

Things I noted (again, in my sample of 1!)

  • Dinner has a big impact on how I’d feel the next morning; if I had something that was more carbohydrate based (e.g. bulk was pasta or rice, less so with potatoes) I would find the fasted period more difficult than if it was my go-to-dinner of a big salad with a carbohydrate that was slower in being digested, and a not insignificant proportion of the calories came from fats.

  • I did some longer fasts too; 24 hours I was fine with (dinner one night to dinner the next worked for me) and would often do a fairly easy workout before breaking the fast. My HR seemed elevated compared to perceived effort, but it was OK. I never made it more than about 30 hours, as I’d wake up during the night feeling DREADFUL and get something to eat so I could get back to sleep. I suspect if I’d pushed through with this I would have adapted. At the end of 24 hours, I had to be careful with what I ate, and a big meal was NOT the answer and would lead to some, shall we say, gastric distress!

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Something that I found of interest.

(with apologies for the tangent)

Cracknell, of rowing/can’t get a job so does silly sporting things fame, wrote today that when he was at Cambridge a couple of years ago his basic metabolic rate was only 1270 calories a day (younger crew members average was 2380.)

Or to put it another way, do the same training and eat the same food at 40 as 30 and you’ll put on 3.5kg a year.

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I’ve done runs up to tempo pace at the end of a 16-18 hour fasted period and didn’t really feel it affected me. I wouldn’t want to do a hard session though.

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I do 16x8 as that’s my normal pattern of eating, I never have anything before exercise, including hard sessions - when fit (I am not at the moment) I’ve regularly done 60 minutes commute to work including 20 minute threshold interval in the park, 10-12km at around 1/2 marathon pace at lunch, 45 minutes home in the evening, all without any food at all and not feeling hungry.


I basically do the same 16/8 as you but on weekdays only. The only exercise i’m doing in the morning is swimming & I have no problem at all with that. I look forward to eating at lunch but not because i’m especially hungry just because I like food and it’s my routine.

My lunch meal (M-F) is high fibre/low carb then I’ll try to have my evening meal as early as possible, carb heavy a few hours before training & then some guilt free snacking after training.

Avoid snacking on crap just don’t have it in the house.

Works well for me.

Edit to add: Rule breaking carbs after 9pm have a big impact on how easy the next morning fast will be.

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Ran 7km at lunchtime, without eating since 8pm last night. I’m not much cop at the best of times but it didn’t feel any worse than usual so I’m calling that a win :wink:
Last 10mins or so I think I felt a bit flatter but could just be psychological to be honest. HR seemed a bit high than usual but dropped for that last 10min when I felt a bit flat. Having said that I have so little faith in wrist HR I’m going to read too much into it anyway.

Yep, I think it will be a M-F thing for me too. I do the bulk of my weekend training in the mornings so I’m thinking breakfast would be a good idea.

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