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I read a tip on bodybuilding.com. The tip was to not keep your calorie intake consistent. So basically have it always be different in order to lose weight by changing your leptin levels and your metabolism. Strait up I'll be honest. I am lazy. I'm 5'11, my weight is consistent around 170. I eat when I am hungry and only then. I wouldn't be interested in spending time to count calories and hassle myself with it. So the question is, can I benefit myself in weight-loss perspective by having 3 large meals in one day, then drink water all day next day? I am just curious if that would break the objective. Again the objective is to lose weight by manipulating leptin and metabolic levels.

  • What you're proposing is a less common form of intermittent fasting. Some people do only eat every other day and claim that it's beneficial to them. I myself only tried eating for 8h and fasting for 16h per day, which worked quite well. You might want to read up on that concept (leangains.com for example), as there are many other variants that you might find interesting. – user8119 Jun 5 '14 at 10:18
  • Do you have an exercise plan? Otherwise this is nutrition advice and off topic. – JohnP Jun 5 '14 at 19:55
  • @JohnP I don't think it has to be about "exercise" per se to be on topic. Body re-composition is fair game. – G__ Jun 7 '14 at 1:26
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Results are mixed, even within the same experiment. One of the most common studies to be cited, "Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake", found that, in lab rats, the opposite seemed to be happening. They had rats on a regular feeding schedule, rats on an overall reduced caloric intake, and rat who were fed the same number of calories as the second case but with intermittent fasting periods. The greatest weight loss was in the consistent reduction with the intermittently fasting rats gaining weight at the same rate as the rats who were being consistently fed more calories. The researchers involved quickly backpedaled, claiming that this must be a result of the rat's gorging behavior and that the results aren't applicable to humans, but it seems consistent with the dieting data for the last several decades which seem to show that fasting makes the body conserve calories rather than burn them faster, and the more often you bounce between reduced and normal caloric intake, the less effect the periods of reduced caloric intake have.

So yeah, no magic shortcuts when it comes to dieting, just consistently taking in fewer calories at a reasonable rate. Sorry.

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Healthy is sexy. Being a lighter weight isn't. I think you'll be much happier with your results if you focus on health rather than weight. Everyone knows* that muscle weighs more than fat. If you're not happy with how lean you appear, you can get great results by eating low carb (around 100g/day) and plenty of calories (2000+). When you reduce your carbs, you body manages stored fat much more easily. If you're eating more carbs, your body will tend to store it off as fat (not to mention all the glycemic load/insulin issues). When you keep carbs under control, the extra calories don't hang around as fat. Your body uses what it needs and doesn't store the rest.

The other responses about fasting are spot-on. Long fasts and caloric restriction teach your body that food is hard to come-by and it should store all the fat it can, just in case tomorrow turns out to be another fast day. Teach your body that there is plenty of good food available, and it won't work so hard to store extra!

*Unfortunately, most people don't really believe that getting sexier by trading fat for muscle results in bigger numbers on the scale. They kind of think that it applies to most people, but not me and not right now. I just need to lose wieght. Jason Seib has some great examples of people who appeared flabby at a lower weight, then got healthier, leaner and heavier to appear much more fit and trim.

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There is an increasing amount of evidence that this approach is both beneficial to weight control and to your health. Without the calories to store as fat or burn as fuel the body starts to target injured parts of the body to optimise survival whilst food is scarce.

As well as weight control (and saving money), there is also a decrease in blood sugar, blood pressure and an improved sense of well being.

Myself, I've only tried the 5:2 diet, but the benefits are undeniable IMHO.

I had high blood pressure and this sorted it out pretty much straight away.

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  • whats 5:2? i'm not familiar. – user2656801 Jun 7 '14 at 13:04
  • Basically where you fast for 2 days each week - 600 calories max on those days. You can (in theory) eat what you want the rest of the week, but in my experience you tend to start eating what is better for you. Some people have more success with alternate day fasting which is the same thing but you fast every other day. – Robbie Dee Jun 8 '14 at 8:57
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Check out this site: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting

A weightlifting doctor tried different types of Intermittent Fasting, using himself as a guinea pig. No better evidence in my humble opinion.

FYI, I tried variations myself. Settled on not eating on Saturdays each week. Lost weight initially then gained it back over a total 8 week period.

Eating better generally is much more effective, though I would suggest missing one day per month of eating. Humans are animals after all and it's good to remind the body of real hunger.

A worthwhile experiment may be: Eat intentionally clean, have a (reasonable) cheat day once per week and fast for one day per month. I can see that being a long-term strategy.

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