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Anyone tried intermittent fasting?

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Old 05-29-18, 04:55 AM
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Anyone tried intermittent fasting?

I’m referring to eating within a scheduled “grazing” window. The commonly cited window that has led to benefits for endurance athletes is within 9 hours. Eg. eat between noon and 9, and restrict to water in other hours. Benefits include greater muscle mass, improved appetite control, greater longevity (in other species that is), and more. Lots of studies have been done on this and they point to good things. I wonder if any cyclists here do it, what their experiences have been, and how they manage it with days on the bike. Like on days for morning races or training rides. do you break fast by eating a nice big breakfast (no pun intended), or in some cases use your glycogen storage, especially if the ride is <3 hours?

there's a slight confusion in the terminology. I'm referring more to time restricted eating, which is slightly different from intermittent fasting.

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Old 05-29-18, 05:53 AM
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I try to stop eating everyday by 6pm...I may start with breakfast as early as 5am depending on the day. I've been considering going to a 9-6 or 10-6 window, but that would be driven by when my training rides take place...typically commencing at 10 or 11am. That said, before long rides/events, I tend to eat more and eat whatever it is outside the time window to ensure I have enough calories for a good start and some sustain. I drink mostly water, some coffee...no alcohol.
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Old 05-29-18, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post
I try to stop eating everyday by 6pm...I may start with breakfast as early as 5am depending on the day. I've been considering going to a 9-6 or 10-6 window, but that would be driven by when my training rides take place...typically commencing at 10 or 11am. That said, before long rides/events, I tend to eat more and eat whatever it is outside the time window to ensure I have enough calories for a good start and some sustain. I drink mostly water, some coffee...no alcohol.
how has that worked out for you?

what if your training rides are at 8 am?

I could eat earlier, but personally, i like going to bed with a full stomach, otherwise, i have problem falling asleep.
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Old 05-29-18, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
how has that worked out for you?

what if your training rides are at 8 am?

I could eat earlier, but personally, i like going to bed with a full stomach, otherwise, i have problem falling asleep.
unless I'm racing I never eat before noon. I eat dinner around 7pm.
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Old 05-29-18, 08:41 AM
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I've thought about giving it a go (I still need to lose about 25lbs). One thing I have going for me is that I take Synthroid in the morning and my endocrinologist said I should avoid food for about an hour after I take the pills. So, I take my pills and hop on the bike to ride to work (a couple of days a week) so I get anywhere from an hour to 2 hours of work on an empty stomach. I only drink some PowerAde zero in my bottle if needed.

So, on some days I'm going about 12-15 hours without food. That would be a good start, however I typically am blowing it because I'm eating pretty crappy at work (and thinking I need to "make up" for missing breakfast and to fuel my ride home).

I'm seeing people talk about it a lot more, so it might be something to try. Subconsciously though I could see giving myself permission to still eat ****ty food because I'm "fasting". It'd be hard for me to fast for a while, then break the fast with a veggie bowl or something. I'd want to grab a soda and some chips. Which would defeat the purpose of the fast. For me, it's all about food choice.

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Old 05-29-18, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
how has that worked out for you?

what if your training rides are at 8 am?

I could eat earlier, but personally, i like going to bed with a full stomach, otherwise, i have problem falling asleep.
It works okay when my weight is where I want it, but I think the graze period is too long for reasonable weight loss. For earlier rides, I would eat earlier...I like at least an hour from meal to wheels, but can go directly to the bike if I do not overeat.
Lately, I've been at the gym ~8am, so not a factor.
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Old 05-29-18, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post


It works okay when my weight is where I want it, but I think the graze period is too long for reasonable weight loss. For earlier rides, I would eat earlier...I like at least an hour from meal to wheels, but can go directly to the bike if I do not overeat.
Lately, I've been at the gym ~8am, so not a factor.
what if you cheat 1 or 2 days out of the week for training rides or races? I’d imagine you’d still get most of the benefits
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Old 05-29-18, 10:28 AM
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aren’t you doing crits mostly? why starve yourself?

even if doing RRs just avoid the ones with “mountain”, “hills”, “pass” in the name.

eat man, eat!!
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Old 05-29-18, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
aren’t you doing crits mostly? why starve yourself?

even if doing RRs just avoid the ones with “mountain”, “hills”, “pass” in the name.

eat man, eat!!
haha, the focus is not losing weight, as I'm not doing this just for cycling. I'm more interested in its health benefits for longevity, and everyday productivity. So the question is geared more towards how can I balance this with cycling.
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Old 05-29-18, 12:05 PM
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got it. still seems like a dumb idea to me, but what do I know.
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Old 05-29-18, 12:27 PM
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I started a low carb / high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet almost 2 months ago and have added IF (intermittent fasting). I've found I was metabolically resistant (didn't lose all that much during the first two weeks of Atkins induction (low carbs, 20g of carbs a day), and a bit after I started IF the pounds started coming off. Mostly I do OMAD (one meal a day), which translate to a 24 (to 23 and change) hour fast if you do it twice in a row, and 18:6 - 6 hour eating window, and 18 hours between, and I've done a 40 hour and a 50 hours. I still pt (cycle, daily walk) while fasting.

Read Dr. Jason Fung's book The Complete Guide to Fasting, which is excellent. Dr. Fung treats and cures people with type 2 diabetes using IF.

the complete guide to fasting (review) 10-29-2016

I know my next annual labs will be good - especially bp and A1C. Not worried about cholesterol, as it's been proven that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, or anything bad. In fact, studies have shown that mortality decreases the higher your total cholesterol is. Another government dogma farce in line with their failed low fat / (high carbohydrate) diet.

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Old 05-29-18, 08:03 PM
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Heh. I'm going the opposite way as trial for the next few weeks. Going to try to eat a bunch of smaller meals rather than pig out for dinner than go back for snack afterwards like I used to.

However, I have had good success with ~24 hour fasts (usually unintentionally when I was in college, sometimes intentionally) to drop a few pounds quick. Do it on a day off the bike. Also really good to get your hydration back in check.
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Old 05-29-18, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
However, I have had good success with ~24 hour fasts (usually unintentionally when I was in college, sometimes intentionally) to drop a few pounds quick. Do it on a day off the bike. Also really good to get your hydration back in check.
That's really silly. All you're doing it burning off glycogen (and dumping the water that goes with it)...

This might actually make sense before doing an ultra-marathon, since it's very low intensity (you'll do better if fat adapted), but not so much for bike racing which involves surges and sprints, which requires glycogen.
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Old 05-29-18, 11:45 PM
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I did, for a couple days before I got my check.
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Old 05-30-18, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by baribari View Post
That's really silly. All you're doing it burning off glycogen (and dumping the water that goes with it)...

This might actually make sense before doing an ultra-marathon, since it's very low intensity (you'll do better if fat adapted), but not so much for bike racing which involves surges and sprints, which requires glycogen.
Didn't mean to say I enjoyed it (or was really a good idea). Mostly just forgetting to eat when I was in school or busy with work and noticing that weight loss is easy when you don't eat lol
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Old 05-30-18, 02:24 PM
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I use IF combined with a 1 hour commute for fat adaption and weight loss. I usually try to stop eating by 8pm and don't eat lunch until noon. When I first started last year I kept it at Z2 intensities for over a month otherwise I'd be on the verge of bonking. I'd then do harder intervals in the evening on the way home. I'd also eat for harder longer weekend rides, but by the end of summer I could go on 3-4 hour rides with the GF at lower intensities with no food until 1-2pm with an overnight fast. Your body will replenish some glycogen via gluconeogenisis. You could also try to employ a sleep low strategy Dr. Hawley has been researching Fast Talk podcast, ep. 23: How periodization works... for your nutrition | VeloNews.com
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Old 05-30-18, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Your body will replenish some glycogen via gluconeogenisis
Not sure why any athlete would prefer catabolizing muscle to just eating some carbs...
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Old 05-30-18, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
Not sure why any athlete would prefer catabolizing muscle to just eating some carbs...
Why do you think you would be catabolizing muscle from an intermittant fast? gluconeogenisis of glycerol freed from burning fatty acids separated from triglycerides(fat) is a normal function of the body. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/7647479/
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Old 05-31-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by gios View Post
I started a low carb / high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet almost 2 months ago and have added IF (intermittent fasting). I've found I was metabolically resistant (didn't lose all that much during the first two weeks of Atkins induction (low carbs, 20g of carbs a day), and a bit after I started IF the pounds started coming off. Mostly I do OMAD (one meal a day), which translate to a 24 (to 23 and change) hour fast if you do it twice in a row, and 18:6 - 6 hour eating window, and 18 hours between, and I've done a 40 hour and a 50 hours. I still pt (cycle, daily walk) while fasting.

Read Dr. Jason Fung's book The Complete Guide to Fasting, which is excellent. Dr. Fung treats and cures people with type 2 diabetes using IF.

the complete guide to fasting (review) 10-29-2016

I know my next annual labs will be good - especially bp and A1C. Not worried about cholesterol, as it's been proven that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, or anything bad. In fact, studies have shown that mortality decreases the higher your total cholesterol is. Another government dogma farce in line with their failed low fat / (high carbohydrate) diet.
With all those acronyms, this has to be legit info.. /s
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Old 05-31-18, 12:01 PM
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The topic and participants in this thread is more suited for the Training and Nutrition subforum. Not going to move it (unless you want me to @spectastic ), just sayin'. You might get some more traction over there.

As for me, I'm with @mattm - eat, damn it! If you don't have any health problems you should do just fine with trying not to eat too much junk food and drink too much alcohol and otherwise living a conventional life.
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Old 05-31-18, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
With all those acronyms, this has to be legit info.. /s
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Old 05-31-18, 01:19 PM
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Cool if you’re stepping on stage...for an athlete i would say hell no.
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Old 05-31-18, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Why do you think you would be catabolizing muscle from an intermittant fast? gluconeogenisis of glycerol freed from burning fatty acids separated from triglycerides(fat) is a normal function of the body. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/7647479/
Because one of the substrates used for gluconeogenisis is amino acids, and if you're fasted those are going to come from muscle.

Keep in mind this is the 33, so I'm assuming most here are training for performance as opposed to dieting and exercising for weight loss or to treat diabetes. Becoming "fat-adapted" is counter-productive for bike racing.
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Old 05-31-18, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
Because one of the substrates used for gluconeogenisis is amino acids, and if you're fasted those are going to come from muscle.

Keep in mind this is the 33, so I'm assuming most here are training for performance as opposed to dieting and exercising for weight loss or to treat diabetes. Becoming "fat-adapted" is counter-productive for bike racing.
First, an IF does not result in depleted glycogen stores, assuming your last meal was not carb restricted you have plenty of carbohydrates to refill your glycogen stores for the most part, and then those taper off the longer the time passes from your last meal


One of the substrates that CAN be used for gluconeogenisis are amino acids, but not the only one, and not one that necessarily occurs during an overnight fast or during a glycogen depleted ride. Glycogen replenishment while you are sleeping is largely through gluconeogenisis of glycerol unless you eat right before bed. Being strictly fat adapted above all else is counterproductive to bike racing, but fat adaption is very much a key component of bike racing except for crits and TTs because at high power outputs you simply cannot replace carbohydrates at a rate fast enough to keep up with the demands because of limits on the rate of absorption of glucose and fructose. So glycogen savings is very much a component of bike racing. Mitochondrial synthesis upregulation also occurs mainly in a glycogen depleted state as well as other markers that are important for building base fitness. Did you listen to the podcast I linked to above? A summary of one of the results is below for the IF/Sleep low group in terms of bike racing performance increases


Now of course IF isn't the only way to achieve these adaptions, the traditional long 5 hour base mile rides can achieve the same purpose or two a days, adaptions that occur in glycogen depleted states. IF isn't supposed to be used in all phases of training but it can be useful to kickstart training adaptions for those of us who are more time crunched, especially during a base phase.
A lot more has been discussed recently in the training forum Intermittant Fasting 🍴
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Old 05-31-18, 05:05 PM
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mostly I'm surprised there is a training forum.
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