If CICO doesn‘t work (as per Fung) why does IF work?

(Jane) #41

Then go. You are taking people’s love of the keto way of eating and exagerating their responses. I am a long-term yo-yo dieter, CICO, low fat, hours at the gym, etc. Always worked in the short term - never the long term. Unlike keto that takes minimal willpower and I’ve kept off the 40-lb loss for over a year effortlessly. While eating lots of fat and dairy. I am a 61-yo woman whose only exercise is walking.

And you are only focusing on weight loss. I will never go back to a SAD diet and my knees and skin thank me.


I agree that keto isn’t the only potential answer and it’s even bad or impossible for many people. We are different.
It doesn’t mean carbs doesn’t matter. It might matter nothing for your fat-loss, I easily believe that. You can lose fat just as easily on a carby diet. You aren’t hungrier on a carby diet. It’s perfectly true for my SO as well. And absolutely not for me.

You and my SO use willpower and accept hunger (you for a while, my SO every day when losing and sometimes when maintains). I refuse to do that but I can’t, really, I tried once, never again.

For many, it’s probably “just” way easier and more pleasant if they restrict carbs. That would be enough reason for me as I am a hedonist. I listen to my body too, I mean I don’t even do thing it dislikes, not even for a week or if it’s a strong dislike, not even for a day or an hour. It works for me well enough but I can’t do much about these things anyway.

I do IF because I can’t do non-IF (I have such days but they usually feel wrong or a result of some mistake). I don’t eat much carbs because I can’t eat much carbs, I get unwell and I am a hedonist and can’t do that. Just like some people can’t do IF. And most people can but it’s not so great in the beginning.
I don’t do hunger because I can’t (hedonism, again, my body has its temper tantrums anyway, nope, it’s a serious sign to eat. my mind agrees, actually). If I am hungry, I eat. It doesn’t mean I didn’t try OMAD, I did it for a short while, I obviously wasn’t hungry when I fasted. It was almost perfect for me but not quite so I quit when I got hungry at the “wrong” time but it was fun while it lasted, I love experiments.

It probably is for some especially when it’s the most horrible advice for them… I don’t like as a general advice either.
It’s the answer for me as well but only the surface, it’s no real answer as it doesn’t say how on earth could I do that. Both works for me if I can do them to the right extent and it’s hopeless without either but I think I have little chance with only one and not both.
It’s the answer for my SO as well, even for maintenance as he had problems with that before. He just do it without the long journey I needed to go on.
But NOT everyone is like this. Exercise might hinder fat-loss. Less food could do the same but I think we all know very little food harms metabolism and even if one loses fat quickly when starving, it’s a bad thing.
And there are those interesting hormonal and other things in the body that makes everything even more weird and sometimes seemingly illogical.

So. I need probably both, I try to do exercise but HOW could I eat even less? The real answer is probably extremely low-carb for me, keto with plants wasn’t enough. Maybe it would have been if I could focus like crazy that I eat as little as possible…? But it would be stressful and maybe wouldn’t even work. Carbs mess with me, I finally realized at the point when I could give them up (a few years after I went keto for the first time).

I am “super sensitive” if it’s about carbs and my fat-loss, hunger, satiation, this bunch. You aren’t at all. Some people need their carbs. Each to their own.

(Justin Jordan) #43

DOES it work?

So, what Dr. Fung means is that long term, CICO doesn’t work. And what he means is that restricting calories consciously doesn’t work in the long term. I make that distinction because people use CICO as short hand when they mean something different. If you are losing fat you are absorbing less calories than you expend. Fung doesn’t deny that.

But he is right, statistically, about calorie counting. Most people that lose weight regain it. His theory is that this is because of metabolic adaptation. And his other theory is that by fasting, you don’t have metabolic adaptation.

Still, we don’t have any real evidence whether fasting actually IS better. Or keto. You could say but but this forum, etc. But you get survivorship bias - people who succeed long term are the ones who keep posting. So who knows?

(And I say that as someone who uses fasting, intermittent fasting, and a near zero carb diet)

(James Clary) #44

Yea man. I’m new here and already guilty. I’ll definitely do a search before posting in the future. Thx for the nudge!

(Jack Bennett) #45

That’s a real factor. I see one vegan activist online who claims (personal) failure of Atkins over many years and success on very-low-fat, whole-foods, plant based (WFPB). It seems strange to me. Having tried both diets / WoE, I find keto very satisfying, while WFPB made it hard to stay full and led to loss of muscle mass.

I can imagine that if a person didn’t really like meat or animal foods, they might have a bad time with Atkins or keto.

(Justin Jordan) #46

I mean, as a personal example - I just did six weeks of alternate daily fasting, and it’s NOT a sustainable method for me. The for me there being key. And it’s purely down to the fact that I like eating. It’s not a hunger issue, that’s fine, but even after six weeks it required me expending willpower to do it.

That doesn’t make it not a useful tool, but it does mean it’s not a long term thing for me.

(Kristen Ann) #47

Curious if you gained weight after you stopped doing ADF?

(Justin Jordan) #48

Unclear. When I say recent, this is the first week I haven’t, and my intention was to shift to 2 fast days a week. This week, for various reasons, I ended up both not fasting at all and eating more. I don’t think I’ve actually gained weight, but my weight moves up and down enough that it’s hard to say in one week.

(Richard Hanson) #49

Hi Fruno

“In Keys starvation experiments, those healthy young men, selected for willpower because the scientists expected trouble, literally broke down after a couple of months of a diet that had 1600 calories, more than we recommend today for losing weight. They got serious psychiatric issues, a lot of them dropped out, the rest fantasized over food and recipes for most of the time.”

Take a group of 36 men who are healthy, that is they are not fat and without any need to loose weight, and greatly restrict their CI while also forcing them to exercise and they are going to loose weight, in this case roughly 25%, even on a diet that was intentionally high in carbs.

Under such circumstances, would a person consuming the same energy from fats fair significantly better?

Show me the study where keto men, young and healthy with no need to loose weight are placed on a 1600 kcal a day keto diet with forced exercise without have substantially similar physiological responses.

I think it more likely that evolution did equip us to deal with exactly this situation and the response is what we see in the Minnesota starvation study. The body does everything it can to prolong life.

Dr. Fung’s morbidly obese patients can and do fast for long periods of time exactly because they need to loose weight.

Angus Barbieri’s fast lasted over a year and he went from 456 lb to 180 lb. I would posit that if his fast started at 180 lb, he would have died and he was putting neither diesel or gasoline in his tank.

I would respectfully submit that evolution did equip us for a starvation diet without regard to the type of fuel consumed. Is that not why humans can subsist on a wide range of macro nutrients? What evolution did not equip us for is exactly the opposite, a diet of disgusting plenty where the type of fuel we consume does make a significant difference.

No one need develop the willpower to resist the responses of starvation, if starving eat, eat anything available, rather we need only the willpower to resist the urge to over-consume. My personal experience is that this is a lot easier on a keto diet.

Keto for Life,

(Jessica) #50

I’m not interested in getting deep into this discussion, but this thought keeps standing it to me. It might not make sense to you, but it has been borne out in studies, including this one on The Biggest Loser contestants. It stands to reason that they would regain some weight after not participating in such a strict regimen all the time but the study showed that they totally tanked their metabolism, and after 6 years, it never recovered.

(Ginger) #51

I had T2 diabetes and managed to heal that. The following 9 months, I tested my bloods every day and they were healthy. I was not at an obese weight anymore so I let eating habits relax ( know, it was stoopid). Then I slowly began to gain weight but I thought, meh, it’s only a tiny bit and I am living deliciously. Suddenly the weight gain sped up (20lbs in 6 weeks), despite the caloric intake remaining the same.
I put on my big girl pants and went into a 5 day egg fast. Nothing but eggs. 800-900 cals per day depending on the size of the eggs. I monitored my movement to make sure it didn’t reduce (NEAT/steps/exercise etc). I gained weight that week. I didn’t even lose the normal keto induction water weight and it wasn’t a time within my hormonal cycle to gain water weight either.

I then did a 2 day water fast (still not any weight loss at all). I have been here before. The law of thermodynamics doesn’t explain it because there are other laws to consider. But i knew how to verify my problem. I broke my fast with a keto meal, very low carbs and then I did a post postprandial glucose test (fasting glucose, then every 30 mins after eating). Guess what? My blood sugar did not return to normal for over 5 hours EVEN THOUGH I HADN’T CONSUMED MORE THAN 10g of carbs.

So what does this tell me, scientifically, bio-mechanically? It tells me that I almost certainly have a dysfunctional endocrine system again (insulin resistance begins in the fat cells up to a full decade before it shows up in blood tests so I had clearly not full healed anyway). A healthy endocrine system should be able to return blood sugar to normal in 1-2 hours. And that’s a meal with carbs in it.

So that means, my insulin is high, but also not effective. When your insulin is high you cannot access your fat stores effectively full stop. But i could very well have not been using the calories of that one meal effectively either, without a healthy functional endocrine system, I could have been storing fat because of the high insulin level, whilst starving other cells and hence the weight gain (I also gained inches before anyone cries muscle weight). Physics doesn’t occur in isolation from chemistry. My body would just have been slowing down my metabolism.

I will have to spend months experimenting with extended fasting (i have to be careful because i often become hypoglycemic with <3.0mmol and slowly building up my insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism). And then, eventually, I will likely be able to start losing weight in a slightly more normal weight again.

FAT LOSS IS NOT JUST ABOUT CALORIES and if your level of understanding of the biochemistry is that limited, you simply don’t know enough.

(Jules) #53

Watching all the food flash up on the Fung video whilst I’m fasting! :see_no_evil::rofl:


It doesn’t even matter if it makes sense to me (and I’ve read it’s true for many so I kind of believe it is a thing), it still sounds very, very bad and unfortunate. It’s normal to have less food sometimes, even famines, very many wild animals are subject to this and humans were the same, even when they had societies already. Modern times at luckier parts of the world is different. So I would expect that the metabolism gets better again - but if the restriction is little, even a serious temporal slowdown is odd to me if it’s a common thing. But maybe animals subject to times scarce in food have good changes with a slower metabolism even if it means they can’t function just as good as before…? There must be some reason evolution allowed such things if it’s common…
I know this metabolism damage doesn’t necessarily happen as many people proved that. My family members, for example. Even starvation couldn’t harm our metabolism long term. It’s still significantly quicker than the average person with our stats. If it’s a rarity, I feel even luckier and as I wrote, pity the people who can permanently mess up their metabolism with some bad decision or unfortunate hard times. I still don’t think it’s very common. If the numbers I saw in some experiments would be true, the world would be full with people with very low metabolism and lots of problems (okay, problems are numerous but mostly not ones caused my very slow metabolism). Calorie restriction (voluntary or not) is extremely common.


That’s true, it’s MOSTLY the cutting of calories and giving your body time to process/recover. But it’s also true what’s been said about running on basal levels of insulin. Just like the CICO debate, it’s not as simple as one thing. Fasting is like the shotgun approach, you’re doing multiple things at once. I’m personally no longer a fan of Fung as I followed him for years, read his books and used to be a big fan, but noticed over the last couple years his statements and answers seems to change from a direct view to much more vague answers when opposition came. Which led me to believe he couldn’t back his views up anymore but tried to hide it with politician answers to questions. Fasting works, but for me along with other stuff led to me lowering my BMR and causing a ton of headache that I’m still dealing with while I rebuild my metabolism.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #56

The squirrels I have rehabbed and released live in nest boxes on my property. They are indeed less active during times of food scarcity (winter), most animals are. That’s why they aren’t making babies, nursing young, etc during these times–it requires extra fuel. Humans find themselves in a different position, we essentially do the same things year round, regardless of nature telling us to rest. This is why I don’t expect weight loss in the fall but it tends to naturally occur in the spring.

I’m glad you’re bringing up other mammals because I think sometimes we forget that nature has an influence on humans that we think we’re exempt from. We’re not. So our bodies might handle perceived famine differently at different times of the year.

(Richard Hanson) #57

Hi Ginger,

To control my T2 I do my best to eat < 10 g of carbs a day and to also eat less then 60g of protein a day. What was the protein content of you fast breaking keto meal? When I eat more then a very modest amount of protein, my blood glucose levels also go up and stay up. This might be, in part, an ongoing problem with insulin resistance but it could also, in part, be that my body is turning excess protein into glucose. 10g of carbs in one meal sounds like a lot to me unless you are eating OMAD and the big unknown in your narrative is information about protein except perhaps from your reported egg “fast”.

I love eggs but I eat primarily only the yokes. Whole eggs have to much protein for me. When I make a big omelet, it is 1 whole egg and 5 additional yokes. Lots of times, it is only the yokes. If I where to go on an egg “fast”, then it would need to be an egg yoke “fast” but even egg yokes have both more carbs and more protein then I would like to consume if that was all I was eating. Just 20 egg yokes would put me over my daily carb intake and put me close to the limit on protein for only 1000 kcal. Only 750 kcal of whole eggs, about 10, would do the same with respect to protein.

One of the experiments you might try is to lower both your carb and protein intake and see how your T2 responds. You might try a fat “fast” instead of an egg “fast” or simply try to get a larger percentage of your calories from fat.

When I first started keto my doctor put me on 1000 kcal / day and I lost quite a bit of weight and stopped taking all of my T2 medications. When I needed to increase my caloric intake, about all I could add was fat as my carb and protein intake where already maxed. When I break a fast it is with a cup of fat, that is a cup of keto coffee with two tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of raw coconut oil. In daily life, I save almost all of my protein budget for dinner when I am eating with family.

Keto for Life,

(mole person) #58

I’ll second @FatMan’s recommendation. A low carb, protein controlled, high fat diet is great for controlling blood sugar and insulin. I do the PKD diet myself. It’s a highly ketogenic version of carnivore (I do carnivore to control some autoimmune conditions). My fat macro is over 80%. With this diet (or a similar one as @FatMan suggested) my blood sugar ranges from 57-84 and my ketones from 1- 3.2. And I don’t even fast.

(Ginger) #59

Thanks @FatMan and @Ilana_Rose for thinking of me and taking the time to offer advise!

I’ve been low-carbing and keto-ing for 14 years now. Probably 80% of that entire time and I have tried every conceivable variation of it, different macros, different food groups etc. I first discovered I had insulin issues during my first pregnancy when I began developing gestational diabetes at the very end of that pregnancy. Puberty and pregnancy are two occasions when your body deliberately makes you more insulin resistant so you gain fat (which would have been a really good thing during our evolution but not so much now :wink: ).

I had T2 diabetes previously and managed to heal that with a combination of strict keto and fasting, although fasting had a much more profound effect. My bloods were great for 18 months. However, a recent stressful time, led to too much wine and carbohydrate eating and it returned, as did 20lbs. Stress does also increase insulin resistance though too.

I was doing fat fasting back in 2008 and did find that so, so helpful. I also use water fasting.
I do indeed OMAD pretty often, so the 10g was total for the day and also not net carbs (they were total carbs and were entirely green veg and salad including avocado). I have been monitoring my blood myself, a collecting N=1 data on my bodies reaction to different foods for 5+ years, so I know how to put together a meal that is typically very well tolerated by my body. It was a fully keto meal with moderate protein. But clearly my underlying insulin resistance is fairly profound and after the period of stress, I have regressed quite considerably. My 5 day egg fast prior to this was mostly because I wanted to get back in ketosis quickly but was extremely short on time and didn’t have the bandwith to do a full on water fast. Just boiling 9 eggs a day is so easy and convenient. I’ve also never had a problem with eggs previously.

I mentioned the level of detail above in reply to the OP as evidence that hormonal dysregulation cannot be dismissed in favour of the simplistic CICO model. No physics without chemistry! :wink:

I’m not obese and I eat extremely healthy, home cooked food, even when I am eating carbs, i’ve never drunk soda or eaten many refined carbs, so the degree of my insulin resistance is a bit difficult to fathom but I do make a good example of why hormones play a much bigger role than CICO allows for.

(Niamh) #60

So I’m active on a long distance hiking forum, and honestly might be one of the top resources for anyone wanting to do such a trip. Same questions get asked all of the time by innocent people who are gung ho to learn and ask. I was new some 14 years ago. I no longer answer those basic questions, but thankfully the newer peeps who have done the journey step up to the plate to answer them, leaving the older crew a break (though we still go back and read them as oddly as that sounds). I suspect that is the way these kind of questions will be dealt with here. I’m new to keto but when I have it mastered I just might be one to answer those topics that are asked to death to the NEW population who come with questions…
…and life goes on…

(Paulene ) #61

Whenever there is a group of people, there is a range of opinions and views, including zealots and die-hards. You just have to filter according to your own needs and perspective. I find some contributors on this forum way over the top. They might find me way to laissez faire. Take the good with the bad.

But remember you are on a keto forum. Complaining about people being keto zealots on this site is like going to a vegan feast and complaining about the lack of meat.