(Monique) #1

My fiancé and I get into a fierce debate every time I use the term IF. He loathes it, and says it’s inaccurate as it describes a recurring pattern which is actually steady, and intermittent is defined as ‘occurring at irregular intervals, not continuous or steady’.

He prefers the term TRE (time restricted eating) and I have to say that makes much more sense to me also! I just struggle to replace ‘IF’ with ‘TRE’ because everyone says IF when what they mean is TRE so IF is imprinted on my brain.

So- has IF been misappropriated? Or is IF a scientifically accurate and legitimate term to use in the context of a systematic repeated time restricted eating window? Wouldn’t TRE be more accurate regardless? HALP!

And yes, I am marrying a linguistic pedant and I’m ok with that.

(Ellen) #2

No answer to your question sadly, but kudos on this.


To me this is like people getting bent out of shape because the word “diet” is used instead of “woe” (despite that being the literal definition of diet). It doesn’t matter. Both those terms IF and TRE would be correct.

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #4

I actually think it is a good comment on your partners side(okay another linguistic pedantic here). I do feel that when I use IF, I am referring to fasting for a minimum of 24 hours and it is done randomly throughout my week with no fixed pattern.

TRF is a good way of qualifying that you are eating in a specific window of time.

However a lot of people here use IF when really they are restricting their eating window. :woman_shrugging: In the beginning I was confused, but mehh I am used to it now.

Edit there to their

(Bacon is the new bacon) #5

My dictionary defines “intermittent” as the following:

stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginning again

Make of that what you will.

(Carl Keller) #6

We live in a world of misnomers:

A kola bear isn’t a bear.
A jellyfish isn’t a fish.
A firefly isn’t a fly.
A horned toad isn’t a toad.

And my favorite here in America:

We drive on a parkway and we park in a driveway.

I don’t make the rules but I have to stick to them no matter how much I disagree or I risk being misunderstood and I have to explain myself more than I prefer. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Robert C) #7

IF should die and TRE should live.

For example - a regular 3-meal a day person (6 AM, noon, 6 PM) starts IF…

They eat dinner at 6 PM, go to sleep, and wake up and have breakfast at 6 AM and they say:
“Well! I fasted for 12 hours.”
But, they never went without food - they never fasted - they never did not eat when they otherwise would have.
If they eat dinner at 6 PM - wake up and skip their normal 6 AM breakfast and then eat lunch at noon they say:
“Well! I fasted for 18 hours.”
No they didn’t - they fasted (did not eat when they would have otherwise) from 6 AM to noon - a 6 hour fast.

IF has this problem of including time you wouldn’t eat anyway.

If you do not eat until noon (skipping your 6 AM breakfast) and say you fasted for 18 hours then going until dinner (a 24-hour fast) should only be 25% more difficult (6 more hours - 25% of a day) but it is not (for most). Instead, skipping breakfast (a 6 hour fast) and then also skipping lunch (another 6 hour fast) is 2 X 25% (or 50%) more difficult (going 12 hours instead of 6 without food).

TRE does not have this inherent problem of including time you are sleeping.
A 4-hour TRE window is half is big as and 8-hour TRE window and twice as big as a 2-hour TRE window - so the relative amounts of time your insulin will be raised are much more (my opinion) comparable.

Notice though that the same logic cannot be used for EF. I you say “I didn’t eat for a week” no one would say “Well you do not normally eat at night so, really that is a 3.5 day fast”.

So, sub-day - you are eating in a TRE window, greater than day - regular EF.

(Monique) #8

I am inclined to agree! Using the term IF just doesn’t make sense to me now I’ve scrutinised it. Think I will be using TRE from here on in :+1:

(Monique) #9

Yes we do and it all drives my fiancé nuts (and me by proxy!!) :joy:

(Carl Keller) #10

While we are on the subject, does anyone else have a problem with the phrase: insulin resistance?

I mean it literally means resistance to insulin and that makes sense in relation to blood glucose because it’s actually the glucose that is resistant to insulin, not us in general. I just think there should be a better phrase that self-explains an inefficient insulin response.

I think a better coupling might be insulin impaired but maybe it’s just me…

(Robert C) #11

I might have this backwards (or just wrong - not a doctor) but I think that line should read:

“it’s actually the glucose storage that is resistant to insulin”

Since insulin is a glucose storage hormone, I think “insulin resistance” might make sense.

You are right, glucose is not somehow resistant to insulin but instead resistant to insulin’s intended glucose storage effect - leading the body to produce yet more.

You wouldn’t be insulin resistant if adding insulin accomplished the storage.

(aka Nick) #12

As a fellow word geek, I agree; if it happens every day, it’s not intermittent. Time Restricted Eating (TRE) makes a lot more sense!

(Carl Keller) #13

I’m not a doctor either but from what I understand is that after we eat high glycemic foods, insulin responds to try to normalize blood glucose levels… but part of insulin’s job is to also take some of what it considers excess glucose (not needed for current energy needs) and stores it into fat cells. The whole process is bungled in a person with insulin resistance and takes way longer than it normally should. Blood glucose levels stay elevated and the insulin keeps coming and keeps stuffing more and more glucose into fat cells.

(Robert C) #14

I think we are saying almost the same thing.

Cells are full so insulin’s storage effect is blunted so more insulin is produced.
But, more does not help because cells are full.
Now, even on keto or fasting, for a while insulin stays high - still trying to cause storage.
So, maybe it means it is resistant to going down.

(Allie) #15

Makes no difference. Use whichever terminology suits you.

(Dan Dan) #16


IF refers to Fasting and TRE refers to Eating :thinking::open_mouth::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::wink:

(KCKO, KCFO) #17

I think of it that way to Dan_Dan.

My IFing is intermittent in that I don’t do it every day, I mix up the days I do it. With regular 3 meal days inbetween.

When I started to play around with Dr. Panda’s TRE windows, I think in terms of eating during a certain time, not the time I am fasting in the day.

But it is all not eating for a time, so it is all good and I don’t care what anyone calls it. As long as it works, just do it.

(Allie) #18

TRE = I only eat during these hours
IF = I don’t eat between these hours

Same thing, different way of wording it.

(Bacon is the new bacon) #19

No, because the cells in question actively resist responding to insulin by down-regulating their insulin receptors.

I object to the phrase “leptin resistance” on the grounds that no cell is down-regulating its leptin receptors, it’s that those receptors are being blocked by another chemical, namely insulin. The cells in question would gladly receive the leptin if they weren’t being blocked from doing so.

Also, “to fast” is defined as “to abstain from food.” The period between supper and break-fast has been considered a period of fasting for at least the last two thousand years, so it makes no sense to object to that usage now.

This is true in other languages, as well. In Spanish, the word for breakfast, desayuno (from ayunar ‘to fast’), also means to break a fast, and so does the cognate French word for lunch, déjeuner (“breakfast” = petit déjeuner ‘little break-fast’). These words have been used that way since Spanish and French became independent languages from Latin.

(Allie) #20

Which is why I have an issue with egg “fasts” and the like.