PSMF with IF/OMAD (low calorie)?

(Bob M) #1

Has anyone done an IF/OMAD, low calorie, PSMF diet. For the acronym-challenged (like me): PSMF = protein-sparing modified fast; IF = intermittent fasting (normally <24 hours); OMAD = one meal a day.

I used to be able to fast 36 hours with no issues. Now, I find this difficult to do, especially after I have had a body weight workout. For instance, if I do a body weight workout on Monday (about 1 hour, 10-15 minutes, tons of exercises to failure), I basically have to eat 2MAD on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I can sometimes hit 36 hours to Thursday morning, but most times not. Thursdays, I do a shorter BW workout. Sometimes, I can do OMAD on Friday because of that.

So, I’m thinking of using a low(er) calorie PSMF on Wednesdays and Fridays. Probably OMAD, if I can.

Has anyone done anything like this? If so, how many calories and meals?

(Ohio ) #2

OMAD is my default. Protein fasts once or twice a week. I understand your activity, but not exactly what you are after.

I’m wired some what different as my work outs seem to make my fasting durations easier.

The fact that you are limiting protein is a good thing in my opinion. However I’m not sure what a protein-sparing modified fast consists of? Butter and oils? I’m lost in translation there too.

(Bob M) #3

I always thought of a PSMF as being a “fake” fast. Instead of actually fasting 2 or 3 days a week, they could study people who ate lower calorie those days. To limit muscle loss, they used higher protein. Here’s one introduction:

These are usually “high” protein, “low” fat, “low” calorie. Typically, really low, 500 - 800 calories.

For me, I can eat OMAD, but often I eat late. That means I’m eating a ton of food too close to going to bed.

So, I’m trying to get lower calorie several days a week. Allows me to eat with my family, but not get so full that I have a hard time digesting everything before I go to bed (often only 1 or maybe 2 hours after eating).

And allows me to “fast” but maintaining a lot of muscle. Or at least that’s theory.

I used to fast 36 hours twice a week, and exercise both days about the 32 hour point. But fasting has its own issues, including lowering your metabolism if done too much. Or at least I was getting so cold that I had to stop fasting for months. As in, I couldn’t even make it OMAD and my hands were so cold, I couldn’t touch myself.

I’m still having trouble fasting 36 hours, and can do this at most 1x/week. I felt that I could do two PSMF days per week, OMAD, low calorie, and get similar benefits.

Just looking for others who had done this and what they did.

(Ohio ) #4

I can’t relate to high protein low fat. But I feel ya the cold hands and feet. Big problem for me too fasting. However pull ups and breathing exercise does help with that issue. I do 48 hour fasts once a week, to make it through the night I utilize CBD oil, chill environment, movies on the projector. But I’m unorthodox.


PSMF’s are always low calorie, typically 600-800 cals if you follow the way McDonald made them popular, they typically make you ravenously hungry. I’ve played around a lot with PSMFs since IF and OMAD demolished my RMR, I’ve found (for me at least) even though you don’t get to each much that if I trickle it in throughout the day it helps with the hunger that comes along with it.

I typically do mostly protein sludge, since I eat them like desert and it doesn’t feel like the crash diet that it is, when I do breakfasts it’s typically just a bunch of scrambled egg whites with maybe 1 or 2 real eggs in there for some sort of flavor and maybe some spinach or something, fat free cheddar cheese and some good hot sauce… not terrible.

(Anthony) #6

I was doing them 2 days a week (Wednesday and Sunday) for a while and had good results also. Thinking about it I may start again.

I also found eating 3 “meals” a day on it made it tolerable, primarily canned Kirkland chicken breast with either hot sauce or mustard. Sometimes protein sludge though I try to focus on “food”.

(Bob M) #7

Thanks for the comments.

I was also thinking that this could help with the following “issue”. When I tried The Croissant Diet, and I was able to eat a TON of saturated fat, I got a tremendous satiety. As in, I was not hungry at all. But if I started eating – even while not hungry – I ate a normal meal.

To me, this means my “feedback” mechanism is messed up. That is, I have to stop eating before I’m “full”, otherwise I over eat.

So, one benefit might be that I “train” myself to be “hungry” after eating.

This week, I’ll try two days of OMAD + lower calorie PSMF. I go on vacation, though, where I will eat “normally” (2MAD, unless we go to breakfast, then maybe 3MAD; we’ll see, as I haven’t been on vacation in 2 years). When I get back, I’ll try some of these other techniques, where I spread the calories out over the day.

(Old Baconian) #8

I don’t think it means your hormones are messed up, I consider this a normal response.

The difference between satiation and fullness is that, on the proper diet, we get enough to satisfy our hunger long before our bellies are full. But the body is thrifty, and takes advantage of auspicious circumstances, so if you encounter food and have room in your belly, you are then able to take on more nourishment. This effect has been known for ages, and it is what the concept of “appetiser” is all about: something to stimulate our appetite so we can eat the rest of the meal. But if we don’t eat the appetiser, then we won’t be stimulating our appetite.

I believe this aspect of how appetite and satiation work is one of the reasons that the French are considered such a paradox. They don’t eat the massive quantities of food Americans have been trained to eat, because they listen to their bodies and stop when satisfied—not to mention that the quantity of healthy fat in their diet aids in this; our high-carbohydrate diet makes us continually hungry. So the French for “I’m full,” “j’en ai eu assez,” literally translates as “I’ve had enough.” It’s an illuminating difference in psychology, in my opinion.

(Bob M) #9

While I agree with a lot of this, I’m wondering if one reason people have to stop eating before being “full” is not because of calories (the common explanation), but because of something else?

Even Petro D.'s blog discusses effects on the brain due to ROS (reactive oxygen species) and the like. That’s supposedly part of the reason saturated fat is so good (according to theory) at reducing caloric intake.

And I see people who eat small meals and are perfectly happy. Followed one woman on Twitter for a while who would eat two pieces of bread and a small amount of meat, and that was dinner. For me, I would inhale that in a second, and be starving.

While I’m totally in agreement that eating food can cause hunger, at some point, there has to be a mechanism to say “I’m full”. Whether that’s leptin or many of the other so-called hunger hormones, there has to be something that turns off eating.

For me, I still think those are broken or at least damaged. Last night was the perfect example. Again, I wasn’t hungry for dinner. But we had salmon and a salad, so I ate some. I stopped…but then got hungry. So, I had more (of something else). Then had more (again, different) later.

Why? Why doesn’t the first amount of food cause feedback to tell me I’m full? Or the second? (The third did, but I’m sure I’d overeaten by that time.)

And while I’m not a CICO-phant to any degree, if I want to weigh 40 pounds less than I weigh now (and that’s a reasonable goal), at some point, I have to eat as if I weigh 40 pounds less. I don’t seem to be able to do that by following “hunger”.

That’s why I think I had such success for a long time with fasting: I could fast 36 hours, twice a week, and did not have be concerned with overeating (can’t overeat if I don’t eat). Now that I fast less, overeating occurs all the time.

Maybe forcing myself to have a few days of low calorie will help? Only testing will tell me.

And I could go back to fasting a lot, but there are issues with that, too.

(Bob M) #10

So, this week, I’m trying OMAD for at least Wednesday and Friday. We’ll see how this goes. I’m going to try to keep to about 1,000 calories or so. Mainly London broil (called “top round London broil” where I am), which I think is lean. I may add to that some zero percent fat yogurt (yeah, don’t yell at me), with some collagen peptides.

I’ll exercise Monday (body weight, about 70 minutes), then Thursday (body weight, about 45 minutes, then short HIIT). May try Tuesday PSMF, but we’ll see. I generally have a hard time that day with fasting.

If this works, I’ll try it for a while. If this does not work, I’ll have to go back to 36 hours of fasting.


Good luck! It sounds crazy to me but I have a very close, loving and dependent relationship with fat.

I’ve read back… I don’t think your behavior necessarily means something in you works unwell. I get hungry when I eat too, I am sure many people are like this. Others not. We humans are very different regarding hunger and satiation, I find this perfectly normal.
I needed decent sized meals all my life. Only carnivore brought these annoying tiny meals occasionally, hopefully it’s over now. As my body needs way more food than 1-3 tiny meals and eating 6 meals a day isn’t convenient for me at all, I just overeat (but I am hungry, I can’t stop). Super quick satiation just causes problems for me.
You need more energy than me, it’s pretty good you aren’t content with a few bites…

Isn’t fullness overrated? I couldn’t care less about emptiness and fullness, I need satiation and lack of hunger. If I am completely satiated, I really don’t want and almost can’t eat, no matter the fullness of my stomach.
Volume eaters probably need fullness (I don’t know any, my family members aren’t like that). Maybe others too. But not everyone. My stomach is almost never full to its whole capacity as it’s quite much while my food tends to be calorie dense. Many of us gets satiated when we eat enough, in calories or grams of macronutrients, not volume. It makes more sense to me… The body needs its nutrients and energy, not a stretched stomach. Or people feel fullness when the stomach reach its current capacity, without stretching? I don’t think I feel when I reach that. Maybe because I couldn’t care less, it’s not important for me.

(Bob M) #12

It’s a complex situation, which I’m sure varies by people and varies over time. I see people who are great at eating, say two, slices of pizza or one small scoop of ice cream and being happy. That’s not me, though.

But I’m looking at this as a test of two things: (1) Can I eat low calorie 1/2/3 days a week? (2) Does a PSMF actually work?

In my mind, the people who seem to do well on a lower fat, higher protein diet seem to be men with more muscle mass. There are exceptions (I’ve seen women who do well, for instance), but this seems to be the overwhelming characteristics. I fit that mold, so maybe higher protein, lower fat can help?

I got to under “obese” by BMI, got into 34 inch pants, then tried the croissant diet and gained 20+ pounds. I would like to get back into my 34s, and I typically lose weight so slowly, it’s driving me crazy. I’m getting there again, but I would like to accelerate the process if possible.

Part of the issue, though, is I’ve gained so much strength that I’m sure I’ve also gained muscle around my waist. This is particularly true, as I work out at home now and do the same exercises on my waist, 3x/week. (As compared to at the gym, where I did different exercises a lot due to someone being on the machine/in the area I wanted to use.)

Thus, I can’t blame a larger waist solely on the croissant diet, as I’m definitely stronger when I do L-sits and other abdominal exercises.

But I’d like to get under “obese” again and get back into my 34s.

And I see a lot of folks on Twitter who have lost 10+ pounds eating higher protein, lower fat. Or broken a stall. Or accelerated their weight loss.

So, this is just a test to see what happens for me.

Unfortunately, I have a slight cold. This may or may not affect whether I can fast until dinner tonight. I’m at work and did not bring food, but I have an emergency supply of canned fish, just in case.

I hope to report back in a few days.

(Bob M) #13

I have to say that another impetus for my trying this is that I want to be able to do a pull up. I can do 3/4 of one now, but if I could lose another 10+ pounds, I could do a pull up (I think/hope). Which I know most people could care less about, but the ability to do a pull up would be a nice thing for me.

And if I lost more, I’d start trying some pushups where I put my feet on the wall. And I might be able to do a “real” one-arm pushup (I can do a one-arm pushup on the second step of a set of steps, but not on flat ground).

(Old Baconian) #14

I have no upper-body strength whatsoever. I don’t believe I’ve ever been able to do as many as ten pushups (forget doing them one-armed!), or even more than one or two pull-ups at my best. And since the accident, forget it!

I’m with the comedian who said his motto was “No pain, no pain”! :rofl:

(Bob M) #15

Paul, what accident?

When I was 15 or 16, Arhhhhnold burst onto the scene. The people I hung out with all wanted to be body builders, so when I was that age, I could do a ton of wide-grip pull ups. At the time, I never did pushups, as we all were trying to do bench presses instead.

I learned that you need genetics for both body building and strength (and probably drugs, too). I was OK at deadlift and squats, but I’ve always had relatively poor upper body strength. It took me forever, as in years, to get to bench 315, and then I think I did this at most a few reps. Maybe 1-2. (For those not familiar with weights, the weight of choice are “Olympic” weights, which in the US the bar is 45 pounds and the big plates are 45 pounds. So, you want to bench 135/225/315/405, etc.)

But I’m so close to 1 pull up, that i think it’s mainly weight preventing me from completing it. I have a pull up bar, and I stand on a small stool. I start from a position with my head above the bar, go down, do 1/4 of a pull up, go down, do 1/2 a pull up, go down, do 3/4 of a pull up, but when I finally get to a full pull up, I can’t do it. Almost, though.

Anyway, my test was OK. I ate top round, which is pretty lean. I also ate zero percent fat yogurt with some collagen protein. I will likely have to weigh these, as I’m not sure how many calories I’m getting.

Also, while I’m not that concerned about protein, I could be eating too much too quickly. Top round is lean and high protein, as is zero percent yogurt. The collagen protein is not that high (only 8/9 grams per scoop), but added to the rest might be too much.

Ugh, I hate counting calories.

Double ugh, I really tried not to eat after my meal, but I ate three thin slices of ham a while after my meal.

Today, I might try a smaller meal at lunch, and then a smaller one at dinner.

(Old Baconian) #16

I’ve mentioned it a few times. Bought a bicycle for my 60th birthday and ended up going over the handlebars. Broke both arms.

(Bob M) #17

That sucks. Both arms is really tough. Sorry to hear that.

(Bob M) #18

Maybe I need to rethink this. According to this article, collagen isn’t a complete protein. He suggests not counting it toward a protein goal:


He’s the reason I started taking collagen powder. That, and we had some. And I wanted something to add to my zero-fat yogurt.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #19

@ctviggen I eat collagen in a couple of formats daily. It’s not my sole source of protein so why should I care that it lacks tryptophan? I get that from other protein sources. So I count it as protein - it’s got all the other amino acids - and if I did not count it I’d be overeating them.

@PaulL Start here and several succeeding posts.

And from here.

From my experience I think a recumbent bicycle is at least one of the best if not the best exercise machines for seniors. A recumbent removes all the downside for seniors of ‘upright/diamond frame’ bikes, ie perineal (and for men prostrate) damage, wrist injury and the occasional over-the-bars stop to name a few. For those with balance problems there are recumbent trikes. Add a mid-drive electric motor to the cranks and you’ve got an exercise machine that will get most folks out and about for hours daily having a grand time and benefitting enormously healthwise.

(Central Florida Bob ) #20

OK, Bob. Now that it’s three months later, how did your experiment work out? Or are you still experimenting?

I’m considering experimenting with a PSMF, but the biggest obstacle is not knowing what a PSMF looks like. Any particular resources, or links to check out?

The reason for trying it is that my Alternate Day Fasts aren’t getting me to my goal, and since about mid-August, every weight measurement is within +/- 2 lbs. Which is fine, it’s just that the midpoint of that range is about 5 pounds too high.