TMAD & IF at same time?

(Shannon) #1

Hi, I’m a 51 yo female, not menopausal yet, but I guess peri-menopausal, and this time around, I’ve been on a strict keto diet since mid-March 2022. I’m trying to make this a permanent change rather than a temporary strategy to lose weight, which we all know doesn’t work or last long term. Anyway, I’ve been sprinkling in some 16/8 IF days, usually around 2-3 days a week. After reading several topics in this community, I’m now thinking about moving to TMAD. I usually don’t have a problem skipping breakfast, so switching to just lunch and dinner wouldn’t be a big challenge for me. But, I typically snack one or two times between lunch and dinner, and it sounds like I should stop doing that. My snacks are usually cheese, or bell peppers with almond butter, or nuts like almonds, cashews, and macadamias.

Getting to my actual question, for those of you doing TMAD, does that also mean you are doing 16/8 IF at the same time? Or, do you sometimes vary the time you have lunch, for instance, so that you haven’t actually gone 16 hours since the last meal? Also, I enjoy the snacks I listed above, so would I just eat those at the same time I eat lunch/dinner instead of separately as a snack?


I heard about people doing TMAD with 12/12 but I think it’s more typical to do IF and TMAD at the same time. The eating window is individual.
On normal keto TMAD meant 19/5 (maybe 20/4) as I have longish meals and I always got hungry in every 3 hours in my eating window.
Carnivore changed this but TMAD is always a smallish window. If I have 16/8, I eat 4-5 times but at least 3! It’s very atypical, it seems but I rarely can last for more than 3 hours between meals on the same day.

I think you can do whatever floats your boat even if it’s not a typical thing. I often had “OMAD with a few bites around it” thing when that came naturally. I tend to like a bigger meal but some extra may be needed. I do prefer it to be cleaner but I am flexible.
My snacks happen during my meals though, it was surprising for me to learn that people eat snacks as separate meals regularly…

(Robin) #3

I see nothing wrong with lunch, snacks, dinner. As long as you don’t eat after dinner, that puts you in a great schedule and should feel natural. Over time, you may not want to snack or you may make your meals bigger to avoid snacks. Also make sure you eat enough. This is not the time to restrict calories.
The only hard line to draw is how many carbs you consume. And it sounds like you have a good handle on that. So carry on! you got this!

(Joey) #4

@dfossey Greetings and welcome to the forum!

I’m not sure there’s much of a distinction between TMAD (e.g., lunch + dinner) and IF within a 16/8 or 18/6 kind of window… unless the “TMAD” is considered no food between those two meals.

I’ve been eating TMAD within a feeding window of 18/6’ish for about 3 yrs now, and sometimes I’ll eat a piece of cheese or meat between lunch and dinner - if I’m feeling really hungry. It’s fairly irregular, and it’s based on my sense of satiety, or lack thereof.

The key to maintaining a sustainable eating habit is to let your body tell you what it needs and to listen carefully, even as you appreciate that old habits and signals can get in the way if you’re not thoughtful about applying yourself to a new set of habits and routine.

You’re off to a solid start in improving your eating and health. Don’t be hard on yourself … if you feel like a keto-friendly snack between those 2 meals is what you need, go for it. And make sure to really enjoy it! That’s the key to finding a way of eating that’s not a “diet” and remains a lifelong preference for how you nourish yourself. :vulcan_salute:

(Shannon) #5

Thanks! I have a history of being on Keto for 7-8 months, then slowly falling back to old habits. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I’m eating right though - something I need to keep reminding myself when I start reverting and having really bad indigestion, among other things.

Guess I was also hoping to hear opinions on whether or not doing IF every day is a good plan, or it’s better to mix some days in without IF. But, sounds like there are plenty of people who have been IF long term and it’s been good.


IF is how I live, it’s natural and best for me. I see no problem with doing it all our life - only if it suits us, of course. If I occasionally can’t eat big enough meals, my eating window gets bigger too but almost always still IF. But surely many people can do even OMAD long term, why not if it suits the one in question and no problem to eat the necessary food during it?

I have seen many articles about regarding IF and women but it’s individual anyway. No way I would massively overeat and being all miserable by abandoning IF (not like I could do it out of my own will. I do have occasional non-IF days, they are not good but it’s not that horrible here and there)! And I need my small eating window in order to be satiated all day without eating too much. My individual factors override the gender factor even if there is truth in those articles.

So it’s better to figure out what your body likes and works well with. It doesn’t matter what is best for me or the majority of ketoers… But many of us do IF long term. I probably did it on high-carb quite often but I don’t remember. I very nearly always did it on low-carb, several years before I have heard about IF for sure. It came naturally. Doing IF is zillion times easier than not doing it… So it’s easy for me. IF it is and I don’t need breaks from it. Why would I eat when I don’t want and don’t need that?

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #7

Don’t force things, would be my advice. If you find yourself automatically eating a couple times a day, that’s fine, but there’s no need to make yourself do so. As for snacking between meals, it is usually a sign that you need to eat more at mealtime. But the snacks you are eating seem fine; just don’t overdo the nuts. Try pork rinds or pepperoni instead, or butter your cheese.

Of course, there is also snacking as emotional eating, which is a whole other phenomenon. One strategy for dealing with that is to have a cup of coffee or other liquid handy, to give you something to do with your mouth that won’t sabotage your diet.

My experience was that after about a year of ketogenic eating, I stopped wanting a meal in the morning. But every now and then, I have a day where my body simply wants food at breakfast time, so I give it something. On such days I usually end up eating at my regular times (mid-afternoon and evening) as well. That’s okay. I figure my body must know what it’s doing.


And if it’s impossible for reasons (sometimes even I have tiny meals, very baffling), there is nothing wrong with 3MAD if we need that. A snack is just another meal…
But if it’s possible, bigger meals sound good, yes. If one gets stuffed and still get hungry soon, maybe other items should be used…

And snacking or not, it has some benefit in having a longish fasting window even if we eat many times in our eating one because we just can’t avoid it.