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Should I intermittent fast or do slow carb?

I've been intermittent fasting for about 4 days now, on a 21/3 schedule (fasting 21 hours, eating 3). I feel like skipping breakfast is bad! I can't find much information on IF, and I was wondering if anyone has experimented with IF and if they have gotten better results with it than slow carb. I feel loyal to slow carb because it has been working so well, but recently i've hit a plateau (those last darn 6 pounds), and want to break it!


The Best Answer

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Intermittent fasting and slow-carb dieting aren't totally mutually exclusive. I combine the two, meaning during the non-fasting hours, I eat slow carb meals. You've been slow-carbing forever, so your body has gotten pretty used to the status quo, so you need to force some new changes on it. IF will definitely help get your body out of plateau mode. It's not a long-term thing, just a few weeks or so until you get the results you want, then you can go back to slow-carbing like before. Remember, the book mentions that in order to get visible abs, you can do slow carb diet (which will take a while), but to speed things up, "other viable options include a ketogenic diet (especially the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet) and intermittent fasting (IF)." We've both tried the ketogenic diet (aka The Last Mile) and albeit effective, it's rather inconvenient & extreme on your body.

For more information on intermittent fasting, check out the 'Living Forever' chapter, the section titled "2. INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF) AND PROTEIN CYCLING (COST: FREE)". You can try the 'Fast 5' 19:5 schedule (19 hours fasting, 5 hours eating), which is outlined in detail here:


Or try the 18:6 schedule combined with 1 day of protein cycling. You're currently doing 21:3, which to me sounds like way too small of an eating window. Remember, IF is not a calorie restricted diet, so you'll need to cram in your entire normal daily caloric intake in your non-fasting hours, so 3 hours is a rather short time to eat an entire day's worth of food. Good luck!

All Answers


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Check out leangains.com. Martin Berkham has extensive research on it intermittent fasting and explains how to do it properly and why you should do it.


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What did you decide to do and did it work? I'm still trying to lean out a bit more without too much effort as I was able to do when I was younger...I'm so very very close. My husband thinks I'm nuts though! I have a new bathing suit coming in the mail and the weather is warming up so I want to be confident in it at age 48!

  • Mags commented Jun 3rd 2011:

    hahaha right now I'm combining the two, basically skipping breakfast and eating lunch and dinner slow carb style. but I'm also using a new technique where i vary my caloric intake each day, for example every other day i will eat a low amount of calories, 1000-1200 and the next i will eat a higher amount 1400-1600. I have read that this can also help break a plateau. I just started 2 days ago, and the results are good so far. i think im going to just to intense weight training for exercise and maybe spin/run 3 times a week, nothing too intense cardio wise. hopefully ill drop those last few pounds in a few weeks!

  • pdx4hbHolly commented Jun 4th 2011:

    I decided to try that too, starting today. I didn't think it was too hard. I had some cheats though but my overall calories were lower than usual I think. I had strawberries in my lunchtime protein shake and had hazelnut rum at happy hour :). I found that I don't stay consistent with tracking/counting calories & the last mile makes me TOO forgetful/moody (your brain needs complex carbs to function properly & I wasn't eating enough veggies for what my brain needs I guess). Good luck!


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Without a doubt, absolutely go with the slow carb diet instead of the fasting. What you put in your body is very important.

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