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Re: Impact of reduced meal frequency w/o CR on glucose regulation in humans

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  • Williams, Deane G HS
    ... I have read that Sumo wrestlers gain weight by skipping breakfast and eating a light lunch and heavy supper. Maybe there is more to breakfast than
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 2, 2008
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      Mike Leake wrote:
      > Additionally, I dropped a couple of pounds
      >that I'd somehow gained during the experiment once I resumed eating
      >breakfast. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if nothing else, it shows that
      >results from fasting or modified fasting can vary.

      I have read that Sumo wrestlers gain weight by skipping breakfast and
      eating a light lunch and heavy supper. Maybe there is more to breakfast
      than generally thought.

      Deane Williams
    • Paul Wakfer
      ... This makes sense to me because, when digesting the food during the night, the body will have more tendency to turn it into fat and glycogen (to store it)
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 2, 2008
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        Williams, Deane G HS wrote:
        > Mike Leake wrote:
        >
        >> Additionally, I dropped a couple of pounds
        >> that I'd somehow gained during the experiment once I resumed eating
        >> breakfast. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if nothing else, it shows that
        >> results from fasting or modified fasting can vary.
        >>
        >
        > I have read that Sumo wrestlers gain weight by skipping breakfast and
        > eating a light lunch and heavy supper.

        This makes sense to me because, when digesting the food during the
        night, the body will have more tendency to turn it into fat and glycogen
        (to store it) since it is not needed to energize the body. The way to
        not gain weight is to eat only as much in the one meal as will then be
        entirely used before the next meal. I would bet that, after not eating
        all day, Mike was extra hungry at night and actually ate a little more
        total food calories than he had on three meals-per-day. Either that or
        he had less energy earlier in the day (with less food in him) and burned
        fewer calories through exercise.

        > Maybe there is more to breakfast than generally thought.
        >
        > Deane Williams
        >

        Until I began eating only once daily (only 11 months ago), I had always
        been hungry immediately after rising and eaten a substantial breakfast,
        which I thought from my personal experience and reading was the most
        important meal of the day. (I expect there are old posts of mine stating
        this.) However, now that I eat a large meal starting abut 6 hours
        after arising, I have very little hunger then and any that I have is
        easily satisfied by a combination of our morning supplements and the
        tea combination that I drink immediately afterwards and throughout the
        day.

        Upon thinking about it, it seems to me that originally humans, as
        hunter/gatherers, likely only ate at the end of the day after they had
        completed their acquisition of food and brought it back to be shared
        with the entire group. This would be particularly the case since they
        had inadequate means to store those types of food. In fact, I wonder
        just when, during the process of change from hunter/gatherer to
        agriculture and market trade, humans adopted the three meals a day
        regimen. If anyone has historical or archaeological information
        bearing on this last point, I would be interested to see it.

        --Paul

        [I think others need to be clear about the timing of our meals in relationship to our sleeping and awakening.

        We go to sleep quite late - most often about 2am but its not unusual for it to be 3 or 3:30am before turning off the lights. (This is partly maintained this way because of our late dancing nights, but also because of Paul's tendency to be more productive and least sleepy late in his waking period.) Occasionally we retire earlier if we've had a shorter sleep the night before purposefully because we had a specific purpose to be up and about early that morning. Normally though, we awaken anywhere from 9:30 to 11:00 depending on when we actually fell asleep. (I do my exercises, letting Paul linger in bed a bit longer.) Our non-food pills are taken shortly thereafter and our meal begins typically about 6 to 7 hours later, extending for usually 4 hours. The last of our dessert is usually consumed no less than 3 hours before actual sleep for me (who cannot eat so much at once), but usually 5 hours before sleep for Paul (who sometimes actually feels a bit hungry again just before sleep - something that actually inhibits me from sleeping, but does not bother him). During the rest of the time before sleep we drink tea (usually sage within the last hour). **Kitty]
      • Preston David Wright
        Funny you would mention the 3-meal-aday history as I just came across this site the other day and found it interesting. I have not checked the sources, but at
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 4, 2008
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          Funny you would mention the 3-meal-aday history as I just came across
          this site the other day and found it interesting. I have not checked
          the sources, but at least it cites them.

          http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq7.html#mealtimes

          From this it looks like the modern 3-per-day is from the British
          custom of a huge breakfast and dinner being pushed later in the day
          so that a noon-time meal became more important.


          --- In morelife@yahoogroups.com, Paul Wakfer <paul@...> wrote:
          >
          > Williams, Deane G HS wrote:
          > > Mike Leake wrote:
          > >
          > >> Additionally, I dropped a couple of pounds
          > >> that I'd somehow gained during the experiment once I resumed
          eating
          > >> breakfast. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if nothing else, it shows
          that
          > >> results from fasting or modified fasting can vary.
          > >>
          > >
          > > I have read that Sumo wrestlers gain weight by skipping breakfast
          and
          > > eating a light lunch and heavy supper.
          >
          > This makes sense to me because, when digesting the food during the
          > night, the body will have more tendency to turn it into fat and
          glycogen
          > (to store it) since it is not needed to energize the body. The way
          to
          > not gain weight is to eat only as much in the one meal as will then
          be
          > entirely used before the next meal. I would bet that, after not
          eating
          > all day, Mike was extra hungry at night and actually ate a little
          more
          > total food calories than he had on three meals-per-day. Either that
          or
          > he had less energy earlier in the day (with less food in him) and
          burned
          > fewer calories through exercise.
          >
          > > Maybe there is more to breakfast than generally thought.
          > >
          > > Deane Williams
          > >
          >
          > Until I began eating only once daily (only 11 months ago), I had
          always
          > been hungry immediately after rising and eaten a substantial
          breakfast,
          > which I thought from my personal experience and reading was the
          most
          > important meal of the day. (I expect there are old posts of mine
          stating
          > this.) However, now that I eat a large meal starting abut 6 hours
          > after arising, I have very little hunger then and any that I have
          is
          > easily satisfied by a combination of our morning supplements and
          the
          > tea combination that I drink immediately afterwards and throughout
          the
          > day.
          >
          > Upon thinking about it, it seems to me that originally humans, as
          > hunter/gatherers, likely only ate at the end of the day after they
          had
          > completed their acquisition of food and brought it back to be
          shared
          > with the entire group. This would be particularly the case since
          they
          > had inadequate means to store those types of food. In fact, I
          wonder
          > just when, during the process of change from hunter/gatherer to
          > agriculture and market trade, humans adopted the three meals a day
          > regimen. If anyone has historical or archaeological information
          > bearing on this last point, I would be interested to see it.
          >
          > --Paul
          >
          > [I think others need to be clear about the timing of our meals in
          relationship to our sleeping and awakening.
          >
          > We go to sleep quite late - most often about 2am but its not
          unusual for it to be 3 or 3:30am before turning off the lights. (This
          is partly maintained this way because of our late dancing nights, but
          also because of Paul's tendency to be more productive and least
          sleepy late in his waking period.) Occasionally we retire earlier if
          we've had a shorter sleep the night before purposefully because we
          had a specific purpose to be up and about early that morning.
          Normally though, we awaken anywhere from 9:30 to 11:00 depending on
          when we actually fell asleep. (I do my exercises, letting Paul linger
          in bed a bit longer.) Our non-food pills are taken shortly thereafter
          and our meal begins typically about 6 to 7 hours later, extending for
          usually 4 hours. The last of our dessert is usually consumed no less
          than 3 hours before actual sleep for me (who cannot eat so much at
          once), but usually 5 hours before sleep for Paul (who sometimes
          actually feels a bit hungry again just before sleep - something that
          actually inhibits me from sleeping, but does not bother him). During
          the rest of the time before sleep we drink tea (usually sage within
          the last hour). **Kitty]
          >
        • Paul Wakfer
          ... Thanks Preston, but most of the information at that link is about far too modern times and does not answer the major part of my question, which was more
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 4, 2008
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            Preston David Wright wrote:
            > Funny you would mention the 3-meal-aday history as I just came across
            > this site the other day and found it interesting. I have not checked
            > the sources, but at least it cites them.
            >
            > http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq7.html#mealtimes
            >
            > From this it looks like the modern 3-per-day is from the British
            > custom of a huge breakfast and dinner being pushed later in the day
            > so that a noon-time meal became more important.


            Thanks Preston, but most of the information at that link is about far
            too modern times and does not answer the major part of my question,
            which was more about the transition to regular meals as opposed to
            either constant browsing for food (as many animals, even apes appear to
            do) or irregular eating (as with most carnivores). The only informative
            part of that link (from this point of view) was the part about ancient
            Greeks:

            "Meal times are variable, but a midday meal was usually called /ariston/
            lunch... and an evening meal /deipnon/, dinner. The latter was perhaps
            typically the biggest meal of the day, and for some the only meal."

            The last part suggests (as I had thought) that far enough back in time
            many people only ate one meal daily. I already had figured that when
            regular meals began to be eaten the norm was most likely two daily and
            then later became 3 for reasons such as you give. I expect the advent
            of lighting after sunset, which enabled food preparation at that time,
            caused dinner to be delayed until later (in Spain dinner is at 10 PM!)
            and necessitated a luncheon in between.

            I was interested because this information may be important from a
            nutritional/evolutionary perspective, particularly regarding what
            human bodies have been used to during most of their evolutionary
            history, for the purpose of deciding which mode of eating is most
            healthy (ie most appropriate to what human bodies are evolved/adapted for).

            [snipped old message parts]

            --Paul
          • David Saum
            ... I have been experimenting with water fasting for 36 hours (7PM-7AM) once a week for several months. Every morning I measure my glucose with an Accucheck
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 13, 2008
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              --- In morelife@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Leake" <maleake@...> wrote:
              >
              > I did some self-experimentation awhile back involving meal frequency
              > that yielded unexpected results for me involving blood sugar levels.

              I have been experimenting with water fasting for 36 hours (7PM-7AM)
              once a week for several months. Every morning I measure my glucose
              with an Accucheck Compact Plus meter. My baseline reading started out
              at about 100, and I have had similar unexpected results.

              > Throughout my adult life it has been my pattern to have a small
              > breakfast about 7:00 am, a small lunch around noon and much larger
              > dinner around 7:00 pm. Sometimes I will have a very small snack
              around
              > 9:00 pm. Bedtime is about midnight. For several years I've monitored
              > blood sugar levels using the One Touch Ultra, which has matched up
              > well with my annual fasting blood glucose lab readings. My glucose
              > levels usually clock in around 90 first thing in the morning prior
              to
              > eating. Off and on I've also monitored the effects of various meals
              on
              > blood sugar spikes and how long it takes my levels to return to
              baseline.
              >
              > Knowing that glycation is a significant factor in aging, I thought
              it
              > would be a great idea to try skipping the small breakfast each day
              and
              > essentially going about 17 hours without food, from dinner one day
              to
              > lunch the following day. Initially I was absolutely famished by
              > mid-morning on this eating schedule and had difficulty concentrating
              > at work the last couple of hours before lunch. After about a month,
              > however, I noticed one morning that I had absolutely no appetite
              upon
              > arising, no desire for food whatsoever. I noted with some
              satisfaction
              > that my body was adjusting to my newly adopted eating schedule.
              >
              > That satisfaction soon vanished, however. About a week or 10 days
              into
              > this new development I took my FBG reading for the first time in
              > several weeks. I was astonished to note that it was 115 upon first
              > arising. I thought at first that it must be a fluke, as I'd never
              had
              > such a high reading. The next day I got a similar reading. I
              > immediately suspected that my test strips were going bad. I examined
              > the expiration date and found it to be marginal, so I got some new
              > test strips. Same result. I was running between 112 and 118 each
              > morning. I was alarmed.
              >
              > About this time I came across abstracts from a couple of small
              studies
              > that suggested that skipping breakfast might worsen insulin
              > sensitivity. I believe these were the ones:
              >
              > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15220950
              > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15699226
              >
              > I then returned to my former eating schedule. I had to force myself
              to
              > eat breakfast at first, as I really had no morning appetite any
              > longer. But after about 6-8 weeks that appetite had returned and my
              > fasting blood sugar readings at the start of the day resumed their
              > habitual 88-92.
              >
              > I don't know for sure if I'd actually had a worsening of blood sugar
              > control during that time or if my body simply decided that if I
              wasn't
              > going to supply it fuel in the morning as I'd always done, it would
              > manufacture the sugar from glycogen stores instead. However, as I
              > recall, my blood sugars at other times of the day--a few hours
              > following meals--were in fact not as good as they used to be for
              > whatever reason. That also soon corrected itself once I resumed my
              > former eating schedule. Additionally, I dropped a couple of pounds
              > that I'd somehow gained during the experiment once I resumed eating
              > breakfast. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if nothing else, it shows that
              > results from fasting or modified fasting can vary.
              >
              > Mike Leake

              After about 3 months of once a week 36 hr fasting, I found that my
              average morning glucose levels increased to about 115. But after 2-3
              weeks without fasting, my glucose went back to my previous baseline
              of 100.

              I spent a lot of time checking and rechecking my glucose meter
              to see if that was the problem. But after trying new strips and
              new control solution, I was unable to find any problem with the
              meter.

              Then I read Mike's post and I was struck by our similar experiences,
              despite the fact that our fasting periods were quite different.

              I am not sure whether to return to the once a week, 36 hr fasting. I
              had previously tried 24 hour, once a week fasting without
              experiencing this elevated glucose problem, so I may return to that.
              I plan to get a blood test for a1c levels to see what my long term
              glucose levels have been during the months of weekly 36 hour fasting.

              Dave Saum
            • Paul Wakfer
              ... Hi Dave, Your report is certainly interesting, but I do not plan to spend any time trying to analyze and explain why you got the results that you did for
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 13, 2008
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                David Saum wrote:
                > --- In morelife@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Leake" <maleake@...> wrote:
                >
                >> I did some self-experimentation awhile back involving meal frequency
                >> that yielded unexpected results for me involving blood sugar levels.
                >>
                >
                > I have been experimenting with water fasting for 36 hours (7PM-7AM)
                > once a week for several months. Every morning I measure my glucose
                > with an Accucheck Compact Plus meter. My baseline reading started
                > out at about 100, and I have had similar unexpected results.
                >
                >
                >> Throughout my adult life it has been my pattern to have a small
                >> breakfast about 7:00 am, a small lunch around noon and much larger
                >> dinner around 7:00 pm. Sometimes I will have a very small snack
                >> around 9:00 pm. Bedtime is about midnight. For several years I've
                >> monitored blood sugar levels using the One Touch Ultra, which has
                >> matched up well with my annual fasting blood glucose lab readings.
                >> My glucose levels usually clock in around 90 first thing in the
                >> morning prior to eating. Off and on I've also monitored the effects
                >> of various meals on blood sugar spikes and how long it takes my
                >> levels to return to baseline.
                >>
                >> Knowing that glycation is a significant factor in aging, I thought
                >> it would be a great idea to try skipping the small breakfast each
                >> day and essentially going about 17 hours without food, from dinner
                >> one day to lunch the following day. Initially I was absolutely
                >> famished by mid-morning on this eating schedule and had difficulty
                >> concentrating at work the last couple of hours before lunch. After
                >> about a month, however, I noticed one morning that I had absolutely
                >> no appetite upon arising, no desire for food whatsoever. I noted
                >> with some satisfaction that my body was adjusting to my newly
                >> adopted eating schedule.
                >>
                >> That satisfaction soon vanished, however. About a week or 10 days
                >> into this new development I took my FBG reading for the first time in
                >> several weeks. I was astonished to note that it was 115 upon first
                >> arising. I thought at first that it must be a fluke, as I'd never
                >> had such a high reading. The next day I got a similar reading. I
                >> immediately suspected that my test strips were going bad. I examined
                >> the expiration date and found it to be marginal, so I got some new
                >> test strips. Same result. I was running between 112 and 118 each
                >> morning. I was alarmed.
                >>
                >> About this time I came across abstracts from a couple of small
                >> studies that suggested that skipping breakfast might worsen insulin
                >> sensitivity. I believe these were the ones:
                >>
                >> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15220950
                >> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15699226
                >>
                >> I then returned to my former eating schedule. I had to force myself
                >> to eat breakfast at first, as I really had no morning appetite any
                >> longer. But after about 6-8 weeks that appetite had returned and my
                >> fasting blood sugar readings at the start of the day resumed their
                >> habitual 88-92.
                >>
                >> I don't know for sure if I'd actually had a worsening of blood sugar
                >> control during that time or if my body simply decided that if I
                >> wasn't going to supply it fuel in the morning as I'd always done,
                >> it would
                >> manufacture the sugar from glycogen stores instead. However, as I
                >> recall, my blood sugars at other times of the day--a few hours
                >> following meals--were in fact not as good as they used to be for
                >> whatever reason. That also soon corrected itself once I resumed my
                >> former eating schedule. Additionally, I dropped a couple of pounds
                >> that I'd somehow gained during the experiment once I resumed eating
                >> breakfast. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if nothing else, it shows
                >> that results from fasting or modified fasting can vary.
                >>
                >> Mike Leake
                >>
                >
                > After about 3 months of once a week 36 hr fasting, I found that my
                > average morning glucose levels increased to about 115. But after 2-3
                > weeks without fasting, my glucose went back to my previous baseline
                > of 100.
                >
                > I spent a lot of time checking and rechecking my glucose meter
                > to see if that was the problem. But after trying new strips and
                > new control solution, I was unable to find any problem with the
                > meter.
                >
                > Then I read Mike's post and I was struck by our similar experiences,
                > despite the fact that our fasting periods were quite different.
                >
                > I am not sure whether to return to the once a week, 36 hr fasting.
                > I had previously tried 24 hour, once a week fasting without
                > experiencing this elevated glucose problem, so I may return to that.
                > I plan to get a blood test for a1c levels to see what my long term
                > glucose levels have been during the months of weekly 36 hour fasting.
                >
                > Dave Saum
                >

                Hi Dave,

                Your report is certainly interesting, but I do not plan to spend any
                time trying to analyze and explain why you got the results that you
                did for the same reasons that I did not analyze Mike Leake's report
                (and I should have explained then instead of ignoring it).

                Insufficient data has been supplied on which to make any reasonable
                analysis. One would need to know all such parameters as:
                1) How many calories per each eating time were being consumed before
                and after the dietary timing changes.
                2) What types of calories and nutrients (carbs - and their GI, fibre,
                fats, proteins, supplements) were being consumed.
                3) What exercise changes were there, if any.
                4) Exactly when were the glucose readings taken in relationship to all
                other daily lifestyle factors (for example blood glucose generally
                rises after exercise, even when done in a fasted state, due to
                exercise induced release of glycogen and increased gluconeogenesis).

                The only way to really usefully monitor blood sugar is by sampling
                very frequently to arrive at a daily average, or taking one's
                hemoglobin A1c reading after 6 months on a given regimen. Furthermore,
                while the A1c reading is a good measure of glycation "pressure", there
                are many other factors involved in one's rate of generation of AGE's
                and protein crosslinks (which are what really do the harm).
                Unfortunately, there are as yet no standard tests for either the state
                of these last or their rate of accumulation, particularly not in
                various tissues where they are important negative influences on health
                and longevity.

                Additionally, as long as it does not worsen these rates of accumulation
                (and perhaps to a certain extent even if it does), the most important
                benefit of fasting (of various kinds - essentially lengthening the
                average time when the body had no energy substrates obtainable from
                its intestines) is the loss of accumulated fat (for those who are
                overweight - but it only occurs if the total calorie intake is also
                reduced) and the recycling of proteins many of which are AGEs or have
                accumulated glycation adducts and would soon become AGEs (through the
                process know as autophagy - literally the body feeding on itself).

                BTW, it may well be that Dave's choice of only water to drink during
                his fast was negative. There is good evidence that green tea (zero
                calories and therefore not interfering with fasting) both helps abate
                the hunger and alters the metabolism toward a more beneficial state in
                several ways.

                --Paul
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