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Intermittent Fasting Overview

I'm doing intermittent fasting. This diet restricts eating to narrow time window to increase fat burn through an increase in the release of growth hormone. As suggested by Greg O'Gallagher (Kinobody) and what I also find most convenient, I will be restricting my eating to lunch at 12:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm.

Fasted VS Fed State

My dilemma is that I must eat an Airborne multivitamin/mineral and Vitafusion calcium gummy tablet at 8:00am before I leave for work. Both use real sugar. Will eating these sugary tablets bring me into the fed state, thereby shutting off all the hormonal benefits of the fasted state? I understand that eating a slice of cake will put me into the fed state, but I don't understand how a few grams of sugar affect the body's hormones. Does the body work like a light switch or more like a light dimmer in regards to intermittent fasting?

Minute Details:

  • I eat chewable tablets because I have trouble swallowing pills. All chewable tablets contain sugar probably because they're marketed to kids.
  • I eat the tablets at 8:00am because most people suggest taking them in the morning, although they've never stated any reasons.
  • I prefer to store the tablets in the safety of my home rather than bring them to work. I don't people tampering with them.
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    I found a lead in intensivedietarymanagement.com/fasting-myths-part-5 : In fact, look how quickly the merest touch of glucose reverses the hormonal changes of fasting. Only 7.5 grams of glucose (2 teaspoons of sugar or barely a sip of a soft drink) is enough to reverse the ketosis. Almost immediately after consuming glucose, the ketones beta hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate drop to almost nothing, as does fatty acids. Insulin rises, as does glucose. – JoJo Feb 1 '16 at 7:06
  • And why do you need to use those specific brands of vitamins and calcium? I'm extremely skeptical that there's anything special about any particular brand of multivitamin or calcium supplement. – Carey Gregory Feb 7 '16 at 17:34
  • I am not forced to use specific brands. I would pick a different brand if they offered chewable tablets without sugar, but I haven't found any that exist. – JoJo Feb 9 '16 at 5:00
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It is generally considered that less than 50kcal is acceptable during periods of fasting. This obviously doesn't mean 10 50kcal in quick succession is acceptable (that is considered a 500kcal meal). I personally would not be held-up on the fact.

In terms of calcium and vitamin supplementation it is generally advised that they are consumed with a meal. In particular calcium carbonate should be consumed with a meal. The first meal of the day after you break the fast, is indeed by definition 'breakfast'.

So either take your supplements but very little else until you break the fast, or take them with your first meal.

In response to the comment on ketosis; that is something very different again. While in a fasted state it is unlikely you are also in a ketogenic state. Ketogenic diets are high protein, higher-fat diets with little carbohydrate — unless you ate very little carbohydrate during feeding you would not be in a state of ketosis.

In conclusion:

  • Take calcium with a meal
  • Very small amounts of food/supplementation (less than 50kcal) during a fast is unlikely to bring you into a 'fed state'
  • IF is not a Ketogenic diet

From (albeit anecdotal) personal experience focus on consistency and building healthy habits rather than getting hung-up on the details.

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