First let me say, I don’t “do” diets. However, I am interested in exploring new approaches to healthy living. Kathy and I eat mostly fresh foods, not too much, and we exercise regularly.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. — Virginia Woolf
About four weeks ago, I ran across an article about the new Fast Diet that has been taking Great Britain by storm…especially among men. I couldn’t resist. I ordered the book and had it in my sweaty little hands two days later thanks to Amazon Prime (one of my favorite addictions).
I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. — Erma Bombeck
The article in the New York Times said, “With an alluring cover line that reads, ‘Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer,’ the premise of this latest weight-loss regimen — or ‘slimming’ as the British call ‘dieting’ — is intermittent fasting, or what has become known here as the 5:2 diet: five days of eating and drinking whatever you want, dispersed with two days of fasting.
“A typical fasting day consists of two meals of roughly 250 to 300 calories each, depending on the person’s sex (500 calories for women, 600 for men). Think two eggs and a slice of ham for breakfast, and a plate of steamed fish and vegetables for dinner.
“It is not much sustenance, but the secret to weight loss, according to the book, is that even after just a few hours of fasting, the body begins to turn off the fat-storing mechanisms and turn on the fat-burning systems.
“I’ve always been into self-experimentation,” said Dr. Michael Mosley, one of the book’s two authors and a well-known medical journalist on the BBC who is often called the Sanjay Gupta of Britain.
“This started because I was not feeling well last year,” Dr. Mosley said recently over a cup of tea and half a cookie (it was not one of his fasting days). “It turns out I was suffering from high blood sugar, high cholesterol and had a kind of visceral fat inside my gut.
“Though hardly obese at the time, at 5 feet 11 inches and 187 pounds, Dr. Mosley, 55, had a body mass index and body fat percentage that were a few points higher than the recommended amount for men. “Given that my father had died at age 73 of complications from diabetes, and I was now looking prediabetic, I knew something had to change,” he added.
“The body goes into a repair-and-recover mode when it no longer has the work of storing the food being consumed,” he said.
“What Dr. Mosley found most astounding, however, were his personal results. Not only did he lose 20 pounds (he currently weighs 168 pounds) in nine weeks, but his glucose and cholesterol levels went down, as did his body fat. “What’s more, I have a whole new level of energy,” he said.”
A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety. — Aesop
After reading Dr. Mosley’s book, the Fast Diet seems not so much a diet in the usual sense of the word but more of a lifestyle choice. And a pretty easy one at that. Kathy and I decided to try it. We follow the prescribed calorie intake for breakfast and dinner on fast days (We chose Mondays and Thursdays.}. On the other five days of the week, we go back to our normal eating and beverage habits. I even binged big time on Special K bars over the Easter weekend. Who wouldn’t!
We are now three and a half weeks in and the change for me is noticeable. I started at 164 pounds and am now at 156. My Body Mass Index dropped from 25.7 to 24.4 according the the Mayo Clinic BMI online calculator. At 5 feet 7 inches, this moved me from the “overweight” category to “normal.” Most notable is the fact that the weight loss was from my mid-section…exactly what most of us want to happen. I dropped from a 34 inch waist to 33 and now even the 33 requires a belt to keep them hitched up. Gotta love it!
Obviously, if you have a medical condition, you should consult a doctor before fasting of any kind. Barring that, the Fast Diet seems a pretty easy trade off for the results I’ve seen. My energy level is the same, if not better. And fasting days have had no impact on my ability to complete my weight training regimen on fast days. Pretty cool!
There are other benefits to intermittent fasting that are discussed in the book as well that you may find interesting, including increased mental acuity. It also provides for adaptations to the 5:2 plan if you don’t need to lose weight but are interested in the added benefits of fasting for short periods.
If such things are of interest to you, I would certainly recommend you pick up a copy of this book or download the Kindle version. It’s a quick and interesting read and could change your life.
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. — Voltaire
Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and health and well-being.