I have known that fasting has health benefits for a long time, but with exception to when I’m sick, I just never really bothered. Then I watched a BBC special where they walked through the science behind what fasting does to the body and the health effects. The data seems to indicate there are far greater effects than just losing weight. Based on the BBC program ‘The Power of Intermittent Fasting’, benefits include improvements in lower blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin and glucose. In addition there seem to be data showing improved resistance to cancer and Alzheimer’s. The programs ends with the host trying the 5-2 diet and finding positive results, however there is not a body of data to back it up with 3 day fasting or even every other day fasting. Despite this, I think starting out with the 5-2 is actually safer and easier. At least for me.
Its day one and I had about 500 calories today. Had a small bowl of cereal with almond milk, then a small plate of rice, veggie and 2 shirp. (left overs from my wife’s dinner). Its 10:00 and although the hours between 8 and 9 were a bit of a challenge, I’m pretty much over the hunger pains. Drinking coffee during the day and herbal tea after 5 is enough to keep it under control. The only risk for me is that I’m a VERY light sleeper so hunger can and has woke me up before, so we’ll see how this night goes by.
My goal is to give this 4 weeks and if I can do 2 days a week, then I will try the 48 hour cycle, 500-600 calories a day every other day. Again, I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m already at an ok weight. My blood was good the last time I had it checked. However, now that I’m getting to 50, and I’ve noticed that I’m not exercising like I used to, I want to be proactive.
There is a point I want to make however; diets like these does NOT mean you can eat what you want on the non fast days. ( I know they say you can, but I’m not buying it.) You STILL need to eat well and exercise. I have been on a no soda, low starch, low meat diet for a number of years. It’s not ridgid, I mostly eat what I want, I simply try make my daily meals small, and mostly veggie and fruit. Thats it. There is no silver bullet to keeping weight under control, eat right, exercise often and minimize junk. Simple.
I’ll report back after the second fast day.