The Alternate Day Fasting 5:2 Lifestyle
The new buzz is alternate day fasting 5:2, but what does it mean and why is there so much interest? The mind boggling idea is that by introducing two days of fasting into your routine you will lose weight, live longer and be able to carry on eating your “normal” meals for the other 5 days! This sounds like the too good to be true “diet”, but as usual the media has picked up on some of the more sensational aspects and ignored the science. Read on to discover that you can save up to 25% of your food bill….are ready for this lifestyle change?
Alternate Day Fasting 5:2 in a Nutshell:
Alternate Day Fasting 5:2 means that you can eat this sort of food for 5 days a week……..
So what exactly is alternate day fasting 5:2?
- Eat whatever you want for 5 days a week
- For 2 days a week eat 500 calories for a woman or 600 calories for a man
- Do not fast on 2 consecutive days
- On the fasting days you can eat all the food in one go or spread it out during the day
….providing you eat this sort of food for two non-consecutive days a week!
There are not that many good books around on this topic yet. Click this link to read the MeanyGoat review of the best available:
Alternate Day Fasting Books
Alternate Day Fasting 5:2 Science:
Current medical opinion has so far found no evidence one way or another for the benefits of fasting…but it is certainly not advised for pregnant women, people with existing medical conditions or those taking complex medication. However, there is PLENTY of real research and data going back many years that would seem to indicate that the lower your calorie intake is then the longer you will live. As a consequence you will lose weight. The focus of the media has mostly been around living the high life for 5 days a week…then putting up with a bit of hardship for a couple of days and still end up losing weight. At the other end of the spectrum if you restrict your food intake too much then you risk compulsive fasting, anorexia and a whole host of vitamin & mineral deficiencies. Clearly this is a complex topic where the balance between getting it right and getting it wrong is pretty critical.
Professor Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute has discovered a link between a aging and a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Longo has found that IGF-1 is essential to help the body grow and develop when we are younger…but as we get older high levels of the hormone can accelerate aging. He has found that fasting seems to lower IGF-1 levels and trigger a whole host of DNA repair mechanisms in the body which provide protection from degenerative diseases like cancer. And surprise surprise…high protein intake from meat, fish and milk also keeps IGF-1 levels high, so the standard western diet is doing us no favors at all!
Out of the strict fasting ideas researched by Professor Longo there is another less extreme version being investigated by Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois. This alternate day fasting 5:2 seems to give almost the same health benefits of extreme fasting while allowing a normal lifestyle for most of the time. Dr Michael Mosley from the UK has described this research in a BBC Horizon television program and more recently in an article in the Daily Telegraph. He has also personally taken part in a trial of alternate day fasting 5:2 and found that apart from weight loss he also benefited from lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
Common Sense Alternate Day Fasting 5:2
Add some common sense to Alternative Day Fasting 5:2 and you will not need to be watching your waste line any more….
Anybody considering a radical change in their eating habits and lifestyle should always discuss the topic first with their Doctor. In reality we will not find out if the 5:2 lifestyle makes us live longer or not until it is already too late! However, the weight of current medical research opinion seems to back the idea that eating less in general, and eating less protein, sugar and fat in particular may lead to a longer lifespan…..with the weight loss being a bonus.
Common sense also indicates a few pointers for the future as well:
- 5:2 Alternate Day Fasting does require a lot of self discipline and since there is a lot of built in flexibility many people will probably end up “stretching” the interval so that it ends up 8:1 and eventually 30:1 !
- If you really do carry on eating crap for 5 days and then just eat practically nothing for 2 days then that is not going to give the same result as eating as healthily as you can for 5 days and then doing the controlled fasting for 2 days
- Both opting for alternate day fasting 5:2, or just cleaning up your act to focus on healthy food are both “Lifestyle Changes” and they will both have a beneficial impact. Starting a “Diet” will have no lasting impact since once you stop you are back to square one and “yo yo” diets normally lead to a steady weight gain over time.
- Exercise is also needed as part of a healthy lifestyle since it also burns calories, builds your muscles, lowers blood pressure and improves mood & general health.
Click this link to read the full article by Dr Mosley in the Daily Telegraph:
The 5:2 diet: can it help you lose weight and live longer?
Other ideas here….
What Is Alternate Day Fasting? Is It A Safe Way To Lose Weight? http://t.co/ciVyLxhN #health
Take a Frugal Tip from the Meany Goat and really examine your eating and exercise habits. Eating less food, cutting back on meat, fish and dairy products….cutting out sugary and fatty snacks will all help you reduce weight, be healthier and will end up saving you money. Logically a 5:2 lifestyle will save around 25% of your weekly food bill!
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