The Fast Diet 

The fast diet is about fasting for a temporary period of time. Fasting appears to have many benefits according to Dr. Valter Longo director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute. According to Dr. Valter’s research and others, fasting for even short periods of time switches on repair genes, which are believed to confer long-term benefits. These changes are long-lasting and can be protective against aging and diseases.

Of interest at the moment is the life-extending benefits that have been discovered from fasting. A study explains rodents were feed one day in four, one day in three or one day in two. The rodents that were feed the least lived the longest. Not only do the rodents live longer, they also seem to stay healthier throughout their lives. The longer living rodents don’t get diabetes or cancer and typically die of natural causes. The difference in these mice is that not only are they calorie restricted, they were also engineered genetically to not respond to a hormone known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).

IGF-1 in the latter parts of life accelerates aging and cancer. When you fast periodically, on those fasting days you produce lessor amounts of IFG-1. You then theoretically slow the aging process and onset of cancer. When you calorie restrict (or temporarily fast) you turn on a cellular process known as autophagy. Autophagy has the role of breaking down and recycling old and tired cells. Autophagy is seen as a kind of repair mechanism because old and tired cells are in need of recycling. The Fast Diet does not require prolonged fasting but prolonged fasting may benefit people undergoing chemotherapy (See Pg. 47. in The Fast Diet) for more info. 

Intermittent Fasting 

Research has shown something interesting about intermittent fasting and it isn’t the first time I’ve come across this. Those that intermittently fast (2 days of fasting or low calorie diet) have been shown to lose more weight than those dieting daily or 7 days a week. Intermittent fasting is described as having 600 calories a day for men and 500 calories a day for women all in two meals. The rest of the day is a fast after that meal providing significant hours of fasting time. A study in mice found that those that eat all their calories at once, instead of spread-out throughout the day weigh less and they had less inflammatory conditions in their bodies. The mice livers were also less damaged. When you eat all at once, you allow yourself a long fast of at least 23 hours, whereas if you eat throughout the day your insulin remains high and you are stuck in fat storage mode. Note, the mice were both on high fat diets. 

Intermittent fasting is also healthy for your blood glucose levels. Elevated levels of blood glucose leads to diabetes. Diabetes can cause kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, amputation and more. Nobody needs to get diabetes, it is huge problem in the United States as well; however, it was shown that through intermittent fasting your blood glucose levels will drop significantly which is really good if you don’t want diabetes and its associated problems. If you do have diabetes, you can overcome it by losing weight, perhaps this fasting diet is what you'll need to try. Diabetes doesn't have to be progressive, it can be overcome with weight loss and decreased blood glucose levels. 

The Fast Diet in Work

The fast is to be done on two consecutive days each week with 600 calories a day for men and 500 a day for women. Split the calories between your breakfast and dinner, don’t have them all at once. The diet is known as a 5:2 diet, five days on and two days off. A typical breakfast could be done at 730am and then dinner at 730pm, with nothing eaten between those times. There are fast diet plans or menus ideas available as well. If you prefer, you can also eat all the calories at one meal. The benefits of eating all your calories at one meal where mentioned earlier. I think it is better to eat them all at once. 

The idea is to have as many hours of fasting in a row as possible. That period switches on the cellular responses that are healthy for your body and possibly even your brain. Do you know many people in your life that are petite? They eat very few calories everyday they just don’t always share that with everyone because they don’t want to screw up their very nice diet.

The health benefits of fasting are apparent. My Aunt has been petite her entire life and eats no more than 500-600 calories everyday, not just two days a week. She is in her 80’s now without any health problems and doesn’t take any medications. She has never needed to stay in the hospital either.  In my opinion most people that are in the hospital have BMI’s over 35 even over 40 and 45. These are the people that unfortunately, need frequent medical attention.

What should I eat on a fast day? 

The goal on a fast day is to stay within your caloric allowance while eating food that are satisfying. To do this, you should eat high in protein and foods with a low glycemic index. Research has shown that people eating high protein diets are fuller for a longer period of time.

For example, the Atkins diet is a really successful diet where people end up eating less overall. Remember, to have low glycemic index foods. Carrots for example are not a low glycemic index food which surprises many. Low glycemic index foods do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar. You want these foods because spikes in blood glucose lead to insulin release and insulin leads to fat storage and fat retention. In general, avoid foods that have a glycemic index above 50 and a glycemic load over 20. The book
"The Fast Diet” covers some proteins that are ideal for you to eat.

When should I start fasting? 

There are some people that shouldn’t fast such as type 1 diabetics, children, pregnant women, those with an eating disorder and those that are already really lean.

If you take medications you should consult with your primary care physician first before embarking on a fast. It is convenient to begin fasting on a day where you feel fresh, strong and committed to what it takes.

Share with your family and friends your new dietary routine. It isn’t a bad idea to have your weight, BMI and target weight recorded before you begin.

You may even want to see a doctor to have a basic metabolic profile and cholesterol tests done. You can then compare your cholesterol a month after fasting and you’ll see the benefits. Make sure you arrive at the lab fasting to get accurate cholesterol readings. 

Learn all the essentials of The Fast Diet with Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer’s International Bestseller “The FastDiet.” Included in the book is "How to Win the Hunger Games" and much more! Note there have been many five star positive reviews for this book!

› The Fast Diet
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