Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The 5:2 Fasting Way of Life...

About 3 months ago I happened to catch a show on PBS called "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" that was an experimental idea by Michael Mosley, a doctor in the UK.  There was nothing else on so I watched it.  The premise of this video was that through fasting we decrease bad cholesterol levels, decrease blood glucose, and also decrease the potential for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.  Having a history of heart disease and diabetes in my family, as well as being a university professor that wants to keep her mind intact, this was fascinating to me.  I looked up a few forums online through My Fitness Pal and the 5:2 book website.  I have said for many, many years that I want to live a very long time, so I figured I would give it a shot.  It seemed pretty straightforward and I figured I had nothing to lose.

Now, the fasting might not be what you are thinking.  The way that this works is that you fast 2 days per week and eat normally the other 5 days per week.  On fasting days (you choose the days), you eat  less than 500 calories (women) and 600 calories (men).  It's not as difficult as it might seem.

So about 3 months ago I started this.  I fast on Monday and Thursday, and I try to make my fast days as simple as possible.  You see, I tend to obsess on food.  I love food, hence the reason I weigh so much.  So on fast days my food looks like this:

2 cups coffee with 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 cup milk
1 chobani yogurt (I like the black cherry flavor) with 1/2 cup berries on top
1 calcet calcium chew

1 cup chicken bullion
Diet soda (I prefer diet ginger ale)

1 chobani yogurt with 1/2 cup berries on top
black tea

That comes in at right at 500 calories.  Best part is that I don't have to think about any other food - my meals are set.  Now you might be thinking "blimey hell, eating only 500 calories a day, I'll starve!"  But here's what's so great about this - today you stick to the 500 calories, but tomorrow you get to eat whatever you want.  For me, this somehow makes it so much more doable than the 1200 calories per day.  I only have to pay attention for 2 out of 7 days.  I can stick with it just knowing the next day (with no guilt) I can have whatever I'm craving on my feast day.  Not only that, but I'm not hungry all day.  I get hungry a little bit around 5pm while I'm waiting for dinner at 6pm, but otherwise, I'm good to go.

Now, here's the other good part.  In these past 3 months I've lost 24 pounds!!  You might not think that's a big deal, but I have tried repeatedly to lose weight and I just stay stuck at the same weight over and over no matter what diet I try.  This fasting way of life broke through that barrier and I am now 24 pounds lighter.  Do not misunderstand, I have a long way to go (about another 80 pounds), but I'm as pleased as punch about the weight loss already!  I also want to say that typical weight loss is about 1 pound per week.

If you're at all interested in the way this works, here's a link to the one hour video by Mosley.  You can find it here.  I have no idea how long the link will work because they've already taken the video down off of PBS.

I'll keep everyone updated on the progress of this way of life.  I'll also try to post some recipes in case you want to eat differently than my way.


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