Alternate day fasting

(148 Posts)
mumofjust1 Mon 06-Aug-12 21:46:01

Is anyone watching BBC2?

There's a programme on with Michael Molesley about the benefits of it - it's very interesting and seems to have lots of health benefits.

Has anyone tried it?

Angelbex Tue 20-Nov-12 20:53:32

I'm a little concerned about a lot of the posts on this thread. There is an excellent Facebook support group page:

5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet.

It explains an awful lot about how to fast, the benefits and a huge amount of very friendly support and references.

I do 5:2 and fast for 24 hours from 7pm to 7pm then eat a 500 cal meal after 7pm when the fast has ended! Then return on the up days to eating what I like within the constraints of healthy eating and some occasional treats/rewards and my daily maintenance calories. I have lost 6lbs in 4 weeks and feel great!

Most people on the FB group do this! Most have tried eating 500 cals during the 24 hour fast, either in one meal or split across the day and find it easier and better to eat one meal after the fast ends. It's what suits each individual best!

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 08:47:01

Wasn't the man right at the beginning of the programme, who was demonstrating the calorie restricted diet (the one that ate about twenty quids worth of berries for breakfast) used as an example of a healthy diet - he had good weight and good life expectations but he looked rather old and tired - and that was because his body wasn't given time to repair old cells, was in 'gogo' mode the whole time in terms of cell production REGARDLESS of the type of food that was going in?

I think the carbs aspect is secondary because this is about how people respond to the diet, that it is manageable and not complicated, you don't have to think much about it and in fact it is this process (of NOT thinking about what you eat) that is primarily the beneficial part as we then get used to having waves of hunger and gain the ability to refuse food.

So far for me (I have been alternate day fasting for a week) the most important thing is the psychological changes that are going on, and the fact that I can 'let go' of food and stop worrying.

I do wish the BBC would stop 'dumbing down' science programmes like this, it was more like a public information film, although I am extremely grateful to have watched it because for years I have allowed food to control me, and not the other way round.

BIWI Wed 15-Aug-12 23:04:12

I would guess that fat adapted means ketogenically adapted - I.e. that your body has switched from burning carbs to burning fat. In other words, you are a low carber

Booboobedoo Wed 15-Aug-12 15:43:12

Glad to see this thread: will check out the other one too.

I have managed three fast days over the last week and a half (500cals at lunch only), but, tbh, I feel pretty dreadful.

I was wondering about the wisdom of trying this when I am chronically sleep-deprived (21mo DD is, umm, CHALLENGING at night), and was interested to read this on the website that SeventhEverything provided:

"If you haven’t satisfied the usual IF “pre-reqs,” like being fat-adapted, getting good and sufficient sleep, minimizing or mitigating stress, and exercising well (not too much and not too little), you should not fast. The pre-reqs are absolutely crucial and non-negotiable, in my opinion, especially the fat-adaptation. In fact, I suspect that if an IF study was performed on sugar-burning women versus fat-adapted women, you’d see that the fat-burning beasts would perform better and suffer fewer (if any) maladaptations."

I have no idea what 'fat-adapted' means, but here's the link to the page.

Booboobedoo Wed 15-Aug-12 15:42:10

Glad to see this thread: will check out the other one too.

I have managed three fast days over the last week and a half (500cals at lunch only), but, tbh, I feel pretty dreadful.

I was wondering about the wisdom of trying this when I am chronically sleep-deprived (21mo DD is, umm, CHALLENGING at night), and was interested to read this on the website that SeventhEverything provided:

"If you haven’t satisfied the usual IF “pre-reqs,” like being fat-adapted, getting good and sufficient sleep, minimizing or mitigating stress, and exercising well (not too much and not too little), you should not fast. The pre-reqs are absolutely crucial and non-negotiable, in my opinion, especially the fat-adaptation. In fact, I suspect that if an IF study was performed on sugar-burning women versus fat-adapted women, you’d see that the fat-burning beasts would perform better and suffer fewer (if any) maladaptations."

I have no idea what 'fat-adapted' means, but here's the link to the page.

SpringGoddess Mon 13-Aug-12 08:15:14

They experimented with low fat:high fat diets on feed days but not low carb:high carb. Also, little emphasis on eating good quality food.....yet the mice fed on a diet of junk food did not do well. Doing 2 fasting days and continuing to eat processed food will not reap the same benefits.
Dh and I have decided to try 2 fast days a week but we will continue to low carb and eat a diet high in real foods as opposed to processed foods. On fast days dh will have homemade muesli with Greek yoghurt for breakfast, I will have a white coffee. We will skip lunch and have meat with lots of veg for dinner.

ScaredAmoeba Mon 13-Aug-12 00:40:01

On fast days calorie intake is 400-500 k Cal. for women, 500-600 for men.
That's 25% of normal daily energy on fast days, a normal day would be 100%. What apparently happens is that ADF practitioners tend to eat ~110% on feed days. So their average daily intake is ~67.5%.

You can buy body composition scales, that measure many things including resting metabolism rate, visceral fat, body fat%, etc.
If I've understood things properly, resting metabolism rate is the calorific intake that one needs to maintain a stable weight (not allowing for physical exertion). Reducing one's intake below this means one should lose weight.

It would be a good idea to get organised and work out recipes and combinations that meet the RDA of protein and work-out your fast day eating plans, in advance.

My first fast day was unpleasant, but that was because I jumped-in without preparation or being organised. Fasting certainly gets easier.

According to the programme, the reason to restrict protein is to reduce IGF-1, which is implicated in the 'go' mode, cancers, cardio-vascular disease and diabetes.

Whereas excess calories are converted to fat.

I'm new to this. I've started on the ADF and intend to try it for six weeks, while monitoring the results. I might switch to the 5:2 regime for weight maintenance, it all depends on how things go, but I've already lost weight.

There seems to be so many potential advantages and I need to lose weight, that I feel convinced that unless I discover something bad that I will continue.

Grockle Thu 09-Aug-12 20:14:40

I haven't watched this yet but am going to try it.

Apparently I should also try a low carb diet but I'm not sure I can manage both. I'll try this first. DP has said he'll join me.

blackcatsdancing Thu 09-Aug-12 13:20:50

I just gave as an example as you'd think Vegans would have a really hard time getting enough protein. Amazingly bread and spagetti and loads of things you might not think have good levels of protein, they don't of course have the full complement of amino acids but that is dealt with by having a varied diet throughout the day.

blackcatsdancing Thu 09-Aug-12 13:17:33

www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm

this shows how a Vegan can easily get a high level of proetin in their diet, in both cases at the upper levels you should eat.

TeamGBIWI Thu 09-Aug-12 08:35:06

One thing that people need to consider is the amount of protein that you are actually eating. There is often an assumption, I believe, that 100g of a cut of meat will equal 100g protein - which is simply not true.

have a look here

Fatsecret.co.uk gives the following:

100g belly pork:

Cals
518
Fat
53.01g
Carbs
0g
Prot
9.34g

100g chicken breast:

Cals
195
Fat
7.72g
Carbs
0g
Prot
29.55g

So if you are a low carber - which means that you should be eating fat first, then protein and then carbs, eating a fatty meat like belly pork will mean that you eat much less protein than if you were to focus on eating leaner and lower calorie meats like chicken.

blackcatsdancing Thu 09-Aug-12 08:22:24

news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/8388.aspx

i find it hard to believe that a programme such as Horizon would interpret the science so badly / misleadingly so as to come to the conclusion that consuming more protein than is recommended leads your body constantly being in "go go" mode, whereas eating within those guidelines and consuming far less calories leads to a decrease in LGF-1.

I'd love to hear of any major government or nonprofit medical, nutrition, or science-based organization in the world that supports the Atkins Diet and its ilk. The american cancer society, the american heart association, John Hopkins, American Medical association etc etc all oppose the diet.

I agree that sugar is a baddie, no nutritional value at all. I was taught that in home economics 30 years ago! Wheat, well depends, my partner can't eat it, I have no problems.

Badvoc Thu 09-Aug-12 07:32:25

I agree sugar and wheat are baddies for good health and weight loss.
But I do worry at the protein thing.
I am having mpto reassess as the high fat content of what I have been eating is playing havoc with my gallstones sad
So.
Low carbing (with the inclusion of potatoes) and 2 days of 500 cala.
Willet you know how I get on.
Interestingly we were out for the day yesterday and I had a coffee and a price a shortbread....and I had the most horrendous indigestion last night sad
Just not worth it sad

foreverondiet Wed 08-Aug-12 22:35:56

Great post vnmum - exactly what I was thinking - I have been eating paleo/dukan for a while and was slightly concerned about what he said about high protein being bad.... Have had around 500-600 cals today (don't want to start weighing food again, trying to move away from obsessive behaviour), 2 meals - pulse soup for lunch and mountains of veg with some quorn mince for dinner, can't manage with one meal yet.

Would like to get my IGF1 levels checked will ask at work medical but not sure they will agree!

LookBehindYou Wed 08-Aug-12 21:54:49

Yes, it was mentioned that sugar is the enemy. Also, in the how to look young program a few weeks ago it was said that sugar is the thing that wreaks havok. Sugar - carbs. I watched a great presentation on why to eat plants today. Will find the link and post tomorrow.

Yes BIWI that concerned me too - eating 600 calories spread across 24 hours is not going to give the same effect as no calories at all for 20 hours.

vnmum That really bugged me too - I was shouting 27% isn't a third! at the laptop!

I posted on the other thread, here's a copy:

I had a quick search of my favourite Primal site for IGF 1, and there is a fair bit of info on fasting on there, as part of a primal lifestyle. I am interested in whether the possibly increased amounts of protein in a paleo diet can be a risk factor if this is not balanced by intermittent fasting.

FWIW, I have now decided that saturated fat is absolutely fine to eat. I cannot see any current research suggesting otherwise.

TeamGBIWI Wed 08-Aug-12 21:53:14

I thought it was very interesting, but left a lot of questions unanswered, and your points in your post resonate with me and where I was getting to with it. I think what people are starting to post about now is, essentially, just a (very) low calorie diet - and that really concerns me.

Surely it has to be about the quality/type of food that you eat, and the effect that it has on the hormones, which would tend to suggest - as you point out - the whole glucose/insulin/carb thing.

vnmum Wed 08-Aug-12 21:51:20

Thanks BIWIsmile,
I think reading peoples opinions on the threads before watching it helped me look more deeply into what was being said and how things can be misconstrued. One thing that I picked up on was the doctor saying that Mr Moseley's body fat % was 27.1, and then went on to say "a third of your body is fat". Well actually no, 27.1 is not 1/3 of 100. It is actually just over a 1/4, 1/3 would be 33.333333%, quite a difference really.

TeamGBIWI Wed 08-Aug-12 21:46:38

Great post, vnmum.

vnmum Wed 08-Aug-12 21:18:08

ok I have just finished watching the program. There is no doubt that the 5;2 diet obviuosly worked for him as he lost weight. What I found interesting is that his IGF1 levels dropped after his first 3 day fast then went back up when he started to eat normally, then dropped again when he did the 5:2 diet.

All the comparisons between either calorie restriction or fasting seemed to be between those and the typical western diet. The typical western/american diet is notoriously high in grains and processed carbs aswell as sugar, so really it is no surprise that an improvement in health is seen when the diet is improved in any way.

When Dr V mentioned protein as the reason for higher IGF1 levels, there was no explanation as to why or how he came to that conclusion. There was no mention of what else the diet consisted of and he just mentioned eating less protein and more plant matter.

When discussing fasting, Dr V suggested that the point of fasting was to reduce blood glucose levels quicker than calorie restriction and also to deplete glycogen stores and get into ketosis and therefore reduce the amount of IGF1 released by the liver. To me, this suggests that IGF1 levels are linked to glucose levels. Even on the printouts he showed after the long fast it was emphasised about the lower IGF1 but also lower glucose levels, therefore it seems that lower blood glucose and lower glycogen levels will equate to lower IGF1 levels. Eating a low carb diet will achieve this without the need to fast as you wouldn't have lots of glycogen and are usually in ketosis as a matter of course.

The mice in the alzheimers (sp?) experiment showed that eating junk food increased the rate at which symptoms would be seen. I would read into this that even though fasting was shown to improve the rate of symptom onset that then eating loads of junk on feast days is not going to be the best idea. Also when describing the junk food diet, the scientist mentioned the high amount of sugar and fructose added to drinks. Again a link to glucose.

After watching the program I am not convinced by all it discussed. I still think that it showed a link between glucose levels and various diseases.
I believe that eating a low carb diet would have similar results and that more research needs to be done, maybe testing the IGF1 levels of people who eat low carb as a matter of course and compare it to those who eat a western diet before then testing the levels after fasting.

After all I have read about paleo/ low carb and grains and watching this program it is still grains that are the bad guys in our diet IMO.

Rmm1 Wed 08-Aug-12 21:09:13

I'm being a bit thick here but is it two consecutive days of low cal meals then five days normal or can you split the fasting days up?

ameliameerkat Wed 08-Aug-12 20:03:36

First 500 cal day for me!

What I've eaten:
No breakfast
Porridge at lunchtime (50g oats made up with 100ml semi skimmed milk) = 230cals
2 cups of cherries in the afternoon = 148cals
2 carrots = 73 cals with
80g of natural yoghurt (with minty spicy chutney mix stuff in - ignored the calories in that as there isn't the info on the box!) for tea = 44cals
Total = 495 calories

I'm aiming to do it Mon/Weds/Fri and eat normally the other days. I'll probably drop down to 2 days at 500 cals a week come September as that's when my dance classes start back in the evenings and I don't think I could do a class on 500 cals!

Made this soup tonight for Friday lunch:
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2089/spiced-carrot-and-lentil-soup
at 238 cals per serving with a slice of wholemeal bread at 90cals.

Phacelia Wed 08-Aug-12 16:42:25

This looks amazing. I'm definitely going to try it. My problem is that I have M.E and I can't only eat once in a day; my symptoms get much worse if I don't eat regularly (so at the moment I have a small breakfast and small lunch, something snacky like rice cakes or fruit for tea and then a healthy supper), so hopefully I will still have results if I eat a small amount throughout the day. I think I could skip breakfast and not eat till say 12, but it will be about experimenting for me. If I can't do it, then I'll stop. Would be amazing if the cell repair which supposedly happens as a result of this routine helped my symptoms. It's possible, I suppose.

I think that the research is still ongoing so people can't really say for sure if it's important to go a whole day without food, other than the one meal, or it's the low amount of protein that's key. As far as I'm aware (based on reading I did years ago, so could be completely wrong), fasting puts you into a state of ketosis, which is when the body turns to the fat stores, but that only happens after about 3 continuous days of fasting so it's possibly irrelevant when you eat over one day if that's the only day you're restricing yourself (based on if you spread your fasting days in this 5:2 plan)

The BBC good food website has lots of meals under 200 calories. Some look really nice.

Fieldette Wed 08-Aug-12 14:17:13

C & P from the other thread:

I also saw the programme and thought it looked interesting for both health and weight benefits.

I am on Day 2 of trying the 5:2 fast. I decided to aim for around 550 calories.

Yesterday I ate as follows:

Breakfast - two small poached eggs with a slice of toasted Vogel soya & linseed bread = 213 calories

Lunch - 2 raw carrots, 4" chunk of cucumber, 5 radishes and a celery stick, sliced into crudites with 20g hummous. 100g fresh strawberries = 172 calories

Supper - 50g grilled chicken, 1 whole pak choi, half a red pepper, 2 spring onions and 5 broccoli florets, all stir-fried with teaspoon of sesame oil, pinch of chilli flakes, pinch of cumin and a few slivers of fresh ginger. 100g raspberries. = 184 calories

Total 569 calories . Although I could have cut it down to 500 by not having the fruit for pudding at lunch and supper.

I drank water and green tea & lemon all day, plus did TDS Level 2, and I have to say I felt fine and didn't feel hungry. The crudites take so long to eat that you feel like you've had a huge lunch!

I wasn't quite up to 100% effort/energy doing TDS, probably more like 85-90% but it wasn't enough to bother me.

I'm doing the same today and then will eat normally for the next 5 days. I generally eat pretty healthily and excercise anyway, so my normal days won't be 'gorging' days. I am curious to see what effect it will have on my appetite by tomorrow evening because my evening meal is normally my main meal as I always have poached eggs on toast for breakfast and a salad/soup type thing for lunch, albeit normally a more calorific/protein rich salad.

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