I have just this week started the intermittent fasting diet, and would like to ask: do you find that by fasting (eating 500 calories) every other day you can literally eat what you want on the non-fasting days?
I can motivate myself to fast 3-4 days a week if I know I can eat (and drink) what I want the next day. I don't necessarily mean eating pizza and burgers all day but for example yesterday I probably consumed up to 2500 calories having some pudding and wine in addition to my normal meals.
Do you think it can work? I find the idea of fasting two days a week and then "eating normally" tough when you've been starving the day before!
I find the idea of fasting every other day and not having to count calories at all on the other days easier.
You'll find all the answers you need in the OP of that thread. (If you don't, you only have to ask.) Look for TDEE - this tells you how much you can eat on your feeding days. (Bear in mind, on these days, you can eat what you want - this doesn't mean how much you want. We all had to learn that! )
The link for this is already on this thread - but I didn't make the specific mention of its content. For addicts, this film might give you the impetus you need to wean you off diet coke.
About 20 minutes in, Dr Christiane Northrup describes how brain cells are affected (read 'killed') when aspartame and caffeine are combined. The film then goes on to detail the myriad harmful affects of artificial sweeteners:
Also for more on all of this stuff B&W has posted above I thoroughly recommend you read Escape the Diet Trap by Dr John Briffa and look at his blog. His latest post is about how even low doses of the artificial sweetener aspartame are toxic to the brains of animals.
Prof Mattson's name is on the paper. It's also worth quoting the following from the paper, paying particular attention to the last sentence:
Only 4 human studies have been published to date on the effects of ADF (3134). A decrease in body weight and fat mass, an increase in insulin sensitivity, an increase in plasma HDL cholesterol concentration (women), a decrease in plasma triglyceride concentration (men), and decreases in markers of oxidative stress and inflammation have been observed. While these results are promising, the dietary intervention lasted for a relatively short time periods (13 months), involved small sample sizes, and baseline (pre-ADF) measurements were used as control values. The present findings of deleterious effects of ADF on cardiac function in experiment on rodents provide a cautionary note to the adoption of long-term ADF regimens in humans.
As ever, over to you to draw your own conclusions...
Hi I have been reading the IF posts and they are really helpful. Have only just started (couple of weeks now) and I have to say I find it really hard. Was kind of hoping to find anyone who'd found it hard to say it gets easier!! But mainly it seems people don't notice they're hungry or feel better for it.... I'm doing all the miso soup stuff and drinking lots of water but I'm basically starving the entire day. Which is fine as I know no pain no gain but I haven't noticed any difference yet and on fast days I'm depressed and lethargic. Just want to know there is a point to sticking with it! Any thoughts vv welcome!
Hi MiuMiu I really feel for you and your predicament!
I've always said that I'm one of the lucky ones when it comes to fasting, in that I've yet to feel hungry, even after 24 hours.
Don't know how I would have fared if I was hungry all day!
One difference between your fasting and my beginning is that I began last Feb, when not a lot was known about the 5:2 WOL (Way Of Living ), so I was very tentative in my approach. I began by just halving my calories on two days per week, as a quarter seemed a bit extreme - so, I was eating approx 1200 calories. I still lost weight on this regime, both because I was eating less calories and it gave me an insight into how much we should eat each day. For instance, both my wife and myself started using side plates instead of dinner plates.
I did this until the Horizon programme was broadcast in August, and, when I saw that all the research I'd been doing was vindicated by Dr Mosley, I went on to the 5:2 fully, going down to <600 calories twice a week.
But I still ate 3 meals a day - small breakfast and lunch, bigger dinner. I did this for a couple of months and then, after reading of the health advantages of fasting, I decided I wouldn't eat until I felt hungry on my fasting days. To my amazement, I never did! So, from then on, I've endeavoured to go for 24 hours without food on my fast days.
I guess the difference between us can be summed up by saying that my body gradually got used to doing without food on occasion.
What I would suggest for you is that you start having 3 meals (still <500 cals) on your fasting days - and continue with the odd miso soup if you feel like it, between meals. If this doesn't work, then I would up your calorie count, perhaps to 750 - still a lot less than a day's normal intake - and see how you go.
If you were to ask your question on the other thread (sorry, this is the Tips and Links thread! ), I'm sure you'd get many more suggestions.
So I'm going to cut and paste both your question and my response (to save anyone else duplicating it) into the proper thread.
Having got bored of repeating myself on the big threads, and having been enjoying this WoE for nearly five months now, my tips are as follows
- STOP SNACKING : remove all snack foods from your shopping list and then house. You do not need to eat more often than three times a day, ever.
- Avoid all "diet foods" - anything that is laden with artificial sweeteners is scuppering up your digestive system feedback loops about fat and energy. I am utterly anti diet fizzy drinks - if you want a glass of coke, have one, but be honest with yourself that it contains seven spoons of sugar
- If you can, go for at least one 20+ hour fast per week as the clarity that kicks in when you het past 18 hours without food is quite astounding. GREAT for work concentration
- setting a fast day on a Monday is good for lots of people as it fits well after a weekend of relaxing
- EXERCISE : as much as you can possibly manage, including walking a tad faster than you normally would, and using stairs instead of lifts.
- Get into the habit of cooking from scratch - aim for prepared foods with as few ingredients in as possible - then you reduce your chances of hidden additives and sugars and fats
...have been doing 5:2 for about two months now. Have lost 25 lbs & 11 cm from my waist. Very pleased, and looking forward to results from blood tests taken recently. (Hoping to have dealt with both cholesterol & pre-diabetic blood sugar levels.) Have already inspired my partner to do 5:2 with me - he has lost the same amount of weight. It's so easy, if a little plain boring on fast days! I guess we all have to learn other things to do, rather than eating! Also am enjoying exploring these links...thank you.
This doesn't seem to be on here yet, Ori Hofmekler of The Warrior Diet - article on what he believes are the optimun times to eat. Potentially this just makes things more complicated but might be interesting to someone:
Summary of Key Points
The one meal per day is the only regimen that can maximize the benefits of your IF on a daily basis. Eat your main meal at night to accommodate your circadian clock. Whey protein, berries and greens compliment your fast if you know how much to consume and how often. If you exercise during the day, have a recovery meal after your workout consisting of whey protein with no sugar added. If you're engaged in super intense training, have a pre-workout meal consisting of whey protein and berries. If you're engaged in prolonged intense training, have a bowl of oatmeal with your whey protein about an hour before your workout.
ALL the articles and books on 5:2 summarised into one paragraph
Just go for it. Pick a day - tomorrow is good - and skip breakfast. Have plenty of tea and coffee and water to drink. See if you can skip lunch. If you can't, have soup or something vegetable based. More drinks. See if you can make it to supper and have something off the BBC 300 calorie menu options. Then pat yourself on the back. You have just done a 16/24 hour fast and a 500 calorie day. Sleep well, eat normally on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fast again Monday.