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to think this 'diet' is an eating disorder

(301 Posts)
BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 10:52:08

I'm dieting the old fashioned way - exercise and reducing calories to about 1800.

My friend recently told me about a diet she's thinking about doing called "The Alternative Day Diet". In this diet, you eat 400 cals one day, then you're allowed to eat whatever you like the next day, then back to 400 cals the next day, then eat whatever you like for a day, etc.

I've done some research on this seemingly popular diet. Apparently it switches on a 'skinny gene' which keeps your metabolism in top condition, burning calories. It also has other claimed health benefits such as - making you live longer (there was a Horizon documentary on the BBC backing this up). The internet is full of gleeming reviews.

But surely this pattern of eating is unsustainable and encourages disordered thinking? I feel a bit concerned for my friend. When she latches onto an idea she tends to go hardcore.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:53:43

eating a burger or a cupcake isnt binging (unless you eat 20) any sensible fool will know that

Are you supposed to eat only crap on the feast days? That's what the book cover (and my friend) implies.

So let's get this straight:

On this diet you starve for 2 days, then eat 'moderately' on the other days? Whereas the diet I'm currently doing (1800 per day) is basically eating moderately every day. Hmmmm I know which is looking more appetising.

lastSplash Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:01

Um why are you thinking of buying the book when an hour ago you thought it would cause eating disorders? Manufactured controversy to promote a diet perhaps?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:06

This! Agree comletely but if they didn't sensationalise it ('eat burgers, fudge and cake and still lose weight') it wouldn't get so many headlines

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:31

last comment to marshabradys post

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:46

I wonder what are ancestors would think to this way of eating being described as an eating disorder - thousands of years ago it was how the human race eat, sometimes though they would have more days with little calories and a few days with more calories - it would depend on what was caught and what was picked from the bush

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:56:33

You don't starve.
You eat 500 kcals.
See many examples as to what you can eat in a days diet that have been given and remove your selective reading glasses.

And if, assuming for the average british women the daily calorie allowance for weight maintenance is 2000 (depending on how big you are of course) then cutting back by only 200 per day, will take a long long long time to lose weight.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:57:18

What a bloody pointless thread!

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:57:25

A picture of a burger to most sensible people, does not imply that you should just eat crap.

Are you being purposely obtuse OP?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:58:06

Manufactured controversy to promote a diet perhaps?

lol yeah I wrote the book.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:59:10

Where does it say you eat moderately on the other two days?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:04

What a bloody pointless thread!

Why the F are you in it then?

I want to disect this diet and see what the deal is. If you don't want to join me, off you fuck.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:13

Reading up on this diet it seems like a very natural way to eat if you are not binging

Its the way many children eat and most his friends seem to follow this pattern

Most of us far more than we need to because out bodies have become accustomed to it if we ate when we needed to I am sure it would be more like this eating plan

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 12:01:17

Ha ha, my SIDES

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:26

OP, you have been given the lowdown repeatedly by many different people yet you don't seem to either get it or believe it.

I kind of agree, it's a bit pointless if you keep coming up with the same points, yet not addressing the answers to some of your questions or acknowledging the information you are given.

There are so many threads on this right now, so many.

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:51

Agree Damn. It's a press release for maximum coverage, and it works.

Actual diet is less sensational, and more sensible.

I'm pretty welded to low carb. Not sure if you can do both.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:52

A picture of a burger to most sensible people, does not imply that you should just eat crap.

It has a burger, a cupcake and a sugar lolly symbolising the feast days. Then just veg symbolising the fast days. If this isn't two extremes then what is!

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:03:51

I've just bought The Fast Diet on the kindle by the way, and a good chunk of the book is taken up with stuff that's a bit unnecessary if you've seen the Horizon doc. Notes and references to the various supporting studies will be handy for internet arguments (as if I need any encouragement to do more of that), but the tables of calories in common foods can be found online for free.

And then there's Mimi Spencer's slightly restrictive food advice, which at times threatens to turn the whole thing into yet another "women's magazine diet" - nuts, leafy greens, grilled chicken etc, lots of wibbling about low fat and things like "low calorie hot chocolate" <boak> which to me rather goes against the spirit of the diet. The whole point is that it's supposed to be easier than the standard "healthy eating" advice. If you start eating more veg on normal days as a result of fast days (as many find) so be it, but being told in advance that this WILL happen made me feel exactly as discouraged, and as if I had a giant mountain to climb, as the standard low fat, eat less, move more diets do.

So I don't mind paying £3 just to have the written principles on hand, but I think the Horizon doc is still where you'll have the revelation.

GetOrf Fri 25-Jan-13 12:03:56

Op the 1800 a day diet you are on - are you sure that will work at all. My basic metabolic rate to maintain weight is about 1900 cals, have you worked yours out? 1800 isn't much of a deficit really.

whois Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:11

I'm not a fan of 'diets' but there really does seem to be a lot of positive research around this one. I think eating normaly, including going out to restaurants and having a glass of wine on 5 days a week coming in at 1800 to 2200, and doing 500 on 2 days is easier then keeping to 1500 or whatever for months.

Oats so simple 27g made with water = 98c
Crush prawn noodle soup (big and tasty) = 167c
Dinner made up of loads of steamed/boiled veg with a small bit of fish.
Drink plenty of water, have a black coffee with sweetener of you need mid morning, a fruit tea in the afternoon.

I don't actually find that too big a drama and I can move the days around depending on my social life or sports matches.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:38

On this diet you starve for 2 days, then eat 'moderately' on the other days? Whereas the diet I'm currently doing (1800 per day) is basically eating moderately every day. Hmmmm I know which is looking more appetising.

Why not read the book first before you jump to conclusions? And why would you think that 500 calories = starving? If it was 0 calories, then perhaps I might agree with you, but there are plenty of things you eat for 500 calories.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:55

You need to stop thinking that you starve for two days. You don't.

You eat a lot less calories than you usually would, but you don't starve. It is ok to be hungry sometimes you know, and hungry doesn't mean starving. Anyway, 500 calories is really very doable if you eat the right thing.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:07

OP, you have been given the lowdown repeatedly by many different people yet you don't seem to either get it or believe it.

No one addressed my point, where I compared the 5:2 diet and my own 1800 diet. Or did I miss that?

Mine is moderate eating every day whereas 5:2 is moderate eating and some starvation days.

Which sounds most enjoyable and sustainable?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:07

Is there no element of common sense here? Really.

The same way that if you look at a cookery book you don't expect that you would cook all the food on the front cover in one go, any more than you would expect that you would eat all the 'crap' in one go.

And it isn't just veg on fast days

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:46

Yes, I did.
At the top of this page.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:48

maybe a lump of lard and a plate of dust?

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