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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?

Badvoc Tue 07-Aug-12 10:34:43

He had breakfast and dinner:
Scrambled egg for breakfast and then fish and veg for dinner.
I am going to do it, not sure about dh.
We have both lost half a stone low carving but we both find it hard to not ever have any potatoes wi our meals.
I have ordered a calories counter from amazon as I have no idea what the calorie count of things like fruit, soup etc.
I could quite happily have eggs for breakfast, soup for lunch and salad for dinner on fast's a it of a bad name really isn't it?
It should be called alternate calorie restriction, not fasting. To me, fasting means of eating at all....

Pleiades45 Tue 07-Aug-12 10:35:19

thanks, I didn't read the article, I watch Horizon and wasn't sure if I'd missed something.

Badvoc Tue 07-Aug-12 10:35:32

Sorry for typos...bloody iPad!

Viviennemary Tue 07-Aug-12 10:36:29

I'm sorry I missed this. It sounds really interesting. So did it encourage him to eat less on the days he wasn't fasting?

cheaperthantherapy Tue 07-Aug-12 10:40:09

That sounds brilliant! I'll definately give the 5:2 a go. Having had 2 babies over last 2 years I definately need to do something! An quite overweight and have awful back problems which should be helped by losing weight. I am a size 14/16 and need to get back to my ideal 10/12. Exercise is too difficult due to chronic back pain but I think I could do that eating plan. [hopeful].

Badvoc Tue 07-Aug-12 10:42:13

Amazingly the researchers found that the subjects didn't eat loads more in feed days...I.e. they didn't go mad and binge which I think was what they expected.
And it didn't matter what they ate in the feed days either which is pretty sucking too...I.e. low fat or high fat, they still lostnweitnand the blood results were good...

FelixCited Tue 07-Aug-12 10:42:33

iplayer link

Badvoc Tue 07-Aug-12 10:42:39

Shocking, not sucking!
I hate this iPad sad

silver73 Tue 07-Aug-12 10:55:25

Hi I started today. I thought you had to fast for 16 hours and eat your calories over a period of 8 hours. I found some information online last night that I had seen before and was semi-interested but now the information makes more sense.

I am going to eat between 12pm and 8 pm which gives me a 16 hour fast. I think some people do it as a way of life but without the calorie restriction.

FelixCited Tue 07-Aug-12 10:57:17

He talks about the 5:2 around 40 mins in smile

garlicnuts Tue 07-Aug-12 11:00:34

I'm not joining or trashing this subject, but I do want to correct some assumptions made by Michael Mosley about Laron syndrome. A from of dwarfism, the syndrome is a rare birth defect involving resistance to human growth hormone. Sufferers tend to live longer than usual, hence all the interest in HGH and longevity. However, they are also dwarves with multiple problems including weak bones, weak connective tissue, obesity, insulin resistance, poor teeth and eyes plus psychological disorders. Here is Professor Laron's own summary.

Clearly, cutting back for two days a week isn't going to cause you all these problems! It just annoys me when genuine medical findings are perverted by diet doctors. Good luck, everybody.

LookBehindYou Tue 07-Aug-12 11:03:31

I don't think they were perverted. They just focused on the human growth hormone for this programme because that's what they wanted to reduce.

JustGettingByMum Tue 07-Aug-12 11:18:13

The related BBC article is here bbc website

CagneyNLacey Tue 07-Aug-12 11:21:04

This looks really interesting. I might try and combine 5:2 with my Slimming World and see how do-able it is for a week or so.

Looks fascinating, I think I will give it a go!! At least you can chose your 2 days fasting so seems very do-able. Just gonna work out my food for the 500 cal days and then am good to go.

blackcatsdancing Tue 07-Aug-12 11:54:55

i think its a great idea and something i've been vaguely aware of for a few years now- though its only recently mainstream science has made this aware to the general public . There's also the breast cancer prevention diet which also calls for 2 days a week when you eat very, very little. On the other days you eat a normal med diet but not too much, i think for weight loss they advise 1,500 cals for women.

very interesting about the effects of protein on cells, makes me glad i never did atkins or similar.

If i try it i'll start with 2 work days (less temptation) and keep the bulk of my calories for the evening meal. I can stretch a late breakfast out to almost lunchtime, then a tiny mid afternoon/ early evening snack if i really have to (50 cals or so) while i wait for dinner, which i guess will be a big salad and some lean chicken or fish or tuna in water.

FushiaFernica Tue 07-Aug-12 12:13:15

Mm I am not sure. There is a possibility this fasting could be dangerous-once you find it easy enough to do 2 days, then extend to 3 and so on, until you have an eating disorder. It is also going to move people away from having a breakfast, which usually helps people maintain a healthy weight. Also, that bloke from America who ate frozen fruit in the programme looked positively aged. It would have helped if we knew what Michael Mosely ate on his usual days as this may have accounted for his high results in blood tests.

LookBehindYou Tue 07-Aug-12 12:16:45

It doesn't move you away from having a breakfast.
The guy might might have looked aged but his physiological age was much younger. The article stresses that this is still being explored and much more research is needed before it is recommended.

blackcatsdancing Tue 07-Aug-12 12:18:46

there are lots of links from here to the Genesis / intermittent diet. Includes some ideas on what to eat of low calorie days.

miniwedge Tue 07-Aug-12 12:26:29


I'm starting on this out of interest more than anything! Although I do want to lose half a stone for my wedding in eight weeks so will be tracking weight loss.

I've worked out a "fast day" for me;
2 x boiled eggs - Breakfast
1 x slice wholemeal bread with lowfat spread and marmite - Breakfast

Tea - 1 grilled chicken breast (200g) and 100 grams salad leaves

I exercise lots (an hour a day of fairly intense exercise 4-5 days a week) and my weight has stayed at exactly 9.5 stone for about two years now.

blackcatsdancing Tue 07-Aug-12 12:31:40

good luck mini, your plan sounds good, sort of foods i'd probably eat on it.

i've just watched on and in the alternate day diet the scientist says you eat all your calories at mid day. then the next day you eat anything you like!! For women its 400-500 calories, men 500-600.

i'll get my head round this and start sometime this week

Poodlepower Tue 07-Aug-12 12:42:55

Do you just pick any 2 days to fast or are they meant to be consecutive? Presumably you are allowed to drink tea as long as you count the calories in the milk?

RubyFakeNails Tue 07-Aug-12 12:49:39

I was hoping there was a thread on this. Found it really interesting and will be incorporating it into my lifestyle as an alternative to the fasting I currently do

About 10 years ago I went on a yoga retreat and fasted for 10 days, we were eating 250 calories per day max and it was all through liquid, a bit like the maple syrup diet I guess. I typically fast in the same way for 3 days every 3 months. I'm not surprised that people don't over indulge on the feast days because honestly when you start eating again even after fasting for 2 days you find yourself being really full and you can taste everything.

I took up doing the 3 days every 3 thing because I found it really helpful in re-balancing my eating habits. On eating after fasting everything tastes so much more strongly (fruit and veg is amazing) and so much more filling. I normally do it after going on holiday because where I over-indulge it helps me to get back to normal eating habits.

I have low blood pressure think around 100-80/60 and low cholesterol, in a family where everyone else is the opposite. I'm not someone who exercises massively or eats in a really healthy way and recently I did vegetarian low-carb to lose 10lbs, but I think its possible the fasting may have helped with my overall health.

Question I did have is, if he found that the benefits were equal when he fasted for 4 days and when he did 2 days non-consecutively over 5. Is there any evidence that there is extra benefits to fasting alternate days or is that putting yourself under unnecessary suffering. He has been answering lots on his twitter so I may ask him there.

miniwedge Tue 07-Aug-12 12:54:23

I have no idea about when the calories should be consumed etc.
I'm sticking to a breakfast and a dinner because I do so much exercise I think I would faint if i didn't eat two meals! I'm planning lots of black tea/water as well.

I did think about soup but I make it myself and I can't be arsed to work out calories and portions if I'm honest. grin
I worked out my daily plan by using my fitness pal and just playing around with different foods and amounts.

I'll be doing a weds and a friday this week but plan to do Tuesdays and Thursdays after that just so that the week is broken up. I doubt if I'd stick to it if I did weekends......

CagneyNLacey Tue 07-Aug-12 12:54:46

Just been messing around on fitnesspal and 500 calories a day is sooo little! Think I will have to have a late breakfast/early lunch and then salmon, tuna or chicken with lots of veg for dinner with lots of black tea or coffee throughout the day.

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