A quick fast update

In Diets on January 20, 2013 at 10:23 am



I wasn’t going to write any more about the new – and very ancient – ideas about fasting for health and wellbeing until I’ve been on the two day a week fasting regime for a month, but then yesterday the Australian ran a big story about it. (I felt a little smug. Not something I normally allow myself. Rather enjoyed it.)

This is useful as it goes into all the scientific research in some detail so am posting the link here FYI.

I also came across an article by Mimi Spencer (a most excellent fashion writer) who wrote the book the Fast Diet with the BBC’s medical journalist Dr Michael Mosley, after she watched the same programme which inspired my interest in fasting, so here’s the link to that too.

  1. Dear Maggie – I am going to investigate this a lot more!

    I saw another show that Dr Mosley did for the BBC (which was shown here on SBS in Dec) about exercise and how a “one size fits all approach” to exercise is horribly wrong, and how different people react differently to different types of exercise. One of the exercise methods he explored was a method that only worked for people with a particular gene – but, oh, to have that gene! It was essentially exercising to absolute exertion for one minute (3 x 20 sec intense bursts), three times a week. It sounds BONKERS, but for some people with the right genetic make-up, it seemed to have a significant positive impact on your health. Again, all scientifically tested.

    I guess the main thing is that a one size fits all approach never works. I initially baulked when I read about your fasting, but if that’s what works for you, then that’s fine. My mum is a regular faster – not starvation, just has a few days here and there through the week where she may only eat one or two very small / very light meals during the day. Very similar to what you are doing.

    Good luck!

  2. Pefect timing. I feel like I’ve put on 5kg after 1 weeks holiday with another week left to go. Husband and I have both planned to start this very logical diet when life begins again after holidays. thx!

  3. (and a tip for people who want to look at the article in The Australian on the above link and hit their paywall – just google “Running on empty + The Australian” and you should be able to find the full article)

  4. There is another Australian based nutritionist called Cyndi O’Meara who has developed a “HGC Protocol” which is essentially living on 500 calories a day for 14+ days. I have some friends who have done it and dropped a lot of weight (quickly) and are maintaining it – it has totally decreased their overall feelings of hunger. I am trying to find a suitable time to commit to 14 days (& then there are more re-introduction rules etc after that). After reading your initial article on the 2 day a week fast I immediately bought the book online & eagerly await its delivery. Last year I committed to exercising nearly every day & ran a 10k fun run in December after all my training. I have realised that exercise alone (and even combined with stricter eating) is not the answer. It really is what goes in your mouth that makes all the difference. Or in this case – what doesn’t go in your mouth!!! I am so ready to give this a go.

  5. Thank you. Thank you. So glad I took the time to read these articles. I will order the book and definitely give it a try.

  6. Hi Maggie, good on you for trying this and persevering! I think it’s absolutely fine–however I loathe the word diet–perfer “eating style” or “food plan”.

    I’m actually really jealous of you being able to do this, am a big fan of the paleo lifestyle and diet (it’s actually really natural for people to go without food for a few days, Australian Aborigines traditionally lived this way—they didn’t always kill a ‘roo every day. Plant-based bush tucker is far from filling). One of the awesome things about fasting is food just tastes SO MUCH BETTER when you have gone without it. As the French say, a good meal begins with an appetite.

    Unfortunatley I suffer from a sugar/insulin response problem, and have to eat every 3 hours, otherwise coma. Sigh. I also have to eat readily-available and low GI carbs, so no paleo cave man eating for me.

  7. Dear Maggie, you might like to take a look at:-
    packaged precooked low cal delicious noodles
    low carb, low gi, gluten free, high fibre
    11 calories/100g (does that work with your current regime)
    I have eaten them a couple of times and they are just fine
    My 8 year old friend Lulu likes them too; very good for extra fast dinner

  8. Maggie, a year on how are you going. I started last July, at same time as dry July and the weight just dropped off. I have seen you in person and my frame is similar to yours and although not a big drinker I did notice that alcohol does us short girls no favours. Sad but true. Also on the days between fasting you do really need to keep being sensible..that is no processed food, white sugar stuff..I also cut right back on the fruit department. From 3 to one piece a day max..hope you had success.

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