5:2 and the Longevity Diet

This topic contains 168 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  diverdog 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • Same here, penguin. The main reason for eating like this would be the rebuilding of stem cells and such, not so much weight loss. I wonder if doing it for just a couple of days here and there would be of any benefit? From what Iโ€™m reading things donโ€™t really kick in until at least the 3rd day. So what to measure if itโ€™s not really about ketones?

    Great job on tracking down fresh appetizing foods with the correct nutritional profile, diverdog! ๐Ÿฅ‘

    Two and a half days into my fluid only fast. No problems. I am doing this for health reasons rather than weight loss, but I have lost five pounds so far.

    From what I read the weight will get back on almost entirely but the interesting thing I noticed in all articles was that usually it will be more lean mass and less fat than before. I have one of those scales that measure body composition, they might not be very accurate but they will show a difference if there is one. I used it when I broke my fast and I’ll do it again on Monday morning, which will be 4 days after.

    I’m reading Dr Fung’s Complete guide to fasting at the moment. He recommends homemade bone broth during extended fasts, the extra minerals might help with nausea. I think I’ll try it next time.

    Geopri123. Not my experience. If I exceed my TDEE in my non-fasting periods I will put some of it back on but not all. . The routine when I started fasting was two days fast, lose about 4 pounds, five days of eating put 2 of them back on. Now I have more awareness of what I should eat, it pretty much stays off

    Geopril, if you are attempting to get the benefits of a five day FMD I would avoid bone broth during the fast as it is high in protein. After the fast it would be great for the refeed.

    CalifDreamer, I don’t think there are any indicators that we can measure to access stem cell activation. I measure ketones to be sure I’ve depleted the glucose in my liver and muscles. BTW the stem cell magic happens during the refeed after the five day fast. I ate plenty of complete proteins and essential fats after ending the 5 day FMD.

    Penguin, my 2 day fast results are pretty much like yours. I gain back the water and glycogen weight but not most of the fat.

    Diverdog, but there must be some way to measure a a few days after the fast then. Longo did it in mice, right? There must be something measurable besides BP and cholesterol and glucose levels. Lowering those is achievable with other diets.

    Califdreamer, I’m sure there are ways to measure accelerated autophagy and stem cells growth, just none that I know of that can be ordered from blood tests etc. What researchers can do in the lab may not be available to the general public.

    I’m going to take Longo’s word for it that fasting for five days will kill off weak cells and enable growth of new healthy replacement cells.

    My five day fluid only fast ends in two hours. There have been no problems at all. Short periods of hunger on days one and two, which went away when ignored. After that a lack of interest in food – to the extent that I don’t really want anything tonight. Sleeping was fine, although I needed an hour less. I feel healthy, fit and energetic. I am also seven pounds lighter so far, although that was not the aim.

    How did Mrs penguin make out on her FMD fast?

    She felt hunger occasionally – possibly because she was still eating, but in small amounts. Otherwise no problems. She lost four pounds, which as a proportion of her body mass probably more than matches my seven. She feels fine and thinks her skin is better. After our afternoon walk we had the exercise mat out doing crunches etc, which is a first for her. She is currently bouncing around the house being energetic. We are both going to do the long fast again in a couple of months time.

    Penguin, congrats to you and OH for getting through the 5 day fast! So glad to hear that both of you are still feeling great by the end of it. Did OH do the FMD or a regular 5:2 fast day?

    Hi Penguin:

    Way to go on the five day fast. Hopefully, your experience and success will cause others to give it a try!

    Diverdog, Your question to Penguin brought a smile to my face. I suspect “making out” means something different here than it does where you live.

    LJoyce, here “making out” is a very old way of saying as the Brit’s would “snogging”. Nothing more than kissing. At least that’s what it meant in the 60’s in NJ. And if more kissing is a side effect of fasting all the better!

    Penguin – I’m impressed you’ve done 5 days of fasting. You make it sound do-able. I’m a cautious soul so am still working on the idea of trying longer fasts. I think it would help to have a specific health target in mind.

    I hear that day 3 can be hard – how did you find the different days?

    Alter that weight loss to 5 pounds for OH and 8 for me.

    I must be getting slow “Making out” can also have the SH meaning here and I didn’t notice. I don’t remember hearing it in the 60’s, but then the swinging 60’s are a myth – they certainly didn’t happen in the north-east of England.

    Cali, OH didn’t do the FMD by the book. She did five days of her normal low cal 5:2 FDs. The calorie load was a lot less than FMD but the food balance was different.

    Cornish-jane. This is counter-intuitive but I find the longer I fast the easier it gets. I started with water only for my usual Monday/Tuesday fast, then went to a three day and found the extra day easy. This gave me the confidence to do five. On days one and two I had brief periods of hunger, about twenty minutes mid-morning, but they went away. Day three was easier. Days four and five I had no interest in food. Last night for my first post fast meal I had a bowl of soup, and only ate half of it. What i didn’t do whilst fasting was my usual gym weight training sessions.

    Thanks Sim

    @geopri123 – Great job one your first extended fast, it sounds like you really did well! I also commend you on stopping when you didn’t feel well. You can always fast again but health isn’t something you want to lose. It is smart to stop if you don’t feel well.

    Personally I think a water fast is much better than a FMD. It is cheaper and there isn’t any worry about what one is eating!


    I just finished watching yet another interview of Dr. Longo as he does his ‘book tour’.

    He was asked if given the chance to talk to a politician for 30 seconds, what single thing would he recommend be done with the health system to improve the health of the population and save money for the taxpayers.

    He said he had just had two such conversations with the Health Minister in Italy, and that he was trying to get a meeting with someone in the U.S.

    His answer was to have everyone do the FMD four times a year.

    I think the man is committed to the safety, accuracy and power of his research findings and firmly believes that what he has discovered will make a positive difference in the health of anyone that utilizes the information. It is clear that in his mind the evidence that the FMD can prevent/help cure so many of today’s common health problems is so overwhelming that it should be implemented in all countries suffering from the many diseases associated with a bad diet.

    I really respect and like a committed researcher!

    So all of the attention is on the 5 day fast or FMD. Since this is a fasting based site it’s not surprising. But as Longo said “the magic is in the refeed”. I don’t recall him talking about the refeed much. I’m going to go back and see if I can find any details.

    Assuming a successful 5 day fast what should a refeed look like? When I did my FMD’s I didn’t give it all that much thought. But now I’m thinking about what cells need to have to grow and thrive. Cell walls are made of lipids and a good omega 3 to 6 ratio is very important so that means no vegetable oils except a little olive oil for salads. Most of my fat will come from sheep yogurt, gee, grass fed meats and small fish. Some organ meats like liver and sweetbreads for oil soluble vitamins. Second adequate amounts of complete protein from animal products and some whey protein powder. (I’m going to err on the high side with protein for a couple of weeks) I want to make sure my gut is happy and I get in some resistant starches from cooked and refrigerated sweet and white potatoes and sauerkraut or other fermented foods. Some steamed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and my favorite green peppers, onions and tomatoes. To hedge my bets I will take a very good multi vitamin and a scoop of veggie powder daily.

    Diver dog, Longo seems pretty big on plant based diets with seafood a few times per week as well as some things like pasta, healthy fats and olive oil, sheep or goad yogurt or cheese if dairy is added. So I guess refeeding would involve his basic Longevity Diet which he talks about in his book? I admit to paying less attention to the refeeding part. Iโ€™ll have to go back and look and see if he recommends anything specific.

    Penguin, your OH loss of 5 pounds on her 5:2 type 5 day fast is impressive! How many calories per day did she stick with?

    Penguin will refeed with GREENS! ๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿต๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿต๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅ—

    Cinque, Iโ€™m not so sure. ๐Ÿ˜ https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/lesson-learned/ See the second post on that ๐Ÿ˜œ

    Sooo disappointed.

    It should have been greens.

    At least absinthe.

    CalifDreamer. We have been doing this so long we no longer count. I would guess about 450 cal.

    Cinque I did re-feed with greens. A banana for breakfast (I don’t usually have breakfast but between a five day fast and my Pilates session I thought it better to have something. Green salad for lunch – various leaves,celery, spring onion, chicory, cucumber, dressing of balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, olive oil. Evening a sort of stir fry: onion, celery, kale, beans, garlic, chilli, small amount of pasta followed by some of last years gooseberries and kefir. The gin(s) just sneaked in whilst I was cooking. I don’t like to feel ratted so I shan’t be doing that again very soon.

    It is difficult to find absinthe here. I love Pastis in any form and put it in my fish soup, which is dangerous because it is when cooking that I tend to drink..

    Hi diverdog. re your refeed after a 5 day FMD. A quick look in “The Book” page 114 Longo shows Day 6, the “Transition Diet” should be based on complex carbohydrates and minimise the consumption of meats, fish, saturated fats, cheeses, milk etc.
    In fact I believe the diet Longo seems to advocate for Longevity is mainly meat and fish free. In the Biosphere experiment, p 167 he mentions that the participants ate very small quantities of meats and their diet was mostly vegetarean.
    I have mentioned in a previous post two books that seem to sit well with Valter Longos thoughts. “How Not To Die” by Dr Michael Greger. A strange title but he breaks down chapters on different illness. The 2nd book is The Blue Zones by Dan Buetner, again a book where diets are virtually meat free. The prognosis seems to be that a mainly vegetarian diet is the way to go for health and longevity. A difficult task for most of us.
    Good luck to you.

    Couscous, You are absolutely correct about Longo advocation of a vegetarian diet It was not my intention to mis state his process for FMD or refeeding.

    I will reread that transition section of the book but I’m not at all convinced that a vegan / vegetarian diet is the healthiest choice for me. I haven’t read Buetner’s book but I am quite familiar with the blue zone research. People in the “blue zones” live long lives but they also have higher than normal occurrences of other issues like arthritis (most likely from the high grain consumption). The biosphere participants looked like concentration camp survivors when they emerged. Greger’s web site is pretty interesting. I haven’t read his book but it’s on my reading list now.

    The American diet is high in vegetable oil, carbs and sugars and we have never been sicker or fatter. Vegetable oils are omega 6 oils and they produce inferior cell walls and are know to be inflammatory. When you heat them they form some really nasty chemicals. Not in my diet. I want plenty of omega 3’s to enable cell walls that work in an optimal way. The best sources of Omega 3’s are from animal products. I also know that wheat, oats, certain beans and cow dairy are inflammatory for me so they are out too.

    I’m all for eating plenty of veggies for phyto nutrients and fiber and some for carbs, but most of my fats and protein will come from animals raised in the traditional grass fed way

    Faith in Penguin VINDICATED!
    (And probably just as well it wasn’t absinthe)


    Hi diver:

    Re the ‘refeed’. I don’t think it matters how you do it.

    Over the years, the standard advice for coming out of a water fast is one day of juices/veggies for each week of the water fast. This fast is for only five days, so really no ‘easing back into eating’ is necessary I just finished a four day fast and broke the fast with a nice, normal meal of meat, veggies and bread with wine.

    As for the foods to be eaten for the refeed, the replacement of the killed off cells takes place over the period of a week or two. Obviously, Longo recommends you eat his diet during that process, but any diet with solid nutritional values will work just fine. I am moving my diet more toward Longo’s recommendations, but there are foods I love that I will not abandon, at least at this time, and there are social situations I will not muck up by adhering to a diet that isn’t on the menu that evening. I also am a believer in taking high quality vitamin/mineral supplements, because research shows only about 50% of the people get all necessary nutrients from their diets – regardless of the volume of foods that they eat – and that number goes down when they are on a diet and eating even less than usual. Even such vegan evangelists as Dr. Goldhamer are now admitting that the virtually perfect vegan diets, when precisely followed, require some supplementation, like for B12 and a couple of other things I can’t remember right now.

    Longo has made it clear in his many recent interviews that it is the FMD (for those that can, water fasting) that is the key to the other health benefits of the diet. He clearly states that it helps people regardless of the diet they are eating. And in his book and interviews he spends little time talking about the science of refeeding – just that the refeeding is very important for cell rejuvenation and replacement.

    So I think all anyone has to do to refeed is eat well, and look forward to their next episode of the FMD!

    Hi diverdog and simcoeluv. Very good points and I agree with you both. While I find the ideas and research Longo has produced extremely interesting I will try the FMD at some stage. Your comments re affirm the well worn adage that we are all different. Please keep posting the good stuff.
    Good luck out there.

    Somebody please explain this one. Last week I had a series of blood tests., All good except the one that showed a deficiency in vitamin B12 and iron. I then water fasted for five days, losing about eight pounds before a short notice re-test (else I would have eaten). After five days of fasting my B12 and iron are fine.

    I think it was simcoeluv who said on one of the threads “fasting is magic” or words to that effect.

    Penguin, I can think of two possible explanations. 1) errors in the test results. 2) B12 and iron stored in tissues other than blood and released during your fast.

    Interesting none the less

    I started a five day water fast last night and I hope to complete it. If I canโ€™t I will follow an FMD (Fasting Mimicking Diet) protocol for the balance of the 5 days.

    Diverdog, you will do your own version of a FMD or one purchased from Longoโ€™s company?

    CalifDreamer, I’m going to water fast for as long as I can. The longest I’ve done before is 2 1/2 days. If I can’t make the full five days I’m going to roll my own FMD ~600 calories 60% fat 40% low GI carbs from veggies to finish it out.

    I may buy Prolon for my OH to try next time I fast.

    Day two of my 5 day water fast attempt. Woke up earlier than usual as I always do on a WFD. I’m not physically hungry but the idea of eating really appeals to me!

    My ketones did not go up as much as usual after the day one fast. I started at 0.3 mmol yesterday morning and was at .4 mmol this morning. I’m usually at >0.8. Some possible reasons are: I started the fast 4 hours later than usual. I ate a bunch of carbs late in the day and I didn’t do my normal easy 30 min of biking yesterday morning to deplete glucose.

    I did do my normal easy 30 min of biking and a couple of sets of pullups this morning.

    I don’t think ketosis is at all important to accelerate apoptosis but I’d like to burn some fat as well.

    So I’m in uncharted waters as I head into my 3 WFD. The longest I’ve done before is two days. I had a slight headache last night and I got up earlier than usual but otherwise no physical issues. I’m not physically hungry today but I do want to eat!

    I had a huge test last night as my OH’s daughter & hubby are in town and they brought my favorite pizza to the house. Plus the OH baked my favorite Indonesian tapioca cake! I sat at the table and had a glass of seltzer water. But boy did it smell good!

    As I observed the last time I did the two day WF the second day made a huge difference in fat burning. My blood ketones went from 0.4 to 3.9 mmol

    My scale weight has dropped 6.4 lbs so far

    Hi diver:

    You may know that Longo’s original research centered on four day water fasts. In Longo’s segment of ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’, he spoke of four day fasts and Dr. M’s personal fast that resulted in good blood work results was a 3 1/2 day fast. The fifth day was added by Longo because it took an extra day to get the ‘marker’ results he wanted when eating all of those extra calories. Having said that, there is little doubt that the longer the fast the better, within reason. For MS patients, Longo settled on a seven day FMD fast, which probably comes out to a 5 1/2/6 day water fast.

    I measure my water fasts by hours. So for me a four day fast would equal 96 consecutive hours without having anything but water. I have been doing these and longer fasts sporadically for about three years, but now I am doing 96 or more hour fasts monthly.

    I guess my point is that if you make 96 hours you will have most likely hit all of the required ‘markers’ and will have achieved a large majority of the benefits of a Longo inspired water fast.

    Good luck on the remainder of your fast, whatever its length!

    simcoerluv, thanks for the reminder on Longo’s 4 vs 5 days. I’m at 63 hours and counting. I know I can do at least 96 hours mentally and if I don’t have any severe physical reaction I’m going to do my best to make the full 5 days and break my fast Friday morning.

    Diverdog. I am travelling, so not picking up the posts as often. You are doing well. Stay with it – the extra day may be more than Longo wants, but it is a very satisfying thing to achieve. I found it got easier. When you resume eating start gently, although you are unlikely to want to do anything else. By then I didn’t have a great interest in food.

    Having slept late and being mentally switched off, I didn’t note the time of your post. You are probably finished by now!

    Penquin, I wish I was done! I’m on day 4, or 84 hours into the fast. I still feel good with minor symptoms like less sleep a little cramping and feeling colder. My energy is OK and I’ve been doing normal activities like walking the dog and 30 easy minutes on the bike. I have a dance lesson today and we’ll see how that goes. I’m not physically hungry but the idea of eating something tasty is very attractive!

    I’ll be at 96 hours tomorrow morning but I’m going to try to go another 24 hours. I know my fat burning is really cranked up and I want to take advantage of that and also hedge my bets on maximizing apoptosis.

    Enjoy your trip!

    Day 4 of my water fast.

    My scale weight is down 8 lbs. Blood ketones are up to 6.2 mmol which indicates strong fat burning. Technically I’m going to break my fast today by eating 3 oz of broccoli sprouts (35 calories) and 2 fish oil caps (25 cal). Why? because according to Longo cancer cells are weakened by fasting and broccoli sprouts are the #1 source of sulforaphane a very strong anti- cancer compound. Also body fat stores a lot of toxins. Rapid fat loss releases them. Sulforaphane is also a top notch detox agent.

    DD. On my five day fast I lost about 8 pounds, although that was not my aim. Some of it came back on, which is usual for me.The history of my fasting is that I lose “x” pounds and put about half of them back on before I start fasting again. Unfortunately I hate broccoli. I know that it is healthy and good for me, but eating it is always hard work. Since starting 5:2 I have taught myself to eat salads and, pushing things a bit, kale, but always in my mind it is :”this is healthy”, not ” I like this”.

    I don’t mind broccoli but the sprouts have 100 times more sulforaphane than the adult plant. I just had my sprouts and decided to add 1 tsp of olive oil instead of the fish oil caps. With a bit of salt and pepper they where the best I’ve ever eaten! Fasting make the taste buds much more receptive! LOL

    Here’s a podcast on sulforaphane. https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/sulforaphane

    I grew up eating sprouts – my father grew them. As do I, although I never liked them. Many years ago, when my other half was pregnant with our first born she would wake me in the night and demand sprouts. This did not convert me. I have finally found a way of making them edible: quarter them, blanche in boiling water then add to stir fried bacon pieces, garlic, chilli and onion or shallot. The result tastes quite good, but not of sprouts

    That sounds delicious. I’m increasing saturated fat in my diet and bacon is perfect. The trick for maximizing the sulforaphane in the sprouts is to heat them in 70 degree C water for 10 minutes. Hotter is not good. I heat them in the water, drain, and then chop them up. (how do you chop them in quarters they are so tiny? The sprouts I’m talking about are about an inch long and look like sperm! LOL) I add a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I don’t think they taste bad but adding some sauteed garlic and onion with bacon would definitely help!

    Here’s a short video on prepping the sprouts https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/sfn-maximize

    Sorry DD, we are not talking about the same thing, I know we started with broccoli, but when you said sprouts I assumed Brussels Sprouts – slightly different!

    penquin, ah yes the green golf balls. They are not a favorite of mine either! I’m talking about the just sprouted seeds of brocolli

    Today is the 5th and final day of my 5 day water fast. No ill effects so far. I feel very good today, no hunger or headache and last night was my best sleep so far. I had a dance lesson and did 30 easy minutes on the bike last night and it was easy. Blood ketones & glucose are about the same as yesterday so no ill effects from my broccoli sprout “meal” ( about 65 calories) yesterday. I’ve had my anti-cancer sprouts again this morning so technically I’m not water fasting. I’ve lost 10 lbs so far and am at my lowest ever adult scale weight of 155 lbs at 5’9″

    I had to force down the small bowl of sprouts, so I think I’m not going to be able to eat much as I refeed.

    I’ll break my fast about 9:00 AM tomorrow

    Much to my surprise I had no issues eating after I broke my 5 day WF. I wanted to eat a bunch of carbs to recharge my glycogen and ate a whole leftover pizza for lunch! This is not a good thing because cow cheese and wheat are inflammatory for me. In an hour or so I couldn’t keep my eyes open and took a 3 hour nap. I woke up and still groggy I watched TV for a couple of hours and then went to bed. I slept a solid 9 hours and feel great this AM.

    I gained ~3 lbs in one day due to food transit and glycogen restock.

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