Anyone else showing improved mental skills eg exams reults, chess/bridge scores?

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Anyone else showing improved mental skills eg exams reults, chess/bridge scores?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  hermajtomomi 9 years, 4 months ago.

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  • I have been doing 5:2 for 16 months, with occasional breaks for holidays, flu etc. i play chess, tournament and league, and over this 16 month period my chess rating has improved by nearly 200 points (Irish system, which is Fide type to any other chess players). This is impressive, especially as i am very lazy about studying. I am now at my highest ever rating, which is pretty good at 55. Could I have grown a few new neurons? Obviously may have nothing to do with 5:2, but any one who saw Michael Mosely’s documentary tv programme ‘ Eat, Fast and Live Longer’ will remember the evidence for intermittent fasting improving mental skills in lab mice at least.

    Just wondering if anyone else has measurable improved mental acuity, maybe other chess players or bridge players, or students with test results?

    Pity improved mental acuity did not extend to spelling-that should be ‘exam results’ in the topic title

    Hi NickyB,

    I shouldn’t worry about typos. If mental acuity were measured on the basis of typing skills I would be classified as having severe learning difficulties. You have my maximum respect as a class player of a game I can’t even begin to understand.

    Although I was already a term into a two-year part-time MA History of Art when I started doing 5:2 at the beginning of Feb 2013, since that time I’ve been getting very good marks for all my assignments, despite predictions from one or two people – not at the uni, may I add – that I was likely to make a complete idiot of myself studying at this level at my age. Prior to starting the post-grad course I had come through with flying colours a one-year conversion course for people with degrees in other disciplines.

    Whether it’s to do with 5:2 – I’d like to think it may be – I’ve found the whole post-grad study thing more enjoyable and a tad easier than I had imagined, still hard, sometimes a bit frightening, but do-able. I wouldn’t say my progress is measurable, but it’s certain observable.

    I should add that apart from uni I still work full time as a freelance linguist. All this at an age (I’ll never see 70 again) when there are those who would prefer to see me stuck in front of daytime telly or toddling down to the day centre for a nice game of bingo and a singalong to some 1950s crooner.


    “Just wondering if anyone else has measurable improved mental acuity, maybe other chess players or bridge players, or students with test results?”

    I restarted playing chess again and I keep raising the level of challenge.

    How do I measure my rating?

    Hi Rocky
    Put simply, if you play games online or in tournaments, you gain rating points every time you beat another player, and lose points when you are beaten. How many points you gain depends how strong your opponent is, same with losses. If you draw you will gain points if your opponent is stronger, lose if you are weaker. There is a formula which is used to establish how players ratings change for each game- did you see the film ‘The Social Network’? There is a reference to the formula in the ‘Face Mash’ part.

    I have been playing in tournaments for quite a few years, and playing league matches on a team at my chess club, so I have an official national rating and also an international rating. These games can be several hours long, and I feel the 5:2 helps concentration and alertness.

    I expect whatever chess program you are using will give you some idea what rating you are playing at. But I recommend trying to find human opponents, in a club or among friends, much more fun 🙂

    And WoW Hermi! You neurons are certainly firing on all cylinders. I am seriously impressed, and best of luck with your studies. They say the brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it get 🙂

    “But I recommend trying to find human opponents, in a club or among friends, much more fun.”

    I’m still with a chess app that continues to beat me at the level that I’ve selected.

    Playing with live humans is in the horizon.

    If I played for food, my fasting discipline would pick up.

    Hi all, what I have found after years of “normal lifestyles” eg, “excessive alcoholic drinking”, “pigging out on food” and general “excessive living” is that the 5:2 lifestyle actually helps enhance both my “mental” and “physical” well being. I understand that as an individual there is no way this can be quantified as a person.But over all, more days than not I feel better. Nicky, you have raised an interesting point that deserves more research. Rocky, for most of us it is just a matter of that “internal well being” feeling that gives us all an indication that things are improving. Onwards and upwards as we say.


    I’m fairly new to 5;2, and have been on it since Jan 27th. Co-incidentally, I had started brain training on Lumosity in Nov last year. I had previously done the HCG diet, and really loved the way I felt when I was on it, I really felt ‘shaper’ at work when I was on it, I feel the same way on fast days now. It involved a 500 cal diet (every day) for a min. of 3 weeks (there’s more to it than that, though). 5:2 is much easier to maintain, and I do believe it is the answer for weight loss, and general health – because it’s a life plan, not short term.
    So, immediately on starting fasting, I had a 20% improvement in brain training, and and continuing to improve. I’m pretty impressed! I feel great and have lost over 4kgs.

    I’ve had a 50% improvement in short term memory since starting 5:2 as measured by a university research program I am part of, which uses computer games.

    No proof improvement is due to 5:2 but the timing (to me) implies it is. 🙂

    Wow hermajtomomi! Hats of to you!!

    I have noticed an improvement in my chess scores too. Also doing better at “luminosity” (brain training app thingie) in their problem -solving and short-term memory games, especially on fast days.

    Hi Lotus,

    Thanks for you kind comment from a year or so back. Thought you would like to know I completed the MA last September and passed with Merit.

    I won’t be going on to a PhD but will be keeping the brain in gear by following my lovely supervisor’s advice and reworking my independent research project report – which narrowly missed a Distinction – into a book for a general readership. It’s about a flat in a Glasgow tenement that became a museum and my research revealed a whole load of fascinating “human interest” stories.

    My mind-bending job as a freelance translator specialising in arts and media also keeps the grey matter firing on all cylinders and I get the feeling (and colleagues tell me)I’ve got even better at it post-MA.

    One thing hasn’t improved, though. I’m still absolute rubbish at numbers and getting worse. And I’ve never been much use at so-called IQ tests.

    Whoops! Your kind comment was posted yesterday, it was my own post that dates back a year or so.

    Maybe I should give in and toddle off down to the day centre for a game of bingo. However, I’m pretty sure that following just one meeting, I would find a nice quiet corner and slit my wrists. 😉

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