Cholesterol success story!

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Cholesterol success story!

This topic contains 20 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Merrelly 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • I’ve had great success with the intermittent fast diet in lowering my cholesterol, experiencing a improvement that vastly outpaced  improving my diet.

    After a January physical, I learned that I was in overall good health, except that my cholesterol was dangerously high – 269 overall, and 196 LDL – the bad kind.  I’m 32, male, 6’4″ and weighed 212 pounds.   There’s a good chance I’m gentically predisposed to high cholesterol.

    For eight weeks, between January and March, I improved my diet substantially, eating oatmeal most mornings, increasing my vegetable and fiber intake, and limiting my intake of high cholesterol foods like cheeses, red meat, and eggs. I continued to exercise as I had before, weightlifttng twice a week and running once every two weeks.  This dietary change lowered my LDL cholesterol by 20 points (about 2.5 points per week), and I lost six pounds (0.75 pounds per week).  Not bad, but the LDL at 175 was still way too high.

    I began intermittent fasting in early April after seeing Eat, Fast and Live Longer on PBS in America.  My doctor agreed to let me try IM and continue to eat healthy for another six weeks, but said that if I didn’t bring down my LDL substantially, he would want to put me on a statin.  I continued my exercise regime for four weeks, but for the last two weeks, I switched exercise regimes to a high-intensity circuit training program twice a week.

    After six weeks of 5:2 intermittent fasting wherein I would eat a 500-600 calorie breakfast on fast days and then not eat for 24 hours (11 total fasting days – I skipped one day while traveling), I lowered my LDL cholesterol by an additional 51 points to 124 (about 8.5 points per week) and I lost an additional ten pounds (1.6 lbs per week).  During these six weeks, I continued to eat oatmeal and sought out high fiber options, but I did not avoid high-cholesterol foods as vigilantly as I had between January and March.

    I was thrilled to learn how effective intermittent fasting was compared with dietary changes alone.  In my diet-only plan, reducing my LDL at 2.5 points per week would have taken over nine months to get my levels below the recommended 100, and I doubt whether I would have had the willpower to maintain the diet for that length of time.

    Once I added IF, and actually liberalized my diet, throwing a few cheeseburgers and BBQ into the mix with the healthy stuff, the results were much better.  At an 8.5 point per week LDL reduction, I’ll be close to my target in about a month!  I’m managing the fasting days well, learning how my body will feel, and comforting myself with the little orphan Annie maxim that the food’ll be there to-morrow.

    I now weigh 196, shooting for 190, and have cut my LDL cholesterol by 72 points, or 36% of my January level, with 70% of that reduction atributable to IF.

    To sum up:

    Eating right = 0.75 pound weight loss and 2.5 point LDL reduction per week

    Eating rightish + 5:2 intermittent fasting: = 1.6 pound weight loss and 8.5 point LDL reduction per week

    Count me as an evangelist for IF!

    Great story!  Thanks for sharing.

    Excellent!  Thanks for the well-written summary of your experience.  Quite inspirational.

    Thats  great  to  hear,  and well  done!

    well done!

     

    Your story has given me encouragement as I embark on the 5:2 regime. My doctor has threatened to put me on statins if I don’t reduce my cholesterol. My cholesterol is directly linked to my weight so reducing my weight is a priority. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I have a high level of cholesterol too. Thank you so much for sharing! Did you avoid sugar and white bread as well?

    Hi daria:

    More and more research is suggesting our focus on and worry about cholesterol levels is misplaced. You might find the first part of this video informative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QetsIU-3k7Y

    Recent studies now show that people with high levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol have heart attack risk equal to that of smokers: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/03/10/scientists-find-good-cholesterol-can-sometimes-be-bad.html

    Just indicating that we may not actually yet know what we are talking about when it comes to cholesterol (good and bad) and cholesterol levels.

    Personally, given the research, I wish my cholesterol levels were much higher than they are! (Because statically, at my age, the higher my total cholesterol, the longer I would be expected live, and vice versa.)

    That all being said, losing weight usually results in lowered cholesterol levels. Eating high fat, low carb meals also works very well.

    Good Luck!

    That is a great story that give me inspiration to keep up what I’m doing. My cholesterol is 9 in total – very high but I won’t take statins. Not sure how a 9 translates into the American system of measuring cholseterol. I hope once I’ve been doing IF for a couple of months I might start to see some results.

    Hi Victor9000,
    Very interesting. My overall cholesterol is 6.9, much too high. I started the 5:2 diet OCT 7TH and get my bloods results tomorrow Oct 17th, it will be interesting to see if my LDL has come down. I have even noticed my memory has improved in the last 9 days and also less fatigued. I work night shift so have incorporated the 5:2 quite easily. Also my cravings for sweet things has dissipated. I had only 7 kg to loose but found it an impossible task for some reason so this 5:2 is a blessing.

    vickyileehardy, good luck with your results. I want to get my cholesterol down too if possible with my eye watering figure of 9 in total. I’ll be interested to know if it works for you. merrelly

    Hi Merrelly,
    I will let you know what my cholestetol results are after 10 days (3 fast days) and not snacking on junk (slice/chocolate). I’m from Australia so I’m not quite sure how high 9 is. Good luck to you too.

    Hi Vickileehardy, I’ll watch out for them and fingers crossed for you. Just getting that wellbeing (memory and fatique improvements) is a bonus in itself.
    I’m in Australia too down in Victoria. I’ve double checked my last results and I was mistaken. Cholesterol is 8.00mmol/L with 2.9 HDL and 4.7 LDL so still not good. I’m going to see if I can be tested after 5 weeks on the FD.

    Hi Merrelly, I’m from Victoria also, Traralgon in the Latrobe Valley. Well my overall cholesterol was 8 shock horror, haven’t had a cholesterol check for approx 3 years, so the Gp put me on Ezetrol not a statin, thought l better, then a check in 3 months. This diet or hopefully way of life, seems to give you willpower as you can see the weight on the scales dropping quite quickly. It’s going to be interesting what changes you feel after a few months on it. I started 12 days ago and went from 71kg to 67.7 kg which gave me a lot of inspiration.

    Thank you for sharing. I too was just recently diagnosed with high cholesterol and prescribed a dreadful statin. Ive always prided myself on being medication free. Anyways, You just gave me more hope in this program or way of life! I’m only on day two. Thanks again!

    Hi there, Vickilee and others on this forum. I’ve been down in beautiful Tassie for the last week enjoying their food and I’ve some work to do to get myself back on track. I know I’ve put on weight again and am almost too scared to weigh in. I’m trying to psych myself back to have a FD tomorrow and also bring my eating back to normal and sensible before starting out. Hope everyone is going well with their FD’s.

    Hi Merrelly, its hard on holidays as food is just as big a draw card as scenery I’m afraid! I’ve never been to Tassie but from what l see on TV they have an abundance of great eateries, too hard to stick to dieting so don’t feel guilty!I found last week quite easy but this week my FD was tuesday so l did an afternoon shift to be work focused and not food focused, then l couldn’t sleep most of the night and yesterday (wed) it was like l had a low blood sugar and extremely starving and fatigued all day but stayed within my calories, it was so hard, l have little willpower worst luck!! Good luck with your next fast days and remember we’re all sharing the pain with you haha 😣

    Hi Courtney420,
    I tried a statin one before and felt faint a lot and had low blood pressure then l read about them and got a bit paranoid so the GP put me on Ezetrol 10 mg. Hopefully this 5:2 diet and a tablet will drop my LDH, l get it checked in 3 months. There is so much conflicting information about bad cholesterol. How are your FD and the scales going? Good luck.

    Hi everyone!
    when the adverse information came out n the media a few yrs ago about statins it was very exaggerated. Yes, there is some effect that way, but now the public thinks statins are worse than they actually are. As a family, we have genetic high cholesterol problems. That means several members of the family with heart attacks and surgical intervention, stents etc, at younger than normal ages. Statins have been an important weapon in our families’ fight against high cholesterol. Some have been on them since statins were first introduced with no negative effects. Because of the sensationalist reporting about statins, people who shouldn’t have have gone off them, and the heart attack and stroke rate started going up. Statins are still an excellent way to reduce cholesterol. As with any medication there are a few people who they do not suit but they are not the nasty people think.

    This has nothing to do with sugar. No we shouldn’t be having all that added sugar, but high cholesterol still has a very high impact on heart attack and stroke rates.

    The mainstream media are not good at reporting research results because they often take small things and extrapolate them out to include everyone.

    Cholesterol can be substantially controlled with the help of intermittent fasting. You also need to take eating a whole foods, primarily plant based diet with high anti-oxidants and higher omega 3 to 6 ratio fats, with HIIT exercises is the best way we can avoid heart disease and control cholesterol levels.

    Hi smotfi,

    You’re absolutely right. However, with the genetic condition Familial Hypercloesterolaemia, which is what is in some members of my family, the dietry intervention doesn’t work, so statins and cholesterol lowering medications are the only way to lower their cholesterol. Some of us went on a very low fat – 3% fat, 99% plany basedvdiet + exercise for 11yrs – without the genetic condition it worked really well, with the genetic condtion it made no difference. This genetic condition means that the body itself overproduces cholesterol and the HDL to LDL ratio is very large which is bad.

    My point in my previous post is that, in general, because the media doesn’t report research well at all, that people think that statins are worse than they are and the heart attack rate is rising again.

    Smotfi1,
    I suffer from the Familial Hypercholesterolaemia as well.
    thanks for the advice, and what do you mean by intermittent fasting: 5:2, 16h daily fasting or something else? Could you please share your experience?

    Victor9000 thanks great, congrats with all the hard work. To get your cholesterol levels down like that just shows it can be done without statins.

    I’m about to have my cholesterol checked after 3 months of a very gentle, blood sugar and low carb diet, mix of both Michael and Claire’s books, keeping below a sedentary cal intake of a sedentary female my age. Being epileptic have to take things very slowly. The weight came off steadily – 6kg to date. Haven’t been doing all the exercise either so I’ll be interested to see if it has had any effect though.

    Pls keep us posted on how you are doing and how you maintain your levels over time.

    really a great thing to follow, I am also a victim of high cholesterol and planning to start up with intermittent fasting, tomorrow is my first day of fasting

    Hi Everyone on this thread. I had to switch to a more gentle version of IF as I’m epileptic. After 3 months on a gentle diet using Dr Clare Bailey’s blood sugar diet book (Michael Mosley’s wife if you aren’t aware of this book), I had my cholesterol tested. Unfortunately my cholesterol hadn’t dropped even a point though trigs improved.

    I need to point out here that Dr Bailey does not claim that it reduces cholesterol. However I have lost 7kg and it was very easy to do. I just kept my cals under what is required for a sedentary woman my age. So no starving at all and with these great recipes you always feel satisfied with your meals. This is a way of eating that I will maintain for the rest of my life.

    I hope you can all lower your cholesterol with IF.

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