Famous Faces take to the Fast Diet

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Famous Faces take to the Fast Diet

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  • Famous Faces take to the Fast Diet

    As time goes on and the Fast Diet message spreads, we hear news of all kinds of people reading the books, embarking on the diet and finding fantastic success with it. As I wrote recently in my You Magazine column, ‘thousands of people have tried the Fast Diet, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the newsroom at the BBC, and, I’m told, Miranda Kerr. I’m also told that Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Beyoncé and Christie Turlington are giving it a go, but I doubt it – chiefly because if I believed they were, I would explode with excitement and require resuscitation with abucket of cold water and a sharp slap to the face. Still. I have had triumphant messages from cardiovascular surgeons, parish priests, two headmistresses, one traffic cop, seven shop assistants, three staff nurses and a woman I bumped into at the chiropodist…’

    The latest additions to the roll call include both the food editor and the wine editor at The Guardian (‘a diet for foodies,’ as Felicity Cloake put it in her column), plus Benedict Cumerbatch who told The Times at the weekend: ‘I am on the 5:2 diet. You have to, for Sherlock.’ We hear on the grapevine that Sir Mervyn King is a fan too, while Phillip Schofield is on it and apparently grappling with his hunger, as we all do in the early stages. Even Kate Middleton’s uncle is giving it a go out in Spain: as the Telegraph reported, he recently said, ‘Managed a starvation day yesterday on sub 300 calories and I can feel it’s fallen off me, like my hair… Fat day today, 5-2 diet under way.’ Looks like the diet has truly broad appeal!

    More important than any newsworthy devotee is that the diet is making a real difference to the lives of so many. Thank you for all your stories and tips – keep them coming in. I was out at a friend’s house for supper on Saturday, and 7 of the 8 guests were on the Fast Diet. We discussed it at length while getting through tons of delicious French cheese, a fabulous dark chocolate cake and plenty of red wine (for them, not me!). Which just goes to show that Felicity is right: this really is a diet for foodies. You CAN have your cake and eat it. I had mine with a dollop of cream… But we’re all fasting today. It is Monday, after all.

    Started a week ago and it’s great – have more energy even now. A question though – does it make any difference if I decide not to eat at all during a fast day. I’m one of these less is more people in that once I’ve tasted something/had a glass of wine I want more and if I don’t it doesn’t seem to matter. Interested to know what you think?

    if you find you can cope without eating then that is fine. I was speaking to someone at the BBC today who is doing the diet and who said she gets hungry if she has breakfast but doesn’t if she doesn’t. If that makes sense

    I am simply starting today! We had the documentary here in sweden about 2 weeks ago and it amazed me! i think so many people have been looking for a “easy diet” where you dont have to count points or calories but just eat what you want, most of the time. Im an experienced WeightWatcher and i feel refreshed seeing there’s some progress in the science of health and dieting. We’ve come a long way from Grapefruit and coffe. So thank you, once again! /iris

    Hello, i’m from Germany and 43 years old. I saw the documentary on german TV “ZDFneo” on Saturday the 11th. And I was also amazing as Irizar. So I read all sides in the Internet on sunday;-) And yesterday I started with my first fast-day. It’s no problem for me because a few years ago, I do some fast-weeks about 7-10 days. This is now the easy way for me.
    But I’ve got 2 questions: 1. The fast-days should be closed together oder can I make for example one on monday and the other on thursday in one week? 2. Is it possible, to get your books with german translation?
    My english is not so good to understand all of your storys. I hope, you understand, what I want to say?! ;-))) Greatings from Germany

    Hello, long girl – Do your two days whenever it suits you each week: Monday and Thursday is good or two days together is good too. Do any combination of days which fit in with your lifestyle most easily.
    Hopefully, the authors, Michael M. or Mimi S., can tell you about any future German translation of their book.
    I wish my German was as good as your English. Enjoy your fasting – I wish you every success.

    Hi! I just started this diet! I’m excited.

    I have a question, during our non-fasting days is there a maximum calorie range that should not be exceeded? Also, are fats and carbs fine to eat? I’m a 36 year old female. Thanks!

    Good Morning All,

    60 yrs old women “USA” I was home sick and was PBS and this amazing show was on after watching I knew I had to read more so sick and all I down loaded the book and could not believe what I was reading could this be true and why has it been a secret for so long.

    I started on the 29th of April and it was also my fast day Monday and Thursdays, the first week was not as hard as I though it would be and much to my surprise I dropped 4 lbs, week two another 3 lbs. Just started my third week and know this is not a diet but away of life and I can’t wait to eat myself into to a better way of life.

    At last the yoyoing of diets has stopped for me THANK YOU, THANK YOU,

    Some advice please. If I fast on a Monday I have my last calories sometime on Sunday evening. Normal eating resumes Tuesday morning, a period of 36 hours. My wife works nightshift and is struggling to figure out if she needs a 36 period to fast effectively or would a midnight to midnight period work just as well.
    Many thanks.

    After reading the book a midnight to midnight is fine as long as it’s 24 hrs. In the book the exampled they give is from 2:00 pm to 2:00 pm

    Hi, Big Dug – As I understand it, to get the benefits one needs a period of at least 12-14 hours of fasting in any 24hours. On your current schedule of sleep-fast-sleep, I imagine you are getting at least two – if not three – such periods in your 36-hour block of time, depending on when/how you take in/spread your fast day calories. Hopefully, your wife’s timetable will enable her to schedule one or more such fasting periods, ideally incorporating her sleep time (as it’s so much easier to fast whilst sleeping!). It can take quite some time and experimentation to find a satisfactory pattern (which can be altered as required, when the demands of life impose themselves) so good luck to both of you with the planning.

    Hi, I did the fast diet for 2 weeks prior to my holiday and lost 5 lbs. I found it really easy. For someone who has dieted all her adult life this is a revelation. I find no breakfast best for me with a piece of fruit morning and afternoon with an evening meal. I’ve now been on holiday for 3 weeks in florida and really looking forward to getting back into my “normal” routine next week. It’s the first time I can honestly say I feel this will work for me with no guilt or worry about what I eat on non fast days. I will let you know how I go.

    Just ended our 6th week – I am 12 lbs leaner, my husband is holding at 8 lbs. – he doesn’t need to lose more weight -but wants to work on visceral fat,and we both are looking toward the other amazing benefits this plan will support. I would like to lean out a bit more though. We both feel great. We have always had healthy habits and recently returned to a vegetarian lifestyle just prior to joining the 5:2 ranks.

    We are challenged to find tasty proteins for our fast days so we are looking forward to the new book in th U.S.

    We are in this for life! We purchased two books the day
    after watching the program on PBS-one for us and the other to lend out to our friends/family. We have each inspired a friend to try it and they have both decided to convert!

    Our Monday/Thursday routine is perfect for us – we are both teachers and spend long hours focused on kids – so no time to feel hungry. We have found that we have plenty of energy as well as a blissful “lightness” to our step.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Michael

    Completed fourth fast day yesterday, two weeks on 5:2 programme, weighed this morning, amazed to see I had lost 5.5 pounds. Great big WOW. I am so thrilled. I cant actually believe this is working, after almost two years of doing Weightwatchers, this is so much better, you can cope for one day, rather than having to cope 24/7. Thank you Michael and Mimi for changing my life – hopefully!!

    Many thanks for the helpful comments, much appreciated.

    Hi 🙂
    I’ve lost 2 kg in 5 weeks on the fast diet and at this rate will reach my target BMI of 18 in a couple more months. My question is what happens then? I mean I want this to be sustainable so I can reap the long term benefits but I don’t want to be underweight. So how do you arrest the weightloss? Or does there inevitably come a time when you have to stop the 5:2 diet because it’s making you too skinny?

    Hi Mitch.bennett773,

    As I understand it, people are maintaining once they reach their goals by switching to 6:1. If necessary, they experiment a little: maybe 7:1 or 8:1, until an equilibrium is reached.

    I hope to meet my goal in a month or so and start on 6:1!

    Thanks Marybeth 🙂
    Is there any data on whether these lower levels of fasting produce the same reductions in insulin sensitivity, IGF-1 etc as the 5:2 pattern? Still wondering whether these health benefits can be maintained in the long term or not…

    Shouldn’t the weight balance itself at some level even if you do continue with 5:2. As long as you “stuff” yourself with the necessary calories for the week it doesn’t matter if these are spread over 5,6 or 7 days. Could it be that most people naturally reduce their intake on the feeding days?

    I started a week ago. i was sceptical at first and am still not sure if it will work. I have an under active thyroid which had my weight rise and now am very large. I have tried every diet going with no success. So fingers crossed ive found the 1 for me. One thing i have noticed is i do have more energy even after just a week and with 4 kids i need it. Pls keep ur fingers crossed for me to finely be happy.

    Good luck Kelben – I really hope this works for you.
    I think Marybeth is right: once a target weight is reached, many people experiment with 6:1 method, just as Michael and I have done, to find an equilibrium that works for them. One of the great things about the diet is that it is particular to you: within the broad ‘rules’, you can try various tweaks, as outlined in the book and examined on this website and beyond, to arrive at a pattern that is individual to your needs.

    Greetings. My wife and I are a month into this diet and all is well.
    Came to the blog hoping to find followup lab results on the 6:1 method (as Michael promised to blog about in the book). Do the fasting blood sugar, IGF-1, HDL, LDL, and any other changed blood chemistries changes from the 5:2 persist after dropping back to a 6:1 regime?
    Wish there was a spot on your home page dedicated to the science, including both your personal followup info and latest findings of researchers from the book.

    Started today, having had anorexia many years ago, was a bit worried it might kick it off again. I think though I’ll be OK. I am doing this for the health benefits, although I could do with losing weight too. The book is excellent. Thank you.

    I think I have probably tried every diet under the sun, and although I lost weight on them all, have always put the weight back on and more – classic yo-yo?! I was therefore VERY interested to find this book which reading it, seems to be adopting a new lifestyle eating regime – not a diet as such. I really want to lose at east two dress sizes by October when I am going on a cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday, so sincerely hope that this regime will help me do that. I might try the 4:3 version once I have gotten into the swing of things. Wish me luck!!

    I live in Turkey and stumbled upon this book while searching for a new diet idea, as I depleted almost all of them and still couldn’t loose any weight, even gained some. I loved this book from the start and the scientific approach inspired me more than everything else. I started 1 May and lost 3 kg so far. But I changed it a little and make 2 days eat day and 1 day fast day, so the day keeps changing. Breakfast is at 11 mostly 2 eggs with 1 glass of light milk and evenings at 19-20 big bowl of soup with 1 slice whole-grain bread and some light yogurt, which I almost can’t even finish. I love this book and this diet and try to convert everybody to do it with me 🙂

    What I forgot to ask…
    Can you give more “international” recipes? This recipes are more for UK or US customers, but what about the rest of the world 🙂 ?

    I love the rumbling of my stomach on fast days, because I know it will past in an half hour and now I know that hunger doesn’t consume me.
    And on the normal days I eat automatically less because now I know that less is enough to relieve the hunger and the rest is only for our eyes.
    This book really has opened my eyes!!

    BlackCat – yes, definitely thinking about more international recipes. Allegra McEvedy’s Turkish recipes are brilliant – have a look at the Good Food channel for inspiration. And GOOD LUCK to Doreeng – perhaps be a bit more gentle on yourself and start on the 5:2? You have plenty of time before the cruise! Let us know how you fare.

    We are now into our third week on the 5:2 diet. Thrilled to report that I have lost 9lbs so far and my husband has lost 7lbs. We really love it because for 5 days a week you can behave like a normal person, without constantly counting calories/units/points/sins (yawn!). We both feel more energetic already and we’re viewing this as a permanent lifestyle change. Thank you, Michael and Mimi, for pointing us all in the direction of common sense!

    I’m not famous, but my Dr. here in Canada has recommended your book and approach. I’ve already lost 50 pounds over the past 2.5 years, but I’ve now been stuck for the last 6 months with another 50 pounds to go and no weight loss. I look forward to reading the book and trying my first Fast day.

    I saw the tv programme last year but told myself I’d never survive without lunch, I’d get headaches or feel faint. Then I read Mimi’s latest article in the Daily Mail and downloaded the e book and recipe book. I found the way it presented the scientific evidence convincing so decided to try it. I had my first day yesterday, eating my usual breakfast of a small bowl of porridge and then nothing for twelve hours and ate my usual small dinner of a huge salad and fish. The difference from a normal day, having a coffee for lunch instead of a full cooked meal and different kinds of tea instead of snacks and a supper was not too difficult. I went out for a walk and tried on pairs of shoes I’d never normally wear as a distraction while I waited for dinner. No headache, no dizziness, just a great feeling of achievement. I slept well and wasn’t in a rush to get breakfast. I have lost 600g overnight but of course that might be due to initial fluid loss and less food still in the digestive system. I certainly felt less bloated than usual. The feeling that I had exercised some willpower for once was terriic. I think this system will work well for me because I know I can stick to diets and calorie counting for days on end only to rebel after a few days and binge on biscuits! When I thought to myself yesterday that I was feeling empty I just acknowledged that normally at that time of day I’d eat a biscuit with my tea, I just reminded myself I’d be doing that tomorrow. Another benefit was that without having to cook, eat and clean up in the middle of the day as I usually do I had lots of time to get around to things around the house I’d been putting off. I am retired and was not particularly enjoying it but I discovered a lightening of the spirits this morning. I hope this continues. Also, if I am going to fast two days a week it doesn’t make sense to drink alcohol on the evenings before a fast day as well as on the fast day because that I find that can stimulate appetite, so it can help me reduce my wine intake (which I really need to do). I think this system can improve my ability to exercise willpower and that is a good enough reason to continue. I do need to lose weight but that almost seems to be an added bonus than the main benefit for me. Thank you Mimi and Michael but also the many commentators who are so inspiring. Good luck everyone. I am going to buy paper copies of the books now as it’ll be easier to follow the recipes in the kitchen.

    “…<span> tons of delicious French cheese, a fabulous dark chocolate cake and plenty of red wine…”</span>

    Whoa!  Even the mention of the top 3 migraine initiators (for me) almost set me off!  LOL.  Happy for the rest of you though.



    Not being hungry if not eating breakfast; makes sence.  Being of french and migrating to Australia with my parents as a child in 1964, I gave up eating breakfast in my early 20’s saying it was the french way of doing things, a cup of coffee has been my breakfast for the last 25 years.  Nothing beats a cup of home grown, home dark roasted, home brewed espresso for breakfast.  I France there is an old saying that my late mother used to quote “l’appetie vien en mangant” appetite comes whilst eating.  I find that when I am not feeling very hungry I get hungrier as I start eating and eat much more than when I am really hungry.

    As someone who has always struggled with an extra 25-30 pounds…and a devout “foodie” this is not only the BEST diet…but may well be my last 🙂

    Lost 2.5 pounds in the first week.
    Celebrating with a wonderful chocolate cupcake (frosted and sprinkles) with my morning cup. Tomorrow is a FAST day!

    Dominique, that old French saying your mother used to quote it spot on – I had the same experience on fasting days – no appetite until I began to eat something! But I managed well enough with the wild spinach and onion soup, satisfying but low calorie enough on the fasting day. (still love the blue cheese on the non-fasting days though!)
    Congratulations Carla! I love chocolate as well, my fix is a portion of lightly sweetened dark chocolate, which is my treat before biking 10 miles; the cupcake sounds like a sweet treat too! A little boost makes it all the better.
    I think my scale is broken – I’m below 160 lbs. – @ 157 lbs. / 70Kg, I just can’t believe it’s true! I can actually see muscles when I look in the mirror (that’s a shock to me). Keep the Fast going strong Carla, you’ll be buff before you know it!!

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