Happy 2014 everyone!

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  • Happy 2014 everyone!

    I hope you all had a lovely Christmas though, sadly, there is always a price to pay for that enjoyable overindulgence. If you are anything like me you probably ate too much, stepped on the scales on New Year’s day, and sighed.

    The average Brit puts on 2kgs (nearly 5 lbs) during December and I certainly put on almost that much over the month. I, however, have an unusual excuse. I’m making another self experimenting Horizon documentary, but this time I have had to gorge myself on meat for a month to see what effect that has on my microbiota (the bacteria in my gut).

    That particular experiment has just finished so I’m back on 5:2 on Monday and expect to shed those extra pounds some time in January. I’m looking forward to my fast days as I actually miss the occasional hunger pangs and the mental sharpness that comes with it.

    I’m glad to say enthusiasm for intermittent fasting shows no sign of waning. As an article in today’s Times put it,

    “It’s the diet that launched the publishing phenomenon of 2013 and saw fortysomething men talking calories with the authority usually reserved for World Cup qualifiers..  A year ago it was a fad amongst fashionable West London mums wanting to lose a bit of baby weight. Now it’s revolutionised the diet industry”.

    Our book, “The Fast Diet”, having topped the best seller list for much of 2013, shot right back up the charts to number one on New Year’s day. There are a whole slew of new or updated books connected to intermittent fasting coming out in the next few days. Along with the usual copy cat books there are a couple written by the scientists who inspired my interest in intermittent fasting and which I wrote about extensively in “The Fast Diet”.

    Out soon is an updated version of “The Two Day Diet” by Dr Michelle Harvie and Professor Tony Howell, which first came out last February. This book advocates eating a Mediterranean diet 5 days a week and cutting out the carbs two days a week (the recipes add up to effectively 1000 calories a day on the carbs-free days).

    Their studies show that on this diet you will lose an average of about 0.5kg (1 lb) a week, most of it fat. Their volunteers, women at increased risk of breast cancer, also saw improvements in their insulin levels (which is important for reducing cancer risk). They are planning further large scale trials, involving men.

    A new book, out next week, is “The Every Other Day Diet” by Dr Krista Varady.  If you have read “The Fast Diet” or seen my Horizon documentary, “Eat, Fast, Live Longer”, then you will already know something about Krista and her work.  I have also written about it on this site under ADF (alternate day fasting).

    The basic principle of this diet is you cut your calories to around 500 calories every other day (480 for women, 520 for men). Krista recommends that you eat 400 calories as a single meal (lunch or dinner) and 100 calories as a snack.

    On what she calls “Feast Days” you are allowed to eat whatever you want. Her research suggests that on average people tend to eat only about 10% more than normal, perhaps because of a shrinking stomach. The rate at which you will lose fat depends on how fat you were to begin with and how much you eat on your Feast Days.

    According to Krista’s latest paper , “Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215592) if you are not obese to start with then you can expect to lose about 5kgs over 12 weeks, which works out about 1 lb a week, as well as improvements in your bloods.  Krista recommends weighing yourself every day, skipping breakfast and avoiding eating mini meals (mainly because people have a tendency to underestimate how much they eat).

    So which of these approaches is the best one? 

    I think the best approach is the one that suits you and which you find you can stick to. We all respond differently to different diets, which is why we called our book “The Fast Diet”, rather than the 5:2 diet. I developed the 5:2 approach because it suited me, but I recognise it won’t suit everyone. Some will prefer the more disciplined “Two Day Diet” approach, others will prefer the more obviously “feast and famine” approach of ADF (alternate day fasting). Yet another approach, which I know some people here have tried, is a 4:3 approach. I would be very interested to hear the experiences of those who have tried either or both.

    Fast Exercise

    As well as making a range of documentaries in 2013, I was busy researching and writing a book on exercise, which I’ve rather imaginatively call, “Fast Exercise”. Like the Fast Diet it is a radically different approach to the standard advice and like the Fast Diet, it is the product of cutting edge science. I hope you will find the science behind it as fascinating as I do.

    The main idea behind Fast Exercise is that instead of trying to shed weight and get healthier by plodding away on a treadmill or jogging in the rain for hours every week, you can get many of the more important benefits of exercise from a few minutes a day of intense activity.

    Although the exercises we demonstrate in the book are intense, they are not prolonged. This is not like “Tabata” or “Insanity”, exercise regimes designed for people who are already very fit.

    The exercises we recommend will enhance existing exercise regimes, but they have been primarily developed to ensure they are safe and suitable for people who are older (50 plus), overweight and with conditions like diabetes.

    I’ve written the book with Peta Bee, an award winning health and sports journalist, and with the help of Professor Jamie Timmons, who featured in a Horizon I made in 2012 called, “The Truth about Exercise”. If you want to know more then do buy the book or visit fast-exercises.com.

    The versions of HIT (high intensity training) that we recommend in Fast Exercise have been shown to improve your aerobic fitness (the strength of your heart and lungs) and your metabolic fitness (how your body responds to a sugar rush) more effectively and in much less time that standard exercise.

    If you want to lose weight, improve your health and get better toned (who doesn’t) then intensity is the key.

    Happy 2014 to you to Michael!

    Very pleased I found your book through a work colleague in 2013, has really helped in shifting the last few kg’s.
    I did a 4:3 style fast during December, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. It was good, as it feels like a lot of eating between Thursday and Tuesday on a regular wk. It worked too as I reached my Christmas goal of under 70kg!

    Am interested in the Fast Exercise. I have participated in Tabata style workouts at the gym I go to. They are often added at the end of a workout.

    Thanks again.
    Dayna

    happy 2014

    thanks 4 introducing this lifestyle & especially this forum

    wish u allot of health & success in all ur endeavors

    take care

    usa

    2 all posters 2 happy 2014!!!!!!

    happy reversal & nonfastdays & fastdays & 5/2 & 4/3 & 6/1 & adf or 4/2/1 or 3/3/1 or 5/1/1 or adf w/1 & the fdl (fastday lifestyle) & lchf (lowcarbhighfat) & fast exercise 😀

    Greetings, all. I’ve ordered Fast Exercise, and Dr Krista Varady’s book.

    I was interested in MM”s post mentioning the very modestly increased intake typically observed on ‘feast’ days in Alternate Day Fasting “…perhaps because of a shrinking stomach.” I’d be interested to hear about evidence for and frequency/degree of that oft quoted phenomenon.

    If stomach shrinkage is real, please can it happen to me!

    I don’t find fasting too difficult, but my appetite remains gargantuan. As I’ve related before, when I broke a 96 hour water-only fast, I ate a modest portion of a roast chicken dinner that I’d cooked, followed by seconds, thirds and then two bowls of home made soup.

    Thanks to MM for the rigorous, accessible and inspiring work in so many fields…

    Are there specific sources recommended, of happy faces, featured in one of the approaches in a fascinating MM TV programme on conditioning towards optimism? Do we need a source where we pick out happy faces from other contrasting facial expressions, or do general images showing happy people work? I’m getting through my annual SAD phase, which usually lasts mid August to April. Evenings in UK beginning to stretch. Stage of maximum lethargy may be behind me…

    Best wishes to all, R

    Happy 2014 to all contributors to the forum. Wishing everyone health and happiness, friendship and family. Restarted fasting after Christmas break on Monday and it went well. Happy fasting.

    Happy New Year, Folks. Last August 2013, I began crossfit training 2-3 times a week, and commenced fasting in November. Last weigh in @ Wgt.Wtchs, I had lost 0.9kg. The flexibility of fasting has freed me from the “tyranny” or fear of food. I eat breakfast, then I don’t have to touch food until later, and that is on free and fast days. I enjoy the ‘rumbles’,that’s my body laughing. I exercise on fast days. I love crossfit. It’s varied so never boring. Just 1 hr of exercise 2-3 times a week, more if I want. Thank you so much. Love your work.

    Happy New Year to all! I am a physician in Cincinnati Ohio and am very interested in IF. I will be purchasing Fast Diet and get started asap. My goal is to lose 10 lbs over the next 3 months

    I have just started the 4:3 diet although I intend doing 3 consecutive days in the main as this suits my lifestyle. I fast on my work days (desk job). This is for two reasons, firstly if I am not working I am often socialising and this makes it difficult to turn down lunch with family and secondly the office is always full of cakes and biscuits and once I start on them I can’t stop even when I use all my willpower to just have one! If I don’t have any at all it doesn’t bother me. After my first week my IBS symptoms have disappeared! I have posted on the IBS forum but it would be interesting to explore the reasons why!

    Really looking forward to the new Horizon programme on meat Michael!

    Hello Michael. Belated Happy new year to you and your family!

    I’ve also been trying the 4:3 approch which is actually just same as the ADF approach that Krista suggested, except that I leave the weekend alone. In other words: Monday, Wednesday and Friday are my fasting days.

    So far, I’m feeling pretty good and there are no side-effects. 🙂

    I also watched your documentary on Fast Exercising last night! It’s very interesting, though I need to find the best kind of HIT exercise for this because I don’t fancy the gym and also have a desk job like youreself. I was thinking of doing a fast “run on the spot” for 20 seconds and repeat this 3 times… perhaps that’s the equivalent of the fast cycling experiment you did in the documentary?

    This is why I’m such a fan of Dr. Mosley. Because he talks about all forms of intermittent fasting without dissing them, unlike one particular fasting researcher I’m thinking of! Yes, she knows who she is!

    Dr. Mosley thank you for mentioning the update of the Two Day Diet! I like to fast on two consecutive days, although I do eat normally on the other five without eating Mediteranean like The Two Day Diet suggests. So I guess my way of eating is a hybrid between your plan and the Two Day Diet.

    Please keep up the book series! I’m waiting for the release of Fast Exercise here in the U.S. Two more months!

    Thank you so much Dr Mosley for inspiring me to lose weight successfully after many failed attempts! I have struggled with my weight on and off for about 40 years and have been on just about every diet you could mention! The longest I have been at goal was three years, but I gradually put the 15kg back on after a family bereavement. My husband heard about your 5:2 plan through an acquaintance who had lost 20kg, then we both watched your documentary online and thought the evidence you presented was incredible, not only with regard to weight loss, but also all of the other health benefits! I rushed out and bought your book and have followed it ever since. I am thrilled to say that my weight is gradually decreasing and I don’t have any cravings at all … maybe because I know that if I really want something sweet I can have it guilt-free! I definitely don’t ‘pig out’ on the non-fasting days, as I don’t seem to have the same appetite that I had before starting this plan. I have lost 6kg since mid-January and feel the best I’ve felt in years. Once again, thank you for inspiring this jaded dieter – I think this is the answer I’ve been looking for to finally win the battle of the bulge! 🙂

    Hi I’m a forum newbie. Me name is SAMM. I achieved weight loss goals in 2013, but after changes in my schedule and daily routine I Stopped. Pondering when to restart dieting and firmly believing 5:2 is best for me as a lifestyle I will give myself some dates to restart year after year. January first, 4-3-2014, 5-2-2014, my birthday, and 1-1-2015. My thought is if I’m over wieght I’ll restart start a month earlier April instead of may. I believe having 3-4 start day1 a year will help the dieting become more of lifestyle. Of all the fat loss diets I’ve tried. This the only one that have lost 1-2 consistently over 30 weeks with little exercise. However i also was able to go from monday to monday without ever feeling starved. In fact about week 10 i was able to avoid hunger pangs completely. I was in a car crash and become sedentary so I needed to lose wieght and love a fat loss diet. That was 2013. Now in 2014 I’ll be restarting with jumping rope 3 time a day for 10 minutes which is approx 600 cals a day. Also watching tv standing up or on excise balls. Good luck everyone!

    its really hard to stick to your targets when you life program /routine changes-thats always the biggest challenge-over 6 months with weightwatchers I lost 2 stone but since went even stevens and gained!-because of the cost of it and the weighins.

    Hi, I am starting my 1st fast day after a long break. I must say I am actually looking forward to that empty feeling of not stuffing food into my body. I have been lacking motivation and saw that the Horizon programme is being screened on NZ tele, it has got me inspired again. This time I will succeed.

    I’m using a 4:3 diet pattern of eating that’s in-between the 5:2 diet and Dr. Varady’s every-other-day diet. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have a 500 calorie lunch only and the other four days I eat what I want. In four months I’ve lost 22 pounds and my blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol have all improved significantly. My doctor was skeptical at first, but I think now he’s a believer.

    The first couple of weeks of fasting were difficult, but I’m glad I stayed with it. Thank you doctor Mosley for making me aware of this great way to improve my health.

    I am actually trying this myself. I am so unsure that eating whatever I want will work, as it is many calories over my TDEE.

    Do you eat a lot of food on your non fast days?

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