One day fast versus the longevity diet – 6 years on

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One day fast versus the longevity diet – 6 years on

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  thinatlast 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Hi all,

    I am sure this information is out there somewhere in this forum, but there is so much information to sift through that I have not found it.

    I have been on 5:2 and then 6:1 for 6+ years and feel fantastic on it. Mainly, my cholesterol went back to normal from having been slightly elevated and I have found a fantastic way in 6:1 of maintaining the weight and my body composition. I sense that my short-term memory is much better than in the past. Glucose and other heart-related measurements were fortunately not an issue to me, and the 6:1 regime keeps my IGF at a low level, at about 120 where the normal range for my age (40) is 100-220.

    Still, with all the attention that has come with Valter Longo’s most recent findings, I am wondering if I am wasting my time or even risking my health with this… On a fasting day, which is effectively a cycle of about 36 hours, I have one meal in the evening of about 700 calories. I have added a few more calories to it to aid sleep, so I do not stick to the recommended 600 calories for men. I also do 16:8 twice per week. By chance, I am getting my internal organs checked with ultrasound every year at work and there is no indication at all of any gall stones, which is an ailment Mr Longo mentioned.

    Questions, for which I would be very grateful if anyone could answer:
    1) Does anyone have a comprehensive list of any actual benefits of a full day fast, or effectively anything that is not the 5 day fast that is promoted by the Longevity Diet (which I have not read yet)? Mr Longo makes it sound as though it is a waste of time or dangerous, but I am thinking that although clearly that will have no impact on stem cell regeneration, it should come with at least some apophagy? I have just water and black coffee for effectively 22-24h, from Sunday evening to Monday evening, before the light meal mentioned above.

    2) Given that I have done this for 6 years now and (at least so far!) have no indication that my gall bladder would be impacted, I am not particularly worried about that, but if skipping breakfast truly impacts your risk of heart disease, what would the indication of that be? 6 years on, cholesterol and blood pressure look great; glucose has always been low; weight and fat percentage are certainly not a problem. Given how long I have been on this, I am not particularly worried; I just sense that it is so weird that what looked so promising in “Eat, fast and live longer” now appears to be quite wrong, at least beyond the impact on weight. There has to be a more nuanced version “out there” with some, but certainly not all, of the benefits you experienced with a prolonged fasting.I just do not see myself doing such a prolonged fasting; 6:1 is much more doable for me alongside kids, work and about 3 hours of exercising a week.

    6 years on, I am also very happy to share my experience with anyone – it is doable to follow this regime over time! I feel so good on it and how it impacts also my mind.


    Tobias, stick with what you are doing, since it is working for you. Valter Longo might be down-playing the 5:2 diet because he is trying to monetize his diet program. For me, i see no benefit of Fasting for 4-5 days straight every month. by following the 5″2, we have lost weight and are healthier. There is no ‘danger’ that I can see from following the 5:2 diet. We’re in this for life! We do 600 calories/day for 2 days /week. And it works. Our MD is very happy.
    Good luck.

    Same here Tobias, I’m a female now in my 5th year of practicing 5:2 (6:1 when on holiday or if my weight dips below where I am now – 60 kgs). I lost 25kgs, several dress sizes, have maintained that loss for the past 4 years, came off my BP meds, no longer experience knee joint pain and am no longer at risk of diabetes. I have more energy and more flexibility. I look and feel better than at any time since my twenties. I am slimmer than my husband for the first time in our married life. According to my GP, my blood tests reveal that I have a 2% risk of cardiovascular accident, mostly due to my advancing years – I’m 62. Perhaps a 5 day water fast would mitigate that risk altogether?

    I purchased Longo’s ‘Longevity Diet’ book a year or so back, full of promise, but wasn’t able to finish it. I couldn’t get past the ‘commercial ring’ that it has to it. Unless you have a medical condition which specifically contraindicates it, no otherwise healthy adult is likely to suffer any loss from skipping a meal (other than on the scales, of course).

    You must be one of the pioneers of the 5:2 fast diet. Don’t doubt yourself!

    Hi Fasting_Me and Thinatlast,

    thanks a lot for your encouraging words; this literally made my Tuesday and I much appreciate it. You know, when you start thinking about what you are doing and whether you are rather just experimenting on yourself, then it is so encouraging to hear from others how they are doing. Obviously Valter Longo is an authority and keeps on stressing that he is not selling his books for profit. Still, like any other human being, he of course wants to get his message through. I am inclined towards thinking that anyone with a medical condition may consider the more drastic ways of fasting. I, fortunately, am not in that situation and I do this as my weekly maintenance routine. Hopefully – but time will tell! – it was just the right thing to do.

    Thinatlast – it is an amazing journey you have made. Fantastic results and I believe you are the true pioneer and not me 🙂 – although I did join the “movement” in 2012, so I was probably an early adopter. It must be immensely pleasing to get off medication and have all the health indicators pointing in the right direction from where you started, and probably also interesting for your (traditionally schooled?) doctor to follow that journey of yours. It is absolutely amazing to hear these stories and I cannot help but getting fascinated by how resilient and flexible our bodies are if we give them a chance to heal. From what we have just talked about, I do not think that doing a five day fast would be needed in your case – it sounds like you are healthier than ever; I hope I will be like you when I get to that stage in my life!

    Thanks Tobias – I wish I had known of 5:2 when I was your age! All the best to you!

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