My friend Barry was raving about this thing called 5:2 fasting on Twitter yesterday…
Uhm, yeah, whatever, juice fast loser…
But still… I hounded Barry for more information, and he was kind enough to enlighten me. As you can probably guess from the name, this how 5:2 fasting goes:
Any two days of the week are fine, doesn’t matter.
Barry was actually raving about the great long-term effects of intermittent fasting - which include protection against heart disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s - but hey, you know me. I’m easy. All he needed to say was one thing, and I was sold.
Okay fine, he really wasn’t saying “bloody” all that much… or um, at all. That’s just how I imagine all British people talk. Plus they all sound really smart (I’m such a sucker for a British accent) so I was definitely SOLD.
And so here we go again….
Now before you start snickering and shaking your head, let me say that although I was initially drawn to the weight-loss thing, that changed when I watched the BBC Horizon documentary (Eat, Fast and Live Longer) that Barry told me to check out. I’m all about the anti-aging and health benefits now.
That show is RIVETING. You all have to watch it. But if you don’t have an hour to spare right now, here’s a recap of the findings that fascinated me.
1. People with low levels of the growth hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) - like those with a rare disease called Laron Syndrome - never get cancer or diabetes.
2. IGF-1 keeps our bodies on “Go, Go, Go!’ mode, and makes our cells reproduce. Apparently this is great when you’re young, but not so much when you’re older.
3. When you lower your IGF-1 levels by fasting (severely restricting calories and protein intake) your cells get off “Go, Go, GROW!” mode and instead start repairing the ones that are already there.
4. An Alzheimer’s study ongoing in Baltimore shows that “sporadic bouts of hunger actually trigger new neurons to grow” in the brain. Mice who were put on the feast & fast diet were much smarter and lived longer than those on a junk food, high fat and sugar diet.
This has yet to be tested on humans but it looks really promising.
5. Michael Mosley (the guy who made the documentary) tried fasting for 3 days straight, alternate day fasting, and 5:2 fasting (which was the easiest) - and the results were the same! IGF-1 and cholesterol levels were reduced by half.
So DUH… no-brainer… 5:2 FEAST & FAST here I come!
Of course, I’m not a TOTAL idiot, so I’ll make my doctor cousin Martin watch the video first and see what he thinks.
WATCH IT! And then let me know what YOU think too.