No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Wednesday 6 May 2020

EAT, FAST, AND LIVE LONGER - How I began Intermittent Fasting

[14th August 2013 - discharged from the Lung Clinic.][Notes from a talk I gave to Taunton Humanists in March about Intermittent Fasting - including all I've learned over the past year.][Walking is no longer enough - my extra energy levels since fasting][Intermittent Fasting and the Hunger Switch] - why we feel more hunger on non-fasting days.]How it all started, for me:I began this eating programme (it's not a diet, it's a way of living - WOL) on the 27th Feb 2012. The story begins at the foot of the post if you want to read about my journey in chronological order. The links to the various research documents I've come across are posted as I found them.In early August 2012, Dr Michael Mosley presented a BBC Horizon programme on the subject of fasting, including Calorie Restriction (CR) and Intermittent Fasting (IF). This backed up everything I'd discovered  about the health benefits of fasting - and I switched from 50% of calories on two days a week to the full-blown 25% of calories (600 calories or less).

The  Horizon programme is still available
on iPlayer.

It used to be available online on the Lean Gains blog - along with a resume - but the video has been pulled.


And another source, in case the one above is pulled:

Now, however, Dr Mosley has written a book on the subject, in collaboration with Mimi Spencer, and this will be available from all good bookshops (and some possibly not so good!) from 10th January. All the reviews I've seen so far are extremely favourable. I myself have ordered three copies from my local independent bookstore.

[Saturday 1st December - I'm now trying to include everything I've posted on this subject, on the various forums I use, so that there's a comprehensive record of my progress. So there may be some duplication until I get things sorted properly]  

Thoughts on fasting:

Some of you will know I've been struggling to explain why I (and others) feel more hungry on feed days (very) than on fasting days(not at all).

During our discussions I had an insight into the possible cause of this phenomenon - and it relates to the way our bodies have developed over the millenia:

When we don't eat, our bodies assume there is no food available - famine - and it suppresses the (for want of a better term), 'hunger switch';

When we do eat, our bodies assume there is food available, and goes into hunger mode. So, we eat breakfast, then a short time later, the body says, "This must be a feast day, so I want more food - to store up some reserves against the next famine.

[Most of what follows is a selection of my posts on the 5:2 threads on Mumsnet - as can be seen, this is very much a work in progress!]

Maintaining as I am, there's not a lot new going on - but thought this week's fasting may be of interest:

Tue 19-Feb-13 

Strange couple of days for me - best laid plans, and all that!

I began my normal fast yesterday, but then friends of mine decided to take advantage of this glorious weather and invited me to accompany them on a walk over the Quantocks. Funnily enough, we'd only been going about three hours when we came across a pub - just happened to be about lunchtime! [grin]

I was still going to carry on fasting - right up until I realised that, not only was I going to have to forgo a pub lunch - but also a pint of beer. At this stage I made a unilateral decision to move my fast day to today. [wise]

For lunch I had a large plate of chips, beans and mushrooms in the pub - plus the pint, and very nice it was too! Came home and got stuck into some spicy almond biscuits left over from Xmas. 6 or 7 of these later, I wrapped up the packet and threw it on top of the kitchen cupboard! [phew]

Later, for dinner, I had the bubble and squeak leftover from yesterday's roast dinner, plus broccoli, a stuffed mushroom and a serving of veg curry.

In the evening I made a vegan parkin (wheat free) - so I had to taste that.

Today, Tuesday, is normally a feed day, so I had breakfast - and then realised that, since I was going away with my son that night, I could fast today and do my first ever overnight fast. And, since my breakfast was only around 200 cals, I'd be well under the 600 cal mark.

In the car with my son, he was telling me how he knew I was fasting, but he really wanted to take me out for a curry. He'd found this terrific Indian restaurant, and he would like to treat me. Well, living 3 hours apart, as we do, these events weren't as common as I would like, so, --out of a sense of filial duty,-- once again, I allowed pragmatism to rule, and we had the curry - plus the obligatory lager! [grin]

I'd brought the parkin with me - I'd made it for my son who has a slight problem with wheat - so we had a couple of slices of that on our return, with a mug of coffee.

So now I'm fasting again, and I won't eat until 6.30-7.00 tomorrow.

Tue 18-Dec-12 20:38:02

Here are some thoughts about fasting and weight loss that are of interest - especially the bit about the harmful effects of fizzy drinks:

Sun 16-Dec-12
I don't need to lose any more weight - I'm down to 9.3 now, from 10.13 when I started. I tried 6:1, but I didn't like it - I found I missed fasting for the two days every week. So I'm doing a modified version of 5:2, in that I fast for 24 hours twice a week - on one of those days I finish up with a 600 meal, but on the other I have a full, non-calorie counted meal.

I also try and eat bigger meals on my feeding days - I'm thinking of ditching the side plates and going back to a dinner plate.

Thu 13-Dec-12 12:22:36

The webpage of the Horizon programme, Eat, Fast and Live Longer, is still on iPlayer.

 There are a couple of clips from the programme on there, but clicking on 'See all the buzz about this programme' takes you to a number of different blogs and forums about IF. 

There's a wealth of info on there - well worth a browse.

(Also posted on the Mumsnet Links thread)

12-Dec-12 17:51:10

Here are two encouraging posts from over on the Wildfood site diet thread:

" you know I am also a diabetic and have been for a number of years, at the beginning of the year my sugar levels and triglycerine were all over the place (doctor said well either you do something about it or as sure as damn it will do something about you) so I bought a bike and started reducing my food and cutting out fats to a great extent, it brought me back from the brink, but then I was put onto the 5:2 way of eating, went from having a BMI of over 30 to now being 26, my sugar is stable and normal and my trigycerine levels are back (almost) to normal, after the festive period I shall be coming off the Statins, I feel heathier have lost my gut and am getting into clothes that I was wearing 10 years ago. It does take will power but once you get into the routine, I don't find it at all hard and am now doing the 24 hour zero Kcals 2 days a week with no problems, no side effects and feel great."

"This 5:2 diet does bring down everything that isn't supposed to be high, it has for me, resulting in reduction in doses of drugs. After all said and done about the wonderful modern drugs, they do tend to have side effects, in my case more so for some unknown reason. So I am happy not only at my weight reduction, just around one stone, but also because my blood parameters are getting better. I have reduced doses of all my medicines.
One more thing; I went to a funeral today and wore my 'posh' black trousers. They kept sliding off all morning, had to keep pulling them up !!! I will have to and get some more!"

All good stuff, eh?

Wed 05-Dec-12 15:07:21

I'm 19 hours into a 24 hour water-only fast, ATM. I don't feel any hunger, and I'm not always thinking about food...

But I find myself constantly clock-watching and counting off the hours until I can eat. I start off thinking, "24 to go", then I think, a couple of hours later, "2 gone, 22 to go". By the time I retired for the night it was, "7 gone, 17 to go".

By 10 this morning it was, "15 gone, only 9 to go!" And now I'm thinking "20 gone and only 4 to go." 

When I'm doing my exercises I convert these figures to percentages. So at one stage whilst exercising I'd done 66% (or 2/3rds) and I only had 33% to go. So I'd done twice as much as I had to do. And I can do this for every figure between 24:0 and 1:23. I might even, at 6.30 tonight, tell myself I've completed 47 48ths of my self-imposed task! Sad, or what!

Tue 04-Dec-12 12:05:07

You can always throw in the odd day of missing breakfast, or breakfast and lunch, for that matter.

I often think, when going without breakfast if I've over-indulged the night before, that I'd had my breakfast last night, iyswim!

Mon 03-Dec-12 14:23:43

TGIB I've found the research you mentioned - or at least a report on it:

"In their paper these researchers discuss a 1957 paper from the Spanish medical literature.

…the subjects were eating, on alternate days, either 900 calories or 2300 calories, averaging 1600, and that body weight was maintained. Thus they consumed either 56% or 144% of daily caloric requirement. The subjects were in a residence for old people, and all were in perfect health and over 65. Over three years, there were 6 deaths among 60 study subjects and 13 deaths among 60 ad lib-fed controls, non-significant difference. Study subjects were in hospital 123 days, controls 219, highly significant difference. We believe widespread use of this pattern of eating could impact influenza epidemics and other communicable diseases by improving resistance to infection. In addition to the health effects, this pattern of eating has proven to be a good method of weight control, and we are continuing to study the process in conjunction with the NIH."

I came across it in this very interesting blog:

Mind you, he does have a couple of books to sell! 

Thegirlinbrighton Mon 03-Dec-12 08:43:25

BreadandWine, 75? Nah, spring chicken!

The study was the Vallejo study, there was quite a bit about it in the James Johnson book, which I just searched through for you. There's a summary online saying: To our knowledge there is only one study that was designed to test the effects of CR without malnutrition in non-obese humans [11]. This was a study of alternate day feeding in 120 men whereby the 60 participants in the CR group received an average of 1500 kcal per day for 3 years whereas the 60 others were ad libitum. This amounted to approximately 35% CR compared to the control group. While the initial report was brief, post-hoc analyses conducted several years later [12] indicated that death rate tended to be lowered in the CR group and hospital admissions were reduced in these individuals by approximately 50% (123 days for CR vs. 219 days for Control).

In Johnson's book (which is good on the science but personally I don't like as it recommends Slimfast style shakes for the first two weeks on IF which would have been an absolute no-no for me from the start), he said the best results were in heart disease and failure, with three times as many cases reported on the control group as in the ICR group. There was also a lower rate of lung disease, though cancer wasn't affected - but that may be because cancer could have been present in the subjects beforehand. 

It wouldn't be ethically possible to do it as Vallejo did, I think, but apparently it wasn't noticed for years due to translation issues! I also wonder if it's something that might come quite naturally to many care home residents as I know losing appetite is something that can affect you as you're older - a day off eating much might then convert to the next day with increased appetite. Plus my parents' generation were used to going hungry some of the time, as war babies - though then again a fear of hunger might be even more ingrained in them from the times when they didn't have a choice.

TheCyclistist Sat 01-Dec-12 00:26:04
Evening all.

 Well as I said earlier got the blood test results back this afternoon and I'm sad enough to sit down and share them with the greater research project that is this Thread approaching the midnight hour.

A bit of background first. Up till two years ago I basically had a quite an issue with alcohol, namely a bottle of a half of Merlot in front of the Telly after work every day of the week. This had no real effect on my health until about 3 or 4 years ago when basically that and my increasing weight led to me starting to fall apart physically (no need to go into too many details). Anyway the docs start sending me for blood tests every 6 months or so to see how the 'markers' in my blood were doing.

 Initially although my cholesterol was always fairly good, never really above 5.2, most of the other markers weren't great. My liver enzyme test coming out at about 130 when the upper limit should be 40.

 I stopped drinking 2 years ago but put on a little more weight till a year ago I was 18 stone (but naturally big boned :) ). Although I hadn't drunk for a year the Liver enzyme test was still in the 60's this January. I lost a few stone between last November and early July when I had my last test and the Liver enyme test had dropped to 46, nearly the upper range of healthy.

So below are the results from July a couple of weeks before I started this WOE, initially 4:3 then more recently 5:2. As it said in the programme I have had 600 cals on Fasting days and eaten anything on none fasting days including chocolate, pizza, curry, crisps and anything up to 3,500 cals although my TDEE is around 3,300 because of my build, sex and activity levels. I keep my protein levels down, I'm not a great meat eater but do eat meat, I have no concerns at all whether something has carbohydrates in it but avoid most of the time very high GI foods but not all of the time. I eat a diet high in oats, fibre and veg as well as other 'less wholesome' foods and the only supplements I take are ALIMAX garlic tablets and Boots own label Omega 3 supplement.

 The first column was the score in the July blood test the second the score now and the 3rd the recommended normal range. The results on the whole are pretty amazing.......

Cholesterol overall 4.1 / 3.4 / 3.0-5.0

HDL good Cholesterol 1.35 / 1.5 / 1.0-3.5

LDL bad cholesterol 2.3 / 1.6 / 1.0-3.00
A very good cholesterol reading and a huge improvement in the good to bad cholesterol ratio, especially considering my unrestricted diet on feed days

Trig levels .88 / .71 / 0.5-2.3
Although Triglyceride levels were good in July they were over 15% better a few months later, this is also a sign of a liver working healthily

Liver Function Tests
ALT/SGPT Serum 46 / 30 / 0.00-40.00

Serum Protein level 71 / 69 / 60-80

Serum albumin 44 / 45 / 35-50

Serum globulin 27 / 24 / 18-36
All markers basically going in the right direction with the main marker being within the healthy range for the first time in a decade

Kidney Function
Serum urea level 5.4 / 3.9 / 2.5-7.8

Serum creatine level 93 / 87 / 74-110

Serum Potasium 4.3 / 4.1 / 3.5-5.3

All fairly healthy with slight improvements. The drop in the urea marker probably down to my low protein diet showing up

Fasting Blood Glucose Level
 4.5 / 4.7 / 3.5-6.0
Up slightly and I think it was in July from the previous one so will watch this.

Serum TSH Thyroid function / 1.67 / .35-5.5
This wasn't done last time

I post these results because people have asked to see whether this WOE has health benefits as well as weight loss benefits so I hope they don't look like I'm saying 'look at me aren't I great'. 

So overall in a matter of 4 months this WOE has has marked positive effects on some major body functions. Of course there may be other areas not tested that are going in the wrong direction only time and more evidence from others will tell.
However all I can say is I feel better than I did 4 months ago, my Liver and Kidneys are working better and my cholesterol levels are markedly improved despite me eating basically anything I it every other day.

It made the curry tonight taste all the sweeter....washed down by a cool pepsi with loads of ice of course :).

virginposter Fri 30-Nov-12 16:08:58
Has anyone else seen this? Always a bit loathe to read Daily Mail stuff but this one is ok. She has an IGF-1 test before her month of 5:2 and then again at the end and it has dropped significantly. Have a look you guys.

Thu 29-Nov-12 12:20:12
Some lovely stories on here this morning! Keep 'em coming folks!

70lbs, Cyclist! Well done, mate! Bet your bike appreciates it! 

I've managed 2 24 hour fasts this week - one of them with just three mugs of water instead of coffee. It's all about timing the evening meals - have an early dinner on the day before a fast, then a later one on the fast day itself.

 Have still to feel hunger on these days - and I have to report I feel great. In fact, I have more energy on these days than on the days I eat. 

I'm coming more and more to feel that fasting is the natural state - and food is just a necessary interruption.

Here's someone - a weightlifter - blogging about his fasting experiences and the merits of 16 hours versus 24 fasting:

Mon 26-Nov-12 15:45:32
I'm also feeling a bit sorry for myself - but in a good way!

I've been asked to make some Healthy fruit and oat bars with a year 4 group at the local primary school where I have a weekly Family Learning breadmaking session.

So I've had to convert them into cup/mug measurements and bake a batch, just so I know what I'm doing.

So now the flat bread(?) biscuit(?) is cooling and the kitchen smells gorgeous. However, I'm currently 20.5 hours into a fast - aiming for a less than 600 calorie dinner at 7 tonight - so I won't be able to sample said healthy bars until after that. 

I'm also cooling 500g (dried weight) of kidney beans, cooked and drained, waiting to go in the freezer. I generally love to munch on these while they're hanging about the kitchen.

 I'm back to drinking coffee on my fast days, after proving I can do them just drinking water, last week. I'm alternating black coffee and hot water - and feeling smug about the savings! [smuggitsmiley]

Drinking coffee without sugar, as I do, seems to make the water taste surprisingly sweet. Anyone else notice this?

I'm still very surprised about the level of control I have when I'm fasting! Unlike over the weekend when I was eating loads of spiced almond biscuits (vegan, from Lidl - thoroughly recommended) with a piece of chocolate covered marzipan with every bite! 

These Monday fast days play havoc with my leftover routine. We've always got loads of leftovers from the Sunday roast (vegan meat pie, in my case) and Mondays was always bubble and squeak day. However, it'll all last until tomorrow and I'll tidy up the fridge then.

Mon 26-Nov-12 01:03:44
"Doing my first 'spread over 2 days' fast day today, had lunch then plan on nothing else until lunch tomorrow, I'm going to see if I prefer it to doing a fasting day morning to morning with a 500 calorie meal. This is only my 4th fast day and I already feel better, have lost a little weight but my tummy feels flatter, so all good so far!"

Good stuff, madhouse! 

Here's what Dr Matt P. Mattson (one of Dr Mosley's scientists) has to say on the subject:
1. A complete fast (no food) with hydration maintained with non-caloric beverages will be superior to consuming 600 calories on the fasting days.
2. Eating the 600 calories at one meal will be superior to eating several smaller meals spread throughout the day. By eating only one meal, the body goes essentially 24 hours with no food. This results in adaptive cellular stress responses which we believe is particularly good for the brain.
3. In the case of the 5:2 diet, we do not know whether better health benefits are realized with two consecutive days of fasting versus any two days of fasting during the week.

It would be much better if you could just get through a fast day without eating at all. Obviously, very few people are able to do that, so if you are going to eat a (600 for a man, 500 for a woman) calorie reduced meal, you are much better to consume that as one meal than to spread those calories throughout the day. This is because the stress that going for 24 hours without food places on your brain actually has produced identifiable positive brain responses such as the growth of new brain cells. It’s like a workout for the brain. How to add that into an intermittent fasting or alternate day plan?

Easy. Either, take a note of what time you last ate on the feed day prior to your fast and then do not consume your 600 calorie fast day allowance until 24 hours has past. So, if you ate at 6pm on a feed day, do not eat your 600 calories until 6pm on the fast day. That way, you’ve gone 24 hours without food AND you get to eat (albeit a restricted) dinner! If that doesn’t grab you, eat breakfast on a fast day and then don’t eat again until your breakfast the next day.

The beauty of this WOL is its flexibility, as well as its simplicity!

Wed 21-Nov-12 13:02:39

I'm still losing weight - now over a stone and a half - and my BMI is 20.66. So I don't want to lose any more. I flirted with 6:1 but wasn't totally happy with it, so I've gone back to 5:2 - but trying to eat more on my eating days. I have thought perhaps I should include a 'feast' day once a week, where I really pig out.

Another thought - I'm so used to being sparing with olive oil, for instance, or eating less carbs, etc. I'll just have to try and get used to having bigger portions on my eating days and just forget about weight maintenance. It's a whole different mindset.

This may not seem relevant to you, if you've still got weight you want to shift - but, judging by the welter of encouraging stories on these threads, you'll be joining me sometime in the future, I'm sure!

Wed 21-Nov-12 15:29:26
My SonIL raised an interesting question over the weekend:

Apart from weight watching, is there any need to limit the meal after a 24 hour fast to less than 5 or 600 calories? Is there any evidence to say we should stick to those amounts? Not sure I've seen any, but I may have missed it.

Breadandwine Mon 19-Nov-12 17:28:27
I'm over 22 hours into my fast now - and I've just finished my daily exercise. Because we've been away for the past few days I've let it slip, so today I did twice as much, really full on - 30 minutes at full pelt. And now I feel absolutely on top of the world! I certainly don't feel hungry, and I'm pretty sure I could go through until tomorrow morn with no problems.

I do have a constant supply of good coffee (black) on tap, and I shall gradually replace this with water over the next few fasts - the coffee started off as a 'treat' to myself during a fast, but I'm pretty sure I don't need it nowadays.

Must admit I tend to keep an eye on the time through the day and calculate both how many hours I've fasted, and how long to go before I eat. This motivates me to keep going, not that I need much motivation, but it's just something to occupy myself with.

Looking forward to my evening meal, veg curry and curried wedges - or stir fry with the same, not made my mind up yet.

Fri 16-Nov-12 01:04:50
To all those who are feeling cold when they're fasting - and I'm starting to find myself in that company - you can take heart from research which says that the colder your inner body temperature, the longer you are probably likely to live!

Thu 08-Nov-12 19:57:56
Hi literarygeek How nice to have another vegan on the board! Especially one who loves food! 

You'll be able to help me spread the word how well - and cheaply - we vegans eat. I've just had a terrific curry non carne and rice - using seitan as the meat substitute.

I'd like to PM you my blog - loads of vegan recipes on there - but I think you need to create a profile first. In the meantime there's a gorgeous chocolate cake of mine on the recipe thread - for a feasting day, obviously - that will cost you all of 70p!

Looking forward to hearing about your favourite recipes.

Mon 05-Nov-12 23:39:39
The way I reduced my wine intake was to make sure I tasted every drop - previously, I'd pour a glass - then, halfway through the meal half of it would be gone and I wouldn't have noticed! So then I halved the amount - and I was still taking sips that didn't register. Now I'm down to 50ml most nights - and I could have got away with less than that tonight, since this is a fast day for me.

I noticed the same with chocolate - in the past I've divided a piece into 8, and still got the same mouthful of flavour from each bit as I would have done if I'd eaten the whole piece in one go.
TheCyclistist Sun 04-Nov-12 16:03:56
ThinkIcan glad to hear the BPs gone down, that in itself is huge step away from health problems, brilliant news. From reading up on Intermittant Fasting and from what some have said on here it definiately seems to support those with High Blood Pressure in bringing it down. My doctor has had to drop my dose of Lisinopril by half.

Mark Butcher emailed the scientists involved in Dr M's programme to ask what they are recommending now. (This reference has been on the Tips and Links thread since the 17th October.)

If anyone hasn't seen this blog, it's well worth a look.

Here's Mark Mattson's response. (He was the fourth scientist on the programme, IIRC)

"It would be much better if you could just get through a fast day without eating at all. Obviously, very few people are able to do that, so if you are going to eat a (600 for a man, 500 for a woman) calorie reduced meal, you are much better to consume that as one meal than to spread those calories throughout the day. This is because the stress that going for 24 hours without food places on your brain actually has produced identifiable positive brain responses such as the growth of new brain cells. It’s like a workout for the brain. How to add that into an intermittent fasting or alternate day plan?

Easy. Either, take a note of what time you last ate on the feed day prior to your fast and then do not consume your 600 calorie fast day allowance until 24 hours has past. So, if you ate at 6pm on a feed day, do not eat your 600 calories until 6pm on the fast day. That way, you’ve gone 24 hours without food AND you get to eat (albeit a restricted) dinner! If that doesn’t grab you, eat breakfast on a fast day and then don’t eat again until your breakfast the next day. " (My emphases)

All EnidN did was to move the start time of her fast from breakfast to lunch. She then fasted for 24 hours. 

This WOE is more than just 5:2 - there's 6:1, 4:3, ADF - and probably variations on these. As you yourself have said, if it works for you, fine. 

BTW, congratulations on the weight loss!

Thu 01-Nov-12 23:58:00
Hi folks 

As has been said often, we're all feeling our own way with this new system - and I for one, am finding it very liberating. The 'rules' are so flexible that we can all put our own interpretation on them, providing we:

Stick to less than 25% per cent of the recommended calories (meaning less than 500 calories for women or less than 600 for men in any 24 hour period (up to 36+ if it includes two overnight sleeps);

Build in a 16 hour complete fast - to get the most of the health benefits;

Eat sensibly on our eating days;

Ensure we eat a varied diet.*

I think that EnidN is perfectly within these rules - have a normal lunch, less than 500cals for dinner, then nothing to eat until the next evening when she can have a normal dinner so the fasting period would be about 28-30 hours. I have seen this suggested elsewhere. And I tried it once myself. I didn't continue because I've found not eating breakfast (and thus not flicking the 'appetite switch') and lunch so easy.

Today I rose late and had breakfast around 11am - since I was off to work at 1.30 I decided to call it brunch and didn't have any lunch. Prior to 5:2 I would have thought I've got to have lunch before I go out.

Back to the flexibility of this method - I've come to realise if I do overstep the mark on an evening (or pig out to use the common parlance), all I have to do is have a 'mini-fast' the following day - simply cut out breakfast and lunch. I might even build a 'feasting evening' followed by a 'mini-fast' the next day into my weekly schedule.

*I may have missed out a 'rule' or two. I'm sure someone will remind me if I have.

Thu 01-Nov-12 00:08:59
Thanks for the kind words, folks! 

Fasted 22 hours today - found it a breeze! [smuggitsmiley] I know it doesn't suit everyone, but for me, it works. 

Thinking about it, though, I didn't jump into this long a fast straightaway, I built up to it gradually. 

Maybe, for those finding it difficult, if you cut down breakfast and lunch calories and build up the evening calories, you might find it easier first to miss breakfast - and then lunch. 

I'm still curious as to how long I can fast for before I feel any hunger - I may have to wait until I'm on my own for a couple of days. I must admit, it would seem weird not to have a meal in the evening. But it must have been common for our forebears to have gone without food for several days!

Just realised, with the constant feast and famine they experienced - they were the original yo-yo dieters! 

Back to another theme that is coming up regularly on these threads - the feeling of control that people are experiencing on this WOL. After years of having to watch everything I eat (I have a gold card from WW from twentyodd years ago!), food is no longer as important to me as it once was. I now feel as if I have finally gained control over my food intake, and weight - not to mention health!

 And the method is spreading! I was offered a piece of petit pain au chocolat that one of my students had made in my breadmaking class this morning, and had to decline since I was fasting. "Oh, are you doing that too?" she exclaimed, "My husband and I have been on the 5:2 plan since the Horizon programme - it's great, isn't it?" 

The ensuing conversation could have been lifted straight from these threads! Of course I told her about all you guys on here, and how friendly we all are - so we may well see her here.

Thursday 1st November.
*Here's a link to the current thread on this way of eating on the Mumsnet forum. It's a mine of information, and the posters on there have virtually all adopted this or similar 
versions of IF with a great deal of success.

ManOnBoard Wed 31-Oct-12 10:00:10
Just been for a medical and will have to wait for the results of the bloods but the nurse did comment favourably on my blood pressure 112/70. This is quite a significant change from previous years where it stayed aroud the 118/85 mark which I completely attribute to this WOE and, of course, the significant weight loss.

As for people feeling more active on fast days, I agree, this may well be genetic but also our bodies reacting positively to the chemical change as we burn fat, similar to endorphines being released by exercise

Wed 31-Oct-12 01:45:18
Realised after I last posted, I had no need to worry - since I'm on my weekly fast from after dinner tonight until dinner tomorrow night, I'm already 'in the zone'! Once in this frame of mind I find it easy to resist temptation - in fact, weirdly, temptation doesn't seem to figure, ATM!

It seems that more people are reporting that they are feeling good on their fasting days. 

There's a theme developing: "Feeling more alive," says Laska; "I always seem to have more energy after a fast," says Blondie; I myself feel fantastic after a 22 hour fast. Many posters say they're looking forward to their fast days.

Seems to me there's a perfectly logical reason for this phenomenon - I'll run it past you guys to see what your reaction to it is:

During our hunter-gatherer days, the more alert we were whilst deprived of food, the easier it would have been for us to find some. Successful hunters would have passed their genes down to us. So you could say we're supposed to feel good when fasting. 

About not feeling hunger when fasting: put simply, hunger would have been a distraction in the search for food - it just would have got in the way and made us less successful hunters. (See my musings on the 'hunger switch' on the Tips and Links thread - 29th Oct)

Sense? Or nonsense? What do you reckon?

Tue 30-Oct-12 20:38:01
I'm happy to report that after a normal day yesterday, I reclaimed my missing belt notch this morning! 

And then I found I'd lost two of the four pounds I'd gained - result! I've fasted all day today - only had half a mug of warm water up until lunchtime when I had a coffee, and felt no ill-effects - and I was working!

This afternoon, still with only a couple of coffees inside me, I did my daily 15 minutes of vigorous exercise, feeling great!

I did the full 16 hours plus before the evening meal - and I ate very well (but still less than I used to eat prior 5:2). I've just had a sweet - strawberries and grapes with some soya milk - and I'm now absolutely stuffed.

Tomorrow I'll do a proper fast day and I expect to be back to where I was before the weekend! 

The next few hours is the danger period for me - my appetite switch is full on, ATM, and I'm susceptible to the remains of the curry on the stove - plus all the goodies I have to hand.

Made a huge (1.2kg) semi-focaccia last night, with toasted sesame seeds, and I've got tomorrow's chunk in the breadbin which I can't stop thinking about...

Sun 28-Oct-12 23:08:04
I wanted the last post to stand on its own - but thought I would add this:

I've eaten, over the past three days, more food than I have in a long time. Beginning with a large lunch at the pub on Friday, continuing with a huge dinner plus pudding Friday and Saturday night; 2 large breakfasts; two large lunches, etc, etc. I'm home now, and I've eaten a roast dinner with all the potatoes and veg, 4 or 5 biscuits plus assorted chocolate liqueurs and chocolate-covered marzipan.

Boy, have I lain down some fat reserves! I've put on at least 4 pounds and I can no longer do up the last notch on my belt!

Now I'm having an evening cup of cocoa and I'm eyeing up the biscuit tin again!

Ps. I forgot to mention the copious amounts of real ale, wine and port I've consumed over the weekend. Mind you, we all had a wonderful time - and we actually did some walking! Honest! 

myjoy Sat 27-Oct-12 07:10:42

after asking last week about breastfeeding (thanks to those who responded) and IF and then doing my own research I decided to just give it a go. So far, it's been brilliant. I am feeling really well, not weak or light headed, baby is well and milk supply not affected. Even with broken sleep I have more energy than I've had in ages and my mind feels alert.

My first 2 fast days were so do-able that I decided to add a third and though it's early days I feel like this could definitely be a permanent way of life. Since I've gained weight steadily with 2 pregnancies I have 6 stone to lose, but for the first time it doesn't feel daunting to get back to health."

Fontana's protein rule to keep IGF1 low = 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For those in the other side of the pond = 0.028 ounces of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. This is sensible except for bodybuilders, regular exercisers and those under great stress. Fontana asserts this in the video by saying that the "Cronies" don't exercise regularly (eg running, cycling, etc) and just do "some" strength training 2 or 3 times a week.

To put things in perspective:
    One egg contains 6 to 7 grams of protein.
    100 grams (3.5 ounces) of meat, poultry, fish contain between 17 to 27 grams of protein.
    One cup of beans contains 15 grams of protein.
    One cup of cooked rice = 6 grams of protein.
    30 grams of seeds (1 ounce) = 6 grams of protein.
    On cup of milk = 8 - 9 grams of protein.
    30 grams of firm cheese = 6 to 10 grams of protein.
    30 grams of soft cheese = 2 to 4 grams of protein.
    Once slice of bread = 2 to 3 grams
    One cup of corn = 4 grams
    one apple, banana or orange = 1 gram
    Cottage cheese, 1 cup, 25 grams
    Yogurt, 1 cup, 8 to 9 grams

(BTW, The Fasting Doctor thinks that 0.8g per kilo of bodyweight is too much.)

This, from Brad Pilon, the ‘Eat Stop Eat’ guy, is worth quoting in full:
“Basically, fasting gives your body a chance to house-keep,” he says. “Constant growth is not a good thing. There must be time for recovery and rebuilding at a cellular level if optimal health is the goal.” Pilon boycotts all calories during his biweekly, 24-hour fasts; these typically run from 2pm to 2pm, leaving no single day completely deprived of food (and, says Pilon, “I get to sleep through most of the fast”). “Fat loss starts at about 12 hours into a fast,” he says, “and plateaus at around 18 hours.” At this point, the body is busying itself with autophagy*. It is also in ketosis, a term you may recall if you have ever dabbled with Atkins – when the body has exhausted its glucose reserves and is tucking into fat.

* When IGF-1 levels drop – as happens in a fast state – the body slows production of new cells and instead repairs old ones. This is “autophagy”, a word derived from the Greek for “self-eating".

Mon 22-Oct-12 20:38:12
Thanks, mocnk. Hope you get together soon.

If it's any consolation (and it probably won't be) when you do get your partner back on this WOE, he'll probably lose weight quicker than you! 

As we lose weight on this WOE, there'll be landmarks that tell us we're slowly regaining control over our lives. It might be fitting into a favourite pair of jeans, or deciding you can bring a regular pub lunch into your routine, or whatever.

I've belatedly realised I don't have to have lo-cal lemonade in my pre-dinner shandy - I can have regular lemonade. A small victory, but a victory none-the-less!

Mon 22-Oct-12 10:49:05
"Oh, and breadandwine, I tried a version of chilli non carne last night and it was delicious. Am going to include on my fast day menu..."

Thanks, littlestranger. It's easy and versatile, isn't it?

I made it as a curry on my last fast day, intending to make enough for two meals, but, in the event, I made enough for three - each with 224 calories. I added 100g of microwaved potato to the plate and still came in under 300 calories.

That's all I would have had for the day if there hadn't been a Chelsea bun lurking about.

This Wednesday (I'm now on 6:1) I shall have the 2nd batch which I'd frozen - and I don't intend to have anything else - so less than 300 calories for the day.

I'm finding not eating during the day so easy that I'm working myself up to doing a full day's fast. I'm beginning to think that's the way to go - it would take away all the faffing about with calories, for one thing.

However, I'd have to convince my wife first - which might not be so easy!

Thu 18-Oct-12 00:42:16
Hi folks

I've been fasting all day - had a very filling plate of chilli non carne with a baked potato around 7 - and I can't believe just how good I feel, how much energy I have!

The dinner came to just under 300 cals - and that's all I've had today apart from some good filter coffee. I spent the evening with 5 friends, playing cards - they were all drinking wine, while I had black coffee and some fruit juice. I had no desire for the wine, yet I love a dry red! There were bowls of snacks passed around all evening and once again I never even thought of taking any. This is so different from my usual behaviour I find it slightly weird! 

I generally have a mug of cocoa at this time of night, and I have a homemade Chelsea bun in the freezer calling my name (although I'm not hungry in the slightest, it's just that those other 300 calories are burning a hole in my pocket, to coin a phrase! ).

Phacelia, when I began this WOE back in February, I was very cautious about it and thought I'd do it very gradually. In fact I just cut my calories in half on two days a week. So I'd have half my usual breakfast, half my usual lunch and half my usual dinner. I imagined I'd lose the 3 or so lbs I'd put on over Christmas, but in fact I lost that very quickly and just carried on losing. It was only after the Horizon programme that I went down to 600 calories.

This is just a long-winded way of saying that you don't have to go the whole hog in one go. You could perhaps do as I did and take it a step at a time. 

[15 minutes later]
Well, I went for the Chelsea bun option - although I only ate 7/11ths of it. The whole bun worked out at roughly 262 calories , so 7/11ths = 167. Plus the cocoa (no milk, I'm a vegan) at around 15.

So the day's tally looks like this:
........Dinner - 294
.....Fruit juice - 50
Chelsea bun - 167
..........Cocoa - 15
..........Total - 526

(Now I just have to figure out how to make a low-cal Chelsea bun!)

Mon 15-Oct-12 11:20:22
Just watched a bit of the Horizon film and was inspired to do the 'Standing on one leg with eyes closed test'. 

I managed 21 seconds on my right leg - and 28 seconds on my left before I got bored and stopped. I think that's excellent pretty good for a bloke my age! 

Sunday 14th October
I began this woe, fasting on Monday's and Wednesdays, both days when I don't do any teaching. I was initially very wary of fasting on a work day.

However, since I've fasted all day without feeling any ill effects (or hunger) 3 times now, I'm happy to do it any time. On those three days I wasn't going to eat until I found myself hungry - on each occasion I've eaten my evening meal around 6.30-7 still not feeling hungry. It won't be long before I go right through just to see when hunger kicks in. 

This not feeling hungry all day is something I just would not have believed of myself only 2 weeks ago! 


I'm aware that others need to start their fasting day with a breakfast - some using all 500 or 600 calories in one go - and then not eating until breakfast next day. Not sure I could do that.  If I'm going to eat I'd rather eat dinner - with a glass of wine - later in the day.

Tuesday 9th October
I've found it's best if I eat nothing during the day, and have a big meal in the evening. That way I can have all the trimmings and treats and still come in between 5-600 calories.

It's weird - when I don't eat I don't feel hungry; when I do have breakfast, half an hour later I'm hungry again!  So not eating during the day is for me!

My worst time in terms of - well, guzzling for want of a better word - is late at night. I stay up very late, often it's 2am or later before I go to bed.

The trouble is I get hungry (not on my fast days, funnily enough) and I almost always have something interesting on the stove (lentil and potato curry, ATM, which is one of my favourites).

So before I know it, I have the pan in front of me and I'm reaching for the bottle of (homemade) red. I'm aware I don't need to lose any more weight (I've recently - this week, changed to 6:1), but I don't want to put any on, either.

I'm lucky in that I can eat a good meal before bed and sleep like a top. Last week I ate what was supposed to be the next days's dinner - at 2 in the morning!

To compensate, I've realised a short fast following any binge eating, should balance things out a bit.

So I won't eat until dinner tonight, when I'll have a normal meal.

As others have said many times - no guilt on this WOE! 

Wednesday 3rd October
Had my best fasting day yet, today - here's how it went:

After a complete fast all day I thought I’d look again at my evening meal – with 600 calories to play with, I could have a pud, couldn’t I?

As a vegan, I’m used to thinking out of the box, so I wondered if I could replace carbs with broccoli? And did I really need the chopped sausage? 

In the end, my evening meal looked like this:

Pre-dinner drink, 100g stout (homebrew) – 37 cals

Chili and beans – 171 cals

100g broccoli – 31 cals

50g red wine – 43 cals

(The broccoli substitution was really tasty! And it worked fine without the sausage chunks.)

Total calories so far - 282.

So, what to have for a pud? I quite fancied pancake and strawberries - since we had some that were going over and needed using up.

1 small pancake (using 12.5g flour) – 45 cals

50g strawberries (blitzed in MW) – 14 cals

5g Benedictine – 15 cals

20g soya cream – 38 cals

Total 102 cals

So 282 plus 102 = 384 calories so far today.

Ps. There’s a bar of Green and Black’s chocolate in the cupboard, calling my name…

Wednesday 26th September.
Typical day's menu:
The total comes to around 550 for the day - and I feel quite full after eating all that!

Things have moved on apace since I last posted. I have now adopted a 6:1 way of eating (WOE) - 6 days of eating normally, and one day fasting. My weight has more or less stabilised at around 60kg first thing in the morning. I've lost 6 or 7 kilos and I've now got  3 new notches in my belt. I've moved to 6:1 because I don't want to lose any more weight. 

[Finally found a group of like-minded fasters here on Mumsnet, of all places. Here's my first post on the 5:2 diet thread:]

I've been practicing 5:2 eating , after a fashion, for getting on to 8 months now. 

After reading a lot of research on CR and IF, I thought I'd start it by having just half my normal calories two days a week - for the health benefits more than anything. So for 6 months I ate half a breakfast, half a lunch and half a dinner.

As a by-product I thought I would lose the kilo or so that I'd added over last Christmas - but in the event I lost that kilo pretty quickly and, over the last 6 months I lost 4 kilos altogether. Since then I've gone down to 600 calories or less and I've lost a further kilo. All this without even trying (yes, I am one of those annoying blokes, I'm afraid!)

As others have said, it doesn't matter when you eat on your fasting days. I have ground flaxseeds (for omega 3 - I'm a vegan) with apple juice for breakfast; mushrooms and tomatoes fried in One-cal olive oil with balsamic vinegar for lunch; and a celery/mushroom/cabbage-heavy chilli non carne with a small baked potato, for dinner, along with 50g of red wine. I make enough of this for two meals - I'll have half of this on each of my fast days, Monday and Wednesdays. I generally feel stuffed after this meal.

 As a treat I have filter coffee on my fast days instead of the instant stuff. But, really, I find the fasting days very easy now - although the first week or two were a bit of a struggle.

I have to say I've never felt better. I spent 4 hours on the dance floor on Saturday night, drank 3 pints of beer, a large glass of red and a Jaegerbomb - and was up and out for a swim by 8 in the morning. And I'm in my mid-seventies!

I'm not too bothered about the longevity aspect of this lifestyle, but the thought of a healthy old age very much appeals to me!

17th September 2012
For the last couple of weeks I've been reducing my calories on my fasting days to 600 calories or less.

Breakfast - 20g ground flaxseeds (for the Omega 3) + 20g apple juice - 109 calories

Lunch - Combination of sliced mushrooms and tomatoes - roughly 35 calories
Dinner - Chilli non carne made with a low calorie veg stew plus red kidney beans and a Fry's vegan sausage cut into chunks and a small baked potato. And a small glass (50g) red wine.

Looking for the benefits of IF as regards Alzheimers and came across this Guardian article from Feb. 2012. Very informative, with great links in the comments section.

Today's food intake - fairly typical:

Breakfast - 20g porridge oats and 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
Lunch - 37g wholemeal bread with 16g mushroom pate, 30g beetroot and half a tomato
Dinner - veg curry comprising onion, celery, green pepper, courgette and mushrooms plus tomato puree and flavourings. The whole dish was around 150 calories, which was enough for two meals. So I had half of this with one boiled potato and some broccoli. About 170 calories all told.

More people coming on board the IF programme - my brother-in-law, who has diabetes type 2 is giving it a go. And I learned today that my daughter's in-laws have begun the programme, Calorie Restricting  down to 600 calories 2 days a week.

The more I look at intermittent fasting (IF), the more beneficial it appears. Here's an interesting article on IF and cancer

Monday 20th August.
Co-incidentally, I've just dropped my calories on my CR days down to 600 calories or less.
Here's another website I've come across, with lots of interesting references and links:
Although the psychic reference on the site is a little disconcerting, the info and links seem to be on the up and up.

Wednesday 8th August 2012

Terrific Horizon programme on the subject on BBC2 last night - here it is on the blog, LeanGainsGuide

And here's a precis of the Horizon programme  

In the meantime I came across this article on Alternate Day Fasting (also known 
as Every Other Day fasting (EOD). This was also looked at in the programme.

The main conclusion the programme came to - or rather the presenter came to - was that 2 days fasting a week would improve many health indices and also lead to significant weight loss. He intends to continue with this.
The reason that fasting shows so many benefits seems to come down to something called Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This is a key factor linking calorie restriction and longevity. It seems that when we’re eating normally, cells are constantly driven to divide by IGF-1, but when IGF-1 levels drop, the body slows production of new cells and starts repairing existing ones instead.
I found this excellent summary here (thanks, David)
A list of benefits which Intermittent Fasting or calorie restriction can achieve according to this

1. Neuronal growth = brain power
2. Aging hormone IGF1 "gogo" mode reduced to "slowslow" mode.
3. High protein myth dispelled as low protein = longevity.
4. Cells divide less often and go into repair mode instead.
5. Body fat reduced to that of an olympic athlete.
6. Promotes healthy cholesterol and reduces harmful cholesterol.
7. Promotes optimal body balance which deteriorates with age.
8. Reflexes are quicker than someone who does not follow IF.
9. Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
10. Promotes a positive mood.
11. Reduces risk of build up of toxins.
12. Save tons of money
12. Basically you become a different species (according to
Professor Longo)
Sunday 5th August.
On my 'normal' days I'm virtually eating whatever I like - biscuits, chocolate, cake, ice cream, etc. I can't remember ever doing that before without having to pay the penalty of weight gain.
I do 'spoil myself' on the 50% days, in that I make a large pot of filtered coffee to last me until 5.00pm, when I pour myself a large glass of stout, which lasts me until dinner - generally about 6.30. 
What I'm doing differently:
I now have a pudding every day - I never used to do this before.

Monday 30th July 2012 Into the sixth month already - and I'm so much into a routine I don't even think about it  any more. Generally, Mondays and Wednesdays are my 50% days, and I eat 'normally' on the other days. 

After my initial weight loss I've been gradually losing more - I'm now about 8lbs lighter than when I started, and I've had to cut two new notches in my belt. But I've now stabilised and I don't intend to lose any more.

I feel absolutely no different to how I felt before I started - that is, I feel great! 

Breakfast - I now eat about 20% less on 'normal' days;

Lunch - ditto;
Dinner - both myself and my wife now use side plates instead of dinner plates - except for the roast dinner on Sunday. However, I now leave perhaps 1 quarter of it on the plate.

I often have some supper late in the evening.

I also often snack as I detailed above.
22nd April 2012 I start my 8th week tomorrow, and I'm still feeling in excellent shape.

There is a difference on my 50% days - I don't notice any hunger at all. I must admit I watch the clock a bit more on these days, and I'm always pleased when the next meal comes round.

But on these days I don't snack at all, and find it very easy to be disciplined. On the other days I'm snacking like mad now I've lost all the weight I wanted to.

And, although I'm eating a little less at mealtimes - and generally leave food on the plate - I can be quite a glutton at times. Witness tonight's scoffing of a completely unnecessary mushroom en croute. And I'm eating the chocolate Easter egg plus other chocolate that's lying around.

So 2 days a week I'm right in the zone - and 5 days a week I'm more or less eating what I like.

However, I'm keeping an eye on my weight and if I find I'm gaining any of the 3 lbs I lost, I'll cut out the snacks.

16th April 2012 First day of the 7th week - went through the whole day on half rations without feeling any hunger. After yesterday's excesses with chocolate, this was perhaps just what I needed.

No breakfast this morning since I had to have a 'Fasting blood-test' taken. Returned home, had a cup of coffee - and, to my surprise, I'm not feeling hungry. If I do, I'll have another drink or otherwise distract myself. 

Here are a couple more articles/blogs that I found useful:

(I didn't turn them into hyperlinks since leaving them like this means you can see what you're linking to.) 

No ill effects yet - quite the reverse, really; I have to say I'm feeling pretty good!

Feeling hungry late last night and thought of going without supper - but, since I was planning on a 50% day today, I thought I'd have a bite. Finished up having 2 large pieces of chocolate (20g) and about half a dozen dates - all very healthy.

Monday 9th April.
I'm still surprised that, after eating half the amount I usually eat for dinner - my main meal of the day - I can feel 'full' afterwards. I'm definitely eating slower, and I appreciate every mouthful. This reinforces my thoughts that we definitely eat too much if we don't think about the amount we eat.
To put that another way - until I started this programme, I more or less filled my plate up with whatever I was eating. Our plates are on the large size and maybe that contributes towards eating too much. And I've taken the portion size, 75g of rice, say, to be the norm. Now I have 65g and I don't notice the difference.
I came across an article in the Daily Mirror by Dr Miriam Stoppard on the benefits of eating slower. The conclusion was that you could save up to 25% of your daily calorie intake by using this method. 
However, I've been unable to find it on line, and I've had no response to the email I sent her.

Thursday 29th March.

I'm halfway through the 5th week of my 'Eating less' (or Calorie Restriction) programme and I'm happy to say I feel great!
I've lost about 3 pounds - and I could lose more if I wanted to.
ATM, I'm sticking to eating half of what I used to eat, 2 days a week. I've also cut down my daily food intake by 10% - mainly because, after the eating less days, I just seemed to be eating too much - or piling too much food on my plate.
So this means I'm eating 80% of what I used to eat, and I'm feeling very good!
My stomach has definitely shrunk a little - I can't eat as much as I used to without feeling uncomfortably full. And, on my cut-down days, I no long get as hungry as I did to begin with. When I do get hungry, the hunger pangs disappear within about 20 minutes, so I've just learned to accept it. having said that, I don't get hungry very often. When I had to give a 'Fasting blood test' recently, I did without breakfast (of course) before the blood test, and didn't eat on my return home. I then ate my normal lunch at 1.00 without feeling hungry in the meantime. (Then I realised that lots of people miss breakfast every day without any ill effects! :) )
Having lost 3 pounds and not wishing to lose any more, I'm eating more snacks on my 'normal' days. I've not long discovered that plain hobnobs are vegan, but not the chocolate ones. So I melt vegan chocolate in the microwave, spread it on the hobnobs and leave them in the freezer for about 30 seconds. I can have 3 of these with my morning coffee.
I've also started having tinned fruit after dinner with some Swedish Glace ice cream.
My intention is to gradually reduce my food intake on my reduced food days, until I'm fasting completely for 24 hours. But I shall make sure I eat very well on the other days. BTW, it doesn't have to be all in one day. Today, for instance, I ate a normal breakfast and lunch, then started my 24 hour semi-fast after an afternoon snack. I'll eat normally again tomorrow evening. So no day need to be without food, even when fasting completely.
As I said earlier in this thread, for anyone who has reached a plateau in their weight loss, cutting out 50% of your food twice a week (or even once) might be the impetus you need to get going again.

 Monday 19th March 2012
Lunch (well, half of it!) is at 1.00pm. Must admit I am looking at the clock! :)
It's no big deal to miss breakfast - but it's the first time I can remember doing so. And I'm very surprised at how easy it was. 
The rest of the day went well, eating 50% of what I normally eat.

Sunday 18th March 2012
Odd day today - in that we had a Mother's Day dinner in the early afternoon. I've just had my evening meal and I feel I've over-eaten today. Never mind - tomorrow will make up for it!
Tomorrow is going to be a reduced food day. Since I have to be at the surgery by 8.30, I shall skip breakfast - and see what happens.

Wednesday 14th March 2012
This morning, mid-morning I felt a little hungry, but it didn't last.

Monday 12tMarch 2012
However, my eating habits have changed - for the better (with one or two lapses). I take longer over a meal - whether I'm on cut-down, or not. I tend to savour every mouthful and probably take just as long to eat a 50% meal as I did to eat a plateful before. Perversely, this means I'm enjoying my food more!
I only feel hungry occasionally - and last night was the first time I went to bed hungry. Previously I've snacked on several apricots if I've felt hungry at bed time. I'm pleasantly surprised to be able to report that by the time I'd cleaned my teeth the hunger pangs had disappeared - and never re-appeared despite the fact that I didn't breakfast until 10.20 this morning. So that was about 15 hours since dinner the previous night - although I had two small pieces of mango around 10.00 with a little soya cream.

This regime has enabled me to be far stricter about snacking. It's somehow much easier to resist the temptation - when I have a cup of coffee, for instance.
I've been reading up on different approaches to CR - and one of them is to spread the fast over two days by eating normally up to, say, 6pm, then not eating for 24 hours until dinner the next day. So you never go a full day without food. Some people, who are not interested in losing weight, then eat more to compensate. Others just eat their normal 2500 calories or so, and for them weight does seem to come off. I've lost a couple of pounds over the last fortnight, so I'm pretty much where I want to be.
With this in mind, yesterday I had a normal bowl of porridge for breakfast (I just forgot it was one of my '50% days) - and then began my cut-down. So I've had a small breakfast, and then a normal lunch.
I shall keep on this '50% fast twice a week' regime for another two weeks, and then I may reduce my intake on my reduced food days. But I shall watch my weight and if I'm losing too much, I'll just eat more.  
I've run all this past my GP, and he's fine with all this.
Here's an interesting blog, which, among other things, states that vitamin B12 increases naturally in the body of fasting subjects. 
About breakfast and my lunchtime rolls - I've decided to go to 90% of the amount I used to have. 
Later: I had bubble and squeak, a stuffed mushroom and a serving spoon and a half of chilli for dinner - probably just a little less on the plate than I used to have. I then had a couple of pieces of mango and 40g of Swedish Glace ice cream. I was absolutely stuffed! Is my stomach shrinking? I doubt I'll go hungry tonight!

12th March 2012 Just beginning the third week - today I probably ate about three quarters of the amount I usually eat - and I'm happy to report I'm feeling fine.

I'm now weighing off my bread rolls to finish off at 75g instead of 100g as I used to do.

I am encouraged to eat less - this morning I had the other half of the piece of naan bread with a quarter of a banana. Yesterday I felt no hunger after eating this - and, besides, I'll be eating pancakes later on at my coffee morning!

First day - 27th February 2012

It’s becoming generally recognised that reduced food intake by mammals extends normal lifespan. 

Here’s a Time magazine article on the subject: 

And another one, from the Independent: 

I also read recently (can’t find the article, sorry) that giving up food for a couple of days a week and eating what you liked for the rest of the week was good for your longevity. 

It made the point that homo sapiens had developed as hunter/gatherers, and were used to both feast and famine.

I’ve been thinking about trying this myself – but being rather unsure of how I would react I thought I’d dip my toe in the waters first.

So I’ve decided to cut my food intake down by half for 2 days a week (and eating normally on the other 5 days), starting today.

So, this morning I began with: 

50g of spicy fruit naan + ¼ of a banana – for breakfast.

Only half of the leftover veg (as bubble and squeak) and stuffed field mushroom from yesterday’s roast dinner, along with half a wholemeal roll – for lunch.

One and a half serving spoons of chilli non carne plus 40g of white rice, cooked – dinner.

During the day 

I’ve had several black coffees (no sugar) and two mugs of hot water plus half a pint of homemade stout before dinner and a small glass of homemade red with it.

For supper this evening I’ll have a mug of cocoa and half an Alpro soya dessert, with a quarter of a banana, sliced. 

So far I haven’t felt hungry, although I felt like a snack mid-afternoon. 

TBH, the amount of food I’ve eaten today has made me realise just how much food I do consume in an average day. I know it’s early days, but ATM I feel that whether I continue with this experiment or not, I can easily cut down on my intake.

I can see a couple of side effects I hadn’t considered: Firstly I’ll lose the couple of pounds I’ve put on since Christmas fairly easily; and, secondly, this is going to save me money!  


  1. Worth it if you have trouble losing weight even if your active and eat healthily because of hormone troubles.

  2. Weight loss is a very welcome side effect of this WOL.

    Thanks for stopping by, Thomas!

    Cheers, Paul

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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