Monday, 17 September 2012

Restrict those calories

No spanking in this post so head for the exit if you're looking for one, but it's not very long and it might be interesting so by all means have a read.

Its about living longer and healthier and escaping some of those nasty diseases like cancer which, statistically, many of us are likely to encounter at some stage in our lives. We watched a documentary on BBC about a very different kind of dieting, it involves depriving your body of significant amounts of calories - there are various ways of doing it, spread over 7 days regularly, or concentrated brutally into 3 days every couple of months, or 2 days each week of moderately fierce deprivation but eat normally the other 5 days. The latter was the method the documentary presenter chose and its also the one I'm using, its The 5-2 Regime.

On the documentary the presenter travelled to the US where lots of research is being done into this way of eating and, although work is ongoing, there is already considerable evidence that it produces measurable results and quite quickly. The presenter was measured before and after a several week trial and was amazed to find his body mass, cardio vascular function, blood pressure and cholesterol level were all much better. He also looked and felt better and his concentration improved.

My simple understanding of how it works is that the body feels threatened by the deprivation and releases chemicals which under normal conditions are not present. These chemicals repair cell deficiencies, including brain cells, and help prevent natural deterioration.

I've been doing it for four weeks now and there are effects - 1) I have lost weight which was NOT the primary objective, 2) the weight is fat which I can afford to lose, not muscle, 3) I feel healthier, 4) it keeps me off alcohol for at least 2 days:), 5) I think my thinking is clearer those days and possibly generally, 6) amazingly I am not pigging out the other five days in fact I think I'm eating a bit less but my taste buds are sharper. It's too early to say about cholesterol, blood pressure etc although I do intend to check after about six weeks.

Its not as hard as normal dieting in my opinion, in fact its almost fun living on 600 calories a day for two days (lies), the worst part is about two thirds through the second day when I'm so hungry I'm tempted to cheat but I haven't so far. There is one more little detail I'll mention, it might just sway you into giving it a go; my sexual appetite increase during and after the fast. I didn't hear that mentioned in the documentary so perhaps I'll write to the BBC and let them know, maybe they'll do a follow-up.

Have a good week.



Michael M said...

Hi thanks for the tip. Will give it a go - everything helps. Probably involves not drinking wine as well so that's a bit of a downer.

Dee said...

It keeps you off alcohol for 2 days??? :)
Seriously, this is really interesting actually. I might give it a try. I have a relative who works in the BBC, should I let them know?? :)

Dee x

PK said...

I want more details. What do you eat those 2 days? I rarely drink alcohol, I waste my calories on soft drinks. Email me please, it sounds interesting.


Hermione said...

It sounds a bit difficult, going without much to eat for two days. I would probably get very cranky if I had to starve for even one day.


Anonymous said...


Some years ago, LD and I lost a lot of weight and increased our exercise program. We found that we were more energetic and that our sexual appetite increased as well.

Great post.


Ana said...

600 calories? That is like eating 2 small cheeseburgers for the entire day.

I know there has been a lot of attention to the up-down diets (another is that you alternate every other day, so one day you take in very little and the next you eat enough to be satisfied), do please be careful. I am glad it is working out for you...let us know how it goes, ok?

Hugs and good luck.

SNP said...

Very interesting Ronnie. Thanks for sharing. Even if losing weight was not your objective then usually that is a good thing and if you feel healier then good for you. I am sure P is happy about the sexual part, too:)

Minelle Labraun said...

I remember reading about something similar, only it was close to a constant state of under eating. Where can we get information on this? I am very interested.

abby said...

Very interesting....I also would like to know more. Is 600 calories your limit or the suggested one?
hugs abby

sunnygirl said...

Thanks for the reminder. I used to do this years ago and it worked. I had forgotten about it along with many other things that I am sure would be very useful.

Glad it's working for you.

ronnie said...

Michael - No alcohol. Men's intake is highter than a womens so I think 600 wouldn't be correct for a man. Thanks Michael.

Dee - LOL. I'd be tempted. Thanks Dee.

PK - Will do later or tomorrow as P's using my laptop. Just borrowed it so I can reply to comments.

Hermione - I wondered if I would get cranky but no, not a problem. Thanks Hermione.

Joey - I'll try anything that gives me more energy and wards off diseases. Thanks Joey.

Ana - I'll be doing it for a few more weeks and see how I'm going but so far so good. I've read about the alternate menthod but this seems to suit me. In my opinion not to be undertaken if anyone is on medication. Thanks Ana.

SNP - It eats the body fat and I can adford to loose that:) Thanks SNP.

Minelle - There is a lot more research needed on this and I would definitelly advise people to speak with their doctor before starting it.
A list of benefits fasting or calorie restrictions can acieve (according to the documentary)
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)
Thanks Minelle.

Abby - I can't find the link now. 600 is what I decided. They didn't suggest anything 600 is what I decided on. An average daily intake for a women (depending on age and fitness) is around 1940ish. I was going to half that on the two days but decided to go lower. Thanks Abbey.

SG - You've done it before, interesting and it worked. That's good to hear I'll definitely keep it up. Thanks SG.


Poppy said...

I would love to try that- but how do you do the hunger? I think I would go bonkers.
How do you do it?

Manny Trego said...


I have been struggling with this my self, who hasn't, and lowering caloric intake does work. There is always something of course, I am currently taking steroids, raises appetite something fierce but so far so good. No alcohol huh? Maybe I can get a green card, no calories in weed.



Ana said...

Sorry to post here but I don't have your email. Your name-a-character suggestion has finally taken root! Vanessa the nice college classmate makes a cameo appearance in the latest Kat story.

ronnie said...

Poppy - The second day seems the worse that's when I really feel the hunger but it passes. You just get on with it. Thanks Poppy.

Emanuele - Hello. Steroids can play havoc with your appetite. Maybe I should try some weed:) Thanks Emanuele.

Ana - Lovely. I'll pop over when I have time to read. Thank you Ana.


Anonymous said...

I like the sound of this because it is no frills.I exercise a similar regime because on the days I work (3/5)I only eat fruit for lunch.It is so hectic there's no time for anything else anyway.Sarah,LD,UK

Turiya said...

I've heard some about this... it stemmed from how many cultures and religions have fasting as part of their traditions and rituals. Fasting is actually very healthy for you if it's done right. Did they happen to mention the affects it would have on people with hypoglycemia and other medical problems where keeping insulin levels balanced was really important? I used to fast regularly, but I can't anymore because of being hypoglycemic. It actually makes me sick. I'd be interested in learning more, though. Is there a website or something?

Thanks for sharing *hugs*


ronnie said...

Sara - I do the only fruit for lunch as well but this takes it a little further. No headaches or dizziness and energy more improved. Thanks Sara.

Turiya - I did have a link but for the life of me I can't find it again.
Didn't really go into much about how it would effect people on medication but I would think they would need to speak to a doctor before starting. The presenter's wife who is a doctor looked at his results and said if he kept up with the regime it could mean he may not need to take anything for blood pressure or colestrol. If I remember he was a border line case for getting diabetes. There is so much more research needed but personally I feel healthier, more energy and not eating anymore on the other days. Thanks Turiya.


Poppy said...

I have found this fascinating- thank you :)

ronnie said...

I'm trying to find out more info. Thanks Poppy.