I have been thinking about this topic for weeks, I have read the positive and the negative scientific reviews (which correspond to my own view) but in the interest of a one woman science experiment. I am going to try it. Only because I said at the beginning of the year that my New Year’s resolution was to follow my own advice and try all the facts. Up until now, that has been pretty easy since they are pretty close to how I live but fasting? Well here goes nothing. Really.
For the record I love food. I actually like grocery shopping (if it doesn’t involve a major grocery store) I like the specialty stores and farmers markets that are full of amazing things and real food. I love cooking and I LOVE eating. A lot. And now this.
The five-day ‘fasting’ diet suggests that you can get the same benefits from a semi-restricted diet that you could get on a much more restrictive fast. The 5-day fasting study was small, only 71 adults, between the ages of 20-70 that followed a five-day fast once per week for 3 months. For the record, I am doing this once, not three times. They also were placed on a nutritional company’s food supplements, which seems like product placement to me. The fasting diet was designed to try to copy the results of water-only fasting. Participants consumed between 750 and 1,100 calories per day with specific fat, protein, carbohydrate ratios, 10% protein, 50% carbohydrates, 40% fat. The results? They lost approximately 6 pounds, 1-2 inches from their waist, reduced their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
That all sounds great except is this really just another “quick fix”? Most likely, yes. A study of 70 people is fairly meaningless on its own. It has a certain appeal, but is it better than changing your lifestyle? Probably not. Fasting isn’t “new”, but it could be the “latest” meaningless diet in a long list of failed diet plans.
You could get better results from following a plant-based diet, and these benefits are based on studies of over 450,000 adults.
The key to successful weight loss and health are lifestyle changes that you can live with longterm. Could you live with fasting for the rest of your life? It is possible, unlikely but possible.
Dieting seems to be losing its appeal. With more overweight people than ever before and fewer people trying to lose weight maybe our appetite for the quick fix is diminishing? Or are more people simply giving up? That remains to be seen but with the diet industry worth $60 billion USD a year in the US alone diets aren’t going away. If that seems like a lot of money, it is not compared to the fast food industry. Fast food is worth $300 billion a year and the junk food industry? $100 billion a year. You can see where the problem is, you can’t lose weight and have your fast food too. Which makes fasting seem appealing for the other three weeks a month you don’t have to change your diet which makes no sense what so ever. If you really wanted to improve your health you would not be filling yourself with garbage for three weeks and then going on what amounts to a cleanse for five days.
Regardless I am committed to five days of fasting. I will keep you posted, it isn’t going to be an active week. Another drawback of eating less means exercising less. I have my meals planned, I don’t expect to see any changes in a week, except that I will be looking forward to Saturday with a new appreciation of food.
Change your mind, change your health,
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