Fasting and 5:2 Diet

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So, yesterday, on my Look Great Feel Great Page  I asked you about Fasting, and 5:2 diet etc. Here’s my views on it

fast
So fasting seems to be the new diet option after high protein low/no carb.
But should you do it?
Is it worth it?
Does it work?
Is it healthy?

Most people don’t even look into or worry about the above.
They buy a book on it, read it as gospel and off they go.

The problem is, they will only tell you what they need to tell you, they won’t go deeper into the hormonal aspects of these diets, or long term issues.
Some of the things below might seem “heavy” but it’s important to understand what happens when we digest foods, and how it’s not about “just eating something” and that “a calorie is not just a calorie!”

The reasons/benefits around fasting are;

– Balancing blood sugar levels. This is KEY to fat loss and regular energy levels, and should be the aim of daily eating – not just via fasting. Carbohydrates in any form (vegetables, fruit, biscuits, chocolate, cakes, bread, pasta, cereals etc) are all broken down into sugars and transported in the blood stream. Some, also known as high GI, are broken down quicker (think sugary products) and therefore release a surge into the blood stream – resulting in that energy high. You then have a hormone called insulin which goes out, and “pulls” these sugars into storage for energy. If you’re not expending much energy, or consume a high number of carbohydrates, more will be stored as fat.

Too much sugar in the system is damaging to cells, human tissues, and can result in diabetes etc through excessive insulin action – our bodies can get worn out like car tyres!

Many religions fast on a regular basis, but they tend to have a “regular” diet either side of the fasting and so blood sugar levels aren’t all over the place, but equally they do it on a “set basis” so the body becomes used to it.
My worry is that many people will or do use it as a quick fix – “Oh crap, I’ve binged too much last night – I’ll “fast” today” – this could be more damaging than good to the body, after a massive sugar high to a huge sugar low, putting the body into shock.

Letting the liver and digestive system rest – Eating and digestion is quite an effort for the body – it’s takes a lot of blood, and energy/focus from the body. Equally after it leaves the digestive system, foods move to the liver which almost “converts” what’s been eating into a format it can use. If you’re picking all the time, eating every few hours, and especially the wrong sorts of foods, you’re placing a lot of effort on the liver which actually has around 500 jobs in the body as it is!! When you constantly eat, you suppress a hormone called glucagon which is a fat burning hormone.

Showing yourself that just because you are “feeling peckish”, you don’t HAVE to eat. We are surrounded by food all the time, and anytime we fancy something, many people will eat. They could actually be bored, dehydrated or just falling into habit, rather than needing something.
Did you know a meal with protein, carbs and fats, can take 4-6 hours to be fully digested?! Therefore there is NO physical way you are actually hungry a few hours after a meal – if you are, either the contents of the meal weren’t great, you have mineral/vitamin deficiency, or you’re falling to habit!

So, there’s some of the “benefits” around fasting – would I use it?!

Well, I have personally, and with my online plan over the last 2 years, 19DayBody, which gave awesome results. HOWEVER – this was in a closed group, where they were following a set plan, the meals WERE balanced either side of the fast, there was no sugar, alcohol etc that most people are taking on board daily! So fasting can work, but when used in a balanced manner with a good diet.
If you’re fasting whilst still eating a lot of processed foods, sugar, alcohol, wheat etc, chances are you could feel worse and could damage your body further.

I see the 5:2 Diet let’s you eat something like 500 calories on 2 days?! This is WRONG! Our organs, including the brain need around 700kcals a day to function. THIS IS STARVATION ……there are some crap diets around that have caused many health issues due to low calorie intake, such as lighterlife and they consume around the same number of calories on a day. I WOULD NEVER ADVISE GOING BELOW 1200KCALS A DAY FOR WOMEN.

My plan was also 17hour fast (this includes your sleeptime, so not that bad!) and then you eat balanced meals after.

My current 21 day plan, uses SIMPLE, everyday options for eating. People lose fat, have more energy and better bodies – JOB DONE?!

There will ALWAYS be quick fix diets around, but many are interested in just a quick sale, rather than informing you of potential health risks.

My Advice?

Is fasting needed? NO. Most people looking to lose weight, need to address their diet on a daily basis first. Fasting on a bad diet is like trying to pull out the middle layers, and insert something new.

If your diet is already good Try fasting for 17-19hours from your last evening meal, when you aren’t relying on coffee, sugar, wheat products on a daily basis if you wish, once a week, or in a “controlled environment” like my Look Great Feel Great in 21days plan, and see how you feel with it.
It’s DEFINITELY not something I’d recommend for everyone to do, and DEFINITELY not from just reading a book and integrating it into you life, and CERTAINLY not with just 500kcals a day……….. if you do follow this route for a longer period, expect to have thyroid, insulin and health issues further down the road.

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