Tuesday I finished watching PBS‘ Eat, Fast and Live Longer with Michael Mosley. It’s a documentary that shows Mosley exploring how changes in diet can dramatically reduce our chances of heart troubles, cancer and dementia. Mosley’s engaging and informative, an Everyman searching for a workable diet.
He gets several medical tests that confirm that although he looks to be in what we consider good shape, he’s on the way to needing loads of pills a day to stave off heart disease, diabetes, cancer and/or dementia. Wanting none of that, he meets expert researchers who’re discovering that lower calorie intake can help one avoid these conditions. Two of the three approaches are quite tough, cutting calorie intake by about a third and fasting for four days at a stretch a few times a year. He tried the four day fast and it was really tough, as you’d expect.
Intermittent fasting sounded quite doable for me and I’ve embarked on it. Yesterday was my first fast day. No breakfast, a lunch of three cabbage baozi and a banana. Throughout the day I had as much tea as I wanted. I did feel quite hungry and my head felt weird as the day went on. It wasn’t a headache, per se, but a sensation. Like Mosley, I’m going to try to fast 2 times a week. It’s easier, I think, to get through a 36 hour stretch with little food, none of it loaded with protein or fat, than to swear off a food group or go for several days or a week without a substantial meal. I can choose to fast on a day when I don’t need to be particularly active.
I don’t need to lose a lot of weight, but I’m concerned about cancer and such. I do try to eat lots of vegetables and fruit, and scale down on dairy, processed foods, meat and poultry. Yet, swearing off cheese or chocolate, for example, just ain’t gonna work. I do see this method working with my social life. It’s easier to say no to the occasional invitation to eat out, then to impose my restrictions on a hostess or group. It’s also easier to manage temptation this way, I think.
We’ll see where this takes me.
- Forthcoming study explores use of intermittent fasting in diabetes as cardiovascular disease (eurekalert.org)
- Eat, Fast and Live Longer (guardian.uk)
- Fasting Helps Keep Diabetes, Heart Disease at Bay (medindia.net)
- Why Fasting Two Days A Week Makes You Healthier (businessinsider.com)
- Intermittent fasting can help keep diabetes and heart disease at bay (indiavision.com)
- Exploring use of intermittent fasting in diabetes as cardiovascular disease (examiner.com)