Eat, Fast, Live Longer


Tuesday I finished watching PBSEat, 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.

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then he learned about intermittent fasting. The idea is that you eat regularly for a few days and fast, with just one 500 (women) or 600 (calorie) meal on the fast day.

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.


6 thoughts on “Eat, Fast, Live Longer

  1. My husband saw this program and told me about it. We have tried it on a limited basis – not sure we only had that 500 calorie meal but it does feel good sometimes to let your digestive tract a rest. I firmly believe that diet can affect our health. We eat very little meat and then only chicken or fish and try to eat more fruits and vegetables and avoid processed food. I like sweets but try to avoid having them in the house most of the time. Good luck on your fasting.


    • I think you’re right. This is doable and it’s a matter of will. After seeing the program, with the science clearly explained, I’m convinced we don’t have to end up with a slew of heart and cancer problems.


  2. Pingback: Change the world by changing yourself? Eating less, anti-aging! | Friend Nature

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