I am not generally keen on diets; even the word implies ‘temporary’; embarked on with a fervour, weight loss accomplished, diet ended, weight on, plus sometimes even more on, and then yay new diet, hurrah! Usually favoured by celebs, who then pitch up in OK or Heat magazine six months later even vaster and madder than they were before. The celeb diets that I really hate are those post-pregnancy ones, where the ironing board stomachs are back within three weeks of giving birth and the rest of the post-natal population look on glumly, prepared to risk their health for seriously harming diets because they think the post-baby look is unattractive and even, abnormal.
Anyway, off the soapbox……
The new diet sensation is the 5:2 diet, an off-shoot of the ADF (Alternative Day Fasting) based on the idea that depriving the body of calories switches off cell activity and switches on DNA repair genes, while lowering dangerous fats and inflammatory mediators.
Moreover, it seems that plenty of food drives production of a hormone called IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), vital for when we are young and still growing but destructive if levels are high, when we are older.
But alternative days of fasting is not for everyone (and for me too seriously hard-core), and research is being carried out on whether calorie restriction for just 2 days a week will also have a positive effect, and so far it seems that it does. Restricting calories to <500/day for women and <600/day for men on two non-consecutive days a week, then eating normally the rest of the time appears to have a very positive effect on weight loss, particularly fat, plus lowering cholesterol and other inflammatory mediators.
I have never been a fan of just restricting calories though; if you are going to do it you may as well make it as healthy as possible so I have decided to try this myself, along with my husband (who is now coming up with various reasons why his social life may kibosh it!) and some of my clients. I have done the calorie count and my diet has come in at approximately 500 calories/day for women and 592 calories/day for men. Berries, seeds, nuts, green vegetable and olive oil make up three meals a day.
I would like to try this for my clients with immune issues and PCOS too but I need to see how I feel on it myself first!