50/2/50-Days 15 & 16: Faster Fasting

Posted on Posted in 50-2-50, FITNESS, FOOD, Vegtosterone Blog
Fasting reduced hypertension, calories, aging, heart disease and cancer risks.

As you may recall in my a post from a couple of days ago,  I was going in the wrong direction,  having gained 3 pounds.

On the plus side I have made progress in my career and my book, and I’m wondering if trying to do everything at once is beyond the scope of 50-ish human endeavor.

I hope not, so I press on with a renewed appreciation for the fact that while I’m trying to find the path of least resistance toward accomplishment, there is indeed resistance. Or as Will Ferrell as George Bush would say, “This is hard!”

Will Ferrell as George Bush.
Will Ferrell as George Bush.

You may also recall I was trying to moderate my caloric intake by conducting “mini-fasts” throughout the day where I would go about 12 hours without a meal.

Apparently that doesn’t work, at least according to any of my bathroom  scales.


Well, your body will burn carbohydrates before it burns fat; and most Western diets are full of carbs (and fat); so until you burn through all the sucrose, glucose, fructose and all the other “coses” you simply are not going to lose more weight.

People who do not eat meat, like myself, may particularly have more carbs than fat in our diet. Not that we should if we are ONLY eating plants;  but lets face it, there are plenty o’ pudgy vegans out there, and it’s  because instead of eating mostly vegetables, they’ve figured out ways to enjoy mostly vegan baked goods! So, we need to push our bodies longer in order to burn the carbs and finally get to the fat. This is why all-protein (Atkins) diets work–not because of the protein but the lack of carbs. I know, I did this type of diet 20 years ago and lost well over 20 pounds.

As a converted Vegan, however, a similar approach is difficult today although, not impossible if you ate just tofu, legumes and vegetables.

But ironically, I think it’s more practical in everyday life to simply not eat, as opposed to the time and effort to clean, prep, chop, saute, eat and clean up a meal.

And the proof is in the (vegan) pudding.

When I started my “diet” two weeks ago, I weighed 223.  I initially dropped to 216, but have not progressed any further. In fact, after a weekend binge of wine, beer and chips, I went back up to 219.  My body type is somewhere in between mesomorph and endomorph,  so despite my very average height, my ideal “thin” weight in college was around 175.  That’s when I ran 10 miles every other day, played rugby, and well, had the body of a 21 year old to burn off the calories. I don’t expect to get back to that, but I do expect to get under the embarrassing 200 mark; but apparently that won’t happen just by being vegan. (At least not before my birthday.)

So, I decided to revisit the  now famous Horizon BBC documentary with Dr. Michael Mosley about fasting, Eat, Fast & Live Longer.  If you recall, Mosley discovered that fasting for 3 days and 4 nights significantly reduced a host of maladies, but the effects wear off in a couple of months, requiring a new fast.  He also found the fast itself extremely difficult and didn’t find implementation of a 3.5 day fast every two months as a practical way of life, at least for him.

Further research, however,  discovered that an alternate day fast of 1 day limiting calories to approx. 500 and the next day eating at will, would reduce weekly caloric intake by as much 40% a week. This is because if you limit your caloric intake to 25% of your daily allowance (2000 calories) on a fast day, you’re unlikely to make up the 75% the next day. So, over time, you reduce your overall caloric intake.

In fact, this method is so effective that still further research revealed that all one really needs is 2 non-consecutive days a week of fasting to lower cholesterol, hypertension, weight, heart disease, cancer risks and the levels of IGF-1 hormone (which is the primary contributor to aging and disease).

In the documentary, Mosley goes on the 5/2 diet for 5 weeks and among other benefits, reduced his IGF-1 levels by half and lost over a stone in weight. (That’s British for 14 pounds).

So, I’ve decided if I’m going to see some significant weight loss in a short amount of time, I’m simply going to need to fast…and fast!

So, starting tomorrow (Monday), I’m going to fast with the hope that I can adopt an alternate day fast routine at least until my birthday (approx 33 days from now).  I’d like to kick-start this with a three-day, four night fast; but not sure I’m committed to that. Rather, I’ll see how far I can go, and then we’ll ease into the alternate day fast.

We’ll see how it goes.




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