A short while ago, my dear OH watched an episode of ‘Horizon’. Nothing unusual in itself – he’s always doing it – but this time it proved to be
You see, it was the episode called ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’.Â If you’ve never heard of it (I dunno, maybe you’ve been hibernating or somehing), it’s the one where Michael Mosley decides he is very unhealthy and looks into doing something about it.Â Apparently, he’d had a check-up and was told that there were things going Very Wrong in his body, according to his bloodwork.
So he set about discovering how he can change his lifestyle to correct all the things that are going wrong, instead of going the orthodox route and taking drugs or sitting on his hands waiting for things to get worse.
If you plan to watch the video I linked to up there, do so now, or be prepared for spoilers!
The result of his investigations is this:Â In order to stay healthy and live longer, man needs to fast.Â Fasting can have a dramatic effect on our physiology and metabolism and do wonderful things like reduce our blood pressure and cholesterol and heart attack risk, etc etc.Â The list seems to go on and on, but weight loss is in there somewhere, too.
OH was very impressed.Â He was impressed by the research, and by the persuasive powers of Mr Mosley, and by the possibility that he could, at last, lose weight and keep it off.Â Weight is something he’s struggled with for as long as he can remember, and in fact, I’ve seen the childhood photos. There was one particular photo I remember well;Â a cute little six-year-old boy, all roly-poly with chubby cheeks and a sparkle in his eyes.Â When his mother showed it to me, I incautiously said ‘Gosh, so he’s always been overweight then’.Â She stiffened and glared at me.
‘It was winter!‘ she said frostily.Â ‘He was wearing a big cardigan’.
And that probably explains quite a lot.
Anyway.Â Various kinds of fasting or extremely-low-calorie-intake regimes were discussed on the programme.Â The first was not in the least attractive, involving as it did reducing your calorie intake to an absolute minimum every single day for the rest of your life.Â We watched as a lean and fit-looking man prepared breakfast; a huge bowl of fruit.Â This was off-putting for a start, because my gastric reflux would have me writhing on the floor after two mouthfuls of all that acidity on an empty stomach.
Michael Mosley and I both dismissed that one as unworkable.
Next he tried the ‘four-day fast, once a month’, and the ‘alternate day fast’.Â Neither fired either of us with enthusiasm.
However, for his next trick, he pulled something out of the hat which he, I, and OH all thought could work for us.Â He advocated fasting for two consecutive days each week, and eating what the hell you like for the other five.Â He said that the two day fast allowed our bodies to change gear from ‘full ahead’ to ‘slow down, switch off, and repair’ mode.Â He said that all the bad numbers would come down and weight would come off slowly (and paradoxically).Â And what was even better, he said that fasting wasn’t really the correct word, because we were allowed to eat a minimal amount of calories during the fast days; 500 for a woman, 600 for a man.Â I think that’s grossly unfair, myself, but that’s what we get for being women!
Anyway.Â Last week, we began to give it a go. We’ll see where we are after a month, during which time I am conveniently scheduled for a medical review with my doctor.Â It will be most interesting to see how my blood pressure fares!Â They may even do a thyroid test this time, too, since it’s ages since I had one.
The reason for the title of this post is that we’ve decided to fast on Mondays and Tuesdays.Â At the top, you will see a picture of today’s lunch: a bowl of lettuce, three carrots and a few sticks of celery (which OH and I believe contains negative calories, since it contains so few and it’s such hard work to eat it) and nothing else whatsoever.Â There is a mug of green tea next to it, which has the benefit of being best served without milk.Â Tonight, I shall eat a piece of chicken breast baked in foil with a few cooked green vegetables and save a mug of milk for later in the evening. And that, my friends, will be that … unless I am so ravenous that I succumb to an almond or two (7 calories each) or maybe push the boat out for a single Carr’s Table Water biscuit (14 calories).
I thought at first that I wouldn’t be able to do this, not because of a lack of will-power, but because I thought it would result in large amounts of pain from acid over-production.Â I thought my gastric reflux would hate it.Â Not so!Â So long as I make sure to eat something when my stomach complains too much, it seems to be no problem.Â And hopefully, if I can get rid of a little bit of the stomach fat I seem to have acquired in the last year or so, it will be positively helpful.
I’m fairly hopeful, but it would be asking too much for me to actually look forward to the fast days.Â I love food… sadly, a little too much.