Intermittent fasting – The Fast Diet is a best-selling book that has recently been published in the U.S., promises that you can eat whatever you want, but still lose weight, and even live longer as long as you practice intermittent fasting”. It sounds too good to be true so is it just a scam to sell books or does it really work?
The book outlines a 5 and 2 approach. You can eat whatever you want for 5 days of the week and then you fast on two non-consecutive days – you can only eat 500 calories a day for women and 600 calories a day for men.
This is not the only way to lose weight with intermittent fasting. You can also do a daily intermittent fast where you eat for a certain amount of time per day and then let your body rest and digest for the remaining hours. This is an easier weight to get all of the benefits of intermittent fasting while you are still eating food every day. I will discuss this method a bit later.
Sara Richter, B.Sc., Gillean Osterday, M.Sc., RD and Katie Coles, M.Sc, RD have reviewed this book and this is what they have to say.
In their book, Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer do a fine job building a case for intermittent fasting as a method for better weight-control, improved health, and even longer life. For example, they review the research produced by nutritionist Krista Varady, Ph.D., of University
of Illinois at Chicago, who was the principal investigator for UIC’s study evaluating Isagenix products. They also discuss the findings of Valter Longo, Ph.D., and Mark Mattson, Ph.D., that show calorie restriction and
intermittent fasting in rodents can potentially protect the brain and increase lifespan.
However, the weight loss plan has many critics and I will tell you why.
Eating whatever you want (and as much as you want) has its consequences. One of the biggest negatives is the endorsement to eat without restraint for five days of the week. The book does propose some healthy eating guidelines, but with the main attraction being “Eat anything you want!”, there’s likelihood that many people will live by those words. That kind of promotion is bound to be harmful as people are given permission to grossly overeat and to eat the wrong types of foods as often as possible — think greasy hamburgers, French fries, and sugary sodas. Even two days of intermittent fasting can’t undo a lifetime of making unhealthy choices like these.
Another problem is potential muscle loss. When the body is taking in fewer calories, it goes into what’s called a catabolic state (meaning “breakdown”; the opposite is anabolic, which means “build-up”). Catabolism is fine for the breakdown of fat, but if calorie-deficient bouts are not followed up with the right type of muscle-building protein in the right amount, the result can be breakdown of muscle. Studies have found that during weight loss, a diet higher in quality protein preserves muscle mass more than a diet higher in carbohydrate (2). Research has also found that protein from dairy, such as whey, may be the superior protein for increased fat loss and muscle retention during weight loss (3).
Then, there’s the problem of getting proper complete nutrition. Most people already eat too much, yet they do not receive adequate amounts of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from the foods that they eat for optimal health. Mainly, this is because too many people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables or may not know how to properly choose foods for adequate amounts of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals, etc…).
Even those who think they know what foods to eat in combination for better health haven’t fared well in achieving weight loss and improved health. One study compared weight loss groups consuming either fresh, healthy foods for the majority of their diet or nutrient-rich meal replacement shakes and found that meal replacement shakes resulted in more weight loss, better improvement to health biomarkers, and better adherence based on the convenience of the shakes (4).
How can you take advantage of the benefits of intermittent fasting without the drawbacks of the 5 and 2 diet approach that include eating too much, losing muscle, and not getting enough vitamins and minerals? We have the perfect program that takes the guesswork out of intermittent fasting and how to do it right.
We have two types of programs.
Our first intermittent fasting program allows you to eat food every day of the week.
The second programs gives you 2 days of decreased calories.
What you get with our program is intermittent fasting combined with additional nutritional, antioxidant, and detoxification support in Cleanse Days, which are part of a fully guided system that won’t leave you eating everything in sight one day followed by wanting to eat your arm off the next. Our system means moderate calorie control on Shake Days and appropriate fasting with nutritional support on Cleanse Days.
Our system, unlike theFast Diet, is also backed by clinical data showing that it leads to healthy weight loss, fat loss (without the muscle loss, especially if exercise is included), and better cardiovascular health. The end result is curbed food cravings, successful weight loss and maintenance, preservation of muscle mass, and finally, a long-term
lifestyle that will keep you healthier than ever before.
This all being said, unless you have some serious health issues the majority of our clients lose a tremendous amount of weight just following our Nutritional plan. Just for convenience people use our meal replacement shakes. They also make a great snack.
For more information call us at 215-821-7336.
1. Mosely M, Spencer M. The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting – Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer. Short Books,
2. Wycherley TP, Brinkworth GD, Clifton PM, Noakes M. Comparison of the effects of 52 weeks weight loss with either a high protein or high-carbohydrate diet on body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese males. Nutr
3. Josse AR, Atkinson SA, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein during Diet- and
Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women. J
4. Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Bhutani S, Trepanowski JF, Varady KA. Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is
effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. Nutr J 2012;11:98.
Sara Richter, B.Sc., Gillean Osterday, M.Sc., RD and Katie Coles, M.Sc, RD, UK’s “Fast Diet”? Not So Fast