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Fasting may be good for your health and your brain? Curiousity piqued by the BBC Horizon program

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

There was an interesting TV programme by the BBC on whether fasting may be a good at delaying certain illnesses, managing weight and helping you retain cognitive function as you get older. I thought originally that there was no way I would ever consider fasting a good option (don't like deprivation and been known to faint if I go too long without food) but have to admit that towards the end, it did partly persuade me! I could never do a proper long fast but maybe intermittent eating pattern, like calorie cycling, has some benefits. See what you think - this is the link

You can watch it on iPlayer (the BBC online programme watcher) but it's only available for the next 5 days or so since they only keep things online for 1 week after the programme airs on TV. It's 58 minutes.

I'm not sure if I could try fasting, especially while trying to get fit by weight training and working out as much as I can, but who knows? Maybe one fasting day a week may be worth it? This programme is aimed more for those approaching middle age and worried about the onset of certain diseases but it's useful to watch I think and consider.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm doing the Accu weight loss. I'm using it as a detox and it seems more in line with the five weeks outlined in the program above. I think getting rid of the toxins that build up in our bodies is healthy. Fasting has a long and spiritual tradition. I'll keep my progress posted on my blog.
    2201 days ago
    The results seem impressive so far but more evidence required. 2 days fasting (600 cals per day when fasting) per week for 5 weeks gave the BBC correspondent lower bad cholesterol, moderate weight loss, improved sugar balance, decreased body fat and a 50% reduction in a chemical called IGF-1 that at high levels seems to be related in premature ageing, heart disease and cancer. It also seems to have been shown that 24 hour fasting generates new brain cells in mice (being tested in humans now). Worth considering occasional fasting as part of a healthy diet and exercise regime. I will wait until more evidence available.
    2419 days ago
    I used to fast one day a week and it seemed helpful. Worth looking into. Wish I could see the program! Here are some alternate sites about it:



    Thx for the head's up!

    2419 days ago
    can't watch it like she said if you are in UK then you can watch it but now where else.
    2419 days ago
    I'll check it out!
    2420 days ago
    i'm not a fan of fasting beyond the 8 hours I sleep and maybe two before then and one after for a total of 11 hours I don't eat during. More than that I doubt my body would put up with.
    2420 days ago
  • ROCKMAN6797
    I wonder why such a drastic measure is necessary in order to obtain a result that can be had by just eating healthy? Quite honestly this type of behavior appears to be an excuse to gorge on unhealthy foods. Can you tell, I am not much a fan of fasting. Your body requires energy in order to function properly. Energy can only be obtained through food. Why would you deprive your body of what it needs?

    Just my two cents....
    2420 days ago
    Can't watch the BBC link if you're in the USA like me - won't let me in! :(
    2420 days ago

    East Stop Eat is a blog on Intermittent fasting. ANd it works.I know of some one who does it all out and lost 70 lbs... Me? I just fast from 7 PM to 7 am and I lost 26 lbs maing a very simple change..that does count at least to Eat Stop Eat as Fasting. Due to my physcially demaning job I can't see pushing a fast beyond what I am all ready doing.
    2420 days ago
  • no profile photo GIANT-STEPS
    There are certain conditions that respond to fasting. My most successful fast was Master Cleanser. I don't believe any of the theory behind the fast but for some reason it seems easier and better than other fasts I've tried. The special lemonade looks like rusty fetid water. It actually tastes pretty good with the cyan pepper giving it a very pleasant edge. I've never made it the prescribed 10 days; the closest I ever came was 7. I went to a birthday party and there was home made Indian food that I just couldn't say no to ;)
    2420 days ago
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