The Fit Student—Fast and FuriousFast-Diet

What if the stars in Fast and Furious fasted and got gym fury?  No head on collisions.  Better brain health (for acing exams).  Better body builds too.

I once went from obese to frail by fasting.  I ate less than 600 calories daily for years.  My skin paled.  My eyes zombie-zoned.  But once I began chowing—and getting fit—my eyes sparkled.

Not only did I once look obese, so did a friend of mine.  I told her to eat from smaller plates and swim a hundred laps daily.  And then I watched her go from over 300 pounds to a slim, youthful figure.

Another friend wished to drop weight for her wedding.  So, I took her to Aquasize and told her to eat half her servings and drink diet cola.  (Bad advice.)  She lasted less than a month.  On her wedding day, she wore a plus-size gown.  But a decade later, she sent me a photo of her—fit, lean, and beautiful, sporting tiger-skin pants.  She said she had begun running miles while cutting out carbs.

Today I’d give my friends better weight-loss advice.  I’d say strength train, do high intensity interval training, and start Mosley’s two-day fasts.  Yes, two-day fasts.

If done right, fasting gets you leaner—and healthier.  Dr.  Michael Mosley invented a two-day fast: you fast two days a week on 500 to 600 calories.

I’d consider fasting a single day a week, which Mosley recommends for weight maintenance (not weight loss).  That is, if I hadn’t dropped so much weight.  Now a scrawny size 2, I’m trying to put on muscle.  So, I’m eating a hundred grams protein daily.  I’m also strength training and doing high intensity interval training.  Just not fasting.

But you might want to try Mosley’s two-day fast.  He’ll lean your waist, calm your mind, and boost your health.  Michael Mosley’s reveals the secrets to his two-day fast in his book (coauthored by Mimi Spencer) titled The Fast Diet: Lost Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secrets of Intermittent Fasting:

  • Mosley’s two-day fast is simple: “I decided to try eating 600 calories, two days a week … I split my food in two, a moderate breakfast, miss lunch, and a light supper. And I did it twice a week ….  I found the 5:2 approach to be the most effective and workable” (p.  53).
  • And you decide which two days of the week to fast: “Which days should I choose to fast? It really doesn’t matter.  It’s your life, and you’ll know which days suit you best” (p.  97).
  • On the two-day fast, you’ll drop weight at super-speed: “As a basic guide, you might anticipate a loss of around a pound with each fast day” (p. 83).
  • While fasting, eat superfoods like nuts, berries, fruits, and especially veggies: “Vegetables and legumes are … amazing, and you should rely on them on a fast day. Packed with nutrients, their bulk fills you up, they have relatively few calories, and they keep your blood sugar low” (p.  100).
  • You can exercise on fast days too: “Even a more extreme three-day total fast has no negative effect on the ability to perform short-term, high-intensity workouts or long-duration, moderate-intensity exercise” (p. 113).
  • So, what are the benefits of fasting? “One of the things that calorie restriction does, for example, is to switch on a process called autophagy. Autophagy, meaning ‘self-eat,’ is a process by which the body breaks down and recycles old and tired cells” (pp.  24-25).
  • Another benefit to fasting includes muscle retention: “One other significant benefit to intermittent fasting is that you don’t seem to lose muscle, which you would on a normal calorie-restricted regimen” (p. 32).
  • Plus, fasting makes you happy and keeps you smart: “Fasting can improve mood and protect the brain from dementia and cognitive decline” (p. 36).
  • Research mice display even more fasting benefits: “The mice that had been forced to fast for sixteen hours a day put on far less weight … and suffered much less liver damage, despite having eaten exactly the same amount and quality of food. They also had lower levels of chronic inflammation, which suggests they had reduced risk of … heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s” (p.  35).

My boyfriend fasts twice a week, 600 calories a day.  He looks healthier than the covers of Muscle Magazine.  So, do the Fast and Furious: barbells, bike sprints, and the two-day fast.

(Warning: Consult a doctor before starting any fast diet.  Children, pregnant women, and people on medicine should avoid fasts unless doctor approved.)

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