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The fast diet for fitness [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Apr 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM



The fast diet for fitness

The fast diet for fitness


This article looks at the science around intermittent fasting. I will also provide the results my wife and me had while being on a diet combining fasting and keto. By the end of the article, you will have some reference points to check for yourself. You will also have learned about actionable items to start fasting right away. Some of the tips in this article are based on the book "The fast diet" written by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. Always consult a doctor before making considerable changes to your diet.

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People die because of bad habits. Avoid being one of them.


Every seven seconds someone dies from diabetes. In 2014 4.9 Million people succumbed to the disease. One in every 12 people in the US struggles with asthma. That is a total of 25 million Americans. Cancer and Alzheimers are on the rise.


The age of individuals being affected is dropping. More and more people have cancer and diabetes when they are middle-aged. What are you doing to prevent this from happening? How aware are you? If you want to make some simple changes to your life which can help with these symptoms, fasting might be for you.


What happens when you fast?


My wife and I have been intermittent fasting on and off since 2016. Whenever we stuck to it we got good results for weight loss and well being. We got the best results in preparation for our wedding in 2017. My wife lost 10kg and I lost 15kg in 6 months. We Combined fasting with controlling your calories with an app like myfitnesspal. Of course, there are also events in your life which rattle the routine. We moved from Dublin to Berlin end of 2017 and in the process, we regained the weight we lost.


When I bring up fasting with coworkers and friends the first reaction is:


"Oh, my god how can you possibly go without food for 16 hours? Is that even healthy?"


My wife and I did not die yet and also did not have a nervous breakdown. In fact, I have never performed better in the gym since I started intermittent fasting.


When you do the math it is not as bad as it sounds. If you sleep eight hours that is half of the fast already done. If you do not eat for two hours before you go to bed you already fasted for 10 hours when you get up.


The remaining six hours are bridged by skipping breakfast. The time until lunch is filled with a bulletproof coffee and water. Suddenly 16 hours of not eating do not sound as bad.


Fasting is also not new to the human body. In fact, from an evolutionary perspective, having three rich meals a day is the freak event.


Through their evolution, humans had to constantly adapt to the weather and seasons. This had a direct impact on how much food was available. Often we had to go without food for days. This is why you can go for three weeks without food, but only one without water.


Insulin, IGF-1 and their effects on longevity


The way your body responds to insulin growth factor 1 can have an impact on your likelihood to get cancer and Alzheimers. Dr. Valter Longo from the University of Southern Carolina Longevity Institute conducted studies on mice and humans. These suggest that lowering the level of IGF-1 and Insulin makes you live longer.


He genetically engineered mice without IGF-1. The finding was that they lived almost twice as long as their peer group with IGF-1. They also did not develop cancer or diabetes.


Based on these results Longo expanded his studies to Ecuadorians with Laron Syndrome. This is a mutation that results in very low IGF-1 levels in the body. The Ecuadorians with the mutation did not develop diabetes or cancer. Other villagers did. As all the environmental influences were the same the results are promising.


Eating less often leads to lower insulin levels in your body. Thus creating the effect that the Ecuadorians in the study have by default. A study on humans in Prague, Czech Republic, underpins this further.


The study was divided into two groups. Both were allowed to consume 1700 calories a day. One group distributed the allowance between six meals. The other had the 1700 calories in two sittings. The two-meal-a-day group lost an average three pounds and about 1.5 inches more. This happened in the same amount of time.


High insulin and cortisol can be connected to cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes. If there is a way to regulate these down by fasting, you should. Avoid reacting negatively because it does not fit into your behavior patterns.


How to start fasting


Starting with fasting is easy if you want to. The first step is to skip breakfast. More often than not breakfast is not your core social meal of the day. You get up before or a lot later than your spouse and children, everyone is in a rush and cranky. Skipping breakfast is the smallest sacrifice for calories and quality time.


Skipping lunch does not work as well. You will be awake for most of the fasting window when you have lunch while fasting. Fasting while you are sleeping is the easiest way of doing it. This is why dinner and breakfast are the better candidates to be left out.


Dinner is usually the time when the family comes together. Everybody talks about their day and plans are made. Giving up this crucial piece of the daily routine would be a big sacrifice for families. So I always opted for breakfast to make my 16 hours fasting window.


If you are single or a shift worker talk to other people with a similar rhythm who implemented fasting. y do not have experience fasting when being single or as a night worker.


You might want to invest in a coffee machine for the mornings. My wife got me a machine for Christmas 2017. It really helps as bulletproof coffee is the only thing with substance I have until lunch. If you want to take it a step further you start following the ketogenic diet.




Trends come and go in fitness and nutrition. The current one is fasting and keto. It used to be Atkins. 30 years fat was the demon and now it is carbohydrates. Maybe another 30 years from now the trend will be reversed. Same is true on studies which claim that certain things cause cancer and others don't. This keeps changing all the time.


Fasting is not a great idea when you want to put on some muscle or grow. The mentioned Laron Syndrome leaves people with that mutation with stunted growth. So there is a price to pay for living longer and not having the same IGF-1 levels as nature intended.


Fasting is about portion control, discipline and reducing intake. These methods have always worked for weight loss. Training these will help you for diets specifically and for your life generally. If you have not tried it, you are not entitled to an opinion. If you try it and the added bonus is that apart from losing weight you are less likely to die, that is a great result.

Further reading



Topics: Food & Diet, Fitness, Diet