Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Fasting

Six years of running around after kids, up & down stairs, to the hall, to the class, to the playground, to the computer room, up, down, up, down...  followed by a couple of months of sitting all day at a desk job... oy. It doesn't take long. I feel like the Michelin man.

So I was very inspired by this Horizon programme by Michael Mosley, who is a great presenter. He does science-y health programmes.  Some people do the CRON diet, which is meant to stop you getting ill as you get older. The doctor he spoke to said if he fasted 2 days a week, for a year, he'd cut his risk of getting cancer and heart disease down to virtually nothing.  They rather cruelly filmed him out at a Korean restaurant with the crew, where they were all eating meat roasted on barbecues at the table, while his only food of the day was a cup of miso soup.

The idea is the amount of  protein consumed in the Western diet is telling our bodies to 'go' all the time. If you restrict your intake the body goes into repair mode and it has health benefits.  (You might want to watch the programme for a better explanation. )   But fasting is pretty extreme.

A less harsh experiment was being undertaken at another American university, where they found the health benefits were just as good when people ate nothing but fruit and veg one day and just ate normally the next.

I can do that! I thought.  How hard could it be?

How long did I last? Probably four hours. I went to shop at the (pretty basic) local corner shop and suddenly all the food was shouting at me from the shelves.  Cheese. Crackers. Biscuits. Cereal. Cadburys. Sweet Thai Chili Crisps. FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES! Food of the gods.

I am weak.




4 comments:

  1. I've heard about this idea or something similar - it's all to do with reducing the number of free-radicals floating around the body causing cell damage.

    Same old story though - the way to live longer is to stop doing all the stuff that makes living worthwhile.

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  2. Yes, it's like that joke about not drinking, smoking etc... you don't live longer, it just feels like it.

    I think you'd like these programmes, they are pop science in a good way.

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  3. It isn't until you get heart problems or cancer that you wish you had taken notice of such diets. We DO eat far too many proteins, especially in the form of meat etc. As mammals, we were actually vegetarians in the beginning a la monkeys etc, and never ate meat products. It would do us all good if we looked at our western diet and had mostly fruit and veg. Its a true saying that 'you are what you eat' and now that I am battling with Cancer I wish I had eaten differently.

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  4. Aw, Technogran. Wishing you strength in your battle.

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