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Intermittent fasting (5/2 diet) and anti-inflammatory effects: likely benefits for ME?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I completely agree peggy-sue. In order to gain weight, particularly useful weight like muscle, a person needs protein, vitamins and minerals. I am not sure you find much of that in a Twinky. Dietarily useful fats might have benefit though, but these are found in nuts and seeds not Twinkys.
  2. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I saw a twinky once. :eek:
    It was a luminous-chip-fat-yellow, turd-shaped, spongy thing with an unnaturally-white, suspicious-looking something-gunky inside it.
    I did not try eating or even tasting it. I did not even smell it. It did not look like anything edible.:zippit:

    To build muscle, the trick is to exercise before eating a good load of protein. The problem with having muscle bulk is that it uses up loads of energy to keep going... being muscle-bound is naturally "weight-loosing", just living.

    Nuts are a great idea for putting a bit of healthy weight on.:thumbsup:
    I was once told by a gp that somebody who want to put weight on should add a slimming diet to their ordinary diet.
    However, I didn't really think this was feasible for somebody who struggles to eat enough in the first place.
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Update: Well, I tried a 500-calorie fast yesterday, with a one-egg omelette and a bowl of lentil dahl at 10 am and 10pm.

    I've never fasted before and was surprised that I didn't get hungry. Not a single tummy rumble. I kept drinking herbal tea all day - you're recommended to keep drinking to keep hydrated to replace the fluid that you would normally be taking in via food, and to keep your stomach feeling full, so maybe that helped.

    I felt a little nauseous for the last couple of hours (which could have been something else) and found it quite hard to get through the 10pm meal - I didn't feel hungry! Surprising.

    Unfortunately I came down with a massive sinus headache mid-morning (before the fasting period started) and spent most of the day pole-axed and bed-resting so I don't know how I'd have felt without that.

    This morning, I woke up not feeling ill (which could be more to do with waking at 7am - if I wake later I usually feel ill) and, amazingly, was able to wash my hair immediately on getting up. That's something I often have to wait days to be able to do. I couldn't do it all day yesterday even though I wanted to. Not sure if that's just me pushing it and kidding myself though.

    So, fasting wasn't difficult or unpleasant - actually a relief not to have to cook - and maybe I feel a little better for it today, though not sure.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  4. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    Lentils are a great thing to have chosen - and the egg. Lovely healthy protein, stuff that gets digested slowly - which will help you feel full too.:thumbsup:

    Yes, it can be very surprising how hungry you don't get!
    I'm glad to hear you haven't suffered for the fasty bit; not so pleased about the sinusy bit.

    It's often "the lack of will to cook" that inspires me to have a fast-y day.
    Last night I had one of my sort of "fast-y not much cooking" meals too.
    Red pepper soup, (with extra frozen peppers and peas and tabasco and paprika), and I poached an egg in it.
    Along with some warm wholemeal seedy brown bread, I felt stuffed!

    If I'd have been thinking, I'd have shoved some turmeric in it, not just for the flavour, but for the cholesterol-reducing and anti-inflammatory bits too.
    Sasha likes this.
  5. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    And that is for normal people (who do not have the GI problems of ME) - but well worth listening to.
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Well, I've read two books on this now and am reading another.

    There's no need really - the diet is straightforward, just eat 500 cals for a woman, 600 cals for a man, on two non-consecutive days a week and do yourself a favour by making them low-GI foods, and keep well hydrated.

    But, Michael Mosley's The Fast Diet was interesting and entertaining; The 5:2 Diet Book by Kate Harrison was just a non-science journalist repeating the science without adding anything to the Mosley book and recounting stories of weight loss rather than health, plus a few recipes for people who want to make their lives difficult.

    I'm currently reading The Alternate-Day Diet by James B. Johnson MD, which has more on the science than the Mosley book and more details on the health benefits in groups who've tried alternate day fasting, which is interesting. He recounts some very rapid results on asthmatics (within days) not only on their symptoms but on all sorts of inflammatory markers.

    I'm quite tempted to do another fast this w/e. :)
  7. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    You're right there - I was hugely surprised. I thought I would at least get hungry but that it would pass but I didn't even really get hungry. If I hadn't been fasting I would probably have thought I was hungry enough to eat but knowing that I wasn't eating made it easy to just ignore even those very mild feelings.
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Well, I seem to have had a bit more energy today and, weirdly, haven't been as hungry as I usually am between meals.

    I'm looking forward to having another day on 500 cals and seeing what happens. :)
  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Even for healthy people, getting as much rest and relaxation as possible is recommended for fast days.
  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I thought that, but according to Mosley's book, athletes go training on fast days and he says there's no reason not to be as active as normal. In evolutionary terms, it would have made sense for an animal to more actively seek food on days when it wasn't getting as many calories so being active would make sense.

    On the other hand, maybe when you're starting out you're better off relaxing... I dunno :)
  11. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    The fasts I was reading about were juice/broth fasts designed for cleansing and healing. That may be why they recommended rest - to allow the body to shift more energy to cleansing and healing.
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    The 500 cal fasts are apparently enough to start a process of cellular repair so even though the body is healing, people are are active as usual. If you're on fruit juices you'd maybe be getting energy spikes from the blood sugar and then crashes that might make you weak.

    Quite confusing, isn't it!
  13. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I'd avoid fruit juice completely!

    It's full of fructose and fructose is EVIL.
    Each molecule of fructose steals a precious molecule of ATP (energy) from our resources, which it uses to convert itself into the very worst kind of LDL cholesterol and then deposits itself around your middle - the worst place to have it.

    It tells your brain you've eaten something sweet, your brain assumes it's all energy (it's sugar) and so excess insulin is released and any (good) sugar - (the glucose) in your blood will get packed away as fat, rather than being used for energy.

    The only safe way to eat fruit is as the whole thing - with all the fibre. The fibre slows down the passage of food trhough the guts, so bacteria there break up (ferment) the fructose and you can get rid of it - as flatulence.
    ahimsa likes this.
  14. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I wasn't advocating fruit juices, just saying they were mentioned in some of the reading I did about fasts. Actually, I think most of the juices were vegetable juices or fruit/veggie mixtures.
  15. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    :) I didn't thinking you were advocating them, Little Bluestem!
    I'm aware that the general message everywhere is fruit is good, drink fruit juice - I just saw an opportunity to get the "bad, evil fructose" message over again. I'm quite passionate about it.

    It steals energy from us. :mad:
  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I recieved this article from medscape today! I've copied and pasted the text.
    Weight-Loss Myths Refuted in New Review

    Miriam E. Tucker
    Jan 31, 2013

    "Some of the most firmly held beliefs about weight loss are unproven or downright untrue, according to an analysis comparing concepts promoted in the popular media with data from the scientific literature.
    The findings were published online January 31 in a special article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    "False and scientifically unsupported beliefs about obesity are pervasive in both scientific literature and the popular press," write Krista Casazza, PhD, RD, from the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues.
    The authors discuss a total of 7 myths, along with refuting evidence. Here are some examples:
    • Small changes in food intake and/or exercise will produce large, long term weight changes — This idea was based on the old idea that 3500 kcal equals 1 pound of weight. But it does not take into account the fact that energy requirements change as body mass changes over time. So, as weight is lost, it takes increasingly more exercise and reduced intake to perpetuate the loss.
    • Realistic weight-loss goals will keep people motivated — This idea seems reasonable, but it is not supported by evidence. In fact, several studies have shown that people with very ambitious goals lose more weight (eg, TV's The Biggest Loser).
    • Slow, gradual weight loss is best for long-term success — Actually, a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled weight-loss trials found that rapid weight loss via very-low-calorie diets resulted in significantly more weight loss (16% vs 10% of body weight) at 6 months, and differences in weight loss persisted up to 18 months (Int J Behav Med. 2010;17:161-167).
    • A bout of sexual activity burns 100 to 300 kcal per person — With intense sexual activity, a 154-pound man burns approximately 3.5 kcal per minute. However, given that the average amount of time spent during one stimulation and orgasm session is about 6 minutes, this man might expend about 21 kcal total. But, he would burn about 7 kcal per minute just lying on the couch, so that amount has to be subtracted, which gives a grand total of 14 kcals of energy expended.
    The article also explores 6 "presumptions," or widely accepted beliefs that are neither proven nor disproven. Among them:
    • Eating breakfast prevents obesity — Actually, 2 studies showed no effect of eating vs skipping breakfast.
    • Adding fruits and vegetables to the diet results in weight loss — Adding more calories of any type without making any other changes is likely to cause weight gain. Eating fruits and vegetables is healthful, however.
    • Weight cycling, aka "yoyo dieting," increases mortality — The data are from observational studies and likely confounded by health status.
    Finally, the authors offer 9 facts about obesity and weight loss that are supported by data, among them:

    • Moderate environmental changes can promote as much weight loss as even the best weight-loss drugs.
    • Diets do produce weight loss, but attempting to diet and telling someone to diet are not necessarily the same thing.
    • Physical activity does help in promoting weight loss and has health benefits even in the absence of weight loss.
    • For overweight children, involving the family and home environment in weight-loss efforts is ideal.
    • Providing actual meals or meal replacements works better for weight loss than does general advice about food choices.
    • Both weight-loss drugs and bariatric surgery can help achieve long-term weight loss in some individuals.
    According to Dr. Casazza and colleagues, "The myths and presumptions about obesity that we have discussed are just a sampling of the numerous unsupported beliefs held by many people, including academics, regulators, and journalists, as well as the general public. Yet there are facts about obesity of which we may be reasonably certain — facts that are useful today."
    And they conclude, "While we work to generate additional useful knowledge, we may in some cases justifiably move forward with hypothesized, but not proven, strategies. However, as a scientific community, we must always be open and honest with the public about the state of our knowledge and should rigorously evaluate unproved strategies."

    This analysis was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Casazza has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Disclosures for the coauthors are listed on the journal's Web site.
    N Engl J Med. 2013;368:446-454. Abstract "
    Sasha likes this.
  17. MishMash

    MishMash *****

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    Some CFS patients have trouble maintaining their weight, due to digestive troubles, hormonal issues, and other problems. But I'm sure there are a good number who have trouble keeping their weight under control, due to the lack of activity, intolerance to exericise, being home/bed-bound, or using food as an emotional crutch during desperate times.

    In the UK, there is a popular regimen called the "5-2 Diet." It must be relatively new, because every other American hasn't gone on it yet (as happened here with the Atkins Diet). It sounds almost too good to be true. The author, Dr. Michael Mosley, sort of the "Dr. Oz" of the UK developed it. If it really works, it might help disabled and immobile people avoid obesity, cholesterol, and diabetes.

    The few reviews I've read (in the UK media) have been surprisingly positive about the effects of the diet, and I was wondering if anybody knew anything else about it, or had tried it themselves.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5:2_diet
  18. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I think that the problems faced by PWME who have excess weight (like me) are far more complicated than the issues you mentioned. Diet for me doesn't make enough difference to control weight loss and gain. Something else is happening here.

    600 calories on two days is going to result in physical problems for me for 2 days. I'm going to be even weaker for those two days and every week I do a diet like that my health will get worse and worse. I've tried this type of diet before.

    It wasn't until I was seen by a gastroenterologist after a year of serious food poisoning and a very limited diet because for chronic vomiting and diarrhoea that my doctors began to accept that my weight wasn't due to the reasons you mentioned. We need proper research into the PWME with weight gains who don't overeat to determine this.

    I'm obese and don't have high cholesterol, diabetes or any of the problems associated with being overweight. Sure I'm not the only PWME like that. What works for "well" people isn't going to help a PWME like me.
    Valentijn likes this.
  19. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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  20. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Update! I tried this fast once a week initially for three weeks then twice a week for one week and found that I was getting lightheaded not only on the fast day but on subsequent days. My doctor told me to stop (fair enough) because this indicated hypoglaecemia. It might work for others!
    Valentijn likes this.

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