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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. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I'm not too surprised ... I hit the wall if I try to cut back on calories. I'm already eating very reasonably, and my blood sugar does actually drop (tested on my fiance's spare glucose meter) if I don't eat enough or go too long without food. This sort of diet is probably based on the model of a functional body, which we don't have.

    My weight generally refuses to budge when eating less (or more!), though it does seem to have improved a bit since starting Strattera for OI. Eating the same foods generally, aside from adding a lot of gluten free bread and butter, but weight seems to be slowly dropping thus far.

    At the end of the day, I think we've gotten pretty good at hearing what our bodies are telling us, and ignoring that intense feeling of needing to eat is probably almost as bad as ignoring any hints we get about pushing our exertional limits.
  2. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Funnily enough the girl serving in the chemist shop I went into last week was on it. She was walking round with her bottle of water, trying to fill herself up:( But she did say it was working so I can't knock it for basically healthy people it may well work.

    I know I feel better when I don't eat - but at those times I am usually quite ill - when I'm relatively okay I eat to stay well - I don't have a great appetite, but aim for a balanced intake most days.

    I agree with ukxmrv though, if I only ate 500 calories for 2 days I think it would make me feel quite ill, for that reason I'm not tempted to try it. If I got to a point where I was better I may well try.
    I am the heaviest I've ever been in my life and the most inactive-par for the course I know for a lot of us.

    I don't know what the answer is to this weight problem. If anyone's found anything to be successful I would like to hear.
    My cholesterol has been high (7+) since I've been ill, my GP always says its okay???
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Actually, I didn't feel weak or hungry - just a bit lightheaded at times and I didn't actually connect it to the fasting until I reviewed my symptom chart after a month and saw the timing. It didn't feel like low blood sugar (which I think I've experienced between meals in the past).

    I'm currently trying a low-carb diet (as per the book, 'Wheat Belly), which is also wheat and gluten-free. I think it's worth experimenting, for me at least - although my muscles are wasted I'm probably carrying half a stone or so of visceral fat which churns out inflammatory stuff so I'm keen to find a way of eating that both gets rid of that fat and is itself anti-inflammatory.
  4. _June

    _June aren't I pretty? *baaah!*

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    You shouldn't do this if you're eating the "standard american diet"! (you know, the diet that's taken over the world now?) The standard american diet isn't nutritious, let alone if you're restricting calories.

    If you eat "low-fat heart-healthy whole-grain diet" this won't work. You won't be able to keep it up. I can't believe you're trying this with CFS! I think I would die :(

    To be able to do this you should eat a really, really nutritiously-dense diet, to make sure you'll get all your nutrients.
    And you should only do this after you've been eating a very nutrient-dense diet for a while.

    I'm someone who's mostly conquered CFS. It wasn't because of intermittent fasting, but because of the way I ate. But, the way I ate lead to intermittent fasting, which I've now been doing for years.


    Intermittent fasting:

    If you're doing intermittent fasting and you get hungry, EAT. It means your body isn't ready.
    You shouldn't feel lightheaded either. Intermittent fasting should feel natural.

    And chances are you won't be able to do it without getting hungry, because with the standard american diet, the longest people generally can go without feeling hunger is 3-4 hours, and that's if they don't have metabolic problems yet.

    That's because the food isn't very filling, and it also raises your blood sugar so much that when it comes down really low, you feel ravenous.


    I didn't start doing intermittent fasting on purpose, in fact I'd never heard of it until after the fact.
    Nowadays, I could easily go two days without eating, and go for a hike, come home, and still not feel hungry. And my mind feels clear the whole time.


    But I wasn't always like this.

    Most people eat 3 meals per day, and then many snacks in between. They're always starving. And this is considered normal! :eek:
    I was even worse. I had to eat every 30 to 45 minutes, or I'd black out.

    It's no wonder. After all, what did I eat? I ate a "low-fat, heart-healthy whole grain diet", just like I was told to do.

    So my day went like this:
    Breakfast: Whole grain shredded wheat with milk and fruit.
    Snack: organic peanut butter sandwich.
    Snack: two pieces of fruit
    Snack: three string cheese
    Lunch: chicken breast, cooked barley, and pepper slices; cooked with non-stick spray.
    Snack: two pieces of fruit
    Snack: carrot sticks dipped in chickpea hummus
    Snack: more carrots and hummus
    Snack: OMG-I-can't-take-it-anymore!-I'm-starving!-I'm-going-to-buy-a-Snicker's-bars!
    Dinner: tilapia or salmon filet + non-stick spray; steamed broccoli and cauliflower, brown rice.
    After dinner and before bed:
    More and more snacks.
    Then I'll wake up at 2AM starving and eat half a package of shredded wheat.

    That's how I was when I had CFS.
    It's funny, the only thing there that is actually filling, is the snickers! It was honestly my saving grace when I was working full time and needed a snack or I'd black out...


    Anyway, I got healthy when I changed how I eat (more on that later). Here's how I eat, intermittent fasting:
    Breakfast: one bowl pulled pork drowning in lard, and, one bowl carrot and green cabbage strips cooked in bacon grease.
    Lunch: Stir fry made of beef heart + chuck beef, cut in small strips and marinated. Cooked with 4 tablespoons of tallow (beef suet/grease). Then I remove the meat, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and let it get hot again, and stir-fry carrot, broccoli, and onions. The fat and the meat juices cook up into a nice sauce.

    I eat this within 4-5 hours of each other.
    I wouldn't be able to do that if I were eating low-fat tilapia/chicken with steamed vegetables and barley/rice. Trust me, I've tried! When I try eating the 'standard american diet' but only twice per day, it makes me a sour person all day and I have no energy. My stomach bloats, and I can't think straight.



    My mom is the person who made me eat like this. It wasn't me.

    She came to visit me (she lives abroad), and I was too weak and unable to care for myself (I was at my worst)
    I just ate what she cooked for me. I had no choice. The effect was immediate: I was back to a normal person again in one week, after being sick for 7 years... No pain... lots more energy... no brain fog! I was so amazed, that I started researching nutrition :)

    It makes me angry that people have to suffer so much when the solution could be so simple.

    My calories: 75 to 80% animal fat, 15% protein, the rest are carbs. That looks like I'm carnivorous, but I'm not. My plate is half vegetables, half meat. It's really not that strange, is it?
    I eat lots of fatty fishes, organ meats, fatty cuts of beef, and I try not to eat too much pork or chicken since they aren't as filling. (Ok, the truth is I don't like pork -- but chicken isn't filling, hehe!)
    I don't restrict calories. I eat about 1700 calories, the same as I did before in the "standard american diet". I just eat the meals within 4-5 hours of each other.
    I always cook with atleast 3 or 4 tablespoons of animal fat -- per person.


    That's why my husband and I can eat only twice a day, and be healthy, and not be hungry. Speaking of my husband, he was always sick year-round, and now he never is :hug:
    I'm tired of seeing my family and friends diet themselves silly and only getting fatter and sicker. I wish they would look at me. They know everything I've been through, and how I recovered. And they tell me my food is dreamy. But they refuse to believe it even if it's in front of their eyes, because "the government" says it's not good for you!

    I don't blame them, because I was like that too.

    To summarize:
    Intermittent fasting isn't something you should do with willpower, this is something that will happen naturally once your body has food that doesn't cause insulin yo-yo (the american diabetes association diet is terrible for diabetics!), and your body has food that is very nourishing.

    It's impossible to do it with the 'standard american diet' and get all the nutrients you need.
    MishMash likes this.
  5. MishMash

    MishMash *****

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    June,
    Your experience proved carbs are more quickly and easily converted into energy, and FAT, in your body. The energy quickly disssipates, and you then have hypoglycemia. And fats, fiber, proteins are more slowly metabolized leaving you with fewer blood sugar drops, and more sustained energy.

    Homo sapiens existed as hunter-gather bands for 30 - 50,000 years, before organized agriculture started up 8,000 years ago. As nomads wandering the woods of Europe or plains of Africa, man's main source of food was lean protein and roots, berries, and edible plants. It was not gluten, refined wheat, simple carbs, sugar, etc.

    Additionally, before organized agricultural began to provide a sustained source of mainly carb based calories, early man had to often fast between hunting and scavaging expeditions. So going long periods without food was very much the norm. Going 12 or 16 hours between meals should not render a person weak, dizzy, or starving, if their diet was not previously based on carbs, or especially wheat.

    Additionally, it became apparent in my research, that man was never intended to consume the milk of cows. Store-bought milk was designed for calves, not humans. This practice started during the agricultural revolution, along with eating wheat as a staple. It is highly reactionary, and should not be fed to children above all.
  6. _June

    _June aren't I pretty? *baaah!*

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    Many cultures
    There are children who would die if they didn't have milk from animals. Not all women were able to breastfeed or able to provide all the milk the baby needs. Though animal milk is not the first choice, if this was your baby you would be thankful to your cow/goat/etc for providing milk for the baby.

    Modern cow milk formula is not good for babies for different reasons. It's super processed, rancid, and oxidized. Vegetable oils are even more processed, rancid, and lacking in nutrients. The "nutrients", then, are ofcourse added as synthetic vitamins and minerals that don't behave the same as real nutrients.

    But fresh raw milk is not the same thing as modern cow milk formula.

    Though the nutrient profile of cow/goat/etc milk is not the same as humans' milk, you can feed it to baby and try to wean him as soon as possible to give food that will meet his nutritional requirements better.
    It's much better than modern formula, though.



    I had food allergies to pretty much everything, so let me tell you my experience:
    - Drinking pasteurized milk from the grocery store: in 10 minutes, I'm in the bathroom with diarrhea, because it went right through me. Then I have a runny nose and gunk on my throat for days, and smelly farts.
    - Drinking fresh raw milk, or fermented raw milk products (traditionally prepared, such as kefir, homemade cultured cheeses, and so on). Doesn't give me any issues at all. I can drink cow (jersey cow atleast), goat, and sheep milk so long as it's fresh and raw (and ofcourse, properly handled and refrigerated).
    I actually had fresh raw milk that was three weeks old. The mason jar had never been opened since being filled. It tasted great, tangy like yogourt. it was a delight to drink. (I'm not recommending you do this, you do it at your own risk. I trust my milk farmer, and I am healthy, if you are still unhealthy do it at your own risk). When I have to buy pasteurized milk from the store (if I ran out of raw milk), even if it was shipped to the store that day, it smells and tastes disgusting! ... really dirty and nasty.

    So if you can't tolerate milk, try finding a good source of raw milk. Visit the animals and see how the milk is handled to make sure it's healthy. Also some farmers feed grains to their cows and goats, which makes them more likely to be sickly, and their milk is not as nutritious (less omega 3, no vitamin K2, etc)

    Fresh raw milk and raw milk products can actually be a great source of food for growing children. Pasteurized milk is not. Specially when it comes from such sick animals in factories. But healthy jersey cows grazing in your own pasture, or your neighbour's pasture? Oh yeah, now that's the good stuff!
  7. MishMash

    MishMash *****

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    Makes you wonder how pre-agricultural, hunter-gather babies survived at all. They didn't have a Whole Foods selling raw milk. Sorry, but it sounds disgusting. You can have my share.
  8. _June

    _June aren't I pretty? *baaah!*

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    I never bought milk from Whole Foods (I don't even think we have these type of stores where I live)

    You say:

    Before cow milk started being sold in stores, it was available directly from the animal.
    And there are many types of milk besides cow milk sold in stores. There's llama, goat, sheep, even horse milk, and I'm sure other types I can't remember right now.
    Even before agriculture, nomads travelled with their animals and lived on milk, blood, and meat, including organs. (By the way, blood sausage is delicious but I bet you think that's disgusting too and that "humans aren't meant to consume it")


    I grew up in a small village. In villages, everyone is a farmer, even the president. Except when he becomes a president, he doesn't have time to farm his land anymore, so he pays workers to do it for him :D

    Everyone's food comes from each family's backyard, or the neighbour's backyard. For example, I had a very big family and we often ran out of eggs, but my neighbour was an elderly couple whose children moved from the village to the city. They were alone and had too many eggs for their needs.

    My family didn't have good land for cows or goats (or horses or sheep), so we got milk from our neighbours for other things we made. These neighbors traded many eggs with us in exchange for other things we produced. No money was exchanged. We traded with a lot other neighbors too. It's how it was.

    I never bought milk from Whole Foods or places like that, I don't know why you're attacking me. I'm just discussing, just like you are :)

    I'm just telling you there is a big difference between "storebought cow milk" and the milk that was available to hunter gatherers and nomads.

    It isn't even remotely the same thing. Research the topic, you might find it interesting.
    Valentijn likes this.
  9. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I'll start by saying that I'm neither pro-milk nor anti-milk. Diet is a very personal subject. Each person needs to decide for himself/herself. I don't want to jump into the middle a disagreement! :angel: I come in peace! :angel:

    But when I noticed your message listing all the different types of milk I thought I'd add another one to the list. In India buffalo's milk (water buffalo, not bison) is quite common. I've eaten a lot of yogurt made from buffalo milk and it's very rich! Fortunately, I don't have lactose intolerance or any other problem like that.
  10. EtherSpin

    EtherSpin

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    Are we specifically talking about Michael Mosleys horizon episode " Eat Fast and live longer" ? its tricky because he has a handful of docos about fasting,exercise etc - if we are, I was in tears watching it, wishing I could employ the strategies because at 32 I have gone from very sharp and intelligent, moderately fit, quite strong with quick reflexes to forgetting how I got somewhere, 30kg up in weight (on all variants of 3 meals a day you could imagine) unable to drive more than 2 minutes,unable to retrieve short term memories, using the wrong words frequently in conversation etc ..

    I am concerned about the IGF1 levels in CFS, are ours low,normal or high ? if they are normal or high I intend to try intermittent fasting for rejuvenating my brain as much as possible,losing weight and making sure that in lieu of exercise I can still keep a low cancer risk.

    oooh and im not interested in animal milks!
    justy likes this.
  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi EtherSpin - yes, that's the programme. I know what you mean about seeing all these things we could do for our health if we were healthy enough to do them! :confused:

    I posted a separate thread on IGF1 levels in relation to this topic but don't recall that I got an answer...
  12. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    My husband (healthy - ish) has done the 5/2 for six months and seen a slow reduction in weight - a stone - which he really needed to lose. I think the arguments re inflammation and IGF1 are very valid, but my seesaw blood sugar and mito issues mean it doesn't seem like a good idea for me. I have done paleo diets, low fat diets, metabolic typing diets, you name it...blah blah...now, I seek balance. I like the way the French guy whose name escapes me, puts it his book Anti-cancer. Yes to fresh, organic veg, be balanced in your consumption of animal fats, throw away the refined carbs and cheap and dirty sugar hits. Manage your blood sugar, don't treat your parasites, and try not to get obsessively overwhelmed by the fact that like it or not, the food chain is irrevocably altered by the process of industrialisation. Amen...
    justy and Sasha like this.
  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I've now got a chocolate-induced sort of front-loaded rubber tyre the size of a cat and really wish I also didn't have the same blood sugar issues - I'd have loved to have stuck with the intermittent fasting. o_O
    justy likes this.
  14. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I felt way too sick to stick with it - also didnt lose a sigle ounce of weight (only did 3 weeks) i was severely anemic at the time and struggling with lung infections - plus i need to keep eating throughout the day to keep my energy levels up - otherwise i plummet, and i feel fatigued and rotten enough as it is.

    But i loved how it made me feel about food - i didnt over eat on the non fast days - if anyhting i ate less than usual - it really seemed to even out my feelings towards food.

    My husband tried it but started having low blood sugar issues and his mood was appaling!

    All the best,
    Justy x
    Sasha likes this.
  15. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi;
    I responded to Sasha's thread regarding IGF-1. In case this applies to anyone here, regarding IGF-1, there are other reasons for its being high or low, but one of them could be zinc deficiency.

    Typically, with zinc deficiency, IGF and growth hormone are found to be low. But sometimes IGF can be elevated. ( zinc has regulatory properties.)

    Mine was elevated by more than 100 pts. The prognosis could have been cancer for me, since I didn't have acromegaly. But after supplementing zinc for a year, my IGF-1 reduced to normal range.

    Anyway, hope this helps.
    Sasha likes this.
  16. EtherSpin

    EtherSpin

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    thanks Crux, Ill focus on zinc supplementation (mine is low) and then see if I can get my igf1 levels tested - If high I will phase in interval fasting.

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