The 5:2 Fast Diet Cookbook by Samantha Logan is just that, a cookbook. If you’re not familiar with the popular 5:2 fasting diet craze, you won’t find much supporting information in this book to guide you, but you will find 150 low-calorie healthy recipes to supplement the program. The author created the cookbook after she adopted an intermittent fasting lifestyle and lost 30 pounds.
The 5:2 fasting diet mentioned in this book and countless others on the market is based on the principle that intermittent fasting, “actually helps you reset your metabolism and rev up your body’s fat-burning ability.” On the diet, men and women are asked to restrict their calorie consumption on two nonconsecutive days per week and then eat as they normally would on the other five. On non-fasting days if the dieter wants to eat high calorie foods the author advises them to, “Go for it,” but then later encourages people to, “Make smart food choices,” so the takeaway is a bit vague.
While the author bears no credentials, it’s disappointing that she didn’t go the extra mile to describe the diet in more detail or provide statements from a doctor, nutritionist or registered dietitian regarding the efficacy of the program or the scientific data behind it.
For his Oscar-nominated role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Aussie mega-star, Hugh Jackman, admitted to extreme fasting and even cutting his water intake to achieve the emaciated look needed for his physical deterioration during the movie. To prepare for his next role, the actor chose a different approach, a 5,000 calorie a day diet with intermittent fasting. On this diet he gets to eat chicken, lots of chicken.
To reprise his role as Wolverine in the X-Men, premiering July 26, Jackman knew he needed to bulk up. This is an actor who is well known for his commitment to a role, whether it’s on screen or the Broadway stage. There will be no CGI muscles, bulky costumes or other Hollywood magic. Hugh wanted the real deal and he wasn’t afraid to go to extremes to get it. In this case, “it” would be the ripped abs and biceps needed to play the superhero. In addition to spending more time in the gym than the Biggest Loser contestants, he’s also using the 16-8 Diet to pack on lean muscle.
Jackman recently talked about his Wolverine routine. “What I do is I eat in an eight hour period, it’s all the rage this diet now. It’s called the 16-8 diet. For sixteen hours of the day, I fast, so I don’t eat. So between 10 in the morning and six at night, I eat 5,000 calories and then I eat nothing.” During the eight hours he’s consuming all those calories, I’m betting there’s not a donut, candy bar or soda in the bunch. In fact, according to the actor, “‘I quite like everything I ate, but it’s more bland. It’s chicken breast, but steamed and no salt, and steamed spinach.”
Some people might think that having an eight hour glutinous window to gorge up all those calories would be easy, but according to Jackman, there were days when he had to use mind over matter to get it down. “‘This is a disgusting amount of food, I can’t eat another bite,” he would say to himself. “I literally talk to myself like I’m training – One more mouthful, c’mon man. You can do it. Just one more mouthful. Half a chicken breast to go and then you’ve got it. Just two meals left!'”
While the 16-8 diet may have been the way to go for Jackman who readily admits, “I’m quite a skinny person by nature so I’m eating ridiculous amounts of food,” it’s not for everyone. The eating routine, seen by many as a lifestyle, not a diet, does not dictate the daily calorie count a person must consume. Always check with your doctor before starting an extreme diet routine. The Wolverine may need 5,000 calories a day but mere mortals do not.
Detox diets can be great at cleansing your body of unwanted toxins and chemicals. However, there is a right and wrong way to detox. Starting an unnecessarily restrictive detox diet can leave you feeling fatigued, cramping, and moody while it provides only fleeting results. A healthy detox program, however, can lead to more energy, a sense of well-being, and a jump start for positive lifestyle changes.
Let’s start with what doesn’t work. Juice or liquid-only detoxes and fasts can be harmful in the long run because they rob your body of needed nutrients. “In a fast lasting longer than a day or two, the body starts to breakdown some of its muscles and organs to generate fuel for the central nervous system,” said Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert, in this article. That doesn’t sound very healthy at all.
If you are detoxing to lose weight, choosing an extreme detox diet like the Maple Syrup/Master Cleanse Diet will provide fast results, but the chances of keeping the weight off are extremely slim. Most weight lost while doing a strict cleansing regimen is water weight, so when you go back to whole foods, the weight will be regained. Not only that, but you may gain more weight, as now your metabolism is slower as a result of the cleanse. (more…)
In the world of health, fitness and weight loss, there seem to be a large number of studies constantly conducted to help us figure out how to fight obesity and get healthy. Recently, another study with important outcomes has published with some drastic results.
Identified as a way to have your cake and eat it too, this study shows that eating your last meal of the day earlier, and then fasting for a 16 hour stretch before eating breakfast, can decrease the risk of weight gain and decrease the onset of weight related diseases. The study was headed by regulatory biologist Satchidananda Panda of the Salk Institute in California. and was done on mice. He made the statement, “We have to come up with something that is a simple alternative to calorie counting.” The results of the study were published in the journal Cell Metabolism. Within the study, the participating mice were divided into groups and had a regulated diet for a total of 100 days. (more…)