This is now week 6 of the Intermittent Fasting, and it isn’t getting a lot easier. Having said that, compared with watching what I eat 24/7, it isn't that bad! It has also had some amazing results in that I have lost 10 pounds! No diet that I have ever been on in the past has achieved that sort of a result in such a relatively short space of time. My body fat percentage has also gone down a few percent, which is a great result too, and shows I am not just losing muscle but am losing some of the lardy stuff clinging to my waist and stomach. I am comfortably back in my size 10 trousers and feeling much better about myself. I will be happy with just a few more pounds off, then aiming for long term maintenance, however, I am going on holiday next week, and am unlikely to spend the week off food and alcohol. Hopefully a couple of fasting days on my return will rectify any overindulgence.
Two of my male work colleagues have also been following the Intermittent Fasting plan 2 days a week and, like me, they have had some great results. It is good to have other people to compare rumbling tummies and drool over our other colleagues' sandwiches. There are, of cause, the well-meaning know-it-alls who like to share their deep nutritional knowledge gleaned from a mixture of alleged "well-known facts", TV adverts, cornflake packets, and what their mother told them. I have been told on more than one occasion that missing meals is bad for you, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, your metabolism slows down if you go too long without food, blah, blah, blah.... It is difficult to challenge conventional wisdom, however what we are being told about what is good / bad for us is constantly changing as science advances and more research is done into every aspect of what we eat, drink or inhale. When you cut through all the variety of diets on offer (eat more/less fat/carbs/protein; eat grapefruits, eat only raw food, eat for your body 'type', etc, etc), the overriding factors for successful weight loss are simply eat less and move more. This doesn't have to mean living every day constantly counting calories and resisting all the nice things we like but are so bad for us. Our weight isn't determined by our worst or best eating days - it is determined by our average intake over time. Therefore, by severely restricting intake to around 500-600 calories on 2 days out of every 7, that will provide the body with a calorie deficit over the week of around 2500-3500 calories (dependent upon your sex, weight, activity levels, etc). Depending on the intake on the other 5 days, this deficit can either be used to balance out any small over-indulgences (the type that tend to slip by un-noticed, but result in a gradual upward movement of the scales and the waist size), or, for those struggling to lose weight, an overall weight loss with relatively low effort.
Research has been carried out and, although still in early days, appears to be demonstrating many other health benefits that can be gained from periods of fasting, including improvements to blood sugar levels, reduction in ageing hormones and improvements to the brain. It has also been proved that the body doesn't go into starvation mode after missing one or two meals - so the metabolism doesn't slow down. People have been fasting for religious reasons for centuries, and have felt many health benefits that have not been recorded widely until fairly recently.
A few articles about fasting: