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Old June 9, 2015, 05:21 AM
spyglass spyglass is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 19
Default Re: What do you do to look after your health?

Interesting question.

Thankfully I do not suffer from any chronic diseases, however diabetes is my family's health nemesis, with my grandmother dying from complications of type 1 diabetes and my three surviving uncles having type two diabetes. My mother and youngest uncle passed away, not from diabetes though. It reached my branch of the family tree with one of my first cousins being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago. He being one of the youngest first cousins and me being the eldest male cousin, this has been uncomfortable news for me ever since. He's always been chubby from childhood. Although he went through a bulking up phase, going to the gym to lift weights twice a day at one point, which lasted about a year and a half and his weight came back after he got a job with the post office over twenty years ago.

I saw him for the first time in over a year at a party another first cousin gave his daughter for graduating from college. He looked the best I have seen him in years. He has lost weight and toned up through weight lifting (I suspect). Still more weight to lose, but he has come a long way, him knowing he has to get his two sons through school and college after a divorce a few years ago. He happily reported his diabetes is under control for the most part.

Not being a person who waits for the barn to catch fire before I decide it needs water thrown on it, this is the second week of my 5:2 fasting diet.
By 5:2, I mean that I eat regularly five days of the week and fast on two separate days. There is a growing body of credible research supporting the benefits of intermittent fasting. Weight loss is the main motivation for most on this diet, but I am experimenting with it for the other benefits it seems to provide. Studies indicates it normalizes blood glucose levels, promotes cellular repair, normalizes blood pressure, disposes of bio waste and can even over time support higher brain function.

Some weight loss will happen for sure, but to minimize muscle loss, I am starting a muscle resistance exercise program to encourage muscle tone while unhealthy fat dissolves away. The fast is actually 36 hours long because research supports the belief that it takes twelve hours of fasting before the body goes into "healing" mode. The intention being for the body to be in healing mode a full twenty four hours twice weekly. Fortunately, this fast is not a total one. For men, up to 600 calories can be consumed. For women, 500 calories. No cane sugar, pasta or anything else that raises blood sugar is allowed. As well as anything with high levels of "bad" fats are allowed. Protein is encouraged to be part of the food consumed because it makes one feel full the best over other foods. But if say chicken is eaten, it should be skinless and grilled or baked. With careful planning, you may be surprised how much tasty food one can eat within a 500 - 600 calorie limit. Black coffee and tea, both with no sugar can be consumed in any amount. Of course drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration is highly encouraged. I got a slight headache towards the end of my fist fast because I had not drunk enough water. Lesson learned.

It appears we are only allotted so many cell divisions over our lifetimes. Just how many cell divisions an individual is allotted I suspect depends on our genetic inheritance. Because we (first world dwellers at least) have become nations of in between meal snack eaters, the body remains so busy with matters of digestion, it has no time to devote to cell repair and is forced to divide the cells, depleting our cell bank account. Apparently by fasting long enough, we give our bodies the time to go into healing mode, saving cell divisions through more cell repair as well as conducting other beneficial processes the body normally cannot start and complete because of our constant food stuffing.

I decided to experiment with this diet after viewing a documentary on the science and studies indicating the benefits of intermittent fasting. The English PhD medical researcher, Michael Mosely leads the documentary and he is the author of a run away best seller book on the subject. The doc features a lot on research conducted in the US as well in the UK on fasting and related matters. Viewing this documentary convinced me to start my diet.

It can be viewed via this link:

It is 59 minutes long and very interesting.

I have been using the word "experiment" because it is one. I am committed to doing this diet for the entire thirteen weeks of the summer months, June, July and August. Then in September to get a complete physical. My blood test results will determine if I continue on it as a way of life. It appears once the body has reached an optimum level of healthy effects per this diet and how long it takes to get to this level depends on where one was/is health and weight wise when started, you can even let one day go and maintain the results with fasting only once weekly.
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