Last week I talked about the importance of our evolutionary body needing down time away from copious amounts of food in order to cleanse, detoxify heavy metals and basically clean out anything that is in storage to be disposed of when appropriate and safe to do so. Naturally, in evolutionary terms, this was done during the winter months when food was less available than in the summer in most cultures. The 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol does this for a period of 24 days to 45 days at a time, creating a winter period of food availability, allowing the body to release fat and any toxins stored.

A popular diet at the moment is the 5 + 2 diet or The Fast Diet. The premise of this diet is to eat normally for five days and then on two days of the week consume 500 calories/2000kj (for women) or 600 calories 2400kj (for men). These days are not to be consecutive days.

My mum was way ahead of this present trend. She would fast every Monday, drinking only water (no food) for the whole day. She felt that her weekends were filled with dinner parties (usually ones she created) and that it would be a good idea to just take a day off eating.  She would call it her cleanse day. I’m not sure where she got this concept but she did it for many years for as long as I can remember. I believe it was around the late 1970’s when I remember her beginning her Monday fasts.

My father would always say he was the victim of the latest book my mother had read on health and nutrition. In those days it was not about dieting to lose weight, as none of my family members were overweight, but it was about being the healthiest version of us in order to have energy and health into old age. Sadly my mum didn’t make it past 69, despite her love of health and food. But that’s another story that I will be sharing in my documentary.

As for me, I have done water fasts for seven days and juice fasts for five days and it was a yearly ritual that I would do my five to seven day juice fast. As I got into my 40’s the juice fasts didn’t do what I needed them to do and so I began doing the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol in order to decrease the amount of food I was eating and give my body the chance to cleanse. It’s been a winner for me and for many people who have done the protocol and stuck to the principles that result in lifelong health and weight loss.

The Fast Diet and the 5 + 2 Diet state that for five days you eat normally. What is normal? If we eat the SAD (Standard Australian (western) Diet) then on the two fasting days eat only 500 calories in the way of a meal replacement, then I doubt that it will have the effect on better health and permanent weight loss that people desire.  For one, you are not feeding your body the right fuels therefore there will be a deficiency in macro and micro nutrients causing a break down in the body’s biochemistry.

To make the Fast Diet work you need to also look at eating real foods, based on the Changing Habits principles. But more importantly, listen to your body. Once you begin to listen and you’ve been eating real foods cooked from scratch, healing your body and ridding yourself of toxic fat deposits, there will be days you don’t feel like eating as much as other days. You may even want to skip meals or have only two meals a day as opposed to three meals with snacks. Sometimes we seem to complicate perfectly natural ways of eating.

And what of the science behind fasting or eating less food over a lifetime? It seems to be conflicting. Some say it helps, others say it does not increase longevity and many of the studies are done on rats and primates. But one thing seems to shine through and that is eating nutritional dense foods over a lifetime along with other important factors such as sleep, sunshine, connection and movement contribute to a human living an energetic, vital life.

For many people it is about beginning and then sticking to the habit changes you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learnt. One change a week building on each other over 52 weeks is life changing.

Happy changing habits,

Cyndi

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Cyndi O'Meara

Founder at Changing Habits
Not your typical nutritionist, Cyndi disagrees with low-fat, low-calorie diets, believes chocolate can be good for you and thinks cheating and eating yummy food is an important part of a well-balanced diet. Cyndi must be doing something right because she maintains a healthy weight and has never (in her whole life!) taken an antibiotic, pain-killer or any other form of medication. Cyndi is a passionate, determined and knowledgeable speaker on health issues and uses her education and experience to help others improve their quality of life so they too can enjoy greater health and longer lives.
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