The 5:2 diet was made popular in the UK after a Horizon TV programme on the BBC called Eat, Fast and Live Longer which explored the concept of calorie restricted diets.
Dr Mosley’s exploration centred around the desire to feel younger for longer by lowering our IGF-1 levels (insulin-like growth factor 1). IGF-1 is naturally high in children & supports growth, but modern diets means that adults also have high levels, long after they stop growing. This problem was likened to driving with the foot on the accelerator all the time: it gets (you get) worn out. High levels of IGF-1 were also linked to an increased risk of heart disease, faster aging, diabetes, heart disease, brain disease and cancer. Who wants any of that?
You can apparently reduce IGF-1 levels by regularly eating less than 600 calories a day (500 for women), 2 days a week (and normally on other days). An average man apparently eats about 2500-2600 calories a day. After 5 weeks of reducing his calories to 600 or less for 2 days a week for 5 weeks Mosley lost “well over a stone” and dramatically improved the key indicators shown below:
- cholesterol to reduce risk of heart disease
- IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) to reduce the impact of aging
- glucose levels to reduce the risk of diabetes
All of the above collectively reduce the risk of heart disease, brain disease, diabetes and cancer.
It’s definitely worth a go!