Last month, Megan Kuhner, one of our SuperFasters was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, explaining how she sees fasting as ‘an amazing way of life’. She is far from alone.
It’s been around for thousands of years in one form or another, either through necessity or religious practice. But for the last two, it seems, you can’t click on a lifestyle website without seeing a mention of intermittent fasting.
It appears that severely restricting calorie intake, either for eight hours, two days or two weeks, has become the diet du jour.
There’s the original 5:2, developed by Dr Michael Mosley, who recommends eating normally for five days (that’s around 2500 calories for men, 2000 calories for women) and then restricting your intake to 600 calories for men and 500 for women for two days.
And then there’s Australia’s version, SuperFastDiet, developed last year by two former Gloria Marshall counsellors, Victoria Black and Gen Davidson, after they grew frustrated at no longer being able to lose weight on more conventional diets like Weight Watchers.
The women have since shed 40 kilograms between them using 5:2, but their program also offers flexible options such as fasting for 16 hours a day (including while you sleep) or restricting food intake to 1000 calories for three days.
Black says that since they started they’ve had 8300 people lose weight on the program. But their biggest success story would be the 1.7 tonnes lost by the township of Dubbo, in western NSW. Formerly known as the 12th fattest town in the state, with almost 72 per cent of the population overweight or obese, in September they decided to go on SuperFastDiet for eight weeks. Even the mayor got involved. A handful of townspeople appeared on the Today show on Friday, to show off their “after” bodies and talk about the success of Downsizing Dubbo.
Proponents claim intermittent fasting can sharpen cognitive skills, lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce belly fat, help you sleep better and lengthen your life – there’s even preliminary research suggesting it can reduce breast cancer recurrence.
Dr Mark Mattson, a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, has been studying the effects of fasting on brain health for 20 years. His studies on animals in the 1990s and early 2000s showed that fasting two days per week is such a shock to the brain that it promotes the creation of new neurones. These neurones are reportedly much more resistant to protein plaque accumulation, which is a major cause of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and even stroke. He gave a Ted Talk on the topic in 2014.
But what exactly does one eat during these fast days? “I’ll start the day with an iced long black,” says Megan Kuhner, who lost nearly 25kg, going from 100.6kg to 75.8kg since she joined SuperFastDiet in January last year.
“Lunch is Cruskits with light cheese and a topping such as fresh coriander, cucumber and tomato. For the afternoon I’ll have a yoghurt with blueberries and another coffee, and dinner is a felafel salad. I also drink lots of water and love sparkling mineral water and kombucha,” says Kuhner, “It’s an awesome program and a seriously amazing way of life!”
Join us today, and you could feel as great as Megan does too!
Check the full article on the Sydney Morning Herald website here!