What does it consist of? It is an extreme 5 day diet that consists of not eating anything. Yes, you read it right. The menu that Longo proposes is fasting, that is, not taking solid food and drinking only water, herbal teas, vegetable broths, and fruit juice, with a caloric intake of around 300 kilocalories.
The scientist Valter Longo proposes a new regimen that allows those who follow it to lose weight and live longer. The Italian’s proposal is controversial. We are not joking, nor has the coffee made us feel bad; it is true. A diet can make you lose weight, gain health, and increase your life expectancy. At least, that is what the Italian scientist Valter Longo says, who proposes a new regime that will make those who follow it live many more years.
The expert assures that “it is the secret to a longer life and to avoid diseases associated with aging.” The scientist points out that avoiding food for specific periods is enough to rid the body of toxins and rejuvenate cells. With diets similar to fasting, Professor Longo claims that humans can shed harmful cells in their bodies and grow new stem cells when they start eating properly again.
It is an extreme 5 day diet that consists of not taking solid foods and drinking only water, infusions, or broths.
To test the benefits of this diet, Channel Seven journalist Denham Hitchcock tried the controversial five-day regimen and survived on less than a third of the average human calorie intake. In addition to alleviating the stomach ache caused by hunger and the appearance of fantasies about food, the journalist spent five days on granola bars and soups.
Was it worth it? Definitely yes. The blood tests that Hitchcock underwent after five days revealed that he had experienced a ” powerful growth in the cells of his body responsible for repairing and replacing damaged tissues,” collects ‘The Daily Mail.’
Although in recent years, and despite its bad press, fasting has been imposed as a kind of ‘magic pill’ to end obesity, diseases or, as Longo points out, even increase longevity, it should be noted that each body is different and does not respond in the same way to the same treatment. If you are going to do it, you better consult a doctor or nutrition expert first.
However, organic diets and lifestyles are not the same as a single “magic pill” produced by scientists that can dramatically reduce the ailments of aging.
Reasons for fasting
Fast performance in a controlled manner and under the supervision of an expert offers health benefits. This is demonstrated by countries where fasts are prescribed as a therapeutic treatment for certain diseases. Elisabeth Bley, an expert in nutrition and human dietetics collaborator of My Fasting, explains why it is advisable to make dietary restrictions and how it benefits health through the reasons and truths of this practice:
1. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Studies conducted with 4,500 patients at the Heart Medical Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, USA, demonstrate this. The mean reduction in cardiovascular risk reduction was 39% compared to people who did not fast. With fasting, the body’s fatty deposits are mobilized to be used in energy metabolism, making you lose weight.
2. Lower cholesterol levels
Cholesterol levels rise, both HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, because, during fasting, the body needs to compensate with some mechanism for the lack of glucose. This cholesterol is now used as an energy substrate, which reduces plasma cholesterol levels.
3. Helps reduce high blood pressure
Reduces both systolic and diastolic pressure in people with mild hypertension. But it must be taken into account that essential hypertension occurs in many cases in patients with arteriosclerosis. In this case, strategies should be used to treat this pathology.
4. Benefits in the symptoms of rheumatic diseases
During the fasting period, a metabolite is generated, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which exerts an inhibitory effect on one of the proteins that cause the inflammatory response, present in many inflammatory pathologies.
5. There is an increase in the production of GH (human growth hormone)
Cell growth and regeneration are stimulated.
6. Promotes weight loss
Although it is not the main objective for fasting, the truth is that the body’s fatty deposits are mobilized in energy metabolism.
7. Normalizes ghrelin levels
The so-called ‘hunger hormone’ is secreted in the digestive system to control our appetite.
8. Has neuroprotective properties
Dr. Dominique Lanzman published in his book ‘The Diet of Longevity’ one of his scientific studies showing that the brain knows how to use ketone bodies better than glucose. This does not mean in any case that you have to fast more than two weeks a year.
How to start fasting
If you have been encouraged to do the fast, you should do it with your head. Canadian doctor Jason Fung, author of the book ‘The Obesity Code’ (Greystone), explains that the idea is to start with fasting periods of 12 or 16 hours, which are achieved relatively easily if, for example, we eat early and delay (or we skip) breakfast. These are the tips he gives in his book:
1. Stop pecking
This is the most important rule. Any snack raises insulin levels in the moments between meals when they should have been dropping. As much as we have been told otherwise, there is no such thing as a healthy snack.
Say ‘no’ to ‘light’ sodas: they may contain few calories and no sugar, but they raise sugar levels as if they had, which makes you fat.
2. Have a good breakfast (or don’t)
They say it is the most important meal of the day, but if you want to lose weight, skipping it is not a bad idea, especially if you are not hungry: the later you start eating in the day, the longer you will be fasting, and the more insulin will be kept at bay.
3. Fast while sleeping
Fasting for 12 hours is pretty straightforward. Don’t eat anything after dinner at 7 or 8 p.m. and until breakfast at 7 or 8 in the morning. But better still is to be able to go 16 hours without eating, for which you should skip breakfast and not eat from 7 or 8 at dinner until 11 or 12 at noon.
Of course, you can drink unsweetened water, tea, or coffee at any time, an excellent way to curb your appetite. 12 or 16-hour fasts can be combined to achieve excellent results. If from Monday to Friday you skip breakfast (and you go 16 hours without eating) and on Saturday and Sunday you follow the 12-hour fast – not eating breakfast these days is very hard – you can lose between 1 and 2 kilos a week.
4. Ditch the sodas
It is not enough to ask for sugar-free varieties. Diet sodas may contain very few calories and no sugar, but studies show that they raise our sugar levels as if they did, causing you to gain weight.
“Research has shown that sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, and stevia are sweeter than sugar and thus raise insulin even more,” says Fung.
5. Eat the fat
“I certainly do not subscribe to the hypothesis that too much fat in the diet is bad for the heart,” says Fung bluntly. In his opinion, atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries that prevents the correct flow of blood, which is the pathology that carries the most significant cardiovascular risk, is caused by inflammation. Fat, he says, is not the only one, nor the older, guilty of this.