Sign up FAST! Login

Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health

Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health : The Salt : NPR

Stashed in: #health, Awesome, food, Nutrition!, health!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

5:2 is the ratio.

This is what we've experienced as we've tried out the so-called 5:2 diet. It's an intermittent fasting approach that, as we've reported, has been popularized by books by British physician and television broadcaster Michael Mosley. The diet calls for two days per week of minifasting where the aim is to go a long stretch, say 14 to 18 hours, without eating. During these two fasting days, you also eat only about 600 calories, give or take.

It sounds tough. But here's the easy part: The other five days of the week you forget about dieting and return to your normal pattern of eating.

minifasting is how i roll.  it's nice to take a break and just knock food off my to-do list for a day!

it's a whole lot easier than counting calories and paying attention to every little bite, day in and day out.

So do you do 5 days of whatev and 2 days minifasting each week like these authors suggest?

no, i'm not nearly so organized!  but when i feel overly full and sluggish, i take a day off from food.  sometimes i just skip a couple meals.

basically, just wait until i am solidly hungry to eat again.

(and yes, i pretty much eat whatevs.  organic whatevs!)

and we really do perform better with less sugar...

Interesting, I thought when we feel sluggish we're supposed to eat.

But you're right that we're supposed to eat when hungry. 

It's good that you're so in touch with your hunger signal!

i'm not good enough not to require minifasting!  ;)

it's hard to always be good with such an abundance of food around us.  minifasting is just an easy way to keep indulgences in balance.  if you overate yesterday, you can undereat today and be even.

It's like you're bringing balance to The Force!

haha!  balance to my belly!!

Like this...

Girl lightsaber gif imgur tumblr

Or this...

Girl lightsaber gif tuxedo cat tumblr imgur

omg those are both so good!!!

Yeah I had trouble picking just one. 😊

the black dog is dying to jump in!!

And probably does jump in after the gif. Wish I had the video!

that's one tough kitty!

Even more so when you consider it's holding two lightsabers with ZERO thumbs.

mad skillz

Must be using The Force to hold onto those lightsabers. Like a boss!

  • On a minifast, choose the food you do eat carefully. Researchers recommend high-protein, high-fiber foods. Avoid refined carbs and sugar, which will spike blood sugar and may leave you hungry late in the day.

This has been big in the fitness community for a few years now.  A guy named Martin Berkhan popularized the 16/8 method on his site, going back to at least 2007 or so. And a guy named Brad Pilon wrote a book ("Eat. Stop. Eat.") about the eat 5 days fast 2 days thing around the same time (his site is at Both were pretty heavy on the science behind it.

Is the reason it works because we typically eat 7 days' worth of calories in 5 days?

Or because it's better to put a metabolism into feast or famine mode to keep it efficient?

My understanding of the basic gist is that any weight loss comes from caloric restriction (hypothesis is that you won't make up the entire caloric deficit from the fast on the refeed), and the other measured benefits come from hormonal reactions (e.g., affecting cortisol, insulin, adiponectin, etc.) similar to those that benefit people and animals in the caloric restriction studies (some of which may cause a redistribution of fat from visceral to subcutaneous).  This post summarizes a lot of the studies. NB, I'm a corporate attorney, not a scientist.

Thanks for the link. Sounds like you're right: it's both calorie restriction and hormonal reactions.

You May Also Like: