Eat, Fast and Live Longer – Horizon

Did you know reducing IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1) by fasting is one of the best ways to reduce weight and stave off life threatening diseases such as cancer and diabetes?

Fasting seems to finally be getting some of the much deserved attention it’s been owed.  There’s still a long way to go but a program recently aired by the BBC entitled ‘Horizon: Eat, Fast and Live Longer’, is creating a lot of new talk about fasting on health forums everywhere.

In the airing, Michael Mosley sets out with a goal of trying to slow the aging process.  He looks at success stories and visits a fair share of institutions that deal specifically with the effects of the body on calorie restriction… aka: “fasting”.

Mosley learns that fasting has benefits that might only otherwise be found by bathing in the legendary Fountain of Youth.

This is a long video (just under 1 hour), so sit back and relax and if you’re new to fasting (beyond merely understanding the concept of what it is), be prepared to be surprised.

We’ll then discuss the Mosley’s findings and the added benefits of fasting when combined with weight lifting, which is a topic not covered in the video.

Eat, Fast and Live Longer Video


Key Points Made in Video

From 1929 to 1933, in the darkest years of the great depression when people were eating far less, life expectancy increased by 6 years.

IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1) growth hormone links calorie restriction and longevity and inhibits apoptosis of cells.

when IGF-1 levels drop, the body slows production of new cells and instead, repairs existing cells. DNA damage gets fixed and age-related diseases don’t happen.

The IGF-1 hormone is one of the drivers which keep our bodies in “go-go mode”, with cells driven to reproduce. This is fine when you are growing, but not so good later in life.

Mosley explains: “IGF-1 and other growth factors keep our cells constantly active. It’s like driving with your foot on the accelerator pedal, which is fine when your body is shiny and new, but keep doing this all the time and it will break down.”

People with Laron Syndrome have exceptionally low levels of IGF-1 and as a result, do not get diabetes or cancer. They smoke and eat whatever they want and are overweight.

Protein affects the amount of IGF-1 produced. Your cells grow too fast to be efficiently repaired.

How do you reduce IGF-1?

You cut calories and protein intake or.. engage in fasting. Fasting decreases glucose level and the production of IGF-1.

Moseley learns that hunger does not build and build.. but comes in waves and passes.

Sporadic bouts of hunger actually trigger new neruons to grow and create new born brain cells. Fasting stresses your brain matter in the way that fasting stresses your muscles.

Mosely tried the 5:2 diet and after 5 weeks of the 5:2 diet, IGF-1 was reduced by 50%. Blood sugar (glucose) became normal and good cholesterol was increased. The risk of developing life threatening diseases was greatly reduced, including the top 2; cancer and diabetes.

Here’s a great study that supports the findings of Michael Mosely and the benefits of alternate day fasting.

Fasting and Weight Lifting

Mosely didn’t cover the aspect of weight lifting while fasting.  Fasting is a proven method of burning fat but it’s also a superb way of getting in the best shape of your life by engaging in short fasts that maintain muscle.

If you’re going to fast, be sure to add some resistance training in the mix on the days when you do consume calories.

One of the fears of fasting is people often believe they’ll lose muscle by not eating frequently.  Meal frequency is a proven myth and books such as ‘Eat Stop Eat Expanded‘ really delve into this.

If you haven’t read this one, it’s one of the best around.  Even if you read the original book (before the expanded version), this one has a plethora of great new information regarding fat loss.

It’s double the length, with new chapters on hunger, resistance training and weight training! The leading on-line book on flexible intermittent fasting just got even better. People love this book for a reason.

Eat Stop Eat Expanded

Isn’t it interesting that fasting is still so commonly dismissed by health experts?  Is this simply in fear of passing on a method that might more commonly trigger eating disorders?  The potential for that to happen is certainly there but at some point, the truth about fasting is going to be common knowledge and it’s likely to add years to our lives.

Hope everyone has a super Thanksgiving Day!

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