Fast Diets For Dummies book cover

Fast Diets For Dummies

By: Kellyann Petrucci and Patrick Flynn Published: 12-04-2013

Lose weight with the Fast Diets? Easy!

Over the last few decades, food fads have come and gone, but the standard medical advice on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle has stayed much the same: eat low-fat foods, exercise more, and never, ever skip meals. Yet, over that same period, levels of obesity worldwide have soared.  So is there a different, evidence-based approach?

Yes!  Fast Diets are the revolutionary part-time weight loss programs with lifelong health and anti-aging results. Fast Diets For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to achieving weight loss, without having to endlessly deprive yourself. Inside, you’ll get the lowdown on easily incorporating one or all of these unique dietary programs into your busy life. You will get the lowdown on tackling the most popular fasting diets such as:  The Fast Diet (5-2 Diet), Intermittent Fasting, Micro-Fasting, and One Meal a Day (Warrior Diet). It offers you information and tips on how to incorporate these unique and popular dietary programs into your busy daily life.  

  • How and why the benefits of these fasting diets go well beyond weight loss
  • Fast diets dos and don’ts
  • How to get started and everything you  need to know to help you along the way
  • Over fifty 500- and 600- calorie meals that are quick and easy to make

Articles From Fast Diets For Dummies

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108 results
108 results
Fast Diets For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-22-2022

People have been fasting (in other words, not eating for a while) for centuries to prevent disease and strengthen the body. Fasting is also a safe way to lose weight. This Cheat Sheet gives you an overview of the basic principles of fasting, including what you should and shouldn't drink, so you can implement it into your routine and start your journey toward more vibrant health.

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When to Fast and Not to Fast on the 5:2 Diet

Article / Updated 08-31-2017

Before you start the 5:2 Diet or any other fast, make sure you talk to your physician or health professional about fasting, its benefits and drawbacks, and the status of your health. What days and times to fast The 5:2 Diet prescribes two days of modified fasting and five days free from calorie counting. When deciding which days during the week to fast, understand that you may have to be flexible. What worked for you last week may not, due to social engagements or other obligations, work for you this week. The key is to choose two nonconsecutive days in which to fast. So for example, if you fasted on Monday, don't fast again until Wednesday or later in the week, giving you at least one full day between fasting periods. By choosing nonconsecutive days, you won't feel emotionally deprived of food and, thus, have a better chance of sticking with the program long-term. The 5:2 Diet is aimed at doing away with the feelings of deprivation, anxiety, and guilt that come with so many mainstream diets. Fasting, no matter the method that you choose, isn't a traditional diet; it's a lifelong behavioral change, and the longer you do it, the easier and more fulfilling it will become. If you decide to fast on a Monday and a Thursday one week, you now just have to decide how long you'll fast for. You'll optimally fast for 16 hours at a time, which has been found to be the sweet spot in fasting — you get the full benefits of a longer fast without the difficulties of completing a longer fast (compared to a fast that goes on for 24 hours or more). But doing so may be challenging with the 5:2 Diet because you break up your caloric limits between breakfast and an evening meal. However, you may find it easier on your fasting days to get all your calories in one meal. It's really up to you. The key is to play around with the fasting method of your choosing, but remember, stick to one particular method for three months before you try another one. Three months is the sweet spot when it comes to giving your body a chance to respond to the fasting method of your choosing and really seeing results from it. Who shouldn't do the 5:2 Diet Some people shouldn't fast on the 5:2 Diet, including the following: Pregnant women: More research must be done to determine whether or not fasting is safe for pregnant women, and until scientists prove that fasting is healthy during this time of your life, don’t fast. Children: Because children are still developing physically and mentally, they don't need any nutritional stresses. Although the occasional fast helps decrease the levels of IGF-1 in adults (which helps to promote overall health and longevity), during the formative childhood years, humans naturally have higher levels of IGF-1 to help them grow and develop properly. Never encourage fasting in anyone under the age of 18. People with medical conditions: If you have any underlying medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, or an eating disorder, fasting probably isn't a wise choice. If you're a reasonably healthy adult looking to lose some body fat, feel revitalized, and live an all-around healthier lifestyle, then the 5:2 Diet may very well be a viable option for you. More information on the 5:2 diet.

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9 Ways to Stave Off Hunger When Fasting

Step by Step / Updated 04-10-2017

Hunger doesn't make fasting difficult. Your reaction to the hunger does. If at the first sign of hunger you seek out food, you need to ask yourself an important question: Do you control your hunger, or does your hunger control you? By controlling your hunger, you can strengthen your fasting practice. The most important aspect of controlling hunger is to accept it. Acknowledge before you begin your fast that hunger will rear its ugly head, and that it won't hurt you; it will only try to intimidate you. Fasting and feeding is yin and yang. The human body needs a balance between the two for optimal health. Most people clearly suffer from too much yang (feeding) and not enough yin (fasting). Following are nine strategies to stave off hunger and keep productive throughout your fasting period.

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500-Calorie Meal Recipes Featuring Pork or Lamb

Article / Updated 03-10-2017

Pork and lamb in small portions can also provide protein to your diet. Eating protein-rich meats — making sure you trim off any excess fat — and adding a side of vegetables can fill you and make you feel satisfied. These recipes offer pork for a dinner meal and a breakfast meal. Of course, if you feel like mixing up things, eat the frittata for dinner and the stir fry for your earlier meal. Also included is a Greek-inspired lamb tacos recipe (without the dairy). Quick Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry Preparation time: 30 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Yield: 2 servings 2 teaspoons coconut oil 1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot or more to taste 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1⁄8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste 4 ounces pork loin, cut into thin strips 1/2 carrot rounds, sliced quarter-inch thick 2 cups mung bean sprouts 3 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces 1/2 small bell pepper, any color, cut into thin strips 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or more to taste Fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over high heat until hot. Working quickly, add the gingerroot, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 10 to 15 seconds. Add the pork and carrots and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add the bean sprouts, asparagus, and bell pepper, and cook until the vegetables are bright and tender-crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the coconut aminos and cook, stirring another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Per serving: Calories 165; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 30mg; Sodium: 410mg; Carbohydrates: 13g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 15g. (Recipe by Annabel Cohen) You can also use chicken, turkey, or shrimp instead of the pork, if desired. Vegetables continue to cook even after you take them out of the hot pan. Don't overcook them. They should be crisp. If you overcook them, they'll become mushy. Egg White Prosciutto and Vegetable Frittata Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Yield: 2 servings 8 egg whites 2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, separated 1/4 cup chopped onions 1/4 cup chopped zucchini, unpeeled 1 cup fresh baby spinach, packed 1/2 cup chopped prosciutto 1/4 cup chopped, seeded tomato 2 tablespoons fresh shredded basil leaves 2 cups baby arugula 2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Preheat the oven to 325°F. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an large 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until slightly foamy. Heat the nonstick skillet (10 to 12 inches) over medium heat until hot. Add the onions, zucchini, and spinach, and sauté until the spinach is wilted and the onions are softened. Add the prosciutto, tomato, and basil and cook for another minute. Add the egg whites to the pan over the vegetables. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove for 1 minute. Place the pan in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and run a spatula around and under the frittata. Tilt the pan to tip the frittata onto a plate. Sprinkle with fresh basil. Top the frittata with arugula and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and the remaining olive oil. Per serving: Calories 311; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 28mg; Sodium: 1,204mg; Carbohydrates: 12g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 27g. (Recipe by Annabel Cohen) You can substitute 1/3 cup frozen chopped spinach for the fresh spinach. Make sure it's thawed and drained well. Greek Lamb Tacos Preparation time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Yield: 2 servings 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons minced onions 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic 8 ounces very lean ground lamb 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper Romaine lettuce leaves 1 cup chopped fresh tomato 1 cup chopped cucumber Fresh lemon wedges Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the lamb and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the mint, parsley, sea salt, and pepper, and sauté for another 3 minutes. Serve the tacos with the lettuce leaves as taco shells. Top with the tomato and cucumber and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Per serving: Calories 235; Total fat: 13g; Saturated fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 638mg; Carbohydrates: 7g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 23g.

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10 Ways to Stay Motivated When Fasting

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Fasting has many, many benefits. But sometimes even knowing all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean that you'll be able to stay motivated all the time to adhere to that lifestyle. Following are some different techniques you can use to get and stay motivated. You don't have to stick with just one of these motivational tactics. In fact, if you employ a combination of any of them, you can increase your chances of success. Figure out which ones work best for you and practice them.

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10 Ways to Feel Energized When You're Fasting

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

If you're new to fasting, you may feel that eating is one of the best ways to give yourself an energy boost. However, eating often makes people feel a lack of energy because your body releases an influx of insulin after you eat, which aids in digestion by helping your body utilize the glucose and amino acids that it received from the food you ate. No wonder you feel in need of a boost of energy. Your body thinks it's time to nap. However, if you're fasting but still have trouble keeping your energy level high, try employing any combination of these methods. Mix and match, play around, and see which ones work best.

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Strength-Training Exercise: The Kettlebell Swing

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

The kettlebell swing is simply the dead lift performed quickly and consecutively. It's an explosive hinging movement, where you swing a weight — in this case a kettlebell — between your legs, and then powerfully drive your hips forward to accelerate the bell upward. Here is how you can do the kettlebell swing:

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Strength-Training Exercise: The Push-Up

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

The push-up is the classic gym class exercise that most people do incorrectly. The push-up is still really one of the best, if not the best, upper-body strength-building exercises you can do. It hits the chest, the shoulders, the triceps, the abs, and a few other things here and there. Push-ups by themselves aren't all that difficult for some people. But who said you need to limit yourself to only standard push-ups? After you're able to bang out 15 reps or more of the push-up, you can start the one-arm push-up, or the one-arm, one-leg push-up. Here is how you can to do a perfect push-up:

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Strength-Training Exercise: The Goblet Squat

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

The goblet squat, a movement invented by renowned strength coach Dan John, is perhaps the most simplistic, but effective squat variation in existence. What's great about the goblet squat is that it's almost impossible to do wrong, making it a perfect beginner squatting variation. Just because it's easy and great for beginners, however, doesn't mean that it's of no use to veterans. The goblet squat allows for heavy loading (it makes the movement more difficult, which means you just pick up a heavier weight), just like front squats (which is essentially the same movement, but done with a barbell instead of kettlebells or dumbbells), so after you're comfortable with the movement, you can start to go heavy with it. Follow these steps to do the goblet squat:

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Strength-Training Exercise: The Pull-Up

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

The pull-up is also a classic upper-body strength builder and the perfect complement to the push-up, because when you push, you must also pull. Although a pull-up is more difficult, you can do one. Even if you can't right now, with some practice, you can do one. Here's how to do a proper pull-up:

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