Fast Diets For Dummies book cover

Fast Diets For Dummies

Published: December 4, 2013

Overview

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
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
Fast Diets For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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.

Articles From The Book

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General Diet & Nutrition Articles

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

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.

General Diet & Nutrition Articles

500-Calorie Meal Recipes Featuring Pork or Lamb

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

  1. 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.

  2. Add the pork and carrots and sauté for a couple more minutes.

  3. Add the bean sprouts, asparagus, and bell pepper, and cook until the vegetables are bright and tender-crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes more.

  4. 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

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an large 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet.

  2. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until slightly foamy.

  3. 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.

  4. Add the prosciutto, tomato, and basil and cook for another minute.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

General Diet & Nutrition Articles

Using Medium-Chain Triglycerides during Your Fast

Medium-chain triglycerides, unlike most other forms of fat, are quickly digested and utilized. Nutritionists often tout them as “the fat that helps you burn fat.” Medium-chain triglycerides provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Increased weight loss: A number of small studies have confirmed that the consumption of medium-chain triglycerides do indeed support weight loss. They’re filling and have little effect on insulin levels, yet provide a powerful stream of energy.

  • Increased sports performance: Medium-chain triglycerides provide nearly instant energy, making them a nearly ideal fuel source for the avid exerciser and athlete. The benefit to using them over most other fuel sources (such as amino acids or carbohydrates) is that they have the smallest impact on blood sugar and insulin levels.

  • Appetite control: Like most other fats, medium-chain triglycerides are quite filling. Fat is a naturally satiating nutrient, and although the body quickly utilizes them, they too are quite satiating. Therefore, adding them to your morning coffee or tea may further help you to control your hunger.

  • Immune enhancement and heart health: Numerous studies confirm that medium-chain triglycerides support health immune function and promote heart health. Specifically they have been shown to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the liver and other tissues.

The easiest source of medium-chain triglycerides is organic coconut oil. Consuming coconut oil is one of the rare exceptions where eating something while you fast may actually be beneficial. You can even try adding coconut oil to your coffee or tea because it’s actually quite delicious!