If you live in the UK, you may have seen the Horizon documentary on BBC2, that aired on Monday night.
Eat, Fast and Live Longer.
If you haven't seen it, then you may have heard people talking about it on twitter or facebook. It's a hot topic right now.
There are different ways to go about this, but basically you are either looking at having a continual low calorie diet or fasting. I think I would rather shoot myself in the foot than go on a lifelong low calorie diet, so I was interested to find out how the fasting went and the results it produced.
The results were astonishing. Mosley found out that a third of his body was fat and that he stood a high chance of getting heart disease and cancer, but after he fasted for 3½ days, his chances were reduced dramatically. Here is an explanation of how it works:
- Our bodies have a growth hormone called IGF -1. As a child this is what helps our bodies grow, but as adults it ages us.
- High levels of IGF-1 can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
- Lowering your levels of IGF-1 can help prevent against these diseases and can be done through your diet.
- When lowering your IGF-1 levels, growth stops and your body starts to repair cells. It also uses up your glucose and starts to burn fat, so you also lose weight.
- Fast every second day (still a stretch!)
- Eat normally 5 days a week and fast 2 days a week.
If I manage to keep going with this diet and I hope I will, you will be able to track my progress here on the blog. I will also post meal ideas with calories. Hopefully you will give me some ideas too. In the meantime here is my Spicy Low Calorie Tomato & Lentil Soup. It Serves 6 and has 123 calories per portion. You might even get 8 servings out of it depending on how big a bowl you serve. The whole pot of soup has 740 calories. I will break it down into ingredients and calories at the end.
Low Calorie Spicy Tomato & Lentil Soup
A full flavoured and satisfying soup with a low calorie count. Just 123 calories per portion.Great if you are watching your weight and if you aren't then serve with with crusty bread and butter.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 inch/2½ cm fresh ginger, finely grated
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 150g red lentils
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 3 vegetable stock cubes, dissolved in 3 pints of hot water
- 28g fresh coriander, finely chopped
- a good grinding of salt & black pepper
1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Because we aren't using much oil, you may need to add a splash of water to prevent sticking.2. Add the spices and mix well until the onion is well coated.3. Pour in the tomatoes, lentils and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally as lentils have a tendency to catch on the bottom of the pan.4. Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper.5. Enjoy!
Yield: Serves 6
And the breakdown of calories:
- 1 tsp olive oil = 40 calories
- 1 medium onion = 44 calories
- 1 clove of garlic = 4 calories
- 1 inch/2½ cm piece fresh ginger = 9 calories
- 2 tsp cumin = 0 calories (couldn't find anything but a 0 count for cumin)
- 1 tsp turmeric = 8 calories
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes = 92 calories
- 150g red lentils = 477 calories
- 3 x Tesco vegetable stock cubes = 60 calories
- 28g fresh coriander = 6 calories
Total calories per pot of soup = 740 calories
Thanks to everyone for their support and comments. There are now so many comments on this post it is hard to read them all at once. To see all the comments, click the load more button after the comment box.