Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Cake for breakfast, a slap-up lunch and bone broth for tea: Why Marie Antoinette's diet was the 5:2 of its day
- Marie Antoinette ate cake in the morning and had her main meal at lunch
- She had a tiny 23in waist and remained trim after the birth of four children
By EVE MCGOWAN
Given the current hysteria about sugar, a weight-loss diet that advocates eating cake for breakfast seems somewhat behind the times. But then it is based on a regime - according to author and fashion writer Karen Wheeler - that Marie Antoinette relied on to keep her whippet-thin.
Wheeler was inspired by a biography of the French queen that included fascinating details about what she ate in extracts from the memoirs of her lady-in-waiting, Madame Campan.
And yes, she really did eat cake.
French women are three times less likely than a Briton to suffer a heart attack
The Marie Antoinette Diet seems contradictory, but pastries and indulgences like red wine are staples of Gallic diets - and national statistics show French women are three times less likely than a Briton to suffer a heart attack, and have an average BMI of 23.9 compared to 26.9 for the average British woman.
So was the vilified wife of Louis XVI, who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution in 1793 at the age of just 37, on to something?
LET THEM EAT CAKE... FOR BREAKFAST!
Marie Antoinette indulged her sweet tooth in the mornings, had her main meal of meat or fish with vegetables and pulses at lunchtime and ate little more than soup in the evenings.
The diet seems to have paid off, for measurements recorded by her seamstress reveal she had a tiny 23in waist and remained trim after the birth of four children.
Wheeler herself lost one-and-a-half stone after ten weeks on the regime.
She knew she would be unable to live with a diet that denied her cake, but her research indicated that if you must eat cake, then early in the day is the best time to do so as this is when the body's metabolism is most active and you have the rest of the day to burn off the calories.
Those allowed chocolate as part of a balanced breakfast lost more weight
Cake for breakfast can also keep cravings at bay for the rest of the day. A study at Tel Aviv University found greater weight loss among participants who were allowed chocolate treats as part of a balanced breakfast compared to those in a group who weren't.
Additionally, those in the non-cake group reported less satisfaction and were less likely to stick to the diet.
However, the cake should be part of (or follow on from, an hour or so later) a healthy and low-GI breakfast such as muesli, yogurt and blueberries.
And for the Marie Antoinette Diet to work, it's necessary to exercise some common sense in terms of portion size too. Your cake should be no more than a 75g slice.
It's also advisable to make it yourself to avoid the additives that are often found in shop-bought confectionery, and Wheeler advises cutting the sugar content by 25 to 30 per cent, which shouldn't make a huge difference to the taste.
Nutritionist Jackie Lynch (well-well-well.co.uk) says: 'A diet that allows wriggle room and doesn't forbid any particular food group is likely to be more sustainable in the long term.
'But you don't need to be a specialist in nutrition to suspect that eating cake for breakfast every day isn't going to help your waistline. A sliver of madeira cake or similar alongside a balanced protein-fibre breakfast as an occasional treat is one thing; eating chocolate fudge cake on a daily basis, no matter what time of day it is, is quite another.'
A SENSIBLE LUNCH BEATS HUNGER LATER
The Marie Antoinette Diet involves eating your main meal at lunchtime, as was the custom of the 18th Century French court.
This meal should contain low-GI foods that release energy slowly over the course of the afternoon, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes or lentils.
These should make up a quarter of your plate with half made up of vegetables and the remaining quarter a lean protein like meat or fish.
Lynch says: 'This is by far the best part of the diet - a balanced meal like this will help to avoid the classic mid-afternoon energy slump which can lead to cravings.'
A TYPICAL DAY ON THE MARIE ANTOINETTE PLAN
SOUP: THE SPECIAL INGREDIENT
A major element of the diet is a 'wonder soup' prepared from a centuries-old recipe that Marie Antoinette ate every evening as part of her light supper at the palace of Versailles. It would have been prepared from left-over bones and fresh vegetables from the king's kitchen.
Soup, says Wheeler, satisfies hunger faster than other foods. Feeling fuller for longer prevents the cells of the stomach wall releasing the hormone ghrelin that triggers hunger pangs.
The Marie Antoinette soup is prepared by boiling chicken, lamb or beef bones for a couple of hours or more, much as you would to make a flavoursome stock.
The long boiling time releases minerals from the bones - a process helped by adding a splash of vinegar or white wine. Some meat can be left on the bones to boost the soup's protein content.
The stock yields compounds such as glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen, all vital for joint health.
If you must eat cake, then early in the day is the best time to do so
Vegetables such as onion, garlic, celery, kale, chard and carrots are added, as well as turmeric and herbs, and each bowl contains just 108 calories.
Advocates say the broth has healing powers in addition to weight-loss benefits.
In traditional Chinese medicine, bone broth is believed to be a powerful remedy for the kidneys and adrenal glands, as well as promoting strong teeth and bones.
There is scientific evidence to back such health claims. Studies at Kings College London established that broths made by boiling bones contain as much calcium as an equivalent serving of milk.
Chicken broth can also help recovery from colds and flu, according to research published in the American Journal Of Therapeutics in 2012.
As a bonus, the soup can be prepared in advance and frozen in batches that can be quickly reheated as an alternative to a quick unhealthy snack at the end of a busy day.
AN OLD-FASHIONED MEAL-REPLACEMENT SHAKE
Lynch says there are many benefits to this kind of broth.
In the short term, the broth works in the same way as a meal-replacement drink as it is full of healthy nutrients and vitamins but low in calories, and it could be an effective option for the seriously overweight to lose pounds quickly.
'It's a great opportunity to include a good range of anti-oxidant rich vegetables. The benefits for bone and joint health could be really positive and it's an extremely light, low-calorie option,' Lynch says.
In her book, Wheeler introduces a broader range of soup recipes as a way of incorporating the diet into her lifestyle long-term.
In her book, Wheeler introduces a broader range of soup recipes as a way of incorporating the diet into her lifestyle long-term.
She says she has kept off the weight she lost since starting in late 2012.
The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake And Still Lose Weight, by Karen Wheeler (Sweet Pea Publishing, £7.99).
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Professor Andrew Jotischky says there's a link between the 5:2 and DODO diets and eating habits devised hundreds of years ago to cleanse the mind
- He says the way monks found and grew their food is similar to the techniques employed by celebrity chefs like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Professor Andrew Jotischky claims fashionable celebrity diets - such as the 5:2 diet followed by Beyoncé - are very similar to the eating habits of monks in the Middle Ages
Fashionable fasting diets used by celebrities were actually invented by monks and hermits in the Middle Ages, it has been revealed.
There is a direct link between the 5:2 and DODO diets followed by stars such as Beyoncé and Benedict Cumberbatch and the spiritual eating habits devised hundreds of years ago to cleanse the mind and body.
Andrew Jotischky, Medieval History Professor at Lancaster University, is the author of ‘A Hermit’s Cookbook’ which has recipes from the Middle Ages including stew and bread soup.
The monks’ healthy, simple diet and their fasting habits are almost exactly the same as today’s celebrity weight loss plans, says the professor.
The idea behind the 5:2 diet is to eat normally for five days, while fasting on the other two days.
It is suggested that the dieter limits themself to 500 calories for two non-consecutive days a week.
However, they are given a free reign on their choice of food for the other five days.
Some studies suggest fasting once or twice a week can also protect the brain against illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The DODO - or Day On Day Off diet - follows a similar theory.
The lecturer in Lancaster University’s History Department has produced a detailed look at fasting and diet in the Middle Ages.
He believes the way the monks found, prepared and ate their food contains lessons that can - and are - being used in modern life.
Professor Jotischky said: ‘Hermits went out and found their food in the wild or grew it themselves.
‘In that respect they were very similar to some of today’s chefs, like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who use the same approach to prepare their dishes.
He says the monks' healthy, simple diet and their fasting habits are almost exactly the same as today's celebrity weight loss plans. Benedict Cumberbatch is also thought to follow the 5:2 diet
‘And of course, fasting played a major part in their lives. For them it was a spiritual act rather than a way to lose weight, but it made them very aware of the nature of food and eating.
‘As we have seen with recent dieting fads, we still look at fasting as a way of cleansing and improving our minds and our bodies.
‘There are great similarities between the hermits’ and monks’ diets and today’s current trendy weight-loss regimes.
Modern day hermit? Professor Jotischky says that hermits foraged for food in the wild or grew it themselves - much like some of today's chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
‘The way they ate has a very modern dimension, and the superiority of home-grown and locally picked food is an argument they would have been very familiar with.
‘They would also be familiar with the debate over concerns over “food miles”. Monks and hermits gathered their food from nature.
‘They also recognised the virtue of a diet of simple food that needed little or no preparation.’
Thursday, 29 August 2013
It might be painful, but it does work: High intensity interval training benefits WOMEN in particular
- Interval training may be the best way for women to benefit from running
- Women get more from high intensity interval training than men do
- A 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during HIIT for both men and women
When it comes to running, women may get more out of high intensity interval training than their male counterparts
The research shows that when it comes to running, women may get more out of high intensity interval training than their male counterparts.
Earlier interval training studies primarily focused on highly trained males, but researchers say that they overlooked the variety of other populations that routinely use interval training.
Drs Matt Laurent and Matt Kutz, at Bowling Green State University, Lauren Vervaecke, at the University of South Carolina, and Dr Matt Green at the University of North Alabama, put eight men and eight women between the ages of 19 and 30 through self-paced, high intensity interval training using different recovery periods.
All of them reported at least a moderate fitness level and participation in at least one session of interval training a week.
Participants used a treadmill for six, four-minute intervals performed at the highest intensity they felt they could maintain.
Recovery periods between intervals consisted of one minute, two minute or four minute breaks.
Throughout the intervals, the participants’ maximum oxygen consumption and heart rates were measured.
Results revealed a significant effect of gender on both percentages.
Across the trials, men self-selected a faster relative pace, but the women worked at a higher percentage of their maximum heart rate than the men, and a higher percentage of their maximum oxygen consumption.
‘I think what our data show is that there appear to be meaningful differences in how men and women self-regulate their workouts,’ Dr Laurent said.
‘Specifically, in our case, men and women tend to work at the same level of perceived exertion and feel similarly recovered between each interval, however, as they perform the interval runs women tended to work “harder” from a relative cardiovascular standpoint than men.’
Results also confirmed previous findings suggesting that a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during HIIT for both men and women.
The results also confirmed previous findings suggesting that a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during high intensity interval training for both men and women
‘I really think one of the “take home” points from our study was, despite the gender differences that we found, individuals performing high-intensity interval training should listen to, and trust, their body and pay attention to how they are feeling,’ said Dr Laurent.
‘Without having any feedback about their data, all the participants had to use to set their pace was how they felt during the run and how recovered they felt.
‘In that sense, when runners perform high-intensity intervals, trust that if you push yourself to run what you consider hard, you are probably at the correct intensity, and if you maintain recommended work-to-rest ratios you most likely will recover appropriately to get the most out of your workout, independent of gender.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2404653/It-painful-does-work-High-intensity-interval-training-benefits-WOMEN.html#ixzz2dMBW9AKm
Saturday, 27 July 2013
By Abi Hooper Closer Editor
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that the 5:2 diet, which allows slimmers to eat normally for five days while fasting on two, is the new craze for weight-conscious celebrities.J-Lo, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the glamorous female A-listers said to have given intermittent fasting a go, but it seems that the 5:2 plan has proved popular with male celebrities too.
‘I am on the new 5:2 diet. I’ve been doing it for about three weeks and am really hungry'Phillip Schofield last week revealed he has lost an impressive half a stone on the diet in under a month.
The 51 year-old presenter reportedly told a TV audience: ‘I am on the new 5:2 diet
According to a UK newspaper, slim Phil was on a starvation day when he revealed the news he had lost seven pounds, and begged the audience for snacks!
And its not just Phillip championing Dr Michael Mosley’s revolutionary diet plan - unlikely male dieters Dom Joly and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall were both early adopters.
Writing for a UK newspaper in January, TV chef Hugh revealed that he was ‘beguiled, for the first time ever, really, by a new diet.’
The food and drink lover explained that the diet’s appeal for him, was it’s ‘compelling promise’ that by fasting for just two days out of seven, he could lose his man-paunch and continue to eat and drink whatever he liked.
Comedian Dom Joly also revealed early on in the 5:2 craze that he had lost two and a half stone in three months by following the diet.
Like Hugh, the Trigger Happy TV star said he was attracted to the diet because it allowed him to indulge on non-fasting days.
He said: ‘I simply have to get through to the next day where I can eat and drink to my heart’s content.’
Thursday, 18 April 2013
Tom Parker Bowles whilst cooking on 'This Morning' announced that he is trying the intermittent diet but has only managed to do 1 day so far.
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
The effect on health of alternate day calorie restriction: eating less and more than needed on alternate days prolongs life.
SourceDepartment of Surgery, Louisiana State University Medical Center, 2547A Lyon Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Restricting caloric intake to 60-70% of normal adult weight maintenance requirement prolongs lifespan 30-50% and confers near perfect health across a broad range of species. Every other day feeding produces similar effects in rodents, and profound beneficial physiologic changes have been demonstrated in the absence of weight loss in ob/ob mice. Since May 2003 we have experimented with alternate day calorie restriction, one day consuming 20-50% of estimated daily caloric requirement and the next day ad lib eating, and have observed health benefits starting in as little as two weeks, in insulin resistance, asthma, seasonal allergies, infectious diseases of viral, bacterial and fungal origin (viral URI, recurrent bacterial tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, periodontal disease), autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, symptoms due to CNS inflammatory lesions (Tourette's, Meniere's) cardiac arrhythmias (PVCs, atrial fibrillation), menopause related hot flashes. We hypothesize that other many conditions would be delayed, prevented or improved, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, brain injury due to thrombotic stroke atherosclerosis, NIDDM, congestive heart failure. Our hypothesis is supported by an article from 1957 in the Spanish medical literature which due to a translation error has been construed by several authors to be the only existing example of calorie restriction with good nutrition. We contend for reasons cited that there was no reduction in calories overall, but that the subjects were eating, on alternate days, either 900 calories or 2300 calories, averaging 1600, and that body weight was maintained. Thus they consumed either 56% or 144% of daily caloric requirement. The subjects were in a residence for old people, and all were in perfect health and over 65. Over three years, there were 6 deaths among 60 study subjects and 13 deaths among 60 ad lib-fed controls, non-significant difference. Study subjects were in hospital 123 days, controls 219, highly significant difference. We believe widespread use of this pattern of eating could impact influenza epidemics and other communicable diseases by improving resistance to infection. In addition to the health effects, this pattern of eating has proven to be a good method of weight control, and we are continuing to study the process in conjunction with the NIH.
Posted by Chris at 13:51