Monthly Archives: February 2014


The Five/Two Eating Plan

As a method of weight loss and weight control, this easy solution of five/two pertains to a 7 day eating plan. Once you have reached your ideal weight, you transition to healthy baseline calorie intake every day. If you gain a pound, then you can transition back to the 5/2 plan. This is how it works:

·         For 5 days a week, you eat a healthy diet based primarily on fruits, vegetables, a few nuts, a little olive oil, limiting pasta or rice to twice a week. Add limited whole grains tokabob veg the mix, with low-fat meat, including salmon or other similar fish. Mirror your food selections with the Mediterranean diet like people who live along the southern Italian coast and Greek islands. Eating primarily fresh fruits, vegetables, and little saturated fat, they tend to live longer, in better health and with lower heart disease.

·          For two days a week, eat very few calories, only 500-600. The two days must not be consecutive. Instead separate them such as Monday and Thursday.

 Why not do the low calorie days together? Harsh calorie restriction can trigger what researchers call the starvation response. With starvation, the body revs up to store calories by lowering the metabolic rate and packing on calories when food becomes available. It is a natural process to maintain life.

Even though the two low calorie days are not true fasting, if they are consecutive such as Monday and Tuesday, your metabolic rate may be affected. Separating the days, combined with daily exercise such as walking is known to increase metabolic rate and calorie burn. — And, with exercise, you are unlikely to stimulate a starvation response. In fact, with a marked reduction in calorie intake and consistent exercise, you will lose weight.

 British physician Michael Mosley, described the 5/2 diet in his book FastDiet in 2012. In a follow up study done at the Aston University in the UK, they found intermittent fasting (very low calorie days) more effective than daily calorie restriction and calorie counting. Favorable findings included:

  • Reduced weight
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced blood glucose
  • Reduced lipids (cholesterol)
  • Reduced blood pressure

True fasting (consuming no nutrition) has been shown to lower weight, prolong life, lower blood glucose and lower cholesterol levels. However, fasting also lowers metabolic rate, something you do not want, because your body becomes very efficient at storing excess calories and weight returns.

Eating two low calorie days per week is usually safe for Type 2 diabetics. Those taking medications and insulin must consult their medical provider for advice and to help manage medication dosages when reducing calorie intake. In the end, with weight loss, some Type 2 diabetics can reduce or stop some of their medications. Or, for those with borderline glucose elevations, weight loss and the drug Metformin, may help ward off the development of full-blown Type 2 diabetes. Without interventions, most people with borderline elevation of blood glucose will evolve to Type 2 diabetes within ten years.

 Pay special attention to your daily intake:

  • Choose fruits over sweets for desserts.
  • Exercise portion control. Avoid second helpings. Wait 30 minutes and see if you are really still hungry.
  • Do your best to prepare low calorie meals such as turkey breast instead of hot wings or steak.
  • Forget potatoes, pasta, gravy, cheese sauce and fattening salad dressing.
  • If you are preparing meals, serve light calorie recipes and fruit for dessert.
  • Take time to exercise

 Note: If you are, pregnant, breast feeding or a Type 1 diabetic, following a Mediterranean-type cuisine is healthy but do not follow the very low calorie day recommendations. However, this is a heart-healthy approach for those with high blood pressure and heart disease, even those who have had bypass and stent procedures.

 Betty Kuffel, MD

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*****February 28th is the last day of the Sale*****

Your Heart – Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in

Women, Men and Children

Kindle e-book $2.99     Your Heart Book Cover- Finalwfontchg.2 (Small)

Paperback $9.99



National Wear Red Day on February 7th

 In support of American Heart Month, we are providing excerpts from our book

and have reduced prices for the entire month of February.

 Your Heart – Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in

Women, Men and Children

Kindle e-book $2.99     Your Heart Book Cover- Finalwfontchg.2 (Small)

Paperback $9.99

Excerpt:    Cardiovascular Disease

Coronary arteries carry blood, nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle. When waxy cholesterol accumulates within the inner artery wall, it stiffens the artery and begins blocking the flow of blood. The artery disease is called atherosclerosis. The word describes what is happening: athero means fat; sclerosis means hardening. Many people call atherosclerosis “hardening of the arteries.”

Because this destructive process occurs not only in the heart arteries, but in arteries throughout the body, it is called cardiovascular disease. When blood flow is decreased to other organs, such as the kidneys and brain, kidney failure and dementia occur.

Many other forms of heart disease are the result of infection, toxins, hereditary factors and congenital abnormalities over which you have little control. But with the right information, you can take control and treat atherosclerosis. The sooner you make good decisions to improve your health, the more likely you are to add years to your life. Food choices play a huge role. Both men and women are developing coronary artery disease at younger ages. Early evidence of coronary artery disease is even seen in children.

Beginning at a young age, what you eat makes a huge difference. Arteries are more likely to become narrowed throughout the entire body if predominant food choices are:

● High in salt, fat and calories — such as potato chips and French fries

● High in sugar — such as sweet-rolls, pancakes and candy

● High in saturated fats — such as bacon cheese-burgers

Many factors contribute to coronary artery disease; smoking and uncontrolled high blood pressure are two of the most harmful. In the US each year, these two factors are responsible for one-in-five heart related deaths. Next are obesity and inactivity, accounting for approximately one-in-ten heart deaths per year.

Experts agree inflammation is the likely trigger for atherosclerosis. Diabetes, obesity and inactivity are directly related to developing atherosclerosis. Other factors include: high LDL-cholesterol, stress, excessive alcohol intake, and illicit drug use. All of them increase inflammation in the body. Blood tests can measure inflammatory markers that correlate with coronary artery disease.

Daily stress levels rise with holding a job while juggling household responsibilities and securing childcare. Job burn-out, job loss, depression, sleeplessness and anxiety, all raise blood pressure and add to heart disease risks. Additionally, working the night shift adds to serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Gender makes a difference. Men tend to develop coronary artery disease years earlier than women. Younger, premenopausal estrogen-producing women are typically at lower coronary disease risk than men the same age because estrogen is protective. As postmenopausal women age, their risks soon equal those in men.

This guide will take you through body processes contributing to the coronary artery disease epidemic and provide accurate science-based information about actions to improve your health. Even if you already have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, you have the ability to stop its progression. Aggressive treatment can reverse changes inside the artery wall.

Remember — prevention is always the best medicine.

More life-saving information like this can be found in Your Heart: Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in Women, Men & Children

Betty Kuffel, MD

Bev Erickson co-author/artist/cover design