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The Fast-5 Diet refers to the way of eating endorsed by Bert Herring M.D. in the book "The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle." The Fast-5 Diet is a weight-loss and weight-maintenance based on the concept of intermittent fasting. The plan consists of a single rule: limit calorie intake to no more than five consecutive hours in each day. The Fast-5 Lifestyle is an indefinite continuation of the diet for weight maintenance after the weight loss goal has been reached.
The Fast-5 diet was developed based on the personal results Herring experienced while working at the National Institutes of Health and incorporates estimates of the eating schedule of ancient hunter-gatherer humans who ate without benefit of food storage or refrigeration.
Herring's premise for the Fast-5 Diet is that adipose tissue (fat cells) cannot burn fat as fuel at the same time it is storing fuel produced by digestion of food. The restriction of calorie consumption to the five-hour window is intended to increase the time when the digestive tract is empty so no fuel is being provided by digestion. In this fasting phase, insulin is at low levels and the body is dependent on the release of stored fat and glycogen for energy. By extending the interval between meals, Herring suggests some benefits characteristic of intermittent fasting and calorie restriction may be achieved.
Herring suggests an eating window of 5pm - 10pm but indicates that the nineteen continuous hours of fasting time is the key to the diet's effect. The five-hour eating window may be set when it is most convenient. The Fast-5 approach does not stipulate a calorie intake level; it relies on the eating schedule's effect of correcting appetite to determine proper intake. The Fast-5 Diet also does not specify food content or forbid any foods, allowing the approach to be used with any dietary preference (e.g., Kosher, vegetarian, or the diet recommended by the American Heart Association).
Public Review and Comment
The Fast-5 Diet was the subject of a news report from WPVI-TV in Philadelphia including a month-long trial by two volunteer testers, a WKMG-TV Orlando news report, a WJXT Jacksonville news report, a report in the Florida Times-Union. and a Thanksgiving focused report produced by CBS-3 in Philadelphia and aired November 22, 2013.
In October 2012, Dr. Bert Herring was invited to present at TEDxRiversideAvondale in Jacksonville, Florida. It was during his 2012 TEDx talk  that he first introduced his interpretation of the healthy plate to include community connections and making meaning. His version of the healthy plate included a mixed portion of quality social, physical, mental activities as well as generous portions of variety, novelty, challenge and play. It was also at the 2012 TEDx event that he first recast the word DIET as an acronym for Did I enrich today? That presentation inspired the creation of the D.I.E.T. Life Network which is in the start-up stage at the time of this writing (November 2013).
- Herring, B. 2005 The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle page 3
- Herring, B. 2005 The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle preface
- Herring, B. 2005 The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle page 13-14
- Herring, B. 2005 The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle page 47-50
- Herring, B. 2005 The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle page 29
- Herring, B. 2005 The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle page 36
- WPVI broadcast March 29, 2010
- WKMG Orlando news broadcast January 15, 2010
- WJXT news broadcast January 7, 2010
- Florida Times-Union (Sun) December 19, 2009.