The One Day per Week Fast (The 6 and 1 Fast)

The One Day per Week Fast

A great deal of attention has been drawn to fasting as a health promoting and therapeutic practice since the BBC documentary “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” by Micahel Mosley featured recently on SBS.

I have received several enquiries about fasting – particularly the fast recommended by Dr Mosley – the 5 and 2 fast. This is actually, technically not a fast. It simply involves reducing calorie intake 2 days per week (generally not consecutive days) to 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men.

A lot of information and recipes can be found online regarding this.

Since I first started fasting over 18 years ago as part of the treatment to heal myself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I have practiced several types of fasts; including 4-5 x 2 week juice fasts, some shorter 2-3 day fasts and one day per week or fortnight fasts.

Whilst the week or two week fasts are wonderfully therapeutic and deeply cleansing, I tend to only do these once every 2-3 years. In between, I have regularly used the one day per week fast.

Whilst the 5 and 2 fast is very effective, I find the one day per week (or 6 and 1 fast) the most simple and effective way to practice fasting. And, over time, from observing my own and clients responses, it is extremely therapeutic.

The benefits of this one day per week or 6 and 1 fast have included:

  • A simplicity in implementing it – unlike the 5 and 2 fast, only juices, water and herbal teas are consumed. No food. As such it is quite ‘black and white’ (there is no eating whatsoever – only drinking) and far less open to getting a little ‘creative’. This is very important on fasting days as temptation can creep in, especially if one is tired or stressed.
  • You feel very light and clean, both on the day and afterwards.
  • You rarely feel overly hungry, even hungry at all. Especially once you have done it for a few weeks. It is not difficult at all. And, if you do feel a little hungry, you only have to wait until the next day to eat again.
  • Being only one day per week, it is not intrusive. I have found it best to routinely fast on the same day each week. Monday is often a great day. On this day I do not exercise heavily. I do yoga, stretching and light aerobic work such as swimming, walking, light paddling etc.
  • Whist I am reluctant to promote fasting for weight loss, you do lean up on this program. Partly because of the reduction in calories on the one fasting day (generally between 150-200 calories via the juices), and also due to the fact that you tend prefer to eat smaller meals, more regularly, and more clean or wholesome foods for 2-3 days after the fasting day.
  • Improvement in immune function – both myself and my clients have noticed fewer colds and flus, headaches/migraines and other minor ailmens since we started regularly fasting one day per week.
  • A gradual, but significant lessening of symptoms in many chronic ailments – including CFS, fibromyalgia, IBS and gut disturbances, arthritic complaints, auto-immune conditions etc.
  • Improvement in gut function; i.e. regularity and consistency of bowel movements.
  • And the best bit – much greater vitality!!!

Dr Elson Haas’ description of fasting as “the missing link in the Western diet” definitely resonates.

For more information about the one day per week (or 6 and 1) fasting program, contact Tim Altman via email ( or on 0425 739 918 to make an appointment.