The search for the best diet is often about the diet that is easiest to follow. Reducing the number of calories eaten daily is the usual way. Now, new studies show that fasting is a very promising approach.
There are two ways to fast. Research is focusing on “intermittent” fasting. This generally means eating normally 5 days a week, and then consuming very few calories 2 days a week. For an adult male, this means a limit of about 600 calories on fasting days.
Another way to fast is to not eat for 16 to 24 hours 2 days a week (but don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids).
Both diets help people lose weight.
Research shows that fasting does not lead to overeating on non-fast days. Over time people tend to eat less.
In one example a man ate 600 calories every other day. The other days he ate normally. It took about a month for his body and brain to get used to the idea. A doctor said, once a person is adjusted to the diet it is easy to keep. He added, “If you know tomorrow you can eat normally, you can make it through today.”
Researchers think fasting puts positive stress on the body. They are trying to find out how fasting affects the mind. They think fasting releases proteins that increase the activity of neurons and other cells. A doctor says that just as exercise makes muscles stronger, fasting makes the brain stronger.
In other words fasting is not only good for losing weight, it improves your mental state.
Source: The Wall Street Journal December 3, 2013